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03-11-2011, 09:28 AM   #1
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18-55mm kit lens clarification

I need to replace a damaged 18-55mm DAL kit lens that originally shipped with my Pentax K-x. I have found a couple of good deals on the used market, but some have been identified as either Version I or Version II. Never having seen this distinction before, can someone explain the difference.

I don't use the 18-55mm kit lens very much so it doesn't need to be top quality, but I still want to have one at my disposal in case I want to use it. Just curious if I should be concerned about the versions.

03-11-2011, 09:59 AM   #2
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Version II is generally thought to be modestly better than Version I, and optical tests show some slight differences. But I don't know that version variation is greater than copy variation. For non-critical use, it likely doesn't matter. I use my Version I mostly to hang filters, optical strap-ons etc, or just for the discipline of limiting myself to that focal range. I *am* tempted by a WR (Version II optics) so I'd have a weatherproof combo with my K20D. But that's a bit costlier.
03-11-2011, 10:12 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stardog Quote
I don't use the 18-55mm kit lens very much so it doesn't need to be top quality, but I still want to have one at my disposal in case I want to use it. Just curious if I should be concerned about the versions.
The main difference is that version 1 has rather noticeable vignetting at 18mm. Version 2 is reputed as slightly sharper, but I could barely tell the difference even when pixel peeping. If you're not going to be using it much, I would get the cheapest used on I could find, and that will probably be version 1.
03-11-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lmotta Quote
Where did you guys get this information about these two versions of the kit lens?
lenses testing websites?
I think there was somewhere stated that the DA L version is optically identical to DA II version

03-11-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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I just happened to run across mention of Version I and II somewhere earlier on this forum when researching lenses for my K-x. I also Googled and came across a couple of mentions of the two versions. My understanding is Version I is the early iteration, and II is more recent and perhaps only "slightly" improved. For basic photography with the 18-55mm lens I think the differences are probably negligible. If I am totally off base, I hope someone will clarify further.
03-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stardog Quote
I think the differences are probably negligible
scroll down this page and see for yourself
Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II review - Image resolution - Lenstip.com
I`d say the II version is slightly sharper and little bit more contrasty (latter could also be due to light conditions)
as northcoastgreg suggested, the higher light fall-off could be a problem, depends on what you are going to use it for
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