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03-05-2012, 03:28 AM   #1
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Pentax DA 18-55 II query

Good morning,

I'm looking at a cheap upgrade to my K-R kit lens.

I currently have the DAL 18-55 which works fine for my needs but I have got the opportunity to get the slightly older DA18-55 II from a friend for a very low price. The only thing I can see being different between the two from the lens database is that the DA II version will allow me to use quick shift and catch in focus (without needing to short the pins on the lens mount).

I know the DA II isn't waterproof like the newer version, but I don't need it to be. Are these the only differences or would this be a step down from my current setup?

If I'm honest, the main reason for upgrading would be to get the quick shift focus and second for CIF. It would also be nice to get a green stripe too!

03-05-2012, 04:23 AM   #2
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Unless yours is a better copy than his, go for it.

S
03-05-2012, 04:46 AM   #3
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You should try it out and see if there is a difference. But I am faced with the same problem. Most people claim the 18-55mm is pretty bad, but I am mostly okay with it. However, I am very curious about trying one of the other Pentax zooms in that range. Too bad they tend to be much more expensive than the kit lens..
03-05-2012, 05:09 AM   #4
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I've just done some more ready - I assume that because the DA lens doesn't have a manual focus switch on the barrel that it won't CIF like the DAL version without shorting the pins?

I assume the lens construction is the same as the newer WA version as from the reviews I read of the WA version, it is just a waterproofed version of the II. In which case the DA II and the DAL I have should be almost identical apart from the metal vs plastic and the quick shift? 20 for the DA II seems like a steal to me!

03-05-2012, 05:53 AM   #5
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I think that CIF only requires shorting contacts on a lens that has no contacts and a non-conductive mount (e.g. black anodized or plastic). AF lenses have the contacts, so no shorting should be necessary.

For 20 just grab it. Even if you keep one or the other as a backup, it's well worth it. Quick Shift is a nifty feature to have, and the lens is certainly no worse than the one you're using. It should be the same or very slightly better, optically.
03-05-2012, 06:18 AM   #6
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There is an optical advantage of the MkII lens over the original and as such there will be better image quality from the MkII. The improvement is, however, not as striking as if you were goong from the first 18-55 to something like the DA 16-45. Otherwise all else is the same between the lenses.
03-05-2012, 06:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I think that CIF only requires shorting contacts on a lens that has no contacts and a non-conductive mount (e.g. black anodized or plastic). AF lenses have the contacts, so no shorting should be necessary.

For 20 just grab it. Even if you keep one or the other as a backup, it's well worth it. Quick Shift is a nifty feature to have, and the lens is certainly no worse than the one you're using. It should be the same or very slightly better, optically.
CIF only works on AF lenses that have a built in MF switch. So the only advantage the DA II has over the DA L is Quick Shift.
03-05-2012, 06:33 AM   #8
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I don't mind the kit lens, and getting the 18-135 as an upgrade was pretty meaningless, it's a better walk around lens but I really don't notice much if any difference in IQ in the 18-50 range. We have two kit lenses and the older one is the better lens I think. You really have to try out what you've got to see what's better. Individual copies seem to vary a lot.


Last edited by normhead; 03-05-2012 at 06:39 AM.
03-05-2012, 06:38 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses. I've bitten the bullet and purchased the lens. Like the idea of a spare though.
03-05-2012, 06:54 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
CIF only works on AF lenses that have a built in MF switch. So the only advantage the DA II has over the DA L is Quick Shift.
CIF can be used with any AF lens. Just simultaneously press down the lens-lock button and shutter whilst focusing. Prehensile fingers are needed, but it's not too difficult.
03-05-2012, 07:30 AM   #11
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The other difference is that the non-L versions should all come with a hood. Assuming you use it, that should in itself help IQ in some situations.
03-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
Assuming you use it, that should in itself help IQ in some situations.
Before it go knocked off by a tree branch or something on a walk, I used mine all the time... that was a really poorly attached hood.
03-05-2012, 07:45 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The other difference is that the non-L versions should all come with a hood. Assuming you use it, that should in itself help IQ in some situations.
I bought a knockoff hood from evilBay. Cost less than $10. Even before I started using it I thought the IQ was just fine.
03-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #14
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I forgot about the twisted finger manual override technique for cif. Thanks.

I've already found my other recently acquired lens's suffer badly from lens flare - a pentax m 50 1.7 and another pentax m 28 2.4. I think a 49mm lens hood from eBay might be on the cards.
OK, so now you know I'm suffering from GAS real bad but I'm gonna stop buying lenses now that I'm up to 5 in 2 weeks. Still, I spent less on 4 of them than I did my Panasonic FZ38 or Lx5!
03-05-2012, 10:30 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
There is an optical advantage of the MkII lens over the original and as such there will be better image quality from the MkII. The improvement is, however, not as striking as if you were goong from the first 18-55 to something like the DA 16-45. Otherwise all else is the same between the lenses.
Since the OP has the kit lens from the K-r (DA L 18-55), it has the same optics as the MKII.
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