Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-02-2013, 03:25 AM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Denmark
Posts: 50
Pentax kit lenses

A friend of mine, a keen Nikon photographer for many years, pointed my attention to the fact that are three Pentax 18-55 kit lenses

Apart from the latest WR version which is water resistant, i do not know why there are 3 versions of the same lens?

How is IQ and the optical performance of all three version? Are they different? According to Pentax Forums web site I can see that sharpness is different - is it true?

03-02-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
Pentaxian
JinDesu's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New York City
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,624
There are 3 because one is a super budget lens that was provided with the k-x/k-r, one was the not so budget version that was the original, and one is the WR.

I.e. there was the original DA 18-55 AL II, and then they made the DA L as a budget version to put in the kits with the k-x/k-r, and then they made the WR version (I think, the WR version came after the original DA).

The optical performance of the 3 are the same, give or a take a little.
03-02-2013, 05:38 AM   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,615
In fact, there are four versions.

The original DA 18-55 has 12 elements in 9 groups.
Its 2008 replacement, the DA 18-55 II, has 11 elements in 8 groups.
As @JinDesu mentions, there are WR and L versions of the DA 18-55 II.

Optically, the newer formulation is supposed to be improved,
but there seems to be a lot of variation between individual copies.
03-02-2013, 07:27 AM   #4
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
There are two version still available for purchase (WR and DA-L) with the DA and DA v.II out of production. The WR and DA-L have the same optical formula so are theoretically identical in performance. I've owned all three of the 11 element in 8 groups (2nd) version and tolerances are tighter in the WR but as lytrytyr said - there seems to be a lot of variation among the 18-55's.

03-02-2013, 07:41 AM   #5
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,001
Here is an additional bit of information across the various models - of which I think that there are actually four....Here is an interesting look at the ratings of the lenses....
  • _____________Lens____________________Rating___Avg $___# of Reviews
  • SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL______7.49___$65 ____73 reviews
  • SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II_____8.21___$96____43 reviews
  • SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL_____7.61___$53____55 reviews
  • SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR___7.60___$129___50 reviews
Version II and the WR are suppose to be the same optical design, however even with the addition of the sealing, the WR lens is rated lower, with a higher price. The higher price is warranted, however I somewhat disagree with the discrepancy in the rating. Either the version II is too high, or the WR is too low. I would think that the version II is a bit high, since the L version and WR are in alignment with essentially the same optical design.

Looking at this I believe that there is a naming/labeling problem in the Lens Database. The first two versions (the original and the version II) should not have AL within their designations.


Last edited by interested_observer; 03-02-2013 at 07:47 AM.
03-02-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
Senior Member
bigdog104's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: South Carolina
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 289
QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Here is an additional bit of information across the various models - of which I think that there are actually four....

Looking at this I believe that there is a naming/labeling problem in the Lens Database. The first two versions (the original and the version II) should not have AL within their designations.
Great summary, Like a lot of other forum members, I have ended up with a copy of each.

I was under the impression though that the "AL" designation meant "Aspherical Lens", so if the construction of the Ver II, the DAL and the WR are basically the same shouldn't they all be "AL"?,
03-02-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Michigan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,073
Comparison between the Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi kit lens Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
and the original Pentax kit lens 18 ~55mm

This is the Canon shot that was published by the club last year, and the 6 MB camera .jpg was sent to the parents. Exif: Full Auto Program AE 1/60 f/5.6 iso 200
https://www.box.com/s/ytgrhia346sxw78egfpy

I was standing alongside the Canon photographer with *ist DS and smc PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL My Exif: Manual mode 1/90 f/8 iso 400
https://www.box.com/s/gkddyi8xg6pm8k7y3gsb

Net exposures are about the same. I think there is a lot more lens flare in the EOS shot, the skin and leaf tones are washed out.
I think the Pentax shot is better in across the frame sharpness too.
03-02-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,001
QuoteOriginally posted by bigdog104 Quote
Great summary, Like a lot of other forum members, I have ended up with a copy of each.

I was under the impression though that the "AL" designation meant "Aspherical Lens", so if the construction of the Ver II, the DAL and the WR are basically the same shouldn't they all be "AL"?,
I think your right, my mistake. I was looking down the list and the "L"'s got to me. Way toooooo many of them. I use the because my wife says I am just blind sometimes....



03-02-2013, 10:09 AM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,615
QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
the "L"'s got to me.
Here's what I like about those "L"s:

Canon users have to pay over the odds for them,
but here in Pentax land they're almost giving them away.

My two K-x cameras were both cheaper with a DA L 18-55 than without,
and it looks like it's the same now with the K-30.
03-02-2013, 10:09 AM   #10
Veteran Member
NitroDC's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 342
The DA-L designation (the dash L) indicates the lens is one of Pentax's budget lenses (18-55 DA-L, 50-200 DA-L), meaning plastic mount and no quickshift. There is an AL in the long-version name of the lens which indicates the aspherical lens, but the DA-L is just saying that it's a DA-series lens (for digital APS-C cameras) and is a budget lens (L). I would guess it's short for "lite" or something along those lines. A bit ironic, too, since Canon's L designation is for their best lenses.
03-02-2013, 10:20 AM   #11
Senior Member
bigdog104's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: South Carolina
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 289
QuoteOriginally posted by NitroDC Quote
I would guess it's short for "lite" or something along those lines. .
Pentax also made the DA-L's "lighter" by not including a lens hood.
03-02-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,202
QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
The first two versions (the original and the version II) should not have AL within their designations.
Why not? The labeling is on the front of the lens and on the box...and all four do have an aspheric element.

I remember when the 18-55 AL II first came out. There was a great deal of discussion and a bunch of comparison photos in an attempt to determine whether there was an difference in image quality or whether Pentax simplified the design as a cost-cutting move.


Steve
03-02-2013, 11:08 AM   #13
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,202
QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
Net exposures are about the same. I think there is a lot more lens flare in the EOS shot, the skin and leaf tones are washed out.
I think the Pentax shot is better in across the frame sharpness too.
I believe that your conclusion is in line with most reviews of the Canon and Pentax kits.

Steve
03-02-2013, 11:13 AM   #14
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,202
QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
The higher price is warranted, however I somewhat disagree with the discrepancy in the rating.
Price (or more appropriately, value) is often a consideration when people assign an overall rating for a lens. Expensive lenses with average performance tend to be rated lower than moderately priced lenses with average performance. Another reason to not pay much attention to the overall rating.


Steve
03-02-2013, 11:21 AM   #15
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,814
I am hanging on to my original version I because it is a rare collectors item like the 8 element Takumar.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, kit, lenses, pentax, pentax kit, pentax lens, slr lens, version
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Pentax k-x - two lens kit and other lenses tbirdas Sold Items 6 12-07-2011 08:50 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax Auto 110 Kit with RARE 18mm pan-focus, 20-40mm zoom and 70mm lenses + flash Nick Siebers Sold Items 2 11-13-2011 12:49 PM
For Sale - Sold: Tamron 70-300mm, (2) Pentax 18-55mm Kit lenses, Pentax-F 35-135mm jqjones Sold Items 7 01-15-2011 09:02 PM
For Sale - Sold: FS: Two Pentax kit lenses Alefone Sold Items 5 09-19-2007 04:39 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:44 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top