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09-23-2019, 09:45 AM - 5 Likes   #1
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Pentax DA* 11-18mm review posted!

You can find the review here:

HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

Enjoy!

09-23-2019, 10:20 AM   #2
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Thank you very much!
09-23-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
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I plan to buy this lens (one far off day). Do they plan to release a Pentax branded lens warmer? Or are there only third party warmers available?
09-23-2019, 12:56 PM   #4
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Obviously an outstanding ultra-wide pro-style zoom lens in terms of build, capability (fast), and sharpness. Of course this comes at a high selling price, and will be heavier than other choices. The statement implying the 82mm filter size is greater than other Pentax lenses, while true regarding those specifically designed for APS-C, the FF DFA 24-70mm f/2.8 also has the 82mm filter size and is a very useful focal range zoom lens for both FF and APS-C.

This is a very fine lens. The AF results are also impressive as well as the AW construction.

However, I am very happy with my recently-acquired Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 which can be had at a fraction of the cost, and weighs far less, yet is only 1/2 stop off the speed of this fine DA* lens. It does not have any WR sealing, but is well-made and has a very good design. Measured distortion is actually better. In AF mode, nothing of the exterior moves. AF is fast when it is on target. Sometimes since objects become so small when using such a wide angle like 10mm, the camera's AF sensor might have a bit of trouble sorting out the exact spot of the frame upon which one is trying to focus and latching onto it, but other than that it is fine.

It is a good thing to have fine-performing choices, available at a range of prices- not just this ultimate lens with its ultimate price. The long-established Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 is still no slouch either.


Last edited by mikesbike; 09-23-2019 at 01:04 PM.
09-23-2019, 05:14 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I was hoping this lens gets a score of ~9.0. 8.3 is kind of low when considering 15-30mm gets 8.4. The 11-18mm is a star lens while 15-30mm is not. And the review doesn't actually list many bad things about it. For example, it praises its bokeh but gives a 7 for it. It says its aberration is absent and is as good as it gets, yet gives it a 6 (Full frame) and 8 (APS-C) at this department. Sounds strange to me. Should we trust the texts or the scores? Maybe explain a bit? Thanks for the work in the review!

Last edited by hyyz; 09-23-2019 at 09:37 PM.
09-23-2019, 06:21 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I'm a little disappointed there wasn't more direct comparison to other choices (the 12-24 and maybe the Sigma 10-20/3.5).
09-23-2019, 07:18 PM   #7
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Concerning the Sigma 10-20mm, I recently decided to take advantage of the very low, current price of the Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 at all dealers. I have been successfully using the old 10-20mm f4-5.6 for several years, but it is not the sharpest and not distortion free. I was hoping to get better autofocus in LV as well as some improved sharpness. However, after some basic tests, I found the bottom right frame to have some inexplicable softness at the apertures I use most often - 5.6, f8 and f11. At that matter, the overall sharpness declines noticeably at f11, besides the extra softness in the corner (in the last, bottom fourth of the frame). I have just ordered one more sample from another large vendor, hoping I will get a better sample from a different batch, but most likely will need to go to the 11-18mm, especially if the K3II replacement checks most boxes for me, although weight and cost remain an issue with this lens...

Last edited by mtgmansf; 09-23-2019 at 08:58 PM.
09-23-2019, 08:18 PM   #8
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So much work! Thanks, bdery.

09-23-2019, 10:45 PM   #9
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Thank you for the detailed review of the DA* 11-18 lens! I have been looking at this lens as an upgrade for my DA 12-24, but when comparing the scores of these lenses I am not so sure it will be an upgrade. The DA* 11-18 is given 8.3 and the DA 12-24 has previously in an in-depth review on PF been given 8.8. When the DA* 11-18 is highlighted several times in the review as a lens suitable for astrophotography, why is there no discussion about its coma characteristics?
09-24-2019, 05:14 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FozzFoster Quote
I plan to buy this lens (one far off day). Do they plan to release a Pentax branded lens warmer? Or are there only third party warmers available?
I have not heard of any plans for a Pentax warmer, but there are many inexpensive options available now.

QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
I was hoping this lens gets a score of ~9.0
don't put too much emphasis on the score.

QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
For example, it praises its bokeh but gives a 7 for it.
Bokeh is OK for such a wide lens, but certainly not remarkable. Which is what I wrote. A good macro will get 9 or 10 for bokeh, this lens is far from that.

QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
It says its aberration is absent and is as good as it gets, yet gives it a 6 (Full frame) and 8 (APS-C) at this department.
CA and flare are indeed as good as it gets. The "aberrations" score includes also vignetting, etc. The lower score for full frame highlights the fact that below 15mm the lens produces black vignetting. I couldn't rate it higher as the corners are unusable.

QuoteOriginally posted by hyyz Quote
Should we trust the texts or the scores?
The text, of course ! Otherwise I wouldn't bother writing it and just give a rating. The scores are an attempt to summarize a whole page of testing in a single number. It's as reliable as can be, but doesn't tell the whole story.

QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
So much work! Thanks, bdery.
A pleasure. It is indeed involved, especially for zooms and specialized lenses. Still fun, though.

QuoteOriginally posted by bjolester Quote
I have been looking at this lens as an upgrade for my DA 12-24, but when comparing the scores of these lenses I am not so sure it will be an upgrade.
As I wrote to hyyz, don't put too much emphasis on the scores, which are useful but don't tell the whole story.

If you need a WR wide lens, then it's a no-brainer. If you need sharpness across the frame, same thing. If you want specific perks for astro, the 11-18 is pretty unique. If you activate in-camera lens correction (or use user profiles in photo editing programs) then the lowish results for aberrations and distortion are irrelevant.

I suggest reading the sections which relate to what's important for you, and maybe those involving things that bug you with your 12-24, and see how the new lens performed. What's sure is that it's an excellent lens.
09-24-2019, 06:52 AM   #11
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Thanks bdery for spending time on all of this! It is great work and a lot of effort.
09-24-2019, 10:17 AM   #12
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That's a lot of work - thank you!!
09-24-2019, 10:46 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Great review. I was a little surprised that starburst-ability at f11 wasn't shown. It seems like there's some diffraction rays apparent at f5.6 so perhaps by f11 they would be shaping up. Comment?

It seems like a very technically adept lens although I wonder if it's missing a bit of that special something that the DA 15 has which is hard to define. I hope many of these make it into the hands of enthusiasts.
09-24-2019, 11:08 AM   #14
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Thanks for the review. I got myself a Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 last year. I am very happy with it, so I won't be in the market for this new Pentax arrival. But who knows what the future holds?
09-24-2019, 11:12 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Great review. I was a little surprised that starburst-ability at f11 wasn't shown. It seems like there's some diffraction rays apparent at f5.6 so perhaps by f11 they would be shaping up. Comment?
As a rule, since I have to stop somewhere, I test starbursts close to F2.8 (depending on the max aperture) and F8. However, the samples gallery might give you examples of what to expect at F11.

Given that this is a F2.8 lens, and that the max aperture is one of the lens' perks, I gave more emphasis in my own sample images to the results at wider apertures.

QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
It seems like a very technically adept lens although I wonder if it's missing a bit of that special something that the DA 15 has which is hard to define. I hope many of these make it into the hands of enthusiasts.
I understand what you mean, but this lens didn't give me the feeling that anything was lacking, quite the contrary.

Lenses like the 15, 21, 43, 77, have small quirks that give them character. From a technical standpoint these lenses might not be "the best" but they are close to the top, and the quirks and particular rendering give them an edge in some cases. that can turn into flaws in other cases, though. With the 11-18, it wouldn't make sense to have to many quirks : edge-to-edge sharpness, at wider apertures, is expected. You won't try to isolate a subject with that lens, but instead include it as part of its surroundings. Horses for races.
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