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11-20-2009, 08:57 AM   #1
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18-55mm WR compared to the original 18-55mm kit lens - Follow Up!

I am considering to buy the new 18-55mm WR lens and was wondering how it compares to the original 18-55mm Pentax kit lens? How is the optical quality?
I was never excited about the original kit lens and I have never tried any of the versions that came out later.
So if someone has the original kit lens and also the new WR, I would appreciate any advice if it's worth buying one.

I just want a real light lens for hiking and the Weather resistance might be helpful too if I have it on the K20D once in a while.


Last edited by HogRider; 11-24-2009 at 01:46 PM.
11-20-2009, 09:01 AM   #2
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It's the same optically as the DA AL II version
11-20-2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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I don't think you can go wrong with the 18-55mm WR. There are some great images here taken with the original and some say the II version is evan better but I don't see it.
11-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
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So the 18-55mm DA AL II is better in optical quality than the original kit lens?
Built quality also?

11-20-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by HogRider Quote
So the 18-55mm DA AL II is better in optical quality than the original kit lens?
Built quality also?
Yes but if optical quality jump is what you need, you should go for the 16-45mm instead... I dont think the WR will be significantly better. Mine's coming in a week or so. Will post my observations later
11-20-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Yes but if optical quality jump is what you need, you should go for the 16-45mm instead... I dont think the WR will be significantly better. Mine's coming in a week or so. Will post my observations later

Well I know the 16-45mm and actually just sold it. I was mainly looking for a WR lens, since I do not have a WR lens in my line up at all. I am just not willing to spent 199 Dollars and get the same IQ as the original kit lens. Vignetting at 18mm, soft wide open and all.
11-20-2009, 11:00 AM   #7
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It can/could be had on amazon/bc for $130. A no-brainer if my body had WR.

Here are reviews:
Pentax Lens Review Database - 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II
Pentax Lens Review Database - 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR

And the original:
Pentax Lens Review Database - 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL

There may be direct comparisons that you can find on the forums or online

Last edited by Eruditass; 11-20-2009 at 12:02 PM.
11-20-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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I've had my WR for a couple of weeks and it looks as good or better than my old kit lens. I think that both of these are fine lenses for most of us. Definitely better than the canikon kit lenses.

11-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HogRider Quote
Well I know the 16-45mm and actually just sold it. I was mainly looking for a WR lens, since I do not have a WR lens in my line up at all. I am just not willing to spent 199 Dollars and get the same IQ as the original kit lens. Vignetting at 18mm, soft wide open and all.
Beach camera is selling the 18-55 WR for $129 (through amazon, or ebay - you can use bing cashback to get another 8% off that price even if you buy on ebay)

At that price I don't think you need to worry - yes this is just the DA AL II kit lens, nothing new optically, but unless you want to spend $600 you won't find another WR option in this range.
11-20-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses. You guys have me convinced that I need one of those.
11-20-2009, 03:00 PM   #11
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BTW, I'd say the WR version is noticeably better built overall than the regular versions (the difference in build quality betwene version I and II of the regular is basically non-existent, except that version II comes with a nicer cap). The different in IQ between the version and the version II (=WR version) is noticeably but not huge. If the amount of vignetting at 18mm was a problem for you before, it will probably still be now - it's still a consumer APS-C zoom. And if you need to be shooting wide open and pixel peeping the results, you'll probably still notice this it isn't prime-quality - but do you really *need8 to shoot wide open that often when hiking? Anyhow, the corners are better overall, and the stopped down sharpness in the middle of the focal length range is a pretty significant improvement. For the kind of use I'd imagine is typical when hiking - I'd shoot it almost exclusively at f/8 and in the 28-40 range - it really is pretty close to most primes.
11-20-2009, 03:38 PM   #12
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Thanks for the detailed information, Marc!
11-24-2009, 01:53 PM   #13
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Just a quick follow up for those interested. I ordered the lens through Amazon for the advertised 129.00 Dollars w free shipping (through Beach Camera).

A few days ago I browsed Amazon and noticed the price has been raised to 155.94

Today I get an email from customer Service at Beach Camera:

Dear Valued Customer:
Please be advised that your order was cancelled. Merchandise is not available from the manufacturer. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We assure you your credit card has already been or will be credited immediately. If you have any further questions please contact our customer service department.


Can anyone else smell BS?
11-24-2009, 10:40 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
Yes but if optical quality jump is what you need, you should go for the 16-45mm instead...
the best option for standard zoom is 16-50, I think...
11-24-2009, 11:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by artemapei Quote
the best option for standard zoom is 16-50, I think...
Huge and expensive with SDM problems

Fine it's not that huge... and if you get a great copy you'd probably enjoy it.... Price wise you can't beat the DA 16-45 though.

Edit: Erh... the SRS microsystems deal for 18-55 WR (49 GBP) is gone now. I should've shared it here a bit earlier.... it's only accesible for people with a UK friend anyway I guess.
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