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02-02-2010, 05:27 AM   #1
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Differences between various 18-55mm's?

Anyone give me a quick run down on the differences between these 18-55's (DA AL, DA AL II, DA L)

From what I can find I think the DA L doesn't have 'quick shift', but do the others have it? Can't find confirmation of that.

Any other suggestions for a 'don't care if it gets stolen' lens? (not a Sigma either... see below) Needs to be a wideish zoomy (18-?) that fits into a snout case on my K10D. I have a 16-45 but that won't fit and I bought a 18-35 Sigma but that won't fit due to a very wide filter ring (Didn't do my research on that!) Don't like the build quality of the Sigma either (I'll be moving that on again).

Cheers, Nige

02-02-2010, 05:33 AM   #2
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This should be in lens discussion section.
02-02-2010, 06:06 AM   #3
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Yes, in lens section...

about a lens you are asking for...why not the 18-55 kit lens? You can get them for next to nothing anyway.

Jason
02-02-2010, 07:22 AM   #4
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Doing this from memory, here is what I recall.

The DA 18-55 was the first DA kit lens. (I have two of them.)
They brought out the DA 18-55 II around the time the K20d was released because apparently the optics weren't quite up to the quality of the K20 sensor or so the story went.

The DA L 18-55 was released with the K-m or K-2000 as a light weight version of the DA 18-55 (I don't know if it was the II version or not) and yes it was missing the quick shift ring.

With the release of the K-7 they released the DA 18-55 WR (weather resistant) version which I believe was based on the II version.

Hope that helps.

02-02-2010, 11:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Doing this from memory, here is what I recall.

The DA 18-55 was the first DA kit lens. (I have two of them.)
They brought out the DA 18-55 II around the time the K20d was released because apparently the optics weren't quite up to the quality of the K20 sensor or so the story went.

The DA L 18-55 was released with the K-m or K-2000 as a light weight version of the DA 18-55 (I don't know if it was the II version or not) and yes it was missing the quick shift ring.

With the release of the K-7 they released the DA 18-55 WR (weather resistant) version which I believe was based on the II version.
Plus the K-x kit lens has a plastic mount and I think it came without a lens hood.
02-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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The original 18-55 used an older and not quite as good optical formula, all the others (II, WR, and L) use the newer improved one. Of the latter three, WR is a step up because it is weather sealed, and L a step down because it lacks quickshift (as well as a hood, and it has a plastic mount).

This is such an FAQ that I'm thinking I should make this a sticky thread - and move it to either the beginners or lens forum. Opinions?

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 05-22-2010 at 10:43 AM.
02-02-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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The differences between these lens is something I've wondered about recently, being new to Pentax DSLRs and not knowing one from the other. I can only assume other new users would also wonder.

I just hope the optics in the L series aren't inferior to the other Pentax series since there is a new K-x on its way to me.
02-02-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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I've owned a II version and I've owned an L version. The L version has been rather unsatisfying, optically speaking. I usually use it stopped down to at least f7.1 regardless of focal length. The II was pretty usable even wide open (on a higher-res body, no less). However, given that this is simultaneously Pentax's cheapest and most mass-produced lens line, I would suspect that sample variation may play a bigger role here than actual differences in optical design.

02-02-2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
I've owned a II version and I've owned an L version. The L version has been rather unsatisfying, optically speaking. I usually use it stopped down to at least f7.1 regardless of focal length. The II was pretty usable even wide open (on a higher-res body, no less). However, given that this is simultaneously Pentax's cheapest and most mass-produced lens line, I would suspect that sample variation may play a bigger role here than actual differences in optical design.
I think sample variation is the key. I have the 18-55 L that came with my Kx, and my quick tests reveal it to be reasonably good even wide open. Not great compared to my primes of course, but good.
02-02-2010, 03:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
Yes, in lens section...
I'm sure that's where I posted it... I had to search my own threads to find this this morning!

QuoteQuote:
about a lens you are asking for...why not the 18-55 kit lens? You can get them for next to nothing anyway.
Jason
unfortunately not "next-to-nothing" here. Local Cash-Convertors has one (not sure what derivation, for AUD$229... thats about US$200). Can get one (new) for about $150 from Hong Kong but was wanting something a lot cheaper as the chances of it getting stolen (along with my old K10D is high). A 'kit' that I can get locally for US prices would be my preference. Could have bid on a Sigma 18-50 last night (went for $40) but after playing with the Sigma 18-35 decided against it. Buying one for about US$50 from here would be good if I could be guaranteed it would get here in less than 4 weeks, but without paying high postage that's not a certainty. Might just end up leaving dSLR at home and making do with the Mrs's p&s.

QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew:
Hope that helps.
Certainly does, looks like I should chase a 'II', although I won't go past either of the others if they pop up.

Cheers, Nige
02-08-2010, 09:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
However, given that this is simultaneously Pentax's cheapest and most mass-produced lens line, I would suspect that sample variation may play a bigger role here than actual differences in optical design.
I think that has a lot to do with it. I've had 2 first-gen DA 18-55's and now have the DA L 18-55, and the DA L is definitely the sharpest of the bunch. It's all a roll of the dice.
02-17-2010, 07:34 PM   #12
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I bought my K20D without a kit lens last year but recently aquired an AL. Having read mostly unflattering things about the kits, I was very pleasantly surprised. I'm very happy with it, it seems faster than it should. Sorry, can't compare to the others I haven't used.
02-17-2010, 08:37 PM   #13
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Just to add a little more to the L vs AL II information - including links:
There is also a nice comparison between the AL and AL II at Lens Tip

Cheers

Last edited by MoiVous; 02-17-2010 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Updated AL details & Lens Tip review
02-19-2010, 10:29 PM   #14
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I have the AL, mine has the hood pop out too.
02-25-2010, 12:22 AM   #15
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The original 18-55mm AL had an optical formula of 12/9 (although the diagram at dimitrov's site looks like 13/9 to me).

The 18-55mm AL II has a formula of 11/8 as does the WR and the L version. In addition the WR version has the SP coating (Super-Protect). As mentioned, the L lacks the quick shift and has a plastic mount.

Edit: Here are the diagrams from dimitrov and you can see what I mean about it looking like 13 elements there.


AL




AL II (also the WR and L versions)



http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/zooms/short/index.html

Last edited by Blue; 02-25-2010 at 12:29 AM.
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