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09-09-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
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So many 18-55mm lenses, need help to figure out which one!

Hello everyone!


I just sold my camera (K-30), lenses, and accessories to someone who doesn't know much about photography. All the lenses I sold her were M and K series prime, so she can't use all the automatic features that the camera offers (or the weather resistance). I want to recommend a couple of newer lenses to her, but either more have come out since I last checked or I'm more lost than I was! Please tell me the difference between all of the 18-55mm series lenses, and, if you can, give me a current price estimate. I'm really lost and I no longer have hours (or days) to devote to the research I'd need to do. So far I'm going to recommend the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR, but I'd like to be able to recommend a cheaper lens (my research indicates the 18-135 mentioned runs about $250).


The 18-55 I know about:
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR


Note: I know WR denotes Weather Resistance. Also, any other suggestions are welcome.


Thank you in advance!

09-09-2015, 05:37 PM   #2
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The 'L' as in DA L means it is a kit lens, without quickshift, or a hood and has a plastic mount. Optics are the same so it should usually be cheaper.

The WR models are the latest but AFAIK the optics are the same as the 'II' models, which are supposedly improved over the original.

I would recommend the 18-135 as well. If she wants less expensive then the DA 18-55 WR model. And if she wants cheap then go for the DA L model.
09-09-2015, 05:42 PM   #3
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First of all, there is only one DA 18-55mm AL WR.
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I have two 18-55mm lenses, and can't tell if either one is better than the other. Mine are neither WR. I have the original SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
and

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II

Neither one is a great lens but good enough for a beginner. The 18-135mm WR is the better choice in my opinion.
09-09-2015, 06:02 PM   #4
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Yes, you have listed all the variants. All have been offered bundled as kit with a body at one time or the other and all have similar characteristics (great value, light/compact, better than average build and optical quality for a kit zoom, noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end and fairly soft at 55mm).

If you get an 18-55, I would suggest the DA 18-55 WR (no "L") over the other variants. If purchased used and other than an "L" version, make sure the seller includes the hood (use is strongly recommended and fairly expensive if purchased separately). As Jatrax noted, all but the original version (no "L", no "II", no "WR") share the same optics. BTW..."quick shift" is very nice to have.


Steve

09-09-2015, 06:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
First of all, there is only one DA 18-55mm AL WR
...and only one DA L 18-55 AL WR...


Steve
09-09-2015, 06:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
and only one DA L 18-55 AL WR..
I missed that she had two of those.
09-09-2015, 06:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lovephotography Quote
if you can, give me a current price estimate.
Prices used...

Original version: < $40
Version II: < $55
DA L: < $40
DA WR: < $90
DA L WR < $60

...or something like that...


Steve
09-09-2015, 06:24 PM   #8
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So much useful information! I knew you guys could help out ^_^ thank you so much!

09-09-2015, 06:24 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Original version: < $40 Version II: < $55 DA L: < $40 DA WR: < $90 DA L WR < $60
Why two prices on the WR version if there is only one WR version? There is only the original, the DA ll AL and one WR according to PF database, that is.
09-09-2015, 06:31 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
Why two prices on the WR version if there is only one WR version? There is only the original, the DA ll AL and one WR according to PF database, that is.
Look in the DA L section:

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Reviews - DA L Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I have personally used the DA L 18-55 WR and it definitely does exist. (It was commonly bundled with the K-50 in either one or two lens kit.)


Steve
09-09-2015, 06:44 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Look in the DA L section:

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Reviews - DA L Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

I have personally used the DA L 18-55 WR and it definitely does exist. (It was commonly bundled with the K-50 in either one or two lens kit.)


Steve
my K-50 came with the WR-variant of the DA L 18-55, and the WR-variant of the DA L 50-200...
09-09-2015, 06:45 PM   #12
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There are TWO WR lenses.. as steve is trying to make clear. a DA-L WR that came with some K-30 and I think most of the K-50 and the slightly fancier DA AL WR that came with K-5, K-5 II and I think maybe some K-3 kits
09-09-2015, 07:19 PM   #13
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Ok thanks Steve. I didn't check the DA L section. My bad.
09-17-2015, 01:06 PM   #14
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Al ii

The Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II Lens is one that I had myself. I bought it as opposed to getting the kit lens. It has a metal mount and takes very nice pictures. The AF is quick and accurate. It is selling for approximately $119-$125.99 on Amazon on at this internet address: Amazon.com : Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras : Camera Lenses : Camera & Photo

It is not a WR lens, but it is built well and does very well.

Last edited by C_Jones; 09-17-2015 at 01:14 PM.
09-17-2015, 01:52 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lovephotography Quote
Hello everyone!


I just sold my camera (K-30), lenses, and accessories to someone who doesn't know much about photography. All the lenses I sold her were M and K series prime, so she can't use all the automatic features that the camera offers (or the weather resistance). I want to recommend a couple of newer lenses to her, but either more have come out since I last checked or I'm more lost than I was! Please tell me the difference between all of the 18-55mm series lenses, and, if you can, give me a current price estimate. I'm really lost and I no longer have hours (or days) to devote to the research I'd need to do. So far I'm going to recommend the SMC Pentax-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR, but I'd like to be able to recommend a cheaper lens (my research indicates the 18-135 mentioned runs about $250).


The 18-55 I know about:
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR


Note: I know WR denotes Weather Resistance. Also, any other suggestions are welcome.


Thank you in advance!
Optically there are only two variants: the original "mark 1" (second in your list), and all the rest. The former is optically inferior so you should go for one of the others. Feature-wise the differences between all the versions are minor. There's a detailed overview toward the bottom of this page:
Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 WR Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

My recommendation would be to go for the DA WR version as then you'll get weather sealing The DA L WR cannot be purchased separately so you'd only be able to get it second-hand.

Adam
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