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09-17-2009, 03:42 AM   #1
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Confussion about kit lenses

Pentax seems to have more kit lenses floating around than it has model numbers (or at least model numbers listed on various vendor sites

This is what I know.

First there was the 18-55mm kit lens that was less than well received.

Then there was the 18-55mm II lens that was improved and many on here think is a good starter lens.

Then came the 18-55mm WR which added water resistance to the 18-55 II lens.

Now there is an 18-55 L lens that is lighter, which I presume means that it has more plastic.

What is confusing is that the 18-55 L lens is supposedly the kit lens on the K-m and K-x but it is rarely designated as so. (see Walmart) So I have no clue what I am buying. Also, few have reviewed this lens to compare it with the 18-55 II lens.

Any help?

09-17-2009, 07:21 AM   #2
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Looks like you have the basic information. The only things I might add are:
  • Pentax-DAL lenses are lighter because they have plastic mount faces
  • All of the 18-55 "kit" lenses are similar optically, though the "II" version is reputed to be somewhat better than the original. Presumably, the "WR" version is has similar enhancements. As for the "L" version...who knows...
  • It is safe to assume that the K-M or K-X will have the plastic mount DAL lens
Steve

P.S. The 18-55 is a very decent performer, particularly for the price.

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-17-2009 at 10:51 AM.
09-17-2009, 09:10 AM   #3
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Check out the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/45425-kit-lens-club.html for shots from these lenses. Frankly, by just looking at the photos alone, anyone would be hard pressed to tell you which kit lens was used. You may just as well be guessing at heads and tails.

Walmart.com is explicitly clear about the lens included with the k2000:

Type: Zoom lens - 18 mm - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 DA L AL Pentax KAF
09-17-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSMaryland Quote
Pentax seems to have more kit lenses floating around than it has model numbers (or at least model numbers listed on various vendor sites

This is what I know.

First there was the 18-55mm kit lens that was less than well received.
[ somehow my original reply got eaten - trying again ]

Actually, it was quite well received - a clear improvement over the lens that had shipped as the kit lens previously, and also a clear improvement over Canon's kit lens at the time. But it wasn't as good as the much more expensive DA16-45, nor is anywhere near "prime" quality, causing some to reject the 18-55 unfairly. I would say *most* people perceived it as an excellent value. But when the improved 18-55II came out for basically the same price, it became the *better* value.

QuoteQuote:
What is confusing is that the 18-55 L lens is supposedly the kit lens on the K-m and K-x but it is rarely designated as so. (see Walmart) So I have no clue what I am buying. Also, few have reviewed this lens to compare it with the 18-55 II lens.
You'd have to check with any particular retailer to find out which lens they ship, but they *are* clearly marked. It is optically identical to the 18-55II, so any differences that random individuals report would be just sample variations in their particular copies.

BTW, part of the weight difference is also the lack of the quick shift focus clutch, making the lens rather less useful as well as lighter and cheaper.

09-17-2009, 07:11 PM   #5
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I bought the 18-55II,because it suppose to be optically better than the first version.The WR version is suppose to be near identical optic wise to version II,and cheaper.I've taken alot of picture with mine,and I can say that it is brilliant for what you pay.Version II or if you can afford the WR,either would be a safe bet to buy in a kit lens.Good luck on your decision.
09-18-2009, 04:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSMaryland Quote
Pentax seems to have more kit lenses floating around than it has model numbers (or at least model numbers listed on various vendor sites

This is what I know.

First there was the 18-55mm kit lens that was less than well received.

Then there was the 18-55mm II lens that was improved and many on here think is a good starter lens.

Then came the 18-55mm WR which added water resistance to the 18-55 II lens.

Now there is an 18-55 L lens that is lighter, which I presume means that it has more plastic.

What is confusing is that the 18-55 L lens is supposedly the kit lens on the K-m and K-x but it is rarely designated as so. (see Walmart) So I have no clue what I am buying. Also, few have reviewed this lens to compare it with the 18-55 II lens.

Any help?

Actually, it is one of the better kit lenses made. When compared to the kit lenses from Canikon, it is a far better lens.

Pentax DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL Lens Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Pentax Lens: Zooms - Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 SMC P-DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com!

Also remember that you can find this lens for less then 70 bucks used.
09-18-2009, 08:28 PM   #7
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I'm another who will stick up for the kit lens. I'm quite happy with the images I have taken with that lens. I'm using the early version. If the WR version was available when I bought my camera I would have gone with that one. The reviews back then as well as now rate it as one of the best kit lenses made.
09-19-2009, 04:34 AM   #8
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You are correct that there are multiple models/versions of the 18-55 lens.
  • 18-55 - the initial version, or version I - This lens came with the K100 lens body. The K100 is a 6MP camera. It was also used as the kit lens on the K10, a 10MP body. I have this lens, it came with my K100 and its a wonderful lens. Does a great job, and as been commented on, a lot of folks like it a lot. The lens forum here has a wonderful set of images. It appears that this lens has been superseded by the version II lens. Does not appear to be available from retail outlets (other than maybe old stock), any longer.
  • 18-55 II - This version was used as the kit lens on the K20, a 14MP body, and now the standard kit lens. From what I read at the time, the kit lens was upgraded to match the improved resolution that the 14MP sensor was capable of. Googling prices, I see this going for around $150 new.
  • 18-55 WR - This version was used as the kit lens on the K7, a 14MP body, WR designating weather resistant, as the design includes additional sealing of the lens. Googling prices, I see this going for around $200 new.
  • 18-55 L - This version was used as the kit lens on the KM/2000 and now the KX, a 10/12MP body, L indicating that it has a plastic (as opposed to a metal) lens mount. I would have to assume that a metal lens mount is sufficient more costly, than a plastic one, in order to reduce the price point on the entry level camera such as the KM/2000/X. Googling prices, I see this going for around $80 new.
As others have indicated, this has been a much better kit lens than comes with other brands. So I really do not understand where you have found that "it was less than well received". At the time version I when it was delivered with the K100, Pentax was commended for including such a good lens in the kit. On another forum, one poster I remember was complaining that the 18-55 appeared to produce images as good as the 16-45, thus the 16-45 was way overpriced.

hope that helps...

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