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SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]

Sharpness 
 9.3
Aberrations 
 8.0
Bokeh 
 8.1
Autofocus 
 8.9
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 8.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
61 304,875 Wed September 2, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
95% of reviewers $696.14 9.14
SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]

SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]
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SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]
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Description:

This 12-24mm extreme-wide angle zoom lens provides a useful range for landscape and street photography. An alternative would be the heavier and more expensive DA* 11-18mm F2.8 lens.


SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL[IF]
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
13 elements, 11 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.12x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 99-61 ° / 90-53 °
Hood
PH-RBI 77
Case
S100-120
Lens Cap
77mm Lens Cap A
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
84 x 87.5 mm (3.3 x 3.44 in.)
Weight
430 g (15.2 oz.)
Production Years
2005 to 2020
Pricing
$1209 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:4 12-24mm ED AL[IF]
Product Code
21577
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★★☆ Full coverage at some F-stop and focal length combinations
Show details
Notes
Two aspherical elements, One ED element.

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]
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Forum Member

Registered: July, 2020
Posts: 82

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 2, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fabulous focal-length range; sharpness; build; handling; that it can be used 18-24mm on FF cameras
Cons: that it's not made for FF cameras; no aperture ring; plasticky focusing ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K10D, K-3 II   

This is the lens that stays on my K10D camera most of the time when it sits idle -- so that I can quickly pull out the camera to get shots of sunsets or interesting clouds, or for walks through the woods. I bought it new for my K10D (which I bought in 2007, so soon thereafter) and don't have the price available (though it appears that I paid close to $700 from B&H). If I had to give up all my fifteen Pentax K-mount lenses for use on my APS-C cameras except for one, I'm pretty sure that this would be the one to keep; of course, this lens wouldn't make the cut if I wasn't allowed to keep any full-frame lenses (for my four FF Pentax cameras) by keeping this one -- underlying the problem that Pentax doesn't make this lens for full-frame cameras. Some tester (see "Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums" in the table above) showed that this lens is not useful under 18mm on a FF camera (but that it's excellent in the range 18-24mm on a FF camera, so that's a huge plus that pushes my overall rating to "10"); however, 18mm on a FF camera is the effective view with this lens at 12mm on an APS-C camera, so there's that. I have verified that the lens looks fine on my LX camera at 18 mm, but by the time you get to 16 mm, the corners are gone (black); I will update this with extensive testing when I get my forthcoming new K-1 II camera, as using this lens at 18mm on a FF camera is something I'll very much want to do, fairly often.

This is a good-looking lens, albeit big and heavy on a camera. Considering the constant f/4 over the entire range of focal lengths, and considering the solid build and that this covers really useful ranges for wide-field photography, I rated the sharpness and optical aberrations and handling accordingly (i.e., I recognize that it has to be a large, heavy lens, and that a zoom lens like this cannot be as sharp as a prime lens, etc.). Given all that, my marks are high in every category -- even autofocus. This lens focuses automatically and well on my K10D camera over the entire range of focal lengths (that said, I'm mostly a manual focuser anyway, so it doesn't matter that much to me, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it autofocuses). I have used this for landscapes, indoor photography, and astrophotography. The distortion towards the edges is excellent even at 12mm for such a wide-angle lens; so relatively speaking, I'd say that the optical aberrations are superb for this lens in that Pentax has engineered this lens extremely well. Several weeks ago (July 2020), I got really good photos of comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) and the Big Dipper over the Atlantic Ocean with large trees framing the shot, shot on a tripod at 12mm for 8-10 seconds at ISO 1600 and f/4 (before star trailing kicked in). With a clock drive and a dark sky, this is a great lens for Milky Way shots.

Genuine negatives, other than that the 12-24mm f/4 zoom lens is designed for APS-C cameras and not for FF cameras? Not much; I'd probably point to the plastic hood, which is fine but not the easiest to use (I do wish that Pentax would only make metal hoods). The thin focus ring seems a bit on the cheap side, with that plasticky feel that you typically find in Pentax FA- and F-series lenses; it has a rotation of only about 100 degrees from infinity leftward (counter-clockwise as viewed from behind the camera) to closest focus. Yes, people have commented on the high price of this lens, and I'm one to criticize the high pricing of many Pentax lenses as unwarranted, but this lens is such a big performer and key part of my photography that I can personally justify the price as being of "excellent value".

photos showing the lens on my camera:


   
New Member

Registered: August, 2019
Posts: 20

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
New or Used: New   

K10D
1.








2.







3.







4.







5.






6.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2019
Posts: 348
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very versatile, good color rendering, clear.
Cons: Not weather sealed. For my use nothing else considering the features of the focal lengths.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K70   

It is the lens that by now I have used for more than a year in street photography. I do very little architecture, but if necessary it can serve and correct the distortion quite easily, having the precaution of taking more or less "on the bubble". Equally rarely do I use a natural landscape, and I don't do astro. I focus mainly on 15, 18 and 24 mm as a kind of fixed. I rarely use it at 12 and only in tight spaces where I can't do without it. For personal attitude I would have preferred a wider focal excursion upwards than downwards, I would have avoided changing it even on the occasions that I prefer to use a 35 mm. It is not bright but I care little about using very often smaller apertures and with little light ... I raise the ISO. I don't find it evil even in the resistance to flare, especially in the long part. Mandatory (obvious) use of one's lens hood. It is not small in size, although it remains smaller in length than 55-300 but a little wider and of more or less equivalent weight (best known objective to give an effective idea). To me it is quite easy to carry it with me, glued to the machine and not. A lens that has been around for many years, but still has a reason. New is now found with around 850 euros, perhaps destined to go down even after the 11-18 WR release. Used it is around 400-500 euros and in my opinion it can not be missing in a kit of an amateur photographer with a bit of experience that wants to use the focal ones, compared to the alternatives that can be envisaged for use in street photos.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Quebec City, Quebec
Posts: 2,129

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: One of the most underrated treasures of the Pentax lens family. One of the best UWA lenses on the market now.
Cons: None. Those that don't like it don't know how to use its full potential.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K3   







   
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Kiev
Posts: 12

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 27, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good color rendering. Convenient wide-angle focal lengths. Not as heavy in weight as it may seem on the basis of its dimensions. Good sharpness.
Cons: Big size. Very large blend. Large diameter of the front lens (expensive filters with a diameter). Chromatism. Pretty expensive cost.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: К5   

I have this lens recently. I bought it by accident. But when I tried to photograph them, I was pleasantly impressed with the results.
The lens has a good color reproduction. And good sharpness of photos. Sharpness is better at 11-15mm focal length, already at open aperture values.
The focal length of this lens is quite convenient on cropped cameras. The lens can shoot groups of people. But it is not intended for this. Its purpose is photography of landscapes, street photography, interior and architectural photography, night photography.
Surprisingly, this lens has more or less normal bokeh. In any case, the bokeh of this lens is not annoying. Bokeh is not easy to get. Because the lens has a very large depth of sharply depicted space.
When shooting with covered aperture values ​​(8-11 +) lights and other light sources at night get beautiful rays.
For interesting pictures with this lens, it is advisable to use a photo tripod.
The lens hood is also very desirable to always use. It not only cuts off the extra light.
*Rays due to which glare may occur. But it also increases the overall contrast of the photos.
Buy a protective filter for the front lens of this lens. The diameter of the lens is large and expensive filters for it. But filters are needed to protect the front lens of the lens, which has a large diameter.
Auto focus at the lens is fast, accurate and produces little noise.
I compared this lens with 16-45 F4. At a focal length of 16mm. 12-24 lens gives a better (sharper and more saturated) image than 16-45. On any diaphragm. And already at focal lengths of 20-24mm., These two lenses take pictures almost equally well.
Conclusion: I really liked the lens. The disadvantages are insignificant compared to its merits. To the main advantages, I would take good sharpness, convenient focal lengths, fast focusing.





   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2006
Location: North Face of Mount Shasta
Posts: 120

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 31, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good build quality, Much Sharper than expecting, Light weight, Fast/Precise Focus, Acceptable distortion for range,
Cons: Large filter size (expensive filters), Noticeable CA (easily fixed in post)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

I have wanted this lens for years, but new, they can be costly. I was fortunate enough to purchase my copy from another forum member and secured a very sharp copy that was in mint condition for a cost that was fantastic.
This could be the best Pentax purchase I've made to date.
This lens performs!! Surprisingly sharp, light, handles well, focuses quickly and distortion is very low given the focal range. This is truly one of Pentax's crop jewels.

The following shots are from a local Micro Brewery on the first day I'ld owned the lens;





   
New Member

Registered: October, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $680.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, range
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

I love super wides.
I have always loved extreme wide-angle lenses but have not had anything wider than the 16-45mm since I switched to Pentaxes a few years ago.

I have only had it a few days, but am loving it.

It is well built and super smooth, as expected from Pentax.

I would buy this product again...

No distortion as I get with the 10-17mm lens
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 8

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 26, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Superb 12-18 range and IQ for landscape or interior
Cons: Some purple fringing in few particular cases
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5 K1   

I use this with a k5 only within the 12-18/20 range and almost 75% in the 12mm.
F4or F5,6 for indoor and F8 outdoor landscape, it really shines in these settings.








I shot outdoor and indoor pics
Some night ones too :


For an UWA lens, Outstanding IQ in center , very good borders.Contrast and Colors are Pentax da so really good!

Some people says some AC and purple fringing. Of course if you shoot a very high contrast situations such a tree in automn in foreground with white sky, you will see the best purple Fringing on the branches in the corners you probably ever seen, quite like quasi all lens, but much more here. .
The fact is that in the most most of the time in normal situations , you won’t feel and see it even printing on a A4 size.
Of course if you magnify x2 or x3 on your 24”pc screen, you won’T miss it.
Hey it’s an UWA so if you take a pic and want to be able to crop it quite generously without bother with Ac , choose a 50mm and take care of your composition!!!

For me, This lens is mandatory with an apc for the 12mm FOV and because it’s such a higher quality In IQ/clarity in the 18mm range already at F4 comparing to a normal zoom such a 18-135 at F8 for example.
At the opposite, The 24mm range of the 12-24 is not the best (but still very good at F8) comparing with the 18-135 which is normal as the 24-50mm range for my copy is the (only but quite superb ... but quite restricted range for such a zoom...) point of strength .

Look at the 77mm if you want use a (mandatory very high quality)polarized filter so Extra cost, personally I tried with and considering the FOV I found it useless and finding it gave too too much sky contrast to an already contrasty lens.

It’s a specialised purpose lens but for wide shooting it’s a winner in Pentax world.
The price can be high as new but finding one used Cheaper in very good condition can be a solution as it’s usually not a daily use lens.
You can’t be disappointed , try it !!!

this is it for APS-C only even if it works on apsc mode with the K1. For FF now i use the FA 20-35mmF4 (this one no interesting for APS-c/ range) as I hate this kind of restricted black border Windows in my OVF no way. Will post a review of this FA when more exhaustiv use but it smells very very good (35mm much much better than the 24mm of the 12-24
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Lévis, Canada (Québec)
Posts: 144

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 6, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $525.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, few optical aberrations.
Cons: No weather resistance. Size.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

Bought this lens used on Adorama... Had to buy a hood separately.

Just love this lens! It's already very sharp wide open, with only the corners lagging a little bit behind. Wide open at 24mm is indeed (as many reviews pointed out) a bit softer, but not enough to prevent shooting at F4 if in low light situations as far as I'm concerned.

Regarding the lateral chromatic aberrations, they are rather pronounced on this lens, especially at 12mm. They can be corrected almost entirely and quite easily in post-production if you shoot RAW, though (which I always do). The vignetting is also a bit on the high side wide open, but is well under control from F5.6 and beyond. Distortion is visible at 12mm, but rather impressive for such an ultra wide angle lens. It is certainly lower than that of a standard zooms like the 18-55mm kit lens (or the DA*16-50mm F2.8 [IF] ED). More important, the distortion is easy to correct, with no mustache-like pattern.

The bokeh is surprisingly good! You need to be very close to your subject to get a decent background blur, but the out of focus elements have quite an appealing look for such a wide lens. Thankfully, this lens allows you to get very close, and with a decent magnification ratio on top of that.

Flare is also well-controlled for an ultra-wide, even without the lens hood. I tried the Sigma DC 10-20mm F4-5.6 lens during a stage event once, and though the lens performed very well in terms of sharpness and CAs, it had two flaws (besides its variable aperture). One of them was small—its slight mustache-like distortion. The other—a major issue—was flare. Facing the stage, with the spotlights in the frame, the results were extremely disappointing: the pictures were full of irregular flare patterns with multiple colours that reminded me of iridescence. It's like the spotlights had vomited their light onto the lens. The Pentax DA12-24mm isn't affected by such issues, with a flare that's actually pleasant when facing spotlights (though it's a matter of taste to some point).

Focus speed and accuracy are rather impressive on still subjects.The fastest AF lens I have ever tested.

The only things I could complain about are its rather big size (though in line with similar lenses) and the lack of sealings to provide some resistance against harsh weather.

All-in-all, I highly recommend it. If the dramatic perspectives of an ultra wide angle lens is your thing, you'll never get tired of this lens.
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 41

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $640.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, fast. Versatile zoom for landscape, architecture, photoreport.
Cons: Some CA and fringing but can be remove in post prodution
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-3 and Pentax K-1   

I was searching for a lens that was versatile enough for take landscape, interiors, street photograph and photoreport and very important tha was compatible with not only my K-3 but with my new K-1. I Know that there is the newest DFA 15-30 but it is most expensive for the use I will make for. So I search here in the reviews and despite the CA and some distortion due the WA lenses create and that is assumed in that review I decide to buy one used on Ebay for 590.00 €, witch is afforfable for me. Furthermore I need a 24-70 F2.8 and it is not cheap as all of us know. But in this case I will consider de Pentax new one (). Well and the first results are very nice for me and I am very excited with. Well there is in fact some CA and fringing but well removed in post prodution in LR, is very sharp indeed since 12 to 24 mm. So In my opinion I am very satisfied with this lens for the kind of photo I like to take. Hope I can help someone with this review.




   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Italy
Posts: 72

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 6, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: tone and color rendition
Cons: chromatic aberration (purple fringing)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 1    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 5    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

A marvelous zoom with a big flaw: chromatic aberration.
When I bought it - nine months ago - I knew what I was getting, the in-depth review by the staff here at PentaxForums states very clearly that the CA issues of this lens can't be mitigated by stopping down, but my experience on the field with this zoom has been a nightmare, maybe I have been unlucky with the lens I have bought, I look at the picture posted here by mujahideen last August and I think: I could never get this shot with my lens.
The purple fringing issue in most cases is so acute that the automatic correction by the softwares I use - from Darktable to LightZone to RawTherapee - has been useless. Tree branches populate my photographic nightmares, you don't need hi-contrast situations to get CA with this lens, even a minimum shift of light in your image makes the tree branches going on fire.
I shoot RAW + JPEG (sometime I just need the photo NOW) but JPEGs are useless, while RAWs requires a lot of PP work that in some extreme cases doesn't solve the problem, if you are planning to buy this lens, buy it from a seller who is willing to let you test it for a few days - from what we gather from the reviews here where some people have rated the CA of this lens with a 10, the production quality is quite unstable.
   
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2014
Location: Bydgoszcz
Posts: 98
Lens Review Date: October 12, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Rich colors and excellent sharpness
Cons: Price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I really like this lens, best pentax wide angle. Its sharp and delivers rich colors. Lens is small, just the hood is quite bulky. Autofocus is a bit noisy but works perfectly.
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Hanoi
Posts: 213
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: good quality at wide angle
Cons: non WR
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

If Pentax equip additional function WR in this lens, it will be a great choice for the faithful landscaper.

walking, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 2

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid performer, excellent autofocus, great for close up / detail shots
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K20D   

Reading a pervious review of this lens here dated 13 October 2013, I felt compelled to write my own review because that user has had a very similar experience to me. I am a real estate photographer and had previously been shooting with the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC. I regard this lens as excellent and would rate this a 9 or 10 as it produces very sharp 'wow' images, with excellent colour, exposure etc. Finding that I needed a wider lens for interiors, after quite some deliberation I purchased the Pentax 12-24 F4. I would rate this lens a 7-8 because it is not quite as sharp or 'wow' as my Sigma 17-50 [except when taking detail close ups at F4 / 20mm, where IQ and sharpness are excellent] . However, that is not to say the Pentax 12-24 is a poor lens. Quite the opposite! It is a great solid performing lens - the main benefit to me is that it obviously can go to 12mm (19mm with the 1.6 factor) and can therefore capture far more than 17mm (27mm) can. It performs well in high contrast situations (i.e. sunny window and dark room corner in the same shot) with great colours and the sharpness, and whilst not quite as good as the Sigma 17-50, is still totally satisfactory. I wonder though if the Sigma 10-20mm (which I understand is in the brilliant EX class) would have been a sharper lens? Or perhaps I am being too picky, as the trade off for having such a wide lens is perhaps a minor loss of sharpness anyway.....
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 156
Lens Review Date: September 24, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: range, minimal vignetting, consistent sharpness, handling bright spots
Cons: some CA, no WR,
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

A great and versatile lens, good overall sharpness, quite consistent across the frame compared to competition. Some CA but not strongly visible in most circumstances. It's a bit bulky but to me that is the tradeoff necessary for a good wide angle zoom.

One of the best aspects of this lens to me is it's handling of bright lights. I don't know how to explain this in technical terms (if there even is a technical explanation and it's not just either my imagination of lack of skill), but it is quite easy to take a shot with the 12-24 of a scene with a lot of light as well as a lot of shadow and get decent shadow detail without blowing out the bright spots. I find this much harder with some of my other lenses, including the new Sigma 18-35 F1.8, which is a beautiful lens. The 12-24 *seems* to me to be more forgiving of bright sources and you can capture scenes with a mixture of bright and shadows without blowing out all the details near the light. I do a lot of cityscape shooting where this is a common problem.

In any given attribute, it's not necessarily class-leading, but it's not far off and overall it has no great weakness and is incredibly versatile as a landscape/cityscape lens.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]



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