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

Reviews Views Date of last review
53 244,206 Sat May 6, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $717.25 9.10
SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]

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

The 12-24mm extreme-wide angle lens is only compatible with APS-C format K-mount DSLR's.

SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL[IF]
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 8 blades
13 elements, 11 groups
Mount Variant
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 99-61 ° / 90-53 °
Lens Cap
77mm Lens Cap A
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
84 x 87.5 mm (3.3 x 3.44 in.)
430 g (15.2 oz.)
Production Years
2005 (In Production)
$696 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:4 12-24mm ED AL[IF]
Product Code
Two aspherical elements, One ED element.

Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
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

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Senior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Lévis, Canada (Québec)
Posts: 143

1 user 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.
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 32
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: 64

3 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: 84
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.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Hanoi
Posts: 199
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
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
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.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 173
Lens Review Date: July 7, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, color rendition, build quality
Cons: Cost of good 77mm filters

I can't add any unique insights about this lens. It is one of my favorites due to its color rendition and overall sharpness. I have found that clear skies look like I have used a polarizer, which of course would not be wise at its extreme wide angle range.

The build quality is top notch. In fact, if it were weather resistant, I would say it should be part of the DA* line of Pentax lenses. Its that good.

Any distortions or CA is quickly removed with the lens profile in Lightroom. My only wish is that the autofocus was a little better in single shot mode. If I put the K10D in continuous AF, I get quicker focus lock. Maybe it will be better on the K3 that should arrive tomorrow.

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 4,170
Lens Review Date: January 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness throughout focal range, robust construction
Cons: Expensive
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K10D, Km, K-5   

I like this lens very much. I bought it specifically, to take photos of vintage vehicles at outdoor shows. I attend quite a few and I would estimate in the years that I've owned it, I must have taken thousands of pictures with this lens.

I've never been disappointed. The image quality is some lighting conditions it seems almost 3D.

I usually set it at F 8 to F 11, ISO between 80 to about 400.

I can't see very much, if any distortion.

I do take photos indoors and at 12 to 24mm, area coverage is impressive.

However, if I'm shooting at an indoors function I generally use my 16-45, which isn't as sharp, but does have a greater range, including 45mm which allows me to have a focal length useable for portraits.

There limited focal length range does create some restrictions. However as a super wide zoom, I can't imagine having better equipment. It's a fine lens.
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: November 27, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, color, range
Cons: maybe there is, but not obvious
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K II   

Briefly - beautiful versatile wide angle. Excellent build, excellent image quality. This lens is indispensable to travel and when shooting indoors. Should be in every photographer's bag.
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 17
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Wide angle, colours
Cons: size, price
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5IIs   

I have tried this lens on both my kx and k5IIs. Initial thoughts are that it's not the tack sharp marvel that so many make it out to be. Don't get me wrong, it's a good lens, nice n wide for Landscapes and architecture. Distortion on the edges and the 12mm but typically useable sharpness to the edges.
It's expensive, as are most Pentax lenses recently, but AF and handling are nice.

I think that in time I will enjoy this lens for it's focal length and colours for landscape, but (i'm a hard marker), I won't give a 10 to a lens that is not absolutely razor sharp and I consider my score a 7 and half, so a very good lens. I think so many people give 10's away to these lenses without really trying some seriously nice glass and therefore inflate the sharpness and overall figures of these lenses

I have put this up against my Sigma 17-50 f2.8 and (my version at least) does not match the Siggy for sharpness. I have had to increase sharpness on images a lot more and found that it popped up quite a bit. It's very versatile and nice contrast on outdoors shots, with exceptional blues and greens for landscape. No polarising filter needed at all.

A nice lens but no longer to be considered top notch in terms of sharpness, being caught by more recent offerings??. Is it worth the money now, go buy a Sigma 10-16 and 10-20, which are at almost in the same league ?? What it does lack a little in absolute sharpness it makes up for in weight, handling and colours........beginning to like it the more I use it, with those very different Pentax qualities not often measured by absolute sharpness ratings.
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 14

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 4, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, color render, AF
Cons: CA, Corner performance, sharpness at 20-24mm
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-7 & K-5   

Bought this lens in October 2010. Used it quite frequently for indoor and landscape photography, albeit I like primes more.

To be short - this is a very good lens.

I'd say If you are into landscape photography your best shot is 12-24 mm (18-36 mm (full format equivalent))

Sharpness at 12mm in center is very good, far corners are a bit mashed.

Sharpness at 24mm is not so great, but for me it is good, and much more than just usable.

For me, the petal shaped hood is very uncomfortable to use. It's big clumsy plastic pain in the *rse.
Typically for Pentax lens, the flare resistance is very good.
Auto-focus works a bit more faster, IF helps here. Oddly for such wide lens it misses some times (or tries to do so). Hunts in the dark too. A LOT OF hunting actually. Some times it becomes impossible to take picture!

CA and distortion are not a problem, if you are using in camera processing or shoot in RAW and the post process in Lightroom.

As a summary, I recommend this lens if you are not afraid of its size or flaws.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Sydney, NSW
Posts: 287
Lens Review Date: September 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $685.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: it's wide, the colours
Cons: 77mm filters are big
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 8    New or Used: Used   

I love this lens to bits!
The wide perspective you get with this lens can create some really great effects when you get close to a subject.

The only downside (for me) is that it is the only lens with a 77mm filter thread I carry so there's an extra adaptor needed. That said, it's a pretty small complaint.

This is one of my go-to lenses for landscapes and I rarely go shooting without it.
I haven't owned any comparable lens so I can't say whether it is better or worse than the Sigma or Tamron.

If you can get a good deal on this lens and you aren't sure. get it and you won't be disappointed.
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: astonishing color rendition and micro contrast
Cons: high price tag?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

This is a high end lens. Astonishing color rendition, sharpness and contrast. Moderate distorsion, this is one of the best wide angles for Pentax (with the permission of the K 15mm 3.5).

Look at the deep of the greens and blues, this lens really delivers. One of my favorites DA lenses along with the 16-45mm.

Very sharp in the center from F4 it gets better stopping down. Around 5.6 we have good corner to corner sharpness while closing at f8 we have excellent sharpness corner to corner.

Really a must have.
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 265

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great clarity and color
Cons: Very expensive and climbing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5 IIs   

I would rate this lnes very high in it's class. I have a Tamron 10-24mm and the Pentax totally out shines the Tamron. The difference is very noticeable. I used the Pentax 12-24 mm for architectural photography while my Tamron was in for repair under warranty.
The true F4 aperture is very nice to use throughout and does seem to be nicer than a shifting aperture. I was real happy using this lens. I used it on three jobs taking about 1500 shots with it. It helps that it was on an K-5 IIs. The sharpness from center out is very good and noticeably sharper than the Tamron. The Tamron is real soft on the edges. The Tamron is nice for the money but if you can afford it, buy the Pentax and you won't wish your Tamron could do more. The Pentax 12-24 mm all around delivers very good pictures and the pictures are not just sharp but very good in all aspects. it is a pleasure to use and my confidence grew the more I used it.
The following photos were shot in RAW and sharpened in PP after they were cropped to the smaller size. If their original high resolution size, they did not need any sharpening.

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