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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 
 8.2
Autofocus 
 8.9
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 8.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
56 258,278 Sat March 31, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $707.86 9.11
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]
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SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]
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Description:
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]
© 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 present (in production)
Pricing
$681 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:4 12-24mm ED AL[IF]
Product Code
21577
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Notes
Two aspherical elements, One ED element.

Features:
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



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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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 56
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2006
Location: North Face of Mount Shasta
Posts: 120
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
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: 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: 34

1 user 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: 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: 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: 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
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.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 215
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.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 4,510
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 excellent....in 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: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Kx, K5IIs, K3   

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.

Addendum: Since using on my K3, the extra megapixels have helped out on wider images with extra details. Working on my focusing techniques also has helped. I used this lens at a wedding in an enclosed room for girls getting ready and .... wow, it popped in close quarters, showing that its optical quality is very good as per typical Pentax mid range lenses, especially in the centre. Certainly it's talking nicely to my K3 and a great combo unlocking it's potential.
   
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.
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