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SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]

Sharpness 
 8.3
Aberrations 
 7.8
Bokeh 
 7.4
Autofocus 
 7.9
Handling 
 8.3
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
46 181,660 Mon April 6, 2015
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $437.98 8.57
SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]

SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]
supersize

Description:
Released in late 2007, the SMC Pentax-DA 18-250 mm lens is based on a Tamron 18-250 mm lens.

It was discontinued in 2011 and replaced by the SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm lens in 2012.

SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL[IF]
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades
Optics
16 elements, 13 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F3.5-6.3
Min. Aperture
F22-45
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.28x
Filter Size
62 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76-6.5 ° / 67-5 °
Hood
PH-RBB 62 mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Zoom Lock
Diam x Length
75 x 85.5 mm (3 x 3.4 in.)
Weight
455 g (16 oz.)
Production Years
2007 to 2011
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:3.5-6.3 18-250 mm ED AL [IF]
Product Code
21697
Notes
Aspherical and ED elements.
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 46
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 2,816
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very good for holiday time
Cons: Softer from 130mm onward, not so contrasty, AF noisy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New   

This lens is very convenient, and if you know well its performance points, you can get a lot of good shots out of it. This zoom really reach limits above 100mm/130mm where it gets a bit softer and images are not so contrasty, and more increase of iso is need to still get sharp images with longer focal lengths. However, this zoom is known to be a Tamron design, qualified by Pentax, but I was surprised that it performed better that the DA 18-55 and pretty sharp until 130mm. Also, due to the number of lenses/glass quality, it looses some light along the way. So, I made around 20000 travel photos with this lens and the K200D, both still works perfect, and some of my best photos were taken with the 18-250 and K200 in dusty country side of north Africa. It's kind of a robust work horse.

Pros:
- focal range
- compact
- light weight for this focal range
- decent sharpness until about 130mm.
- reliable screw drive AF

Cons:
- no so bight, works with good sun light at > 150mm
- sharpness above 130mm
- image contrast , colors a bit soft, no so saturated
- AF a bit noisy
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: October 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range, zoom, image quality, weight
Cons: Limited to small aperture wide open, limited resolution
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k5   

A great lens. I had the Tamron version, of which the AF was not functioning. I decided not to repair the Tamron but have this one (used) instead.
The images seem to be even more rich in color than the Tamron's. The zoom is still very useful for basically any condition. Zoomed in, one has to keep it very steady though, since the aperture is not very large for large focal lengths.

One more reason (apart from the coating) reason to prefer it over de Tamron: the images can be in-camera (or with Photoshop afterwards) corrected for lens aberations.

Overall: the one lens I bring for any condition. And the Pentax has an advantage over the Tamron (and make out for yourself what you are willing to pay for that)
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 42

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Versatile, Reasonably Sharp, convenient
Cons: zoom creep, extension, low light focus hunting
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K100D Super, K30   

For its purpose, this is one great lens. While it gave me above average photos on the K100D Super, it is a beast on the K30. Images are so good. There are issues in low light when it hunts a lot. But for its versatility, I found it my main go to lens especially when I need 18mm in an instance and 200mm immediately after. The loss in IQ is seen particularly only for tiny subjects like ants. For all others, it is a great lens.

The zoom creep was fixed by using a simple plastic band like others have done. No other complaints.

Mango Leaves in Rain


Straw Boats


Pelican


Ape
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: January 25, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $367.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: compact, small, long focal range
Cons: focus creep, bokeh
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 4    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

An all-in-one lens which will likely stay on my camera most of the time for snapshots. IQ is okay for such a long zoom range. The bokeh is below average or worse.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 8

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 18-250, build quality, I.Q.
Cons: Bulky and a bit pricey (but a heck of a lot smaller and cheaper than the 3 lenses it replaces)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-5 IIs   

My pros and cons sum it up really. In fact, given that the 55-300 is f5.8 at the long end (1/4 of a stop faster than this), I'm not sure why you'd bother owning the 55-300 and an 18-55, this does the same job as them both - and when comparing it with the 18-55, does it better too. (At 55mm this lens has only been forced to f4.5 not f5.6 - and it's sharper as well).

I got this thinking it would be "handy", but planning to use my higher grade lenses more often, but I was blown away by the quality of this and Lightroom tells me it's now my most used lens by about 15%, and I've had it for half the time of most of the others.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Near Sydney, NSW
Posts: 331

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $540.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 14x zoom, all areas of I.Q.
Cons: Umm..?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

They say "You can't have everything." Well, this lens does it's best to prove "them" wrong.
It has a ridiculously huge zoom range, and while the aperture may slow down towards the long end, the image quality does not - it is seriously impressive.

I realise that it's more expensive than the kit lenses, but it also kicks their arses for quality, build AND image. The 50-200 isn't as good, and it's only 4x zoom...

Now, I have most of Pentax's best lenses (DA* 50-135, 16-50 and some primes) because I shoot professionally a few times a year, but I have EVEN used this at weddings - because there are times when I know I'll need 18 one minute and 200 the next, and what's more, it does push me to f5.0 by 180mm, but still that's not too bad!
Sometimes, using Lightroom, I see images from this and think "Oh that must have been the 50-135,.. I don't remember getting that close?" and I look at the data but nope, it's this badboy, at 200mm, f5.6.

My criticism of this lens is really of Pentax - WHY isn't this more common and available? It should be a kit option on things like the K-30 and K500, for a little bit more cash. Also it'd be handy for everyone if it were WR but I suppose that WOULD be being greedy of me.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 20
Lens Review Date: February 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: A very versatile lens. This lens will cover most situations, their is some distortions at 18mm. The sharpness and bokeh are good, and the autofocus could be faster, but it is acceptable. The lens is very light and easy to carry around.
Cons: When using a flash at 18mm shadow from the lens hood send a shadow across the bottom of the photo. To overcome this, you need to remove the lens hood. When the lens is directed down, the lens extends by itself. Once you get use to this, you know how to
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I use this lens either when travelling or have limited space when on the move. It is a compact lens, light and easy to manage. This would be the most used lens in my bag.https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.png
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2008
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 4,238
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent walk around lens at a very affordable price.
Cons: Creeps very badly. Would have been nice to have weather sealing.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

The reason I gave this lens a 9 overall is because of it's convienience. While it would be foolish to compare this with prime lenses, one must consider that for a walk around lens, especially if on vacation and where space is limited, this lens is hard to beat. Had it not been for the lens creep and the fact it isn't weather sealed, I would have rated it a 10.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2008
Location: long island ny
Posts: 31

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 28, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good all in one
Cons: none, heavy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k20d, k-7, k-5   

This is a great travel lens. I have had it for 3 years. I had the lens creep and some dust in it. I sent it to pentax and they cleaned it and fixed the creep. I have had no problem since. When I go on a trip, this is the only lens I bring. I do prefer the limited primes and manual focus A lens when home.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 14

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 16, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: versatility, decent IQ
Cons: purple fringes, distorsion, barrel creep, vigneting
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-20   

I purchased this lens as a kit with my K-20. It's a very useful range but the quality you can expect from these superzooms is not great. I use it for holidays and family pics.

The good:

- Decent IQ until 100-150mm
- Color rendition is quite ok
- Unbeatible versatibility
- Very good under good light conditions

The bad:

- Vigneting. Worse if you use a filter, specially at 18mm
- Barrel creep
- Distorsions at 18mm
- Purple fringes
- AF hunts in low light
- No quick shift

At the end, it won't get you the quality of a prime lens but a must have when travelling.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 810

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Decent IQ, Versatile, Convenience, Compact and light for a super-zoom
Cons: Barrel creep, distortion at wide end, purple fringing at long end
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

I bought this lens almost a year ago as a general walk-around and an upgrade from the 18-55mm kit. With all the reviews I’ve read, including the Tamron version, I wasn’t expecting an IQ rivaling that of prime or other more expensive zooms. The first thing I noticed after mounting the lens and unlocking the zoom ring with the camera faced down is its legendary “zoom-creep!” As soon as I pushed the lock switch, the barrel came out full length where it almost hit the table.

After nearly a year, here is my impression of this lens.

Pros:
- Color rendition is considerably better than the DA18-55mm.
- Fairly decent overall IQ rivals that of the DA55-300mm, especially between f5.6 – f11.
- Very good outdoor lens (bright and sunny conditions)
- Compact and light-weight for a super zoom
- Unbeatable versatility

Cons:
- Significant barrel distortion at 18mm, though easily corrected in post-processing
- Tends to get soft between f3.5 – f4.5
- IQ begins to degrade, though still acceptable, at 100mm and above
- Barrel creep
- Purple fringing at the long end
- Hunts in low light
- Discontinued and not particularly easy to find

My family and I recently visited Disneyland. This was the only lens I used throughout the trip. It was all I needed, and I never felt or wished I had something else. Sure, it’s on the slow side and may not have the IQ of a prime or a more expensive zoom, but for traveling, where my primary consideration is enjoying the vacation with my family, the versatility, convenience, and performance of this lens is simply unbeatable. In my opinion, the DA 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 would be an excellent choice for anyone looking for a decent all-in-one walk-around travel or vacation lens.
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2011
Posts: 85
Lens Review Date: November 21, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Wide range; sharp images; compact; zoom lock button
Cons: slow focus in poor light; fair focus speed in general
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k200d; k5ii   

Really like this lens, it produced some very pleasing portraits, and within its obvious limitations (speed) a very good general purpose carry round lens.

Edit June 2014 - I took this lens to a medieval fayre a couple of weeks ago as its my only long lens. Having not used it for a while I was amazed how SLOW the focus was compared to other lens. But irt remains very sharp. Maybe I got a very good copy, but its nipping at the heels of my 50-135.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Newcastle Australia
Posts: 5,281
Lens Review Date: October 4, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good for its price. A leave on the camera lens for everyday shooting.
Cons: Zoom creep very annoying. AF noisy, not all that accurate particularly at long end.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 7    New or Used: Used   

For an economically priced lens, this lens gives some pleasing results. A great "walkabout lens". A boon for the traveller.

The zoom creep is totally annoying and the lock switch is so small it is difficult to engage.


However, though a little slow, the AF is acceptable. Good colour rendition (with my version at least.)
I would recommend this lens as a cheaper alternative and for it's wide range. But for top quality results, NO

Macro :

First of the Season by Bramela II, on Flickr

Ibis I by Bramela II, on Flickr


Low//high light :

Fog 7-13 by Bramela II, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Cardiff, UK
Posts: 43
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fantastic range, convenience, sharp up to around 160mm
Cons: some CA at the long end, some distortion
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

This is a great lens for the money: compact, astonishingly good overall image quality given the vast range covered. It is sharp for a good deal of its range (my copy is very sharp at 18mm, excellent up to around 85mm and very good indeed up to 155mm or so - 200 is acceptable, but after that things get too soft). This lens is far better than the 18-55 (good as that is) and also better than the 17-70. The distortion and vignetting are easily dealt with - DxO is the best bet here - and there is some variation between copies (so it is worth trying out more than one, assuming you can get access to more than one at a time now). This lens is very good for travel, especially if complemented by a couple of primes and a fish eye.
   
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 147

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 14, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: wide zoom range, light, relatively small, great value
Cons: vignetting at 250mm, zoom creep, not constant aperture, barrel distortion at 18mm
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Let me start by saying that I bought this lens used from B&H as an upgrade to the kit lens. I have used it pretty heavily for 2 years and just recently upgraded to better glass.

First, what this lens is good for:
1. Great general use walkabout lens. If you take this lens on vacation it should suit all your basic needs and is easy to pack and carry.
2. Works well in outdoor situations with plenty of light.
3. Works best in the range of about 28-200mm.
4. Takes acceptably sharp pictures in most situations.
5. Pretty good optics.

Now, what are the downsides?
1. Pretty strong barrel distortion at the wide-angle focal lengths.
2. Pretty strong vignetting at the extreme telephoto end.
3. Some CA and purple fringing.
4. Zoom creep (more on this later).
5. Not fast enough to use in most indoor situations
6. A bit soft at 250mm.

I read all these reviews before I bought this lens and everyone complains about the zoom creep. I didn't find it to be that big of a deal as I would just lock the zoom between shooting bursts. Also, if you don't point the lens directly downward when viewing the LCD screen it doesn't creep, at least for me.

Overall, this is a really good lens as an upgrade from the kit lens. Its biggest draw is the low price for the amount of versatility you get. As far as optics are concerned, I would put it somewhere between the kit lens and the nicer lenses.

All of the shots in the following link were taken with this lens as are most of the images on my photobucket page:

http://s618.photobucket.com/albums/tt268/vagabond79/Birds/
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]



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