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SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II

Sharpness 
 8.0
Aberrations 
 8.1
Bokeh 
 7.5
Autofocus 
 8.0
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
53 144,255 Sun July 26, 2015
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $98.41 8.27
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II
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SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II
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Description:
This new version of the 18-55mm Pentax kit lens was released in 2008 and features improved resolution. It has since been replaced by a weather-resistant variant.

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
11 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F3.5-5.6
Min. Aperture
F22-38
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
25 cm
Max. Magnification
0.34x
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76-29 ° / 67-25 °
Hood
PH-RBA 52 mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC52
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
68 x 67.5 mm (2.7 x 2.7 in.)
Weight
220 g (7.8 oz.)
Production Years
2008 to 2009
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL II
Product Code
21717
Notes
The second version of the 18-55mm kit lens.
One aspherical element, one ED element.
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 53
New Member

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: July 26, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Tamaņo, terminacion, colores
Cons: poca apertura, ruidoso, construccion
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k50, k5, k200   

Buen lente de kit, colores y contraste muy Pentax. Calidad de construccion basica, pero solida. La apertura de diafragma es pobre, pero suficiente. El enfoque es correcto y bien combinado con el iso puede dar muy buenos resultados. El parasol cumple muy bien con su funcion. La definicion es correcta, pero en focales cortas distorsiona muchisimo.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2014
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: December 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $195.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good all-round lense for this price
Cons: none for this cathegory
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-200   

I started using my girlfriends camera with this lense 5 years ago - knowing nothing about it. But i didnt consider it to be great. Soon I realized I am having a great basic lense usefull for almost everything, and I still have it today. I did many travels with it - Madeira, England, Province, Sri Lanka, Tyrollia - and everywhere i was taking DA 18-55 II with me, and I was sure i will have great pictures from my holiday. Especially with nice polarizating filter! Also it is quite small and light. So for travelling it is perfect. The only situation I couldnt really use it is for indoor shooting with low light, since K-200 has very bad sensitivity for light and maximum aperture value of 18-55 is only 3,5. But in this cathegory aperture 3,5 is very common, so I am not putting this into CONS. I try to put aperture at least 7,1, then i am sure the picture will go out great. I never shoot pictures with maximum aperture (3,5) - its nonsense.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: April 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: light, compact, cheap
Cons: not sharp
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9511/136842496.8/0_bfe35_7e95c079_XXXL.jpg
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Greensboro,NC
Posts: 496
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, cheap, fairly sharp
Cons: slow, have stomp down to get sharp pictures
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K200D, K100D   

This lens is surprisingly good for a kit lens, much better than the offerings from canon or nikon.

This lens is very sharp at f8 and beyond. This isn't a low light lens but most of you all probably knew that. At 18mm and 55mm it isn't the best but anywhere in the middle is good. I've done some landscape images at 18mm at f11 with pretty good results. I don't use this lens much any more since buying the DA 50mm f1.8, but it's nice to have for wider focal lengths.

Over all I would recommend this lens for the price.

This picture is at 28mm at f11:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3832/10316368195_6017235206_b_d.jpg
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp from 24-55, light, compact, very useful focal range
Cons: wide end very bad (CA, blurry at corners), slow but expected at this price, build quality can be better
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k5ii   

I would say cons first:
1, never depend on the wide end, especially 18mm, not really usable because of CA and you will see blur just not far away from the center. I suggest buy a sigma 10-20 to make up the wide end if you also want a super wide lens. If you don't want super wide focus, I suggest using 18-55ii for one year and then upgrade to another zoom lens or prime lens.
2, another con is that the lens is rather slow. Don't think about taking bokeh image except you are taking picture of a very near object. I suggest again using this lens for one year and take enough pictures then you know which focus you use most, then you can consider buying a much faster prime lens.

Pros:
1, 24,35,55 are all very usable, you can take sharp image with these three focus from F7.1-10. I suggest only using the three focus, so you can have an sense of three focus which helps improve your photography skills and let you know which prime you need in the future.
2, it's light and compact throughout the focus range. Some other normal range lens like 16-45 and 18-135 are also very good lens, but they can be double weight and much much longer.

Anything I don't talk about like AF and other things you may care, I would say they are OK to use, no problem.

Hope this review helps.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: February 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: no CA's after changing program, very sharp 24-35mm
Cons: 18mm not so sharp in the corners
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-x   

what a nice kit lens. I 've changed program in k-x to "eliminate CA's" - none more-

sharpness for a kit zoom: nearly excellent when stopping down to f 8-11

color and contrast transmission: excellent

very satisfying results, so that for me no other wide angle lens is needed, perhaps 4/15

I've tested corners on 55mm: excellent sharp, still better than 1,4/50 single lens with f 8.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 20

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great at 35mm, Quick Shift Focus, size/weight, build quality, price
Cons: corner aberrations at the wide end, "dullness" at the long end, six-bladed iris
Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K10D, K-01   

Sharpness, aberrations and bokeh vary according to the focal length, so no numeric evaluations from me this time. At 35mm my copy rivals the 35Ltd for sharpness, has less distortion (none at all!) and chromatic aberrations (also none).* It gets worse at the wide and especially at the long end, but for the price it's a genuine bargain...

*of course, 35Ltd excels in different virtues, such as microcontrast, "snap", close focusing etc. so they're not really comparable...

Some samples (click for bigger versions):

   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Kristiansand S
Posts: 191
Lens Review Date: August 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good as travel/all round lens, solid, quick shift
Cons: a litle slow
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K200D/K30   

Good value. Underestimated lens. One of the best kit lenses (AL II version). A very good starter lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2010
Posts: 287
Lens Review Date: July 3, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: focal length
Cons: softness
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K200D, K5   

For ladnscape you have to rise а to 11-13 to get sharp images.
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9252/27105245.2/0_eb9ae_bf5bc383_XXXL.jpg
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: April 25, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great color, sharp at all focal lengths, small and lightweight
Cons: Some chromatic aberation, particuarly at wide focal lengths
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K200D, K-30   

This lens has traveled everywhere and has never let me down. Great colors, sharp, perfect contrast, lightweight, small for a zoom.

There are some chromatic aberrations at 18mm, but it is corrected by k-30 or by software.

I want to get the WR version of this lens. I wouldn't purchase any other zoom other than this model. It's better than the kit zooms from Nikon and Canon. The only real upgrade would be to just shoot one or two primes.

The modern Pentax SLRs handle noise so well, that the slow speed of this lens is insignificant.
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2011
Location: San Jose Del Monte
Posts: 198

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 15, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Reasonably sharp
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-01   

   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 441

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 26, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $49.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price; Handling, and IQ
Cons: some CA and aberrations
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5/K7/K10D   

Excellent lens.
Actually I sold out my K7 kit WR like two years ago. However after using the alternative 16-45 for a while I regretted....SO I got this as used (9/10) from KEH at a low price: $49.
What can I and what should I complain? NOTHING. EVEN with some soft wide-open and CA, this is still a superb lens with stupidly low price.
Handling: That's the main reason why I abandoned the 16-45. This one is smaller, however there is no $200 difference on IQ between the two lenses. Even the wide-open is kind soft, however it is still good and very usable.
And with 25cm min focus distance, this one does a good job.

Rembmer: There is no "bad lens" when step down to F8.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light weight
Cons: Slow
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K100D   

I recently bought this lens and have used it in the last few days. I would say that I am satisfied with the overall quality and working of this lens. A good kit lens at this price.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Posts: 11,275
Lens Review Date: July 15, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, light, small, descent optics
Cons: Hunts for AF in low light, meh bokeh
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5 and K-x   

I've owned both the DAL and II versions of this lens. I sold the DAL version to try out the II version with quick shift, net cost to me $25. It's definitely a nice compact little lens with descent performance. I bought my sister a D60 (she wanted Nikon, go figure) and our kit lens seriously outperforms the equivalent Nikon lens. I haven't seen any meaningful difference between my two 18-55s other than the quickshift, which is a very nice feature.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: New Berlin, WI
Posts: 511

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, very sharp when stopped down.
Cons: Need PP for great contrast and color rendition
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Kx, K5   

Much better lens than the original DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6. This is a very good outdoor lens, not the type of lens you can use indoor without a flash BUT on sunny weather stop it down to f9 or f11 and you'll get very sharp images. Sweet setting is f9 and 35mm.
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