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

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

Sharpness 
 7.3
Aberrations 
 7.6
Bokeh 
 7.1
Autofocus 
 8.1
Handling 
 8.8
Value 
 8.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
90 246,033 Wed November 22, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
87% of reviewers $117.85 7.79
SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR

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

Description:
This is the new weather-sealed version of the Pentax kit lens which started shipping with the K-7 bundle. It is optically identical to the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm AL II.

SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
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-RBC 52 mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC52
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes
Other Features
Diam x Length
68 x 67.5 mm (2.7 x 2.7 in.)
Weight
230 g (8.1 oz.)
Production Years
2009 (In Production)
Pricing
$183 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm WR
Product Code
21880
Notes
Weather resistant version of the smc PENTAX-DA 18- 55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II lens.
One aspherical element, one ED element.

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 31-45 of 90
New Member

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 20

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good spec, well built, handling, sharp at F8
Cons: Not sharp wide open
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K30   

This lens came bundled with my K-30 and I only intended to use it as a stop gap until i could afford a better standard lens. Such as the Pentax DA 16-45 or Tamron 17-50 2.8.
However my first impressions were very positive, it is a proper step up from the DA 18-55 and two steps up from the DA-L 18-55. It looks better, is finished to a higher standard and also includes WR.
In operation its extremely smooth, both the zoom action and manual focus. Much better than either of the DA or DA-L lenses i have owned. It's also lightweight and compact. Has same great hood that Pentax supply for all their DA lenses, with its natty filter window. Throw in Quick shift manual focus and a metal mount, and you have one of the best, possibly THE best, specced Kit lens available.
Yes its a bit soft wide open and the corners are not great but i certainly do not agree with other reviewers that its "unusable by 45mm". It sharpens up nicely by F8 and that's consistent through the zoom range. This has been a decent lens.
Recently intended to replace it with the DA 16-45 but decided to hang on while i evaluate the 16-45. So far the DA 18-45 WR beats the 16-45 for looks, finish and handling. The 16-45 is optically better but not greatly so. Quite disappointing really. So the DA 18-55 WR may get a stay of execution while i sell the 16-45 and look to the Tamron 17-50 as the replacement.
   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 31
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: WR
Cons: Not sharp
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5 and K10   

Lens came as part of a kit for my K5 its ok and a good starting point, but not a lens i would buy. nor will i keep.it. i shalll continue using my 16-45 f4 as my general lens.
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2011
Posts: 85
Lens Review Date: June 28, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light; WR-means I'll explore more; Quick shift; feels ok build quality
Cons: not sharp; bit slow
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k5II   

Not much more to add to the ratings - having this lens means I'll feel brave enough to take it riding/kayaking/bushwalking with my older k200; and will have it in my backpack in case I get caught out somewhere with k5II.

Its better than the cheap Sigma 28-90


   
Moderator

Registered: June, 2010
Location: The Great Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,952

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $196.95 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good everyday lens, weather sealing.
Cons: Could be faster, the 3.5-5.6 maximum apertures are slow.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K10D, *istDL   

I got this lens to replace the 18-55 kit lens that came with my *istDL. It works quite well as an everyday lens and is the one I use most of the time. I keep it on my camera and always have the camera handy for when a photo opportunity pops up.

The weather sealing is also a plus, and compliments the weather sealing of the K10D.

Purchased new from Adorama in 2012.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2012
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $85.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp when Enough light
Cons: Gloomy light
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax k-5   

I always use this lens especially for on street and rainy day photography. It's Not expensive
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 64

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 6, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WR, quick shift, CA, bokeh, light and very cheap
Cons: could be faster and sharper
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

This lens is not that easy to use. Because it is slow, I can easily get soft images because of shaking. But I never had anything close to the bad one shown below. May be there is some kind of big sample variation. One or two stops down, it provided me with sharp images when the scene has enough contrast. Sharpness is not to the level of my M50's or FAs but it is not bad. The numbers given in photozone agree with what I see.

The bokeh is reasonably good. It gets a bit busy sometimes but I never saw surrounded discs. I have not seen chromatic aberration or purple fringing while my other lenses would show some. Autofocus is ok as I do not expect great performances from Pentax bodies on that side, anyway.

The main reason to buy this lens is because it is weather sealed. Given its reasonable optical performance, this is a useful lens, very good for its price. This is why I rate it 9. I strongly recommend it considering what offers for what you pay.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 23
Lens Review Date: May 28, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Light weight, looks cool with green ring on front
Cons: Terribly soft, light fall off in corners
Sharpness: 2    Aberrations: 2    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 5    Value: 3    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K%iis   

I bought this lens as a cheap intro to the Pentax stable. I maxed out on a new K5iis and took ethe cheap option for now with the lens.

Lens easy to use and very light, a plus in my books. Shots look good on screen, but when you get them home, the worst.

No sharpness, everything not at the focus point is very vague, light fall off in corners. Very very bad, at least it was cheap.

I have previously had a kit lens from olympus and was happy, this lens sucks period.

Cant wait to trade up to a decent lens or the camera is off for sale.

Im serious i wouldnt even pay $20 Hong Kong dollars for it. Its an embarrassment. Can take better photos putting a beer glass over the body.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 1,389
Lens Review Date: April 29, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Weather resitance
Cons: not fast
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New   




Very convenient lens that 'turns your dslr into a point and shoot'. Best features are it's weather resistance and durable and decent build quality. Doesn't obstruct the built in flash with the hood attached, but reversed, which is very handy. Polarizer window in the hood is great, as is the quick shift manual focus, for videos. Screw drive focus is slightly noisy, but it is very fast and reliable. Focus with this lens is very accurate and works in surprisingly low light.

Images are are sharp enough in the centre at all focal lengths, but you need to zoom to at least 21mm before you get decent edge performance. At 18mm, it's not so good with noticeable softness and aberrations in the corners. Beyond 21mm, it's a good lens in all regards.

This lens performs superbly close up and at is very sharp at 35mm, so you can think of it as a normal lens with a bit of "adjustability".

Both the photos above taken at 18mm, which is an indication of it's worst focal length - the solution as shown is simply to use f/8. Obviously the main limitation is that it's not a constant aperture lens. But you knew that already.

For it's price (included with the camera), it performs well enough. I would say, if it's included with your kit, you will keep it because the WR is useful for bad weather, but don't go out of your way to buy it if you can afford a better lens. If you can afford it, I recommend the 18-135, which isn't that much larger and shares all the positives of this lens, plus having more contrast and pleasing rendering.
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Frederick, CO
Posts: 58
Lens Review Date: April 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $159.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: small, light, weather sealed, SP coating, hood
Cons: slow aperture, only decently sharp around f/8
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

This lens is small & light, and weather-sealed, making it great for hiking, camping, and travel. As long as you're to picky about image quality.

But optically it's not very good. The slow aperture makes for a rather dark viewfinder. I haven't noticed much in the way of CA problems or bad distortions, but sharpness is difficult to find. It can make sharp images, as long as you shoot at f/8. Wide-open, forget it. At f/16, forget it.

Think of it like a weather-sealed pinhole zoom - shoot Aperture Priority at f/8 with Auto-ISO and you have a very nice (but relatively big & heavy) point-and-shoot camera. If that's not what you bought your camera for, then this might not be the lens for you.
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 33
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: WR, build quality, cheap, decent wide angle
Cons: Must be stopped down a lot, very poor at the long end
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   

I got this as the kit lens with my K-30 so my expectations were low and rightly so - this is not a particularly good lens. However, it is perfectly usable when used in the right situations.

Pros:
  • A decent wide angle landscape lens that you can use in any weather. I use it at 18 to 35mm. I default the aperture to f8 but sometimes go as far as f16.
  • Decent sharpness when stopped down to f8 and beyond.
  • If you are using this lens, make sure you shoot in raw as the colors are quite boring, sharpness quite average, distortions quite pronounced. All of these shortcomings are easily fixable in Lightroom or PS though.

Cons:
  • It gets totally mushy by 45mm. Completely unusable by 55mm, particularly when focused to infinity. Closeups are still decent though
  • Being a f3.5-5.6 aperture lens, this is obviously not a low light lens, even when pushing the sensitivity. Don't bother, unless you're taking long exposures with a tripod.

All in all, it's a normal kit lens with all of the normal shortcomings. Used right, with a tripod and long exposures of landscapes, later fixed in PP, it can take stunning pics, but don't expect too much of this lens. The only standout feature of this lens compared to other kit lenses is the WR, which raises the overall score from a weak 7 to a strong 8. I have used mine in snow storms, -20 degree celcius temperatures, rain and at sea - never had any problems.

   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: San Luis Obispo
Posts: 125
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Water Proof, light.
Cons: Value
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I don't think it worth the higher price than AL2 Unless you want to shoot in rain.
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 191
Lens Review Date: February 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, weight, weather resistance, cheap, decent quality (optical and build)
Cons: For the price, I cannot really think any.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

If I had to choose the best lens in Pentax line-up, this was one of those. Yes, there are sharper and better lenses, but for the money there is no such lens as this (even in other camera manufacturers line-up). For valuewise, this is best kit lens available. Should be no brainer for everyone buying Pentax.

Sharpness is good at F8 at all focal lengths, but not that great wide open. This is no low light lens afterall, this is the lens you take with you for a hike or for bad weather. Build quality is very good for a price. Tight construction, no wobble, zoom ring is tight. Has even quick-shift. Autofocus is fast. Barrel distortion is noticeable at wide end but correctable of course. CA is hardly noticeable. Bokeh is decent but nothing compared to primes or more expensive zooms. Focuses fairly close so can do decent macro. Colors are Pentax like, vibrant and saturated, greens look good.

What else to say? This is very very fine lens for the price. There are better ones for sure but those are also more expensive, bigger and heavier. Sometimes you just don't dare to take the most expensive lens to some situations, then bring the 18-55 WR.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2008
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: February 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Size, WR, Value
Cons: It's not as good as my 43 Limited (obviously)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K100D, GX-20, K-30   

Performance of this lens is above my expectation for the price.

Sufficiently sharp, obviously it's no Limited, and contrasty.
I haven't noticed any issues with fringing.
Focus is fast.
Obvious distortions at wide angle (depends on the subject if it is disturbing, and anyway this is easy to correct nowadays), generally best to start from 24mm if possible.

This gets hardly any use any more, but purely due to the 43 Limited and me taking less landscape pictures.
It has though been a reason why I don't have a 21 Limited as I'm still not sure of how much different that will look.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: January 30, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: weather resistance,lightweight, good build quality
Cons: overall image quality (good for the price though!)
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I got this lens with my Pentax K-5 and planned on selling it however I was quite surprised about the small dimensions, weight and the nice build quality. The WR is a very nice feature too. For those reasons I won't let it go and keep it as a backup lens for situations that I want my K-5 to be as compact as possible or be weather resistant. I have shit in the rain a few times yet and it was just much! I planned on stepping up to the DA* 16-50 and sell this lens, but I decided the SDM is too big of a risk and bought a Sigma 17-50. That for I will still find use for this small and nice lens.

The sharpness is "ok", not bad in the center but it gets worse towards the edges. Stopping down helps which puts you at f/8 most of the times. The Abberations are well controlled, nothing I have worried about so far yet visible. The bokeh is quite nice and I like the autofocus. The K-5's screwdrive motor makes this lens very fast and gives it a snappy feel. As I mentioned the build quality is nice and its compact dimensions and weight make this a very nice choice for the K-5 if you dont feel like carrying a lot of glass! The WR is awesome, especially when on the beach with sand flying around or walking through the streets and drown your arms and camera into a well for a cool-down on hot summer days. The shocked people's looks are priceless

For the low price it's a good choice!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Hong Kong / Irvine, CA
Posts: 565
Lens Review Date: January 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good build quality
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K30   

It used DA, DAL, DA I(samsung).
Although the optical formula is the same as DAL and DAII.
The build quality is much better for the DA WR version.
It also comes with a hood, which is simialr to DA* hood, builds better than the DA version.

It definely worth x2 value compared to DAL and DA versions.

Optica wise, it is the same as other kit lens. It is light weight, very easy to handle.
If you want sharp pics, you need to use f8 or above.
Otherwise, get the DA*16-50 if you have the money.
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