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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
90 246,083 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 46-60 of 90
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Posts: 11,275
Lens Review Date: January 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: WR, nice range, small
Cons: softer, distortion at long end
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

This is a pretty nice lens. It's not the sharpest but its a zoom. For the cost its a no-brainer IMHO as a walk around in bad weather lens. Comparing it to primes just shows that the person is trying to slam it. Compare it to zooms and you have to pay 3-4x to get significantly better. If you MUST have sharp then go with an FA43 or some other limited. If you want a versatile lens that works well and is WR then this is a nice little zoom.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: January 16, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Easy to handle
Cons: Slow AF, Not that sharp
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 9    Value: 5    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

I got this lens with the camera and ill say that at least it gets the job done. But im going to probably buy a 43mm or 70mm limited next. Here is a picture with the lens:

   
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Kaliningrad region
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: November 4, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New   

http://s2.ipicture.ru/uploads/20121104/7RT8MGIs.jpg
http://s2.ipicture.ru/uploads/20121104/2qVDwf25.jpg
http://s2.ipicture.ru/uploads/20121104/hHRUSxTf.jpg
http://s2.ipicture.ru/uploads/20121104/7DIyk4js.jpg
http://s2.ipicture.ru/uploads/20121104/zNV7FVNk.jpg
http://s2.ipicture.ru/uploads/20121104/aCGbV8T6.jpg
   
Forum Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Malmö, Sweden
Posts: 83

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 9, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weather sealed, overall good IQ, very good build for a kit lens
Cons: For the price? None
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

I generally find photo forums to be a great resource - not least this one - but sometimes get annoyed when reading them (don't we all sometimes?). But few things annoy me more than people slamming the kit zoom, I guess just because it is a kit zoom. This. Lens. Does. Not. Deserve. It. Ok, rant over.

It's not a pro quality lens but for the price it's a no brainer. It's not the ultimate word in sharpness but it's good enough for a walk around lens. Unless you print large I don't think the sharpness of this lens is what limits your results.

Distortion is a bit heavy at the widest focal lengths but that is to be expected, and easy to correct in PP. I haven't noticed any CA or PF.

Build quality is just great for a lens this price, it's a joy to use.

This lens is seriously underrated in these reviews.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: san francisco bay area
Posts: 25
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WR, Good build, Compact, Decent IQ, Bokeh
Cons: Slow, Distortion, Corner shading, CA
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

The more I have used this lens and have learned to compensate for it's weaknesses the more I like it.

Of course it has the typical bad kit lens traits - e.g at 18mm it has strong distortion and strong vignetting. Throughout the range wide open you can get some bad CA/PF in high contrast areas such as tree branches against the sky.

However, it is very sharp around 30mm stopped down and isn't too bad throughout including the wide end, so long as YOU STOP IT DOWN some. Avoid shooting wide open if possible and you will be rewarded with photos that show good resolution, contrast, color and bokeh. I think it is an especially good landscape/hiking lens. It is compact /light weight, weather resistant and can take some pretty nice photos.

I have the 17-70 ( I love that lens) , but this little guy gets a lot of use because it often can get the job done and is so light and rugged. A unique and very cool lens. Every Pentax owner with a WR body should have this lens even with the DA* 16-50 for the occasions where size/weight are more important that absolute IQ.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Belgium
Posts: 61
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Solid, metal mount,waterproof
Cons: kit lens,poor AF (slow, not constant)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 8    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

Mixed between the nice pictures i made with it and the AF fickle in some particular situations (specially indoor shooting) probably caused by a lack of light.
I just regret the AF ability to not take quickly a picture when it is needed but i know it's not the purpose of a kit lens.
In many ways, you will be happy with it if you re not too much demanding-as beginner.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Brasov, Romania
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: June 4, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $157.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good image quality, min focus 25 cm
Cons: not sharp
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

Let's say I'm not very satisfied with this kit lens. It's everything but sharp. Ok, fast focus, good IQ, but I have to replace this copy (bad one) with something really sharp, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 maybe. It's sharper and not so expensive...
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 16,593

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 26, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Close focus, WR, great "kit" lens
Cons: Slow, could be sharper ...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-r, K-5   

Bonjour,

I have had this lens for over a year and it's a good value for a "kit" lens. I purchased a used K-7 body and then later purchased this lens to go with the K-7 basically for the WR and its walk-around wide end and close focus capabilities. Overall relatively pleased with the performance given its price point/value ratio.

A lot of previous review have bemoaned this lens unjustly IMHO. Below I have attached 2 reviews of this lens from different French photo press magazines, Chasseur d'Images and Déclic Photo.

- Chasseur d'Images gave this lens a 5/5 rating when they tested it on a K-x in December 2010.

- Déclic Photo gave 4/5 stars for the build and the optical qualities plus a 5/5 stars for price/value rating.

Not bad at all for a "kit" lens ... and please know that the same magazines gave lower ratings (4/5) to the Canon equivalent lens and a few have been even lower (3/5) for the Nikon equivalent lens. I have also shot with the Nikon 3100 with a 18-55 (belonging to my sister-in-law), and it was pretty poor overall ... this Pentax is really a good kit lens, especially once you've compared a bit.

Hope that this was helpful ... and to see how other photo press magazines review Pentax products ...

Allez et bon courage, John le French Frog





Edit: a few close focus with flash ...
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: March 7, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small light
Cons: light fall off at 55mm
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marie_montreal/6813967330/
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 191
Lens Review Date: February 11, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: WR! Size/Weight/Cost to performance ratio is great. Lovely colors. Pentax exterior styling vs. off-brang lenses.
Cons: Obviously not optically perfect. Aperture slow compared to F2.8 zooms of similar range.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K7   

I had to give this lens a "9" even though it might not deserve that rating optically. I feel that it's value/rating needs to account for the fact that you have the 18-55mm kit lens II optics wrapped up in a gorgeous WR lens all for the super cheap kit lens price. It will never be a F/2.8 contant aperture zoom. It will never be the absolute best in optical quality / IQ. With that said, this lens gives you amazing pictures (especially when stopped down to it's sweet spot), with great Pentax colors, all the while being a WR lens. Just an absolute amazing value lens that I would hearily recommend to anyone if they can live without F/2.8.

PS. For some reason, the ratings for this lens are quite a bit less than the non-WR version II lens, depite being the same optically.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: jakarta
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: light, 18-55, WR, compact
Cons: soft focus, PF, vignetting @ 18 f 8++, a bit slow for af
Sharpness: 3    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 4    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k5   

i got it as kit for my K5, perhaps i was overly expecting on this lens. the image i was taken wasn't as good as with smc-m 50mm 1,7 or with Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II. the focussing a bit slower, when non wr just snap the focus it takes about 200ms more to catch it . and it has a sof focus. sadly this is coming wth my K5 perhaps just a bad copy
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Lyon area
Posts: 205
Lens Review Date: January 19, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: WR
Cons: distortions at wide-angle
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

This is a nice kit lens. It doesn't do anything spectacular, but it isn't bad at anything either. Of course it is slow but as part of a kit with K-5, gives you a very cheap way to enjoy shooting in the rain with WR!
Construction and feeling is clearly more enjoyable than the DA-L equivalent that came with the K-x, though the optical qualities are the same.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,300
Lens Review Date: November 28, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: useful range; WR; small and light
Cons: slow; moderate IQ
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

A superior kit lens, but a kit lens nonetheless. The IQ is perfectly adequate for many situations, but not stunning. I bought this as part of a K-5 kit, and it is now my least used lens. The DA 15 and 40 Limiteds have supplanted it for most uses. However, there are at least two situations where I still find it useful: wet weather, where the WR is most welcome, and quick shots in crowds where the zoom is a boon. Or if I REALLY need those in-between focal lengths. You could also regard it as a good lens for a hike, given its size and weight, but the DA 15 and 40 together hardly exceed it in weight and are smaller in volume. The 18-55's maximum magnification, 0.34x, is rather nice though for flowers etc.

Small, light, cheap, decent IQ ... a worthy tool in your bag.

UPDATE: Such a useful focal length range, nicely built, very light, decent sharpness when stopped down a bit ... I just wish I liked its images more. They're not bad, they just look ho-hum compared to those from a good prime. To be expected of course, especially in light of the price differential. Still, I do SOMETIMES get a stunning shot from it, often for some reason when there's a lake or still water. I also get good results in post-processing to high contrast B&W.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2010
Posts: 2,780
Lens Review Date: October 25, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: WR, handling, improved Image and build quality.
Cons: Slow, distortion.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

I have to add one review here too.

I have had the first version of this lens, so I did not have so much expectations from this either(it came with camera and having WR body it makes sense to have WR lens too ). But now after some more intensive use, I must say that I'm impressed. As a all around lens this one is quite good. But because of it's lack of speed you need usually some aid like tripod, monopod ect. And also an external flash could be good idea too.

So back to this lens. I do find that it needs some work to be done, for getting most of it. Color rendering is just great and rich. I have had some nice results, sharpness is above medium level clearly. With this lens it is possible to take a good shot - unlike vers. I. - in darker conditions too. And flare resistance is quite good too. I use this lens mostly in 24-40 range, where it is at it's best, but it is quite good even at 18 mm and 55. Distortion is still correctable without too much hussle.

Close focus is really quite surprisingly good. It is not a macro, but you can take nice flower shots, and details too. That WR thing is just icing on this cake. So that is why I gave it 8. (Don't spoil this lens by doing too much pixel peeping) I do recommend this lens for anyone who like to hike and shoot outdoors no matter what weather. For it's price it is really good lens.

   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Chester
Posts: 719
Lens Review Date: October 24, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Aesthetics, Weather Sealing, Sharpness, Weight, Quick-Shift
Cons: IQ, Build Quality
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

A real example of how image quality is so much more than sharpness. I can get sharp images with this lens at any setting easily, and the range is incredibly useful with the weather sealing as the icing on the cake.

But I don't use it all that much, I generally prefer my 35 F/2.4 or 50 f/1.4. Why? Well, obviously they're faster and smaller, and their small size offsets their plastic construction. They still feel solid (less so the 35, but it's dirt cheap so I don't complain). But their images have qualities that the images from this lens just don't have.

Bokeh is actually very good wide open at 55, but gets a bit odd as you stop down, the aperture shape becomes VERY apparent very quickly. I think it lacks in overall contrast. It's still contrasty, but only to the point of acceptability. And local contrast is pretty poor, there isn't a great deal of definition in the details.

Overall a great lens, and you can get incredible images out of it with utmost ease and convenience. But to get really lovable images you'll likely need to spend a bit of time in PP. Well, I do anyway. Or I just use a different lens if it's not raining.

And as said, the macro capabilities are actually very impressive!
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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