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

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

Reviews Views Date of last review
75 210,441 Fri May 1, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
89% of reviewers $51.61 7.70
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL

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

The SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 is similar to its DA-series counterpart, the DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II, except that it features a slightly lighter design, plastic mount, and no quick-shift focus functionality. It is included as a part of a camera kit and is not sold separately.

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 6 blades
11 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
25 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76-29 ° / 67-25 °
PH-RBA 52 mm
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
68 x 67.5 mm (2.7 x 2.7 in.)
200 g (7.1 oz.)
Production Years
2008 to present (in production)
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA L 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL
Product Code
User reviews
Plastic lens mount.
One aspherical amd one ED element.

Two variants: Black and white

Screwdrive AutofocusAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 75
New Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 13
Review Date: May 1, 2020 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, lightweight, good iq,
Cons: Not for what it is and represents
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Kx   

The lens which came with the kx camera. Overall for a kit lens its good. Nice color and contrast. I give it an 8.
New Member

Registered: July, 2013
Posts: 2
Review Date: April 12, 2018 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Inexpensive, compact, useful zoom range, decently sharp
Cons: Plastic mount, no hood
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

All my digital cameras were purchased as bodies, so I never had one of the ubiquitous kit lenses. Found a new example on for $40 about three years ago, so I bought it. I wasn't too worried about the plastic mount, even though it is my first (and so far only), as the lens is so small and lightweight.

To avoid repetition, my evaluation is nearly identical to that of user Gengske, below. I would rate the sharpness at 9 for a kit lens, but a 7 compared to primes. I found a completely compatible hood on amazon for $10.

Also agree with Gengske as to a good walkabout setup of equipment, except the 28mm f2.8 A; lost mine on a mountainside in the Canadian Rockies thirty years ago.
New Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Belgium, Antwerp
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 4, 2017 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: light, small, cheap, sharp
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K500, K-S   

I had 3 different copies of this lens, the DA, the DA WR, and this DA-L. All of them did perform excellent.

Don't compare this lens with an expensive 2.8 zoom or prime. Its a kitlens that you get almost for free with you camera. And this kitlens does his job very well.

If someone asks me for the perfect Pentax lens setup i highly recommend this lens, together with its big brother the DA-L 50-200, the A-28 2.8 and the A-50 1.7. Trow in a few extentsion tubes, 2 pol. filters, a small tripod, and you are good to go
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 676
Review Date: February 11, 2017 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good range of focal lengths
Cons: plastic mount

This lens came to me attached to a K30 camera body. I already have two DA 18-55mm lenses with metal mounts, so this one was already superfluous before I even opened the box. I took a few test shots with it and it seems to work reasonably well. My understanding is the optics on the DAL lenses are pretty much the same as their DA counterparts with the main difference being the plastic mount and the fact that the DAL lenses didn't come with a lens hood. Since I see no compelling reason to add a third 18-55mm lens to my already too large collection, this 'plastic-fantastic' lens is doing a touch-and-go landing and will shortly leave my hands attached to the front of my K100D, which I am selling to help offset the acquisition cost of the K30, which has been upgraded to a DA 18-55 as its default lens. I debated selling the lens separately but that would have meant coming up with a body cap for the K100D, so it seemed to make sense to sell them together.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 170

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 7, 2017 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: size, weight, zoom, price, wide angle
Cons: speed, bokeh, sharpness
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-x   

I bought it with my K-x. I have bought some prime lenses since then, but I still shoot a lot with this one, because:
  1. Wide angle
  2. Slow, but quite confident focusing in low light
  3. Zoom
  4. I own 52 mm polarizing filter.

Very surprisingly, when I compare this lens to the 35 mm f/2.4:
35 focuses much quicker in daylight, but in low light is sometimes prone to hunting.
18-55 focuses slower in all conditions, but in low light is sometimes able to focus when 35 is not.

All in all, mediocre optics, but is useful sometimes (especially on hiking etc.).
New Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 5
Review Date: August 14, 2015 Recommended | Rating: 7 

Pros: Price, lightweight, useful focal range
Cons: Soft corners at the ends of the zoom range if not stopped down to 8
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-x   

I bought this lens together with my first DSLR, a K-x. Together with it, I bought a 18-200 superzoom. I thought I would have this latter zoom on all the time. I realized soon that the kit lens was much better in the overlapping focal range and I ended up taking the vast majority of my pictures with this lens until I bought a 18-135 a year and a half later. Right at the "normal lens" focal length, i.e. around 30 mm, it performs very well. The soft corners were disturbing though on my landscapes taken at the wide angle end.

Here is an album with some of the pictures I took with this lens.
New Member

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 16

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 12, 2015 Recommended | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Color saturation, contrast, focus speed
Cons: Slightly soft wide open, plastic mount
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-500   

This lens came with the K-500 along with a DA L 50-200mm, altogether an excellent purchase. The 18-55mm does exhibit CA in the corners, and distortion at the extreme focal lengths. But the camera can be set to correct both, resulting in images identical to the best primes. I cannot detect any vignetting even at 18mm wide open. Resolution is very good for prints up to 16x24". My only real concern is how many times can I mount and unmount it before the plastic wears out and gets loose. I switch lenses often, but I am very careful.

Senior Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 132
Review Date: February 4, 2015 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp over most of it's range, light, cheap, good colour and contrast.
Cons: Struggles to focus in low light, noisy, hard to use manual focus.
New or Used: New   

An amazing lens for the tiny price (mine was effectively free, since I paid the body-only price for the K-r with the kit lens).

It seems that there is a lot of individual variation in samples of this lens, because mine is fairly sharp. It struggles in low light and more than I would expect even for the maximum aperture, with lots of hunting and focus fails. Trying to use it with manual focus is a little hit-and-miss, so I don't do that very much, but still it's a lens that I've taken some decent shots with, and many are sharp. It may be poor in low light (apart from time exposures) but it's a good lens in brighter conditions or when you have control over the light, like when taking flash pictures.

A typical portrait from this lens:

No sharpening applied, either in camera or in PhotoShop, and here's a 100% crop; note the light-stand and three flashguns are visible reflected in the catch-light in her eye! Eyebrows and hair are also sharp, and this isn't from the absolute centre of the image either:

Overall my copy is a useful lens, yes I'd like to replace it but it's not urgent.
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Bratislava
Posts: 6

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 12, 2014 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: colors rendering, sharp when stopped down, affordable
Cons: good conditions needed
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K10D   

It's good performer when there are good conditions. Within golden hour you can shot really captivating pictures. Moving subjects and low light conditions are showstoppers for this lens except you have enough time, tripod and memory card big enough to carry some mistakes with you

If you can get it for 20-30 bucks I think you will be satisfied with its results for that cost.

Some samples shot with this lens are bellow.

Junior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 44
Review Date: May 21, 2014 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: really cheap and relatively good quality
Cons: limited zoom and not the best bokeh
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   

Really inexpensive lens that came with my camera. I thought it wouldn't end up being used but I have liked it so far. When I try to take close ups of flowers and bugs and things though the bokeh can be quite unappealing which is annoying but this lens is not designed for those pictures anyway. Honestly I am very pleased with it and I would recommend having it in your bag
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 7
Review Date: May 7, 2014 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 7 

New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

My lens is a DA lens, not DA L.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2011
Location: Bronx NY
Posts: 340
Review Date: February 22, 2014 Recommended | Rating: 6 

Pros: one of the best kit lens out there
Cons: still a kit lens
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-x, k-5   

This is a good, relatively versatile lens. Has a nice range, relatively sharp wide open, and is great for CA and flare. It came with my k-x (my first DSLR) and I loved the hell out of it for a couple months.

But… once I bought other lenses, I never looked back. I got an FA50/1.4, and I don't think the 18-55 lens was mounted on my camera ever again. Am I a snob? yeah, probably. But my pictures told me my discrimination was justified.

Bottom line; it's great for what it is, but what it is isn't that great. If you want to beat a P&S or a camera phone, it's awesome. Want great pictures, save your money and get something else. Save the '10' ratings for the FA 31mm, the A* 135 or A* 85, etc.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 14
Review Date: February 21, 2014 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp from 24 to 55 mm good correction of CA's with k-x* and k-5*
Cons: corners of 18mm somewhat weak and visible CAs at extreme wide angle
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-x,k-5,k200, k-s1. fuji x-t100 + x-e1   

my Pentax DSLRs are fitted to highest contrast, sharpness and color transmission./mes boîtiers PENTAX sont programmés tous à la netteté maximale, au plus haut contraste et à la couleur brillante.

k200 doesn't allow to eleminate the CA's, but newer models as k-x do it by changing program of this body in menue.So CA's disappaer nearly totally.* - excepted 18mm

this lens is still better than the first edition DAL I with interior design of 12/9 elements, but without the a.m. fluorit element /

if stopped down to 8-11;my pictures are really very sharp from 24 to 55 mm.

It is curious, but the old version has wide open on 24-35mm better results. (18mm of the first version were somewhat terrible in corners)

But this newer version is sharp nearly over the full focus range.

with achromatic macro lens element on the top: phantastic clöse up shootings possible

a precious lens at a low price - better than professional competitors /un objectiv précieux au prix modéré

With / avec 24 MPix 80 LP/mm = 160 lines / lignes possible/s (at / à 40mm with / avec f 9.5)

18mm 6 points
24mm 8 points
35-55 10 points
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 122
Review Date: February 1, 2014 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Inexpensive, Good image quality
Cons: Low build quality
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: L-30   

Pretty good for a kit lens. Not gonna get the most out of your camera with this.
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 62

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 28, 2013 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: light and cheap (purchasing with camera only), 18mm wide
Cons: no quick-shift, all-plastic-body
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   

about a cost, 50USD, it is mean, that without the lens camera body at 50 USD cheaper.

lens is not bad at all, for it's price it has an 18 mm wide angle at f/3.5, but some distortion is present.

HAS NOT quick-shift - it is big loose, and plastic bionet, but plastic is hard and strong.
has not a lens hood, but fully compatible lens hood possibly to obtain separately for some small amount of USD. Lens hood can to be attached at reverse position on the lens for more compact storage dimension,

I was using it only than obtain it with camera (is was mi first AF lens), until purchasing the FA 35-80/3.5-5.6, and ones after that, as wide angle lens at tight room.
I still hold it, because wide angle is needed time to time.

If You has not any AF lens and purchasing You're first DSLR, bye it as a kit, 50USD is not a big price for universal 18-55 lens.
for some application, as a budget save lens it is good thing. for start kit lens it is useful, but than You obtain something better, You will using it less frequently.

IMHO - zoom ring such a big diameter, make Lens to be "fat", not like this.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL

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