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HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW

Sharpness 
 10.0
Aberrations 
 9.4
Bokeh 
 9.4
Autofocus 
 9.6
Handling 
 9.9
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
11 45,441 Sat April 10, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,445.90 9.91
HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW

HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
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HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
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HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
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HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
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Description:

This is a high end ultra-wide angle zoom lens for the APS-C format with a large maximum aperture for a wide angle zoom of F2.8. It complements the DA* 16-50mm F2.8 and DA* 50-135mm lenses as a weather sealed trio of F2.8 high performance lenses for the APS-C format. 

The 11-18mm zoom is weather sealed and features a focus clamp intended to prevent accidental change of focus e.g. when the lens is used for astro-photography.

The lens is cold-resistant to -10 degrees centigrade. The exterior is designed with a lens heater groove to prevent dew condensation. To facilitate the installation of the heater, the lens is shaped fairly level, without a bump between the lens barrel and the focus and zoom rings. The lens barrel has been constructed with metallic components for effective transmission of the heat generated by the heater.

Case, caps and lens hood are included with the lens. The lens hood features a removable door which allows for rotating a polarizing filter should one be attached.

The lens was released on February 22, 2019.


HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
16 elements, 11 groups
Mount Variant
KAF3
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor)
DC
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.1x
Filter Size
82 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 104-76 ° / 94-66 °
Hood
PH-RDF82
Case
S120-150
Lens Cap
O-LC82
Coating
HD,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (AW)
Other Features
AF/MF Switch,Focus Clamp
Diam x Length
90 x 100 mm (3.54 x 3.94 in.)
Weight
704 g (24.8 oz.)
w/ Hood: +35g
Production Years
2019 to present (in production)
Pricing
$1296 USD current price
$1399 USD at launch
Engraved Name
HD Pentax-DA* 1:2.8 11-18mm ED DC AW
Product Code
21230
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★★☆ Full coverage at some F-stop and focal length combinations
Show details
Notes
Compatible teleconverter: A 2x-S

Features:
Supersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW in-depth review!



Add Review of HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW Buy the HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
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Forum Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Newcastle (Aus)
Posts: 94

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast aperture UWA for APS-C, super build quality, excellent image quality all the way from f2.8
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3, Kp   

I bought this lens primarily to use for landscape and nightscape photography and it has proved to be wonderful. I have now owned it for 9 months. The sharpness across the frame at f2.8 is fantastic. There is improvement in the corners after stopping down as others have said however I must emphasize that this is only the extreme corners. Nearly all of the frame, including edges is sharp from f2.8. The large aperture makes focusing on stars at night a comparative breeze. The focal range, despite being less than 2x is really useful for widefield milkyway photography and nightscapes. At 18 mm, stitched panoramas of the night sky work well. Colour and contrast is beautiful!

Note that 85 mm wide square drop in filters vignette at the wider end of the zoom range so keep this in mind if you are an ND grad user. Thread is 82 mm so no surprise that 85 mm vignettes at up to about 15 mm focal length (cokin slim holder).

Edit: I apologise for the picture heavy and clunky nature of this review but in the lead up to purchasing this lens, got a little frustrated at the lack of detail around performance around night use - despite all the discussion about the lens warmer groove!





This lens may also make you fall out of love with your DA15 Ltd somewhat... Comparison below, DA15 first, both taken at f8 on same tripod location and using the same focus point. I am not trying to kick the DA15 (I still love it and use it but hopefully this crop comparison shows what you are paying for with this lens). The resolution at the centre was very close and excellent for both.





For those that are interested in night usage for stars, I have linked to an album that contains corner and centre 100% crops for study/pixel peeping. All crops are from a single image at 10 or 13 seconds with exposure adjusted to show stars and at focal lengths of 11, 13 and 18 mm.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/27930-grimmus/albums/13739-da-11-18/


Summary - an excellent lens that offers supreme quality!
   
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 36
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,520.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Minimal aberrations, great sharpness
Cons: A little high minimum depth of field; little lesser quality at f 2.8 - 3.2
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

The (very relatively) greatest problem is the (little) lesser quality at open f (f 2.8 3.5 especially). And also the minimum Depth of field, that could be perhaps shorter. Apart from these little problems I think it's a great great zoom, I love using it with the KP and I appreciate especially the supreme sharpness.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Manila
Posts: 18

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 25, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding sharpness, no coma.
Cons: Price, weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5IIs   

I bought this lens mainly as an upgrade over the Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6, which had served me well for 12 years for landscapes, but is definitely not suitable for astrophotography as it needs to be stepped down significantly.

I was also using the DA* 16-50 f/2.8 which is also very sharp and had little coma, but my copy ended up having fungus (my fault). While I would still happily use the 16-50 at f/2.8, I rate the 11-18 (much) higher than the 16-50 for astrophotography.



Pros:
- The lens is extremely sharp and a delight to use for astrophotography.

- There is no coma whatsoever, even at f/2.8 and 11mm. There is very little vignetting, and flares are well controlled.
- The focus clamp is welcomed.
- Weather sealed.


Cons:
- The main downside, besides the price, is the weight at about 700g. The lens is heavy. This is not an issue for day hikes, but for multi-day, backpacking hikes the lens is just too heavy.
- The lens feels noticeably shorter than the Sigma 10-20 f/4.0-5.6, and the 11mm of the Sigma are wider and have less distortion than the Pentax 11-18. The Sigma is also much cheaper and lighter than the Pentax. So if you need a cheaper option the Sigma works fine (and I believe the f/3.5 version is better than the f/4.0-5.6), though again is not suitable for astrophotography.


From an image quality perspective, the Pentax is simply outstanding and is worth every penny.
   
Custom User Title

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 5,699

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: build quality; very sharp lens; fast ultra wide
Cons: only 7mm of zoom; no heater ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-70   

I feel this lens really delivers on the '*' reputation.
Overall performance is excellence.

I found this lens produces brighter images than my Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 at the same stopped apertures.
Tack sharp except for when pixel-peeping at the very, very edge of the sides and corners - it is sincerely impressive for such an ultra-wide angle.
The bokeh on most ultra-wide angle lenses isn't impressive, but this lens has nice smooth transitions and bokeh is non-distracting.
The DC autofocus is silent, fast, and accurate.
The handling is really nicely weighted and compact for so much glass and features a focus clamp (lock in hyperfocal distance when it's bright out and maintaining that focus at night).

This is by far my 'best' lens.

The only real complaint I could dream up is that the unit did not ship with a simple lens warmer and if I could give half stars I would give 9.5 for "Value" because of this.
The lens comes with a built-in groove near the front element and Pentax said it was designed for a de-condensation lens warmer.
With the focus clamp, and the groove, and the fast aperture on an 11mm lens, it's clear this lens is Milky Way photography-oriented.
It seems missing not to include the warmer with a lens with such a unique groove feature and being astro-oriented lens.
Maybe it will come as an accessory in the future.

Lastly, my Haida 100-PRO filter holder set cannot mount on the lens, but I don't really fault the lens since they can't consider all third-party gear in their designs.. There is a rather large nub used to hold the lens hood in place and it prevents my Haida filter holder to screw into the 82mm adapter. I've purchased a very thin UV filter, broke out the glass, and used it as an extension ring and the holder now mounts fine but images vignette.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 340

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: - image quality, AW, built quality
Cons: - price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

This is the best lens I have ever had - I had almost all limiteds,many older lenses, DA* 16-50 ...

Having experience with DA 12-24/4, DA 15/4 SMC limited, I have to say that my search (of the only wide angle lens) is over. This is an excellent lens with precise construction, there is no wobbling, everything fits, I really like just to play with this lens before shooting. Concerning the image quality - you can find many tests. I am really satisfied with the sharpness and colours. What bothered me (on previous lenses) more (and this lens solved it) was:

- flare resistance - so much better than 12-24/4, almost as good as 15/4 limited. I am impressed every time I take this lens in hash conditions.

- F2,8 - definitely helpful when shooting reports

- AW - there are no worries when shooting street in rain

- FOCUS CLAMP - so helpful when shooting streets via wifi app. I am looking forward to use it mountains with filters.


The only negative thing was that my first copy of this lens had some AF issues. The second copy is a stellar performer in terms of AF precision, although I am not amazed by AF speed. My old limiteds, FA 135/2,8, 55-300PLM focus faster. However DC motor in this lens is (subjectively) faster than the DC motor in 20-40ltd.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 1,798

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 18, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 18 mm FF coverage (and below), * features
Cons: Pentax made me buy an APS-C Zoom for a FF wide angle
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1   

I bought this lens for K1-II to get a modern wide angle in the Pentax * class and possibly for the upcoming new APS-C camera. From previous reviews I expect it to cover FF well at 18mm maybe a little wider. Report below mentions 16 mm and even less.
Advantages: weather sealed, * design, filter thread that allows 100x100 filters. I tried the 15-30, but did not keep it due to size and the enormous filter size required.

The lens covers FF from 18 mm well, the Lens hood is just outside the frame. My B+W slim polarizer causes no vignetting at 18mm.
Just above the 16 mm setting image circle still looks OK. Below you should check for yourself. With live view you can compose a panoramic view on screen. The lens will never hit the screen, so you can try 11-18 mm. The lens is not designed for FF, so even in cases where image circle may look OK, a drop in performance should be expected.

Mechanical quality is just great. Focus ring is in the front - same as for the DA 16-50, or the 20-40 or DFA 150-450, but reversed compared to DFA 70-200 or 24-70. Just an observation since the lens handles very well on K1.

Sharpness: f/2.8 in the center images are great @18mm. The extreme corners show a drop in sharpness due to field curvature. @ f/8 edges improve. For an 18 mm wide angle this performance is great on FF. The Oder Sigma f/1.8 lenses were unusable in the corners even stopped down. Same for the first Canon 14, Sigma 14/18 - in other words: this lens is up to date.
Quick test @ 11 mm in crop mode shows similar performance as 18 mm on FF, but 18 mm on FF shows less distortion and better edge sharpness than 11 mm on APS-C. Use f/5.6 and smaller to get very good performance even in the corners. That said f/2.8 will already make you happy. Pixel density on K1 suits this lens well, with smaller pixel pitch of APS-C cameras you probably smear more pixels.

Chromatic errors are very well controlled for a super wide angle zoom. Color fringing is visible at high contrast towards the corners.Nothing to worry about.

I am rating the lens for what it is: a super wide angle zoom w.r.t aberrations, bokeh, af... On APS-C I would complain about distortion @ 11 mm. K- mount is a full frame mount. If you want a full frame mirror to swing behind the lens some strong retrofocus design is required = distortion.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2016
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 346

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 14, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,399.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It simply is a fantastic lens across the board!
Cons: I personally don't have any negative aspects to list.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax KP   



   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 2,645

15 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,525.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1, KP   

I don't have any complaints about this lens. It meets all my expectations and surpasses them in some points. I'd give it a 9.5 but since this is not possible it gets a 10.

Somehow Royal


K-1 • FF mode • DA*11-18@16

Here are my generel observations ...
  • great build quality, weather resistant
  • 82mm filter thread may let you use filters you already have for other lenses like the DFA24-70
  • very good color rendering
  • sharp from border to border (much better than the DA15 - a simple test)
  • for such a lens not much distortion.
  • in extreme lighting it can show flare (examples, KP shots) and slight fringing, but I guess at least not worse than the best other UWA lenses
  • compared to the DFA15-30 significantly more lightweight and less bulky
Addition 2020-01-06: It can produce some strong flare similar to that of the Irix someone posted - it showed a clear flare ring. IMO that's no wonder if we have a look at how the glass elements appear when we look at the front element. It's a lens for extreme angles and is constructed to deliver the best possible as such I guess - including some compromizes to be made.



If you are not aware of this and don't take care of it, you can get partial flare ring(s) in your capture. Here's an example that I made a bit brighter and lifted shadows so that you'll see it clearly (no further post processing).



It all depends on the angle the rays hitting the lens elements surface I guess.

Addition 2019-09-29: now that the lens review from bdery is out I'd like to add some words concerning distortion since bdery's review differs from my words.

Using the lens with an APS-C camera at 11 / 12 mm the distortion looks indeed quite pronounced. You'll notice it at least when using it for architecture that shows straight vertical lines. For these angles of view I mainly used my K-1 in FF mode with focal length 16 and 18mm. With the K-1 in FF mode distortion looks significantly better. So I clearly recommend if you own both a FF camera like K-1 and an APS-C camera, use the FF camera for the widest angles! - You'll get less distorsion and 36 MP in case of K-1 instead of 24MP you'll get with a K3, K3II or KP.

Most important thing for me: attached to the K-1 the lens works very well from 15 to 18mm in FF mode! If you like to work in K-1 FF square mode you can go down to 12mm! - Angle of view / MegaPixel ratios you can't get with the existing APS-C cameras.


K-1 • FF mode • DA*11-18 @ 15 (exif reported 14) • w/o hood and filters

At 15mm you have to remove the lens hood and you may not use a filter. I tested the latter with my 82mm B+W UV filter. With this slim 3mm filter a small part of the corners get not correctable black. At 16mm the filter doesn't show significant problems. I have no problem to deal with the existing vignetting in post processing (Capture One Pro). Unfortunately 15mm is not reported in exif meta data - it's shown as 16 or 14mm.

Addition 2020-01-08: If you'd like to get some info about vignetting based on APS-C sensor area and using the Haida Pro II MC ND3.0 1000x 82mm filter (10 stops) please have a look into this post - a capture at different focal lengths (18 - 16 - 14 - 12 - 11).

Additional highlights for me:
  • 15@FF (99° x 76°, 36 MP) is wider than 11@APS-C (94° x 71°, 24MP)
  • Very well balanced on the K-1, wonderful to work with this combo. I clearly prefer it compared to the KP / DA*11-18 combo.

If you want an image like one with the angle of view of a 20, 21 or 24mm lens just shoot at 18 mm and crop. Of course that's like using sensors with a crop factor down to APS-C dimensions.

Here's a table that shows cropping dimensions to get these angles ...

| Virtural FL | width px | height px | Megapixel | APS-C equivalent
___________________________________________________
| __20mm_ |___6624 |____4421 |_____29.28 |_________13mm
| __21mm_ |___6309 |____4210 |_____26.56 |_________14mm
| __24mm_ |___5520 |____3684 |_____20.34 |_________16mm
| __27.5mm | __4817 |____3215 |_____15.49 |_________18mm

So, in the meantime if you are waiting for a new 20mm, 24mm FF prime lens or 18-28mm Pentax and always post process your raw files, you could use these crop dimensions as virtual f/2.8-lens substitutes.

2020-06-09: To get an idea of the lenses' resolution, have a look at this post showing a 100% crop within a real world FF image.

2020-28-08: There's also a way to widen the angles of view and increase the sensor size. For this just use the composition adjustment tool of your Pentax camera! Some words about it you can find here.

What I learnt using this ultra wide angle lens is that I have to carefully consider light distribution within the whole frame, keep the horizon in balance and be aware of the extreme impact on perspective when tilting the camera. If cropping is ok for you, you can apply pseudo tilt shift to get architecture photographs that preserve proper verticals - especially when shooting K-1 in FF mode.

My overall Conclusion: A great lens to use with K-1 in FF / Square mode and APS-C cameras like the KP.


K-1 • FF mode • 18mm (89° x 66°) • f/11


K-1 • FF mode • 18mm (89° x 66°) • f/8


K-1 • FF mode • 16mm (96° x 73°) • f/11


K-1 • FF mode • 15mm (99° x 76°) • w/o hood • f/8


K-1 • FF Square mode • 11mm (96° x 96°) • w/o hood • f/11 (vignetting clearly visible) - the FF view (08.28.2020)


K-1 • FF mode • 18mm (89° x 66°) • f/8 • step-up ring 82-86 • PLC 86mm slim filter (4mm) • w/o hood


K-1 • FF Square Mode • 14mm • f/8 • step-up ring 82-86 • PLC 86mm slim filter (4mm) • w/o hood


K-1 • FF mode • 18mm • ISO 100 • f/11 • 20s (82 Haida 10 stop + StepUp 82-86 + 86 B&W CLP => yielding strong vignetting, so I had to crop to roughly 20mm angle of view) • w/o hood


K-1 • FF mode • 17mm • ISO100 • f/11 • 3s • Haida M10 filter system (100mm) + Drop-in light barrier + ND 10-stop + GND 0.9 (of course w/o hood) • no crop!


KP (APS-C) • 18mm (66° x 47°) • f/2.8


KP (APS-C) • 11mm (94° x 71°) • f/2.8

A lot more images you can find in the K-1 thread.

[B]Change History (MM.DD.YYYY)[/I]

10.05.2020
- Added image "Somehow Royal" at the beginning of my post
09.06.2020
- Link to 100% crop post added
09.01.2020
- Image added: FF mode, 15mm B&W
08.28.2020
- Link to a post added ... about using the lens at 18 mm in K-1 FF mode and Composition Adjustment tool.
- Link to a post added ... of the lens at FF / 11mm of a Square image shown in this review.
08.01.2020
- Added a link to my post concerning usage of the Haida Pro II MC ND3.0 1000x 82mm. How about vignetting when using it with an APS-C camera like the KP.
07.04.2020
- Added a link to a one case comarison DA15 vs. DA*11-18@15
06.01.2020
- Partial ring flare info added.
12.26.2019
- Test concerning vignetting with Haida M10 filtersystem: Drop-in light barrier + ND 10-stop + GND 0.9. Result: fully usable in APS-C mode. FF mode: usable at 18 and 17mm. Unfortunately 17mm is not shown in exif data - I turn the zoom ring until 16 mm is shown in the display. So I can recognize the 17mm in post.
09.29.2019
- Hint that in FF mode at 15mm a small part of the corners get not correctable black when using a filter (I used a 3mm B+W UV filter)
- Addition concerning distortion. Use a FF camera at 16 and 18 mm for the widest angles if possible instead of an APS-C camera at 11 or 12 mm! You'll be awarded with less distortion and 36MP.
08.12.2019
- FF mode long time exposure image added. Crop to roughly 20mm lens angle. Reason: 2 filters installed.
06.08.2019
- Image taken in FF Square Mode at 14mm, step-up ring 82-86 and 86 PLC slim filter (4mm) added. No problem with corners.
06.07.2019
- Test with step-up ring 82-86mm and attached PLC slim filter (4mm), hood had to be detached, K-1 FF mode Result: 18mm works. 16mm shows too much vignetting in the corners that can't be eliminated. 18mm peony image included. 16mm should work in (FF) Square mode. Didn't test APS-C mode. Guess it will completely work without too much vignetting.
05.11.2019
- added positive property 82mm filter thread
- angle of view based equivalent lens crop table for 18mm@FF shots added
- three more image links added
- paragraph "what I learnt using ultra wide angles" added
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2018
Location: Hιrouville Saint Clair, Normandy, France
Posts: 143

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 15, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,580.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, filter-friendly, quiet, weather resistant
Cons: Heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

I've waited so many years for this lens !
Samyang 8, Pentax 10-17, Sigma 8-16, Pentax 15 LTD, ... And now the search is over. This is the best lens I've ever had.

This lens is built like a tank, nothing moves, every moving part is smooth, every clamp is strong, no loose part.
Autofocus is quiet and fast. Really soft bokeh.
And the sharpness... Oh the sharpness ! Incredibly sharp, even wide open ! At F8, it is amazing.
I've done some pretty nice portraits at 18mm.
No barrel distorsion, no strange flare.
And it's weather resistant ! Is it a dream ?!

Cons ?...
Really light smoothness and fringe on the sides, nothing compared with other ultra-wide lenses.
The hood is big.
Small vignetting at F2.8.

My first week with this lens : https://flic.kr/s/aHskTLYbUJ







   
Moderator
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Posts: 9,720

8 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 31, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, filters, build quality, handling
Cons: Nothing serious
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

Leading up to its release I was not enthusiastic about this lens. I've been very happy with the DFA15-30 on full frame, and saw the limitations of the smaller focal range more than the potential advantages. Of the latter, there are many. I'm very glad I decided to pre-order one.

Compared to the DFA15-30, it is tiny. It is nowhere near as front heavy. It takes normal 82mm filters. It has AW sealing rather than WR. It has a AF/MF switch and a focus lock. The hood is better. Flare resistance is better. For the serious astrophotographer, it has been designed to accept a front element warmer. The difference in build quality is marked - it really feels like a Pentax Star lens. I initially thought it was an internal zoom design, but although the filter thread does not move, the front element actually retracts slightly from 11mm to 16mm, only to extend infinitesimally back out to 18mm.

Optically it is pretty hard to fault, accepting the limitations of ultra-wide lenses. It is very sharp from wide open over most of the frame, but it does take f/8.0 or so to really crisp up the corners. There is some purple and green fringing in the peripheries in high contrast situations, but it's easily corrected in PP. Distortion is negligible. Looking really critically, I think my copy might be very slightly de-centred, but probably not enough to be worth the hassle of getting it adjusted.

In reality I'd probably rate it 9.5, but I'll round it up to a ten. I might keep the 15-30 for serious stuff locally, but when I'm packing for travel the 11-18 will be an easy choice.

I used it every day for the month of March 2019 - the (still growing) album can be viewed HERE
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 22

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,580.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: well built, sharp, nice bokeh, absent CA, overall an incredible lens
Cons: a bit expensive :-)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3II   

I have this lens for more than a week. I have used it several times outdoors. Sadly, due to lack of time and cloudy nights, I could not shoot starry night to evaluate capabilities of this lens in that particular field of photography. Lens is not so big when used, but quiet heavy comparing to my other lenses (DA* 300 included – I know that this one is heavier, but thanks to a larger barrel it does not feel like it). Autofocus is fine and quiet – surprisingly on my K3II is also a precise one in most situations. Sometimes with close-ups (around minimum focusing distance) it needed a bit of help. What blew my mind was a sharpness of the lens (see attached photo of my colleague) – and I am used to an excellent sharpness of photos from my favorite DA*300 or e.g. DA 35 Macro Ltd! Also, CA is very well corrected. Almost none (you have to really try hard to find some on the photo) in all situations even when I tried to produce some in situations like branches against a sky or white flowers on a sunny day etc. I am looking forward to use it further for landscape as well as wide-angle details of e.g. wild orchids or frogs in their habitat.

ISO 400; 11 mm, f2.8, 1/60 s - jpeg straight out of camera - no postprocessing, no sharpening, no nothing (just assembly of collage)
Add Review of HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW Buy the HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW



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