The HD PENTAX-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE launched in February 2015 was a welcome addition to the 18-50/55 mm range of zoom lenses for the APS-C format with its built-in autofocus motor for silent autofocusing. Focusing manually with the focusing ring engages the AF motor, which takes care of the focusing. This implies that this lens cannot be used on DSLRs without lens power contacts (K100D and older).
As a first for Pentax this standard zoom lens is retractable for easy storage and portability. When retracted it measures but 41 mm in length. The lens is weather resistant making it useable in dusty environments or in light rain when paired with a whether-resistant Pentax DSLR.
The lens features the Pentax HD coating and super-low dispersion glass elements and aspherical elements for improved image quality.
The lens has an smc coated DA L counterpart, which is is included as a kit lens with a camera body and cannot be purchased separately.
I can recommend this lens: No |
| Rating: 4
Sharpness:9Aberrations:8Bokeh:7Autofocus:10Handling:2Value:7New or Used:NewCamera Used:Pentax K-S2
Got this lens with the K-S2. On the surface it "looks" like a good idea, but in practice it is the most annoying lens I have ever used.
On the plus side it is very lightwieght, its lovely and sharp, and the auto-focus is quick and silent.
There doesn't seem to be much aberations, but there's little bokeh, cos it stops at just 50mm (reminds me of 28-70 lenses in the film era).
The BIG problem with this lens is the retract mechanism. It doesn't lock into place anywhere near as solidly as it should so its all too easy to retract while trying to compose a shot. When it extended there an uneasy wobble to the front of the lens, that you can see as a shift in the viewfinder. Not too much of a problem in stills, but it shows up as a wobble on vidoes.
I just don't see why they had to use the button on it to lock the lens. I've got the F 35-70 and thats a compact lens that "un-retracts" when using macro mode. Its got a good solid lock to it. You have to put extra force on the zoom ring to move to macro, and Ricoh could so easily have used that design for this lens.
I'm not convinved either that water drops on the outside of the barrel, won't get inside the lens once you retract it. This is after all supposed to be a WR lens. Ricoh can't say you should wipe the lens before you retract it (you don't have to on any other lenses they make), as thats not always practical to do in the field, plus the damn thing will retract by itself if you put any slight pressure on the front of it.
As supplied in the K-S2 kit, the lens is not HD coated. Thats only available if you buy it, and believe me I can buy much better lenses for that sort of money.
I've only had a few days use of the lens, the first few days I was getting used to the K-S2, but gradually this lens got me so annoyed that I gave up and used my other lenses. I thought I'd give it another try last week, and then I remembered why I'd put it away in the first place. Now its staying in the cupboard.
I can recommend this lens: No |
| Rating: 7
Good price, compact
WWR did not work very well in my version
I think the lens took very nice images - clear, nice color. It was easy to use and to carry. I was disappointed that it is not that compact when ready for use - only as a stored lens.
More significantly, it allowed water into front element when it got wet during use for the first time. Granted, it was more than a light rain, but I expected it would do just fine and it did not. It showed up the next day as fog in the center of the element, and when I shook it a few days later water drops appeared all over the element. I have not decided if I will just return it (Costco within 90 days) or try to have it repaired. If it had better weather resistance (my primary purchase priority) it would be a no brainer to keep.
I can recommend this lens: Yes |
| Rating: 8
compact and easy to expand, wr, efficient and silent af, optically good.
aperture 4.5 from 24 to 40mm and 5.6 to 50mm.
Sharpness:7Aberrations:9Bokeh:7Autofocus:9Handling:8Value:9New or Used:NewCamera Used:k5
This is a great piece of low cost engineering.
IN A FEW WORDS:
In just 4 cm out of the camera you can have a standard zoom, dust and rain proof, with a very good autofocus and a good optical rendition. For a reasonable price.
Obiuovsly the real price to pay is the cheap plastic construction and the moderate maximum aperture, but I have to say that it's assembled well, and it's optically good even from maximum aperture, in the center but also in the edges of the frame it's still sharp more than most of zooms around here. It's not a preciuous piece of glass and metal, of course, not fast and not able in to giving a stellar IQ and a prestige handling, but for a satisfacing every day use, it gives you the usefull focal range of 18-50, a uniformly good and generally flawless IQ, a fast and silent AF like few ones in the Pentax system, a reliable rain ad dust safety, and all this in a light and small package.... that you can buy at a kit or kit splitted price of 120 dollars/euros... a big value! Otherwise, new it goes for less than 300€/$, HD version.
It's quite sharp and resolving, with an impressive performance to be a such a compact zoom. Center is good like the 18-135 but edges are far better. It's between the 16-45 and the 17-70 IQ, but without cromatic aberration of both them. Do not expect tha closing it a stop or two it will rise up in IQ. Just a bit, one stop. No more.
There is a moderate fall of sharpness/contrast in the edges, more evident in the corners, of course, but it's very progressive and not in evidence like in 18-135. Contrast is good even with strong light sources in the frame. It has many leneses inside, but to be around 10 elements, it perfoms absolutelly well in term of rlare and contrast resistance. Mine in an smc, so I guess the HD could do even a bit better. It's not a modern prime, anyway. Contrast and vibrance aren't the best out there. There are virtually no color aberrations. There is no purple fringing or neither other colours fringing or any dominance, even on high contrast areas in the image, not even in the edges of the frame. Wide side, as tele side, are both capable into give a good and uniform IQ.
I have to say, it is not a miracle of rendition, can't offer a wooow effect like the best star zoom or lilimited primes. But it is quite sharp all over the frame and it has a good overall contrast and a hight resolving power, from maximum aperture, that make of it a "new generation" standard kit lens. It has not the vibrance and tone to tone color transition of a limited lens. Neither their extreeme sharpness in the "sweet spot". When closed, this zoom gain something, but it could never reach the sharpness pick of the best star zoom or primes. But the MTF scores should be very good for a relativelly cheap and such a compact zoom. It's supposed to be used on 20mpxs and more sensors on the small last generation dslr. And it can do the job well, for a right price.
The bokeh is ok, not so creamy (in well corrected slow zoom like this it's never the best) and not so progressive (it's only f4-5.6 afetr all!) but even so, it is not crispy or nervous, thanks to the rounded 7 blades. It's far better than the bokeh of 18-55, 16-45, and so on. 7 rounded blades is like to have 8 balde or more, like in the best star zoom. It's not a fast lens, anyway.
I liked very much the ability to deliver immages without the typical flaws of zooms or compact lens. Uniformity and good average IQ without issues, in 4cm.
Center and border, wide and tele, from maximum aperture. The real pro in this lens IQ is the missing of cons. in such a compact and usefull standard zoom.
Such a correct and uniform rendition in a small collapsable zoom is a new trend of tecnology that finally makes sense of small and hig density pixelled dslr.
Mecchanically it's ok. Not a joy to use, but very funciotnal. Far away to feel like a tank but solid enought to be trusted and to last years in an everyday use as a compact companion of our dsrl in the everyday life, in the bag or the backpack, as a piece of our usual equipment. Its main feature is the compact and collapsed barrel! A fast and quite solid mechanism expands and collaps the barrel in a rapid, simply and intuitive move, pressing a button on the zoom ring and rotating it a bit (60 degrees). Construction is light but quite solid. Gives a feeling of budget materials but resistant and well assembled. In pair with the 18 55 wr II or a bit better. The zoom ring is ok and the manual focus too. Good, but a bit too light. Not smooth but at least very uniform. Better than many pentax da. The feeling of plastic is a bit better than the DA L 35 or 50mm. The barrel design is similar to them. When mounted, collapsed, it is just 4cm out of the camera body, and has only a 58mm diameter. It's like to have a prime. Weight is very low too! Even the hood is compact, as a filter, the same of the 21 limited. Maybe less efficient than a standard hood, I gues, but on f 4-5.6 its not a real limit on the wide side. Some people complain about the plastic bayonet. It's not a problem on such a light lens. When expanded, it occupies the same lenght and volume of the 18-55. But is still lighter. And the hood of the 18-50 is like a filter, not a flower one.
Af is great pro of this zoom. It's fast, silent and accurate. In Pentax this is so uncommon, even in the most expensive lens. It catch the focus fast and well even if the maximum aperture is so moderate, at any focal. At least on my k5, even in dark situation it works quite fast and well. So I guess it performs better on k5II and k3 or on ks2 and futures bodyes. The DC motor is such an improvement, sdm is lazy and weak, screwdrive is slow and so loud. This DC AF doesn't seem to suffer from artificial light, no back/front focus or huntig delay in night condition, outdoor or indoor. On this lens the DC motor works well like on the da 18 135, not bad like on the 20 40 limited. Mine copy had an accurate focus, I hadn't to make a fine tuning. A fast and silent AF is for sure one of the best thing to have in a everyday life lens like fhis. Fast to catch the moment when you suddenly take the camera out of the bag, where you can keep such a compact body+lens pair. Silent AF is in pair with the compact design, to be as less noticeable as possible.
Manual focus is not a joy on a plastic barrel with a weak resistance ring, but it's uniform in rotation. Quick shift focus is a usefull addition. From 25mm, f4.5, and more from 40mm f5.6, the viewfinder becomes dark, so I can't reccomend this lens for a manual focus use. It's a fast point 'n shot zoom, and DC af works great!
A supercompact and standatd focals zoom, optically good and uniform from max. aperture and without abberations, sharp and resolving enougth to be ready for new generation sensors, with a uncommon AF performance in Pentax, and even WR. Plastic but efficient construction. A bit slow but good from max aperture.
Splitted from a kit it's a great value. Onestly I will nerver pay 300 bucks for a new stand alone one... I'd use my money for a 16-85, bigger but more versatile zoom.
Much better than the 18 55, better than 18-135 (edges and aberations), the smaller zoom, optically ok for 20mpxs apsc, finally a great AF motor. For a similar price.
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