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HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE

Reviews Views Date of last review
12 79,246 Tue June 15, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
75% of reviewers $136.29 7.58
HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE

HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE

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 weather-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.

HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
11 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (in-lens motor)
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76-31.5 ° / 67-27 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Retractable,Focus by Wire
Diam x Length
71 x 41 mm (2.8 x 1.6 in.)
158 g (5.6 oz.)
Production Years
2015 to present (in production)
$184 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:4-5.6 18-55mm DC WR RE
Product Code
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
Low profile lens hood.
Not compatible with K100D and older.
Plastic mount.
One aspherical element, one ED element.

Supersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE in-depth review!

Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE Buy the HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
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Junior Member

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 33
Lens Review Date: June 15, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: A good upgrade over the kit lens
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

This lens is pretty good for a travel lens.

The AF DC motor is very fast and silent, really does a great job.

The lens is very small, almost the same size as a 35mm/2.4 plastic fantastic or a 50mm/1.4

I like the locking system is very useful.

Definetly is a major improvement over the old 18-55 DA-L.

Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Detroit MI, USA
Posts: 508

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 23, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: small and light zoom, sharp with good IQ, fast quiet in lens autofocus, weather resistant
Cons: Slow f/stops, retractable button and action could for sure be smoother, limited zoom range
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5 K20d   

Review of the HD DA 18-50mm f4-5.6 WR RE. Bought new on sale for $199.99. I am using it as a second kit lens on my K5. I want to leave my old kit the DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR on my K20D. Itís for a two person walk around all weather solution.

I have been testing and comparing it against my DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 and DA 35mm f.2.4. Most reviews cover it well. Surprising for me in my testing was that it is better across the frame at all focal length even at 18mm versus the DA18-55mm WR. Surprisingly as it seems optically the same as the old kit lens. The evidence from all reviews and my own testing says kudos to Pentax for improving sharpness throughout its range. Against the Sigma 17-70mm it holds up remarkably well even wide open! At f/8 they are very close. The DA 35mm f2.4 is sharper, better, but its close depending on the aperture sometimes you canít tell them apart. The one weak area of the lens is chromatic aberration and purple fringing at the wide end, especially under challenging conditions. This is what separates it from more expensive ones that are better corrected. Itís moderate and doesnít ruin pictures, moreover correctable in Camera or Editing software. Iím a believer though the more corrections made the more unnatural the image. Overall however optically not much to complain about.

As for build and handling. You can use filters with the included hood! You may have to watch the thickness of the filter. I am using a 58mm Digital type slim protector under the lens hood. There is just a little wobble in the barrels when extended, about the same as the DA 18-55mm WR. Build quality is fine except as everyone says the retractable mechanism could be smoother. Itís the lens one let down. Itís not a deal breaker however. At full price of $300 it might be. The zoom and focus rings could be smoother.

I wanted a small, light weight, weather resistant zoom lens. For Pentax you have the kits DA 18-55mm WR, DA 18-50mm DC WR RE, DA 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 DC WR and a premium option in the DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 WR Limited. The DA 18-135mm being the biggest I would accept, and DA 20-40mm Limited a bit expensive for a Ďkití replacement. For $200 I am satisfied.
New Member

Registered: October, 2017
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 9, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, good optical performance, light
Cons: Collapsing-expanding not always fast, need care
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

First of all, after reading the reviews in this section and the ones in the "DA-L" section, where the "kit" version of this lens is, I am almost sure that someone confused the two versions. First, because you cannot pay 140$ for the used "DA-L", and second because here morethan one reviewer says he tested the 18-50 kit lens, not HD, and without hood, reviews that should be in the DA-L section.
The fault is also in the differece between them, which is visible only in the "L" letter.
For what concerns my experience, I tested both, because the DA-L had a AF problem during the warranty time, and it was substituted with the HD (at no cost for me, very correct customer service!). I must admit that it is not easy to distinguish at first glance the performance between this lens and the 50 mm f/1,4. I am surprised, as I expected old cheap zooms soft performances.
Moreover, to say the truth, in general use also the difference with the DA-L is not so evident, except for the mechanical problems of my specimen.
New Member

Registered: August, 2019
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: No other lens gives that zoom reach in such small size
Cons: plastic build
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

I find using that lens much more often than I imagined I would. In fact, it became my go-to lens when just going for photo walks with the KP. Lately I take other lenses with me only if I plan some specific shooting scenario like portrait, night shoot etc.
the're is nothing else in PENTAX APS-C that gives such zoom in such small package. There is a reason why many people use micro 4/3 cameras with small collapsible zooms.

It generally starts giving nice results once you close down fo f7 or f8. Wide open- not so much, but really this can be said about most zooms on APS-C. I also have the 17-70 f4 and the 18-50 gives more contrasty and pleasing results in many situations. And really with the high ISO capability of the KP it doesn't bother me that much to raise ISO and close the aperture to f8 to get a sharp shot

Manual focusing is done "by wire" electroniacally. I use MF frequently and it is not as nice as having an actual focus ring, but also not as bad as you might think. Just takes some time to get used to.

I would actually like a more "premium" version of this lens, made of metal etc. But despite the plastic build it handles well, and I had no issues with it so far (I've used it for about a year). Defninitely one of my fav lenses, if it ever gets lost or damaged I'll surely get another one.
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 266
Lens Review Date: January 10, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $149.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: size, weight, and image quality.
Cons: Have to press a button and extend to use.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K5IIs   

Great small travel zoom and even weather-sealed!
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Tallinn
Posts: 142
Lens Review Date: July 19, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: price/perfomance, small & light, fast, reasonably sharp, WR
Cons: bigger battery drain on older cameras
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K200D, K-01   

Bought this lens for 120Ä brand new with warranty. I compared it with SMC DA 18-55 II.
Construction is on par with regular kit lens. With HD coating photos are more contrasty and colours are cleaner than with SMC DA 18-55 II.
On K200D it's very fast and sharp, but not razorsharp like Sigma A 35
On K-01 with latest firmaware it's MEH, focusing speed is limited by old contrast detection algorithms and sharpness in on par with regular kit lens.
My best walkaround combo is now K200D + DA 18-50 RE, because of reasonable compactness and weather sealing.
For 120 money I recommend this lens, but for retail price of 250Ä this lens isn't so good purchase.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2013
Posts: 389

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 6, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: very fast AUTOFOCUS drive!!!, sharp, compact, price-performance ratio, WR, dreamy bokeh
Cons: WR not as good as on other lenses
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-3, Pentax K-70   

Really sharp for a Kit-Lens. (use the lens hood!)
Autofocus is really fast with this lens.
And if i say fast, i say fast and not "a bit faster then DA*55 SDM",
I am talking about fast, (and autofocusing with that thing really makes fun because it does what it should do.)
no AF hunting,
I like the bokeh... it has an incy-wincy bit of that "dreamy" touch.
Couldnt make out any abberations.

You will be in need of getting used to manual focusing, if you are more the MF guy.
Nonetheless, the Quickshift is really nice.

Use the hood, then its all good.

(Even if you don't results aren't that bad. I shot the pic below without hood and harsh light from the left side.)
1/15s - 30mm (135 equiv = 45mm) - ISO 3200 - F:4.5
I would go so far and say that details are really good for a shot with 1/15s @ ISO 3200 ...

If you are a pixelpeeper, pls have a look at ISO 100 photos at the german Pentax Forum at ""

Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 387
Lens Review Date: August 14, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, lightweight, silent focus, Good performance, sealing
Cons: silly MF ring, no hood, could be faster? Retraction button.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-70, K-3II   

This seems to be a lens that polorizes opinions. By which I mean is it worthy as the "new" kit lens on APS-C.

In absolute terms of a lens performance, it is probably lacking, but there is more to that, when it comes to lenses.

First of all, it is a kit lens, and actually it is not bad at all. Sure, if you pixel peep, the sharpness wide open may lack the DA* lenses of this world, but remember it is a lens that came with the body, and for that it beats certain other brand kit lenses in performance, if not the old 18-55.

Firstly, it is nice and small, and if you have the K-01 (sadly I no longer have) I would consider it a perfect little zoom combo. But I don't so lets not dwell on that.

It is weather sealed
It is silent in its AF, and remarkably snappy too, something you cannot say with the old kit.
It is nice and small, and light too.
It is pretty good with sharpness, albeit micro-detail could be better
Colours and contrast are rather good.

So small, that my girlfriend could not get around the retraction button, and her thumb touching the rest of the lens meaning it would not extend. I don't find it an issue though, but many probably will.
No lens hood is included. Not tried the old hood on the lens yet, but you never know.
Manual Focus ring seems more like "focus by wire" rather than physical, very frustrating. but then again, I only use it in AF anyway.

Overall, I give it an 8. It is not perfect, but far from being a "dog". Actually I rather like it on my K-70 when I want to walk light.

Worth a consideration if you have any small body from the K100D Super onwards, or if you just want a compact zoom on your K-5/K-3
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: In the review
Cons: In the review
Sharpness: 4    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 4    Value: 4    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

This lens is not a good kit-lens. For sharp photos, aperture cannot be wider than f/8. This makes photos in darker environments impossible. The lens has noticeable chromatic aberration. The bokeh is good, considering that it is a kit-lens. The bokeh-balls are not round due to the aperture not being round. The aperture hole is deformed, and not placed in the center of the lens. But a good aperture is nothing I expect from a cheap kit-lens. The autofocus is ok, but the AF-motor is noisy. The build quality is bad, and it is hard to extend and retract the lens. The cheap plastic rings bend, making it hard to extend the lens from its compact position. The lens is too expensive, the performance is just too bad. For the same price you can buy old soviet lenses, which take much better pictures.
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 4 

Pros: Sharp, Light
Cons: Unstable, Flimsy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 2    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera 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.
Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2014
Location: California
Posts: 169
Lens Review Date: October 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good price, compact
Cons: 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.
New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Naples
Posts: 10

12 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: compact and easy to expand, wr, efficient and silent af, optically good.
Cons: aperture 4.5 from 24 to 40mm and 5.6 to 50mm.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 5    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k5   

In just 4 cm out of the camera you can have a standard zoom, dust and rain proof (but not at Star level), with a very good autofocus and a quite good optical performance, not so good on the wide side, but very good in normal and tele sides... and all this good things only paying the price of the low maximum aperture... at a reasonable price too. Considering the price and the compactness, the one and only bad thing of this 18-50 is the weak mechanism of extention, thas is very uncomfortable to use and sometimes it's stucked, when you want to open or close the lens. A collapsable lens shouldn't have such a bad mechanism.


It's quite sharp and resolving from 24mm, with an impressive performance to be a such a compact zoom from 24 to 50mm, and even from 18 to 24mm in the center. It's a bit sharper and more contrasted than most of the kit zooms around here in the same price and aperture range. It's better than the 18-55, 50-22, 55-300 and 18-135, and it's a bit worse than the 16-45, but not far from it in the 35-45mm range at f4.5. Center is good like the 18-135 but edges are far better in 24-50mm range. To rise up IQ yoy just have to close one stop, no more. Max aperture is 4.5 from 20 to 40mm, with good center performance. At 5.6 it's a good performer in the center and in the edges too (not in the corner), from 24 to 50mm. From 18 to 20 mm it's not so great until f5.6, only the center of the image is good. Edge get better from 5.6. Corners only at 7.1. Anyway at f6.3 - 7.1 it's a very good performer, with a great level of detail and contrast, in pair with the 16-45 or 17-70 I had.

Contrast is good even with strong light sources in the frame. Mine in an smc, so I guess the HD could do even a bit better. It's not a modern prime, anyway. Some flare may appear, but less than the 18-55 kit. There are virtually no color aberrations in the center or on high contrast border, but there is some latera ca even at f8.

On k5 and k3 iso and stabilization can compensate the low aperture, and let you shot good pictures in daylight. When the light is weak, you have to use another lens, or rise iso up 1600-3200, and help AF to work well. In good or moderate light condition, af works fine, fast and accurate, and quite silent, thanks to the DC motor.

The bokeh is ok, it is not creamy and progressive but it is not crispy or nervous, thanks to the rounded 7 blades of diaphram. It's far better than the bokeh of 18-55.

The plastic construction is well done, light but reliable, well assembled. The manual focus ring is too weak, and the collaps mechanism is not good at all, because it is very unfriendly to use, into opening and closing the lens, and sometimes it get stucked too, and you have to moove the lens or the zoom ring to operate. Too bad. As said in the intro, that's the only defective aspect of this lens and I can not forgive pentax for this bad mechanism that should be the "core" feature of this lens and give us a reson to accept all the other compromise in terms of performance and features. It's ok if you get this lens at a ex-kit price, but non tollarable at full price.

DISCLAIMER: I have to say than on k5 (16 mpx and low-pass filter) sharpness and resolving power is enought from total aperture over 20mm. Maybe on k3 it's not the same until f6.3 or 7.1. I'had a 16-50 star, 16-45. 17-70, and I have many primes included some limited, and i had the 18-55 kit and tested the 18-135... so I can compare to theese. And from that comparison, I can say I liked very much the ability of this 18-50 to deliver immages without the typical flawes of cheap zooms. It only miss a bigger max aperture and some edge sharpness, mainly from 18 to 24mm on my k5. I don't know if it's not enought on the sharper sensor of later dslr.

A supercompact and standatd focals zoom, optically good with a uncommon AF performance in Pentax, and even WR. Plastic but efficient construction. A bit slow but good from max aperture in the normal and tele field of view. The open-close mechanism in a bit weak. Uniformity and good average IQ without strong issues, in 4cm, let you forgive the low aperture, the cheap construction and the edge performance on the wide side, and make you appreciate the compactness of this kit zoom.

What esle?

Splitted from a kit it's a great value. Onestly I will nerver pay 300 bucks for a new one... I'd use my money for a second hand 17-70 or 16-45, even if a lot bigger.
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