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SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM

Reviews Views Date of last review
8 106,629 Mon April 17, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
88% of reviewers $537.00 8.25
SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM

SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM
SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM

The smc PENTAX-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM zoom lens features a 15X zoom ratio and a supersonic AF motor. It was introduced in September 2012 and replaces the long since discontinued smc Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL (IF). Like the older lens this new lens is also based on a Tamron lens.

The lens has a built-in autofocus motor and no support for autofocus via a drive shaft. On older DLSRS (the *istD series, K100D and K110D) the lens will work in manual focus mode only.

The lens features rounded aperture blades for a smooth bokeh.

SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
16 elements, 13 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (in-lens motor)
Min. Focus
49 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
62 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 75-5.5 ° / 67-5 °
PH-RBD 62 mm
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
AF/MF Switch,Zoom Lock
Diam x Length
75.8 x 89 mm (3 x 3.5 in.)
453 g (16 oz.)
Production Years
2012 to 2023
$594 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:3.5-6.3 18-270 mm ED SDM
Product Code
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
Two aspherical elements, two ED elements, one extraordinary low dispersion element.
No autofocus on older bodies (*istD series, K100D, K110D, and film).

Supersonic AutofocusAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-8 of 8
New Member

Registered: March, 2017
Posts: 7

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 17, 2017 Recommended | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Zoom range and very quiet focusing
Cons: You must no how to use the lens to achieve sharp images
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5iis   

This is a must have lens, but you must no how to get the most out of it, for good sharp images I've found you must use f7 to f11. I have a lot of prime lenes but when
your out with the kids it's not easy changing them all the time. With the pentax 18 270mm it gives you great flexibility when you out and about. It's a tamron lens at heart, but tamron have always made great zoom lenes in the past, with the added SMC cotting it gives great depth in colour and the focusing is smooth and fast. Fun lens to use, highly recommended.

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 3,983

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 6, 2016 Recommended | Price: $487.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, versatility, AF, silent
Cons: not WR
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I bought the DA18-270mm to replace my DA18-250mm. I bought the latter 2nd hand and used it for 7 years: it started to develop quirks and issues. The DA18-270mm is, like the DA18-250mm, the perfect all-around lens in my opinion. It is small, compact, relatively light weight and very versatile. I loved my DA18-250mm and I love my DA18-270mm.
I considered alternatives like the Sigma 18-250mm and Sigma 18-300mm. In each case, the weight and size was an issue for me. I often bushwalk with my camera and lens, and I want something light to carry. In addiition, the Sigma 18-300mm was pricier than the DA18-270mm at the time of my purchase.
If I compare side-by-side the DA18-250mm and DA18-270mm, I am very impressed by the AF of the DA18-270mm, its speed, reasonable accuracy and it is almost silent. IMHO, the AF is a major improvement over the DA18-250mm.
Similarly I have the DA18-135mm. Both my wife and I love the DA18-135mm. But the DA18-270mm is more versatile in my opinion.
In summary, I would rate this lens as 9 to 9.5 as an excellent all-around zoom lens. My main criticism is the lack of WR. Off course the IQ of DA18-270mm is well below that of most prime lenses. But that is not the point because one should compare apples and apples, and oranges and oranges.
Inactive Account

Registered: July, 2015
Posts: 50

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: September 20, 2015 Not Recommended | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: 18 - 270 length offcourse
Cons: Sharpness (loads of blur)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

One and only problem I'm facing is sharpness. This is the most important factor of the photography. This lens is extremely bad in sharpness. Another issue is light. 18-270mm is good for outdoor with sunny day not for dawn/evening or even low sun light.

Not recommended.
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 4

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 11, 2014 Recommended | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: versatility/range. reliable. build. Price/usefulness ratio.
Cons: not WS. Some aberrations.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

At approx 500 this is the perfect travel lens imho as it is simply very good at what it is designed for. Toss the kit lens and start out with this one if you are an amateur and you will manage most situations. I have even shot a wedding with this lens, both indoors and outside. Very silent AF and much improved build and feel from the Tamron Di-II. The K-3 performs very well with this lens. Examples:
Sharpness zoomed at 270mm:
Sharpness zoomed at 270mm:
Sharpness wide:
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2014
Location: St Petersburg
Posts: 402

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 23, 2014 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, Portability, Weight
Cons: Pincushion (correctable), a bit in the corners
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I rate this lens as a 10 not because it is an optical champ, but because it excells at what it was designed for. This is NOT a DA* Pro Grade lens. It is, however, an extremely agile walk around, with manageable quirks. The MILD pincushion is easily managed upon import, as is any corner stuff.

Want a killer 2 lens kit for ad-hoc work... This one and the Sigma 120-400. Not expensive, workable, my wife's preferred set (a pro since 1990), with zoom overlap to reduce lens changes... We had the 18-250, and it was fine, but we'll always take reach and SDM. Complaint? no WR...
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2011
Location: Greenhithe, Kent UK
Posts: 63

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 18, 2014 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great range of focal lengths, lightweight, no need to keep changing lenses so protecting the sensor from the elements.
Cons: No quick manual override of autofocus. Have to switch manually

When I first had my K3 I went up to the local country park and pointed the lens towards Canary Wharf which was 13 miles away from where I was standing. I took a handheld shot and when I enlarged just a small section of the frame up, I could count the windows on the buildings. This shot was through all the mist and air pollution. I was amazed at the result, especially as it was handheld. Here is a link to my section of the frame on Facebook (if it works)

I've had sections of frames enlarged to 18 x12 inch prints and am very pleased with the quality. It is a great lens for everyday shooting.
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 17

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 12, 2013 Recommended | Price: $485.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: All in one, perfect for travelling.
Cons: Hunts focus indoor
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-01   

I was considering to buy this lens for a while but there were not many reviews. I was using da 55-300mm. I needed a lens for travelling. So I took the chance and bought it. I am extremely happy, I did so. Auto focus is smooth. Quality is very good. Just one thing which so far goes in negativity is that it focuses very sluggishly indoors but I knew it at the beginning. So no big complaint. It's an overall very good lens. And I got it at a very reasonable promotional price.
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: south africa, johannesburg
Posts: 228

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 20, 2013 Recommended | Rating: 7 

Pros: low mass, silent focusing, convenience
Cons: average image quality, inaccurate focusing at wide angle
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Nikon D5100   

This is a good review with a fair conclusion.

I have the earlier version of the Tamron model (18 - 250mm) on my Pentax KR and this version (Tamron) on my Nikon 5100. The Tamron version may have different lens coatings compared to the Pentax badge but the internal components will be the same, judging by the distortion and sharpness characteristics

Both lens models have the same problem viz. inaccurate auto focusing from 18mm to around 50mm. However, they focus well with Live View. I see that the reviewer noted that the distance scale on the lens was inaccurate at close range - this may be related to the problem I have found. On AF, the lenses focus at a different distance to what I can measure with a tape measure. SInce two models of this lens show the same problem but on two different cameras, I think that the AF systems of the respective cameras may be implicated - not accurate enough for the soft focus seen at wide angle. It would be interesting iof any K5 or K30 users observe the same problem.

The net result though is that I cannot relly on AF to give me sharp/accurate focus between 18 and 50mm FL.
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