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

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE

Reviews Views Date of last review
20 70,409 Mon December 26, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
95% of reviewers $89.28 8.50
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE

The smc PENTAX-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE kit lens launched in February 2015 was a welcome addition to the selection of kit lenses for the APS-C format due to 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 super-low dispersion glass elements and aspherical elements for improved image quality.

This lens is only sold as a part of a camera/lens kit, and it has an HD coated counter part that is sold separately.

SMC Pentax-DA L 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)
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA L 1:4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE
User reviews
In-depth review
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 SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE in-depth review!
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: March, 2022
Posts: 12
Review Date: December 26, 2022 Not Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Price, compact when retracted, ease of use
Cons: Sharpness, chromatic aberrations, IQ for anything less than f11/or landscapes
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 5    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax KP   

I got this lens for 50GBP, used in excellent condition.

My verdict is essentially that if this lens comes with your camera, or you can find it for cheap online, you should buy it.

In my opinion, this is mainly a "throwaway" lens, ie. you just slap it on your camera while you're sightseeing or messing around, and want to take some quick snapshots of scenery, architecture, family, etc. I think the AF serves this use case quite well, the WR is good to have if you get caught in the rain, and the cheapness of the lens wouldn't make you feel bad if you broke it. Therefore, if you're currently looking for a lens, and want one that you can use carelessly, then you should get this lens.

However, if you want a lens that is actually good, I don't see why you would buy it.

First, it has extremely noticeable chromatic aberrations when stopped down. Fixable in post up to f11, beyond f11 you have to do a LOT of post-processing to get rid of it.

Second, it's not very sharp unless you're shooting wide open. The center is fine but the edges become blurry, and not in a good way. Makes my 24MP picture look like it was taken on an old iPhone (so, still a good picture but nowhere near DSLR quality).

Third, the folding button/mechanism is extremely gimmicky. The lens is compact when you're not using it, but then in order to use it you need to press a button and rotate it, which extends a portion of the lens, making MUCH less compact. This mechanism is fiddly and finicky, and therefore unless you want to constantly messing around with it, you will just leave the lens extended when walking around, defeating the purpose of a compact lens.

Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, I personally can't think of a single reason as to why this lens is preferable to buying a vintage lens (even in the "throwaway" use case) or other DA lens.

Better options at different budgets, imo:

- Less than $70: SMC 50mm F2 is sharper at any aperture than this lens, has fewer CA, better IQ, is cheaper to buy, and is more compact. Unless you really need autofocus, or you're not used to manual focus lenses, then this lens is a better purchase. Given its price, too, you can use it as a throwaway lens and not feel bad if you break it.

- Less than $150: You can probably buy a fast-fifty + a wide-angle prime. For the 18-55, I always either shoot at 18, or at 55. Additionally, I rarely am switching between the two, meaning that EITHER I am setting up for a landscape/wide angle shot, or I'm taking pictures of family/friends/etc. at 55. Having 2 lenses and switching between them wouldn't be that much of an inconvenience for most people.

- Less than $150: The DA 50-200 WR is also much sharper than this lens. Not wide-angle, but I have been extremely happy with this lens. Little to no CA, good IQ, and has WR as well. However, this has less of a "throwaway" feel, so I would feel quite bad if I broke mine lol.

Tldr; if you really need autofocus and want a cheap lens, buy this if you find a good price. If you want good IQ or don't mind a vintage lens, don't buy this lens. If you want to take sharp pictures and not snapshots, don't buy this lens.

Update after 6 months of use:

Same issues, just buy a vintage prime in my opinion.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2020
Location: Smoky Mountains, NC
Posts: 1,527

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 17, 2020 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: size, weight, IQ, sharpness, WR, fast AF, inexpensive
Cons: 50mm is a little short
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2, KP   

Here is a short review of a short lens!! I got this lens as a kit with the K-S2 back in 2016. Overall I really like this lens. It is surprisingly sharp, and with the decent minimum focusing distance you can get good close up shots. Plus, due to its sharpness, a fair amount of cropping is possible to get macro-like shots. The build quality is OK, it is all plastic, and the retractability means that the zoom tubes are not very tight, also there is some zoom creep due to the necessary looseness, but I cured this with a black rubber band. It is NOT junk, though, just lightweight and easily retracted. When retracted, the lens can easily fit into a pocket and because it only weighs 5.6oz you barely know it is there! I have noticed some CA on high contrast areas, but that is to be expected, no big deal. Focusing is super fast and virtually silent. The aperture is slow, but bokeh is achievable at 40mm and higher when focusing closely. I used it mainly as a wide angle lens, from 21mm to 35mm and for that I wanted deeper DOF anyway. I used this lens quite a bit until I acquired the 18-135, and the only real con I can say is that it is a pretty short focal length at only 50mm. That is just my personal taste in versatility. For a landscape, close up, or general use lens it is really hard to beat this little gem. They go pretty cheaply on the used market, so I recommend getting a good used copy. I bought a clip-on petal hood that works well, but makes the lens more bulky. Sharp, light, small, great IQ, inexpensive, weather resistant, silent and fast focusing… a great lens to have in your kit.
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 13, 2020 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, light, cheap, AF
Cons: Contrast, max f4
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: KP   

Less contrast than all the the lenses I have owned but if you want a small cheap compact versatile lens this is the best.
New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 2

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 17, 2020 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Super light, super compact, silent, wr, acceptable IQ, Aceptable AF
Cons: Piece of sh*t manual focusing, feels fragile, not equal fine AF adjustment at 18 and 50
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K70   

Was about to sell this lens for not seeing its strong point. Weather resistant WR, quiet in focus, acceptable quality at maximum aperture at 18 and 23mm (f: 4, relatively bright, with +4 AF fine adjustment), light, small, cheap ... Acceptable at maximum aperture at 50 mm but with AF fine adjustment to +7. There is no point in buying the 23mm limited. AF is screw and 5 times more expensive, it is not wr and 5 times more expensive, similar portability, only 2/3 brighter and 5 times more expensive, fixed focal (very cool and 5 times more expensive, incredible appearance but 5 times more expensive, 18-50 very ugly when opened but 5 times cheaper, do you care about the appearance or functionality? There are things that I do not understand, I suppose that making a zoom is more expensive than a fixed lens but we still get bent.

Summary: Relatively bright at 18 and 23 (f4)
Relatively sharp on a k70
Super light and compact
Super cheap
Very good 23mm f:4, good sharpness, low distorsión and vignetting.

With the f 35-70 3,5-4,5 (compact, light, sharp at maximum aperture, super fast focus, relatively bright) it can be an off-road kit for those who can't carry much gear like me. Taking the 35-70 by default and leaving the 18-50 for situations where you need silence, wr, or 18-24mm.

A more than valid tool in this consumerist world of photography in which more than photographers we are collectors of material, fixing our energy, many times, more on the material than on the expression.



Estuve a punto de vender este objetivo por no ver su punto fuerte. Resistente a la intemperie WR, silencioso en el enfoque, aceptable calidad a máxima apertura a 18 y 23mm (f:4, relativamente luminoso, con +4 AF fine adjustment), ligero, pequeño, barato...Aceptable a máxima apertura a 50mm pero con AF fine adjustment a +7.
No tiene sentido comprar el 23mm limited. AF es screw y 5 veces más caro, no es wr y 5 veces más caro, similar portabilidad, solamente 2/3 más luminoso y 5 veces más caro, focal fija (muy cool y 5 veces más caro, increíble aspecto pero 5 veces más caro, el 18-50 muy feo al abrirlo pero 5 veces más barato, te importa el aspecto o la funcionalidad?
Hay cosas que no entiendo, supongo que fabricar un zoom es más costoso que una lente fija pero nos la siguen metiendo doblada.

Relativamente luminoso a 18 y 23 (f4)
Relativamente nítido en una k70
Super Ligero y compacto
Super barato
Muy buen 23mm f4 (nítido, poca distorsión, poco viñeteo)

Con el f 35-70 3,5-4,5 (compacto, ligero, nítido a máxima apertura, super rápido enfoque, relativamente luminoso) puede ser un kit todoterreno para los que no quieren llevar mucho trasto como yo. Llevando el 35-70 por defecto y dejando el 18-50 para situaciones en las que necesite silencio, wr, o 18-24mm.

Herramienta más que válida en este mundo consumista de la fotografía en el que más que fotógrafos somos coleccionistas de material fijando nuestra energia, muchas veces, más en el material que en la expresión.

New Member

Registered: October, 2016
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 18, 2020 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact Size, Weather Sealed, Totally Silent DC Motor
Cons: Fiddly to extend the lens
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2 K-3 K-1   

A much undervalued lens, ideal for prime lovers who would like to carry a weather sealed lens in a coat pocket to switch to when the weather changes ..... really decent IQ and fast IQ - My fuller thoughts at

Registered: October, 2019
Location: The very centre of Europe
Posts: 744

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 12, 2020 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: compact, lightweight, reasonably sharp, quiet
Cons: not easy to handle, errorneous AF
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 5    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-S1   

Bought this lens in mint condition for $90 including the original "slot type" lens hood. It's really short when retracted and very lightweight - ideal for hiking etc. The original lens cap must be replaced with a kind of rubber cap while the hood is attached.
The very good edge to edge sharpness with minimum aberrations seems to be best around f/10. Unfortunately AF isn't very reliable (the K-S1 body has the latest firmware 1.20) and many shots come out from very slightly to visibly out of focus.
UPDATE: This problem can be reduced by auto-focus fine tuning (as suggested in another user's review).
Retracting isn't always the easiest task (you have to find the tiny button and turn the narrow zoom ring). If you have bigger fingers like me, you'll often find them on the focus ring (instead of zoom ring) by mistake. Precise manual focusing isn't possible with this lens.
Here are a few full resolution (20MPix) samples (right click View Image to download)

Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2017
Location: Medellín
Posts: 1,322
Review Date: December 23, 2019 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Collapsible, compact, light, silent AF, WR, cost effective
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

Nice, light and compact. Does the job when you just want a small APS-C kit. I just wish it had better starbursts with the seven aperture blade diaphragm, but then again it pairs well with the DA15/4 (really spoils you and costs many times more).

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 2,016
Review Date: October 6, 2019 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality, Price, Silent, Light, WR
Cons: Manual Focus
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

I've got this lens with the K-S2. The body costed less with the lens than without, so it was a no-brainer to choose this one.

I have been surprised to the general image quality of this little lens. Really, people should not push this one aside because it is a "kit lens". This one can really do wonders despite its low price. Its autofocus is fast and silent, and it is still my only WR lens (among my 7).

The retractable system could be better, but when you get used to it, it is perfectly safe to use, as long as you don't try to retract in or out while not mounted on a body.

The most irritating part is the "focus by wire" system. There is a very noticeable delay between turning the focusing ring and the effect ; besides, there is no way to know if we reached the minimal range or infinity, no way to know in which direction I should turn the ring to reach infinity. Really, forget about manual focus with this lens.

Registered: May, 2010
Location: now 1 hour north of PDX
Posts: 3,895
Review Date: July 6, 2019 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Limited-prime size, very good image quality
Cons: retracting lens a bit fussy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

I picked up an "as-is" (probably untested) for a silly-good price.
I have used several copies of both 18-55 and 18-135 for lower-priced WR lenses. I did not expect this to keep up, and feared that the as-is label would reveal an issue. I have found none.

The compact size, WR and silent focus are the big sellers. Image quality is as good as other kit types. Distortion at 18mm feels improved over the 18-55, as does bokeh in most conditions I have used. None of my 18-135 copies were great beyond 80mm so stopping at 50mm is not a big problem - though it suggests another DA70 is needed

Its one weak point is retracting the lens, which occasionally needs a light press on the front rim to get started. I'm happy with the small amount of play when the lens is extended though, so if that's the price I shall gladly pay it! Extending the lens is no problem at all, just retracting.

I haven't shopped for a hood yet; I know the DA21 design is the standard for the HD version of this lens. I perfer a round screw-in type anyway as I can put a polarizing filter behind it and adjust the polarization by turning the hood.

I am very happy with the lens and would feel so for much more money; my bargain copy shoots the value score to the top.

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Zagreb
Posts: 614

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 1, 2018 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: pentax kp   

I love this lens because it's a small zoom.


That's something I cannot find in this size - in Pentax lens division.

I order it from e bay,
as an unpaired kit without the body.
I read reviews, and decide to give it the try. For 100 dollars it's a good value.
Sharpness in f:4 is a bit creamy, but in 5.6 on zoom end it's better, and acceptable.
I owned old kit, and this is better.

Lens is plasticy but yet solid feel, and I don't mind for that, because I want lighter combo.
And with KP it's paired very well
I haven't try lens on small aperrtures like f16, or smaller.

From what I see, it's a great value, and only lens in this size - to be zoom.

Bokeh is not big plus, because of starting point at f:4 in wide end, but you can get one with 5.6 in Zoom at 50 mm. And it's not bad at all.
Creamy touch, with no distortion. Love it.

All in all - if you want the nice compact all around zoom lens - I think this is the only one, and it satisfied the needs
Custom User Title

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 6,518
Review Date: March 20, 2018 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: fast and silent auto-focus, weather-resistant, retractable, nice zoom range for walking around
Cons: retractable part is flimsy feeling, not as fast aperture as you'd like to see
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 5    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

Great little kit lens!

Super nice that it's retractable, however it'd be nice it felt a bit more solid.

The silent and fast auto-focus (DC) is great coming from the screw-mount equivalents!

Will me replacing this lens sometime in the future for a faster aperture option.

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 389
Review Date: October 21, 2017 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, great IQ, silent AF, Pretty fast focusing
Cons: Not fast, a bit plasticy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3. K-70   

It is a nice little fast focusing lens. What more do you want from a "kit lens"?

Not the fastest aperture in the world, but the size and IQ more then compensate. AF is a bit of a good one, a lot faster than the screw focus and a heck of a lot faster than the SDM and first generation DC focus lenses.

The IQ is very good for this type of lens, beating even the 18-55mm WR of older models. Shame the focal length is a little less and the aperture is not so fast.

Worth having? Yes of course! Compact, silent and very useable.
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2016
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 100
Review Date: January 22, 2017 Recommended | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: compact, DC focus, sharp (when calibrated), weathersealed
Cons: typical slow kit lens, lose 5mm on long end compared to 18-55
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3, K-S2   

I needed a compact, weather-sealed 'pedestrian' zoom that would accompany us on our first snow day to the mountains, and the 18-50 was the perfect lens when combined with the K-S2.

It's not that flimsy; I've used other retractable lenses (m4/3 kit zooms) and the 18-50 lens is quite secure. The button to release the zoom mechanism is a bit annoying though, since it falls readily at-hand and is easily accidentally-pressed, but other than this slight annoyance, handling is decent.

I hate the fact that it has threads for the hood, but buying the hood separately is a pretty steep cost...and you still don't get the cap! So, I found a cheap 58mm clip-on style petal hood that works great. I may find another clip-on hood and see if I can do some Dremel magic to adapt it on the bayonet.

For a compact and weather-sealed zoom lens, this is an amazing bargain. It's sharp within expectations and the color output is nicely saturated - just the way I like it. It focuses quickly and quietly, the latter is a tremendous advantage compared to screw-drive lenses.

Downside - obviously not as sharp as my DA 40/2.8 Limited or my Sigma 50/2.8 macro...both of which are exceedingly sharp, but again, manage your expectations accordingly.

For my needs, this lens fits the bill...though I have frequently been tempted with getting a constant-aperture zoom...but I sure don't want to deal with the size of that zoom (hello, 16-50, you 1.5 pound monster).

Sample pictures using the K-S2 and 18-50 below (SOOC jpeg, reversal film filter):

Sample picture with K-3 and 18-50 below (slightly edited with Rawtherapee):

Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 76
Review Date: November 27, 2016 Recommended | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, very light, resonably sharp, silent focusing, WR, cheap
Cons: weak construction, slow
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-70   

For its price lens is good, light, small and relatively sharp also wide open (but still slow).
From my initial tests it looked like this lens might been sharper then my favourite Pentax F 35-70.
Further tests reviled that it is sadly not as sharp but close. (DAL is sometimes sharper wide open) Auto focus is silent reasonably fast but not super accurate ( Pentax AF).
Small, light and cheap. Great lens to carry with you in case of emergency i.e. bad weather conditions
Limitations are obvious, it is rather slow and doesn't seem to be very rugged, auto focus is average some photos are clearly not in focus, sharpness is OK.

Stating that it is super sharp is not true but it is decently sharp and very sharp as for cheap kit. Lens can produce very good images and is worth buying especially instead of old kit which is bigger less sharp gives more aberrations and have slower and louder AF.

Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 577

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 2, 2016 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, silent focusing, WR, cheap
Cons: Some CA at 18mm, not the fastest
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

It should tell you a lot that I replaced the 18-135 I got as a kit with my K-S2 with this lens. The 18-135 was not worth the large amount of money I paid for it - terrible CA and edge and corner performance, heavy and unbalanced on the K-S2.

This lens is better in every regard optically, and is much lighter too. The only point at which I've found the kind of fringing that annoyed me on the 18-135 at every focal length is at 18mm on very high contrast edges, and it's been very easy to correct using ACR. The focusing is silent and fast, and the WR is very nice to have too.
Overall rendering and sharpness won't set the world alight but it is good, particularly for the price. Distortion is present at wide angles but is easy to correct in software.

The handling is ok, although I'm rather undecided about the retractable barrel. The compactness is great, and makes the camera easy to pop in a bag when you want to take it out. Extended, it is pretty solid - I haven't noticed any barrel wobble. The retraction itself is a little clumsy though - the turn is a little too far for one twist of the wrist, and it sometimes binds a little on the retraction if you don't release the button as soon as you're past the 18mm mark. I also worry that I might smack the small, exposed extended end on something.

Overall, I like this lens quite a lot. It certainly makes a better kit than the 18-135 - save yourself the money with this one and buy a second, better lens for longer focal lengths.
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