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SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR

Sharpness 
 7.2
Aberrations 
 7.8
Bokeh 
 7.2
Autofocus 
 7.7
Handling 
 7.9
Value 
 8.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
10 53,060 Wed February 6, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
80% of reviewers $115.40 7.44
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
supersize

Description:
The Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR is a weather resistant version of the original DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL featuring the same optical design. It is included as a part of a camera kit and is not sold separately.

SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
11 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5-5.6
Min. Aperture
F22-38
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
25 cm
Max. Magnification
0.34x
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 76-29 ° / 67-25 °
Hood
PH-RBC 52 mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC52
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
68 x 67.5 mm (2.7 x 2.7 in.)
Weight
200 g (7.1 oz.)
Production Years
2013 to present (in production)
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA L 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Plastic lens mount.
One aspherical amd one ED element.
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-10 of 10
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 535
Lens Review Date: February 6, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $39.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: weather sealed
Cons: plastic base, no lens hood included and takes a different one from the non-weather sealed version
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K200D   

Just what I needed--another 18-55mm zoom. I think this makes a total of seven that have made it to or through my hands, but I wanted one that's weather sealed. Other than that, this is a very redundant lens in my collection. The lens is nothing to write home about. It's a little less sharp than some of my others but it does render reds better than some other lenses I've used. I'm still not a fan of the DA L series' plastic bases, but overall, I'm happy with the lens for what it is.
   
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 136
Lens Review Date: August 24, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: size, weight, zoom, price, wide angle, WR
Cons: speed, bokeh, sharpness
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

Maybe I have a bad copy. It's much less sharp than my non-WR version! I fine-tuned it, but no help. Even through Live View it's much less sharp.
I keep my non-WR version on the camera and maybe will use this one in rainy conditions.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Linz
Posts: 625
Lens Review Date: August 21, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: WR, lightweight
Cons: IQ at infinity, CAs
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I got this lens new with my Pentax K-3 in 2014, to have a WR lens to use with the camera.
A free lens hood was included too but this lens usually doesn't come with a hood.

The build quality, beside the mantle and lens mount beeing made of plastic, is actually not bad, what I unintentionally tested by droping the lens+camera once. The only thing damaged was the lens hood. And because of the plastic build this lens is lightweight too.

The focal range from 18-55mm (wide angle to short tele) is a good fit for a kit-lens because you get a feeling for what focal lengths you actually need or like.

The IQ of the lens for near objects is ok, it's not the sharpest lens but it's not horrible either. Objects near the horizon on the other hand appear a little mushy especially in the corners (centre sharpness is still usable at infinity focus). For general snapshots, viewing on the monitor and small prints IQ is sufficient, but pixel peeping and large prints are not recommended if you photograph distant objects.
Closing down the apperture a little is a must for this lens, because it is very soft wide open.


CAs are visible with this lens, but they can easily be adressed in pp or with the lens correction profile in the camera for immediate jpg use out of the camera.
Additionally my specimen shows a slight glowing effect around bright spots in the image at the tele end of the lens.

For general photography I replaced this lens with the F 35-70mm lens because of the, for me, more convenient focal range and better IQ.

Nevertheless I still use this lens from time to time, because it's still my widest lens (beside a 8mm fisheye) and it's my only lens with WR.

If you need a cheap WR lens for occasional usage in rainy conditions or if you want a cheap wide angle lens this, or the DA counterpart, is a reasonable choice, but if you can spare the money you will probably be more happy with a DA 20-40mm or a DA 16-85mm lens in the long run.

Last but not least some example pictures:

Burgtor by Patrick Bittermann, auf Flickr

Mountaineering by Patrick Bittermann, auf Flickr

Feldaist by Patrick Bittermann, auf Flickr
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 334

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: WR, cheap wide angle
Cons: slow, manual focus
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 5    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

Ah, the kit lens! I was initially disappointed by this lens. I like portraits and it's not very good for doing the kind with a very blurred background or under low light. In fact, the low-light performance is not very good, which is the main reason for my disappointment. In bright light the 55mm end is decent. Natural light, indoor portraits in the evening would be difficult to do with this lens, but it works well with an on or off-camera flash.

In sufficient light, however, this lens can give pretty nice results. It's reasonably sharp. Having 18mm at f/3.5 is also fairly nice because any other wide angle lens is going to be much more expensive. So you can get pretty decent landscapes and wide-angle closeups.

Another aspect that I like is the flare control. It's actually quite good at it. If the sun is in the shot, it still has great contrast. You can get controlled, elegant loooking flare with it. So in this respect it goes above and beyond some of the older, manual-only glass around. For example, the 50mm f/1.7 has horrible flaring, and still has reduced contrast even with a hood.

Another advantage of this lens is that it's fairly close focusing, 1/3 magnification if the specs above are correct. Even the Pentax-A 70-210 is only 1/4. So you can get pretty cool pseudo macro shots with it, and the wide-angle ones are fun.

It's also weather-resistant. That's pretty great when you need decent results but aren't sure of the weather.

To summarise, I think this is a pretty decent lens, with the only caveat that it is limited in low-light situations. Although I haven't used it too much, I occasionally pull it out when I want to try landscapes or close-focus wide angle, or when the weather is unpredictable.

Here's a sample at 18mm, f/5:

   
amateur dirt farmer...

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 12,917

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 15, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: color rendition, quick AF, useable zoom length
Cons: build quality, focus/zoom ring damping
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

This lens was part of the 2-lens kit when I bought my K-50 in December 2014. The K-50 and this lens (and the DA L 50-200) are my first DSLR and lenses, so I had nothing to judge my results against... to begin with, anyways.

We see in the PF, time and time again, out of hand routing of the kit lens... seemingly just because it is the kit lens. I recently went back to the 18-55 (mine is called Betty) as my lens for the Single In January challenge and found some surprising things.

Firstly - there is nothing wrong with this lens, just because it is a 'kit' lens. It takes fine pictures, it's WR, and it's nearly-free.

What more could you ask for?

Well, you could ask for another f-stop (3.5 at the wide, down to 5.6 at 55mm) - just remember this if the light starts failing on you.

You could ask for a bit more range, but the DA 18-135mm costs how much more?

You could ask for a hood, which is not provided with the kit, but a quick purchase from eBay for $10 solved that (OEM knock-off - be sure to get the hood for the correct model of the 18-55).

You could ask for a better build - and here is the downfall for me. I used it every day in January and by the end, I didn't want to pick it up any more. That's how bad the plasticky-feel is and it doesn't get better when you actually handle the lens extensively. The zoom and focus rings have nearly-zero damping to them and merely the enhance the low-cost feel to the lens. The oft-mentioned plastic (vs metal) mount is a non-issue for me, since the weight of the lens will not stress the mount in any way.

Now - all that said.... as a first lens, which is the DA L 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR's purpose, it will do just about anything you ask of it. Some of it better, some not-so-much.

Here is my flickr photostream of the Single In January challenge with Betty:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/sets/72157660715415533
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2014
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $199.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: contrast, color, sharpness, paper light
Cons: it shines when stopped down
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   



taken at 55mm @ f/8..
This is sharper than 18-135mm WR.
at 18mm it's better to use f/5.6 and above
55mm has glowing effect if not stopped down.. f/8 shows big difference from f/5.6, totally eliminated the glow
This is taken straight from the camera with zero post process..
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: July 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: value, build, WR, ok all rounder
Cons: too soft
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-3   

I am new to Pentax DSLR's and got this lens with my K-3. To be honest this lens is pretty average. I was not expecting too much from a kit lens but still I think this is slightly below par. If it's stopped down to say f8 it can produce some nice results and the colours are pretty decent. The images though leave me feeling less than impressed. I did think this was my technique but on comparison with a NIkon 18-55 it just didn't seem to be anywhere near as good. This I know is hardly a fair test but overall this is a good value average lens. Handy for bad weather and general 'snaps'

I also got a 35mm prime as part of the camera deal and this lens is much better.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2014
Location: Moscow
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Weather prof
Cons: Plastic body
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

I have this lens recently. I bought it along with the Pentax K-50 (included two of the lens, not the best choice, may be excused for newbies). But something this lens can draw.
IMGP0102 by korvinohc2i, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: March 30, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: for a kit lens very good sharpness
Cons: plastic body
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-x,k-5,k200   

this water resistant kit lens must be stopped down to f8-11, in order to get best sharpness.

with K5 and k-x you can eleminate CR's when activating this in program

with k200 few CA's wide open especially 18mm wide angle.no AF problems with it.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Belgium
Posts: 67

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $89.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: WR, solid,sharpness,good AF
Cons: plastic mount, no quick shift
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

When i bought my K-5, i used the 18-55mm DA WR (kit lens) but i wasn't totally satisfied with AF and sharpness.
That's why i bought this new version sold as kit lens with K50.
Quality is good but unfortunately AF is not better than DA version.
Sharpness seems a little bit better specially @55mm. At wide focal, you must close @ F7.1 to have a good sharpness.
As conclusion what can i say? it's a good lens with good sharpness (specially in the center) but AF is sometimes unpredictable which can be frustrating for the photograph.


End of a day par Blu Horizon, sur Flickr
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