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Pentax K200D Optics

Kit Lens

Zoom
Very good performance with the 18-55mm kit lens.

18mm 55mm

The Pentax K200D comes with an 18-55mm kit lens, giving a pretty typical optical zoom range of ~3x for a kit lens. Details are quite sharp, with low levels of coma distortion, but some noticeable chromatic aberration and slight softening in the corners. There is some color moiré visible in the top window screens, which is an indication the lens is easily out-resolving the sensor. Results at full telephoto are also very good, with excellent sharpness across the frame, and much lower levels of chromatic aberration.

Macro
A small area (for an SLR kit lens), with soft details. Flash throttles down well.

Standard Macro with 18-55mm
Kit Lens
Macro with Flash

As with zoom performance, the Pentax K200D's macro performance will depend entirely on the lens in use. However, with the 18-55mm kit lens set to 55mm, the K200D captured a small (for a non-macro SLR lens) minimum area measuring measuring 2.53 x 1.70 inches (64 x 43 millimeters). Details were a somewhat soft throughout the frame, with moderate additional softening in the corners from the lens. (Most lenses have some softening in the corners at macro distances.) The Pentax K200D's flash throttled down for the macro area fairly well, resulting in a good exposure, albeit slightly overexposed. Overall, better than average macro performance for an SLR kit lens.

Distortion
Moderate barrel distortion with the 18-55mm kit lens, though low pincushion.

Barrel distortion at 18mm is 0.7 percent
Pincushion at 55mm is 0.2 percent

The Pentax K200D's 18-55mm kit lens produced about 0.7 percent barrel distortion at wide-angle, which is actually a bit better than average among the cameras we've tested, but still noticeable in its images. At the telephoto end, the less than 0.2 percent pincushion distortion is quite low and not nearly as noticeable. This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide-angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

Chromatic aberration
Moderate and bright at wide-angle, but low and dull at telephoto with the 18-55mm kit lens.

Wide: Moderate but bright,
top left @ 200 percent
Wide: Quite bright,
top right @ 200 percent
Tele: Low and dull,
top left @200 percent
Tele: Low,
top right @200 percent

Chromatic aberration in the corners with the Pentax K200D's kit lens is pretty evident (we'd call it on the high side of "moderate," or "noticeable") at the 18mm setting. It's less distinguished by its width (6-8 pixels) and more by its brightness. At 55mm telephoto, this distortion is much lower and hardly noticeable. (This distortion is visible as a slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some blurring in the corners of the frame at both zoom settings with the kit lens. Average to a bit better than average.

Wide: Soft in the
corners (upper right).
Wide: Sharper at center.
Tele: Slightly soft in the
corners (upper right).
Tele: Sharper at center.

The Pentax K200D's 18-55mm kit lens produced slightly soft corners in a few shots. At wide angle, all four corners were a bit soft. Sharpness improves fairly rapidly as you look toward the center of the frame. At telephoto, corners showed a little less blurring. This is a good performance for a kit lens, especially wide open at maximum aperture like this.