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Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL SMC DA WR

 
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18-55mm $160
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image of Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL SMC DA WR

(From Pentax lens literature) This standard zoom lens covers focal lengths from 27mm wide angle to 82.5mm moderate telephoto (in the 35mm format). Incorporating a high-performance aspherical (AL) optical element and a super-low dispersion glass optical element in its optics, it assures outstanding image resolution and remarkable brightness, even at the edges, while effectively compensating various aberrations.

Main Features:

Simplified weather-resistant construction
The new zoom lenses feature a simplified weather-resistant construction designed to minimize the intrusion of water and moisture into the lens barrel. With these lenses mounted on PENTAX weather resistant digital SLR camera bodies, the user is assured of improved durability and reliability during shooting in rain, fog or mist and at locations subject to a spray or splash of water.

SP coating to block dust and dirt
The front surface of these lenses is treated with PENTAX-original SP (Super Protect) coating, which applies a special fluorine compound to the lens surface through a vapor deposition process. This SP coating not only effectively repels dust, water and grease, but it also makes it easy to wipe off fingerprints and cosmetics.

Digital-SLR-exclusive optical design
PENTAX has optimized the characteristics of these lenses — including lens coating, curvature and positioning of optical elements — to reproduce the finest possible digital images. As a result, they are practically free of flare and ghost images, and bring out the best in the PENTAX digital SLR camera bodies they are coupled with.

Their image circle is also perfectly proportioned to the size of the image sensor used in PENTAX digital SLR cameras, helping to reduce the camera’s overall size and weight and guarantee outstanding cost performance.

Quick-Shift Focus system for instant AF/MF switching
After the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system, the unique Quick-Shift Focus system lets the photographer instantly switch to manual-focus operation for final pinpoint focus adjustment.

Other features:

  • Durable, dependable metallic lens mount
  • Lens hood with a PL (polarizing filter) window included as a standard accessory

Note: A lighter D-AL WR variant of this lens with a plastic lens mount began shipping as a kit lens with the Pentax K-50. Apart from the plastic lens mount and slightly lighter weight (220g), it appears to be identical to the DA WR version shown here.

Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL SMC DA WR

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Pentax 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL SMC DA WR User Reviews

8.3/10 average of 3 reviews Build Quality 8.7/10 Image Quality 8.0/10
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (6 reviews)
    WR, light, small, metal mount, cheap, excellent value
    could be faster, sharper ,,,

    Unbeatable price to performance ratio. An ideal consumer zoom. It could do with being faster, sharper, less CA, less distortion, better build, etc., but probably not at the price.

    Autofocus works perfectly, quick shift focus is handy, lens hardly extends in length over its zoom range and the front element does not rotate. Bokeh is great, WR resistance is useful, the lens is very light and sturdy. Any misbehaviour (CA, barrel distortion, vignetting etc.) is predictable and easily corrected either in-camera or in post-processing. But do not put a UV filter on this lens - even a good one degrades IQ noticeably, use the hood instead to protect the front element.

    My copy is acceptably sharp even wide open - if yours isn't then you either have a bad one or you are doing something wrong.

    A great lens to get you started with.

    Some of my shots taken with this lens are here :
    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwHojKx

    reviewed January 30th, 2014 (purchased for $100)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (7 reviews)
    Weather-Resistant, Metal Mount, Non-rotating front element, Good Lens Hood, near the top in image quality for Kit Lens, outstanding value.
    Vignetting and Soft Corners with some field curvature. Most problems go away as you stop down, not a fast lens.

    My numeric ratings are compared to other kit lens. What other kit lens is built better than this weather-resistant Pentax(?), none. It is WR, has a metal base, has a decent lens hood with a special removable cut-out so you can turn CPL filters, the front element does not rotate. Its at the top of kit lens in construction, that's fair IMO.

    As for the image quality its the same as the DA18-55mm II, no need for me to repeat SLRGears review or others. I concur its a good zoom lens. The biggest difference to me compared to the old Pentax kit - this one has that Pentax color and contrast, or should I say more of it. Its a fairly contrasty kit, with those Pentax colors. shoot at F8 and your taking home high quality pics.

    reviewed March 3rd, 2010 (purchased for $219)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    weather resistance, image colour, light weight, good resolution
    not the absolute zenith of optical performance

    Came with my K-7. Had to return the first 2 examples of this lens, first due to optical probs and second to both optical and mechanical probs.

    Third one was a keeper. Very good sharpness in the center of the image when stopped down to f8, good rez at the edges. Some chromatic aberration and vignetting. Colour is great, contrast ditto.

    Love being able to take photos outside when it's pouring rain or snowing.

    i usually have the camera on a tripod when i'm using this lens, but the K-7 balances quite well in the hand when it's mounted.

    reviewed January 22nd, 2010