SMC Pentax-DA 1 Review: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

According provided by lens SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL huge thanks to Ilya Kostenko (the first official photo flea market of the city of Dnepropetrovsk).

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

SMC Pentax-DA 1 Review: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

The SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL is the simplest stock (aka 'kit') zoom lens for Pentax cameras. This is probably one of the most common types of lens these days, as it is sold as a kit along with many amateur cameras.

It is sometimes very difficult for me to give any fair assessment of a kit lens, which most people recommend to get rid of at the first opportunity. However, for cameras with an APS-C sensor, the kit is the most affordable universal lens, with the ability to use a fairly wide angle of view of 18 mm, and it is also one of the cheapest and most affordable autofocus lenses in the entire Pentax-DA lens line. ... Of course, you won't surprise anyone with a XNUMXx zoom now, and aperture the lens has a weak, but still focal length range of 18-55 mm, which, in terms of EGF gives 27-82,5 mm, very comfortable to use and if desired, with this lens, you can get quite suitable frames.

Like any other manufacturer, Pentax has several modifications of the '18 -55 / 3.5-5.6 'class lens:

  1. SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL, the very first version, was released from September 2004 to 2008. Shown in this review.
  2. SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL II, optical design for 11 elements in 8 groups. It has been produced since 2008.
  3. SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL, lightweight version of the previous version. There are two options for body color - black and white. It has been produced since 2008.
  4. SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR, weatherproof version of the lens, available since 2009.
  5. SMC Pentax-DAL 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6 AL WR, weatherproof version of the lens in a lightweight housing.
  6. HD Pentax-DA 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE, February 10, 2015, 11 elements in 8 groups, weatherproof lens option. Available in different body colors.
  7. SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE, February 10, 2015, 11 elements in 8 groups, weatherproof version of the lens in a lightweight folding case. Exists in different colors of the case.

Here is a small explanation of the designations in the Pentax lenses of the '18 -55 / 3.5-5.6 'class:

  • SMC - Super Multi Coating - super multi coated optics.
  • DA - Digital - this is the designation for lenses for digital cameras with an APS-C sensor (with a cropped sensor).
  • AL - AsphericaL element - aspherical elements in the optical scheme of the lens.
  • L - Light - lenses with lightweight bodies (and this is not the letter 'L' that can be found on Canon lenses), these lenses are usually cheaper.
  • II, III - Roman numerals denoting the lens version.
  • WR - Weather Resistant - weatherproof lenses.
SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL to a disgrace simple, but at the same time, a functional lens. I got a review on my review, which is already quite battered for years. In the hands of the lens does not cause much enthusiasm, if you shake it lightly, you will hear how in the middle something is hanging out. The lens weighs 225 grams, while the lens uses small standard filters with a diameter of 52 mm. Pentax-DA 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 manufactured in Vietnam.

But it is worth paying tribute to this baby, he has a metal bayonet mount, which four versions of whale lenses could not afford Nikon and eight versions of whale lenses Canon. Also, I was very pleased that rubberized not only the zoom ring, but also the focus ring.

Included with the lens is a Pentax PH-RBA 52mm tulip-shaped bayonet hood, which snaps into place in special grooves near the front lens. The hood can be installed backwards to save space, for example, during transport. In the reverse position, access to the focus ring is completely lost.

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

When the focal length is changed, the lens trunk moves forward, while the front lens does not rotate, and the rear lens moves like a pump, creating a slight vacuum cleaner effect (sucking in air, and with it dust). When the focal length is changed, the lens trunk travels in waves - it lengthens and then shortens. The trunk has the smallest length at 35mm focal length. This wavy motion is typical of most kit lenses in the '18 -55 / 3.5-5.6 'class.

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

The lens has fast auto focus. True, when focusing, the lens makes heartbreaking sounds. Unlike Nikon and Canon, at the time of this writing, all Pentax kit lenses do not have a built-in focusing motor, which is usually made using new technologies and is very quiet. SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL focuses using the focusing motor built into the camera (so called 'screwdriver'). Actually, the gears of the 'screwdriver' make a lot of noise during autofocus.

The focus ring rotates during autofocus. When manually rotating the focus ring, it is automatically disconnected from the focus motor and the camera does not need to be switched to manual focus mode using the 'AF / MF' switch located on the camera. The Pentax calls this mechanism the 'Quick Shift Focus System', or 'QS' for short. During focusing front lens does not rotate, and the trunk of the lens drives forward.

The minimum focusing distance is only 25 cm, while you can shoot macro with a maximum magnification of 1: 3, which is very, very good. The focusing ring rotates only 90 degrees. The focusing ring has a focusing distance scale in meters and feet (there is no such scale on 'whale' lenses from Nikon, Sony и Canon) On the body there are focal length marks for 18, 24, 35, 45 and 55 mm and marks for connecting the lens to the camera, as well as a mark for attaching a lens hood.

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

The lens aperture consists of only 6 blades and closes to F / 22 @ 18mm and F / 40 @ 55mm. In the blur zone, you can easily get nuts (see an example) and 6 beam stars (see an example).

It is necessary to mention that despite the absence of an image stabilizer in this lens, this is not its drawback, since almost all Pentax central controllers, starting around 2006 (with the K100D model), have an image stabilization system built into the camera.

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

Of course, you should not require excellent image quality from a whale lens. Nevertheless, I liked this SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL much more than the newer model SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR. First of all, I want to note that the capabilities of the SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL are enough to get a sharp image in the center of the frame on a ten megapixel camera Pentax K200D... If you approach the shooting wisely, then you can get good shots from this 'whale'. The only thing that gave me inconvenience when using the lens was a strong fear of backlight (see an example of unsuccessful backlit work).

Here link to the archive with the originals - 321 MB, 36 photos in .PEF format (RAW) from the Pentax K200D camera. More examples of photos on this lens can be found in the review. K200D.

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL on Pentax D200D

SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL on Pentax D200D

Catalog of modern Pentax lenses can look at this link.

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The SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL is a common whale lens with noisy autofocus, good build and average image quality. Sometimes many users underestimate such lenses, but in vain - they can even get very good pictures with their help :).

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 36, on the topic: Overview of the SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL

  • Alexander Trekhsotkovich

    Good review. Thanks Arkady. And the girl in the photo is generally gorgeous !!!

    • anonym

      The lens is being discussed. Can you imagine, Trekhsotkovich, if everyone now, like on the 5th anniversary of Radozhiva, writes - “Good review. Thanks Arkady. And the girl in the photo is generally gorgeous !!!

      • Arkady Shapoval

        And even better, like Trekhsotkovich, everyone will send 500 rubles for the site, it will be generally excellent.

        • anonym

          Are Sberbank and its cards valid in Ukraine?

          • Arkady Shapoval

            There would be a desire to help, but there will always be a method, the same Aleksandr Trekhsotkovich has simply poured funds onto the webmoney :). But, of course, I haven’t asked anyone about helping the project for a long time, because in our country (countries) the people respond very weakly to this matter, especially now.

            • Alexander Trekhsotkovich

              You are wrong Arkady :) There are still good people in our countries, they just need to set a GOOD example, and they will probably pick up the idea and help Radozhiva to develop further despite expensive hosting, domains, and other financial problems with maintaining the site. And as proof that not all callous people sent you another 500 rubles. I’ve already been brainwashed that I am showing off because I am writing SUCH, and that I am throwing money to you just to show off supposedly I'm cool !!! But I do not feel guilty. At least HOW TO help such an interesting project as Radozhiva, and not inactive. I help you because you have a really wonderful site, and I want it to be and develop.

        • Andrey ru

          But seriously, how is it more convenient to translate.? Just the only opportunity besides saying thank you, is this a financial help?

          • Arkady Shapoval

            You can still just like the pages :) by the way, I just focus on this constantly)

  • Novel

    To deliver not the rotting of the kitty ob'ktiv. Yak, on me, it is a little more analogous ob'yktivi in ​​kenon and nikon. In manual mode, it is easier for them to focus by hand, more than 3m in a new onset of infinity.
    On the rakhunok noisiness, it is better to lay in a deyakіy world of carcasses, the same object in me on the Pentax iStDl and on the K200 for more noise, on the K200 I saw more noise, a little more focus.

  • Yarkiya

    Girls, models, chic or simply beautiful - this is a matter of taste, personally I liked the interior more, everything is neat, minimalist, clean lines, etc.
    And about the lens, the nice thing is that Nikon's whales, especially the last 18-55, compare favorably with other systems.
    The review, as always, is interesting - thanks.

    • anonym

      So Arkady, taking a portrait, did something wrong, since all your attention was focused not on the model, but on the interior (read the background).)

      • Lynx

        Simply Bright looks like a photographer, and not like ... in another way.

        • anonym

          That is, in your opinion, the photographer, bypassing the center of the composition (well, he didn’t like something), should focus on the bookcase?

          • Yarkiya

            I don't look at the model as a specific girl, but as an abstract human figure, because instead of her there can be any person and not necessarily a woman. Therefore, evaluating the composition as a whole, I don’t bother whether the model is “cute” or “so-so”.

            • anonym

              A person can be anyone, only you need to look at him as a specific person, through the exterior showing his inner world. The rest, as a rule, is in the bokeh, so as not to be distracted.

              • Yarkiya

                When there is a portrait “in bokeh”, then consider the person being portrayed as a person, but for now in the picture “model in the interior”, it will look like a conditional person against a conditional background. If a photographer shoots a portrait of a specific person, an actor, or some other figure, family member or friend (girlfriend), then it is necessary to show the character of the subject. Then you need to be a skillful portrait painter.
                And the models they are for that and the models are to decorate interiors, to emphasize the beauty of lines and curves, to deliver aesthetic pleasure (well, or not aesthetic, as you like) and not bother with the spirituality of images, it is beautiful and so beautiful. So if someone likes to “stare at heifers,” just stare at your health, but do not force others to sing praises where it is not required.

            • anonym

              Apparently, in your person, we are dealing with an innovative photographer breaking stereotypes. According to you, Arkady invited the model just so that we all here together “stare at this chick”, instead of just enjoying the mesmerizing interior. )

              • Dim

                Those. a true professional, that the girl is in the interior, that the trash can on the road - everything is one. Awesome level of abstraction. I dare to assume that with this approach it will look just as exciting :) As there Joni Dep said in the image of Jack Sparrow, referring to Orlano Blum in the image of a blacksmith: “Are you a eunuch by chance?” (c) Probably a work of art without a viewer itself is nonsense, although if we consider photography as a practice in the field of geometry or descriptive geometry. "Weaved from human hair from the back" (c) :)

  • anonym

    Once again I am convinced that the person removes !!!!
    The premium was cut well, prices went up ... so sorry ..

  • Dmitriy

    Once again I am convinced that the Pentax whales are mechanically and optically better than the Canon and Nikon whales. They are inferior in only one thing - in the absence of a motor, and therefore in noise ...

    • Alexander

      And why is it better ??? It is clear that the KIT, but the bokeh and the picture as a whole, to put it mildly - none ... In the portraits, a flash extended. And so ... quite sadness ...

      • Dmitriy

        At least not as soapy as, for example, a canon whale of the same age. Yes, and mechanically: this one does not rotate the front lens, there is a petal hood in the kit, there is a distance scale, a metal mount.

        • Alexander

          In terms of constructiveness, yes. You can't argue with that.

  • Paul

    Arkady, thanks for the interesting review, and congratulations on your fifth birthday from Belarus. I am using the lightweight version of this lens (DA L) and would like to share my impressions. I'm not complaining about the sharpness (I use the central 5 focusing points, the K-x camera), the build quality is high, there is no backlash, no rattles. There is not enough hood (it is not included with this lens), but in general, when shooting against the light, it behaves much better than domestic optics. Since I often change lenses when shooting, I noticed this: the lens is very sensitive to dust particles on the rear lens - this is immediately visible in the pictures. I always carry a flute brush with me. The plastic bayonet wears out gradually, it (and the contact groups on the camera and lens) constantly have to be cleaned of wear products (cotton swabs and alcohol to help). The first sign of contact clogging is metering misses. But there is no dust inside the lens, despite the fact that sometimes I shoot in “dirty” conditions. This is the question of which is better - a protected version of such a lens, or a regular one. To protect the front lens, I constantly use a HOYA UV filter. In general, for an amateur (and I am) a very good lens. I like. Good pictures to everyone!

  • Anathema

    Indeed, the lens is not bad. Given that the widths are worth decent money, sometimes it helps out when shooting a landscape. I’ve been shooting at K10D since 2007, although the 40th lim became almost a whale almost immediately (I accidentally turned up at a very good price). And I have never regretted that I chose this system.

  • anonym

    Good review! I had 1 and 4 versions of this lens. The first is none at all, but one with rubber bands is much better optically. Although it is not particularly interesting to discuss such optics, the price-quality ratio is good and okay.

  • Aran Incantateur t. G.

    I would like to supplement an excellent article. At one time (apparently, roughly coinciding with the years of release of the version of the lens considered in the article, 2004-2008), Samsung released its version of this lens under the name “Schneider-Kreuznach D-Xenon 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL”, which differs in markings, a different form of rubber coating on the control rings, a blue color of the decorative ring on the case, and possibly something else. This lens was used in Samsung's K-mount cameras, which were developed and manufactured in collaboration with Pentax.

    • Beggar Pi

      Complementing the excellent article, it should be noted about Samsa and the fact that it is completely plastic and that if it was possible to make an option worse on the basis of a good whale model, then the Koreans did it. Therefore, in general, they rested in vain. The quality is just beyond the bounds. Well, in general, they go there ...

    • Hyc

      For all the external seemingly constructive indistinguishability of lenses and lens hood, the D-Xenon does not fit Pentax and vice versa. The Pentax mounts a bayonet mount under a four-petal hood, while the D-Xenon has a three-leaf mount. Naparkua this was done by one marketer know.

  • kotofei

    The pentax has the highest quality short crock-pots.
    18-55 there were 4 or 5 versions, described in the AL review 1st - not the worst but not the best either. The best one is the penultimate one, WR, - there is a metal mount and a quick shift. And optically they are all the same.

    About resistance to counterlight, blackening and enlightenment. The last photo, on a silvery carcass ... the impression is that you are looking not inside the lens, but deep into a very deep well - a kind of “saturated” blackness. A similar effect is present in the sony kitten, but in all other respects it is much worse.

  • Valery A.

    Fu, how uncultured.

  • Michael

    Anyone who likes it, and not only this lens - always a shitty dancer (you know what gets in the way).
    PS I still rent for money for old-fashioned - manual - unfashionable and ... clients have no questions. If there is anything on the "whale" (I do not like this word) I will shoot it right. SHOOTS NOT A LENS AND NOT A CAMERA!

  • Max

    You have a broken photo archif!

  • Gennadmy

    The pictures are really decent. I shoot with Canon devices, after this review there was a desire to shoot with Pentax

  • avd

    Good day, I was horrified to find that the hood from ALii is not put on the AL WR, although they are outwardly indistinguishable, or maybe it's just me? :(

    • B. R. P.

      The East is a delicate matter.©

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