Review SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE

According provided by lens SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE huge thanks to Vasily Bondarenko.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm


  1. In short
  2. History
  3. Main Specifications
  4. Assembly. Parking mechanism
  5. Focusing
  6. An interesting feature of focusing and zooming
  7. Aperture
  8. Image quality
  9. Sample Photos
  10. My personal experience with the lens
  11. Prices
  12. Results
  13. User Comments
  14. Add your review or question on the lens

In short

SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE I will abbreviate as Pentax DA L 18-50mm. This lens is a standard lens for Pentax amateur DSLR cameras. Special image quality is not allocated. Comes complete with Pentax amateur cameras.

The Pentax DA L 18-50mm folds to a compact size, is weatherproof and uses a built-in focus motor. In general, this is the incarnation of a whale lens from Pentax in 2015, and as you know, a whale lens remains a whale lens in Africa.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm


Pentax DA L 18-50mm presented on February 10, 2015 with a camera Pentax K-S2 and its more advanced brother - HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm.

Full list of standard Pentax lenses for cropped cameras:

  1. SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL, the very first version, was released from September 2004 to 2008.
  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. Shown in this review.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm (and HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm), unlike all previous options, lost some of the aperture. So, Pentax DA L 18-50mm at 18 mm focal length uses the maximum aperture of F / 4, instead of the classic value of F / 3.5, which is a third step lighter. In addition, the Pentax DA L 18-50mm is 5 mm shorter than all other similar Pentax lenses. In addition, compared to previous models, MDF also increased, which negatively affected the maximum magnification factor (now it’s become more difficult to shoot macro images).

In summary: The Pentax DA L 18-50mm is the darkest cropped whale lens of all time (not only among Pentax lenses). Paired with the HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm and Sigma AF 18-50mm f / 3.5-5.6 DC, it is also the shortest.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Main technical characteristics of SMC Pentax-DAL 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE:

Review Instance Name SMC Pentax-DAL 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE Ø58 (Pentax 4-5.6 / 18-50) 7025788
Basic properties
  • DA (Digital) - lens for digital cameras with APS-C sensor (for cropped cameras)
  • L (Light) - lens with a lightweight body
  • DC (Direct Current Motor?) - built-in focus motor
  • WR (Weather Resistant) - weather protection
  • RE (Retractable) - foldable body
  • SMC (Super Multi Coating) - Super Multi Coating Optics
  • SP (Super Protect Coating) - super protective coating of the front lens. Repels water and dirt.
  • AL (Aspherical Lens) - the use of aspherical elements in the optical scheme
  • Using Anomalous Dispersion Glass Elements
  • Electronic focus ring (Power focus)
  • Instantly switch to manual focus at any time (Quick-Shift Focus)
  • Rounded aperture blades
  • Low Profile Hood (Unverified Information)
  • Electronic effect of a parfocal lens
  • During focusing, there is no elongation or rotation of the outer frame of the body
  • Ultra compact sizes
  • Large selection of color options for the frame
  • The lens is not compatible with old cameras (K100D and ancient)
Front Filter Diameter 58 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 18-50 mm EGF for Pentax APS-C cameras is 24-75mm
Zoom ratio 2.777 X (usually just talking about XNUMXx zoom)
Designed by for Pentax APS-C Digital Cameras
Number of aperture blades 7 rounded petals
Tags focal lengths for 18, 24, 35, 40, 50 mm, bayonet mount mark, fitting and fixing marks for the hood, mark for the parking system
Diaphragm 18mm from f / 4 to f / 22. 50mm f / 5.6 to f / 36. The lens has no aperture ring
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 0.3 m over the entire range of focal lengths, a maximum magnification ratio of 1: 4.4 is available at 50 mm
The weight 158 g
Optical design 11 elements in 8 groups. The scheme includes:

  • 1 Aspherical Pentax AL (Aspherical Lens)
  • 1 low dispersion element (Pentax Anomalous Dispersion Glass)

Pentax dal 18-50 optical design

The image of the optical circuit is clickable.

Lens hood not included, most likely you can use a Pentax lens hood PH-RBJ58 (sold separately)
Manufacturer country Assembled in vietnam
Period From February 10, 2015 to the present day (at least until the summer of 2016)
Instructions Download–> (English, part of the manual Pentax K-S2)
Price The lens is not sold separately, but only comes with the camera Pentax K-S2 (possibly with subsequent models). Whale kit prices here... Estimated price separately - 100-150 USD Price for HD version here.

If you take a closer look at the optical scheme of the Pentax DA L 18-50mm, it will become obvious that it exactly repeats the optical scheme of the SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL II, released back in 2008, on the optical scheme of which they were based and all subsequent lenses of this line. To make it more difficult to draw an analogy between the new Pentax DA L 18-50mm and previous lenses, the optical layout of the Pentax DA L 18-50mm is shown for the lens in the folded position. Most likely, the loss of 5 mm focal length and part of the aperture ratio was due to the fact that the optical scheme had to be adjusted to the folding frame of the body.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm On Camera K-s2


Spoiler: the lens from the review has a chip near the groove for attaching the hood. The lens fell with the camera from the chair to the floor, and therefore, perhaps its functional part was damaged.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm manufactured in Vietnam, has a folding plastic case with plastic mount. In the hands of the lens, it feels like a not-so-durable thing. In this case, the lens has weather protection with a large number of rubber seals. However, due to the highly retractable frame of the case, I hardly believe that it can easily endure heavy rain. Perhaps the lens is dust and waterproof only 'on paper' and only when folded. The front lens has a special water-repellent coating that makes it easy to remove liquid droplets and dirt from it.

Zoom ring is very narrow and uncomfortable. Seriously, this is a very uncomfortable little plastic zoom ring, but you have to rotate it constantly!

The retractable barrel frame consists of 2 sections. In the unfolded state it always seems that the lens barrel is extended to the limit and the maximum focal length is set, however, in fact, when the focal length is changed, the lens barrel moves in a wave-like manner: from 18 to 28 mm, it retracts, from 28 mm to 50 mm - extendable. The maximum lens length is available at 18 mm focal length, and the minimum at 28 mm. Pentax DA L 18-50mm does not suffer from spontaneous lengthening of the frame of the body, and as a result, a change in focal length.

When folded, the front part has a noticeable backlash, which manifests itself if you press it in the direction of the bayonet mount.

Fold the lens is not always as easy as we would like. Very often during an attempt to fold the lens by pressing the appropriate parking button the frame is jammed... It all depends on how you grip the zoom ring for parking. Additional force is required to park. This is a very annoying feature that kills any confidence in the build quality of the lens. The owner of the lens claims that he did not observe any problems with parking. Also, I didn't like the fact that when you unfold the lens, its trunk unpleasantly 'shoots'.

When folded down, you cannot shoot with the lens and the message 'The shutter cannot be released. Make sure the lens's zoom mark is set. in pos. when the shutter is released. allowed '.

There is no hood in the kit with the lens, and you can additionally buy a low-profile movie lens hood to the HD version of the lens. Most likely, such a hood can also be used on the SCM DA L version.

At the time of its introduction, the Pentax DA L 18-50mm became the shortest standard lens in the '18 -55 'class.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm


Pentax DA L 18-50mm and HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm were the first whale lenses of the 18-55 (50) class with a built-in focus motor from Pentax.

I cannot but pin up and remind you that the same Nikon made a similar lens with a built-in focusing motor 10 years earlier - Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM Aspherical was introduced in May 2005. And the Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6 a year earlier.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm uses built-in focus motor Pentax DC, which is positioned as fast and quiet.

Unfortunately, I must state the fact that the focus motor buzzes quite strongly during auto focus. Of course, the noise from the DC motor is not as strong as that from the lenses for a screwdriver, but, nevertheless, I was very disappointed with this parameter. The noise of the motor is similar to the hum of a transformer, a similar hum I met in some Canon STM lenses (Canon 40 / 2.8 STM, Canon 55-250 / 4-5.6 STM).

Auto Focus Speed ​​- Medium. While testing the lens on the camera Pentax K-S2 I did not notice any serious problems in focus accuracy.

Model SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR focuses faster. It's a shame that adding a focus motor only reduced the speed of auto focus.

During focusing, the front lens moves back and forth in the outer rim of the housing, while it does not rotate. Of course, the lens does not have internal focusing, but at the same time, during focusing, the installed filter will still be stay motionless.

The minimum focusing distance is 30 cm, and the maximum magnification ratio is only 1: 4.4, which is less (worse) compared to other similar lenses in the 18-55 class.

On the lens no focus mode switch. To switch between manual and automatic focusing, use the switch near the camera mount.

For the first time, among such lenses, Pentax DA L 18-50mm uses electronic focus ring.

Features of the electronic focus ring:

  • The ring is narrow, plastic and uncomfortable.
  • you must turn on the camera to focus.
  • when the camera is turned on, the lens is initialized by moving the lenses back and forth.
  • there is a small lag between the rotation of the ring and the movement of the lenses.
  • with the electronic focus ring, manual focus also consumes energy from the camera’s battery. In addition, energy is also consumed during zooming (yes, read the next section).

The focus ring can be rotated at any time, even when using auto focus. The Quick-Shift Focus system on this lens is similar to the M / A or A / M modes on Nikon lenses. Pentax DA L 18-50mm is the first lens of this class with the Quick-Shift Focus system (perhaps, in general, the first among all Pentax lenses, can someone tell me exactly in the comments).

Important: Pentax * ist D, * ist DS, * ist DS2, * ist DL, * ist DL2, K100D cameras do not have power contacts for the focus motor, which will make focus on the Pentax DA L 18-50mm unavailable.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

An interesting feature of focusing and zooming

The Pentax DA L 18-50mm has a very interesting feature. The lens automatically simulates the operation of a parfocal lens - when the focal length is changed, the Pentax DA L 18-50mm always remains pointed at the subject (maintains the focusing distance). The focus motor can be heard clearly during zooming. Of course, this also consumes some energy from the camera's battery.

If you put the camera in focus mode 'MF', focus on an object and perform zoom, then this object will always remain in focus.

It would seem that the 'Parfocal Lens Effect' is a trifle, but in reality it is a brilliant solution, especially for shooting video. The lens microprocessor automatically recounts and adjusts focus. Truth, the error is still very large and for perfect focusing, the lens should focus.

Pentax is not the first company here, I have long seen such an effect on the lens Canon 55-250 / 4-5.6 STM, where it is much more in demand than on a lens with standard focal lengths.


Diaphragm lens consists of 7 rounded petalswhich form a fairly even hole. Diaphragm closes to F / 22 by 18 mm and to F / 36 by 50 mm of focal length.

There are marks with a focal length on the zoom ring, the following is a list with the minimum numbers F available for these marks:

  • 18 mm - F / 4
  • 24 mm - F / 4
  • 35 mm - F / 4.5
  • 40 mm - F / 4.5
  • 50 mm - F / 5.6
Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Image quality

Optically Pentax DA L 18-50mm is not far from its predecessor SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR. I tested in due time SMC Pentax-DA 1: 3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR on a 16MP camera Pentax K30, Pentax DA L 18-50mm worked for me on a 20MP camera K-s2without an AA filter. Both lenses are optically very similar to each other. Their main misfortune is weak sharpness on open diaphragms and a long end.

What is good is the normal operation of the lens in back and side light and, in general, good contrast. For such lenses, good and even strong contrast, along with low sharpness, is commonplace.

The lens is designed to work with modern digital cameras, the processor of which will automatically correct the vignetting, distortion and aberration of the lens. If you look at the on-camera JPEG with K-s2, then there are no special problems with these parameters. If you open RAW-files, then the experienced eye will find all of these shortcomings with interest.

Sample Photos

All photos were shot on a Pentax KS-2 camera. The gallery shows on-camera JPEG without processing.

Archive with source RAW (PEF) files can be downloaded from this link.

Pentax DA L 18-50mm

Pentax DA L 18-50mm on the camera K-s2

My experience

Usually I am very loyal to whale lenses, but this time Pentax DA L 18-50mm left a lot of negative memories. It is darker than other whale lenses, shorter than other whale lenses, more flimsy than any other whale lens, with a wedging focus mechanism and insufficient resolution for modern cameras. Its optical design has not been updated and is similar to the one that was back in 2008.

Of course, on the Pentax DA L 18-50mm you can shoot a lot of good shots. But still I hope that the HD version of this lens will be better.

The quality of his image will be enough for amateurs filming themselves and their families. I understand why the manufacturer did not make a super-quality lens - after all, the average person does not need super image quality. On the other hand, these mass lenses define the whole system.

Reviewing a whale lens is always difficult :).


It is hardly possible to buy a new SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE somewhere, since it only comes with a camera. And in general, new kit lenses Pentax 18-55 (50) on the territory of the former USSR simply cannot be found. Prices for modern Pentax lenses can be viewed here.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE - standard lens for Pentax cameras manufactured in 2015. In general, this is a classic 'whale' (read - weak) lens. It is very light and very compact (when folded). The Pentax DA L 18-50mm creates a contrasting image, but there are problems with sharpness. The Pentax DA L 18-50mm has a built-in focus motor, but not as quiet as we would like. In addition, an electronic focusing ring is used. He does not need a stabilizer, since the stabilization system is already built into the Pentax cameras. Eventually Pentax DA L 18-50mm may serve as the first low-cost full-time lens.

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

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Comments: 31, on the topic: Review SMC Pentax-DA L 1: 4-5.6 18-50mm DC WR RE

  • Radmir

    When the Master picks up the camera, he always gets great pictures at the exit!)))

    • Lynx

      at the sight of such comments, I always get the feeling that Arkady is testing a new site system with bots in the comments, but he didn't tell me! (((

      • Arkady Shapoval

        no, for joy, I don’t use bots :) Radmir consulted with me at VK on photographic equipment, apparently decided to write something good on the site :)

      • Radmir

        George, let’s only without your Lynx jealousy ;-)

      • Radmir

        Gergy, so we are in the matrix)), and such a thing is stuck in the back ;-)

        • Lynx

          Well, I don’t know what’s stuck there for you)) I personally have nothing.
          ABOUT! It’s good that they reminded us that it would be necessary to change the contact again, otherwise this joke has already become boring. (((
          Only trouble with this now

          • Radmir


  • Denis

    even when viewing small pictures, it is noticeable that everything is covered with a white veil

  • Alexander

    Macro and portraits due to the contrast and color rendition of very niche. But the landscape, architecture is clearly not the hobby of this lens.

    • Alexey

      Portraits on a whale ?? No need to take portraits on IT. Nature and the city on the cover more or less obtained. But THIS is definitely not for portraits. I speak as the owner of a pentax K30 kit I had. And I described that it can be removed.

  • Michael

    I like SMC DA 18-55 AL II more. Modernization is clearly not good

  • Vova

    I only like manual asahi pentax super takumar 50 / 1.4. In general, pentaxes are outwardly scary, although they were the first to make the body of the SLR the way we know it. I don’t know, I would take it only from despair

    • zengarden

      And I like how Pentax cameras look :) although I have never held them in the hands of the Central Control Commission.

  • anonym

    the stock of interesting glasses has dried up ... I don't understand why it is interesting to observe any rubbish ... Arkady, throw a cry over the readers of the resource, can someone provide Helios 40-2 with a remake or in a new building?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It's simple, they read the most about whale lenses. Radozhiva’s audience is different, give someone an exclusive, which no one will take off, give someone a review of the whale, because a person wants to buy something cheap.

      • anonym

        Arkady, do not be silent :) Regard your silence as a lack of interest in this topic? :)

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Yes, I'm not silent :)

      • Alexander

        In, in. Therefore, “review” the “SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II” (included with the K20D) :) How much, in your opinion, differs from “AL WR” and really this “kit” slightly sharper.

        • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

          18-55 AL II slot with Pentax K200D kit

    • Lynx

      why browse in the helicopter? he is known far and wide.
      and just as beaten.

  • anonym

    I can send this instance for public flogging or even present a resource, for the common, so to speak, good.

    • Alexey

      Oh, who would I present) Without a long focus on the pentax I live, and sometimes I want to. I promise to write a review;)

  • anonym

    for Helios 40-2 conversation is not casual. I'm thinking about purchasing in a new building. There is a good copy in the old one. if you send them a comparative test review really do? I think it might be interesting.

    • Denis

      do you have a full frame or crop?

      • anonym


        • Denis

          then a really interesting option :)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It just so happened that I do not do comparative pixel-by-pixel battles.

      • Rodion

        It’s not pixel by pixel, here it’s necessary to compare the whole picture, color rendition, software, contrast, etc.

  • stabbing

    Quick-Shift Focus is an ancient token. Appeared on the first Pentax DA lenses back in 2005. Quick shift lenses have an additional electromagnetic clutch that is controlled from the camera. If you remove such a lens from the camera and twist the manual focusing ring, then the autofocus drive axis on the mount will not rotate. The camera engages the clutch only when focusing. After that, you can manually rotate the focusing ring. Whether the shutter button is pressed or not, there is no difference. Only if it is not pressed, the camera will focus on its own when it is pressed again, so there is simply no point in turning it before pressing it.

  • stabbing

    lied. In 2003, a quick shift appeared in the DA16-45 / 4 lens

  • wj

    The archive with the original RAW files is no longer downloadable. Following the link, the site writes: “The file was blocked for violating the conditions for posting user content on Yandex services.”

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