The PENTAX smc P-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 is recommended for use with digital cameras. Ideal for beginners, it provides a focal length covering a wide to moderate wide-angle range. Like all PENTAX lenses, the smc P-DA 18-35mm F4-5.6 zoom lens is treated with PENTAX’s acclaimed smc coating for maximum light transmission, sharp definition, and high contrast while minimizing flare and ghost imaging.
- Penta Kaf Mount
- Focal Length equal to 27.5mm – 84mm in the 35mm format
- Comapt dimensions with minimal aberrations
- Responsive “Quick-Shift Focus System” Allows instant shift from AF to MF
- The image circle is designed to match the CCD used in Pentax digital SLR’s
Conclusion – Pros
- Excellent build quality for a kit lens
- Proper manual focus ring, non-rotating front element, quick-shift manual focus
- High quality petal-type lens hood included in box
- Generally consistent image quality
Conclusion – Cons
- Falloff and distortion at 18mm wideangle
- ‘Soft focus’ effect at 55mm F5.6 coupled with closer focus distances
The Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL is a surprisingly good kit zoom although it has its weaknesses specifically at 18mm. The center and border performance is fine here but the extreme corners are somewhat soft. Pronounced vignetting and reduced contrast are also present at f/3.5. At 35mm and 55mm the situation is much better. CAs are very well controlled. The build quality is good for a kit zoom and a level up from the rest of the gang such as the Canon EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 or Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 ED. All-in-all a good offer from a price/value perspective but naturally there’re better lenses out there … with a much higher price tag.