Optics Not on Par with Build & Features

Started 9 months ago | User reviews thread
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Optics Not on Par with Build & Features
9 months ago

This was to be a cheap, weather resistant walkaround zoom for my new K-5 II S. On the surface, it seemed like a good bet with a tight, modern build, full-time focus override with a distance scale, metal mount, non-rotating front element and weathersealing... not to mention a nice hood included.  Seemed like a lot of lens for $150 USD new.

No zoom creep, very smooth focus and zoom rings for a kit lens and fast (but very noisy) AF using the K-5 II S's screw drive motor.

I think what gets me about this lens is how I cannot get a uniformly sharp image, even at f/8 or f/11. The corners are never sharp. The center of the image is good, even at large apertures, but the muddy corners, pronounced CA and general lack of "pop" make it very hard to recommend this lens. It is a noticeable step down optically from the Canon 18-55mm IS I used on my 30D years ago. I get much better results with my little MX-1 wide open than I do with this lens at f/8. Pitiful.

If Pentax-Ricoh hopes to be competitive they need to modernize their optical performance, pure and simple. This being a kit lens is no longer an excuse for poor optics.

 DDWD10's gear list:DDWD10's gear list
Pentax Q Pentax K-5 IIs Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR +4 more
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Canon EOS 30D Pentax K-5 II Pentax MX-1 Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR
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