Pentax DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL review
The SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL, to give it its full name, is Pentax’s take on the ubiquitous ‘kit lens’ concept, designed to offer a functional lens to sell with their SLR bodies at the lowest possible price. And while most of the other manufacturers have taken the opportunity to explore how to build a lens as simply as possible, and using as much plastic as they can get away with, Pentax have taken a different approach.
They have attempted to produce an optic which feels well-made and offers some genuinely desirable features for serious photographers, including a non-rotating front element for filter users, and a fully usable manual focus option. This approach will no doubt appeal to the more knowledgeable buyer, but the big question must be whether the optics live up the apparent aspirations of the lens, or instead corners have been cut at the expense of showroom appeal.
UPDATE: During the final preparation of this review, Pentax announced an new 'mark II' version of this lens to coincide with the launch of the K20D, and presumably tweaked to take better advantage of the 14Mp sensor. We hope to get our hands on the new lens, to see exactly what improvements Pentax have managed to make.
- 27-83mm equivalent focal length range
- 'Quick shift' manual focus system
- KA mount for Pentax APS-C dSLRS only
Angle of view
The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto:
|18mm (27mm equivalent)||55mm (83mm equivalent)|
Pentax DA 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 AL specifications
|Street price|| US: $110
|Date introduced||September 2004|
|Maximum format size||APS-C|
|35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C)||27-83mm|
|Diagonal angle of view (APS-C)||76°- 32°|
|Lens Construction||• 12 elements/ 9 groups
• 1 Aspherical element
|Number of diaphragm blades||6|
|Maximum magnification||0.34x at 55mm|
|AF motor type||• ‘Screw drive’ from camera body
• ‘Quick Shift’ manual focus
|Focus method||Extending front element|
|Filter thread||• 52mm
• Does not rotate on focus
|Supplied accessories||• Front and rear caps
• Petal-type lens hood PH-RBA 52mm
|Weight||225 g (7.9 oz)|
|Dimensions||68mm diameter x 67.5mm length
(2.7 x 2.7 in)
|Lens Mount||Pentax KA|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
Nikon says firmware version 1.03 "Fixes an issue that in rare circumstances would delay the shutter release or the start of the autofocus operation."
The Kickstarter campaign for Yashica’s digiFilm Y35 camera has produced a wave of complaints about delays in shipping product as well as cameras that don’t work.
Pixelmator today released Pixelmator Pro 1.2 Quicksilver, a major update to its image editing app for Mac.
Although Raw performance of the EOS R is very similar to the 5D Mark IV, Canon's done some tweaking on the JPEGs - take a look at our studio scene to see for yourself.
If you've backed one of the company's crowdfunding projects, the reward will not arrive and you won't get your money back either as Meyer Optik Görlitz's parent company, Net SE, is completely dead.
The importance of APS-C, a future a7S model in development and why customers want two card slots – read our full interview with Sony's Kenji Tanaka.
Google's Super Res Zoom technology uses pixel-shifting methods to achieve zoom results comparable to some optical solutions. Google has published an in-depth explanation on its AI blog.
CyberLink has release the latest version of its photo editing and design program PhotoDirector.
Toy manufacturer Tomy has launched a no-battery-required smartphone printer that is remarkably like the one Holga has been promoting via a Kickstarter campaign but which is already available for $40/£39.
A handful of Sony users have noticed a particular model of SanDisk SD cards is showing errors when used with Sony a7 III camera.
The Fujifilm X-T3's 4K video more than lives up to its impressive specification, making it one of the most capable video cameras we've ever tested.
VSCO has made it easier to find the right presets for your photos with a few interface changes to its smartphone app.
TinyMOS is back with NANO1, an all-new astrophotography camera that's one-third the size of the TINY1 it announced three years ago.
Huawei's latest flagship device comes with the widest range of focal lengths of all current smartphones.
After shaking up the Lightroom ecosystem with Lightroom CC last year, Adobe has released version 2.0 of the cloud-centric photo organizer and editor. We look at new features like People View, how far Lightroom CC has come in its first year, and where Lightroom is headed.
Today, at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe previewed Photoshop CC on iPad, a full-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop for iOS.
The weather and has most definitely taken a turn toward fall here, and our shooting opportunities have followed suit. We brought the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 along to a harvest festival of sorts and a few of our usual haunts.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.
Luna Display started its life as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. Now, it's available to purchase directly online.
We sat down with the Google Pixel camera team to learn about key new camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and an explanation of the sophisticated software advancements that power them.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the cameras in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and newer dual-camera models infringe on a patent that was granted in 2003.