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Lens review

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II

16 October 2009
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

As we didn’t use the predecessor of the Pentax, presented here, in our tests but its clone from the Schneider – Kreuznach stable, the new model will be also compared to it. Let’s have a look at the situation in the frame centre.

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - Image resolution

What can be said? From about f/8.0 aperture both lenses’ performance is the same within the margin of error. Fundamental differences, though, are noticed near the maximum relative aperture. There, at every focal length the new “kit” fares better, achieving results higher by 4 to 12 lpmm. The improvement for the 55 mm focal length and f/5.6 aperture combination is especially welcomed - it became useful and it allows to take quite decent portrait photos.

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The next picture shows the frame edge performance.

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - Image resolution

Once again there are reasons to be happy. The improvement can be noticed at every focal length; although at 18 mm it is slight, at 55 mm it becomes really noticeable. It can make the user satisfied but you can’t forget that the picture quality at the widest angle when wide open remains still low.

The picture below shows our test charts crops obtained with help of slightly sharpened JPEG files from the Pentax K10D camera.

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - Image resolution


In addition, to make the lack of the test of the new kit lens’s predecessor more palatable, the pictures below show a direct comparison of both models, made in the same moment and in the same conditions on the same body (red roofs are in the frame centre, the rest belongs to the edges). The dominance of the new model can be also clearly seen here in practically every aspect.

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - Image resolution

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - Image resolution

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - Image resolution

Pentax smc DA 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - Image resolution