Pentax DA 12-24mm f/4 AL ED [IF] - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Sample Images

Here're some quick'n dirty sample images taken with the K10D and RAW-converted via ACR 3.7.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE (=several megabytes) which requires quite some bandwidth for downloading so please don't waste the limited resources here.

Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Exposure Data: f/9.0 @ 1/60s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Exposure Data: f/9.0 @ 1/200s
Size 3872x2592
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 24.0mm
Exposure Data: f/9.0 @ 1/250s
Size 3831x2565
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Exposure Data: f/4.0 @ 1/400s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 12.0mm
Exposure Data: f/9.0 @ 1/400s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 14.0mm
Exposure Data: f/9.0 @ 1/200s
Size 3872x2592

Verdict

Similar to the Tokina variant the Pentax SMC DA 12-24mm f/4 AL ED [IF] is great ultra-wide zoom lens although it isn't free of flaws. The sweet spot of the lens is at the wide end of the zoom range where the center quality is outstanding and the borders and even the extreme corners reach very good levels and that's already straight from f/4. The center quality decreases slightly towards the long end of the zoom range. At 24mm it is advisable to stop down a little to lift the contrast level and to get a little extra kick in terms of resolution. Typical for most ultra-wide zooms the vignetting is quite pronounced at 12mm @ f/4 but the problem is already mostly gone by f/5.6. The level of distortions is slightly better than average. The primary weakness of the Pentax lens are chromatic aberrations (color shadows at the image borders) which are fairly hefty at 12mm and a little less so also at 18mm. This isn't a principal show-stopper you are willing to invest a little time to reduce or even eliminate the problem during post processing (most RAW converters can help you here) but it can be visible at times if you prefer untouched JPEGs straight from the camera. It seems as if the lens is less prone to flare compared to its Tokina variant - surely an effect of the SMC coating. The build quality of the lens is very fine and regarding the moderate price tag you're getting lots of bangs for your bucks here.

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