On first impressions this lens looks suspiciously like the Pentax Pentax SMC 18-55mm.....
It’s no secret that Pentax and Samsung are partners in camera production, and recent SLRs from Samsung have shown a striking resemblance to Pentax models. The same goes for lenses. So on first impressions this lens looks suspiciously like the Pentax Pentax-DA SMC f/3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL.
Samsung has also struck a deal with German optical specialists Schneider Kreuznach, whose name is on the front of this optic. Both the Pentax and Samsung lenses are assembled in Vietnam – possibly the same factory? However, there are some differences worth commenting on. For starters, the Samsung lens has a minimum aperture of f/38 (rather than f/40) and a differently designed rubber grip on the zoom and focus rings.
Build and handling
Despite appearing to be the same camera lens, and sharing the same specifications, the Samsung lens is slightly noisier in operation than its Pentax counterpart. But in other respects it appears to be the same, with smooth rotation, and automatic AF to MF functionality. It also has the focus distance scale which is, again, a welcome inclusion.
The results of the Pentax and the Samsung lens are similar, with only a tiny difference between them. Corner and edge sharpness is a concern, but the low amount of fringing at the 55mm end is impressive.
Manufacturing differences between lens, sensor and sensor position, combined with slight positional variations during our testing processes can sometimes produce anomalies in the results. However, the differentials between this Samsung lens and the Pentax fall within a perfectly acceptable limit. Therefore, we can assume they have the same components and are essentially the same lens – first impressions were right!