Pre-PMA 2008: Pentax has added some interesting new lenses to its line-up. The 300mm F4 and 200mm F2.8 compact telephotos incorporate Sonic Drive Motor for quiet and swift focusing. The 35mm F2.8 macro looks to be a variation on the recently-announced Tokina (or is it the other way around?). A couple of general purpose zooms - 18-55 and 55-300 - should keep the soccer moms happy although they are likely to be excellent performers in their own right.

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Press Release:

PENTAX EXTENDS LENS RANGE FOR DIGITAL SLRS

Five new lenses are announced to supplement the existing range of accessories for digital SLR cameras.

The two new fast telephotos smc PENTAX-DA* 200mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM and smc PENTAX-DA* 300mm F4.0 ED [IF] SDM are not only optically astounding but also support the ultrasonic autofocus drive system for fast and quiet operation.

Special optical glass including ED glass elements, aspherical lens elements and outstanding lens coating provide for excellent contrast characteristics, a consistent edge-to-edge sharpness and a particularly clear rendition of fine details.

As well as the outstanding imaging attributes, PENTAX engineers have raised the mechanical characteristics of the lenses to a state-of-the-art level. Built-in ultrasonic motors (Supersonic Motors) in the lenses provide for extremely quiet and fast autofocusing. Both lenses are also weatherproofed and protected from penetrating dust by appropriate seals. The front lens elements of the lenses use the special Pentax SP - "Super Protect" - fluoride coating technology. This nano-technology protects the front lens against dust, finger marks or smearing, making the lenses exceptionally easy to clean. The Pentax "Quick Shift Focus System" allows the photographer to manually alter the focus point at will without having to take the camera out of the autofocus mode.

The new smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited Lens will satisfy the most demanding photographer with its pictorial quality. Due to its fast aperture and outstanding sharpness this lens is ideal as an everyday ‘standard lens’.

Two zoom lenses; the smc PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II and the smc PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED complete the new PENTAX lens assortment. With their compactness and extended zoom range they are both well suited for all types of general photography. The SP - "Super Protect" - technology and the PENTAX "Quick Shift Focus System" are incorporated in both lenses. ED glass lens elements are used in the optical construction of the smc PENTAX PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 tele-zoom in order to assure the highest image quality possible.

(The SDM (Supersonic Motor) system can only be used with PENTAX K10D and K100D Super. All other PENTAX DSLR cameras use the AF drive system incorporated in the camera body.)

smc PENTAX-DA* 200 mm F2.8ED [IF] SDM specifications

Focal length 200mm
Aperture range F/2.8 - 22
Optical construction 9 elements in 8 groups
Angle of view 8.1° (with a PENTAX digital SLR body)
Minimum focus distance 1.2 m
Magnification 0.20x (1:5.0)
Filter size 77 mm
Aperture control Fully automatic
Aperture blades 9
Lens hood PH-RBK77 mm
Lens case S120-160
Lens cap O-LC77
Diameter x length 83 mm x 134 mm
Weight 825 g
Special features • Supersonic Motor
• Quick-shift Focus System
• SP (Super Protect) Coating
• Filter drawer
Expected retail price (UK) £799.99

smc PENTAX-DA* 300 mm F4ED [IF] SDM specifications

Focal length 300 mm
(460mm in digital SLR format)
Aperture range F/4 - 32
Optical construction 8 elements in 6 groups
Angle of view 5.4° (with a PENTAX digital SLR body)
Minimum focus distance 1.4 m
Magnification 0.24x (1:4)
Filter size 77 mm
Aperture control Fully automatic
Aperture blades 9
Lens hood PH-RBK77 mm
Lens case S120-210
Lens cap O-LC77
Diameter x length 83 mm x 184 mm
Weight 1070 g
Special features • Supersonic Motor
• Quick-shift Focus System
• SP (Super Protect) Coating
• Filter drawer
• Removable tripod collar
Expected retail price (UK) £899.99

smc PENTAX-DA35 mm F2.8 Macro Limited specifications

Focal length 35 mm
(53.5 mm in digital SLR format)
Aperture range F/2.8 - 22
Optical construction 9 elements in 8 groups
Angle of view 44° (with a PENTAX digital SLR body)
Minimum focus distance 0.139 m
Magnification 1.00x (1:1)
Filter size 49 mm
Aperture control Fully automatic
Aperture blades 9
Lens hood Built-in, retractable
Lens case 48100 Z100
Diameter x length 63 mm x 46.5 mm
Weight 215 g
Special features • Quick-shift Focus System
• SP (Super Protect) Coating
Expected retail price (UK) £299.99

smc PENTAX-DA 18-55 mm F3.5-5.6AL II specifications

Focal length 18-55 mm
(27.5-84 mm in digital SLR format)
Maximum aperture F3.5-5.6
Minimum aperture F22-38
Optical construction 11 elements in 8 groups
Angle of view 76-29° (with a PENTAX digital SLR body)
Minimum focus distance 0.25 m
Magnification 0.34x (1:2.9)
Filter size 52mm
Aperture control Fully automatic
Aperture blades 6
Lens hood PH-RBA52 mm
Lens case S80-120
Lens cap O-LC52
Diameter x length 68.0 mm x 67.5 mm
Weight 220 g (with lens hood 245 g)
Special features • Quick-shift Focus System
• SP (Super Protect) Coating
Expected retail price (UK) £99.99

smc PENTAX-DA 55-300 mm F4-5.8ED specifications

Focal length 55-300 mm
(84.5-460 mm in digital SLR format)
Maximum aperture F4-5.8
Minimum aperture F22-32
Optical construction 12 elements in 8 groups
Angle of view 29-5.4° (with a PENTAX digital SLR body)
Minimum focus distance 1.4 m
Magnification 0.28x (1:3,6)
Filter size 58mm
Aperture control Fully automatic
Aperture blades 6
Lens hood PH-RBG58 mm
Lens case S80-160
Lens cap O-LC58
Diameter x length 71 mm x111.5 mm
Weight 440 g (with Lens hood 470 g )
Special features • Quick-shift Focus System
• Filter Drawer
Expected retail price (UK) £259.99