Pentax today announced its 18-250mm 14x superzoom covering an equivalent focal range of 27.5 - 383 mm. Alongside the hulking zoom range it also boasts internal focus and a closest focus distance of 45 cm (17.7 in) throughout the zoom range - giving a reproduction ratio of around 1:3. One ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and two AL (Aspherical) elements in its design help to minimize optical aberrations. The lens will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $499.95. More info and specifications after the jump.

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Press release
Specifications
Pricing and availability

Press release:

smc PENTAX-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3ED AL [IF]

A high-performance zoom lens offering a versatile approximately 14X zoom ratio, designed exclusively for PENTAX digital SLR cameras

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the marketing of the smc PENTAX-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3ED AL [IF] interchangeable zoom lens, designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras. With its approximately 14-times zoom ratio covering from wide-angle to super-telephoto ranges, this versatile lens handles a great variety of applications without the need for lens changes.

Main Features:

  1. High zoom ratio
    When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this zoom lens offers an approximately 14-times zoom ratio that covers the range from 27.5mm wide angle to 383mm super-telephoto in the 35mm format. Without the need for lens changes, it can be used for a wide variety of applications — ranging from such standard applications as landscape photography, snapshots and portrait at frequently used focal lengths, to specialized applications like sports and wildlife photography at the super-telephoto range.
  2. Superb image description assured by extra-low dispersion (ED) and aspherical optical (AL) elements
    Incorporating one extra-low dispersion (ED) and two aspherical (AL) optical elements in its optics, this lens effectively compensates for the adverse effects of various aberrations, assuring outstanding image description.
  3. Digital SLR-exclusive design
    This lens is exclusively designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras, with its image circle perfectly proportioned to their image sensor size (23.5mm x 15.7mm). Since the coating, curvature and position of all optical elements are optimized for the characteristics of digital images, it effectively minimizes annoying flare and ghost images in the resulting images.
  4. Others
    1. An extra-short minimum focusing distance of 0.45 meters over the entire zoom range
    2. Inner-focus (IF) mechanism to avoid lens extension during focusing

Main Specifications

Lens mount

Pentax KAF mount

Lens construction

16 elements in 13 groups

Angle of view 76° ~ 6.5° (when mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body)
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Minimum aperture F22 ~ F45
Minimum focus distance 45cm (1.48 ft)
Filter size 62mm
Maximum magnification 0.28x
Dimensions 75mm (maximum diameter) x 85.5mm (length) (3.0 inch x 3.4 inch)
Weight (no hood)

455 g (16 oz)

Pricing and availability

The smc PENTAX-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3ED AL [IF] will be available from October 2007 with a recommended price of US $499.95.