A new 40mm pancake-style lens has been announced by Pentax which has been designed exclusively for use with its digital SLRs, the *istD and the *ist DS. The smc Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens (equivalent to 61mm) measures just 15mm long and weighs 90g. It also features Quick-Shift Focus System for instant switching to manual-focus operation, a nine-blade diaphragm to assure true to life reproduction of out of focus areas, a minimum focus distance of 40cm and the ability to attach filters. The lens is due to ship in February 2005.

Press Release:

PENTAX Introduces a Lightweight, Ultra Thin 40mm Limited Lens For Digital SLRs

Golden, CO. (December 2004 )…PENTAX Imaging Company continues to expand its digital SLR lens family with the announcement of a fourth member − the smc PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens.  Designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras, the unique pancake style standard lens measures a mere .59 inches in length and weighs just 3.17 ounces. Combined with the popular PENTAX *ist DS digital SLR, the PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens will offer the smallest and lightest digital SLR combination available from any manufacturer.

As part of the PENTAX Limited Series, the lens will offer exceptional image quality and construction, high contrast, high resolution, and minimal aberrations. Also compatible with the ist D digital SLR, this ultra thin lens will offer overall maneuverability during shooting as well as portability and storage convenience.  This everyday standard lens will provide outstanding performance in a range of applications including snapshots, portraiture, indoor shooting and landscape photography.

Featuring a sophisticated appearance that incorporates an aluminum lens barrel, hood and cap, the lens offers a perspective similar to the naked eye with its 40mm focal length (equivalent to 61mm in the 35mm format), a large maximum aperture of F2.8, and a minimum focusing distance of 40 centimeters.

The PENTAX DA 40mm also features the PENTAX Quick Shift Focus System for instant switching to manual focus operation, a nine blade diaphragm to assure true-to-life reproduction of out-of-focus areas, and filter attachment versatility (a 49mm-size filter on the lens or a 30.5mm-size filter on the lens hood).

The PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens will ship in FEBRUARY 2005. 

Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens specifications

Lens mount Pentax KAF mount
Lens construction Five elements in four groups
Angle of view 39 degrees (when used with *istD, *istDS)
Aperture control Automatic
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Minimum aperture F22
Metering system TTL open-aperture metering
Minimum focusing distance 0.4m
Filter size 49mm
Maximum magnification 0.13x
Dimensions (diameter x length) 63m x 15mm (1.24 x 0.59 inches)
Weight 90g (3.17 ounces) (w/o hood)