PMA Spring 2005 Show
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Photo by Shawn Barnett, Copyright 2005, The Imaging Resource New Pentax Pancake and Zoom lens
By Shawn Barnett, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, February 27, 2005 - 18:25 EST)

Pentax, one of the big five film SLR manufacturers, now makes two digital SLR cameras, and they're building their digital-specific lens collection just about every show.

What caught my eye at PMA 2005 was a lens I'd previously missed, announced last December: the Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens. I'm not too far behind though, because it's just started shipping in February. Its small, flat profile earns the name "pancake" lens, giving the already small *istD and *istDS a more snag-free presence; great for small camera bags or backpacks. Its nine-blade diaphragm is designed to give a better bokeh, and the lens weighs in at just 3.17 ounces. It's sure to attract attention.



Later, Pentax showed me their new 50 - 200mm zoom, an F4-5.6 ED glass lens also designed specifically for the company's digital SLRs. Most notable about this lens is its small, short package of 3.1 inches (78.5mm) tall and 2.6 inches (66.5mm) diameter, proving that APS-C sized SLRs will indeed usher in smaller lenses and lighter cameras.



The new lens weighs 9.2 ounces (260kg). Pentax was the first to take advantage of the 23.5mm x 15.7mm sensor by building a smaller camera around it, and it's clear that they're sticking to the philosophy of smaller imagers in smaller cameras with smaller lenses to match.

Original Source Press Release:

PENTAX Introduces a Lightweight, Ultra Thin 40mm Limited Lens and Digital Zoom Lens

PENTAX Introduces a Lightweight, Ultra Thin 40mm Limited Lens
For Digital SLRs
 
Golden, CO. (December 12, 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 Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital and film cameras, sport optics, lenses, mobile printers, scanners and internet cameras.  For more than 80 years, PENTAX technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses.  PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PENTAX Corporation of Japan.  PENTAX and smc PENTAX are trademarks of PENTAX Corporation.

smc PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Lens
Specifications
Design and Specifications subject to change without notice.
 
 
        Lens mount:                           PENTAX KAF mount
        Lens construction:                   5 elements in 4 groups
        Angle of view:                         39° ( 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:     15.7 inches  
        Filter size:                              49mm
        Maximum magnification:                     0.13X
        Dimensions (diameter x length):         1.24 x 0.59 inches
        Weight:                                             3.17 ounces  (w/o hood)


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PENTAX Unveils Digital Zoom Lens At PMA 2005
 
Golden, CO. (February 17, 2005)…PENTAX Imaging Company has announced a compact, lightweight, interchangeable telephoto zoom lens for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras.  The smc PENTAX DA 50mm-200mm F4-5.6 ED is the fifth DA-Series lens offered by the photo manufacturer.
 
Designed for exclusive use with PENTAX KAF-mount digital SLR cameras including the *ist D and the *ist DS digital SLRs, the new lens offers 4X zoom coverage in the telephoto range.  Further, the lens features an angle of view from 31.5 degrees to 8.1 degrees (equivalent in focal length from 76.5mm to 306mm in the 35mm format).
As with all DA-Series lenses, this DA 50mm-200mm features a responsive "Quick-Shift Focus System" that allows photographers to instantly switch the focus mode from auto to manual with a slight twist of the focus ring.  Coupled with a simple, functional design and the elimination of an aperture ring, this new mechanism considerably improves operability.  The lens also incorporates an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass lens element and two aspherical lens elements for true-to-life image reproduction and overall size reduction.  The image circle in DA-series lenses is designed to perfectly match the 23.5mm x 15.7mm size of the CCD used in PENTAX digital SLRs to optimize camera performance.  The new design also contributes to a drastic reduction in size, weight and production cost, compared to 35mm-format counterparts with similar specifications.
 
Additional features* of the lens include:

* 11-element/10-group optical construction incorporating ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical elements
* 52mm filter size
* Dimensions (diameter x length):  2.6˝ x 3.1˝  (66.5mm x 78.5mm)
* Weight:  9.2 oz  (260g)
*Design, specifications and product name are subject to change without notice.  Shipping dates and price will be announced in the future.
 
PENTAX Imaging Company will unveil the lens this month at the 2005 Photo Manufacturers
Association trade show from February 20 to 23 in Orlando, Florida.
 
PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital and film cameras, scopes, eyepieces, binoculars, lenses, mobile printers, scanners and internet cameras.  For more than 80 years, Pentax technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses.  With corporate headquarters located in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of PENTAX of America, Inc.

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