HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm DC WR RE Lens Announced

An ultra-compact kit zoom lens with weather sealing and silent AF

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 9, 2015
HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm DC WR RE Lens Announced

Thanks to the HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE— the latest addition to the Pentax K-mount DSLR lens lineup— Pentax users will finally have access to an affordable kit lens with silent autofocus.  The new 18-50mm is also the first Pentax lens to feature an ultra-compact retractable (RE) barrel that lets users collapse and lock the lens while not in use.  In addition, it incorporates a weather-resistant (WR) design which makes it the perfect comparion to Pentax's broad array of weather-sealed bodies such as the K-50, K-5, K-3, and K-S2.

Ricoh Imaging boasts that the 18-50mm can be considered the most compact APS-C kit lens currently on the market.  Indeed, when collapsed, the new Pentax lens is nearly 2 cm shorter than its smallest competitor, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR II; however, it is also half a stop slower and has slightly less reach.  The Nikon lens has the added "handicap" of in-lens stabilization.

Note that despite its compactness when collapsed, when extended the Pentax 18-50mm will be about as long as the existing Pentax DA L 18-55mm WR kit lens.

The HD Pentax 18-50mm will retail for $299 in the US / £229 in the UK and we expect it to start shipping in March, 2014.

A nearly-identical twin has also been announced today: the SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE. This is a cheaper variant designed to ship in camera kits, and it debuts alongside the Pentax K-S2; it will not be available for purchase separately.  In a kit, it costs just $100— about a third of the price of the HD version.  The cheaper version still has silent autofocus, quick-shift manual focus, and weather sealing, but it does not include a hood and uses the conventional SMC coating.

Read on for specifications, product photos, and the official press release.

Specifications

Lens Name HD Pentax-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
SMC Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
Optical Formula 11 elements in 8 groups
Image Circle 16 x 24mm (APS-C)
Autofocus Yes, silent DC
Field of View 76° - 31.5° diagonal
Max. Aperture Range F4-5.6
Min. Aperture Range F22-32
Aperture Blades 7 (rounded)
Aperture Ring N/A
Max. Magnification 0.23x
Minimum Focusing Distance 30cm
Internal Focus No
Quick Shift Focusing
Yes
Filter Diameter 58mm
Cap Push-on cap O-LW67A included
Clip-on cap O-LC67 optional
Hood Square bayonet hood PH-RBJ58 included*
Case Not included
Soft case S80-80 recommended
Diameter x Length 71 x 41mm (collapsed, without hood)
Weight 158 g (165 g with hood)
Mount Designation KAF3
Mount Type Plastic
Barrel Construction Plastic
Lens Correction Support Yes
Weather Sealing Yes
Price (US MSRP) HD DA: $299
SMC DA L: $100 (w/ camera kit only)
Country of Origin Vietnam
Other Features Super Protect coating
Retractable design, suports locking


Product Photos

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge.

MTF Charts

Press Release

[Show Press Release]

February 10, 2015

HD PENTAX-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE
An interchangeable zoom lens, featuring a new retractable mechanism creating the world’s shortest length — 41 millimeters — in the stored position

RICOH IMAGING is pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-DA 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR RE, designed for use with PENTAX K-mount lens-interchangeable digital cameras. This standard zoom lens features a newly developed retractable mechanism for easy storage and outstanding portability, as well as a weather-resistant construction for dependable operation under all shooting conditions.

This standard zoom lens has been developed as a compact, easy-to-use everyday lens that meets user demand for a downsized, high-resolution digital SLR imaging system. Thanks to its retractable mechanism — employed for the first time in the PENTAX K-mount lens system — it provides the world’s shortest length in the stored position: just 41 millimeters. *  Despite its ultra-compact design that assures outstanding portability, it also features the PENTAX-original HD Coating, super-low dispersion glass elements and aspherical elements to effectively compensate various aberrations for sharp, high-contrast, well-balanced images. Its built-in DC motor assures smooth, quiet autofocus operation, while its weather-resistant body makes it extremely dependable and durable in demanding outdoor conditions.

* The world’s shortest standard zoom lens for use with digital SLR cameras (as of February 1, 2015, based on RICOH IMAGING research)

Main Features
1. The world’s shortest standard zoom lens
This standard zoom lens offers a zoom ratio of approximately 2.8 times to cover the wide-angle to standard ranges (for focal lengths equivalent to 27.5mm to 76.5mm in the 35mm format), which are the most frequently used ranges in general photographic applications. Thanks to its new retractable mechanism, it measures a mere 41millimeters in length in the stored position — the world’s shortest for a standard zoom lens — to assure outstanding portability in combination with today’s downsized digital SLR camera body.

2. Dependable weather-resistant construction
This lens features a dependable weather-resistant construction with nine special seals to effectively prevent the intrusion of water into the interior. By pairing it with a weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, the user is assured of a durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in the rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

3. Exceptional image rendition to accommodate latest digital SLR cameras
Incorporating super-low dispersion glass elements and aspherical elements in its 11-element/eight-group optics, this lens effectively compensates various aberrations for high-contrast, high-resolution, fine-detailed images with minimal color bleeding.

4. HD Coating to improve image description
This lens is treated with the high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating.* Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this PENTAX-original coating assures less reflection and higher light transmittance to deliver bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions such as backlight.

* HD stands for High Definition

5. Quick-Shift Focus System
This lens is equipped with the PENTAX-developed Quick-Shift Focus System, which allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation, even when the camera’s AF system is in operation.

6. Other features
·SP (Super Protect) Coating applied to the front surface of the lens to effectively repel water and grease
·Smooth, quiet autofocus operation, driven by the built-in DC motor
·Rounded diaphragm to produce a smooth, beautiful bokeh (defocused) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources
·Low-profile lens hood (included),designed for easy carrying without the need to remove it from the lens for storage

Note: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice

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