HD Pentax- DA* 11-18mm F2.8 and FA 35mm F2 Officially Announced

One new full-frame, one new APS-C lens

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jan 31, 2019
HD Pentax- DA* 11-18mm F2.8 and FA 35mm F2 Officially Announced

Pentax has officially added two new lenses to its lineup today: the long-anticipated HD Pentax-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW, and the HD Pentax-FA 35mm F2, which was more of a surprise.  The 11-18mm, which is a premium ultra-wide zoom for APS-C cameras, has been in development for well over a year, and was delayed after originally being slated for a mid-2018 launch.  The 35mm, a compact wide-angle full-frame lens based on the currently-available SMC FA 35mm F2 from the film era, was not previously hinted at. 

The high-end 11-18mm lens will retail at 1399 USD/GPB/EUR, while the budget-friendly 35mm will cost 399 USD/GBP/EUR.  Information about both lenses has been added to our lens finder, compatibility checker, and deal finder.  Full specifications can be found in the lens finder or in the lens database (see links above).

For those wondering about the compatibility of the 11-18mm: it uses the KAF3 mount, so it will work fine on DSLRs older than the K-3.

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And just like that, more lenses have been added to the Pentax lineup this year than in 2018!  Landscape and astrophotographers will surely enjoy the 11-18mm, which on top of excellent image quality and a convenient zoom range, offers features such as a focus clamp, weather sealing, and silent DC autofocus.   This will be the widest rectilinear lens in Pentax's APS-C lineup, and completes a trio of  pro-grade DA* F2.8 zoom lenses for this format (together with the 16-50mm and 50-135mm).  Learn more about it on Ricoh Imaging's star-series special site.

The HD FA 35mm (note: not HD D FA) appears to simply bring HD and SP coatings to the film-era SMC FA 35mm F2, in addition to a refreshed appearance and hood design.  This lens is designed for users looking for an affordable, compact wide-angle lens for full-frame.  As an FA-series lens, the new 35mm lacks modern features such as silent autofocus or quick-shift manual focus override, however.  Check out our review of HD vs. SMC coating to see what to expect from the revamped version.

Press Release: HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW

TOKYO, January 31, 2019
RICOH COMPANY, LTD. and RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. are pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8ED DC AW. This high-performance, ultra-wide-angle, Star-series lens features a large F2.8 maximum aperture over the entire zoom range to deliver exceptional optical performance.

This ultra-wide-angle zoom lens has been developed as the latest model of the new-generation Star (★) series -- a lens that provides exceptional image quality to be able to accommodate the super-high-performance digital cameras of the future. It delivers high-resolution, high-contrast images without blurring at the edges, and assures excellent imaging performance in high-grade digital photography, even at open aperture. With the introduction of this lens, the high-quality, high-performance Star series now provides a wide angle-of-view coverage --from ultra-wide angle to telephoto -- with its compact models featuring a large F2.8 maximum aperture, which are exclusively designed for use with PENTAX APS-C-format digital SLR cameras. In addition to an outstanding dustproof, weather-resistant construction, the lens provides a Focus Clamp Mechanism to lock focus at the desired focal point. It also provides useful features to improve performance and dependability in harsh outdoor conditions: a space specifically designed for wrapping a heating device to prevent dew condensation, and a metallic frame structure to more effectively transmit the heat of the heating device to the lens. These devices greatly improve the lens's operability when shooting landscapes and starry skies.

Main Features of the new HD PENTAX-DA★11-18mm F2.8ED DC AW

1. Large F2.8 maximum aperture

Despite its compact dimensions, this ultra-wide-angle zoom lens provides a focal length of 11 to 18 millimeters (equivalent to 17mm to 27.5mm in 35mm format) to produce magnificent, dynamic images. Since its maximum aperture is fixed at F2.8 over the entire zoom range, it delivers sharp, bright images of scenes with starry skies. Thanks to a minimum focusing distance of 0.3 meters, the lens also lets the photographer capture true-to-life close-up images by emphasizing the depth of field with an effectively defocused background.

2. HD Coating to enhance imaging power

This lens features high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating,* which reduces the average reflectance in the visible ray spectrum to less than 50% of conventional multi-layer coatings. It effectively minimizes flare and ghost images even in demanding lighting conditions such as backlighting.

* HD stands for High Definition.

3. Ideal design optimized for photography of landscapes and star-lit scenes

The unique Focus Clamp Mechanism allows the photographer to lock the lens's focal point, even when the focus ring is rotated. This improves the lens's operability in photographing such subjects as landscapes and star-lit scenes, which demand high-precision focusing during extended exposures. It also has special features for improved operability and versatility in outdoor shooting, such as a space for wrapping heating wires around the lens barrel to prevent dew condensation, without affecting focus-ring operation; and a metallic frame structure to more effectively transmit the heat of the heating device to the lens.

4. Dustproof, weather-resistant construction

Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, this zoom lens features a dustproof, weather-resistant construction to prevent the intrusion of water and dust particles into the lens interior. By pairing it with a PENTAX weather-resistant digital SLR camera body, this assures a highly durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings -- even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes.

5. Other features

     ・Smooth, quiet AF operation using a DC motor
    ・Round-shaped, nine-blade diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources
    ・Quick-Shift Focus System to provide an instant shift to manual-focus operation after locking the subject in focus during AF operation by pressing the shutter-release button halfway down; usable at any time during AF operation
    ・SP (Super Protect) Coating to keep the lens's front surface free of dust and stains


Press Release: HD Pentax-FA 35mm F2

TOKYO, January 31, 2019

RICOH COMPANY, LTD. and RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. are pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-FA35mmF2. Despite its compact dimensions, this high-performance, wide-angle lens is designed to cover the full-frame image circle of PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras.

The development of this new lens was based on the smc PENTAX-FA35mm F2 AL -- a very popular multi-purpose, wide-angle lens used on film-format SLR cameras -- while conducting a thorough review of lens coatings. The high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating has been applied to the optical elements to produce high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness and free of flare and ghost images; the highly stain-repellent SP Coating has been applied to the front surface to improve the lens's usability in outdoor locations. The exterior has been totally redesigned to match the design of latest PENTAX K-mount digital SLR models, while its compact, portable body makes it a perfect everyday-use lens.


Main Features of the new HD PENTAX-FA35mm F2

1. HD Coating to enhance imaging power

After a thorough review of the lens coatings applied to the popular smc PENTAX-FA35mm F2AL, PENTAX applied the latest HD Coating* to this lens. Compared to conventional multi-layer coatings, this high-performance, multi-layer coating reduces average reflectance and improves light transmittance to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even in demanding lighting conditions such as backlighting.

* HD stands for High Definition.

2. SP Coating to repel stains

Applied to the lens's front surface, the SP (Super Protect) Coating is highly repellent to water and grease, making it easy to wipe off any stains. This frees the photographer from worries in outdoor photography.

3. New exterior design to match latest digital SLR models

While retaining the overall size of the original smc PENTAX-FA35mmF2AL, this lens features a totally new exterior design, similar to that of the latest DA- and D FA-series lenses. This new appearance makes this single-focus lens a perfect partner for latest K-series digital SLR models. Since this lens retains the aperture ring, it also accommodates many of the functions provided by film-format SLR cameras and older K-mount digital SLR models, making it possible to enjoy photography using a greater range of cameras.

4. Easy-to-use standard lens

When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this lens provides a moderately wide 35mm angle of view with a full-frame model, or a standard 53.5mm angle of view with an APS-C-format model. Since it provides a natural perspective similar to that of the naked eye, it can be used as a multi-purpose standard lens in a wide range of applications, including snapshooting, scenic photography and portraiture. It also features a minimum focusing distance of 0.3 meters.

5. Compact, portable design

Weighing approximately 193 grams and measuring a mere 44.5 millimeters in length, this lens has been designed to be extremely compact and highly portable for carefree photography at any location and on every occasion.

6. Hybrid aspherical optical elements

The lens incorporates hybrid aspherical optical elements to effectively compensate for various aberrations. Thanks to these elements, it delivers extra-clear, high-contrast images from the minimum focusing distance to infinity, and edge-to-edge sharpness even at open aperture.

Product Photos

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge.

Stay tuned for in-depth reviews of both lenses!

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