Pentax Lens Terminology

By PF Staff in Articles and Tips on Aug 8, 2011

The following terms are commonly used in Pentax lens names and descriptions.

* Professional-grade
Limited Compact, top quality
ED Extra-low dispersion element
[IF] Internal focusing
AL Aspherical element
SDM Supersonic drive motor
DC 2nd-generation SDM
WR Weather-resistant
Quick Shift Manual focus adjustments can be made
in AF mode simply by moving focusing ring
OS Optical Stabilizer (Sigma)
HSM Hypersonic Drive Motor (Sigma)
SMC Super Multi Coating (standard coating)
HD High Definition Coating (premium nano coating)
AW All-Weather
WR Weather Resistant

Pentax Lens Series

Pentax produced several series of lenses over the years. Series in active development include the DA (digital-only), DA L (budget kit lenses) and D-FA (digital-optimized full-frame ); some FA (full-frame) lenses are also still in production. Basic differences between them are outlined in the table below. Read more about the different series here.

  Autofocus Quick Shift Auto-Aperture Aperture Ring DSLR-Compatibility
DA Yes Yes Yes No APS-C
DA L Yes No Yes No APS-C
D-FA Yes Yes Yes Varies Full-Frame
FA Yes No Yes Yes Full-Frame
F Yes No Yes Yes Full-Frame
A No N/A Yes Yes Full-Frame
M/K No N/A No Yes Full-Frame

Exhaustive Lens Listings

We feature lens databases complete with every Pentax lens every produced, containing technical specifications as well as over 5,000 user-submitted reviews. Visit the databases!

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