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10-28-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
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SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm Zoom Lens Announced

October 1, 2007

The SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] has been announced as Pentax's latest addition to its digital lens lineup. This versatile lens, featuring a field of view ranging from 76 to 6.5 and a zoom ratio of approximately 14x, had previously been available from Tamron and will now enter the market under the Pentax brand. According to Pentax, this lens will retail for approximately $500 and will be available later this month.

From the specifications and images provided of this lens, it can be concluded that the lens is based almost entirely on the Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-f/6.3 XR DI-II LD Aspherical (IF) AF.

Press Release from

PENTAX Imaging Company is pleased to announce the smc PENTAX DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3ED AL [IF] interchangeable zoom lens designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras. With an approximate 14X zoom ratio covering from wide-angle to super-telephoto ranges, this versatile lens handles a great variety of applications from wide-angle landscapes to close-up sporting events and wildlife photography.


-High zoom ratio
Mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, this zoom lens offers approximate 14X zoom ratio that covers the range from 27.5mm wide angle to 383mm super-telephoto in the 35mm format. Without the need for lens changes, it can be used for a wide variety of applications — ranging from such standard applications as landscape photography, snapshots and portrait at frequently used focal lengths, to specialized applications like sports and wildlife photography at the super-telephoto range.
Superb image description assured by extra-low dispersion (ED) and aspherical optical (AL) elements:
Incorporating two extra-low dispersion (ED) elements and two aspherical (AL) elements, this lens effectively compensates for the adverse effects of various aberrations, assuring outstanding image description.

-Digital SLR exclusive design
This lens is exclusively designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras, with its image circle perfectly proportioned to their image sensor size (23.5mm x 15.7mm). Since the coating, curvature and position of all optical elements are optimized for the characteristics of digital images, the lens effectively minimizes annoying flare and ghost images in the resulting images.

-Minimum focusing distance
An extra-short minimum focusing distance of 0.45 meters over the entire zoom range
Inner-focus (IF) mechanism to avoid lens extension during focusing.

Lens Specifications:

Lens mount: PENTAX KAF mount
Lens construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
Angle of view: 76-6.5
Number of aperture blades: 7
Minimum aperture: F22-F45
Minimum focusing distance: 0.45m
Filter size: 62mm
Maximum magnification: 0.28X

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10-29-2007, 10:44 AM   #2
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Hi all

....zzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz !

Nothing new, just 'deja vu' !!

This 'official announcement' of Pentax's forthcoming super-zoom simply goes to prove the oft-quoted adage that
"imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and verifies what owners of Tamron's 18-250mm Di II already knew.....
that it's an optically excellent lens, which offers great value for money.
Phew, what a no immediate need to rush down to my local Pentax dealership !!!!!

Best regards

Last edited by Confused; 10-31-2007 at 06:02 PM.
10-29-2007, 10:49 AM   #3
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I've already called my dealer and asked for two as soon as they're available. These are going to be the perfect travel lenses and I can hardly wait to get my hands on them.
10-29-2007, 12:24 PM   #4
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'SMC' is a specifically Pentax thing, AIUI.

Are the coatings actually different from the Tamron?

Is it known yet what other differences there are?

10-29-2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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Lots of news already on the WWW about this one, basically a rebadged Tamron - no differences other than the SMC coating the advantages of which are probably pretty minor

If considering the 18-250 I'd choose between the Tamron / Pentax versions purely on price & warranty offered

10-31-2007, 06:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by simonkit Quote
(snip) basically a rebadged Tamron - no differences other than the SMC coating the advantages of which are probably pretty minor (snip)

The Tamron lens employs it's own proprietary coatings, including internal surface and multiple-layer coatings. While designed to do roughly the same thing as Pentax's Super-Multi-Coating (SMC) technology (increase light transmission, reduce glare, enhance image contrast, and minimize reflections), there is nothing available at the moment to suggest which might actually perform best in the real world. But, given that both lenses employ multiple coatings intended for the same things, I'd have to agree with your conjecture that any differences in this regard would likely be very minimal.

In fact, based on that notion, I purchased the Tamron lens instead of waiting for the Pentax version. While I cannot say how those two particular lenses compare, the Tamron does focus much quicker than the Sigma 18-200mm in both normal and weak lighting. For example, the Tamron lens quickly focused on a black chair in a poorly illuminated room, something the Sigma lens was not able to do at all. So, while I haven't tested the Tamron lens extensively yet (waiting on another order to test all at the same time), I do feel it is an improvement over my previous walkabout lens (the wife is now using the Sigma lens on her new K10D).

12-18-2007, 08:55 PM   #7
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I was especially interested in the weather/dust seals of the Pentax to go with the same on the K10d. Does the Tamron sport the same seals or is this unique to the Pentax version?

12-18-2007, 09:02 PM   #8
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Only the DA* lenses offer the weatherproofing. Currently there are only two of those, the 50-135 f/2.8 and the 16-50 f/2.8.
12-18-2007, 09:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jodokast96 Quote
Only the DA* lenses offer the weatherproofing. Currently there are only two of those, the 50-135 f/2.8 and the 16-50 f/2.8.
You are right, I went back and carefully reread the PCPhoto review. Sure enought the 18-250 is missing the *. Thanks!
12-28-2007, 09:57 PM   #10
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This lens will be my next lens purchase. Just comparing prices at the moment... this and my recently ordered K10D and 50mm f/1.4 will make for a nice starter setup I think.
01-16-2008, 02:45 PM   #11
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I picked up the 18-250mm a few weeks ago for US$450. Overall, great lens. But I kind of wish I got the Tamron branded model instead. No green ring, slightly cheaper, and a longer warranty.

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