Sep 23, 2019
HD Pentax-DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW
Most camera systems nowadays include what is often referred to as the "trinity", a trio of fast, F2.8 zoom lenses: a wide angle, a normal zoom and a telephoto. With full frame sensors, this is generally a 15-30mm, a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. Pentax is no exception to this.
On APS-C, the exact ranges vary a bit but generally cover comparable fields of view. On the K-mount, the 16-50mm and 50-135mm are two aspects of the APS-C trinity. Both have been announced in February 2007 and, since then, the wider lens was missing.
Fast forward 12 years later, and Pentax completed this particular section of its lineup in 2019 with the launch of the HD DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW. This new lens includes the newest technologies from Pentax. For instance, while the two older lenses use SMC coatings, the new one uses the more recent HD coatings. It also uses a DC motor instead of SDM. This latter change, in particular, will be of interest for many users, considering that the 50-135mm carries a reputation as a slow-focus lens, and that the 16-50mm has had its fair share of SDM failures in the early years.
The 11-18mm follows the current design ethos of larger lenses with no compromises on optical performances. It also uses the visual signature found on the recent additions to the Pentax lineup.
With a weather resistant body, focus clamp, cold resistance down to -10°C, a dedicated groove for a heater, the 11-18mm will be of particular interest for astrophotographers, but its applications are varied. Read on to find out what we thought of the HD DA* 11-18mm F2.8!
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