Pentax pops out a pair of lenses

Bid welcome to a fast-ish zoom for the K-mount and a wide zoom for the Q.

The HD Pentax DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR Pentax

Whether you shoot with a big dSLR or diminutive Q, Pentaxians looking for a little more flexibility in their lens choices should welcome the latest addition to the company's lens lineup, a nice-sounding Limited series zoom -- the first zoom and weather-resistant Limited lens Pentax has offered -- and a not-toy, wide-ish but slow zoom for the Q mount.

The HD Pentax DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR specs out pretty well, and seems like an attractive match for the K-3 . Its effective focal length of 30.5-61.5 on an APS-C camera offers a good everyday range, and at f2.8-4, it's not exceptionally fast but a reasonable step up from an 18-55mm kit lens, if quite a bit shorter. In addition to being weather resistant, it incorporates all of Pentax's current high-end coatings and a nine-bladed aperture for rounder out-of-focus highlights, can focus as close as 10.8 inches, and stops down as far as f22-f32. It's relatively compact as well, with dimensions of 2.8x2.7 inches, a filter diameter of 55mm and weighs 10 ounces. At $995.95, it's not especially cheap, but that's a pretty standard manufacturer price -- hopefully, actual prices will be a little lower.

The 08 wide zoom for the Pentax Q-mount cameras. Pentax

At the other end of the spectrum, the company has announced a new lens for its toylike Q series of cameras. The 08 Wide Zoom has a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 17.5-27mm ( Q7 ) or 21-32.5mm(Q, Q10 ), which complements the 02 Standard zoom's 27.5- 83mm range. It's got a built-in neutral-density filter, which is a bit odd given its slow maximum aperture range of f3.7-4. It can focus as close as 9.8 inches and takes 49mm filters. It will cost $499.95, which seems pretty steep for this camera, though I don't doubt the technical difficulties Pentax encountered to produce a wide-angle lens this small.

Both lenses are slated to ship in December.


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