Along with the K-5 twins Pentax has also announced two new lenses. As stated in the title one is a consumer zoom which for some is affordable and the other is a high end professional telephoto lens which you most likely can’t.
The first of the two is a DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM zoom lens and the other is labeled the HD DA 560mm f5.6 ED telephoto lens. The HD label and actually has nothing to do with video (surprise!) and is actually a new lens coating.
The new 18-270mm zoom from Pentax offers a large 15x zoom (35mm equivalent of 27.5 wide to 414mm super telephoto). This sort of lens is for those who just want a good walk around lens or a single travel lens that would handle it all. The camera features all the latest technology from Pentax as well as a Supersonic AF motor (SDM). The lens offers a minimum focus distance of 1.6ft over the entire range of the zoom. The lens also offers a rounded diaphragm which gives good looking beautiful bokeh.
This lens is a bit interesting because Pentax at the moment doesn’t have a full-frame although they do have a medium format camera. I mentioned this because both Nikon, Canon and Sony who sell big lenses like this are all built for their 35mm equivalent cameras. That means this lens on the K-5 II will look like 859mm when compared to the field of view of full-frame. So if you looked at the f5.6 and shrugged with a well… its not a fast f4 lens think again.
This 560mm beast is dustproot and weather resistant and features 29 seals. All I can say is if this lens is anywhere near as tough in bad weather as their DSLR cameras this lens would be the ideal hurricane coverage lens. Ive seen people including our own Chris Gampat run water over these cameras and it shocks me how well it handles it.
The lens has a filter holder built-in to the camera near the end of the barrel near the rear element. The filter size is 40.5mm in diameter and allows you to easily add filters to this lens.
HD coating from Pentax is new and I think you will see this feature more on their pro series lenses. The features include: 50% reduction of reflections in the visible spectrum, high rigidity coating layer and accurate reflection of design concept to actual coating layer. I am actually not sure what that last feature is but the new multi layer coating from Pentax compared to other conventional coatings offers an improved light transmittance and lower refractive index. Coatings on lenses have to be the most difficult things to write about, especially when the coating only exists on two lenses I will never own (this and Pentax’s new 90mm 645 lens).
The 18-270mm lens will run you a reasonable $799 and the 560mm lens will cost you a hefty $6,999.
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