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DSLR LENSES

Discover the best glass for you to achieve your photographic goals. Simply click on a button below to explore the specific lenses and find out more about the technology behind Pentax’s versatile range

choosing a lens

The sheer number of different lenses available can be enough to confuse you when starting out, and their names can seem very complicated. But once you know what each part means, you'll find it easy to understand what a particular lens does and how it'll be useful for your photography.

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AL (Aspherical Lenses)

Different to spherical lenses, aspherical lenses do not have a uniformly curved spherical shape. The shape of an aspherical lens is adapted to a specific task and the curvature of each is individually calculated. The production of these lenses is very complex. The greatest advantage of aspherical lenses is that several types of optical aberrations can be corrected at once. Aspherical lens elements are used particularly in high-quality lenses and allow for the use of fewer lens elements so that a high luminous intensity is achieved, producing better pictures.

ED (Extra-low Dispersion) Glass

Normal glass lenses tend to split the light into its various colour components, as a prism would. This happens particularly at the edges, adding unwanted colour fringing to the image. The longer the focal length of the lens, the more apparent the fringing effect. ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass is an exceptionally high-quality speciality glass that prevents this so-called chromatic aberration to a very great extent.

IF (Inner Focusing)

Inside each lens are several groups of lens elements. With an Inner Focusing (IF) design only one of these groups is moved. This has a number of advantages compared with conventional focusing designs where all the lens groups are moved: it works faster and the overall length of the lens remains unchanged so the centre of balance is constant. Additionally, the front lens element doesn’t rotate, so filters do not have to be readjusted every time the focus point changes.

SDM (Supersonic drive Motor)

Small motors move the lens elements to manage the actual focusing of an autofocus system. With the Supersonic Drive Motor, Pentax has developed a technology that propels this focusing procedure using an ultrasonic motor. Pentax SDM lenses therefore drive the autofocus system significantly faster and operate more quietly than conventionally driven AF lenses.

DC (Direct Current motor)

Smoother autofocus operation is performed using an AF driving motor (DC motor) installed in the lens barrel.

Quick Shift Focus System

The Pentax Quick Shift Focus System allows instant switching between auto and manual focus simply by turning the focusing ring on the lens. A clever clutch mechanism takes care of the rest, so you can make adjustments fast.

SMC (Super Multi Coating)

Super Multi Coating is the benchmark of all Pentax lenses. SMC describes the high-quality coating applied to the lens elements. This consists of seven microscopically thin layers. The light loss at the lens surface, between air and glass, is reduced from 4% to 0.2% , so image quality is improved.

HD (High Definition) Coating

Thanks to this new High Definition multilayer lens coating, elements have greater light transmittance, producing sharp and clear images, free of flare and ghosting even under demanding lighting conditions, like shooting towards the sun.

SP (Super Protection) Coating

SP coating is a special feature on the external lens element of specific Pentax lenses. It is based on a fluorine coating and prevents the contamination of the lens by water-based or oily substances. SP coated lenses are much more easily cleaned of fingermarks, smears or other matter than may come in contact with the lens.


AW & WR (Water and dust protection)

Humidity and dirt are the natural enemies of high performance electronics and precision optics. AW lenses provide maximum weather-resistant and dust-proof performance, preventing the intru­sion of drizzle and dust into the lens barrel. WR lenses come with a simpli­fied weather-resistant construction designed to repel a light splash of water.


Round-shaped diaphragm

The shape of this diaphragm, which forms the aperture of the lens, produces a beautiful circular bokeh (out-of-focus) effect, while minimising the streaking effect of point light sources.

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focal length AND angle of view

Focal length is written in millimetres (mm) in the lens's name, for instance 18-135mm. It is a measurement of the distance from a lens's optical centre to the sensor (or film plane) where the image is focused. The measurement is taken when the lens is focused at infinity. That all sounds quite technical, so how does this help you pick a lens? Well, the focal length is also a way of working out the angle of view that a lens will provide (the amount of the scene that will be visible), when it's fitted to the camera. Typically, a focal length of 50mm represents a stand view, similar to that of the human eye. Lower focal lengths, like 20mm, or 35mm are considered wide-angle, because they give a broader view. Greater focal lengths, like 90mm, or 200mm, are condisered telephoto as they give a more magnified view.

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sensor size and lens series

All lenses produce an image circle, and a portion of that is recorded by the rectangular shape of the sensor or the film in the camera. Some lenses, like Pentax DFA and FA models, which are designed for full-frame digital sensors and 35mm film SLRs produce a large circle of light. However, when used with sensors that are smaller than full frame, such as the APS-C sized sensors used in most Pentax DSLRs, a smaller portion of the image circle is recorded, leading to a cropped view of the scene. Therefore, if you used a 50mm lens on a large full-frame sensor, the angle of view would be wider than on a smaller APS-C sensor. The latter has a crop factor of 1.5x, so you get an equivalent focal length of 75mm. Some Pentax lenses (called DA lenses) are designed specifically for smaller sensors, so they produce a smaller image circle, meaning they're not fully compatible with full frame digital or 35mm film SLRs.

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  • wide aperture
  • small aperture

APERTURE (depth-of-field)

A lens’s diaphragm is similar to the iris of a human eye; it can be varied in size to control the amount of light entering the camera. The aperture created by the diaphram also has a large effect on the depth-of-field. Depth-of-field defines the area of sharpness in front of and behind the point of focus and the wider the aperture, the shallower it can get.

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Landscapes

Wide-angle or ultra wide-angle lenses provide a huge benefit in the great outdoors. Because they have very short focal lengths, they produce a very wide angle of view, and this allows the photographer to capture broad, expansive views in their entirety, without missing out important parts.

architecture

When shooting buildings and architecture, a wide-angle lens lets you capture the most information possible. Therefore you can shoot whole monuments or structures in their entirety. Wide-angle lenses are also vital for shooting in confined spaces, like the interior of a building, but the lens should be kept level if possible to avoid perspective distortion.

groups

If you’re shooting groups of people, a wide-angle lens should be employed, allowing you to fit more into the frame than is possible at longer focal lengths. A focal length of around 24mm is a good place to start. Some distortion can occur at wide-angle settings, however, so avoid composing too close to your subjects.

Sports

Unless you're lucky enough to be trackside, shooting sports requires a lens that gets you closer to the action, so even though you’re a long way from the subject they will appear large in the frame. Therefore long focal lengths are often used, which magnify the view. These are called telephoto or super-telephoto focal lengths, and they come in primes or zooms, 100mm to 300mm being good examples.

wildlife photography

Just like sports, long focal lengths are often required for pictures of animals. Depending on the size of the subject and your proximity, the magnification offered by a 100mm telephoto lens or a 300mm super-telephoto lens should guarantee frame-filling results.

live shows

Shooting gigs or live performances where the lighting is often low and the performers are distant will usually require a fast telephoto or super-telephoto lens. The long focal lengths allow you to magnify the subject, while the wide maximum apertures available mean that you can shoot with faster shutter speeds in dim conditions.

portraits

Focal lengths of around 70 to 100mm are ideal for portrait photography. These are the least distorting for the shape of the face so they offer flattering results. Specialist prime portrait lenses, like the smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM also feature wide maximum apertures, allowing you to create a shallow depth-of-field and separate the subject from the busy or distracting backgrounds.

Macro

To capture very small subjects and detail such as flowers, insects and water droplets, a macro lens is essential. Focusing closer than regular lenses, these allow the subjects to be captured larger in the image, even to a life-size 1:1 reproduction ratio. There are three focal lengths of Pentax macro lenses, giving different angles of view, the DA 35mm F2.8 macro Limited, the smc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 50mm F2.8 and the D-FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR.

Reportage AND TRAVEL

If you like reportage photography and images taken on the spot like street photography, it’s better to choose a focal length that provides an angle of view close to that of the human eye. Lenses around 35mm will do the trick, when used on Pentax cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, like the K-3 II or K-S2, as they give a 'standard view'.

The versatile lens

If you’re looking for a lens that may be suitable for landscape, portrait or reportage, you can opt for a universal zoom lens such as the DA 18-270mm or DA 18-135mm. This is a zoom with a focal range which extends from wide-angle to telephoto. Despite a lower brightness than the specialised lenses (maximum apertures are reduced), these are ideal for everyday use as they’re extremely versatile and convenient, particularly when travelling.

heritage lenses

With the right adapters and settings you can use any lens from Pentax’s
illustrious history on your modern DSLR. Here’s how...

what are
heritage lenses?

Pentax has been creating brilliant lenses since the 1950s and if you have a collection of older models you can still use them today, enjoying the benefits of twinning them with a modern camera body. Pentax A-series lenses, which have an automatic aperture setting, are the easiest to use, and despite requiring manual focus, they’ll work in all exposure modes. Older K-mount, M-series and S-mount (screw-fit) lenses require a little more effort as the aperture can’t be controlled from the camera, but you just need to shoot in manual (M) or shutter-priority and use the lens’s aperture ring. Using S-mount (screw-fit) lenses requires the Pentax Mount Adapter B, as, unlike the others, they won’t physically connect.

  • exposure settings
  • USING SHAKE REDUCTION
  • manual focusing tips
  • SHOULD I UPGRADE?
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standard zoom

If you want the convenience of a lens covering a range of subjects from landscapes to portraits, look no further than a standard zoom. With settings from wide-angle to telephoto you’ll be set for anything

SMC PENTAX-DA*
16-50mm f2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM

Offering a wide 16mm to a standard 50mm (equivalent to 25-77mm in 35mm format), this zoom is just at home with landscapes as it is portraits. The bright f/2.8 constant maximum aperture makes it a superb partner in low light too.

HD Pentax-DA
16-85mm f3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

With a 5.3x zoom ratio, this lens produces an equivalent focal range of 24-130mm in 35mm format, taking you from wide-angle to medium telephoto, so it’s useful for a huge range of subjects.

smc pentax-DA
17-70mm f4 AL (IF) SDM

This zoom offers a bright f/4 aperture throughout the focal range, particularly useful for portraits at the 70mm end. It also has an ultrasonic motor for extremely fast and quiet AF. Focal length equivalent to 26-107mm in 35mm format.

HD Pentax-DA
18-50mm f4-5.6 DC WR RE

This standard zoom has a neat retractable mechanism (RE), making it highly compact and portable. A great everyday lens, it’s backed up by extensive weather-resistant seals for use in demanding conditions.

smc pentax-DA
18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR

Compact, lightweight and portable enough to use on any occassion, this standard zoom offers focal lengths suitable for all manner of subject, while image quality is ensured by its aspherical lens element.

smc pentax-DA
18-135mm f3.5-5.6 ED AL (IF) DC WR

With a zoom ratio of 7.5x, this lens is highly adaptable, making it a perfect travel companion, and meaning that even long-telephoto focal lengths for sports and action are well within reach.

smc pentax-DA
18-270mm f3.5-6.3 SDM

This all-in-one solution boasts an incredible 15x zoom ratio, all the way from wide-angle to super-telephoto. Shoot anything from landscapes to portraits or sports, while the SDM system keeps AF sure and silent.

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

Supreme build and image quality combine in this, the first zoom lens in the Limited range. From wide-angle to standard, images are beautifully rendered thanks to the HD coating and round diaphragm.

HD PENTAX D-FA*
24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR

This zoom fits all Pentax DSLRs, but is optimised for full-frame sensors. Weather resistant, it covers anything from landscapes to portraits, while the constant F2.8 aperture is perfect for low-light. Shallow focus and bokeh are enhanced by the round aperture design.

TELEPHOTO

Shooting subjects like sports, action or wildlife, the long focal lengths of telephoto lenses will magnify the view and get you closer to the action. They’re useful for portraits, too and come with many different features…

SMC PENTAX-DA*
50-135mm f2.8 ED (IF) SDM

This versatile zoom features a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout the range and produces a classic focal length equivalent of 75-205mm in 35mm format, making it suitable for portrait, wildlife and action work.

smc pentax-DA
50-200mm f4-5.6 ED WR

This compact, lightweight zoom boasts a 4x zoom range, adding tremendous scope to your shooting, and that’s matched by its durability and image quality, protected with WR sealing. Focal length equivalent to 77-306mm in 35mm format.

smc pentax-DA
55-300mm f4-5.8 ED

At 5.5x, the zoom ratio of this lens provides massive scope for everything from portraits to sports shots, while its SMC coating and ED glass elements keep image quality high throughout the focal range.

HD Pentax-DA
55-300mm f4-5.8 ED WR

The 5.5x zoom range of this zoom covers an incredible variety of subjects and with its WR sealing you’ll be able to shoot in the most demanding of conditions, too. Focal length equivalent to 84-460mm in 35mm format.

smc pentax-DA*
60-250mm f4 ED (IF) SDM

Covering a wide range of subjects, from wildlife and sports to portraits, this lens has a constant aperture of f/4, keeping the shutter speed fast and offering a shallow depth-of-field. Focal length equivalent to 92-383mm in 35mm format.

HD Pentax D-FA*
70-200mm f2.8 ED DC AW

Providing exceptional performance across a classic mid-to-long telephoto range, this lens is designed to capture exquisite details and lock on fast with its DC motor and focus limiter.

HD Pentax D-FA
150-450mm f4.5-5.6 ED DC

The longest zoom in the Pentax range, this versatile, high-quality lens offers impressive mid-to-super telephoto options, so distant subjects or tightly cropped portraits are yours to enjoy.

smc pentax-DA*
200mm f2.8 ED (IF) SDM

This fast long telephoto lens with an equivalent focal length of 300mm in 35mm format is a must-have for sports and action photography. Its fast maximum aperture allows increased shutter speed letting you freeze the action.

smc pentax-DA*
300mm f4 ED (IF) SDM

Offering first-class performance for demanding pro sports shooters, this telephoto prime lens will keep you close to the action with its super-telephoto focal length (equivalent to 460mm in 35mm format), speedy focusing and superb image quality.

hd pentax-DA
560mm f5.6 ED AW

With an incredible 859mm equivalent focal length in 35mm format this super telephoto lens is the go-to glass for wildlife and sports pros. And with its AW sealing you can get the shots you want in the most demanding of conditions.

wide angle

Expansive landscapes and large subjects require a wide-angle lens to pack as much of the view as possible into the frame. There are lots to choose from in the Pentax range, each tailored to different purposes...

smc PENTAX-DA 10-17mm
Fish Eye f/3.5-4.5 ED (IF)

With a 180º angle of view at its 10mm setting, this lens provides an extraordinary perspective, making it useful for landscapes, architecture, confined interiors, and even creative portraits.

smc PENTAX-DA
12-24mm f/4 ED AL (IF)

The landscape photgrapher's best friend, this wide-angle zoom covers angles of view from 99-61º, so you can shoot sweeping scenics without losing any of the details. The SP coating means you can wipe off raindrops with ease.

HD Pentax-DA
15mm f/4 ED AL Limited

Small and light with exceptional image quality thanks to its HD lens coating and rounded diaphragm, this lens weighs only 212g, making it a perfect partner for travel shooting.

HD Pentax-DA
21mm f/3.2 AL Limited

This lens's 32mm equivalent focal length makes it a great fit for travel and reportage photography, while its HD coating and aspherical lens elements ensure superb clarity.

macro

Shooting macro requires specialist lenses, those which can focus much closer than regular lenses and reproduce the subject at life-size on your camera’s sensor. They come in different focal lengths for different uses.

HD-PENTAX DA
35mm f2.8 Macro Limited

With a minimum focusing distance of 14cm, the 35mm f/2.8 macro has a 1:1 reproduction ratio, so subjects are captured at life-size. Despite its high-quality aluminium build it’s also small, weighing only 215g.

smc PENTAX-D FA
50mm f2.8 Macro

This small, light macro lens has a minimum focusing distance of 19cm and its 50mm/76.5mm equivalent focal length puts it in the middle of the Pentax macro range, making it useful for flower and plant photography.

smc PENTAX-D FA
100mm f2.8 Macro WR

With its 100mm focal length being the longest of any Pentax macro lens, this model is most useful when some distance from the subject, making it ideal for shooting insects or small mammals which you don’t want to disturb.

primes

Prime lenses come in all sorts of fixed focal lengths and can therefore be used for any genre. While they don’t zoom, the advantage is that they can be smaller, lighter and offer wider maximum apertures.

HD Pentax-DA
15mm f/4 ED AL Limited

Small and light with exceptional image quality thanks to its HD lens coating and rounded diaphragm, this lens weighs only 212g, making it a perfect partner for travel shooting.

HD Pentax-DA
21mm f/3.2 AL Limited

This lens's 32mm equivalent focal length makes it a great fit for travel and reportage photography, while its HD coating and aspherical lens elements ensure superb clarity.

smc pentax-FA
31mm f1.8 AL Limited

With an equivalent focal length of 46.5mm (in 35mm format), this lens is a great fit for many subjects, but its bright f/1.8 aperture also proves vital in low light, allowing faster shutter speeds as well as shallow depth-of-field effects.

smc pentax-FA
35mm f2 AL

This fast wide-angle lens (equivalent to a standard 52.5mm on APS-C DSLRs) is a superb all-rounder. Small and light at just 214g, its wide f/2 aperture makes it a great partner in low-light conditions.

smc pentax-DA
35mm f2.4 AL

This lens has a 35mm format equivalent focal length of 52.5mm putting it in the standard bracket where it produces views close to the human eye. That makes it a great reportage lens, backed up by its fast f/2.4 aperture.

HD-PENTAX DA
35mm f2.8 Macro Limited

With a minimum focusing distance of 14cm, the 35mm f/2.8 macro has a 1:1 reproduction ratio, so subjects are captured at life-size. Despite its high-quality aluminium build it’s also small, weighing only 215g.

smc pentax-DA
40mm F2.8 Limited

This pancake lens measures only 15mm thick, making it ultra-portable, and its 40mm (60mm equivalent in 35mm format) focal length gives it a very natural perspective, so it’s great for documentary use.

smc pentax-DA
40mm f2.8 XS

At just 9mm in length this is the world’s thinnest interchangeable DSLR lens. It’s so slim you’ll barely know it’s on your camera, and it weighs only 52g, allowing you to carry and store the camera with the utmost ease.

HD Pentax-DA
40mm f2.8 Limited

With its rounded-shaped diaphragm and HD coating, this standard lens produces exceptional image quality. Measuring only 15mm long, it weighs just 89g but is tough thanks to its aluminium body.

smc pentax-FA
43mm f1.9 Limited

Ideal for flattering portraits as well as low-light subjects, this lens’s f/1.9 aperture creates wonderful shallow depth-of-field effects. Its standard focal length gives a perfectly natural view of the world.

smc pentax-FA
50mm f1.4

This small, light standard lens is great for everyday subjects, but it really comes into its own when shooting portraits. The f/1.4 maximum aperture creates a super-shallow depth-of-field putting your subjects centre stage.

smc pentax-DA
50mm f1.8

Small, light and ideal for portraits, this lens’s f/1.8 aperture and rounded diaphragm produce pleasing out-of-focus areas. And with an SP coating, it’s practical enough to use every day.

smc PENTAX-D FA
50mm f2.8 Macro

This small, light macro lens has a minimum focusing distance of 19cm and its 50mm/76.5mm equivalent focal length puts it in the middle of the Pentax macro range, making it useful for flower and plant photography.

smc pentax-DA*
55mm f1.4 SDM

With an equivalent focal length of 82.5mm (in 35mm format) and a super-fast maximum aperture of f/1.4, this lens is a tremendous option for portraits and for low-light work. The Aero Bright Coating also ensures optimum image quality.

HD Pentax-DA
70mm f2.4 Limited

Small, light and packed with technology to improve your images, this lens creates wonderful portraits, even in low-light conditions, thanks to its medium telephoto focal length and wide maximum aperture.

smc pentax-FA
77mm f1.8 Limited

With the high-quality metal finish of the Limited line-up assuring good handling and durability, this lens was designed for portrait photographers. Its fast f/1.8 aperture combines with the longer focal length to create beautiful bokeh.

smc PENTAX-D FA
100mm f2.8 Macro WR

With its 100mm focal length being the longest of any Pentax macro lens, this model is most useful when some distance from the subject, making it ideal for shooting insects or small mammals which you don’t want to disturb.

smc pentax-DA*
200mm f2.8 ED (IF) SDM

This fast long telephoto lens with an equivalent focal length of 300mm in 35mm format is a must-have for sports and action photography. Its fast maximum aperture allows increased shutter speed letting you freeze the action.

smc pentax-DA*
300mm f4 ED (IF) SDM

Offering first-class performance for demanding pro sports shooters, this telephoto prime lens will keep you close to the action with its super-telephoto focal length (equivalent to 460mm in 35mm format), speedy focusing and superb image quality.

hd pentax-DA
560mm f5.6 ED AW

With an incredible 859mm equivalent focal length in 35mm format this super telephoto lens is the go-to glass for wildlife and sports pros. And with its AW sealing you can get the shots you want in the most demanding of conditions./p>