Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tamron 11-18mm Super Wide Angle Zoom For Pentax

I'm not sure when this was announced for Pentax (it was announced for Canon, Nikon, and Minolta last year), but it looks like it's going to be here soon: Tamron AF11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF), sized for APS-C sensors (it's not going to play nicely with 35mm cameras). Tamron is known for their budget minded prices, although they do occasionally foray into marketing lenses with moderately decent specs and higher price points (Di-II marking, a sort of low dispersion glass, etc). I imagine this will probably be above $500, the best price for an ultra super wide zoom that's not a fish-eye (like the Pentax DA 10-17 ED). The most comparable Pentax lens would be the Super Wide Angle SMCP-DA 12-24mm, which retails above $600 right now. But this Tamron has the popular gold band that the Pentax DA* line has incorporated, so if you have the money, it's going to match your other new Pentax lenses. Just keep in mind that it doesn't have Quick Shift manual focusing or an equivalent of SP (Pentax's new Super Protective coating that's in addition to SMC flare reduction). You can read a preview of the lens at Luminous Landscape.

Image from BH Photo.

From the product description at BH Photo: The Tamron AF11-18mm f/4.5-5.6 Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) is an ultra wide-angle zoom lens designed exclusively for digital SLR cameras using the more compact (APS-C) digital size image sensors. The focal length of this lens is equivalent to approx. 16.5-27mm in 35mm format. The lens provides reliable performance in a compact size to meet the needs of digital SLR camera users pursuing creativity in wideangle photography. The lens uses a new optical system specially designed for digital SLR cameras, in addition to the use of a glass-molded aspherical element having a large clear aperture, hybrid aspherical elements, and elements using such special glass materials as high index/high dispersion glass and low dispersion optical glass, for outstanding optical performance.

Special Glass Optimized for Digital SLR: The lens has one element each of HID (High Index/High Dispersion glass) and LD (Low Dispersion) glass to minimize on-axis and lateral chromatic aberrations that are the greatest hindrance to high optical quality. In addition, the lens uses a high-precision, large clear aperture, glass-molded hybrid aspherical element and two hybrid aspherical elements to thoroughly compensate for spherical and chromatic aberrations and distortion, in order to achieve outstanding optical quality.

Internal Surface Coating to Reduce Ghosting and Flare: Lens features Internal Surface Coatings (i.e., multiple-layer coatings on cemented surfaces of plural elements) and new multiple-layer coating technology on ordinary elements in order to minimize reflections that occur when light enters through the front element and to reduce image degrading effects caused by the imagers themselves.

Enhanced Peripheral Illumination: Peripheral light fall-off is minimized when compared with that of conventional lenses for film cameras so that images are uniformly bright from the center to the periphery.

Di-II Series Design: Design has been improved by adding a gold-colored band between the focus and zoom rings to enhance the appearance and make it stand out as a Di-II lens. The rubber patterns of the zoom and focus control rings have been improved at the same time to compliment the digital camera design style and to provide better handling.

Links: Tamron AF11-18mm at, 11-18mm Zoom at BH Photo, Luminous Landscape Preview.

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