One surprise Pentax had up its sleeve is a lens that wasn't on the lens road map. Today, Pentax announced the new SMC-DA 18-250 F3.5-6.3 ED AL(IF) lens that will work with all Pentax DSLRs. That's a 28mm to 383mm equivalent in 35mm. It's a small little package with a big 14X zoom range, 16 lens elements, 7 aperture blades, and a 62mm filter diameter. Recommended retail price is $499. (Update: 1001NoisyCameras has clued us in that Pentax Japan says the lens will be shipping in late October and that they're making about 6,000 per month)
Now you might be asking, what's a better budget zoom solution? Two lenses like the DA 18-55 and the DA 50-200, which have less distortion but collectively weigh more, or the superzoom DA 18-250? Well, it depends. If you want less wide angle distortion in landscape photos, less vignetting, and better flare reduction, you'll definitely want the pair of lenses. If you're planning on traveling super light, you'll just want the one lens, which you'll never have to change and risk getting dust in your camera, and it's that premium of design that you're paying extra for. You can just leave it on all the time. So, it boils down to what you're willing to put up with. Me, I'd take all three.
Lens Mount: PENTAX KAF2
Lens Construction: 16 elements, 13 groups
Angle of View: 76-6.5°
Diaphragm: Fully Automatic
Minimum Aperture: f/22-f/45
Number of Aperture Blades: 7
Metering System: TTL Open Aperture Metering
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.48’ (0.45m), or about 18"
Filter Diameter: 62mm
Maximum Magnification: 0.28x
Maximum Diameter: 3.0” (75mm)
Minimum Length: 3.4” (85.5mm)
Weight (w/o hood): 16.0 oz (455g)
Hood: PH-RBB 62mm