GOLDEN, CO. (June 3, 2008)…PENTAX Imaging Company has introduced the smc PENTAX DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM lens designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras. This standard lens with extra zoom offers outstanding, well-balanced handling, and covers the most frequently used focal lengths between wide-angle and telephoto making it ideal for a variety of shots including scenery, snapshot and portraiture.

Previously shown in February at PMA 2008, this lens features a 4.1X zoom ratio covering wide-angle to moderate-telephoto ranges, and covers a focal-length range from 26mm wide angle to 107mm telephoto in the 35mm format.  When mounted on a compatible* DSLR camera body, the PENTAX-original SDM system driven by a built-in supersonic motor, offers exceptionally smooth, quiet autofocus.

* This lens is compatible with the K20D, K200D, K100D Super and K10D (with Ver. 1.30 or later firmware installed) and later PENTAX DSLR camera bodies. When mounted on other camera bodies, the focus mode is automatically switched to manual.

Developed specifically for PENTAX digital SLRs,** this 17-70mm lens also features PENTAX SP (Super Protect) coating that protects the exposed lens elements and repels dust, water and grease. It also features a Quick-shift Focus System that allows instant switching from auto to manual focus with a turn of the focus ring.

**SDM-only focusing lens may  be used with non-SDM PENTAX DSLR bodies in manual focus mode.

Other important features of this lens include:

Exceptional Image Clarity

Incorporating two hybrid aspherical (AL) optical elements, this zoom lens assures exceptional image quality while effectively compensating for various aberrations.

Maximum Aperture of f/4 Over Entire Zoom Range

With a maximum aperture of f/4 over the entire zoom range, the lens allows photographers to use higher shutter speeds to minimize camera shake (especially in telephoto applications) or reduce the depth of field to intentionally throw the background out of focus.

Close Minimum Focusing Distance

This lens offers a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches (0.28 meters) over the entire zoom range, and an Inner-Focus (IF) optical design that eliminates lens extension and retraction during focusing operation.

Digital SLR Optical Design

From lens coating and curvature to the positioning of optical elements, the lens optics are meticulously designed to optimize the lens’s digital imaging characteristics. The image circle is perfectly proportioned to a PENTAX camera’s image-sensor size.


Lens mount: PENTAX KAF3 mount

Lens construction: 17 elements in 12 groups

Angle of view: 79° – 23° (with PENTAX D-SLR camera body)

Number of diaphragm blades: 7

Minimum aperture: F/22

Minimum focusing distance: 0.28m (0.92 ft.)

Filter size: 67mm

Maximum magnification: 0.31X

Dimensions (diameter x length): 75mm x 93.5mm (3.0 inch x 3.7 inch)

Weight: 485g (17.1 oz.) without hood; 515g (18.2 oz.) with hood

This PENTAX lens will ship in July 2008 at US $599.95.  The PENTAX press image gallery is available here:

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital SLR and compact cameras, lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces.  For more than 80 years, PENTAX technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses.  With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

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Michelle Martin




PENTAX and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.

Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.


Q: Why does the DA 17-70 only include the SDM focusing system?

A: With the DA17-70, we decided to use our SDM lens-based focus drive only due to concerns over size, weight, cost and development timeframe. The advantages of the SDM focusing system, such as silent and accurate AF, make this an ideal lens to be used with our latest DSLR bodies including the K20D, K200D, K10D and K100D Super.  Plus the DA 17-70 is still usable with older DSLR bodies in manual focus mode.

Q: Will PENTAX continue to develop DSLR bodies with the older body-based focusing system?

A: Yes. We will continue to develop bodies that support the body based focus system in addition to the SDM system.

Q: Will PENTAX be developing SDM-only lenses from now on?

A: No: Despite the great advantages of our SDM autofocus systems, we will continue to develop both SDM and body-based focus systems. In fact, different types of lenses have different requirements. For example, our unique Limited lenses are often so compact that there is no space for an SDM autofocus motor. Until time and technology present other options, we will continue to develop both types of autofocus systems.

Remark: Current DA* lenses (16-50mm, 50-135mm, 200mm and 300mm) contain both SDM and body-based focusing. While we will continue to develop lenses for each type of autofocus system, we will also phase out lenses that support both types of focusing simultaneously. Due to issues of cost, development timeframe and other factors, in the future, PENTAX lenses will either support SDM focusing or body-based focusing, but not both.

Q: How can I tell if a lens is SDM-only?

A: To determine if a lens is SDM focusing only, check the mount specification. If it describes the mount as “KAF3” then the lens is SDM-only.