pentax q 08

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Ricoh USA has announced a new lens for the underserved Pentax Q system, the PENTAX 08 Wide Zoom Lens for Q-Series Cameras. With a 17.5-27mm equivalent focal length (on a Q7 body, longer on a Q or Q10), it adds some much needed flexibility to the tiny cameras.

The Pentax 08 is the shortest of the Q-series lenses, being just 1.5 inches long (38mm), and weighing just 2.6oz (75g). Impressively, it has a built-in neutral density filter, but given the rather limited maximum aperture of f3.7-4, you’re probably unlikely to need it.

The lens has 10 elements in 8 groups, and features “a molded-glass DSA (Dual Super Aspherical) element minimizing distortion, while two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and one super-low-dispersion glass element deliver clear, high-resolution images with edge-to-edge sharpness, while effectively compensating for chromatic aberration over the entire zoom range.”

The 08 has an inner-focus mechanism for low noise, speedy focusing, and then what’s dubbed the Quick-Switch Focus system, which is described as “for instant switching to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system.”

The lens will retail for $499.95 when it debuts in December, a price which would buy you any body in the Pentax Q system.