DPReview TV: HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW review

DPReview TV: HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW review

“It’s Pentax week on DPReview TV, so Chris and Jordan review the DA* 11-18mm F2.8 ultra-wide zoom for Pentax APS-C cameras. Do they like it? They sure do! Enough to inspire Jordan to sing. And sing some more. Get out your earplugs.”




Original JPG and RAW files on DPR sample gallery



New firmware update v1.51 for PENTAX K-1

New firmware update v1.51 for PENTAX K-1

Release of the Firmware Version 1.51 for PENTAX K-1

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. wishes to announce the release of Firmware Update Software Version 1.51 for PENTAX K-1.

Changes to V1.51

  • Optimized performance when attaching new lens HD PENTAX-DA★11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW.

*When this update is done, the contents of version 1.50 and earlier will be also updated.

PENTAX K-1 (v1.51)

  • Direct download link for Software Updater (Windows/Machintosh) -> v1.51



First preview photos of new HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW – Samples with FF and Crop Mode

Preview photos of new the HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW – Samples with PENTAX K1 II (FF & Crop Mode comparison) [updated with 8 new photos]

Preview photos/shots of the new HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW (with FF and Crop Mode image circle/coverage comparison) published on yaotomi.co.jp.


Sample Photos – Crop (APS-C) & FF Mode Image Circle Comparison | 18mm, 16mm, 14mm, 12mm, 11mm


Sample Photos – FF Mode Image Circle Comparison (F2.8 – 8) | 18mm, 16mm, 14mm, 12mm, 11mm



HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW announced!

HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW announced!

An ultra-wide-angle, Star-series zoom lens for use with K-mount digital SLR cameras, with a large F2.8 aperture over the entire zoom range providing exceptional optical performance

RICOH COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-DA 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW. This high-performance, ultra-wide-angle, Star-series lens features a large F2.8 maximum aperture over the entire zoom range to deliver exceptional optical performance.


This ultra-wide-angle zoom lens delivers high-resolution, high-contrast images without blurring at the edges, and assures excellent imaging performance in high-grade digital photography, even at open aperture.
It has been developed as the latest model of the new-generation Star (★) series — a lens that provides exceptional image quality to be able to accommodate the super-high-performance digital cameras of the future.
With the introduction of this lens, the high-quality, high-performance Star series now provides a wide angle-of-view coverage —from ultra-wide angle to telephoto — with its compact models featuring a large F2.8 maximum aperture, which are exclusively designed for use with PENTAX APS-C-format digital SLR cameras.

In addition to an outstanding dustproof, weather-resistant construction, and -10°C cold-resistant construction, the lens provides a Focus Clamp Mechanism to lock focus at the desired focal point.
It also provides useful features to improve performance and dependability in harsh outdoor conditions: a space specifically designed for wrapping a heating device to prevent dew condensation, and a metallic frame structure to more effectively transmit the heat of the heating device to the lens. These devices greatly improve the lens’s operability when shooting landscapes and starry skies.


Lens construction

For a lens to be designated as a new-generation Star-series model, it must clear a number of strict in-house standards. Here are some examples of outstanding optical designs and the advanced technologies which have realized them.

In order to effectively reduce various aberrations, the new lens incorporates an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass-molded aspherical optical element, in addition to two ED optical elements and two aspherical optical elements.


Comparison of MTF


Unique design accommodating a lens heater

The lens exterior is designed with a lens heater groove to prevent dew condensation. To facilitate the installation of the heater, the lens is shaped fairly level, without a bump between the lens barrel and the focus and zoom rings. Also provided toward the front of the lens is a groove where the heater can be installed. Except for the optics, the lens has been constructed with metallic components for effective transmission of the heat generated by the heater.

Lens with a cable-type lens heater installed



Main Features
Large F2.8 maximum aperture

Despite its compact dimensions, this ultra-wide-angle zoom lens provides a focal length of 11 to 18 millimeters (equivalent to 17mm to 27.5mm in 35mm format) to produce magnificent, dynamic images. Since its maximum aperture is fixed at F2.8 over the entire zoom range, it delivers sharp, bright images of scenes with starry skies. Thanks to a minimum focusing distance of 0.3 meters, the lens also lets the photographer capture true-to-life close-up images by emphasizing the depth of field with an effectively defocused background.

HD Coating to enhance imaging power

This lens features high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating,* which reduces the average reflectance in the visible ray spectrum to less than 50% of conventional multi-layer coatings. It effectively minimizes flare and ghost images even in demanding lighting conditions such as backlighting.

* HD stands for High Definition.

Ideal design optimized for photography of landscapes and star-lit scenes

The unique Focus Clamp Mechanism allows the photographer to lock the lens’s focal point, even when the focus ring is rotated. This improves the lens’s operability in photographing such subjects as landscapes and star-lit scenes, which demand high-precision focusing during extended exposures. It also has special features for improved operability and versatility in outdoor shooting, such as a space for wrapping heating wires around the lens barrel to prevent dew condensation, without affecting focus-ring operation; and a metallic frame structure to more effectively transmit the heat of the heating device to the lens.

Dustproof, weather-resistant construction

Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, this zoom lens features a dustproof, weather-resistant construction to prevent the intrusion of water and dust particles into the lens interior. By pairing it with a PENTAX weather-resistant digital SLR camera body, this assures a highly durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes.

Other features

・Smooth, quiet AF operation using a DC motor
・Round-shaped, nine-blade diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources
・Quick-Shift Focus System to provide an instant shift to manual-focus operation after locking the subject in focus during AF operation by pressing the shutter-release button halfway down; usable at any time during AF operation
・SP (Super Protect) Coating to keep the lens’s front surface free of dust and stains


Focal Length 11-18mm
Equivalent to 17-27.5mm in 35mm format
(when attached to PENTAX APS-C size DSLR cameras)
Maximum Aperture F2.8
Minimum Aperture F22
Lens Construction 16 elements in 11 groups
Angle of View (Diagonal) 104-76°
(when attached to PENTAX APS-C size DSLR cameras)
Mount KAF3
Minimum Focusing Distance 0.3m (0.98ft.)
Maximum Magnification 0.10x
Filter Diameter 82mm
Diaphragm Control Fully automatic
Number of Diaphragm Blades 9
Rounded diaphragm (11mm:F2.8-4.5 18mm:F2.8-5.0)
Tripod Mount N/A
Lens Hood PH-RBF82 (included)
Lens Cap O-LC82 (included)
Lens Case S120-150 (included)
Maximum Diameter x Length approx. 90mm x 100mm (approx. 3.5in. x 3.9in.)
Weight approx. 704g / with hood approx. 739g
(approx. 24.8 oz./ with hood approx. 26.1oz.)
Temperature -10°C~40°C (14°F~104°F)
Humidity 85% or less (no condensation)

Included Accessories: Lens Hood PH-RBF82, Lens Cap O-LC82, Lens Case S120-150, Lens Mount Cap K

Sample Photos (with PENTAX K-1 II)

Download/view full sized (6016x4000px) samples (on Google Drive)


on Star Lens Special Site

HD PENTAX-DA★11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW – Production delay!

Development update regarding the HD PENTAX-DA★11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW (Tentative name)

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. sincerely appreciates your support and patronage of PENTAX products.

We would like to present a progress report on the development of the HD PENTAX-DA★11-18mmF2.8ED DC AW (tentative name), our next-generation, high-performance Star-series lens, whose development was first announced to the public on October 27, 2017.

Although it was initially announced that this lens would be launched on the market in the summer of 2018, we are pushing back the launch to a later date. We have determined that development will require a greater amount of time for us to achieve the exceptional performance and finest quality that is the hallmark of next-generation Star-series lenses.

We apologize for any inconvenience this delay may cause, and ask for your kind understanding of our development efforts.


Product name (tentative): HD PENTAX-DA★ 11-18mm F2.8 ED DC AW (tentative name)
Initially announced market launch date: Summer 2018
Revised market launch date (forecast): 2019