Pentax has released a standard interchangable zoom lens, designed exclusively for use with Pentax digital SLR cameras.

The smc PENTAX-DA 17-70mmF4AL[IF] covers the most frequently used focal lengths between wide-angle and telephoto ranges, and offers outstanding operability and well-balanced image quality.

When mounted on a Pentax digital SLR camera body, this zoom lens offers an approximately 4.1-times zoom ratio covering the focal-length range from 26mm wide angle to 107mm telephoto in the 35mm format.

It also offers the most frequently used focal lengths in day-to-day photography, making it ideal for a host of casual applications, including scenery, snapshot and portraiture.

The incorporation of the Pentax-original SDM system driven by a
built-in supersonic motor means this zoom lens also offers a smooth and quiet autofocusing operation.

Also worth noting is that this zoom lens offers a maximum aperture of F4 over the entire zoom range, and therefore lets the photographer use higher shutter speeds to minimise camera shake or reduce the depth of field to intentionally throw the background out of focus.

No prices for this bit of kit just yet, but we'll keep you updated to anything we hear.