Pentax *ist D SLR Review

By Movable Type Admin

Click for our main menu

Pentax *ist D

Camera Features:
Lens Mount, Lenses, AF System

Pentax *ist D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The *ist D uses a Pentax K lens mount used in conventional 35mm-format SLR cameras, the *ist D accepts a large number of existing 35mm-format interchangeable zoom and special-application lenses and accessories to help accommodate diversified photographic requirements and maximize creativity and image quality.

Compatible with Pentax K, KA, KAF, and KAF2 mount lenses; screw mount lenses, 645, and 67 series lenses (adapter required). Some restrictions and conditions may apply to certain lenses and accessories.

Pentax *ist D

The "heart" of the *ist D is an APS-sized CCD image sensor with an effective 6.1 million pixels. The effective sensor size is 23.5 x 15.7 mm with the same 3:2 aspect ratio of 35mm film. The *ist D's CCD (on the right) is compared in size to a 5-megapixel 2/3-inch CCD imager.

Because the imager is physically smaller than 35mm film the angle of view is 1.6x the normal lens focal length. This makes going ultra-wide a challenge but it yields longer telephoto focal lengths with no reduction of maximum aperture. The 75-300mm zoom becomes a 120-480mm lens!

PENTAX Develops the New DA Series of Interchangeable Lenses for Its Digital SLR Cameras

PENTAX Corporation is proud to announce that it is currently in the final stage of development of the compact, high-performance smc PENTAX-DA series of interchangeable lenses, exclusively designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras.

The image circle in the DA-series lenses is designed to perfectly match the size of the CCD (23.5mm x 15.7mm) incorporated in PENTAX's digital SLRs, optimizing the performance of these cameras. The new design also contributes to a drastic reduction in size, weight and production cost, compared to 35mm-format counterparts with similar specifications.

Pentax *ist D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

Announced at the same time as the *ist D is the new smc P-FA J 18-35mm F4.0-5.6 AL wide angle zoom lens for use with PENTAX 35mm-format autofocus SLR cameras. Featuring an ultra-wide 100-degree angle of view at the 18mm focal length, this compact interchangeable zoom lens produces high-quality images with minimal aberration, thanks to the incorporation of an aspherical lens element.

Featuring a simple, functional design without an aperture ring, this compact, high- performance zoom lens measures only 72 millimeters (2.8 inches) in diameter and 68.5 millimeters (2.7 inches) in length and weighs a mere 190 grams (6.7 ounces). It also features an angle-of-view coverage between 63 and 100 degrees and a minimum focusing distance of 0.28 meters (0.92 feet) for a maximum magnification of 0.18 times. It comes equipped with a lens hood to cut off excessive light and minimize flare and ghost images.

When mounted on the new PENTAX *ist D digital SLR camera, this zoom lens offers focal lengths equivalent to 27.5mm~53.5mm in the 35mm format to cover wide-angle to standard ranges.

Pentax *ist D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

Lens Construction:  12 elements in 10 groups 
Angle of View:  100 - 63 Degrees 
Diaphragm:  Fully Automatic 
Minimum Aperture:  F22 at 18mm, F32 at 35mm 
Metering:  TTL open-aperture 
Minimum Focusing Distance:  0.92 ft. 
Maximum Magnification:  0.18X 
Filter Diameter:  67mm 
Size:  2.8" x 2.7" 
Weight:  6.7 oz. w/o hood 
Catalog No.:  27727 smc P-FA J 18-35mm F4.0-5.6 AL 

PENTAX-DA Zoom 16mm~45mm F4 ED AL

GOLDEN, Colorado (December 9, 2003)...PENTAX U.S.A. has announced a perfect companion lens for the *ist D digital SLR camera. The compact, high-performance, interchangeable smc PENTAX-DA 16mm-45mm F4 ED AL lens features a 3X zoom ratio with focal lengths covering ultra-wide to moderate-telephoto ranges for the angle of view equivalent to 24.5mm-69mm in the 35mm format.

The DA-Series features a responsive "Quick-Shift Focus System" that allows photographers to instantly switch the focus mode from auto to manual with a slight twist of the focus ring. Coupled with a simple, functional design and the elimination of an aperture ring, this new mechanism considerably improves the camera's operability. The lens also incorporates an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass lens element and two aspherical lens elements for true-to-life image reproduction and overall size reduction. The image circle in DA-series lenses, including the smc PENTAX-DA 16mm-45mm F4 ED AL, is designed to perfectly match the 23.5mm x 15.7mm size of the CCD used in PENTAX digital SLRs to optimize camera performance. The new design also contributes to a drastic reduction in size, weight and production cost, compared to 35mm-format counterparts with similar specifications.

Lens Construction:  13 elements in 10 groups (two aspherical elements)
Angle of View:  83°-35° (with *istD body)
Diaphragm:  Fully Automatic 
Minimum Aperture:  F22 (no aperture ring) 
Metering:  TTL open-aperture 
Minimum Focusing Distance:  0.92 ft (0.28m)
Maximum Magnification:  0.26X 
Filter Diameter:  67mm 
Size:  2.8" x 3.6" (72 x 92mm)
Weight:  12.9 oz. (365g) w/o hood 

Pentax *ist D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The *ist D employs a newly developed SAFOX VIII TTL phase-matching autofocus system, the camera's 11-point AF sensor covers a wide area of both horizontal and vertical image fields with exceptional speed and precision even under poor lighting conditions. Nine of the 11 AF sensors are a horizontally extended, cross-shaped type, improving focusing accuracy and aligned to effectively cover the middle section, while two additional sensors are positioned at each side of this section.

In addition to the versatile "Auto" mode and the pinpoint "SPOT" mode, the *ist D offers the innovative "SELECT" mode, which allows the photographer to select one of the 11 AF sensor points using the four-way controller on the back panel. The user-selected sensor point is superimposed in the viewfinder with a red LED indicator. Focus modes available are AF-Single, AF-Continuous and Manual. Focus lock available. The working range of the AF system is from EV0 to EV19 at ISO 200.

Continue on to
Page Three

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

(349 user ratings)
Fire your Canon Digital Rebel/XT SLR wirelessly and remotely from up to 100 feet away using the MicroSync Digital Kit.
Compatibility: CCD Chips Digital SLR Cameras D1 D1H D1X Canon D30 D60 10D / 1Ds Kodak 14N - Sensor Swabs are designed for cleaning CCD chips and other ...
(30 user ratings)