Pentax K10D SLR Review

By Movable Type Admin


Click for our main menu

Pentax K10D




Weather Resistance, Shake Reduction, Dust Removal, Lens Mount, AF System and Lenses




Weather Resistance

Pentax K10D

Whether you're shooting on a drizzling Autumn morning, on a snowy mountainside, along a dusty desert trail or in a tropical rain forest; the seals around the durable K10D body reliably protect the inner components against humidity and the finest dust particles. Other design elements further protect the K10D from the forces of nature. The fiber-reinforced polycarbonate body surrounding the highrigidity, stainless-steel chassis provides plenty of strength for every day use.

A complete system: the K10D is protected by 72 seals and the optional battery grip with an additional 38, assuring complete protection against humidity, dust or sand. PENTAX offers the highest level of protection in this class. Durable and solid: the stainless-steel chassis is also impermeable to corrosion and is extremely stable.





Shake Reduction

The K10D digital SLR incorporates a unique high-tech feature that helps deliver sharp, blur-free handheld shots with any Pentax lens. This is particularly helpful in situations where camera shake is an issue, such as with telephoto lenses, indoors without a flash, or other low light conditions at dawn, dusk or at night.




The PENTAX Shake Reduction (SR) feature is an electromagnetically controlled system built into the body to detect handheld camera shake and compensates by moving a free floating image sensor. Unlike other DSLR optical anti-shake systems, this SR system delivers shake reduction with all PENTAX lenses ever manufactured without requiring a special series of bulky, expensive optics.

Based on a free-floating sensor design, PENTAX SR is superior to other sensor-moving systems because it uses no guide rails, allowing the sensor to oscillate in three directions--horizontally, vertically, and rotationally.


Pentax K10D

Over 30 patents have been filed for this SR system, which uses a ball-bearing-mounted oscillator unit with four electromagnets that hold the free-floating image sensor. Angular velocity sensors detect camera movement and relay the amount of compensation necessary to the electromagnets that move the sensor to compensate for any shake.

As a result, photographers can capture sharp images at a shutter speed that is 2 - 3.5 stops slower (e.g. 1/15 sec instead of 1/60 sec with a standard lens) than would otherwise be possible. The SR system provides a crucial advantage when shooting handheld with telephoto or tele-zoom lenses, at macro distances, or any other situation that magnifies the effects of camera shake. The SR system also helps considerably when taking non-flash pictures indoors or at dusk or other low light situations without using a tripod.



APS-Sized CCD Image Sensor

Pentax K10D

The "heart" of the K10D is an APS-sized CCD image sensor with an effective 10.2 million pixels. The effective sensor size is 23.5 x 15.7 mm with the same 3:2 aspect ratio of 35mm film. The K10D's CCD (on the right) is compared in size to a "large" 2/3-inch CCD imager found on consumer digicams.

Because the imager is physically smaller than 35mm film the angle of view is 1.5x the lens' marked focal length. This makes going ultra-wide a challenge but it yields longer telephoto focal lengths with no reduction of maximum aperture. The 50-200mm zoom becomes a 75-300mm lens!



Dust Removal System

The K10D features the new Dust Removal (DR) system to prevent dust from sticking to the surface of the CCD image sensor (or low-pass filter). Applied to the CCD surface through a vapor deposition process of a fluorine compound, the PENTAX-original Special Protect (SP) coating effectively prevents dust and stains from adhering to the surface. In the next step, dust that still remains on the surface will be shaken off when the SR system shifts the CCD at high speed. The dust that is shaken off the CCD will fall onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit, eliminating any possibility of its returning to the CCD surface.



Pentax Lens Mount

Pentax K10D

The K10D's shutter unit is designed to withstand nearly 100,000 releases, while assuring high-precision operation over the entire shutter-speed range -- up to a top speed of 1/4000 second. It also features a flash synchronization speed of 1/180 second for more versatile flash photography.

Only Pentax DA and FA J lenses and D FA/FA/F/A lenses having an "A" position on the aperture ring can be used with this camera.


Compatible Lenses

Pentax K10D

Aperture Ring Use

Pentax K10D



Pentax K10D

The K10D 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. See below for information about Pentax's DA series of digital lenses.



11-Point TTL AF System

Pentax K10D

Featuring the advanced SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating eleven AF points, the K10D automatically selects the most appropriate sensor for a given subject. It also lets the user fix the sensor point on the middle sensor or choose from any of the eleven for specific applications. The working range of the AF system is EV1 to EV19 at ISO 200 with 50mm f/1.4 lens.


Pentax K10D

Using the focus mode switch you can select Manual Focus, Single AF (locks the focus when the shutter is half-depressed), or Continuous AF mode (constantly adjusts the focus to the subject's movement.)  In Single AF the K10D operates in focus priority, meaning that the shutter will not release until the subject is in-focus. In Continuous AF and Manual Focus the camera operates in release priority, meaning that the shutter will release even if the subject is not in-focus.



PENTAX DA Series "Made for Digital" Lenses

PENTAX Corporation announced the 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.

Following are more details on some of the new DA-series lenses.



PENTAX-DA Zoom 18mm-55mm F3.5-F5.6 AL

Pentax DA 18-55mm


The smc PENTAX-DA Zoom 18mm-55mm F3.5-F5.6 AL lens. This is the "kit" lens most often bundled with the Pentax digital SLRs. The PENTAX-DA Zoom 18-55 lens is portable and affordable to ensure comfortable, well-balanced operations. This compact, lightweight standard zoom lens features an image circle to match the camera's large 23.5mm x 15.7mm image sensor.

Mounted on the PENTAX K10D, this zoom lens provides an angle-of-view equivalent to a 27.5mm-84mm lens in the 35mm format that covers the most frequently used ranges from wide angle to moderate telephoto.

The aspherical optical elements in this new lens contribute to a reduction in size and weight of the lens and to more effective compensation of unwanted aberrations.

The aperture ring has been eliminated from this lens to simplify camera operations and improve appearance while aperture-setting operation is performed from the camera body.

Quick-Shift Focus System

Once subjects are captured by the camera's autofocus system, this PENTAX-original system allows photographers to shift the focusing mode instantly to manual without any switching operations.

Lens mount: PENTAX KAF mount
Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups
Angle of view: 76° - 29°
Aperture control: Automatic
Number of diaphragm blades: 6
Minimum aperture: F22 at 18mm; F38 at 55mm
Metering system: TTL open-aperture metering
Minimum focusing distance: 0.25m (0.82 ft.)
Filter size: 52mm
Maximum magnification: 0.34X
Dimensions (diameter x length): 2.7" x 2.7" (68mm x 67.5mm)
Weight: 7.9 oz. (225 grams)



smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited



The smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited lens, designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras and featuring an ultra-thin pancake design and uni-focal, medium-telephoto optics. With a medium-telephoto perspective, this new lens is ideal for many applications including portraiture and landscape. The high-performance optics ensure outstanding image quality, and provide distinctive visual expression. Materials used for this lens are selected for optimum holding comfort and operability, and the new lens is designed to be extremely thin and lightweight, for go-anywhere portability for casual, day-to-day snapshot photography.

The lens barrel, hood and cap are all made of a high-grade aluminum material, shaped for perfect proportions and striking beauty. The focusing ring is designed for superb accessibility and maximum ease of focusing operation.

The PENTAX-original Super Protect (SP) coating is applied to the front surface of this lens. Through a vapor deposition process, the lens surface is coated with a special fluorine compound to repel dust, weather and grease, making it easy to wipe off fingerprints and cosmetics.

PENTAX-developed Quick-Shift Focus System for instant switching to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the AF system

Nine-blade diaphragm for natural out-of-focus description

Specifications

    Lens mount: PENTAX KAF mount
    Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
    Angle of view: 23° (when used with *istD-series & K100D camera body)
    Aperture control: Automatic
    Number of diaphragm blades: 9
    Minimum aperture: F22
    Metering system: TTL open-aperture metering
    Minimum focusing distance: 0.7m (2.3 ft.)
    Filter size: 49mm
    Maximum magnification: 0.12X
    Dimensions (diameter x length): 63mm x 26mm (2.5 inches x 1.0 inch)
    Weight: 130g (4.6 oz.) without hood; 150g (5.3 oz.) with hood




PENTAX-DA Zoom 50mm-200mm F4-F5.6 ED

Pentax DA 18-55mm


This lens offers 4X zoom coverage in the telephoto range with an angle of view from 31.5 degrees to 8.1 degrees (equivalent in focal length from 76.5mm to 306mm in the 35mm format). As with all DA-Series lenses, this DA 50mm-200mm 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 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 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.



PENTAX P-FA J 18-35mm F4-5.6 AL

Pentax K10D

The smc P-FA J 18-35mm F4.0-5.6 AL wide angle zoom lens features 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 K10D 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.


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

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 



smc PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

The smc PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens. Designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras, the unique pancake style standard lens measures a mere .59 inches in length and weighs just 3.17 ounces. Combined with the popular PENTAX K10D digital SLR, the PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited lens will offer the smallest and lightest digital SLR combination available from any manufacturer.

Featuring a sophisticated appearance that incorporates an aluminum lens barrel, hood and cap, the lens offers a perspective similar to the naked eye with its 40mm focal length (equivalent to 61mm in the 35mm format), a large maximum aperture of F2.8, and a minimum focusing distance of 40 centimeters.

The PENTAX DA 40mm also features the PENTAX Quick Shift Focus System for instant switching to manual focus operation, a nine blade diaphragm to assure true-to-life reproduction of out-of-focus areas, and filter attachment versatility (a 49mm-size filter on the lens or a 30.5mm-size filter on the lens hood).

Lens mount: PENTAX KAF mount
Lens construction: 5 elements in 4 groups
Angle of view: 39° ( when used with *istD, *istDS)
Aperture control: Automatic
Number of diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum aperture: F22
Metering system: TTL open-aperture metering
Minimum focusing distance: 15.7 inches
Filter size: 49mm
Maximum magnification: 0.13X
Dimensions (diameter x length): 1.24 x 0.59 inches
Weight: 3.17 ounces (w/o hood)






PENTAX DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited


This lens features a versatile angle of view and an ultra-thin, pancake design that offers go-anywhere portability that is ideal for casual, day-to-day snapshot photography. The latest lens inherits all the attributes of the acclaimed PENTAX Limited lens series including high-quality image reproduction, distinctive visual description, and high-grade lens-barrel finish.





Pentax-DA 12mm-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]


PENTAX Imaging Company has announced yet another compact, lightweight, interchangeable zoom lens for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras including the *ist D and the K10D series digital SLRs. The smc PENTAX-DA 12mm-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] is the sixth DA-series lens offered by the photo manufacturer. The PENTAX-DA 12mm-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] features:

  • 2X zoom coverage in the ultra-wide angle range with an angle of view from 99 degrees to 61 degrees (equivalent in focal length from 18.5mm to 37mm in the 35mm format) when mounted on the PENTAX *ist D or K10D digital SLR camera body

  • 13-element/11-group optical construction incorporating ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and aspherical optical elements

  • The compact dimensions (diameter x length) of 3.3" x 3.4" (83.5mm x 87.5mm)
As with all DA-Series lenses, this lens 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 operability. With Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass lens element and two aspherical lens elements, the lens offers more true-to-life image reproduction. The image circle in DA-series lenses 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.





Pentax-DA Fisheye 10mm-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED [IF]


Mounted on any of the PENTAX digital SLRs, the DA Fish-Eye 10-17mm lens will capture fish-eye imagery with a 180 degree angle of view and a focal length of 10mm as well as super wide-angle performance. Capture images with an expanded perspective including creative deformation of subjects and sharp pan focus that extends throughout the entire frame. The image circle in DA-series lenses 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.



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.