Lens review

Pentax smc DA 17-70 mm f/4.0 AL [IF] SDM

Pentax smc DA 17-70 mm f/4.0 AL [IF] SDM
10 June 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2008-11-21 on Optyczne.pl

Even one or two years ago the offer of universal zoom lenses for amateur photographers was rather modest. Now the situation is definitely better and every manufacturer tries hard to present the potential buyers with a lens of wide focal lengths range, moderately fast but with the price tag not exceeding by far 700 $. Canon has EF-S 17-85 mm IS USM, which has had mixed reviews so far although its price has dropped significantly to the very tempting level of 450 $. Nikon offers a big choice with very presentable models 16-85 mm VR, 18-70 mm or 18-105 mm VR. Sony has probably the best in its class Zeiss zoom 16-80 mm, complemented by a well-made Sony 16-105 mm. In the case of Olympus we have a very good ZD 14-54 mm so we can’t complain either. Also independent manufacturers don’t let the grass grow under their feet. From some time Sigma offers a 17-70 mm lens which tempts the buyers with a very good price-quality ratio.

The Pentax users had to wait for the longest period of time. There was a very praised 16-45 mm model on the market but its focal lengths range was smaller than its competitors’. In 2008 a long-expected model smc DA 17-70 mm f/4.0 AL [IF] SDM appeared in the shops. The Pentax reflex camera owners finally got what they should have been given long ago: a very universal big focal lengths range, a decent f/4.0 aperture, sealings, inner focusing and an ultrasonic autofocus motor and all this at a very affordable price of about 490 $. How does it works in practice? I hope our test will be able to answer this question.

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The lens was borrowed courtesy of the Fotozakupy.pl shop.

Information about our review method can be read in our article “How do we test lenses?"

Pentax smc DA 17-70 mm f/4.0 AL [IF] SDM - Introduction

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