Lenses Take Center Stage As D-SLR Momentum Builds

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Las Vegas — Building out an assortment of optics for the burgeoning digital SLR market was the order of the day for Panasonic and Pentax at the Photo Marketing Association show.

Panasonic and Leica announced the development of a large-diameter telephoto zoom lens, specifically designed for Panasonic's L1 and other Four Thirds system compatible digital SLRs from Olympus.

The new 10.7x LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-150mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens will incorporate Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) and will be the first Leica D lens with a range up to 300mm.

Pentax will likely not introduce new consumer-level digital SLRs this year but instead concentrate on building out its own assortment of lenses for its K-series of digital SLRs, a company spokesperson said.

Several new DA lenses are slated for late 2007 introductions including a 200mm f/2.8 lens in September and a 300mm f/4 lens, also due in September. Pricing was not announced. In December the company plans to introduce a 60-250mm f/4 lens. A 35mm f2.8 macro lenses is also planned for 2007, though a release date was not announced.


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