Pentax is poised to launch an ?ultra-wideangle? 2x lens which is exclusively designed for the company?s *ist D-series of digital SLRs.

Billed as ?compact? and ?lightweight? the SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm f/4 ED AL [IF] optic is due out by early October at a price which is yet to be confirmed.

The debutante is designed to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of an 18.5-37mm lens and features a minimum focusing distance of 0.3m.

The 13-element-in-11-group optic boasts an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) element and two aspherical elements to improve image quality.

The news comes just days after independent lens maker Tokina unveiled a 12-24mm lens for Canon and Nikon digital SLRs with an APS-C sized imaging sensor.

For details call Pentax on 01753 792792.