Now that we've posted the details and specifications of Pentax's 8 new products, it is time for us to offer some commentary and discuss what the pricing for these new cameras and lenses will be like. Let us start by saying that we are very happy to see that Pentax is moving forward, and that so many new products are being made available, enhancing all of Pentax's main camera systems (K-mount, 645, and Q).
However, many of today's announcements have left us disappointed as current Pentax users. Based on the specifications published thus far, we find the new cameras quite lacking, and the idea of issuing such small upgrades to be flawed. Similarly, the two new K-mount lenses are overpriced compared to what the competition has to offer. Historically, one of the strong points of the Pentax system has been its affordability, but many recent prices have broken the trend; we hope that this is not a permanent change.
The remainder of our commentary will be presented in a tabular format- read on for more!
Today, Pentax officially announces a host of new products, proving most of the recently-posted leaks and rumors true! The products being announced today include:
- Pentax K-5 II, a successor to the Pentax K-5
- Pentax K-5 IIs, a version of the K-5 II without an anti-aliasing filter
- Pentax Q10, a successor to the Pentax Q
- SMC Pentax-DA 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 ED SDM, a superzoom lens based on Tamron's 18-270mm lens
- HD Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 ED AW DC, a weather-sealed extreme telephoto prime
- SMC Pentax-Q 15-45mm F2.8 "06 Telephoto Zoom", a longer zoom lens for the Pentax Q system
- Pentax Adapter Q for K-mount lenses, which allows you to use Pentax SLR lenses on your Q
- HD Pentax D-FA 645 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR Macro, a stabilized macro lens for the 645D
In addition, Pentax is introducing a new lens coating called HD Coating (HD) which will be replacing their Super Multi Coating (SMC). This coating reduces reflections by more than 50% over the entire visible spectrum compared to conventional multi-layer coating, and is claimed to improve color reproduction and greatly reduce flare. Lenses with this coating will be prefixed with "HD" rather than "SMC".
Click on the links above to proceed to our equipment databases to read the full specifications for these new products, or read on for an overview of what's new!
Samyang has announced a 24 mm tilt and shift lens, the Samyang T-S 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC, that will be available in Pentax K-mount among the usual others. It is a wide-angle, full-frame lens fitted with perspective control and tilt-shift functions. Its unique optical and mechanical construction makes it an ideal tool for architecture and landscape photography. This is the first lens of its kind for Pentax- the last update along these lines occurred in the 1970's, with the debut of the SMC Pentax-K 28mm F3.5 Shift lens.
The Tilt-Shift function in the Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC allows for smooth and fine adjustment of the focal plane by an angle of +/-8.5 degrees and enables parallel shift of the optical axis by +/-12 mm. Both the lens mount and the Tilt-Shift section may be rotated on the optical axis. The Tilt-Shift section may be rotated left by 90 degrees (with 30 degree adjustment) and the mount of the lens may be rotated in both directions by 90 degrees (with 30 degree adjustment).
This lens will be showcased at Photokina and will go on sale shortly thereafter.
Recent threads on our forum have revealed leaks of more upcoming Pentax announcements, in addition to confirming the authenticity of the Pentax K-5 II rumor we posted about earlier. Sources indicate that the K-5 Mark II will also be available without an AA filter, and that this body will be marketed as the K-5 IIs:
It looks like the super zoom lens listed on Pentax's roadmap is going to be a 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 SDM lens, which is essentially a re-badged version of the popular Tamron 18-270mm, thus far unavailable in the Pentax mount. Full specifications and pricing are not known at this time, though some may be disappointed that this appears to be a clone of a lens that's already out there. (Source)
Yesterday, an anonymous visitor from Germany made a post on our forum about what sorts of announcements we can expect at Photokina, a photo trade show which we will officially be covering during the week of September 17th. We also received an e-mail message from this person with details on something of great interest: an upcoming Pentax K-5 Mark II.
Pentax K-5 Mark II specifications:
- Same body, sensor, and image processor as the K-5
- Overhauled SAFOX X AF system
with better accuracy and EV range than the previous generation
- Improved firmware features
We will confirm whether or not this rumor is true once we arrive at the Photokina show. Stay tuned! You may read the remainder of this rumor in the post linked above.
The time has come for us to vote and determine the winners of the official PentaxForums.com August, 2012 "Fences" photo contest! We have just posted the poll thread in our voting forum. Everyone is invited to vote, and the poll will remain open for three weeks. Good luck to everyone who entered!
Once inside the thread, scroll through the photos and pick up to 14 that you think deserve to win, and then check the checkboxes at the top of the page with your choices. Be sure to log in, as otherwise you will not be able to see the checkboxes. The top 3 photos receiving the most votes will be the winners!
Lastly, please don't forget that you can also enter in this month's "Forests" photo contest through the end of September.
The US Pentax instant rebates and price drops announced last week now seem to be in full effect at retailers, with one small twist: under the MAP pricing policy, the lower lens prices cannot be advertised online. Thus, at least at online stores, 5 of the 6 instant lens rebates actually ended up reverting lens prices to full MSRP less the advertised rebate amount. We trust that this will be addressed by Pentax over the coming weeks, as there prices are unreasonable when compared to those of other manufacturers. It is curious, however, that this policy only seems to affect premium (DA*) lenses.
Confirmed New Prices
(Click to view deals)
|Standard kit: $399
5-15mm zoom kit: $499
Dual lens kit: $649
40mm XS Kit: $599 (great deal!)
18-55mm & 50-200mm Kit: $749
All prices in the table above are the maximum that can be charged for any of the items. They may vary from store to store.
Canon and Nikon recently upgraded their top full-frame prosumer models. It is quite interesting to see how the two companies followed quite different paths and it does warrant some discussion and speculation about which specifications Pentax should aim for with their full frame camera (should they decide to build one).
|Previous model||New model|
5D Mark II
5D Mark III
Nikon came from a dismal 12 MP camera and decided to do a big jump and boost resolution to 36 MP (3510 lines) which approaches medium format resolution (the Pentax 645D is a 40 MP camera) whereas Canon basically stood still with resolution unchanged at (about) 22 MP (2750 lines) and instead used the advances in sensor and processor technology to produce a camera with very low noise and faster burst rate.