On February 9, the first day of the CP+ trade show in Yokohama, the Ricoh Company announced a reorganization effective April 1, 2012 of their imaging divisions placing the responsibility of also the Ricoh camera brand in the hands of the new Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company (PRI).
Here at PentaxForums we are very excited about this change and believe that with Ricoh's support and financial backing of the Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company we will see a serious boost in Pentax and Ricoh product development, marketing and sales. With Ricoh as the owner, Pentax now is very well positioned- much better than with Hoya at the helm.
The first signs of the stepped up activity has already showed with a flurry of product announcements lately. First in January the new Optio VS20 compact camera, then here in February the K-01 mirror-less K-Mount camera and the very generously spec'ed Optio WG-02 rugged compact, and this week at the CP+ trade show the announcement of quite a number of lenses and adapters for all three families of Pentax interchangeable lens cameras, the Q System, the K-Mount System, and the 645D medium format system. Clearly Ricoh wants Pentax to move ahead full steam with all three product lines! Now, all that remains is for Ricoh to enter the professional DSLR market, as they seem to have all the other bases covered quite well.
CP+ is an international "comprehensive camera and photo imaging show" organized by CIPA (Camera and Imaging Products Association). CP+ opens today, February 9 and closes on February 12. The show is held in Pacifico Yokohama exhibition hall in, you guessed it, Yokohama, Japan.
This trade show is targeting both business users and consumers, and presents the latest products and technologies to help further develop the photo industry and photographic culture. This trade show provides the joy of "shooting", "viewing" and "linking" pictures in versatile formats from Yokohama, a city of photography, and propagates photographic and imaging culture from Japan to the world.
We are particularly excited about this year's show as a result of Pentax's aggressive marketing strategy and recent announcements of over 10 new products!
PentaxForums will have a representative present at the show and we will provide coverage of the Pentax booth here on our site on Saturday (Japanese time; Friday evening EST). We have also scheduled a meeting with Pentax and we expect to conduct an interview and present the immense following that Pentax Full Frame has gained over the past two months.
In the mean time, sit back, relax, and enjoy the hands-on coverage that's surfacing around the web. Initial reactions to the K-01 are quite positive, and several hands-on videos of the camera have been posted on sites such as Engadget, among others!
Although most of the product names for the 7 Pentax lenses that were announced yesterday remain tentative, Pentax has already publicly revealed photos of all 7 of those lenses!
The following lenses are already listed in our Lens database:
- SMC Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6 (ED [IF] is likely to be added to the name*)
- SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
- Pentax Adapter Q for K-mount lens (lets you use DSLR lenses on the Q)
- Pentax Pentax-D FA 645 90mm F2.8 (SDM AW ED [IF] is likely to be added to the name*)
and these lenses will likely see updates to their names:
- Pentax Q Telephoto Zoom
- Pentax Q Body Cap Lens
- SMC Pentax-DA XS lens for K-01 (only)
Pentax K-01 Lens
Perhaps the most interesting thing we've learned tonight is that Pentax has plans to take full advantage of the Pentax K-01's mirrorless construction. The new and unnamed SMC Pentax-DA XS lens, pictured above, will extend closer to the K-01's sensor than a normal K-mount lens would. The rear lens elements will be located in the area which would otherwise be blocked by the mirror on a DSLR. This introduces many new lens possibilities for the K-01 as well as future Pentax mirrorless cameras, also meaning that lenses can be made more compact!
Due to the curvature of the front element of this new lens, as well as its small size, we suspect it will be a very wide lens. It should also be noted that the lens is similar in appearance to current DA limited lenses.
(click to enlarge)
Let's begin with the Pentax 560mm lens, pictured above. This lens is clearly a welcome addition to the Pentax SLR lens lineup, though we find it to be larger than we had originally expected. The finish makes it looks like a professional lens, while the tripod mount will facilitate better stability in the field. In order for this lens to be successful, it will have to be priced significantly below the Sigma 500mm F4.5 lens, which is only half a stop faster (yet slightly shorter as well).
The photo of the Pentax 50mm F1.8 confirms our original suspicion that it would feature the same lightweight construction and plastic mount as the 35mm F2.4, and it will likely take its place as the cheapest prime lens in the Pentax lineup. This lens will likely be a great performer and a good starting point for beginners. This also means that it is not a replacement for the FA 50mm F1.4.
Pentax has announced the availability in March 2012 of tethering software for the Pentax 645D medium format camera. The software is available for Windows 7 and Max OS 10.6/10.7.
With this software images can be transferred to the camera via a USB cable immediately when taken. The images can simultaneously be saved to an SD card in the camera.
The camera shutter can also be controlled remotely from the computer but since the 645D has no live view capability there is also no live view possible on the connected computer. However, we assume that digital preview will show on the computer.
The software carries a somewhat hefty price tag, USD 199.95 in the US.
Pentax Japan has just announced that a limited silver edition of its Pentax Q will soon enter a short production run of just 1,600 units. The silver Q won't differ in any way from the regular Q, though it will come pre-loaded with the latest firmware from the factory. Additionally, it will come bundled with the 02 Standard Zoom lens (rather than the 01 standard prime), which leads us to believe that the price of the limited kit will be at least $1000.
Producing a limited edition camera body, or a special silver body, is nothing new for Pentax. In fact, every upper-end Pentax SLR since the K10D has had a limited version- so if you're looking for exclusivity, you won't achieve it by getting a limited silver camera. They do make for excellent collectors' items, however. For example, the Pentax LX2000 film camera with the 50mm F1.2 Special lens, pictured below, sells for $3000-$5000 on eBay.
Unlike the LX, however, Pentax Q is more of a fashion item than a camera- in fact, it may well be the only interchangeable-lens camera with a point-and-shoot sensor. Read our Pentax Q review for more! This doesn't mean that we simply hate the Q, but in light of the recent Pentax K-01 launch, it is difficult to see its place on the market.
In a recent news post by Pentax Germany, details about three new Pentax K-mount lenses have been revealed:
- SMC Pentax-DA 560mm F5.6
- SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
- SMC Pentax-D FA 645 90mm F2.8
The first two lenses at both K-mount and are no surprise at this point, as they were previously hinted at via the Pentax 2012-2013 lens roadmap.
Based on the aperture ratings of these lenses, it's likely that the new DA 50mm lens will be a budget alternative to the FA 50mm F1.4, and that it will feature the same plastic body construction as the DA 35mm F2.4.
The DA 560mm lens should be an affordable telephoto similar to regular DA-series lenses in design, suggested by the lack of a * (star) or SDM designation.
Finally, the D-FA 645 90mm F2.8 is a short portrait telephoto lens designed for the Pentax 645D, but also covering the full 645 film image circle. It will roughly correspond to a 60mm on an APS-C DSLR and will be weather-sealed.
Once these lenses are revealed at CP+, we will bring you more details as well as photos!
Pentax has just announced the Optio WG-2, representing the thirteenth generation of Pentax rugged "adverture-proof" compact digital cameras.
Highlights of the new WG-2 include:
- A new backlit 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
- Waterproof to 40 feet, resistant to drops from up to 5 feet, coldproof to -10 degrees C, and crushproof
- 5x zoom lens equivalent to 28-140mm on film
- HVGA 3-inch wide LCD with protective cover
- Full HD video recording at 30fps, H.264 format
- HDMI output
- Optional GPS, featuring improved battery life and performance (add $49)
- MSRP: $349
Have you decided to get a Pentax K-01? If so, then we hope that through this guide, you will be able to pick out a selection of lenses that will not only allow you to get the most out of your camera, but also make it stylish and compact!
Normally, when a new user buys a Pentax DSLR, he or she is at first confused by the Pentax lens lineup. Current Pentax K-mount lenses fall into many different sub-categories: some are weather-sealed, some support full-frame cameras, some are designated as "Limited", some have plastic mounts, and some have SDM autofocus, yet only a few are "normal" in the sense that they're part of a run-of-the mill consumer lineup. On top of that, there are gaps left and right, so not only are the sub-series incomplete, but so is the entire lineup as a whole (but as the goal of this post is neither to provide an overview nor to provide a criticism of current Pentax lenses, we'll let the interested reader do his or her research in the lens database).
Now that the K-01 is entering the market, however, everything is different. It seems that for the K-01, the natural companion is the Pentax Limited lens. And that means that in addition to the ultra-compact 40mm kit lens that is bundled with the K-01, there are at least 5 other lenses that go along perfectly with the K-01. In the remainder of this article, we will share with you what be believe will be the ultimate Pentax K-01 kit.