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Pentax Re-releases 645 25mm F4 Lens

as a DA-series lens exclusively for the 645D · 03-22-2012 · By PF Staff in Pentax News

Pentax announced today a "new" 645-format 25mm F4 lens, to be known as the SMC Pentax-DA 645 25mm F4 AL [IF] SDM AW. The "new" designation is in quotes because this lens seems to be very similar (if not identical) to its D-FA series predecessor, except that the lens hood has been stretched and the badging has been changed.  Its price will also be $4,995.

Pentax 25mm Comparison - Click to Enlarge(click to enlarge)

The new 25mm lens is no longer compatible with film-era Pentax 645 cameras, and we believe that this is because the lens hood has been stretched.  Does this foreshadow that Pentax has decided not to produce a "full frame" digital 645 body in the future?

Re-releasing a lens that's so similar to the original version is an interesting move by Pentax, and we can only hypothesize that the reason they are doing so is to reduce the presence of chromatic aberrations/flare on digital. More more details about this problem, take a look at Hark Lee's review of the D-FA 25mm F4.

The predecessor to this lens was never actually made available in the US, but sources indicate that it will finally arrive this April at B&H Photo (likely alongside this new version, which we won't see for at least a couple of months).

The SMC Pentax-DA 645 25mm F4 has just been listed in our lens database.  Once it becomes available, we will post an update on our homepage!

PF Staff's avatar
About the author: Various writers regularly contribute articles to the Pentax Forums homepage blog. More recent articles are published under each author's forum username. We hope you enjoy our guides and news coverage!

Tags: pentax 25mm, 645 25mm F4, 645d, medium format, professional lens

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atlnq9 [Delete] Mar 24th, 2012 5:37PM

Or it just didn't perform at FF. This could mean they are working on a FF 645D version and now finding this out. And the upcoming wide zoom which looks like something around 28-40mm will be the top wide lens for the FF 645. Nikon can make a 14-24mm which out performs primes so no reason Pentax can't make a 28-40mm to outperform primes as well... Think positive.

Adam [Delete] Mar 24th, 2012 11:35AM

I just looked at B&H's web site and it looks like they pushed back the estimated arrival date from April to May. Originally I thought that both lenses would become available, but this new development suggests that the new one is simply a replacement.

Zygonyx [Delete] Mar 24th, 2012 1:05AM

The news states it is a "re-launch", whereas some comments in the forum indicate this is a second version : will Pentax really maintain in its catalogue these two 25mm versions, i doubt it ! If the lost of the D-FA version is confirmed, yes this might end up any 645 FF dream...

hal_a [Delete] Mar 23rd, 2012 7:58AM

I think Sigma has the right idea behind lens hoods. Pentax should adopt/licence their dual stage lens hood and stop this nonsense of having two versions of the same lens.

topace [Delete] Mar 23rd, 2012 3:26AM

The optics could have been totally revamped (but probably not), however, are they going to care all that much about internal parts getting in the way of the full frame circle, also are they going to care about QA for the full circle?

In my opinion, a move that saves them little money, but that serves as a punch in the face for people who hope for a real 645D (Not that the current one isn't a ridiculously good camera, it's just misnamed).

gazonk [Delete] Mar 23rd, 2012 1:43AM

Maybe a FF 645d is coming soon, and they concluded this lens isn't good enough for the whole frame?

Adam [Delete] Mar 22nd, 2012 11:04PM

Coatings (according to the specs) are the same.

WerTicus [Delete] Mar 22nd, 2012 10:06PM

It will have new digital coatings too.

Yamanobori [Delete] Mar 22nd, 2012 9:42PM

There would be other changes like internal baffles--you would not want the lens hood to be the field stop. It could be a few film users did not like the performance at FF 645 and so this was the easiest fix. Still it would be an expensive move no matter what is done. The D FA may become quite a collectors piece.

Adam [Delete] Mar 22nd, 2012 9:34PM

Considering that the weight and optical construction is the same, I don't think that the optics could have changed at all - but you never know. This isn't something that we'll be investigating in practice, but I will go ahead and ask Pentax!

Spare Tire [Delete] Mar 22nd, 2012 9:26PM

That's the supidest shit ever. Why go through the trouble of making the lens cover the whole 645 frame and covering part of it up only by the hood, the part that costs like a thousandth of the cost of the lens.
Why not make a retractable hood that has two positions, one for FF and one for crop?

Yamanobori [Delete] Mar 22nd, 2012 9:26PM

While this might be hard to see, I wonder if they change the optics as well--it it really expensive to make these kind of changes and perhaps they tweaked some of the elements. We just need a member with a D FA 25mm to spend another $5K to get the new version to compare. I wonder what this does to folks who hope there will be a FF 645DII?

KFrog [Delete] Mar 22nd, 2012 9:25PM

Curious. Wonder why the cosmetic change? I can understand the reasoning behind the hood change.