D-FA* 70-200mm and D-FA 150-450mm Announced

Two full-frame telephoto zoom lenses

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 4, 2015

Two new telephoto zoom lenses are strengthening the Pentax lens lineup today.  Ricoh Imaging has just officially announced the HD Pentax-D FA★ 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW and HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW, both of which previously made an appearance as prototypes at Photokina and CES.  They ended up being as formidable as they appeared on display!  The fast zoom weighs in at 1755g, while the longer 150-450mm is a whole 2000g.  That's without the hood and tripod mounts which add an extra 15% to the weight.

Penta D FA* 70-200mm70-200mm - Click to Enlarge

These lenses fill important gaps in the Pentax K-mount system: a long, fast zoom for sports and an extreme telephoto zoom that stretches beyond 300mm.  Until now, there had been a void between 300mm and 560mm in the genuine Pentax lineup, and no F2.8 zoom longer than 135mm.

Pentax D FA 150-450mm150-450mm - Click to Enlarge

More interestingly, the new lenses are part of the Pentax D FA lens series.  This means that they have been designed to optimally cover the full-frame image circle and according to the press release, both are "capable of accepting future models with larger image sensors without modifications."    They are surely the first of a host of D FA lenses needed to establish a viable full-frame lineup.  We can't wait to test them out on those future camera models, the first of which has already been announced as a prototype!  Yes indeed, the Pentax Full Frame is finally official.

New Features

The two lenses also bring plenty of technological innovation to the table.  The 70-200mm incorporates a new Aero Bright II (nano-based) glass coating that further improves upon the original Aero Bright coating that was launched back in 2010 and used primarily on 645 medium format lenses.  This is the most expensive coating at Pentax's disposition and it is being used alongside the HD coating for this particular lens.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1505/70-200mm_optics.jpg http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1505/150-450mm_optics.jpg
70-200mm Optics 150-450mm Optics

You'll also find Super ED elements in the 70-200mm for the first time ever in a Pentax lens in addition to plenty of standard ED elements in both lenses.

Next, the both the 70-200mm and 150-400mm have been fitted with a switch providing two different AF settings: quick shift with AF priority (QFS/A) and quick shift with manual focus priority (QFS/M).  The former works identically to the "AF" setting found on previous lenses and lets the user focus manually without having to switch the camera to MF mode.  The latter is new and it additionally allows the user to interrupt the AF operation to manually adjust the focus, something that would have previously caused damage to the lens.  We are excited to see this feature as it shows that Pentax is aiming to please sports photographers.  A similar feature is found on recent Nikon telephoto lenses (branded A/M and M/A).

70-200mm Seals 150-450mm Seals

Finally, the 150-450mm has been fitted with four autofocus buttons on its barrel that can be used in lieu of the shutter half-press/rear AF buttons on the camera for added shooting convenience.

Specifications

Now, let's return to more traditional features. Both new lenses are weather-sealed (All-Weather designation) and come with tripod mounts, silent autofocus, and focus limiters: fairly standard things for high-end telephoto zooms.  The full technical specifications for each lens, including physical dimensions and weight, can be viewed in our Pentax lens database:

Pricing

In the US, you will need to shed $2299/£1849 for the 70-200mm while the 150-450mm will cost you $2499/£1999.  These prices aren't cheap but they are reasonable within their market segment.  As full-frame lenses these new Pentax telephotos will compete alongside the big boys: the Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8G ED VR II ($2399), Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM ($2199), Nikkor 80-400mm F4.5-5.6G ED VR ($2699), and Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM ($2199).

Both lenses are expected to ship in April, 2015.  Read on for the full press releases and additional product photos.

Product Photos

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge and browse.

150-450mm
70-200mm

MTF Charts

150-450mm
70-200mm

70-200mm Press Release

February 5, 2015

HD PENTAX-D FA★ 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW

A high-performance, Star-series telephoto zoom lens for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, providing F2.8 maximum aperture over the entire zoom range to deliver outstanding image rendition

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-D FA★ 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW. Designed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, this large-aperture telephoto zoom lens is a new addition to the high-performance Star (★) series developed for the highest level of image rendition.

This telephoto zoom lens has been developed as a new model of the PENTAX Star (★) series, which boasts the highest image quality of all PENTAX interchangeable lenses by compensating various aberrations to a minimum. Thanks to its large-aperture design, it provides a large maximum aperture of F2.8 at all focal lengths from 70mm to 200mm. Coupled with other PENTAX-original lens-coating technologies — such as the newly developed Aero Bright Coating II assuring exceptionally low reflectance, and the high-grade HD Coating — it produces extra-sharp, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions such as in backlight. In addition to four super-low dispersion glass elements and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements, its optics includes a pair of new Super ED glass elements to effectively compensate chromatic aberration over the entire zoom range and deliver crisp, high-resolution images with edge-to-edge sharpness. Its dustproof, weather-resistant body also makes it extremely dependable and durable in demanding outdoor conditions.

Main Features

1. High-performance Star (★)-series lens with large F2.8 maximum aperture

This telephoto zoom lens has been developed as a new model of the high-performance Star (★) series, which assures exceptional image rendition with edge-to-edge sharpness by effectively compensating various aberrations to a minimum. When mounted on a PENTAX K-mount SLR camera body, it provides a zoom ratio of approximately 2.9 times to cover a telephoto range from 107mm to 307mm in the 35mm format. Since it provides a large maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range, it is ideal for portraiture with beautifully defocused foreground/background and sports photography demanding high shutter speeds to freeze the action. Its image circle is optimized to cover even the image size of 35mm film-format SLR cameras. As the result, it not only assures brilliant, high-resolution images without compromising the sharpness at edges even when mounted on an existing PENTAX digital SLR camera body, but it is also capable of accepting future models with larger image sensors without modifications.

2. State-of-the-art optical technology

This zoom lens is treated with the newly developed Aero Bright Coating II — a lens-coating nanotechnology that employs a super-low refractive film fabrication process to assure light reflectance lower than that of the conventional Aero Bright Coating.* By coupling this advanced lens coating with the high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating** that reduces an average reflectance in a visible ray spectrum to less than 50% of conventional multi-layer coatings, this lens effectively reduces flare and ghost images to a minimum even under demanding lighting conditions such as backlight. In its optics, it also features four super-low dispersion glass elements, two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements, and two Super ED glass elements, which have optical properties similar to fluorite and assure lower light dispersion and more effective compensation of chromatic aberration. As the result, this lens produces brilliant, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness, while effectively compensating chromatic aberration over the entire zoom range.

* A state-of-the-art, PENTAX-original lens coating technology developed from nanotechnology. It applies a silica aerogel coating layer with uniform porous structure over a regular multi-coating layer to reduce surface reflections across a wide wavelength range and produce crisp, high-quality images.

** HD stands for High Definition.

3. Dustproof, weather-resistant construction

Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, this zoom lens features a dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction with 13 special seals to prevent the intrusion of water and dust particles into the lens interior. By pairing it with a PENTAX weather-resistant digital SLR camera body, it assures a durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

4. Newly installed three-position switch for Quick-Shift Focus System

The lens is equipped with the PENTAX-developed Quick-Shift Focus System, which allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system. In order to improve its operability, a three-position switch is newly installed on this lens, allowing instant switching among QFS/A, QFS/M and MF modes. QFS/A is an autofocus-priority mode, which allows the user to switch to manual-focusing operation only when autofocus operation is completed. QFS/M is a manual-focus-priority mode, which enables the user to switch to manual focusing at any time — even when the AF system is in operation. MF mode allows the user to instantly switch to manual focusing with a simple twist of the focus ring on the lens. With a choice of three distinctive modes, the user is assured of speedier, more accurate focusing operation for a given subject or application.

5. Other features

・Smooth, quiet AF operation using a lens-installed AF driving motor
・Round-shaped diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources
・Focus range limiter to minimize AF operation time by fixing the focus range to one of three sub-ranges
・SP (Super Protect) coating to keep the front surface free of dust and stains
・Detachable tripod mounting with a newly designed anti-falling mechanism

Note: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice

150-450mm Press Release

February 5, 2015

HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6ED DC AW


An interchangeable super-telephoto zoom lens for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, ideal for capturing clear images of distant subjects


RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6ED DC AW super-telephoto zoom lens, designed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras.

This super-telephoto zoom lens has been developed to cover focal lengths from 150mm to 450mm — a focal-length range most demanded by high-end PENTAX-camera users. It features the PENTAX-original, high-grade HD Coating to produce extra-sharp, high-contrast images even under demanding lighting conditions such as in backlight. It also incorporates three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and a super-low dispersion glass element to effectively compensate chromatic aberration. Its dustproof, weather-resistant body also makes it extremely dependable and durable in demanding outdoor conditions.

Main Features

1. Super-telephoto coverage with three-times zoom ratio

When mounted on a PENTAX K-mount SLR camera body, this zoom lens covers a super-telephoto range from approximately 230mm to 690mm in the 35mm format. It is designed to be compact and light enough to handhold during long-range shooting of such subjects as wildlife, aircraft and sports.

2. Outstanding image description

Thanks to its state-of-the-art optics featuring three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements and one super-low dispersion glass element, this zoom lens effectively minimizes spherical and chromatic aberrations, while producing crisp, high-quality images free of color bleeding.  Its MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) curve is programmed to be higher than those of conventional models in the same class to deliver high-resolution, fine-detailed images. Its image circle is optimized to cover even the image size of 35mm film-format SLR cameras. As the result, it not only assures brilliant, high-resolution images without compromising the sharpness at edges even when mounted on an existing PENTAX digital SLR camera body, but it is also capable of accepting future models with larger image sensors without modifications.

3. HD Coating to optimize image rendition

This lens is treated with the high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating.* Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this PENTAX-original coating assures higher light transmittance and less reflection to deliver bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions such as backlight.

* HD stands for High Definition.

4. Dustproof, weather-resistant construction
Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, this zoom lens features a dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction with 21 special seals to prevent the intrusion of water and dust particles into the lens interior. By pairing it with a PENTAX weather-resistant digital SLR camera body, it assures a durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

5. Newly installed three-position switch for Quick-Shift Focus System

The lens is equipped with the PENTAX-developed Quick-Shift Focus System, which allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system. In order to improve its operability, a three-position switch is newly installed on this lens, allowing instant switching among QFS/A, QFS/M and MF modes. QFS/A is an autofocus-priority mode, which allows the user to switch to manual-focusing operation only when autofocus operation is completed. QFS/M is a manual-focus-priority mode, which enables the user to switch to manual focusing at any time — even when the AF system is in operation. MF mode allows the user to instantly switch to manual focusing with a simple twist of the focus ring on the lens. With a choice of three distinctive modes, the user is assured of speedier, more accurate focusing operation for a given subject or application.


6. Four AF buttons installed on the lens barrel

In order to provide more stable AF operation and better hold of the lens regardless of the camera’s orientation — horizontal or vertical — this lens provides four AF buttons on its barrel — one at every 90 degrees.** The user can assign preferred settings to these AF buttons, including: a Focus Preset mode to preprogram the focus position and instantly shift the focus to that position; and an AF Cancel mode to intentionally fix the focus at a desired point during Continuous AF operation.

** The PENTAX K-3 is currently the only model to accommodate the AF button functions. To activate these functions, the camera’s firmware must be updated to the latest version.

7. Other features

・Smooth, quiet AF operation using a lens-installed AF driving motor
・Round-shaped diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources
・Focus range limiter to minimize AF operation time by fixing the focus range to one of three  sub-ranges
・SP (Super Protect) coating to keep the front surface free of dust and stains
・Zoom lock lever to prevent the lens barrel from free-falling
・Detachable tripod mounting with a newly designed anti-falling mechanism


Note: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice

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