HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR Announced

Standard zoom lens for the Pentax Full Frame DSLR

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Sep 24, 2015
HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR Announced

Pentax's suite of dedicated full-frame lenses grows with today's announcement of the HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR, a fast weather-sealed standard zoom.  Covering focal lengths from wide angle to long normal, the 24-70mm will be the go-to premium walkaround lens for the upcoming full frame.  While not developed for use with APS-C bodies, the lens is of course fully compatible with existing K-mount cameras and would offer a field of view ranging from wide normal to short telephoto.

The new lens comes packed with Pentax's latest technologies, including HD coating, SDM autofocus, quick shift manual focus override, and weather sealing.  From a cosmetic point of view, the 24-70mm is styled similarly to the 150-450mm and 70-200mm zooms with a minimalistic barrel.  It has a front-mounted zoom ring and a smaller focusing ring directly behind it, along with a distance scale.

Pentax's D FA lens series denotes full-frame lenses optimized for digital cameras.  This series is the counterpart to DA lenses, which are crop lenses designed for APS-C sensors.

2015 Pentax K-mount Lens Roadmap

Per the latest Pentax lens roadmap, two more full-frame zooms a planned in the near future: a longer standard zoom such as a 28-105mm, and a wide-angle zoom such as a 15-30mm.  This will bring the number of current D FA (FF-compatible) lenses to at least 7, one of which will inevitably be used as a kit lens.

Click here to pre-order your 24-70mm at B&H Photo | Adorama

The D FA 24-70mm F2.8 is expected to hit the shelves at the end of October at a retail price of US $1299 (£1149 including VAT in the UK).  Canon and Nikon first-party lenses in this class are priced between $1799 and $2399 in the US, whereas current third-party lenses such as the Sigma 24-70mm and Tamron 24-70mm (no longer available and never launched for Pentax, respectively) range from $799 to $1299.

Similarity to the Tamron 24-70mm F2.8

This announcement could be an indication of a continued behind-the-scenes partnership between Ricoh Imaging and Tamron.  The newly-announced Pentax 24-70mm bears a stark resemblance to the existing Tamron 24-70mm, not only from a physical point of view, but also in terms of optical and mechanical specifications.  Like the Pentax lens, the Tamron (available for Canon and Nikon) is weather-sealed and has 17 elements in 12 groups.

In the existing Pentax lens lineup, the DA 18-270mm is essentially a rebadged Tamron lens.  The superzoom cooperation with Tamron dates back to the late film era with lenses such as the DA 18-250mm and FA 28-105mm F4-5.6.

See below for a physical comparison of the Pentax and Tamron 24-70mm lenses:

Tamron
Pentax

Read on for additional product photos, full specifications, MTF charts, and the press release.

See Also

Product Photos

Click on any thumbnail to enlarge.

Specifications

Below are the official specifications for the 24-70mm lens.

Lens Name

Pentax 24-70mm

HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR

Optical Formula

17 elements in 12 groups

(click to enlarge)

Focal Length 24-70mm
Image Circle Covers the 24x36mm format (full frame)
Auto-Exposure Support Yes
Construction Metal barrel
Field of View (Diagonal)
Full Frame: 84-34.5°
APS-C: 61-23°
Aperture Range F2.8 - F22
Aperture Blades 9 (rounded)
Aperture Ring No
Max. Magnification 0.20x
Focus Type Autofocus (SDM only)
Minimum Focusing Distance 0.38 m (1.25 ft)
Internal Focus  No
Filter Thread Diameter 82mm
Cap O-LC82 (clip-on, included)
Hood PH-RBD82 (plastic petal type, included)
Case S120-150 (included)
Diameter x Length 88.5 x 109.5 mm (3.5 x 4.3 in)
Weight 787g (27.8 oz.)
812g (28.6 oz.)
Pentax Mount Designation KAF3
Weather Sealing Yes
Launch Price (US MSRP) $1299
Launch Date 2015-09-25

Some (purely speculative) rumors claim that the Pentax full frame will not feature screwdrive autofocus.  We believe that the camera will have an AF motor in order to support existing FA and D FA lenses with screwdrive.  Furthermore, since the 24-70mm is based on an SDM-only Tamron lens, the release of this lens cannot be used as evidence against the presence of screwdrive AF in the upcoming camera.

MTF Charts

Click on any chart to enlarge.

24mm
70mm

Press Release

September 25, 2015

HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR
A high-performance, interchangeable standard zoom lens
for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras,
providing exceptional imaging power and a large F2.8 maximum aperture

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR. This new standard zoom lens is designed to accommodate the image circle of large 35mm full-frame image sensors.

When mounted on a 35mm-format full-frame digital SLR camera body (currently under development), this large-aperture standard zoom lens covers a focal-length range from 24mm ultra-wide-angle to 70mm standard,* and provides a maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range. By incorporating three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical elements and four aspherical optical elements, it assures sufficient light levels even at the edges of the image field and compensates various aberrations to a minimum to deliver well-depicted, fine-detailed images rich in contrast and resolution. The built-in SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) provides quiet, high-speed autofocus operation.

Main Features

1. Exceptional imaging power
Consisting of 17 elements in 12 groups, the newly designed optics feature three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical elements, one anomalous-dispersion-glass aspherical optical element and three aspherical optical elements to accommodate super-high-resolution image sensors. By assuring sufficient light levels even at the edges of the image field and compensating various aberrations to a minimum, it provides a high MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) and delivers well-illustrated, fine-detailed images that are rich in contrast and resolution across the entire image field. When mounted on a current PENTAX K-series camera body, it uses only the central area of the image circle so that it delivers high-resolution images with uniform image description over the entire image field.

2. Large-aperture standard zoom lens
When mounted on a 35mm-format full-frame digital SLR camera body, this zoom lens offers a zoom ratio of approximately 2.9 times to cover the ultra-wide-angle to standard ranges (24mm to 70mm in focal length). It provides a maximum aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range to deliver brilliant images. It not only covers the focal-length range most frequently used for ordinary subjects, but also provides ultra-wide-angle coverage to produce distinctive visual expressions, such as exaggerated perspectives or extra-wide depths of field, making it very useful with subjects such as sweeping landscapes and shallow indoor scenes. When mounted on a current K-series digital SLR camera body, it provides focal lengths from 37mm to 107mm in the 35mm format to cover wide-angle to medium-telephoto ranges. Since its large maximum aperture not only creates an excellent bokeh (defocus) effect on the background for beautiful portraits, but also allows the photographer to handhold the camera for poorly illuminated subjects, such as sunsets and indoor scenes.

3. Built-in SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor)
Thanks to the incorporation of a new-generation SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor), this zoom lens assures quiet, high-speed autofocus operation, allowing the photographer to react swiftly to all types of subjects.

4. Weather-resistant construction
This lens features a dependable weather-resistant construction with special seals to effectively prevent the intrusion of water into the lens interior. By pairing it with a weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, it assures a durable, dependable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in rain or mist, or in locations prone to water splashing or spray.

5. HD Coating to improve image description
The lens is treated with 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.

6. Quick-Shift Focus system
The lens comes 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.

7. Other features
・Rounded diaphragm to produce a smooth, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.
・Zoom lock lever to prevent the accidental extension of the lens barrel when pointed downwards.

Note: Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice

Will you be getting this lens along with the full frame?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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