Sigma Announces Lens Compatibility Issues with K-1

Many recent lenses can potentially cause mount damage

By PF Staff in Third-Party Announcements on May 11, 2016

Sigma Japan has posted a product advisory warning customers that when select Sigma lenses are attached to the Pentax K-1, a minor scratch to the camera's lens mount may be inflicted. This notice applies to the following lenses:

Sigma advises customers to discontinue use of the affected lenses. The company plans to offer a repair service at a future date to address the issue.

In addition, Sigma states that the K-1 many not be able to correctly determine the correct image circle of Sigma lenses when the crop mode is set to "auto".  Manual configuration of the crop setting is therefore recommended.

On an unrelated note, user reports suggest that certain older Sigma lenses cause the K-1 to freeze after being mounted— including the 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG APO Macro HSM II.  A firmware update for the affected lens(es) may be necessary to rectify this issue.

How the K-1 Mount Differs

While the Sigma press release does not explicitly describe the nature of the potential damage to the camera, a likely scenario is that the area directly above the lens mount gets scratched. The K-1's larger prism housing protrudes farther beyond the lens mount than other Pentax bodies and it is also angled more steeply, which could lead to scrapes while mounting lenses designed without this in mind.

We can only speculate whether this issue is related to improper mount implementation (reverse-engineering) by Sigma, or an internal change to Pentax's own mount specifications.

To date we do not know of any incompatibilities or issues with genuine Pentax lenses and the K-1.

Speaking of other mount differences, the K-1's focusing screen foam is situated much closer to the edge of the bayonet mount compared to Pentax APS-C bodies.  This foam spans the entire width of the mirror, rather than having a gap in the middle as on film SLRs such as the MZ-S.  The retaining clip for the focusing screen is also more exposed than on other Pentax bodies.  These differences don't seem to be causing any issues, however— nor should they.

K-3 Mount (left) vs K-1 Mount (right)

Sigma 18-300mm "C" Release Date Set

To be launched on August 21 per Sigma Japan

By PF Staff in Third-Party Announcements on Aug 12, 2015

In a press release dated August 7th, Sigma Japan announced that the Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM "Contemporary" lens will start shipping in the Pentax mount on August 21st. 

Learn more about the 18-300mm lens in the original announcement

This all-in-one superzoom range offers a class-leading focal length of 300mm at the long end.  It has been available for Canon, Nikon, and Sigma for nearly a year.  The Pentax version can be pre-ordered at B&H Photo for $579.

Laowa (Venus) 15mm F4 1:1 Wide Macro

New lens with wide-angle macro and perspective control

By K David in Third-Party Announcements on Jun 26, 2015

Last September we saw a unique new lens from Venus Optics: the 60mm F2.8 macro lens with 2:1 magnification. At the time, Venus announced they were working on a wide-angle macro lens. That later lens has arrived as the Laowa 15mm F4 1:1 Wide-angle Perspective-control Lens. This lens allows 1:1 macro magnification while preserving the look of a wide-angle image, and is another first for any 35mm lens maker.e

Priolite: Sync Speeds Up To 1/8000s With Pentax

High speed strobe system for medium format (645Z/D) and K-mount DSLRs

By PF Staff in Third-Party Announcements on Jun 8, 2015

Priolite, a German strobe manufacturer, unveiled today a breakthrough lighting system for professionals shooting with Pentax DSLRs.  The wireless Priolite Pentax HotSync Solution enables high-speed flash synchronization up to the maximum available shutter speed (i.e. 1/8000s or 1/4000s) on existing Pentax DSLR bodies, including the medium-format 645Z.   It is the first such system for Pentax cameras, and it is revolutionary in the sense that it renders leaf shutter lenses unnecessary; such lenses were in short supply to begin with and are not available new. The system opens up a world of possibilities, especially for medium format photographers, while also supporting advanced APS-C bodies such as the Pentax K-3.  We see this as a very welcome announcement in light of the many criticisms that the standard Pentax flash system has received.  It makes the Pentax 645Z even more competitive by giving it a technological edge over other medium format cameras with regard to lighting.

Sample PhotoSample Photo: 645Z + Dual Priolite Strobes

The manufacturer states that "utilizing the entire range of possible shutter speeds with the Priolite Hot Sync System allows photographers to shoot with wide-open apertures in sunlit environments, freezing motion of fast moving objects, and enables them to create images difficult or impossible to capture before."  Priolite's HSS strobes were previously only available for Canon and Nikon cameras.

This system is "plug and play" and it has been designed work with any Pentax DSLR that otherwise supports high-speed flash sync (HSS).  No firmware update is required.  The product is not developed or officially endorsed by Ricoh Imaging.

A single-light Priolite starter kit will be available until the end of August, 2015 at a promotional price of $1970.00 USD.  Additional lights will be available for $1971.00 to $2286.00.  Further details on availability are currently unknown; we suspect that the lights will become available later this summer.

Read on for a hands-on look at the Priolite system and the official press release.

New Samyang 100mm F2.8 Macro for Pentax

By PF Staff in Third-Party Announcements on Apr 4, 2015

The third-party lens lineup for Pentax has recently been strengthened by Samyang Optics' latest announcement: a manual-focus 100mm F2.8 Macro lens that supports life-size (1:1) magnification.  Like other modern lenses from Samyang, this one uses the Pentax KA mount, which means it has an aperture ring with the "A" setting.  Thus, on modern DSLRs, it will behave exactly as a Pentax A-series lens would and it will support all available shooting modes.

Samyang will also produce the 100mm Macro in 9 other mounts compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Samsung, and Four-thirds camera systems.

This lens covers the 35mm full-frame image circle and employs a modern optical design with one high-refractive index (HR) and one extra-low dispersion (ED) element.  Its aperture diaphragm features 9 rounded aperture blades for a smooth, circular bokeh.

Samyang 100mm Macro Optical Formula
Samyang 100mm Macro Optical Diagram

Since it has an aperture ring, the Samyang 100mm Macro could prove to be a viable (and more affordable) alternative to the Pentax D-FA 100mm Macro for photographers who plan to use extension tubes or other macro accessories. 

Full specifications can be found in our lens database

In the US, this lens will be sold under the Rokinon brand name at a launch price of $549 USD.  It is expected to start shipping in the third week of April.

In Europe, it will retail for 549, though we have not yet received any pre-order links from major Pentax retailers.

A cine variant of this lens (Samyang 100mm T3.1 Macro) designed for videographers will be produced in a variety of mounts, excluding the Pentax mount.

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