Hasselblad Unveils Mirrorless Medium Format X1D

World's first medium format mirrorless ILC

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Jun 22, 2016

Prior to the announcement of the Pentax 645Z, many of our forum members speculated if Pentax were to go down the medium format mirrorless route.  Instead, Pentax broke ground by offering a drastically improved, video-enabled medium format model at a lower price than its predecessor.  The 645Z has since gained a tremendous following among professional photographers for its performance, versatility, and value.

Today Hasselblad departs tradition and leads innovation through a quite compact medium format mirrorless model.  The new X1D camera weighs in at just 725g and is thus lighter than many crop DSLRs (such as the Pentax K-3) despite packing a sensor that has nearly four times the area!  At $8995/€7900/£5990 it is also Hasselblad's most affordable model, though it still trails behind the 645Z, now priced at $6995 in the US.

The X1D features a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor, dual SD card slots, contrast detection autofocus, and can shoot stills up to 2.3 FPS as well as full HD video at 25 FPS.  Photos can be captured between ISO 100 and 25,600 and Hasselblad promises up to 14 stops of dynamic range.  In addition to a rear LCD with a modern touchscreen interface, the camera offers a 2.4-megapixel electronic viewfinder and fast connectivity through USB3 (C) and Wi-Fi.  Finally, it has built-in GPS, an HDMI port, and headphone/mic ports.  Like the 645Z, the X1D is weather-sealed and cold-proof.

The camera will use a new lineup of XCD lenses with built-in leaf shutters (the lineup currently consists of a 45mm F3.5 and 90mm F3.2, priced at $2295 and $2695, respectively) and will also accept existing Hasselblad lenses via an adapter.  More XCD lenses, including a 30mm, are expected this fall.

Hasselblad's new system is expected to start shipping at the end of July.

Kumamoto Earthquakes to Affect Pentax Camera Availability

Official notice posted by Ricoh Imaging

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on May 29, 2016

Ricoh Imaging has announced that the recent earthquakes in Kumamoto, Japan have affected some of its suppliers, and that this may have "some impact" on the availability of Pentax cameras and lenses in the near future.

We speculate that the limited availability of the Pentax K-1 beyond its initial shipments in late April/early May could have been caused by the earthquake.

Nearly all Pentax cameras and lenses are assembled in the Philippines and Vietnam, respectively, so Pentax's own facilities were not directly affected by the disaster. Pentax-branded full-frame lenses designed by Tamron are made in Japan, albeit far from the earthquake site (these lenses include the D FA 24-70mm and D FA 15-30mm).  Ricoh-branded cameras including the Theta and GR are made in China. 

Press Release

RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. extends our condolences to the victims of the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes, and expresses our sympathy to those who were directly affected by this tragedy.

We anticipate some impact on the future production of our lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, interchangeable lenses and digital compact cameras, because some of our suppliers in this region have been affected by the earthquakes and the continuing aftershocks.

We apologize to our customers and all affected parties for any inconvenience this might cause, and will try our best to restore the situation to normal as soon as possible. We truly appreciate your understanding of this difficult situation.

Cover image depicts the Kumamoto Castle; licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Sigma Offers K-1-Related Lens Repair Service

Vows to repair affected lenses and damaged bodies

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on May 27, 2016

Earlier this month, Sigma announced that a handful of its current and legacy lenses could cause a minor scratch above the lens mount when attached to the Pentax K-1.

Today, the company stated that it will start repairing affected lenses so that they no longer cause damage to the camera body.  Owners of affected lenses are advised to contact their local Sigma distributor/service center to obtain the free service.

Sigma has also very graciously announced that it will offer to repair affected K-1 bodies (via authorized Pentax repair facilities) in the near future.

Despite the diminishing size of the Sigma K-mount lineup, Sigma has proved to handle this issue professionally, without neglecting its Pentax mount customers.

Sigma's recent Global Vision lens lineup has been met with highly positive critical reception, and the company continues to innovate through high-performance lens designs and zoom lenses with apertures wider than F2.8.  Currently, only one full-frame Global Vision lens is available in the Pentax mount: the 35mm F1.4 "Art".

Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 64mm for Pentax

50 pledges required for K-mount production

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Apr 29, 2016

A rare opportunity has presented itself for Pentaxians: Lomography is accepting pledges via Kickstarter for a modern K-mount edition of (literally) the world's first photographic lens, the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm Art Lens.  This lens was originally invented by Charles Chevalier nearly two centuries ago. Mounted on Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre's camera in Paris, it helped capture the first ever photo of a human being in 1839.  When combined with a Waterhouse Aperture system, it can be the perfect tool for capturing beautiful photos with a unique style.

Lomography will only proceed with production of the K-mount version of this lens if it is backed by at least 50 people by May 10th.  As of the writing of this post, 10 out of 50 people have backed the project, so 40 more spots must be filled.

Update: as of May 6th, the brass lens has received enough pledges to enter production in the K mount.  Way to go, Pentaxians!

To back the project, you must pledge $400 (or more, should you be willing) via the Kickstarter page.  This will entitle you to a single copy of the lens shipped to your door, in addition to a handful of extras.  Should this lens enter production, the brass version will retail for $499 while the black version (if available) will retail for $599.  Thus, all backers get a hefty discount!

Look for "PENTAX K MOUNT BRASS LENS SPECIAL" in the sidebar of the page below.  Otherwise you might end up receiving a Canon or Nikon lens instead!

Back the Lomography 64mm F2.9 for Pentax on Kickstarter

Note that if fewer than 50 people back the K-mount project by the deadline, contributions will be refunded, or you will be entitled to an alternate mount (Canon EF or Nikon F).  Overall, more than 1700 people have already contributed to the project, thus raising a sum of nearly $800,000.

Some 3000 copies of the lens are expected by the end of the year, with the Pentax version shipping by December.

Disclosure: we are not affiliated with Lomography nor does Pentax Forums benefit from this project in any way.

Ricoh Theta S and Pentax K-1 Win TIPA 2016 Awards

Best design, best full-frame DSLR expert

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Apr 18, 2016

The Ricoh Theta S and Pentax K-1 have been regonized as the best product design and best expert full-frame DSLR of 2016, respectively, by the editors of the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).  TIPA is an organization consisting of 27 photography magazines from 15 different countries whose endorsement is claimed to be "the highest accolade for any photo and imaging product."  Each year, TIPA presents 40 awards in a wide variety of categories, from consumer accessories to professional photographic equipment.

The Pentax K-1, which represents Pentax's debut in the digital full-frame market, introduces host of unique features for a full-frame DSLR: it offers 5-axis sensor-shift stabilization, an innovative AA filter simulator, pixel shift super resolution, and an built-in GPS with star tracking support (Astrotracer).   We recently blogged about all the things that make the Pentax K-1 unique.

Similarly, the Ricoh Theta S breaks ground by offering 360-degree live view, social spherical video sharing, and an updated body that focuses on ergonomics (see our in-depth review for details).

Eight other Pentax/Ricoh cameras have previously been recognized by TIPA:

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