Ricoh has officially announced a 17-27mm (eqv. on Q7) wide angle zoom lens for the ultra-compact Pentax Q system, officially known as the SMC Pentax-Q 08 Wide Zoom 3.8-5.9mm F3.7-4. This lens is intended for street shooting, snapshots and landscapes. It weighs in at a mere 75 g but nevertheless packs state-of-the-art lens design features such as:
- A Super Aspherical lens element to minimize distortion
- Two ED (extra low dispersion) glass elements to reduce chromatic aberration
- SP (Super Protect) coating of the front element repelling dust and grease
- IF (Internal Focusing)
- STM (STepper Motor) drive for speedy and silent autofocus
The HD PENTAX-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR zoom lens for K-Mount was officially announced today by Ricoh. This latest addition to the Pentax lens line-up comes complete with all the recent refinements in lens technology:
- The fast and reliable DC Autofocus Motor
- SP (Super Protect) Coating on the front element to repel dirt and grease
- HD (High Definition) nano coating to reduce flare and ghosting and increase contrast
- Weather seals to keep dust and moisture out
As if this wasn't enough Pentax also deployed:
- Super-low dispersion and ED (Extra-low Dispersion) lens elements for increased sharpness and increased control over lens aberrartions
- Rounded aperture blades for a smooth bokeh
- Metal lens barrel
With all this and the exclusive "Limited" design of the lens barrel we believe we're looking at a real winner in all aspects.
Last week, information about two upcoming Pentax lenses was leaked on the net. The first is an elegant Pentax DSLR lens, the HD Pentax 20-40mm F2.8-4 Limited zoom. The second is a the 08 Wide Zoom for the Pentax Q system. Both lenses have been part of the Pentax lens roadmap since late 2012. Let's start with the 20-40mm.
Like the existing HD Limited Lenses, the rumored 20-40mm zoom will be available in both black and silver. Further specifications about this lens, including the AF system and presence of weather sealing, are not currently know. What we do know is that the lens will feature Pentax's latest "HD" coating, which promises lower reflectance than the traditional SMC coating, similar to Nikon's "Nano Crystal Coat". We also know that the lens will have a variable aperture range from F2.8 to 4: something unusual for a high-end lens, but to be expected if small size is a priority.
The design of this new lens is interesting, as it combines a retro-styled zoom ring with the barrel design of existing lenses.
Current Pentax HD Limited Lens Lineup
The Pentax "Limited" lens designation is a misnomer. Rather than meaning "limited production", Pentax actually uses this term to refer to its ultra-compact lineup of quality lenses. These lenses are unique, as no other manufacturer has such a robust lineup of compact lenses. The price you pay for this small size, of course, is that you lose a stop or two of maximum aperture compared to what you would get from a traditional lens.
The Pentax K-3 has just arrived at B&H Photo, which means that all pre-orders for black K-3 bodies have just started processing and will be shipped shortly. Want Pentax's latest high-speed 24-megapixel DSLR? Don't miss out- order yours today!
Henry's in Canada is also showing that the K-3 is in stock. Likewise, the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm WR Lens has just hit the shelves.
You can expect to see our in-depth review of the K-3 in the coming weeks. Until then, to learn more about the Pentax K-3, check out the following resources:
Despite the fact that no official Pentax booth was planned for the PhotoPlus tradeshow (Oct. 24-26 in New York City) this year, it seems that Pentax has mustered a small exhibit showing off the K-3, HD Limited lenses, K-50, and other lenses. The exhibit is part of the Unique Photo stand which is located directly behind the Sigma booth. It is very easy to overlook (we almost missed it!) as it is not listed in the PhotoPlus exhibitor directory or on the official show site.
Even though this Pentax exhibit is very small, it was a positive suprise for us to see at least one occurrence of the Pentax/Ricoh logo amidst a sea of other brands. While at the booth, we of course got a chance to try the new Pentax K-3, and we were assured that the camera would start shipping to US customers as early as the first week of November.
We have just gotten word from B&H Photo that the new HD Pentax-DA Limited lenses are now in stock and ready to ship! This means that we'll have the lenses in our hands as early tomorrow, so expect an in-depth review discussing their performance soon.
These new lenses are essentially face-lifted versions of the older "SMC Pentax" 15mm, 21mm, 35mm, 40mm, and 70mm primes. Here's what's been changed in the new lenses:
- HD lens coating to minimize reflectance (reduces flare, ghosting, and aberrations)
- Rounded aperture blades
- Redesigned lettering and red ring
- Readily available in both Silver and Black, at the same price
- Slight price increase: $50-$100 per lens
- HD 40mm only: now features Super Protect coating on the front element
Click here to shop Pentax HD Limiteds at B&H or read on for an overview of the lenses. Click on any thumbnail below to enlarge.
Pentax has just announced a Limited Edition Ricoh GR kit featuring a special lens hood (GH-3), leather case, and leather strap. The Limited Edition GR's magnesium-alloy body is sheathed in a metallic vintage green finish with a glossy shine. It has a marbleized ebony grip pattened in burl wood and is accented with charcoal buttons.
In the US, this special GR kit will be available in limited quantity exclusively through the Pentax Web Store located at us.ricoh-imaging.com. It carries a $100 price premium over the standard GR and will therefore retail for $899. It is expected to arrive in November.
The Ricoh GR is arguably of the most-praised cameras currently in the Pentax-Ricoh digital lineup. To learn more about this truly-pocketable APS-C compact, check our our in-depth Ricoh GR review. With its 16-megapixel filterless sensor, 18mm F2.8 lens, and small size, we find the GR to be a fantastic camera for street photography!
On Friday we were invited to the Pentax headquarters in Tokyo for a hands-on tour of the new Pentax K-3 as well as a Q&A session with Ricoh Imaging (Pentax) executives, including Mr. Kawauchi, whom we also interviewed earlier this year at CP+.
The K-3 body that we were shown was still a pre-production model. Although it was fully-functional and able to take pictures, we were asked not to comment on its performance or image quality. According to Pentax, the first K-3 units will go on sale in Japan as early as October 25th, so be sure to check back at that time for our first impressions of the camera. B&H photo has informed us that it expects to receive its first K-3 shipment in approximately three weeks, so all K-3 pre-orders should go out around that time.
Without further ado, where is what we learned from Pentax Japan:
Q: Who is the manufacturer of the K-3's 24-megapixel CMOS sensor?
Q: Will production K-3's have the Ricoh logo on the back side?
A: Yes. While some pre-production K-3's still had the Pentax logo, the final version of the K-3 will feature the Ricoh logo.
Q: Has the performance of the Shake Reduction system in the K-3 been improved?
A: Yes. Pentax expects the mechanism to compensate for up to 3.5 stops of camera shake, or half a stop more than previous generations (on average).
Q: Has the bounce flash overexposure issue that plagued the K-7 and K-5 been fixed in the K-3?
A: Since the K-3 features a new metering system, Pentax is not aware of any overexposure problems with P-TTL flash and the K-3. We believe this issue was originally caused by a hardware problem.