We had yet another chance to try out the Pentax K-3 hands-on at the PhotoPlus tradeshow in NYC, which ended yesterday. While no production K-3's have reached the US yet, we were told that they will start shipping from Japan late next week, which means that customers will start receiving their K-3's in early to mid November. In the mean time, Pentax has provided us with a pre-production K-3 featuring firmware version 1.00, so stay tuned for some first impressions in the field, as well as some sample photos! But for now, let's take a look at what we learned about the K-3 while at the show.
Burst Mode and Shutter
By far the most impressive aspect of the K-3 is its burst mode. The camera can shoot up to 60 JPEG frames at its maximum burst rate of 8.3 frames per second, as shown in the video below:
The shutter is also surprisingly quiet (just like that of the K-5), which will undoubtedly make users of other DSLRs envious.
In the past, we've hosted a number of Pentax-themed shirt sales right here on our site. While we aren't currently in the middle of any such sales, we've recently spotted a nice Pentax T-shirt on the net that we thought you might enjoy if you're a fan of vintage Pentax gear.
The shirt, shown above and available on dodgeandburn.com, depicts the classic Pentax 6x7 medium format camera together with its unique wooden grip. Click on either of the thumbnails below for some close-ups of the shirt:
The "Six by Seven" shirt is made of 100% high-quality cotton and printed in the USA. It comes in a variety of sizes from S to 3XL, and costs $29. If you're interested in the shirt, you can click here to place an order.
We've been in touch with Dodge and Burn, the NYC-based makers of this shirt, and they told us that they would consider producing other Pentax-themed shirts if there is enough interest in this one. The company currently offers a variety of shirts depicting other vintage cameras, such as the Leica M3 or Rolleiflex. This would make iconic Pentax SLRs (such as the K1000) perfect candidates for a future shirt!
Please comment below if you have any future shirt ideas, and don't forget to check out the 6x7 shirt on dodgeandburn.com!
The Rokinon 16mm F2 wide-angle manual focus lens for Pentax has just hit the shelves! This lens is an affordable alternative to current autofocus lenses, and it offers a fast aperture of F2, which is a full stop faster than the closest comparable lens (Pentax 14mm F2.8).
Please note that Rokinon lenses are sold under various brands worldwide, including Samyang, Vivitar, Bower, and Falcon.
Sigma Japan has just officially announced that their new Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM lens, originally announced for Sigma, Canon, and Nikon cameras, will soon also be coming for Pentax and Sony.
This wide-angle zoom deserves special recognition for its F1.8 maximum aperture design. It is the first zoom lens of its kind, and we are delighted to see that Sigma has decided to offer it for the K-mount. All professional zoom lenses currently on the market have constant apertures no faster than F2.8.
The new 18-35mm is a DC-type lens, meaning that it is designed for use exclusively with APS-C cameras. As part of Sigma's new "Art" lens series, it features an elegant design and is built using durable "thermally stable" plastic. It focuses using a built-in HSM motor; such motors have enjoyed great reliability and delivered speedy AF speed in other Sigma lenses.
Best of all, this lens can soon be yours for the low price of $799. It has just become available for pre-order in the US. Sigma expects to ship this lens in late July for Sigma, Canon, and Nikon, with the Pentax and Sony versions coming out shortly afterward.
Full specifications for this 18-35mm lens found in our Sigma lens database.
The new version of Sigma's 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM walkaround lens is finally here for Pentax! Part of the recently-announced Sigma "Contemporary" lens series, it features an improved optical design and a more elegant and durable built compared to its predecessor.
We plan on posting an in-depth review of this lens later this year to complement our comparative review of the previous versions of the Sigma 17-70mm.
Samyang has just unveiled a new 16mm F2 ultra-wide prime lens designed for APS-C cameras. This lens will soon hit the shelves in a number of different mounts including the Pentax K-mount (the mount designation of all Pentax DSLRs).
Other recent Samyang lenses such as the 85mm F1.4 and 35mm F1.4 have proven to deliver excellent image quality while being a great value, so we expect the new 16mm lens to be compelling offering for those members looking to acquire a wide-angle prime.
With a maximum aperture of F2, this lens is also a full stop faster than Pentax's fastest wide-angle, the DA 14mm F2.8.
The new 16mm will retail for $449 in the US, and it is expected to arrive in just over one month. Once we receive the full specifications for this lens, we will of course list it in our third-party lens database.
At this time, all we know in terms of specifications is that the lens is designed exclusively for APS-C cameras, features automatic aperture control, and supports manual focus only.
The new Sigma 35mm F1.4 HSM A1 lens is finally here for Pentax! Originally launched several months ago in the Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts, this lens has been getting very positive reviews for its excellent performance and bokeh, even when compared to the Canon 35mm F1.4 L or Nikon 35mm F1.4G primes. These other lenses cost about twice as much as the new Sigma.
The closest comparable lens from Pentax is the FA-series 31mm F1.8 limited lens, which is also compatible with full-frame cameras. Pentax recently increased the price of the 31mm to $1299 in the US, which means that at $899, the new Sigma 35mm should not be overlooked.
We will be comparing the Sigma 35mm to the Pentax 31mm in an upcoming review, so stay tuned! We expect the Sigma to work well as a standard prime on Pentax's APS-C DSLRs.
Sigma has just officially announced the new "contemporary" series 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro HSM walkaround lens for Pentax. It is now available for pre-order for $499 (about the same price as the Pentax 17-70mm).
This is the third Sigma 17-70mm lens, which promises to bring better optics and improved build quality compared to its predecessors. In our in-depth comparative review of the Sigma 17-70mm's and Pentax 17-70mm, we found both Sigmas to already be a little bit better than the Pentax, so we can't wait to test this new lens, as it already seems like a compelling option for an everyday zoom!