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!
The new Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro HSM is now shipping from B&H at a launch price of $549. This lens is the latest superzoom from Sigma, featuring all-new optics and a macro mode which offers a reproduction ratio as large as 1:2.9, which is quite good for a zoom! Other new features include improved build quality and more SLD elements to suppress fringing.
If you will be getting this lens, please share your thoughts about it in the user review database! We plan on reviewing the new Sigma after completing our review of the Pentax 18-270mm lens, which was launched just over a week ago.
As our alert user photoman1 has already posted about here, DxOMark has tested the Pentax K-5 II and they found the K-5 II to be the best APS-C DSLR ever tested, scoring higher than even Sony's 24MP offering and much higher than Canon's 18MP APS-C models. Actually, the K-5 II (and the original K-5) scores higher overall than any Canon DSLR, including Canon's full-frame offerings! That is quite an accomplishment of Pentax to give us this kind of quality and in a lightweight and compact body to boot!
What we also like about the test is that all K-5 II scores except one is very close if not identical to the original K-5 which illustrates that their tests are repeatable and reliable. In one area, "sports" (low light performance) the K-5 II moves ahead of the classic K-5. The DxOMark test can be found here. The technical specifications can be found in our database.
We can't wait to see their test of the K-5 IIs with its added resolution. We wouldn't be surprised if that model would move further ahead in the overall score.
With the current price level of the K-5 II this camera is indeed a very good deal. The image quality is top notch as evidenced by DxOMark, but also the subjective parameters like handling and "looks" it is up there among the best. Add to that that you can use Pentax glass going back decades so if you're on a budget you can find excellent prime lenses for a song. If you can do without the improved low light performance of the K-5 II you can still find the original K-5 new and at a rock bottom price. Adorama, for example, still has them in stock.
Don't forget to check out our in-depth review of the K-5 II!
Adobe has just made available a release candidate version of their Photoshop Camera RAQ 7.3 plugin, which allows Photoshop to open, process, and correct RAW camera image files. This new version adds support for the following cameras:
- Canon PowerShot S110
- Canon PowerShot G15
- Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
- Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000
- Casio Exilim EX-FC300S
- Nikon D600 (full support)
- Olympus PEN E-PL5
- Olympus PEN E-PM2
- Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS
- Panasonic DMC-GH3
- Pentax K-5 II
- Pentax K-5 IIs
- Pentax Q10
After installing this update, you'll be able to open .PEF files from the K-5 II and IIs. The update also adds lens correction profiles for the Pentax Q 06 15-45mm Telephoto Zoom lens.
Sigma today has confirmed that in addition to being available in the Sigma, Nikon, and Canon mounts, the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A1 lens will also be coming for Sony and Pentax! This is a full-frame lens that's part of Sigma's new "Art" lens series for professionals.
This lens will be a fine addition to the Pentax K-mount lens lineup, as Pentax themselves offer no such lens (the SMC Pentax-M 35mm F1.4 prototype never ended up being mass-produced). The current non-macro Pentax 35mm lens is a comsumer-grade DA 35mm F2.4; the previous full-frame FA 35mm F2 is being phased out.
After a long holiday break lasting ten days, B&H Photo, the largest authorized Pentax retailer in the US, has now re-opened and is once again accepting/shipping online orders!
If you have any questions for B&H now that they're back, you may ask in their Q&A section on our forum, where representatives will answer any general or Pentax-related questions that you may have.
Whenever you shop at B&H, you may be eligible for a free Premium Account on our forum, which increases your photo space tenfold and allows you to use our Marketplace section.
Finally, we'd like to thank B&H for their sponsorship of our recent Pentax K-30 giveaway, which will remain open until November!
Samyang has announced a 24 mm tilt and shift lens, the Samyang T-S 24mm F3.5 ED AS UMC, that will be available in Pentax K-mount among the usual others. It is a wide-angle, full-frame lens fitted with perspective control and tilt-shift functions. Its unique optical and mechanical construction makes it an ideal tool for architecture and landscape photography. This is the first lens of its kind for Pentax- the last update along these lines occurred in the 1970's, with the debut of the SMC Pentax-K 28mm F3.5 Shift lens.
The Tilt-Shift function in the Samyang T-S 24mm f/3.5 ED AS UMC allows for smooth and fine adjustment of the focal plane by an angle of +/-8.5 degrees and enables parallel shift of the optical axis by +/-12 mm. Both the lens mount and the Tilt-Shift section may be rotated on the optical axis. The Tilt-Shift section may be rotated left by 90 degrees (with 30 degree adjustment) and the mount of the lens may be rotated in both directions by 90 degrees (with 30 degree adjustment).
This lens will be showcased at Photokina and will go on sale shortly thereafter.
The US Pentax instant rebates and price drops announced last week now seem to be in full effect at retailers, with one small twist: under the MAP pricing policy, the lower lens prices cannot be advertised online. Thus, at least at online stores, 5 of the 6 instant lens rebates actually ended up reverting lens prices to full MSRP less the advertised rebate amount. We trust that this will be addressed by Pentax over the coming weeks, as there prices are unreasonable when compared to those of other manufacturers. It is curious, however, that this policy only seems to affect premium (DA*) lenses.
Confirmed New Prices
(Click to view deals)
|Standard kit: $399
5-15mm zoom kit: $499
Dual lens kit: $649
40mm XS Kit: $599 (great deal!)
18-55mm & 50-200mm Kit: $749
All prices in the table above are the maximum that can be charged for any of the items. They may vary from store to store.