The Sony Alpha 7 (A7) and Alpha 7R (A7R) mirrorless full frame cameras are candidates for Pentax shooters who want a full-frame camera right now to use with Pentax legacy and FA Limited glass. The Alpha 7 has a 24-megapixel sensor while the Alpha 7R a 36-megapixel sensor, and apart from the performance implications of the A7R's larger files, the cameras are otherwise identical.
When it was first announced, the Sony A7 seemed to be the perfect camera to use with adapted lenses. This is because it uses the Sony NEX mount, which means Pentax lenses can be adapted without the need for any corrective optics: just a simple mount K to NEX adapter that's nothing more than a hollow tube. The A7 is also affordable for a full-frame: just a few hundred dollars more than the Pentax K-3. And considering that the camera body is lighter than any Pentax DSLR, it might not be that burdensome to keep an adapter on it full-time. There's no question that the A7 was one of the most interesting and innovative cameras launched in 2013, and it's certainly gained a fairly big following among our forum members.
We have had access to a Sony A7 and have evaluated how it performs with adapted Pentax lenses. If you've been dying for a full-frame camera to use with your Pentax glass, is the A7 the way to go, or does the wait for a full-frame Pentax continue?
Read our Sony A7 Review with a focus on Pentax lenses to find out!
The Cactus RF60 belongs to a new species of radio-controlled flashes that allow photographers to make use of the flexibility and reliability of radio communication for more than just triggering.
An RF60's power level can be remote controlled from an on-camera RF60 in master mode or by the upcoming Cactus V6 radio trigger. An RF60 in master mode can control up to four groups and even the zoom settings of the external RF60. The RF60 furthermore supports semi-automatic versions of high-speed sync and second curtain sync in a brand-agnostic manner.
Today, we are pleased to be bringing you an in-depth review of this flash. The review review features a section elaborating on the benefits of off-camera flash photography and provides a comprehensive evaluation of the RF60's features and handling.
Today we are proud to present our in-depth review of Pentax's latest telephoto zoom, the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR. It's not exactly a brand new lens, as it marks the third official variant of the highly popular DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED lens; the most notable change is the addition of weather sealing.
Can a $400 lens outperform a $1300 lens? In this review we've dedicated six full pages to comparative tests and photos against the highly regarded Pentax DA* 60-250 F4.
Just like "Mark II" and "III" products inherit design elements from their predecessors, the HD 55-300 is no different. Compared to the SMC 55-300mm that came before it, the HD 55-300mm has the same optical and mechanical design. But we couldn't be happier to see the 'WR' signature added to the lens, designating its weather resistant capabilities. And the new HD coating promises to reduce ghosting and improve micro-contrast.
So continue on to read one of our most comprehensive lens reviews to date to see what its strengths and weaknesses are, and to see how it compares to a professional zoom.
During the summer of 2013, Pentax announced the 07 "Mount Shield" body cap lens for the Pentax Q line of ultra-compact mirrorless cameras. This intriguing lens is only as thick as a traditional DSLR lens cap, so as its name implies, it can be kept on your camera full-time in place of an actual cap. Weighing in a 8 grams and at just 6.9mm long, you can hardly even tell that it's there, so naturally it also makes your camera fully pocketable! If you're looking to compare it with a Pentax DSLR lens, we'd have to say that its closest cousin would probably be the ultra-thin and ultra-versatile Takumar 18mm F11.
The 11.5mm F9 cap lens employs a single-element pinhole design which means that its optical capabilities are limited: it transmits very little light and its focus is fixed between 30cm and 2 meters, so you won't be using it to photograph landscapes or distant subjects. If you want something to be in focus, you have to physically move the lens. The 11.5mm focal length corresponds to a long "normal" field of view, similar to what a 50mm lens would see on a Pentax DSLR. The field of view is bit wider on the Pentax Q7 of course.
Although you can't expect to get any razor-sharp or distortion-free photos with it, overall it's certainly a fun little lens, so we're prepared a fun little video review of it:
To put the size of the cap lens into perspective, here's a photo of it alongside the 01 Standard Prime (8.5mm F1.9), which is already ridiculously-small for an interchangeable camera lens.
Size comparison: Pentax Q10 beside the 07 and 01 lenses
Based on our experience in the field, this lens is best for portraits or family snaps, pets, and other close-ups: though it probably won't be replacing your smartphone for all practical purposes. Read on for some real-world sample photos and more images of the lens.
Today we are happy to bring you our in-depth review of the new HD Pentax 20-40mm F2.8-4 DC WR Limited, the first zoom to be joining the Pentax Limited lens lineup, as well as the first Limited lens to feature weather sealing and silent DC autofocus. Note that in the Pentax world, the term "Limited" refers to premium quality and a compact design; it does not imply a limited production run.
Like the Limited-series primes, this $999 lens sports an all metal-barrel and an exceptional build quality which you don't come across often in modern autofocus lenses. This lens has also been treated with the high-end Pentax HD coating. And even though a short zoom range like 20-40mm is somewhat unusual these days, it actually overlaps with three other Limited lenses: the 21mm F3.2 wide-angle, the 35mm F2.8 macro, and the 40mm F2.8 pancake. So, one might wonder if this compact zoom is a viable replacement for all three lenses. Is it a good all-around lens? Read our detailed review to discover the strengths and weaknesses of this unique lens and find out who it's great for!
We are pleased to announce our in-depth review of the new flash unit from Pentax, the AF360 FGZ II. Since the next model up, the Pentax AF540 FGZ II is of the same physical construction and operates in the exact same way as the AF360 FGZ II our findings (except for range) are also be valid for the larger model.
With this new flash unit Pentax has corrected a couple of the issues or limitations of the previous model, the AF360 FGZ: Gone is the flimsy battery door of the predecessor, and the flash head now not only tilts, but also swivels.
Pentax added some new features, hereunder weather sealing, multi-flash and movie light, but the new unit also lost some capabilities in the shuffle. Read our review for the details and for our evaluation of the performance of this new flash.
Read on here for the review.
We've had our copy of the new HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR for a bit now with our in-depth review in the works. Unfortunately, the publication of the review had to be postponed until after the New Year. Already bursting at the seams at 15 total pages and over 100 embedded photos of in-depth analysis and comparisons, we promise the wait will be worth it. In the meantime, we wanted to share with you a very brief run-down of our first impressions as well as the sample photos already taken with the new HD 55-300 coupled with a K-3. Let us also take a moment to compare the new "HD" lens to its predecessor, the SMC Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED.
What Didn't Change
- General Image Quality
The size is exactly the same as that of the old lens, which is a good thing! The 55-300mm is quite the compact zoom for what it can do, and we happy that it's part of the Pentax lens line-up. What we aren't so happy with, is the screw-driven autofocus. We'll touch on it more in-depth in the review and how it compares to the premium DA* 60-250's much quieter SDM, but suffice it to say, there is no difference in AF between the SMC and HD variants. Some may have been worried the addition of weather sealing would have slowed it down. Nope - not at all. And lastly, the bokeh has stayed the same, and in the review we will compare not only the SMC vs HD bokeh (just prove this), but also the HD vs DA* 60-250's bokeh to see what the difference is between the two.
Continue on after the break to see what changed, a quick comparison of the DA* 60-250 F4, and also a gallery of sample photos already taken with the HD 55-300 WR on a Pentax K-3.
We are very happy to announce the publication of our in-depth review of the SMC Pentax-DA* 200mm, a fast telephoto prime that's part of Pentax's premium telephoto lens lineup together with the DA* 300mm F4. Although the 200mm is an excellent performer overall, it did not impress us quite as much as the 300mm, its longer cousin.
Our in-depth review section now contains reviews of all six DA* lenses and all but three DA lenses. We plan on publishing the missing reviews (DA 18-55mm, HD DA 55-300mm, HD DA 20-40mm) before the end of the year. We will fully complete our in-depth review section with a review of the FA 43mm lens in early 2014.
We hope that this review as well as those posted earlier will help you make the right lens choices based on your needs!