A close look at the Pentax KP Custom

Not your typical limited edition Pentax

By PF Staff in CP+ 2019 on Mar 1, 2019
A close look at the Pentax KP Custom

Earlier this week, Pentax announced a special "custom" version of the Pentax KP to appear as a reference exhibit at the CP+ 2019 tradeshow.

Model name: PENTAX KP Custom (tentative name)

    ・Special customized model of PENTAX KP
    ・Adopted special coated mount, wooden grip, original top cover
    ・Market launch: Not decided

Pentax fans are quite eager for a new APS-C model, and clearly this does not deliver on that point.  However, it turns out that the KP Custom idea was done without management knowledge as a side project. It was then shown off to management, who liked the idea and are supporting it as a special anniversary model to see where it goes.  Other unrelated APS-C models are certainly to be expected in the future— we will learn more about this in our exclusive Pentax interview, scheduled to take place on Saturday evening.

The KP Custom design was done by the man who designed the K-30. These special KP cameras also have a custom U5 setting based on the preferred settings of Japanese photographer Kazutoshi Yoshimura.

There is a selection of new body colors, grips and top covers (the hard line top is actually just a removable cover, not body change) for the KPs on display. None of them are official or to be released at the moment. Ricoh is showing them off at the booth to gauge user feedback. Depending on the response, Ricoh may release one of them as an official special edition. Representatives are taking notes of people's preferences and reactions.

Selling a variety of custom design grips for current KP owners is under consideration. The grips are genuine wood and of a similar quality to the wood you see used in higher-end luxury cars.  In addition to the red grip pictured at the top of this article, there are three other variants:

Which grip is your favorite?  Vote in the poll below and we'll let Ricoh know!

These special KP cameras also have a "diamond-like carbon" coating on the mount bayonet. This is just for research and consideration for future models. There is no firm decision on them yet.


To wrap up, this is not your typical special edition Pentax camera.  We will report on more details if and when it ends up being offered to Pentax fans.  In addition, stay tuned for our CP+ 2019 interview as well as full booth coverage in the coming days.

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