Pentax in 2018: What the Brand Brings to the Table

Pentax is a Fine Choice

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Nov 5, 2018

Ricoh’s sole announcement at Photokina 2018 was the development of the GR III, which has created some frustration and disappointment amongst some of our members. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what Pentax actually gives us today and how that leaves us with little excuse for not buying into Pentax and getting out and taking some wonderful images!

After all, were we always to be waiting for the next model, we’d never get anything, because there will always be a next model!

Current K-Mount Zoom Lenses (2017)

Overview of Pentax and Third Party Zoom Lenses

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Nov 21, 2017

In continuation of our overview of all current K-Mount prime lenses we're now presenting all current K-Mount zoom lenses.

Click on a thumnail to open up the database with specifications and user reveiws for any particular lens of your interest.

Please let us know if you find that we have missed one or more current K-Mount zoom lenses.

Current K-Mount Prime Lenses (2017)

Overview of Pentax and Third Party Prime Lenses

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Nov 15, 2017

A large number of prime lenses are currently available in K-mount. We have compiled them into the list below, a list that might come in handy should you have a wish for Santa! 

Click on any thumbnail to open up the database with specifications and user reviews for any particular lens.

Recommended Pentax Gear 2016

A selection cameras and lenses that stand out

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Nov 14, 2016

The Pentax/Ricoh camera and lens lineups have evolved tremendously since last year's recommended gear guide, so the time has come for us to make new recommendations for our community.

Collectively, our writers and reviewers have handled every Pentax digital camera as well as every digital-era lens available for Pentax, and then some. Each piece of equipment found in this guide has been carefully selected as something that stands out through performance, value, or both.  Whether you are looking to expand your Pentax kit or simply planning to get a new camera, we are confident that you will be very happy with our recommendations!

Of course, we can't recommend everything— if an item you've been eyeing isn't on our list, it could still very well be right for you.  As always, you can get personalized gear advice on the forum.

Industry Changes

Most notably, back in February, Pentax finally entered the full-frame DSLR market after making only APS-C bodies for well over a decade.  The Pentax K-1, a 36-megapixel beast, has proved not only to be popular among existing Pentax owners, but it also attracted quite a big crowd of newcomers to the brand.  The camera was accompanied by five high-quality zoom lenses (including the "trinity" of F2.8 zooms), with five more lenses slated to make a debut as early as 2017.

On the APS-C front, the new Pentax K-70 bridges affordability with premium image quality: it is the first sub-flagship DSLR to offer 14-bit RAW image capture, and it does this at a lower introductory price than last year's K-S2.  The K-S2 has in turn dropped in price to become an excellent option for beginners.  While crop format enthusiasts are still waiting for a "true" replacement for the high-end K-3 II (a minor update to the recently-discontinued K-3 from November, 2013), the former continues to deliver reliable performance and excellent durability.

Many of our readers might not be aware of a third big development for Ricoh Imaging: the Theta system, which reached Amazon's #1 best-seller rank earlier this year (among compact cameras).  These innovative 360-degree cameras can capture your entire surroundings at the push of a button.  They can be used standalone or controlled via a smartphone/tablet, and the photos can be viewed as traditional JPEGs or interactive spheres.  The Theta's form factor and its social aspect is the key to its success.  The latest models, the Theta S and SC, use two high-resolution sensors and bright lenses to deliver excellent detail and low noise. Learn more in our Theta S review.

Where to Shop

If you live in the US, shop with confidence at B&H Photo and Adorama: the two largest Pentax retailers that stock the entire Pentax lineup year-round.  Amazon also carries the majority of Pentax products, though not all sellers are authorized.  If you're in the UK, WEX Photographic carries the full Pentax lens line.  If you live elsewhere in the EU, UK-based SRS Microsystems will ship straight to your door, or you can opt for one of dozens of local retailers.  Users in Australia and New Zealand can order directly from the official Pentax distributor, CR Kennedy. Orders under $1000 (AUD) can also be imported to Australia from the aforementioned US retailers with no added GST. If you're in Canada, you can order most items from B&H and Adorama with little or no customs fees, or shop at local photo retailers such as Henry's.

Links to learn more or to order are included alongside each item in this guide. However over the "check current pricing" button to view current prices.  Lastly, don't miss our in-depth reviews, which are linked in the listings below.

The prices quoted in this guide are US full retail prices as of November, 2016.  Prices may vary in different markets and during sales.  See our deal finder for a list of cameras and lenses currently on sale!

10 Things that Make the Pentax K-1 Unique

Why the K-1 is a true photographer's camera

By PF Staff in Gear Guides on Mar 30, 2016

At first glance, the Pentax K-1 catches the eye thanks to key features like its full-frame sensor, ISO 204800, pixel shift resolution, built-in 5-axis stabilization, backwards lens compatibility, and so on.

But what really makes the K-1 special?  Let's take a look beyond the obvious to discover things that make the K-1 is a true photographer's camera. 

Outdoor-Friendly Monitor Brightness Adjustment

When shooting in bright sunlight, a camera's LCD monitor can often be hard to see.  Similarly, at night, the screen's backlight alone can be blinding or distracting.

In anticipation of these conditions, the "down" button on the K-1's four-way controller is now customizable.  By default, it provides quick access to a new outdoor brightness setting that can dramatically dim or brighten the screen backlight.  Even in the harshest light, the LCD is easily viewable when the +2 setting is enabled. 

This setting can also be added to the control panel.

Outdoor View screen brightness changes

When it comes to outdoor viewing, with the K-1 you no longer have to adjust the intensity of the backlight through the setup menu, which was a slow, tedious, and less effective process on earlier bodies.  Of course, the K-1 retains these additional screen settings should you wish to fine tune the default backlight intensity or color hue.

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