GR III Street Edition Kit Announced

The GR III SE kit will be produced in a limited quantity

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jun 13, 2020

On June 11, 2020 Ricoh announced a new GR III kit dubbed the GR III Street Edition. The kit includes a dedicated strap and the GV-2 optical viewfinder in a special fiinish. Finally, a detachable ring around the lens is provided in the yellowish color matching the strap and the lettering on the viewfinder.

The camera and the viewfinder are finished in a metallic gray color. The kit will be limited to 3500 units.  In the US, the kit retails for approximately $1199 (only a slight premium over the standard GR III with the videfinder, which retail for $899 and $249, respectively).  The Street Edition kit is already available for pre-order:

The strap The view finder

The Street Edition version of the GR III will also be made available without the accessories at a later date. Both are scheduled for releast in the fall.

D FA★ 85mm F1.4 Announcement

Ricoh announced key data and availability date and released a new road map

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Mar 28, 2020

On March 24, Ricoh Imaging announced that the HD Pentax-D FA★ 85mm F1.4 ED SDM WR pro-level prime lens will become available towards the end of 2020. Ricoh also announced the key technical specifications, subject to change. Not all specifications are available yet, though, the weight being one example.  Over the past several years, Ricoh has been sharing hints about this lens.

The D FA★ 85mm F1.4 is a short telephoto lens which covers the full frame (24x36mm) format. It features the latest KAF4 lens mount*, which incorporates electromagnetic aperture control. Auto focus is achieved via an in-lens ring-type auto focus motor which delivers significantly more torque than previous SDM motors. The lens is of course weather sealed as we have come to expect from Pentax.

The optics include three super ED glass lens elements and one aspherical element.

We have added the new lens with all known specifications to our database here and will update the table as we learn more.

A lively discussion of the new lens is taking place in this forum thread.

An updated K-mount lens road map has also been released:

(click to download PDF)

*Cameras compatible with the KAF4 lens mount are the K-1 Mark II, K-1, K-3 II, KP, K-70, K-3, K-S2, K-S1 and K-50, and all newer bodies. For K-1, K-3 II, K-3, K-S2, K-S1 and K-50, the camera’s firmware must be upgraded to the latest version. If this lens is mounted on a camera without proper firmware upgrade, its diaphragm control mechanism becomes inactive leaving the aperture fixed at F1.4, making it difficult to obtain correct exposure.

HD Pentax-D FA 70-210mm F4 Officially Announced

A new full-frame telephoto lens

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jan 23, 2020

Pentax has announced a new zoom lens augmenting its K-mount lineup: the HD Pentax-D FA 70-210mm F4 ED SDM WR

Compared to the pro-level HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 zoom the new lens is a lightweight (and cheaper) option for those seeking a zoom in the 70 to 200mm range. To get the weight down the new lens is one stop slower than the D FA* lens which may not be significant to many of you. The new lens will be available from Fenruary 14, 2020, but can be pre-ordered already now.

The launch price is USD 1096 (excl. sales tax) / GBP 1199 (incl. VAT). 

The lens has been added to our lens finder, compatibility checker, and deal finder.  Full specifications can be found in the lens finder or in our lens database.

For those wondering about the compatibility of the 70-210mm lens: it uses the KAF4 mount, so it will only work with the Pentax K-50 and newer.

Ricoh Announces the Theta SC2

An upgraded entry level 360 degree camera

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Nov 24, 2019

Ricoh has announced the release of the Theta SC2, which is the new entry level model in the Ricoh Theta 360° camera series.   The camera will become available starting December 2nd at a price of $299.

The 360° camera market is a growth market, and, fortunately, Ricoh was one of the early players and now enjoys a healthy market share. Since the release in 2013 of the first Theta model, Theta cameras have been used in a multitude of environments.

The new Ricoh Theta SC2 is pegged as an easy-to-use model, allowing anyone to capture high-quality spherical images. It snaps photos at approximately 14 megapixels, and captures smooth, immersive 360° spherical video at 30 FPS in 4K (3840 x 1920 pixels).

Additionally, the Ricoh Theta SC2 comes with a variety of shooting modes such as "Face" mode, which recognizes human faces and applies skin smoothing, and "Night View" mode for shooting low-noise footage after the sun goes down.

New is an OLED status display in the lower section of the body which allows checking of a range of information such as setting modes and battery power remaining. The SC2 also features a new button that lets the user switch to self-timer mode, making the camera much easier to operate in a standalone manner.  The internal storage space has also been expanded comapred to the Theta SC.

The SC2 can be used as a live blogging camera that you can carry with you to record the events of your day.

The Ricoh press release is found here. Specifications are found in our camera database here. Also, be sure to stop by our Theta forum if you have photos you'd like to share.

Close-up Photos: New Pentax APS-C Flagship

From the unveling event in Toyko

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Sep 21, 2019

The new Pentax APS-C flagship DSLR prototype has now been unveiled in Tokyo, and are therefore about to bring you some new close-up photos of the camera!  Among other things, these photos show a small tab below the camera's rear LCD, which implies the possible use of some sort of a tilting or articulating mechanism.  However, concrete specifications are not yet known— and likely won't be disclosed until the camera is ready to hit the market in 2020. 

Click on any thumbnail below to enlarge and browse.

Special thanks go to Albert Siegel for shooting these photos.

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