HD Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 Officially Announced

The new DA* 16-50mm F2.8 lens will become available in August

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Jul 14, 2021

Ricoh has on July 14, 2021 announced a new pro-grade K-mount APS-C format zoom lens, the HD Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW. As can be expected from a star-series lens it features premium AW weather sealing. The built-in autofocus motor is of the PLM (pulse motor) type which promises silent, fast and accurate autofocus suitable for AF during video recording with a matching camera like the Pentax K-3 Mark 3, KP, or K-1 series. The list price at launch is US $1399.95. The lens should begin shipping toward the end of August 2021.  Pre-orders opened on July 22:

Click image to enlarge

The lens mount is KAF4, which incorporates electromagnetic aperture controland is fully compatible with the Pentadx K-50 and newer (check compatibility here).  Older DSLRs are still partially compatible but will not be able to stop down the aperture.

The lens is weather sealed with "all weather" dust protection.  In terms of optics, there is no internal focusing, but the lens has three super ED glass lens elements and one anomalous glass element for the purpose of reducing chromatic aberration.

This lens replaces the SMC SMC Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8ED AL [IF] SDM, which goes all the way back to 2007. The old model suffered from autofocus realiability issues, a problem which should now be a thing of the past with the modern PLM system in the new lens.

KKAF4 mount

  • 16-50mm F2.8
  • 16 optical elements including three ED elements
  • 9-blade rounded aperture
  • Electronic aperture control (KAF4 mount)
  • Built-in AF pulse motor (PLM) suitable for video recording
  • Close focus distance 30cm
  • Max. magnification 0.24x
  • Hood, case and caps included
  • Weight without hood 712 g, 25.1 oz

Detailed specifications can be found in our lens database

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The official press release form Ricoh:

Ricoh announces HD PENTAX-DA* 16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW for K-mount digital SLR cameras
Large-aperture standard zoom lens is latest addition to new generation, high-performance PENTAX Star series

PARSIPPANY, NJ, July 14, 2021 - Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW lens, the latest addition to the new generation PENTAX Star (★)lens series. Designed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, Star-series lenses boast the highest imaging performance of all PENTAX lens lineups. This large-aperture standard zoom lens features an open aperture of F2.8 over the entire zoom range to deliver exceptional optical performance and is an ideal regular-use lens for the recently announced PENTAX K-3 Mark III.

The HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW lens incorporates a newly designed optical system and — for the first time in a large-aperture PENTAX lens — an advanced pulse motor (PLM) to assure smooth, high-speed, high-precision autofocus (AF) operation with minimized noise. The lens has been fine-tuned for greater operability in manual-focus operation and includes a quick-shift focus system to provide an instant shift from AF to manual. It provides a minimum focusing distance of just under 12 inches and a maximum magnification of 0.24x. This new standard zoom lens allows users to fully enjoy the process of photography according to their own preferences and can be used in a variety of applications including landscape, snapshots and portraits.

The HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW lens also features an electromagnetic diaphragm control mechanism to assure high precision exposure control and smooth focus tracking when used in combination with compatible digital SLR cameras. The mechanism also enables the capture of video clips using automatic exposure control, even when there are considerable differences in brightness when shooting.

The lens has been designed to provide sharp, clear images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding conditions like backlight. It features a nine-blade circular diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect even at open aperture. It has been treated with the PENTAX-original HD coating, which assures much higher light transmittance than conventional multi-layer coatings.

The new AW (All Weather) lens features dustproof, weather-resistant construction to prevent the intrusion of water and dust into the lens barrel. When paired with a dustproof, weather-resistant  PENTAX  digital  SLR  camera  body,  it  assures  a  durable,  reliable  digital  imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings —even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

Pricing and Availability
The HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW lens will be available August 2021 at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,399.95.

Main Features of the new HD PENTAX-DA★16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW

1. New-generation Star-series lens, designed for optimal image quality
The latest addition to the new-generation Star-series lenses — which provides the greatly improved resolving power that will accommodate the super-high-performance digital cameras of the future — this standard zoom lens compensates various aberrations to a minimum and delivers sharp, clear images, not only in the middle of the image field but at the edges. Incorporating one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical element, one anomalous glass optical element and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) aspherical glass optical elements, it effectively reduces chromatic aberration to a minimum over the entire zoom range. Coupled with high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating,* which reduces the average reflectance in the visible ray spectrum to less than 50% that of conventional multi-layer coatings, it effectively minimizes flare and ghost images even in demanding lighting conditions such as backlighting.
This standard zoom lens delivers exceptionally high resolving power and outstanding contrast even at open aperture, while capturing beautiful images with a smooth transition of the bokeh (defocus) effect and a true-to-life depth of field. Since its maximum aperture is fixed at F2.8 over the entire focal-length range from16 to 50 millimeters (equivalent to 24.5mm to 76.5mm in 35mm format), this large-aperture zoom lens makes it an ideal regular-use lens for the PENTAX K-3 Mark III.
* HD stands for High Definition.

2. High-speed AF system with a minimum focusing distance of 0.3 meters
This zoom lens incorporates a newly designed optical system which features a lighter, more compact focus-lens group. By driving this focus-lens group with an advanced PLM (Pulse Motor), it assures smooth, high-speed autofocus operation with minimized operational noise. Thanks to the redesigned focus mechanism, it provides the minimum focusing distance of just 0.3 meters, and the maximum magnification of 0.24 times, making this a versatile, regular-use lens for capturing all types of subjects —from everyday snapshots to close-ups and landscapes.

3. Electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism for high-precision diaphragm control
This zoom lens features an electromagnetic diaphragm control mechanism* to assure high-precision exposure control when used in combination with compatible digital SLR cameras. It also lets the user capture video clips using automatic exposure control, even when there are considerable differences in brightness during the video shooting. When mounted on a PENTAX K-3 Mark III, PENTAX KP or PENTAX K-70 camera body, the PLM (Pulse Motor) assures smooth focus tracking operation and flawless exposure control, while considerably reducing annoying noise generated by focus and diaphragm control operations during video shooting. It assures smooth, worry-free video shooting in locations prone to considerable brightness changes — such as a stage with rapidly changing lighting conditions, or a forest with filtering sunrays — or with active, fast-moving subjects such as athletes or animals.
* The lens features the KAF4 mount and is compatible with electromagnetic diaphragm control. Electromagnetic diaphragm control is available in combination with PENTAX K-3 Mark III, PENTAX K-3 II, PENTAX K-3, PENTAX KP, PENTAX K-70, PENTAX K-50, PENTAX K-S2, PENTAX K-S1, PENTAX K-1 Mark II or PENTAX K-1 camera bodies. We advise that users upgrade the camera’s firmware to the latest version to properly use electromagnetic diaphragm control. When mounted on a PENTAX K-1 Mark II or PENTAX K-1 camera body, images can only be captured in Crop mode because the lens image circle is exclusively designed for the APS-C format.

4. Dustproof, weather-resistant construction
Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, this zoom lens features a dustproof, weather-resistant construction to prevent the intrusion of water and dust particles into the lens interior. By pairing it with a PENTAX dustproof, weather-resistant digital SLR camera body, the user can create a highly durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly even in the most demanding shooting conditions — in rain or mist, or at locations prone to splashing water.

5. Other features
•Effortless manual-focus operation, with limited lens extension during focusing between the minimum focusing distance and infinity and optimum focus-ring torque
•Nine-blade circular diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect (from open aperture to F5.6 in the wide-angle range; from open aperture to F8 in the telephoto range),while minimizing the streaking of point light sources
•Quick-Shift Focus System to provide an instant shift to manual-focus operation, after locking the subject in focus during AF operation by pressing the camera’s shutter-release button halfway down; this system can be used at any time during AF operation
•SP (Super Protect) Coating to keep the lens front surface free of dust and stains

About Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Ltd. Ricoh is empowering digital workplaces using innovative technologies and services enabling individuals to work smarter.  For more than 85 years, Ricoh has been driving innovation and is a leading provider of document management solutions, IT services, commercial and industrial printing, digital cameras and industrial systems. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh operates in approximately 200 countries and regions.

Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. was founded in 1919 and launched its first SLR camera in the 1950s under the PENTAX name. Over 100 years later, now as part of the Ricoh Group, Ricoh Imaging continues to produce the heritage-rich, award-winning PENTAX line of DSLR cameras, lenses and sport optics equipment. Ricoh’s offering of stylish and compact digital cameras are known for their wide-ranging, unique set of features.For further information, please visit www.us.ricoh-imaging.com


For More Information, Contact:
Stephannie Depa
Breakaway Communications for Ricoh
530-864-0136 -mobile





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