HD Variants of FA 31mm, 43mm, and 77mm Limiteds Announced

Refreshed classics with rounded aperture blades and modern lens coatings

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 25, 2021

Today Ricoh Imaging officially announced an updated version of the iconic trio of Pentax FA Limied lenses.  The new HD Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited, HD Pentax-FA 43mm F1.8 Limited, and HD Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited have been upgraded with the modern HD coating, rounded aperture blades, and Super Protect coating for the front element.  This promises reduced aberrations, smoother bokeh, and added durability. 

Visit our in-depth review of the DA-series HD vs SMC Pentax Limiteds to get a sense of what to expect from these new lenses.  We will of course post in-depth reviews once they become available.

HD Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
HD Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 43mm Limited F1.9
HD Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 77mm Limited F1.8

Our lens database has been updated with data for these lenses.  Like their predecessors, all will be available in both black and silver. Physically, these lenses are also identical to their predecessors, with the exception of the engraving.  Therefore, they will not be gaining additional features such as weather sealing, as was previously rumored. 

Because they use screwdrive autofocus and have aperture rings, the new HD FA Limiteds will work with all Pentax DSLRs and film SLRs.

All three HD FA Limited lenses are already available for pre-order in the US, though a specific availability date has not been provided.  In terms of price, the HD version of the 31mm is $50 more expensive than the SMC version, but the price of the 43mm is unchanged, whereas the HD 77mm is $100 cheaper than the SMC 77mmTherefore, in the long term, we expect pricing for these lenses to be very similar to what we are accustomed to.

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Press Release

 TOKYO, February 25, 2021

RICOH COMPANY, LTD and RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. are pleased to announce the launch of three HD PENTAX-FA Limited interchangeable lenses for use with PENTAX K-mount SLR cameras. Featuring the latest HD coating and a round-shaped diaphragm, these new lenses boast much-improved imaging performance to deliver distinctive, well-defined images in combination with a K-mount camera body, while sporting an attractive exterior design.

Developed based on the FA Limited Lens series -- renowned for their meticulousness in every detail, from outstanding image rendition to high-quality, machined aluminum bodies -- these new lenses are designed to assure even better optical performance than the original Limited-series models. This is all a part of PENTAX's attempt to reach a level of performance that can't simply be measured in numerical values. Along with the distinguished qualities of the HD FA Limited series -- outstanding description of texture, fine reproduction of gradation in highlight areas, faithful reproduction of details, and natural reproduction of the bokeh (defocus) effect -- they have been treated with the PENTAX-original HD coating, which assures much higher light transmittance than conventional multi-layer coatings. They deliver sharp, clear images free of flare and ghost images, even under such demanding conditions as backlight. They also feature a completely round-shaped diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh effect in the foreground and background.

Main features of the HD PENTAX-FA Limited lenses (common to all three models)
1. High-grade HD coating for exceptional image rendition

The three new lenses are treated with the PENTAX-original HD coating.* Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this high-grade coating assures higher light transmittance and lower reflectance to deliver sharp, clear images free of flare and ghost images, even under such adverse lighting conditions as backlight. It elevates the imaging performance of these new lenses a further step up.

* HD stands for High Definition.

2. Round-shaped diaphragm for beautiful bokeh effect

All lenses feature a completely round-shaped diaphragm, which produces a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect in the images captured, while optimizing the imaging performance of the distinctive Limited Lens-series optics contained within.

3. Acclaimed Limited Lens-series quality for distinctive visual rendition and premium appearance

While inheriting the design concept of the Limited Lens series, these lenses were designed through a series of mechanical and numerical evaluations, as well as human assessment of test-shooting samples, to deliver an image rendition unmatched by other models. The barrel, hood and cap are all made of high-grade aluminum, meticulously machined for an attractive appearance and beautiful texture. The HD PENTAX-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited features a mount pointer made of a Shippoyaki (cloisonné) ware. This pointer allows the user to mount the lens to a camera body as effortlessly as other Limited Lens-series models.
4. Other features

    1. SP (Super Protect) coating is applied to the front surface of each lens to repel dust and stains.
    2. Black models are marked with a serial number starting with 0000001; silver models start with 1000001.
    3. The aperture ring has been retained so that the user can still use a variety of functions featured in K-mount film-format cameras.




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