Pentax Announces New 1.4x Teleconverter

The HD Pentax-DA AF Rear Converter 1.4x AW

By PF Staff in Pentax Announcements on Feb 5, 2014
Pentax Announces New 1.4x Teleconverter

Pentax has just officially announced the new HD Pentax-DA AF Rear Converter 1.4x AW, a 1.4x teleconverter that increases the effective focal length of a lens while maintaining autofocus and autoexposure capabilities.  This is the first new Pentax teleconverter since the film era.  As with all 1.4x teleconverters, the increase in reach comes at the expense of one stop of light.

This modern teleconverter has been treated with the Pentax HD coating, a high-quality multi-layer coating with lower reflectance than the previous Super Multi Coating.  The converter is also fully weather-sealed, which means that it can preserve the weather-sealing of your camera system when paired with a weather-sealed body and lens.

The teleconverter will start shipping in the US in March, 2014.  It will retail for $599 online and in stores.  You can currently pre-order it at B&H Photo.

After a firmware update, the following camera bodies will support this teleconverter:

  • Pentax K-3
  • Pentax K-50
  • Pentax K-500
  • Pentax K-30
  • Pentax K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs
  • Pentax K-01
  • Pentax K-7
  • Pentax K-r

The teleconverter can still be used on older Pentax cameras, just without the autofocus functionality. The firmware update has not yet been released as of the time of this post, but we do expect it to come out soon.

Pentax 1.4x Teleconverter

Lenses must have a maximum aperture of F4 or faster in order to fully support AF with this teleconverter.  Both SDM/DC and screwdrive lens autofocus will be supported, as the new teleconverter has pass-through contacts for both autofocus systems (the teleconverter itself has no motor).

Pentax officially designates the following as supported AF lenses:

  • DA 12-24mm F4
  • DA* 16-50mm F2.8
  • DA 17-70mm F4*
  • DA 20-40mm F2.8-4
  • DA* 50-135mm F2.8
  • DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8**
  • DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 (SMC and HD)**
  • DA* 60-250mm F4
  • DA 14mm F2.8
  • DA 35mm F2.4
  • DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited (SMC and HD)
  • DA 40mm F2.8 Limited (SMC and HD)
  • DA 50mm F1.8
  • DA* 55mm F1.4***
  • DA 70mm F2.4 Limited (SMC and HD)
  • DA* 200mm F2.8
  • DA* 300mm F4
  • DA 560mm F5.6**
  • D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
  • D FA 100mm F2.8 macro

A few restrictions apply as referenced above:

* does not fully support live view AF
** viewfinder AF can be unstable due to slow lens aperture
*** effective maximum aperture will be F2.4

The following lenses are listed as incompatible as their optical elements will come into contact with the teleconverter:

  • DA 15mm F4 Limited (SMC and HD)
  • DA 21mm F3.2 Limited (SMC and HD)
  • DA 40mm F2.8 XS

We will later confirm whether or not autofocus is available with legacy Pentax AF lenses (F and FA series).  Since the teleconverter has no motor of its own, manual lenses will not turn into AF lenses, unlike with the SMC Pentax-F 1.7x AF Adapter.

This is the only teleconverter for Pentax currently available with SDM/DC autofocus support; third-party converters only support screwdrive AF (at best). The Tamron-F 1.4x PZ AF MC4 supported SDM, but has since been discontinued.

The full specifications for the new teleconverter have been published in our lens database.

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