Looking Back at the Pentax Community in 2017
New products, site features, and community events
By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Jan 12, 2018
2018 is already here, and before we get too far into new developments, let's take a look at the highlights and happenings of 2017 within the Pentax community.
4,000,000 Posts on the Forum
We hit a major milestone toward the end of 2017, when our members submitted the 4-millionth post on the forum. Stay tuned for an event to celebrate!
In 2017, we rolled out more site features and events than Pentax product announcements. Let's start by taking a look at the exciting additions to PF throughout the year.
Deal Finder with Price Alerts
Our deal finder seeks to find the best Pentax deals currently available in the US (support for other countries with established online retailers is planned in the future). You can get an e-mail notification when a price drops below a desired level, and you can also check to see if an advertised price is in fact the lowest that we've recently observed.
Lens Finder: Pentax & Third-Party Lenses
We've expanded our lens finder to include current third-party lenses. You can now run searches focusing on very specific criteria across all Pentax-branded lenses as well as over 50 third-party offerings.
Pentax User Map
We added a user map, allowing you to add yourself to the map and find nearby members. You can also see where currently active users are located!
One-Click Mosaic Gallery
Commenting on photos has never been easier- just scroll through the list of large thumbnails, pick the ones you like, submit your comment and repeat. No extra page loads needed! Supports discovering older photos that you haven't seen before.
In early 2017 we migrated to a new web server, which promises better availability and robustness. The entire site is now served over secure HTTPS, and we encourage all linked photos to include HTTPS links as well.
We added Pentaxian profiles for two very talented photographers in distinct fields. Check them out by clicking either portrait below below!
If you are a professional shooter and would like to share your story, please contact us.
2017 was unfortunately a year full of natural disasters, but the community did its part to help out. We donated $1200 to relief efforts for hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
2017 PF T-shirts
Our members designed a number of fantastic designs for our 2017 T-shirt contest, and those designs proved to be some of the most popular to date. We've also added top designs from 2016 and 2015 to our Teespring store. Get 20% off everything with the coupon code PF2017PROM.
Solar Eclipse Challenge
Let's look back at the amazing photos that our members submitted during the amazing total solar eclipse!
Best of 2016
Many of our members submitted their single best photo of 2016 into a community-wide contest. Take a look at the winners, or browse the full gallery in the Post Your Photos forum.
We gave away a Pentax K-S2, lenses, and a flash in 2017. Stay tuned for more this year.
New Pentax Products
2017 saw the launch of one new Pentax DSLR model, one new compact, one new Theta, and a special silver edition of the K-1. While no new lenses came out, official teasers have slated a DA* 11-18mm F2.8 and a D FA* 50mm F1.4 for release first half of 2018.
This may seem like a short list, and it is. But it makes sense given how big of a year 2016 was for product launches, with the debut of the Pentax K-1 full-frame system in one big burst. Let's take a closer look at 2017's product news in chronological order.
The Pentax KP is a mid-range DSLR body featuring the latest APS-C sensor and processing hardware. With a compact yet durable body, it was designed to compete with mirrorless cameras. The KP turned out to be a very capable camera in terms of image quality, but it saw a mixed reception due to its less traditional form factor and similarity to the more affordable K-70.
The Ricoh WG-50 is a respin of the WG-40, which was a respin of the WG-30, which was a respin of the Pentax WG-2 from 2012. Ultimately, a rather uninteresting waterproof camera with good durability but dated hardware.
Pentax K-1 Limited Silver
As tradition dictates, Pentaxians were treated to a Limited Silver edition of the K-1 full-frame, complete with a matching silver grip. Unsurprisingly, it sold out quickly. The camera was limited to 2000 units worldwide.
Ricoh Theta V
4K 360-degree video has finally been added to the Theta system. Through improved apps and a comprehensive developer API, the Theta system continues to be industry-leading and a best-seller worldwide within this innovative and rapidly growing market segment.
DA* 11-18mm and D FA* 50mm
Two premium lenses will soon be released: a fast ultra-wide for APS-C, and a corner-to-corner 50mm for full-frame. More details below.
Support and Community News
In addition to official product announcements, there was plenty of community news surrounding Pentax products.
D FA* 85mm F1.4
Early last year, alongside the first hints about the D FA* 50mm F1.4, Ricoh Imaging also teased us with plans to make a D FA* 85mm F1.4: a modern take on the classic portrait lens. Following the recent industry trend, we expect this lens to deliver corner-to-corner performance and dreamy bokeh.
Dedicated USB tethering is only supported by the Pentax K-1 and 645Z, but users of those cameras got a nice treat several months ago with firmware and software updates enhancing the functionality.
Return of Video Shake Reduction
Mechanical video stabilization has been history since the Pentax K-5 series, but our interview at CP+ 2017 revealed that Ricoh was planning to bring this feature back.
Pentax 645z Price Drop
The Pentax 645Z was permanently reduced to just $5499 in mid-2017, making it a full $3000 cheaper than at launch. While official news of a replacement hasn't been posted, we expect a replacement in the coming year. Still, the 645Z remains an exceptional camera.
End of the Pentax Q?
The ultra-compact Pentax Q mirrorless system has slowly been fading away after originally being pulled from only the US market for 2017. Availability in other markets has become spotty, and no new developments are planned for the time being. Perhaps the future of the Pentax mirrorless system lies in a different format— or perhaps 2018 will surprise us with a revival of the Q.
Other Future Lenses
New lenses are planned for the 645, full-frame, and APS-C systems as per the charts below. Expect updates at the 2018 CP+ show.
Pentax Forums Reviews
In 2016 we reached the milestone of having an in-depth review for every Pentax lens currently available new. In 2017, we mainly focused on re-reviewing full-frame lenses. We also reviewed the Pentax KP and the ultra-fast 55-300mm PLM lens. This year, we will focus on completing our coverage of current third-party lenses for Pentax, while also revisiting vintage lenses a bit. Below are links to our 2017 reviews:
- FA 31mm F1.8 Limited (Full frame review)
- Ricoh Theta SC
- Lomography Daguerrotype 64mm
- Pentax KP
- D FA 150-450mm (Full frame review)
- DA 55-300mm PLM
- Bag reviews (9)
That about covers it as far as Pentax and forum news is concerned. If you partcularly anything else during 2017, feel free to share in the comments below.