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By cjfeola in Site News on Nov 20, 2023

Get the best of Pentax Forums in our improved, curated, and free "Best of Pentax Forums" weekly newsletter: sign up below or at for our next update on Wednesday!

A bit of background: we're fortunate that Pentax Forums is such a dynamic community, but we know that it's sometimes hard to keep up with the hundreds of threads, posts, photos, and stories that appear every week.  So, in late 2021, we started offering an automated digest of top content based on factors such as thread replies and likes—which, after a brief hiatus—has been back online since mid-2023.  We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community on this initiative.

In mid-2023, we also started offering a curated newsletter as a basic e-mail, called "Best of Pentax Forums", with hand-picked content from the forum and beyond that might otherwise go unseen, as well as special photo challenges and posts. We have been more than pleased with the result: thousands of you started reading the curated newsletter every week!

Today, we are officially launching the Best of Pentax Forums Newsletter on a new platform called Substack. We moved to Substack to take advantage of that platform's advanced advanced formatting tools that go far beyond the capabilities of our legacy e-mail platform, such as an online version of each newsletter. Our goal is to provide  convenient and easily readable summaries of homepage content, as well as links to top forum threads, every Wednesday.  The newsletter is available for free to all existing forum members (please create a forum account first if you don't already have one).

Nov. 17 Home Page

Like Pentax Forums accounts, the newsletter content is completely free. Substack allows you to optionally make donations called "paid newsletter subscriptions" because...well, that's what Substack calls them, and we're stuck with it.  Donations through the newsletter are the same as regular forum donations and come with all the accompanying account perks, such as Marketplace access and more photo space on the forum.  Users who have historically run into issues with PayPal donations may wish to consider the newsletter platform instead, as we have integrated it with a different payment processor.

The new platform is designed to comply with the latest privacy standards, so if you'd like to read it, please manually opt-in to the newsletter: forum members are not automatically subscribed to the e-mails.  To get the best of Pentax Forums sent to you once a week in a convenient digest, enter your e-mail in the form above, or visit

And we want to know what will make this newsletter valuable to you! Please let us know what content you want to see in the comments.

Ricoh Imaging now an official Kenko distributor for the US

Ricoh signs deal with Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd.

By cjfeola in Pentax Announcements on Oct 13, 2023

Ricoh Imaging is now an official US distributor for Kenko lens filters and photo accessories, according to a Ricoh press release. “KENKO is a top Japanese brand of lens filters and photo accessories and we’re excited for the opportunity to collaborate with them to bring their exceptional offerings to the U.S.” the press release said. The move took effect Oct. 1.

Kenko ZXII-the flattest filter ever

The move is interesting for several reasons. First, Ricoh has made it a point in recent earnings reports to single out photography as a profitable performance vertical. This move expands Ricoh’s photography portfolio.

Second, the Kenko corporation merged with Tokina in 2011. The merged Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd owns Cokin filters and Slik tripods, and is also, ironically for Pentaxians, the worldwide distributor for Hoya filters, as well as its namesake Kenko filters and Tokina lenses. The natural question this deal raises is whether it is the harbinger for further cooperation between the companies, such as new Tokina K Mount lenses.

Yasutomo Mori is the new president of Ricoh Imaging Co. Ltd.

Mori replaces Noboru Akahane, who launched The Pentax Film Project and the K-3III Monochrome

By cjfeola in Pentax Announcements on Oct 8, 2023

Yasutomo Mori took over Oct. 1 as the new president of Ricoh Imaging Co. Ltd., according to Ricoh, replacing Noboru Akahane.

Mori will relinquish his position as the Business Unit Corporate Planning Headquarters Operating Officer, but will continue his previous positions as the President of the Ricoh Industrial Solutions Business Unit and President of the Ricoh Elemex Co., Ltd.

Yasutomo Mori

Akahane took over Ricoh Imaging in 2012, took a break, then resumed the position in 2021. Since then the division has flourished to the point where the Ricoh Group’s annual report said that its 97 percent profit growth was in part driven by the “ongoing profitability of camera business.”

Noboru Akahane

In the July 2022 announcement of the Pentax Film Project Akahane explained the Ricoh Imaging strategy:

“In January 2022, we declared the rebirth of Ricoh Imaging. We affirmed that, starting with Japan, we would more carefully listen to the voices of our users through stronger digital online communications with users by submitting our products to crowdfunding websites and founding a PENTAX clubhouse. All of this was done with the goal of developing and marketing new products that can fully satisfy user needs. We have taken on exciting new challenges, some of which push beyond the boundaries of conventional wisdom. We also are selling new products which were only made possible by our unique technologies and craftsmanship, such as the worldwide marketing of special-edition, limited-quantity models.”

Since then Ricoh Imaging has shown progress on the Pentax Film Project, plus shipped a series of limited editions. The Ricoh GR III got a Diary Edition. The Pentax K-3 III was released in Jet Black.

And this year Pentax launched the K-3 III Monochrome to a press frenzy and repeated sellouts. Six months after launch it is still constantly on backorder, despite selling for $500 more than the K-3 III.

The $2,199 Pentax K-3 III Monochrome is the only monochrome sensor DSLR. The $6,195 Leica is a fixed-lens compact; the $9,195 Leica M11 Monochrom is a range-finder interchangeable lens camera.

And as Akahane’s tenure ended Pentax launched a special edition of that special edition with the K-3 III Monochrome Matte Black Edition.

Ricoh Imaging is a division of The Ricoh Group, which provides digital services, printing and image solutions in approximately 200 countries and regions around the world. Group consolidated sales for the fiscal year ending March 2023: 2,134.1 billion yen. The Ricoh Group says its mission is “Bringing Joy to Work.”

Matte Black K-3 III Monochrome Now Available

The ultimate in black-and-white photography

By cjfeola in Pentax Announcements on Oct 4, 2023

When Pentax released the K-3 III Jet Black edition last year, company officials said that the ultra black special edition had generated the greatest response from participants at the J-Limited special event. That led to the Jet Black being the first special edition release.

That was followed this spring of the K-3 III Monochrome, a black-and-white only version that company officials said was also highly popular at J-Limited. And the Monochrome has been a hit for Pentax, selling out repeatedly and still frequently on back-order six months after its release.

So naturally the next logical step is a blacked out version of the already fairly monochrome Monochrome. Pentax is now shipping the K-3 III Monochrome Matte Black Edition.

The Matte Black is $2,299, which is a $100 premium over the standard K-3 III Mononchrome.

K-3 III Monochrome

"The PENTAX K-3 Mark III Monochrome Matte Black Edition is a special edition model with a matte black finish and PENTAX logo in matte gray. With all the features and specs of the standard K-3 Mark III Monochrome, it delivers the ultimate in black-and-white photography. The concept of monochrome photography is evident throughout the camera body, from the white backlight illumination on the LCD data panel positioned on its upper panel, to the Monochrome lettering printed on the upper-left shoulder of the back panel. The camera’s User Interface menu features a black-and-white color scheme as default," according to Pentax.

The Matte Black is identical in operation to the standard K-3 III Monochrome, according to Pentax; you can read our review of the Monochrome here. And you can learn how to get the most out of all models of the K-3 III with our e-book, which has been updated to cover the Monochrome models.

Pentax KF, K-3 III and K-3 III Monochrome Firmware Updates

New Gold Custom image for color cameras; More custom buttons for both K3IIIs

By cjfeola in Firmware Updates on Sep 25, 2023

Pentax has released three new firmware updates: version 2.10 for the K-3 III, version 2.10 for the K-3 III Monochrome, and version 1.30 for the KF.

Version 2.10 for the K-3 III adds the Gold custom image setting, plus the ability to assign a function to the Fx button when it is pressed.

According to Pentax, the Gold custom image setting creates “gold-tinted images by applying yellow-toned finishes to brighter areas while expressing darker, shadow areas with bluish tones. Yellow tones become more intense in highlighted areas.”

The update also changes how the Fx button works, allowing one of 10 functions to be activated when the button is pressed. The options are:

  • User AF (While Pressed)
  • AE Lock (While Pressed)
  • Preset Sv (While Pressed)
  • Preset Tv (While Pressed)
  • Preset Av (While Pressed)
  • AE Metering (While Pressed)
  • Flash Mode (While Pressed)
  • HDR Capture (While Pressed)
  • AA Filter Simulator (While Pressed)
  • One touch RAW+
  • Crop
  • Shake Reduction
  • Key Lock
  • Shooting Info Display (While Pressed)

The K-3 III update, which also brings improved stability, can be downloaded here.

Pentax also released the similar firmware version 2.10 for the Pentax K-3 Mark III Monochrome. The big difference, obviously, is that there is no Gold custom image mode. It adds the same Fx button enhancements as the original K-3 III, so the same 10 functions can be assigned, and also improves stability. Download it here

The Pentax KF, meanwhile, gets a firmware update to version 1.30. The main feature here is the addition of the same Gold custom image setting as the K-3 III. The update, which also improves stability and updates fonts, can be downloaded here.

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