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HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter

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21 51,427 Tue July 25, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
95% of reviewers $510.21 9.05
HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter

HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter
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HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter
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HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter
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Description:

The HD Pentax-DA AF Rear Converter 1.4x AW is a weather-sealed teleconverter that increases the effective focal length of any compatible lens by 1.4x, which results in extra reach.  This comes at the cost of one stop of light and a little bit of image quality; a 50mm F2.8 lens with this converter would effectively turn into a 70mm F4 lens, for instance.

This modern teleconverter allows AF lenses to function without limitations.  It transmits aperture and lens information to the camera so that nothing has to be manually set by the user.  In addition, it supports not only traditional screwdrive autofocus but also SDM/DC autofocus.

The teleconverter has also been treated with Pentax's latest HD coating to minimize reflectance and ultimately deliver the best possible image quality.

AF compatibility:

The lens must be F4 or faster. Slower lenses can be used, but phase detect autofocus may be unreliable and contrast detect AF (live view) is  recommended instead. Curiously, the smc Pentax-DA 17-70mm F4 may not acquire focus in contrast detect mode (live view), here phase detect (viewfinder) should be used.

Cameras and lenses supported:

Pentax K-3, K-50, K-500, K-30, K-5 II, K-5 II s, K-5, K-01, K-7, K-r (all after firmware update), and newer models.

All Pentax lenses in production as of March 2014 can be used except for the following, where damage to lens or converter will occur:

  • smc Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
  • HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
  • smc Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited
  • HD Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited
  • smc Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS

The converter was announced on February 5th, 2014, and went on sale a month later.


HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW Rear Converter
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Light Loss
1 stop
Magnification
1.4x
Optics
4 elements, 3 groups
Mount Variant (Rear)
KAF2
Mount Variant (Front)
KAF2
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor or screwdrive)
Coating
HD
Weather Sealing
Yes (AW)
Case
Pouch (DA 70mm Limited)
Diam x Length
65 x 20 mm
Weight
126 g
Production Years
2014 to Present
Launch Price
599 USD
Notes
Engraved name: HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF REAR CONVERTER
The converter maintains the autofocus capability of the lens be it screw drive or in-lens DC/SDM.
The converter maintains all exposure and focusing modes supported by the lens.
The converter can be used with the Pentax K-r, K-7 and all newer APS-C format DSLRs.
Damage to the lens or converter may occur if the converter is used with the DA 15mm F4, DA 21mm F3.2, or DA 40mm F2.8 XS lenses; most other K-mount lenses are supported.

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusSupersonic AutofocusWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter in-depth review!



Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter Buy the HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter
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Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Posts: 1,959

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good performance for a converter
Cons: Focus hunting, inconsistent accuracy of focus on K-5iis
Camera Used: Pentax K-5iis   

I'm not generally a fan of converters. Converters are no substitute for the real thing. Better a 600 f4 lens than a 300 f2.8 with a 2x converter. However, converters are a considerably cheaper and smaller way to extend reach of one's lenses. So when I found a very good price on a used DA 1.4x, I decided to give it a try. I have several lenses where it could prove useful: the DA* 300, the Tamron 70-200, and the DFA 100 Macro.

The biggest question with any converter is: does it give sharper results than you would attain without it via cropping? It would be useful, in this context, to rate these converters, not in terms of added reach, but in terms of added reach with similar resolution. With the DA* 300, this converter will not give you 420mm with exactly the same resolution as at 300mm. Some resolution is lost magnifying the lens from 300mm to 420mm. With this idea in mind, we might invent a new concept for evaluating converter performance: call it "sharpness equivalence." Now I haven't done extensive tests to determine what the sharpness equivalence of DA 1.4x converter might be. It would change depending on lens and aperture. But I would hazard to guess that with the DA* 300, at f8, the converter exhibits a resolution equivalence somewhere between 360 and 400mm. Now this would change depending on aperture. If you shoot with the converter wide open, your sharpness equivalence would be less, and here's why: the DA* 300 is sharper at 5.6 than at f4. If you use the converter, you lose a stop. So if you were to compare an image shot with the converter wide open with a shot taken with the DA* 300 at f5.6 and then cropped to match the FOV of 420mm, the converter shot would not be much sharper than the crop. So if your planning on using the converter primarily wide-open, maybe that isn't such a great idea.

I've raised these technical issues to provide greater appreciation of the trade-offs involved with using the converter. What I have found in terms of real world use is that the DA 1.4x is an outstanding converter if you fully appreciate its limitations. To get the most out of it, you need to, first of all, stop the lens down. Then, because of the extended reach, you need to improve your technique. With the DA* 300, I recommend either a monopod or a tripod. If you insist on hand-holding, shutter speeds of 1/400 or more are might prove necessary (at least with the K-5 series of cameras). My K-5iis really struggled in terms of AF with the converter. When shooting my DA* 300 and Tamron 70-200, I would say my AF keeper rate is around 90%. With the converter, the keeper rate plummeted to around 50%. I also faced quite a bit of focus hunting, where the lens had to go throughout it's entire focus range, sometimes several times, before finding focus. That rarely happened sans the converter. I would imagine later Pentax camera models would be less prone to this sort of behavior. I might also be looking into finding ways to improve my focusing technique as well.

Despite these caveats, I nevertheless find this converter, when I play to its strengths (i.e., stop down the lens, stabilize or use high shutter speed, attain accurate focus) to be thoroughly outstanding. With high end glass, it can deliver surprisingly excellent results, with superb resolution, color and contrast. I was particularly surprised about how well it worked with the Tamron 70-200. While I wouldn't say the images created by this combination were sharper or more contrasty than what this lens provides absent the converter, they did feature better color.

Some samples, first from the DA* 300:

Full rez here.


Full rez here.

From the Tamron 70-200 f2.8:

Full rez here.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 21

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 30, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: small. weather resistant, AF work even with dark glasses
Cons: Drop in quality, expensive
Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

Well. I found that Pentax DA 55-300mm PLM WR RE is a little too short for my birds hunting so I consider to buy a teleconverter or another, longer focal lense. Because I really like mine 55-300 PLM ( i checked in store that autofocus work fine with this TC ) and there is not much longer focal lenght, quality lenses on the market in this price, I decided to buy a teleconverter - and it can work with all my lenses.

After few bird huntings i start to wondering is the drop of the quality isn't equall with cropping image in lightroom ( or etc ). So the quality suffer preety much ( imho ) so the pictures are enough quality but they're not razor sharp anymore ( much deppends on the lense you use TC with ).


So after some time i bought Sigma 50-500 APO DG HSM OS f/4,5-6.3 for Pentax and you know what? The autofocus work well with Pentax TC! That's amazing!


I'll keep the TC because it's small and simple. It can easly change my small Pentax 55-300 PLM into small Pentax 77-420mm - so i don't need to carry the heavy Bigma with me all the time.
I also find it useful with mentioned Bigma ( become 77- 700mm!!! ) when the target ( bird ) is to far - it help to tell is the focus is lock right or what kind of bird it is ]


Generally I recomend this TC more than any other. But if you can buy a lense with desire focal lenght, for such price - better buy a lense ( if it's not a sime kind of crap of course ).

Check here - all the pictures taken with 420mm ( 55-300 PLM ), 700mm ( mirror Tamron Adaptall 2 500mm ) and some with 500mm ( the Sigma 50-500 don't show actual focal lenght in specification so the picture can be take with or without TC ) are taken with teleconverter:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/149888508@N06/
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2015
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,111

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 23, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Doubles my lens lineup
Cons: Common aspects of a TC
Camera Used: K-3ii   

It's a TC...
You're going to lose a little bit of light.
IQ is only as good as the lens in front of it.
AF is likely to struggle in low light situations.

These are all a given, regardless of the TC you are using.

So why did I buy one?
For almost the same price as a Canon L 400mm f5.6, I was able to buy the DA*300, DFA100wr, and the HD 1.4xTC. (gotta love the PF marketplace!)

- Fully weather sealed 300mm f4 lens without the TC
- Fully weather sealed 100mm f2.8 macro without the TC
- Fully weather sealed 420mm F5.6 that can be shot hand-held with the TC
- Fully weather sealed 140mm F4 macro lens capable of magnification beyond 1:1 with the TC

If you have the DA*300 or the DFA100; especially if you have both. You really should consider adding this TC to your bag...

Here's a sample shot wide open at 420mm f5.6
K-3ii + DA*300 + HD 1.4xTC

IMG_8763-Edit by Logan Hall, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: August 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Compatibility, Light weight
Cons: I.Q. at large aperture, or with lenses under 100mm, Price
Camera Used: Pentax K70   

This tele converter is very convenient, but I am disappointed by the image quality with lenses under 100mm, or at apertures larger than 2.8. The center is bad, the corners are extremely bad.
It gives very good results though with Pentax D-FA 100mm 2.8 Macro, and excellent results with Pentax FA* 200 mm 2.8.
Also, I found out that with autofocus lenses with no 'Quick Shift' or 'MF / AF' selector, it is practically impossible to focus manually.
Finally, for a simple 4 small elements, no diaphragm, no focusing system, the price is ridiculously high. It should be $250 instead of ~$550.
   
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,545

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $575.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Weather sealed, ease of use, great quality optics
Cons: None for me
Camera Used: K-3   

This is a great piece of gear. Being weather sealed itself, means the integrity of both camera and lens is maintained. If used with quality glass, this converter will not disappoint. Image degradation is minimal and really only noticed if " peeping." I predominantly use it with my 100mm 2.8 macro WR and my DA* 60-250 and have found the images with the converter are of a better quality than cropping a standard image to the same size. Being able to use both screw drive and motor driven AF is an added bonus. EXIF data is changed to include the converter with Pentax lenses as well. If shooting JPEG, the lens correction features are disabled while the converter is attached. The cameras firmware will need to be updated to use it also. The price of this accessory is not that high if you consider its quality and versatility. This small piece of kit changes the lenses it is attached to for the better IMO. There are only a few lenses that cannot be used in conjunction with this converter, so checking the compatibility list is essential to avoid damaging either the lens or converter. I can highly recommend the HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter. It is compatible with the new HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mmF4.5-6.3ED PLM WR KAF4 lens, but not recommended. Here is a link.

http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/products/lens/k/telephoto/hdpentax-da-55-300_re/
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 14

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 25, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, optical perfomance
Cons:
Camera Used: K-5   

The good part:
- it doesn't interfere in the quality of the attached lens much
- sturdy all weather build
- light and small
- doesn't change the focusing distance
- almost all lenses can be used

The not so good part:
- pricey
- visible aberrations in corners (slight)
- max sharpness (of lens) can not be achieved

While intended to be used with DA 300*, I found it more useful for macro work. With AF-160FC and T9-2x attached it can do some serious macro work.
I had no focusing problems with SDM (DA 300*, DA 60-250*) or screw-drive (DFA 100 WR and others).
If you want to buy it (or any other tele-converter) you should probably know that all flaws that your lens have will be magnified by tele-converter. Practically that means if your lens do some chroma or fringing, these aberrations will be much worse with any tele-converter attached. So best results will be achieved with optically good lens and equally good converter.

Macro with DFA 100 WR


Macro with DFA 100 WR and T9-2x


Distance shot with DFA 100 WR
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 1,027

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 16, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Better than no 1.4x TC
Cons: Cannot cover up shortcomings in Pentax lens lineup
Camera Used: K3   

This converter reveals most of the shortcomings in Pentax lens line up. What is it designed for??? There is no large apeture lens like a 2.8/300 or similar that typically is presented in combination of 1.4x and 2x converter. The converter is DA only which is not funny as FF is on the way. Many people use this converter with FA* 2.8/300 and 4/600. With the DA* 200 you can copy a DA* 300, but image quality is not that great anymore.
In combination with the DA* lenses it allows for SDM focussing. This was previously only possible with the Tamron 1.4 converter (old and outdated). The Pentax converter is of better optical and mechanical quality than the Tamron. It also communicates better with Pentax cameras. With DA* 300 it makes for 420 mm focal length, meaning very serious magnification not handled well by most tripods. Handheld magnification is so large that small camera movements will move the AF/metering point away from the target. Shake reduction on K3 works OK, but the long lens line up from Pentax would benefit from in lens stabilization. A decent tripod helps as well.
Results with DA* 300 and open aperture are just OK, you should stop down at least one stop. This converter is not a replacement for a real 5.6/400. Quality of the DA* 300 at f/4 is not really high enough to allow 1.4x magnification with open aperture. Effective f/5.6 allows for AF, but shutter speeds at f/8 are getting quite slow very soon - even at higher ISO. With lots of light around, the DA* 300 + 1.4x will probably be more fun - or for all of you living in countries with lots of sun shine :-)
On D-FA 100M you can increase magnification - again you should stop down a little for best results, effective f/8 works fine for me here.

The real performance of the TC is hard to judge as you can only use it in combination with some lens. While image deterioration is not that much for all my lenses, it deteriorates the image quality at open aperture enough to call the effect significant.

The DA 1.4x converter is a nice to have addition of Pentax glass. Today, a TC should complement high end tele glass which is not available in Pentax land. In my rating I don't blame the TC for shortcomings in the Pentax lens line up.
   
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 62
Lens Review Date: November 20, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $445.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, compact,Works with very wide len spectrum
Cons: None to date.
Camera Used: K3/K30   

I have used this converter with 3 F series lenses and all 8 of my DA series lenses.
I am pleased with the results. Even the much older lenses worked well. I saw no
change in AF and IQ remained unchanged. The DA series lenses gave similar results. All test I have done are merely eyeball. No measurements were taken.
The converter is easy to use but be careful to follow instructions when mounting lenses and the converter.
I am really enjoying the extra reach, I am getting from my lenses.
Buy one and get the benefits of saving money on lens purchases.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,060
Lens Review Date: September 12, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Long waited perfect 1.4xTC for Pentax
Cons: None so far

I bought this TC from a member of the forum.

This TC makes a good DA lens excellent. I love it because it makes my DA300/4 work as a 420/5.6 without hunting.

Alpha Male in Captivity by Pepe Guitarra, on Flickr


Flamingo1-1 by Pepe Guitarra, on Flickr


Tern Two by Pepe Guitarra, on Flickr


rino1-1 by Pepe Guitarra, on Flickr


flamingosss11-1 by Pepe Guitarra, on Flickr
   
Moderator
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Posts: 17,211
Lens Review Date: June 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $496.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good build quality, compact & weather sealed
Cons: price if any

That rating is based on other TC that I have used. This TC seems to work well with my DA* 300/4, DA* 50-135 and D FA 100 WR macro. I got it specifically to use with the 300 and the 100. It seems to be well made and has the styling of the DA Ltd HD lenses.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 377
Lens Review Date: March 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, colour rendition, lack of CA, ability to be used on most Lenses
Cons: Is there one?
Camera Used: K-5, K-01, K20D, K10D   

This is going to be short and sweet.

It may be pricey, but think of these points.
It is a Pentax converter, not third party
It has the latest coatings (HD)
It is weather sealed.
It is sharp!
It works with just about all Pentax lenses, from Manual to screw AF and of course SDM and DC Lenses.
It is a new converter that us Pentaxians have been crying out for for years.

Main use is on the DA*300 (no surprise) and DA*50-135
But I have used it on a lot of other lenses, from Sigma Macro's to the 10-17 Fisheye (sad I know, but fun)

Well worth getting hold of, and the best converter for the K-mount, even at the price.

Cannot fault it at all.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2011
Location: Nelson B.C.
Posts: 3,258

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons: Needs lots of light, shutter vibration in some conditions, harsh bokeh

I used this extensively with the DA*300, not at all with other lenses.

There is very little image degradation with the TC. It is sharp, and doesn't hinder focus as long as there is enough light. 420mm is a very nice length.

I ran into three things that were negative.

The bokeh in some situations, for example lowish light busy background is very unpleasant. Hard and confused. The DA*300 can produce this on rare occasions, but the TC made it worse.

The metering is a stop difference, but the effects of light drop off are a bit more extreme. I ran into blotchy contrasty shots in less than optimum conditions. It needs lots of light.

For some reason it seemed to severely exacerbate shutter vibration. I had to use quite a bit higher shutter speeds for handheld. This hasn't been a common issue, so it may be the body lens combination, but it was over two K-3's and two copies of the DA*300. Again, if there is adequate light this is less of an issue. Unfortunately where I live there is often not adequate light.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: December 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, does not hinder autofocus; not full frame (of course)
Cons: some axial chromatic aberrations
Camera Used: Pentax K5, K-1   

Addition 7/2016: I had high hopes it will cover full frame but alas, it does not: it vignettes badly and uncorrectable with DA 300, it's better with DFA 100/2.8 but still exhibits significant chromatic aberration. Too bad as the autofocus with K-1 is excellent, both SDM and mechanical transmission. Waiting for the real thing.
I purposely bought it for pairing with DA* 300mm/4 and have been using it now for 8 months. Results are beyond expectations and dim any regrets over the high price tag. Image quality at the 16MP of K5 is excellent - there is no sharpness loss by mounting the converter. I have read reports on lateral chromatic aberrations but I have seen none at any focus distance. It does show some axial chromatic aberrations (purple in the front and green behind the focus point) and this may be what others notice with image corners in less than precise focus. Or maybe I am lucky with a perfectly aligned lens - converter pair. Autofocus is also a bright point - the lens autofocus is not degraded, not even in low light. Where DA 300/4 focuses, it will focus with the converter too at the same speed, same focus point. It's almost like the DA 300/4 is part of a 420/5.6 design with the converter being the rear lens block. Like many others I previously used the lens with Tamron PZ 1.4X while waiting for the real thing, and indeed is no comparison. The Tamron does exhibit lateral chromatic aberrations (center is a match) and breaks both the autofocus and image stabilization. Below a sample image, DA 300/4, f/5.6, ISO 100:
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 17
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: No degradation in IQ, Light weigh, Weather sealed
Cons: No
Camera Used: Pentax K-3   


   
New Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Florence
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: September 28, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: weather-sealed, light
Cons: Too soft with 50mm f .18
Camera Used: K-3   

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