Pentax launches medium format all-weather prime


posted Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 6:08 PM EDT

The smc Pentax DA 645 25mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM AW lens. Photo provided by Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp.Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp. has today announced the launch of a new weather-sealed ultra-wide prime lens for its medium format Pentax 645D digital SLR.

The smc Pentax DA 645 25mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM AW lens replaces the D FA variant that was listed on the 645 Mount roadmap revealed shortly after the CP+ tradeshow in Japan, a design that was announced a little over a year ago. Today's announcement puts a firm date and price on the new model, which arrives right on the schedule predicted in our Pentax interview at the combined CES / PMA tradeshow last January. Available from late March 2012, the new lens will have a suggested retail price right around US$5,000.

The DA 645 25mm f/4 is interesting in that it's the first model designed specifically for the 645D; it won't be compatible with 645-mount film bodies. The new lens has eleven seals to match the weatherproofing of the 645D body, and includes Pentax's Super Multi-Coating and Super Protect coatings, and Supersonic Direct-drive Motor autofocus technology with quick-shift function.

The smc Pentax DA 645 25mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM AW lens. Photo provided by Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp. Click for a bigger picture!

The smc Pentax DA 645 25mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM AW lens.
Photo provided by Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp.

The optical formula includes twelve elements in eight groups, including two aspheric elements. The 25mm focal length equates to an ultra-wide 19.5mm equivalent on a 35mm camera, for a 95-degree angle of view. A filter holder in the lens barrel accepts a bundled 40.5mm circular polarizer filter, with the in-lens design adopted since the front lens element curvature prevents use of the more typical front-mounted filters.

The smc Pentax DA 645 25mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM AW has dimensions of 3.5 x 5.8” (90 x 148.5mm) with built-in hood, and weighs 36.7 oz (1040g). More details on the Pentax website.

A built-in filter holder accepts a bundled 40.5mm circular polarizer. Photo provided by Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp. Click for a bigger picture!

A built-in filter holder accepts a bundled 40.5mm circular polarizer.
Photo provided by Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp.


Press Release

PENTAX Introduces New 25mm f/4 Lens Designed Exclusively For Company’s 645D Medium-Format Digital SLR Camera

Ultra Wide-Angle Lens Features Super Multi-Coating, Aspherical Elements, and Supersonic Motor Drive for Enhanced Performance and Incredible Sharpness

Denver, CO (March 22, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announced the introduction of its new DA645 25mm f/4 lens, designed and optimized for exclusive use with its popular 645D medium format digital SLR camera.  By combining its ultra-wide perspective with exclusive PENTAX Super Multi-Coating (smc), Aspherical Elements (AL), Supersonic Direct-drive Motor (SDM), and all-weather (AW) construction, PENTAX has created a lens that will render super-sharp images with performance levels photographers have come to expect from original PENTAX lenses.

When mounted on the PENTAX 645D medium-format digital SLR camera body, the DA645 25mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM AW lens provides a focal length of approximately 19.5mm in the 35mm format, the widest perspective available with the 645D.  Photographers now have greater creative flexibility when shooing landscapes or when photographing in confined areas with minimal room to move.

"The DA645 25mm f/4 lens is completely optimized for use with the PENTAX 645D digital SLR camera to render outstanding sharpness and clarity, even along its edges," explains John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX.  "Its 95-degree angle of view offers the widest perspective available for use with the camera, providing photographers with greater creative flexibility in a variety of shooting environments whether they are in a studio or out on location."

As with any quality optics, precision engineering and glass elements are critical ingredients.  The DA645 25mm f/4 lens incorporates two high-performance aspherical optical elements, which provide exceptional image-resolving power with outstanding brightness levels even at the edges, while keeping various aberrations to a minimum.  In addition, the lens is treated with PENTAX Aero Bright Coating to ensure an outstanding anti-reflection performance over a broader wavelength range to deliver images that are more brilliant and higher quality than those produced by previous models.  Additional lens coatings and anti-reflective materials are applied to create a lens that is totally optimized for the 645D camera.

As the newest addition to the AW (all-weather) series, this new lens includes dustproof and weather-resistant construction with 11 special seals to prevent the intrusion of dust and water into the lens interior.  By coupling this lens with the PENTAX 645D camera body, photographers can be assured they are using a durable and reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding outdoor settings where water, rain, and dust can be prevalent.

Additional Features
The new DA645 25mm f/4 lens features a conveniently placed interchangeable built-in filter holder (including a 40.5mm diameter circular polarizing filter) located within its barrel. The lens also features fully automatic diaphragm control; a built-in lens hood optimally shaped for its angle-of-view when used with the 645D; a Quick-shift Focus system for instant switching between auto and manual focus; and a Special Protect (SP) coating applied to the front surface of the lens to repel, dust, water, and grease.

In addition, the lens incorporates an advanced SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) autofocus mechanism to ensure smooth and quiet autofocusing, as well as a rounded diaphragm to produce an attractive “bokeh” for enhanced appearance of a photograph’s out-of-focus areas.

Pricing and Availability
The new Pentax DA645 25mm f/4 lens will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in late March with a suggested retail price of $4,999.95.

PENTAX is a leader in the production of a variety of adventure ready digital cameras including weather-resistant digital SLRs and stylish, compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For more than 90 years, PENTAX has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of adventurous consumers and businesses. With new headquarters in Denver, Colorado, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION is a subsidiary of PENTAX RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. effective October 1, 2011. Additional details may be found here:

# # #