Pentax preps promised portrait prime for purchase
posted Monday, May 21, 2012 at 6:00 PM EDT
Earlier this year, Pentax Ricoh Imaging revealed new lens roadmaps for its K, Q, and 645 lens mounts. On the map for the K-mount--which is used by the company's DSLR models and its mirrorless K-01 compact system camera--was a new portrait prime lens, tentatively named the smc PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8.
Today, the name and the lens itself are tentative no more, as Pentax prepares for an addition to its K-mount lineup this summer. The smc PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 carries an affordable price tag of US$250, and is set to ship from July 2012.
With a length of just 1.5 inches and a weight of 4.3 ounces, the new lens is designed specifically for the company's APS-C digital cameras, and offers an interesting alternative to the full-frame FA 50mm f/1.4 and D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro. It's significantly less expensive than either model; the 50mm f/1.4 costs US$450, and the f/2.8 Macro is priced at US$600. It's also much lighter than either of the full-frame 50mm primes, and quite a bit shorter than the f/2.8 Macro.
That's likely due in part to a simpler optical design than either of the full-frame models, with six elements in five groups. While its maximum magnification of 0.15x at 18 inches trails the life-sized 1x of the Macro lens, it matches that of the f/1.4 model. It also bests that lens with a seven-bladed aperture, where the f/1.4 has six blades, and the f/2.8 Macro offers eight.
Where the existing 50mm lenses both accept 49mm filters, the new smc PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 features 52mm filter threads. It ships with an O-LC52N objective cap, while in the interests of keeping costs down, Pentax leaves the RH-RA 52mm lens hood and S70-70 case as optional extras. One other cost-saving difference that likely also contributes to the lens' light weight is its use of a plastic mount, rather than the metal mount of the existing lenses.
More details in the press release below.
The made-for-digital smc PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens offers an affordable, lightweight alternative to the company's existing full-frame 50mm lenses.
Photo provided by Pentax Ricoh Imaging Americas Corp.
PENTAX Introduces smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Medium-Telephoto Lens
Compact, lightweight autofocus lens designed exclusively for PENTAX K-Mount interchangeable-lens digital cameras
Denver, CO (May 21, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announces the introduction of its new smc PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 medium-telephoto autofocus lens, which is designed exclusively for use with the company’s K-mount interchangeable-lens (ILC) digital cameras. Thanks to state-of-the-art optical design technology from PENTAX, the lens’ image coverage is optimized for PENTAX K-mount ILC cameras to deliver sharp, clear images from edge to edge. With a sleek, modern look and a lightweight body, the new PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens was designed with versatility and flexibility in mind and is ideal for photographers of varying levels, from amateurs to professionals.
“The new PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens is ideal for photographers interested in portraiture and general photography,” explains John Carlson, Sr., Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION. “The lens measures just 1.5 inches long and weighs only 4.3 ounces, making it small enough and light enough to accompany photographers on all kinds of outings.”
When mounted on a PENTAX K-mount ILC camera body, the PENTAX-DA 50mm f/F1.8 lens delivers a focal length of 50mm or 76.5mm in the 35mm format. The lens’ f/1.8 maximum aperture and round diaphragm blades enable it to produce a natural “bokeh” (out-of-focus) effect, which gives the blurry elements in an image a softer, rounded and more pleasing appearance. Additionally, the f/1.8 aperture makes it possible to increase camera shutter speed when photographing in poorly lit conditions, which minimizes camera shake and helps eliminate blur.
For extra preventative measures, the front surface of the PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens is treated with the company’s original SP (Super Protect) coating, which repels dust, water, grease, and other substances that may adhere to the surface of the lens. The protective coating promotes trouble-free use in all kinds of shooting situations.
The PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens will be available July 2012 with a retail price of $249.95.
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: www.pentaximaging.com/news
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