Pentax K-1 II Field Test Part I

Return of the king: Ricoh's full-frame flagship is back and better than ever!

by Mike Tomkins |

When Pentax launched its now-dormant Q-series mirrorless line in mid-2011 -- and as a then-relatively new Pentax shooter myself -- I learned an interesting little piece of trivia about the company's long-running K-mount.

I knew that the bayonet design which Pentaxians know and love dates back to 1975, when Asahi Pentax (as the company was then known) replaced its earlier screwmount design for the K2, KX and KM film cameras. What I didn't know was that the new bayonet's initialism was a play on the logo for Asahi Pentax, as the brand was then known. The logo included a crown, and the letter K stood for "king". (The subsequent Q-mount, of course, was the "queen".)

For a couple of years now, the K-mount throne has been occupied by the very capable Pentax K-1, a full-frame camera which answered years of pleas from Pentaxians for just such a product. But late last spring, Ricoh -- for some years now the owner of the Pentax brand and its legacy -- announced a new ascension to its full-frame throne, as the K-1 stepped aside to make way for the brand-new Pentax K-1 II.

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