Time to make a wishlist: New roadmaps from Pentax


posted Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM EDT

Pentax's logo. Click here to visit the Pentax website!Things are becoming increasingly exciting in Pentax land lately, as new owner Ricoh gets the ball rolling on plans to make its acquisition a major contender.

At the recent CP+ trade show in Japan, the company had no less than seven new optics on display for its various interchangeable-lens cameras, all but one of which are expected to hit retail later this year. The Pentax K-mount also received a shot in the arm recently with the release of a new lens roadmap, the company's first since early 2009.

Now, new roadmaps have also been revealed for the Q and 645 mounts. Between the three roadmaps and the products shown at CP+, there are no less than 17 new lenses and converters on the way from Pentax across its various mounts. That's a pretty significant ramp-up from the company's pace under previous owner Hoya!

For the K-mount, as well as the tentatively-named smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8 and smc PENTAX-DA 560mm F5.6 shown at CP+, the map also called for a high-magnification zoom lens to arrive this year, and four more lenses plus a teleconverter for next year or later. (We're presuming one of these to be the unnamed "super thin" model which was also shown at CP+. If not, there might actually be 18 new lenses on the radar...) With the exception of the 1.4x AF RC teleconverter, the roadmap doesn't give precise details for any of these new products. We do know that one of the zooms will merit a 'Limited' label, and another will be badged a DA Star lens. You can get an idea of approximate focal lengths in the image below, courtesy of Pentax.

Pentax's K-Mount lens roadmap, as provided by the company on February 15th, 2012. Click for a bigger picture!

In addition to all of the above, Pentax has now released lens roadmaps for both its Q and 645 mounts. These include a number of items that weren't shown at CP+, and haven't been announced previously.

For the Pentax Q mount, there are now four new products on the table, all planned for 2012 or later. (Five, if you count the K-mount adapter that's slated to ship this spring.) As well as the telephoto zoom and mount cap lens that were shown at CP+, Q-mount shooters can look forward to wide and telephoto primes. The former would be somewhere in the region of 20-30mm equivalent, and the latter somewhere around 80-100mm. The map also shows that the mount cap lens should fall somewhere between 30-70mm, and the telephoto zoom will likely cover some part of the range from 80 to 250mm or thereabouts.

Pentax's Q-Mount lens roadmap, as provided by the company on February 15th, 2012. Click for a bigger picture!

Finally, the 645-mount roadmap calls for an additional three lenses, beyond the tentatively-named smc PENTAX-D FA645 90mm F2.8 that was shown at CP+. All are slated for 2013 or later, and all are zooms. They include a wide, a standard, and a tele, as shown in the map below courtesy of Pentax. 

Pentax's 645-Mount lens roadmap, as provided by the company on February 15th, 2012. Click for a bigger picture!