The world of Pentax just got a huge surprise with Ricoh’s first introduction of full-frame lenses in a long time. Two new telephoto lenses were unveiled today, along with a prototype full-frame DSLR due to ship by the end of 2015.
The very first lens labelled FA* is the Pentax HD D FA* 70-200mm F/2.8 ED DC AW. This is a high-performance telephoto lens with a constant aperture and fully weather-sealed design. It features Pentax’s latest HD coatings to minimize flare and a 9-blade circular aperture. Note that unlike DA* lenses, this one uses a conventional direct motor which is more reliable than quieter SDM ones.
The new Pentax HD D FA 150-450mm F/4.5-5.6 ED DC AW is the longest zoom in the Pentax family. This is an advanced telephoto lens with a zoom lock, focus limiter and preset focus. It also features the Pentax HD lens coating which repels water, oil and dust. This lens is also fully weather-sealed and uses a direct motor.
The real big news is that Pentax is making new full-frame lenses and has decided to enter the full-frame market. As with other DSLRs, the viability depends on suitable lenses which is why Pentax has to build its arsenal of full-frame lenses. Given the current price-point for a full-frame digital camera, it also makes a lot of sense that the new offerings would be high-end lenses.
When CP+ starts towards the end of next week, Pentax will be showing a prototype of their full-frame DSLRs. Given their history of using Sony sensors and the recent collaboration between Canon and Sony, it is highly probable that they will introduce a 50 MP DSLR which will be compatible with DA lenses with a 1.5X crop, giving a respectable 22 MP APS-C resolution. Off course, the could go the opposite way and produce a 12 MP ultra-low-light model, similar to what Sony did with their A7S.