Pentaxians, rejoice: Ricoh is now bestowing upon you a 70-200mm f2.8 of your own. No longer do you need to look to third parties like Tamron for this staple professional lens. The company also debuts a home-grown 150-450mm f4.5-5.6 weather-sealed lens. And interestingly, the press release for the lenses says they're also "designed for use with...future PENTAX sensor technology." Hm. Perhaps the long, long, long, long awaited full-frame camera?
The HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW, priced at a not-unsubstantial $2,300 (about £1,511 or AU$3,000 directly converted -- we'll provide actual prices when we have them), arrives surprisingly late; K-mount users till now had only had one option for this, the far cheaper Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di VC USD. Partly it's because fast 70-200mm lenses are essential for many full-frame photographers, and Pentax doesn't offer a full-frame camera. However, the APS-C equivalent lens is roughly 50 -135mm, and Pentax does offer one of those, the smc DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED (IF) SDM. Still, a fast 70-200mm, with an equivalent focal range of 105-300mm can still come in quite handy for sports and portrait photography.
The 70-200mm incorporates Pentax's HD and Aero Bright II coatings to minimize ghost, flare and reflectance, plus four aberration-min-mizing super-low dispersion (two new) and two extra-low-dispersion elements. It uses internal focus and it's dust- and weather-sealed to match most of Pentax's bodies. A focus limiter switch gives you range options of 1.2-4m or 4m to infinity.
With the angle of view of a 225-675mm lens, the new $2,500 (£1,543 or AU$3,220 when coverted, though we'll update with real prices when they're available) HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6ED DC AW should please wildlife and outdoor sports photographers. It's not exceptionally fast, but it's the longest zoom that Pentax offers; K-mounters have had much cheaper options from Sigma, however, like the 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM.
The HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8ED DC AW and HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6ED DC AW are both slated to ship in March.