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.
reading•Pentax delivers two weatherproof K-mount telephoto zooms
Feb 24•Panasonic offers a better-than-kit lens option for Micro Four Thirds
Feb 23•Sigma's first mirrorless cameras are exactly what we'd expect
Feb 23•Sigma reveals another couple of lenses you're probably going to want
Feb 23•Zoom to spare: Nikon announces 60x Coolpix B700, 40x B500 and 35x A900