Parsippany, NJ—Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation introduced the HD Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 and the smc Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic lenses. Both are for Pentax K-mount digital SLR cameras.
The compact standard lenses are similar to one another—but different. Each offers a distinct design concept: contemporary or nostalgic. As a result, photographers can choose a 50mm f/1.4 lens that best fits their style, creative aesthetic and applications.
Moreover, they are based on the legacy smc Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4 standard lens that launched in 1991 for film SLRs. In recent years, this base model has gained popularity because it delivers a distinctive image rendition at open and larger apertures. Further, it’s a rendition completely different from those produced by today’s digital-specific lenses.
Common Lens Features
Both new lenses offer the same focal length and open aperture. What’s more, despite their compact dimensions, they incorporate large-diameter optical elements that cover the full-frame image circle of K-mount cameras. However, the optical engineers designed them to produce distinctively different image renditions.
Further, when mounted on a Pentax digital SLR, photographers can use the lenses as 50mm standard lenses in the full-frame format or 76.5mm medium-telephoto lenses in the APS-C format.
With a full-frame camera, they provide an angle of view close to that of the human visual field. Consequently, they are an option for a range of applications, such as snapshots, scenic images and portraiture.
Their large f/1.4 open aperture also produces images with a very shallow depth of field. In addition, they both have an 8-blade diaphragm control mechanism to produce a soft, natural bokeh (defocus) effect from open aperture to f/2.8. This also helps minimize the streaking effect of point light sources.
Another common feature is a water- and grease-repellent SP (super protect) coating on the front surface of the lenses. As a result, it is easier to wipe off water or stains.
Fully compatible with older K-mount digital SLR and film-format AF SLR cameras, the two lenses allow photographers to retain all camera functions. That’s thanks to the aperture ring installed on the lens body—and a mechanism designed to couple the lens with the camera’s motor-driven, in-body AF system.
HD Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Key Features
For good measure, the HD Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4 adds the latest, high-grade, multilayer HD (high-definition) coating. This is to ensure high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness. The high-performance coating reduces average reflectance and improves light transmittance. Thus, the lens delivers clear, high-contrast images with minimal flare and ghost images even in backlighting.
Retaining the dimensions of its base model—the smc Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4—the new lens measures 2.6×1.6 inches and weighs 7.9 ounces. However, it sports a totally new exterior design, similar to that of the latest DA- and D FA-series lenses. Accordingly, it is a match for the latest Pentax DSLRs.
smc Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic Key Features
The smc Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4 Classic produces an image rendition commonly created by lenses from 50 years ago. When set to open aperture and against strong backlight, it creates the visual effect known as rainbow flare.
Moreover, photographers can change the position and size of the rainbow flare by shifting the relative position of the subject and light source. Consequently, they can create a unique visual expression not available with the latest lenses.
What’s more, by closing down the aperture to f/4 or smaller, photographers can capture sharper, crisper images free of rainbow flare as well as ordinary flare and ghosting.
In addition, this classic version adopts the exterior design of the original smc Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4. Measuring 2.6×1.5 inches and weighing 7.6 ounces, it has a black matte finish and a matte-black focus ring. Absent is the green ring that’s symbolic of recent Pentax digital-specific lenses. The result is the nostalgic appearance of an old-time lens from the film SLR era.
Ricoh Imaging has scheduled both new lenses for a mid-June release. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are $349.95 for the HD Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4 lens and $379.95 for the smc Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4 Classic lens. us.ricoh-imaging.com