Ricoh has announced the development of two new optics which the company says are ‘new-generation, high-performance Star-series lenses designed for tomorrow’s super-high-megapixel, super-high-resolution digital photography.’
The two lenses, the HD PENTAX-D FA 50mm F1.4 SDM AW and the HD PENTAX-DA 11-18mm F2.8, were exhibited at the Photo Plus Expo in New York this week and will also be on display at the SALON de la PHOTO in Paris, starting November 9. The lenses are the first two models of the new-generation Star series and it seems that Ricoh (who own and make Pentax gear) is aiming to set a new benchmark in quality for its optics, with the company explaining; ‘While retaining existing design concepts, the series underwent a drastic review of in-house standards, especially on resolving power. Because of this, these new lenses have been designed to provide excellent imaging performance when used in combination with a PENTAX digital SLR camera, making them ideal for the coming age of super-high-performance, super-high-resolution digital photography.’
The HD PENTAX-D FA 50mm F1.4 SDM AW optic is a full-frame lens with an all-weather design to resist dust and rain. With a minimum shooting distance of 40cm, the lens will benefit from a ultra fast aperture of f/1.4 and a newly developed ring-shaped SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) for faster, quieter AF operation. The lens will be compatible with Pentax’s flagship full-frame DSLR, the K-1.
The HD PENTAX-DA 11-18mm F2.8 meanwhile has been designed for APS-C cameras like Pentax’s K-3 II and will offer excellent resolution even at the max open aperture of f/2.8. With the Pentax APS-C 1.5x crop factor, the 35mm equivalent focal length is actually 17-27mm, making the lens suitable for landscape photography.
While no pricing information has been released, Ricoh has confirmed the approximate release dates, with the HD PENTAX-D FA 50mm F1.4 SDM AW scheduled for spring 2018 and the HD PENTAX-DA 11-18mm F2.8 to follow in summer 2018. What do you think of the upcoming lenses and could this mean Ricoh is prepping for a super high-megapixel follow up to the Pentax K-1?