Pentax photographers may have to wait a little longer for the new APC-S K-3 II replacement DSLR to break cover, but there is plenty good news when it comes to lenses as the brand has announced a number of new optics, including the star of the show, the HD PENTAX-D FA★85mmF1.4ED SDM AW.
The new 85mm is from Pentax’s luxury line of optics and will work with both full-frame and APS-C DSLRs – for APS-C cameras the focal length will switch to 127mm thanks to the 1.5x crop factor. Whichever body you choose to use the new 85mm lens with, one thing is clear; this is the lens all Pentax portrait photographers have been waiting for.
The 85mm f/1.4 is the second lens to join Pentax’s premium Star series of optics and sits alongside the 50mm f/1.4 that was launched just over a year ago. Including three Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to effectively minimise chromatic aberration, the lens features a nine-bladed aperture for that all-important natural bokeh – a must when shooting portraits.
Like Pentax’s ranges of DSLRs, the D FA 85mm lens features robust weather-resistant construction with no less than eight seals, enabling photographers to use the optic in harsh conditions and an SP coating helps keep the front element free from dust and oil spots that can lead to extra time in post processing.
Powered by an all-new SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive) ring motor developed exclusively for the 85mm lens for faster and quieter autofocus, Pentax says the new optic will offer ‘high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness’.
The announcement for the HD PENTAX-D FA★85mmF1.4ED SDM AW (which will cost £1899/£2099 and is available to pre-order now) comes hot on the heels of the brand updating photographers on incoming lenses. The first is the HD PENTAX-DA 16-50mm F2.8 – a fast aperture wide-angle lens with a constant maximum aperture throughout the focal range. Also in development is the Pentax D FA 21mm Limited, with both lenses expected to drop by spring 2021.
Pentax also used an online presentation to give an update on the highly anticipated replacement for the brand’s flagship APS-C DSLR, the K-3 II, with Pentax executives revealing the new model will sport an advanced optical viewfinder along with a sensor below the viewfinder that will dim the LCD when the photographer raises the camera to their eye. Also revealed is the fact that the new DSLR will have an accompanying battery grip, which could point towards the new model being focused more towards sports and wildlife photography.