West Caldwell, NJ—Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation released the first model in its new generation of Pentax Star-series lenses: the HD Pentax-D FA ★50mm f/1.4 SDM AW. This large-aperture prime lens, engineered for maximum light transmission, is a companion lens for any K-mount digital SLR camera. That includes the full-frame Pentax K-1 and new K-1 Mark II models. Its Pentax K-mount covers the image circle of a 35mm-format full-frame image sensor.
Premium Star-series lenses deliver the highest performance among Pentax interchangeable-lens series. In addition to the initial design concepts of optimum image quality and large apertures for maximum light transmission, the series has embraced the concepts of added toughness and operability.
Developed as an AW (all-weather) model, this lens features a dustproof, weather-resistant body with eight seals to prevent the intrusion of water and dust. When paired with a Pentax weather-resistant DSLR, they form a digital imaging system that can be used in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes and spray.
HD Pentax-D FA ★50mm 1.4 SDM AW Key Features
The lens is the first of a new-generation of Star lenses designed to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness. The result of an extensive review of traditional Star-series standards, it also provides improved resolving power. As a result, it can be used with more advanced, next-generation cameras.
The new model is able to deliver resolving power from the center to the edges of the image field, even when set to open aperture, due to various Pentax lens-coating technologies. These include the new Aero Bright Coating II technology developed for “exceptionally low reflectance and high-grade high-definition (HD) Coating that enable it to produce extra-sharp, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images,” Ricoh announced.
Aero Bright Coating II consists of a silica aerogel layer with a uniform porous structure over a regular multicoating layer. It’s engineered to reduce surface reflections across a wide wavelength range and produce crisp images. By coupling the advanced lens coating with the multilayer HD coating, reflectance in the visible ray spectrum is reduced to less than 50% compared to conventional multilayer coatings. As a result, the lens “reduces flare and minimizes ghost images even in demanding lighting conditions, such as backlighting,” Ricoh added.
Also employed are three super-low dispersion glass elements and one aspherical element to compensate for chromatic and spherical aberrations. Since distortion is minimized even at a focusing distance of one meter, the lens can produce distortion-free images over its entire focusing range.
In addition, its extra-large f/1.4 maximum aperture is useful in a range of applications. They include portraiture with a defocused (bokeh) background as well as handheld shooting indoors.
There is also a newly developed ring-type SDM (supersonic direct-drive motor). It generates as much as 7.5x the torque as the SDM installed in previous-generation Pentax lenses.
The new lens also boasts the following additional features:
・A nine-blade, rounded diaphragm to produce a natural-looking defocus (bokeh) effect up to an f/2.8 aperture setting. It also minimizes the streaking effect of point light sources.
・A minimum focusing distance of 16 inches
・An electromagnetic diaphragm-control mechanism for exposure control during movie recording
・SP (Super Protect) coating to keep the front surface free of dust and spots
The HD Pentax-D FA★50mm f/1.4 SDM AW lens will be available in July for $1,199.95.