Ricoh announced the HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 and the smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic lenses. Developed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, these new compact standard lenses are similar but different. Each offers a unique design concept, allowing photographers to choose the lens that best fits their style, creative aesthetic, and applications.
The new lenses are based on the legacy smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 lens, launched in 1991 as a standard lens for film-format SLR cameras. In recent years, this base model has gained popularity because it delivers a distinctive image rendition at open and larger apertures — a rendition completely different from those produced by today’s digital-specific lenses.
Both feature the same focal length and open aperture and—despite the lenses’ compact dimensions—both incorporate large-diameter optical elements that cover the full-frame image circle of K-mount cameras. However, the lenses are designed to produce distinctively different image renditions, allowing photographers to choose the lens that best meets their needs.
The HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 adds the latest, high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating to ensure high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness while retaining the dimensions of its base model — the smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 — this lens features a new exterior design, similar to that of the latest DA- and D FA-series lenses. This makes it a perfect match for the latest PENTAX digital SLR cameras.
The smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic produces a unique image rendition commonly created by lenses designed 50 years ago. When set to open aperture and against strong backlight, it produces a unique visual effect commonly known as a rainbow flare. The photographer can change the position and size of the rainbow flare by shifting the relative position of the subject and light source, creating a one-and-only visual expression not available with the latest lenses. By closing down the aperture to F4 or smaller, the photographer can capture sharper, crisper images that are free of not only rainbow flare, but also ordinary flare and ghost images. The smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic retains the exterior design of the original smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4, with a black matte finish and a matte-black focus ring. It has no green ring — the symbolic design of recent PENTAX digital-specific lenses — to recreate the nostalgic appearance of an old-time lens from the film-format SLR era.
The new lenses will be available mid-June at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices are $349.95 for the HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 lens and $379.95 for the smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic lens.