Ricoh Announces Two New Pentax Lenses and Show Details of the Next Flagship Pentax APS-C DSLR

Ricoh today announced in a video published on YouTube some details of its upcoming flagship Pentax APS-C DSLR camera, plus the development of three new lenses and finally, a lens roadmap update. The company was originally going to make this announcement on CP+ 2020, but the show was canceled due to the coronavirus. A prototype of the camera was shown at an event in the Netherlands last fall.

According to the video, the most notable feature on this new camera is its entirely new optical viewfinder, which uses a special glass that excels in refraction. Ricoh is targeting a magnification of 1.05x (0.7x 35mm-equivalent), which is the same as on the full-frame K-1. An eye sensor below the viewfinder automatically dims the LCD panel, and the eyecup protrudes further away from the back of the camera than previous models.
Ricoh claims that autofocus subject tracking has been improved, without providing further detail.

Alongside the camera, the company showed the forthcoming D FA 21mm Limited lens as an addition to its range of prime lenses. Like the other Limited lenses, it will feature metal construction and will be available in black or silver.

Unlike the current Limited series lenses, the D FA 21mm will have a built-in DC focus motor, rather than being driven by the camera body. It will also be weather sealed. The lens will be available in 2021.

The company gave more details of the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4ED SDM AW first announced in March 2020. This is the first 85mm Pentax lens designed specifically for digital cameras. The lens will include three super ED lenses, which behave similarly to fluorite elements, to minimize chromatic aberration. They say this should avoid the purple or green edges that can be distracting in wide-aperture portraits.

The design also utilizes a concave front element, which the company says reduces some aberrations. The spherical aberration has been optimized to provide attractive bokeh, rather than solely prioritizing sharpness. They claim this will result in “the finest lens in its class.”

The lens will be launched later in 2020.

For APS-C users, there will be a lens current called the HD Pentax DA* 16-50mm F2.8ED PLM AW, a completely new constant F2.8 standard zoom for APS-C. This, like the 85mm, will be part of the ‘new-generation’ star range.

It will be powered by a PLM ‘Pulse’ motor, which has meant a complete optical redesign with a light focus element to suit the fast, quiet motor. The company is aiming to have the lens ready in the first half of 2021, to more closely coincide with a promised APS-C flagship camera.

The company’s manager of product planning, Tetsuya Iwasaki also promised that the company will also develop some smaller and reasonably priced lenses in the future.

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