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Pentax reveals HD Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR stabilized lens

By dpreview staff on Sep 10, 2012 at 22:00 GMT

Pentax Ricoh has revealed the HD Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AR SR, an image-stabilized 71mm-equivalent macro lens for its 645D medium-format DSLR. The lens offers maximum magnification of 0.5x, when focused at its 41cm (1.36") minimum focusing distance. It features the company's HD and nano-scale Aero Bright coatings to maximise light transmission while reducing internal reflection. The design features 11 elements in 9 groups and the Quick-shift system for switching between autofocus and MF modes.

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Press Release:

PENTAX Announces New 90mm Macro Lens

New HD PENTAX D FA 645 MACRO 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR lens designed exclusively for the PENTAX medium format 645D SLR camera body

DENVER, CO (September 10, 2012) PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION (PENTAX), today announces the HD PENTAX D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR interchangeable medium-telephoto lens, designed for the company’s 645D SLR medium format camera. When mounted on a PENTAX 645D, this lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal length of approximately 71mm (or approximately 56mm when mounted on a PENTAX 645 film-format camera body). By incorporating two ED (extra-low dispersion) elements and one glass-molded aspherical element in its optics, the lens assures high resolution image reproduction over the entire image field, while effectively minimizing chromatic aberration – a problem commonly associated with fast lenses.

“The new HD PENTAX D FA 645 90mm lens was designed exclusively for our 645D medium-format SLR cameras and it marks an important expansion in our medium-format lens lineup,” explains John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX. “This versatile medium telephoto lens is ideal not only for portrait and macro photography, but scenic and still life photography as well.”

The FA 645 90mm lens offers macro photography at a maximum magnification of 0.5X. In close-up applications, its floating mechanism effectively compensates for the curvature of the field to assure sharp, well-defined images.

PENTAX D FA 645 90mm HD Lens Features

New HD Coating and Aero Bright Coating to optimize light transmittance and minimize reflection
This lens is treated with HD Coating*, a newly developed, high grade multi-layer lens coating , which offers higher light transmittance with reduced reflection, to deliver sharp, clear images free of flare and ghosting, even under demanding lighting conditions such as backlight. By coupling this coating with the PENTAX-exclusive, high grade Aero Bright Coating,** this lens optimizes light transmittance while minimizing refraction.

* HD stands for High Definition, and signifies the lens’s capacity to reproduce images that excel in transparency, definition, resolution and rendition.
** A PENTAX-original lens coating process developed through the use of advanced nanotechnology. Using a silica aerogel with a uniform porous structure as the base material, this coating produces clear, high-quality images by assuring an outstanding anti-reflection performance over a broad wavelength range.

PENTAX-original, lens-based SR mechanism
This is the first lens to incorporate the PENTAX-innovated SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism within the lens barrel. Since this mechanism effectively compensates for camera shake up to approximately 3.5 shutter steps, the user is assured of sharp, blur-free images even under conditions prone to camera shake, such as when handholding the camera in poorly lit locations without flash illumination, or when photographing sunset scenes.

Dustproof, weather-resistant construction
Part of the AW (All Weather) series, this lens features a dependable dustproof and weather-resistant construction with 11 special seals to effectively prevent the intrusion of dust and water into the lens interior. By mounting it on a PENTAX 645D camera body, the user is assured of a durable, reliable imaging system that performs superbly in demanding outdoor conditions such as rain, mist, or in locations prone to water splashes or spray.

New exterior design signifying HD series
While inheriting traditional design features of PENTAX medium-format lenses, such as a twill-patterned focus ring and metal rings, this lens features a red anodized ring on the front of the focus ring to signify the new HD PENTAX lens series and enhance its exclusive appearance.

Other features:

  • Quick-Shift Focus system for instant switching to manual focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system
  • SP (Super Protect) coating applied to the front surface of the lens to effectively repel water and grease and to allow dust and stains to be easily wiped from the front lens element.
  • Rounded diaphragm blades deliver precise control while producing a smooth, beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus rendition), minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources

For details on the complete line-up of PENTAX lenses, visit: .

Additional information including product specifications is available here: and product images are available here:

♦ Designs and specifications are subjects to change without notice.

Pricing & Availability
The HD PENTAX D FA 645 MACRO 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR lens will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in October 2012 with a suggested retail price of $4,499.95.

Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90 F2.8ED AW SR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size645
Image stabilisationYes
Lens mountPentax KAF2, Pentax 645AF2
Maximum apertureF2.8
Minimum apertureF22.0
Number of diaphragm blades9
Minimum focus0.41 m (16.26)
Maximum magnification0.5×
Full time manualUnknown
Weight1040 g (2.29 lb)
Diameter91 mm (3.58)
Length117 mm (4.61)
Filter thread67 mm
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 37
John Liang
By John Liang (Sep 14, 2012)

I own all existing Pentax 645 F/2.8 Lens. None of them is as expensive as this one. I understand the price for the 25mm F/4 lens because of its width, because it is the widest among all Medium Format 645 Lens (except the brand new Hasselblad's 24 mm).

But the price of this 90mm F/2.8 is just way, way overpriced. Think about this: 75mm F/2.8 Lens is quite a bit under $1000. 120 mm F/4 Macro Lens is a few hundred dollars under $2000. 150mm F/2.8 Lens is just a little bit more than $1000. And this 90mm F/2.8 costs $4500!

I personally own another set of Medium format system, Mamiya 645DF. The price of this Pentax Lens matches the Phase One/Mamiya/Schneider Leaf-Shutter 110mm F/2.8 Lens. What do you think? Tell me how come can this Pentax Lens compare to the Schneider 110mm F/2.8 Lens?

I just cannot justify buying this lens over the Schneider Lens for my other system.

Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 11, 2012)

"HD Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AR SR," hmmm"

Well, although it looks like a great deal for only US$4,500, I must say that I usually don't much trust lenses with such short model names.

By nicolaiecostel (Sep 11, 2012)

So Pentax finally dropped the ball and introduced in-lens stabilisation. Oh dear, I can still hear fanboys explaining how much better it is to have sensor IS vs. lens IS.

By Peiasdf (Sep 11, 2012)

Pentax is not SONY. The enginuity required to shift the entire sensor is too much for Pentax.

By JensR (Sep 11, 2012)

I'm sure my sarcasm meter must be broken, but just in case you are serious:
1) Pentax has had IBIS in their APS-C cameras for years
2) This SR lens is for their medium format camera
I think there is not a single other stabilised MF system and if there is, it's not from Sony.

By gillamoto (Nov 3, 2012)

IBIS is for aps-c bodies. 645D is a Medium Format body. the size of the image circle is different.

By whoami524 (Sep 11, 2012)

I like it!!!!!!!!!

By BrightEyesOnFire (Sep 11, 2012)

$4500 for a slow medium prime...LOL okay maybe like five people will buy it.

1 upvote
By AkinaC (Sep 11, 2012)

the physical aperture hole of a MF lens is much larger than 35mm's, numbers on the spec sheet isn't everything...

1 upvote
By BrightEyesOnFire (Sep 11, 2012)

The physical size of the aperture is irrelevant without considering the dize of the sensor...but you knew that, why make these dumb arguments?

Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Sep 12, 2012)

Sorry, Andrew, but the physical sizes of the aperture is totally relevant, and it is you who are making the dumb arguments.

By Maxfield_photo (Sep 13, 2012)

Know of any other macro lenses faster than 2.8? Besides, you don't shoot macros at 2.8 unless if you're using them for portraiture, in which case 2.8 is razor thin on medium format.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Sep 15, 2012)

Actually, yes. The Oly 50mm f2 is one of the finest macros I've ever used, and can stand comfortably with the Cosina-Zeiss 50mm and 100mm, which are both also f2. (I bet the 100mm would have no trouble covering the 55mm diagonal of a 645D, if CZ brought out one in that mount). And don't forget the Tamron 60mm f2.0.

I also have some microscope objectives (really high performance macros) that are a lot faster than f2, like f1.1 fast.

There's a lot of technical reasons for shooting macros at f2.8, including maximum resolution when using focus stacking to increase DOF. And don't forget, f2.8 extended to 1:1 magnification is f5.6, and that's closing in on where you'll lose resolution due to diffraction on smaller sensors, although 645D should be safe.

By gillamoto (Nov 3, 2012)

F2.8 on 645 body is like F1.8 on 35mm bodies. is it slow?

By qwertyasdf (Sep 11, 2012)

Actually the sensor size of the 645D is not 645 right?

1 upvote
By Zebooka (Sep 11, 2012)

What is 645? All 645 film cameras have different frame size and it is not equal to 6x4.5

By gdfthr73 (Sep 11, 2012)

Right. The sensor is about twice the size of a 35mm sensor(44mm x 33mm) but still about 2/3 the size of a true medium format 645 film size(56mmx40mm).

I would love to see a full frame medium format camera or back. even at a lower resolution.

Full frame 6x6 or 645 at a lower resolution 10-20mp at a reasonable price would be amazing!

Chez Wimpy
By Chez Wimpy (Sep 11, 2012)

6x6 at 10mp... postcard shooters unite?

By mgrum (Sep 11, 2012)

gdfthr73: Hasselblad and PhaseOne both have 54mm x 40mm sensors.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
By Alizarine (Sep 11, 2012)


ah yes, and they cost more than twice a 645D...

By s2eves (Sep 11, 2012)

If we assume the minimum focussing distance is actually 0.41 m (41 cm), the the conversion to inches - stated in brackets - is incorrect.

By MusicmanUK (Sep 11, 2012)

I puzzled over that for a few seconds too.

I think it's a typo - should be 1.36' (although I calculate that 41cm = 1.345 feet so the MFD may be very slightly longer than 41cm)

By Peiasdf (Sep 11, 2012)

I think Pentax should really really get working on a FF camera. 645D is good but D800E is matching it in IQ and far exceeding it in practicality.

G Davidson
By G Davidson (Sep 11, 2012)

Of course if they did that, they'd be competing for a slice of the small FF pie with Nikon & Canon, who probably have much better autofocus than they could manage. A disappointing product may be worse than none at all. With the APS-C cameras, there is at least a lot more to o around and their specialised lenses make it attractive.

This reminds me of Leica's delay in an R system camera, making their 'almost' medium-format S range instead. Even if the D800 almost matches their quality, they have a lot more leeway to use a better sensor next time and have lenses that can make full use of it.

By Higuel (Sep 11, 2012)

Pleiasdf: I was going to press like when i realised u were speaking about ff35mm!
If they did that probably they would loose (one of) the best relation quality-price of theyr dslrs.
What we need here is a FULL FRAME 645!!! :D (costing the same as a dslr so i can afford it ;I

By Peiasdf (Sep 11, 2012)

Maybe Pentax can get a box of 56*48mm "FF medium" sensor at Kodak's clearance sale. They will be quite outdated thought.

Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Sep 11, 2012)


By plevyadophy (Sep 11, 2012)


Am I mistaken, but doesn't this lens make the Pentax system the first image stabilized medium format digital system?

If so, that is quite significant and I am surprised that they haven't made more of that fact.

By RStyga (Sep 11, 2012)

Yes, this is Pentax. Producing niche products... It is a sound strategic & marketing practice. Well done, Pentax!

By Maxfield_photo (Sep 11, 2012)

Pentax's marketing department is, well... ... I'm not even sure they have a marketing department. Remember their slogan a few years ago? "Be Interesting" Yeah... might wanna take your own advice there, guys.

1 upvote
By peevee1 (Sep 11, 2012)

People are shooting these things handheld? Great, a photo session and an exercise in one.

By gillamoto (Nov 3, 2012)

I tried it for a couple of photo sessions with 55mm F2.8 handheld. the weight doesn't much different than canikon FFs. much lighter than hasselblads.

By disasterpiece (Sep 10, 2012)

Isn't this f/2.8 something like nothing special for a prime lens? I don't know if the comparison would be appropriate, but Nikon's 85 f/1.4 is several times faster and costs almost three times less.
P.S. I forgot this was also a 1:2 macro. But still, even if it covers medium format, it looks overpriced to me.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
Andrew Booth
By Andrew Booth (Sep 10, 2012)

The larger sensor means lower depth of field, so the f2.8 on the Pentax will behave like a f2 or faster on your Nikon.
Medium format cameras have never really had (or needed) lenses as fast as 35mm.
The price looks appropriate for a specialist MF prime that's going to end up being sold in low volumes.

By mgrum (Sep 11, 2012)

You're obviously not familiar with

a) medium format lens speeds (f/2.8 is about as fast as they come)
b) medium format prices!

By slncezgsi (Sep 10, 2012)

Pentax should definitely work on lenses for the 645D system, so it is good to see another one. I am only surprised that this lens has rather short focal length. Even considering the crop factor compared to full frame 645 format, this lens has shorter effective focal length than a 120 (standard marco focal length) on 645.

Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (Sep 10, 2012)

They *are* working on more lenses. Next will be 3 zooms (wide/standard/tele), according to the roadmap:

Total comments: 37