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Ricoh announces 'HD' update to Pentax DA Limited primes

By dpreview staff on Aug 27, 2013 at 22:00 GMT

Ricoh Imaging has announced an updated set of Pentax DA Limited primes, with improved lens coatings and circular aperture diaphragms. Based on the existing 15mm F4, 21mm F3.2, 35mm F2.8 Macro, 40mm F2.8 and 70mm F2.4 designs, the 'HD' versions gain Pentax's multi-layer HD (High Definition) coating, promising reduced flare and ghosting, and include diaphragms that are completely rounded at large aperture settings to give attractive background blur. Other specs, including physical dimensions, optical formulae, minimum focus distance and maximum magnification remain largely unchanged. The lenses will all available in September 2013, in a choice of silver or black. 

US and UK suggested retail prices for the HD DA Limited lenses are as follows:

 US SRPUK RRP
HD PENTAX DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited  $699.95 £589.99
HD PENTAX DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited $699.95 £589.99
HD PENTAX DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited $749.95 £639.99
HD PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited $549.95 £439.99
HD PENTAX DA 70mm F2.4 Limited  $749.95 £639.99

Jump to:


Press Release:

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation Introduces Five HD PENTAX DA Limited Lenses

New Lenses feature enhanced performance with high-grade HD coating and new rounded diaphragms for stunning bokeh effects

DENVER, CO, August 27, 2013 – Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (Ricoh Imaging) is pleased to announce the introduction of five new HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses. The acclaimed HD PENTAX DA Limited series of prime lenses, specifically designed for the PENTAX  K-mount DSLR cameras includes the HD PENTAX DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited, HD PENTAX DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited, HD PENTAX DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited, HD PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited and HD PENTAX DA 70mm F2.4 Limited, elevating optical design and performance.

Touting highly-enhanced optical performance the HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses feature treatments of both SP (Super Protect) coating and the PENTAX-original high-grade multi-layer HD (High Definition) coating, which assures much higher light transmittance than conventional multi-layer coatings delivering sharp, clear images with significantly reduced flare and ghosting, even under demanding, backlit conditions. All five lens models have also been upgraded with completely rounded aperture diaphragms at wide aperture settings for optimal optics performance and gorgeous bokeh effects.

“Ricoh Imaging continues to innovate and improve all aspects of photography,” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Imaging. “With an industry-leading 24 APS-C optimized lenses our family of K-mount DSLRs and lenses provides consumers with a system that has been fine-tuned and meticulously architected for optimal image output. And, with enhancements like HD coating, we are continuously helping consumers achieve more technically sound images.”

Inheriting the distinctive visual description and premium appearance of the lauded PENTAX Limited Lens series, the refreshed line of HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses features a meticulous finish in every detail, from the outstanding image rendition to the high-quality, hand-machined aluminum body, the refreshed lineup provides the utmost durability and elegant design.

Pricing and Availability

The HD PENTAX DA Limited Lens series will be available for purchase in a choice of black or silver at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com and retail outlets nationwide in September 2013 with the following suggested retail prices:

  • HD PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited- $549.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited- $699.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited- $699.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited- $749.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 70mm F2.4 Limited- $749.95

Major Features (common to all five models):

1. High-grade HD coating for exceptional image rendition

HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses are treated with HD coating*, a high-grade multi-layer lens coating that assures higher light transmittance and lower reflectance than conventional multi-layer coatings. As the result, HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses produce sharp, clear images free of flare and ghost images, even under such adverse lighting conditions as backlight.
*HD stands for High Definition, and signifies the lens’s capacity to reproduce images that excel in transparency, definition, resolution and rendition.

2. Round-shaped diaphragm for beautiful out-of-focus rendition

All lenses feature a completely round-shaped diaphragm to optimize the performance of their distinctive optics. This diaphragm produces a natural, beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.

3. Acclaimed Limited Lens-series qualities for distinctive visual description and a premium appearance

While inheriting the design concept of the Limited Lens series, these lenses were designed by combining a series of mechanical and numerical evaluations with human assessment of test-shooting samples to assure supreme image reproduction. Their optical design has been optimized for digital photography to deliver sharp, clear images with outstanding contrast, even at the maximum aperture. In addition, their lens barrel, hood and cap are all made of a high-grade aluminum material, hand-machined for perfect proportions and beautiful texture.

4. Enhanced exterior design signifying HD series

While inheriting traditional design features of DA PENTAX Limited Lenses the new HD PENTAX DA Limited lens series features a red anodized ring on the front of the focus ring to signify the presence of new HD PENTAX lens coating and enhance its exclusive appearance.

5. Other features

  • SP (Super Protect) coating (already featured in four other lenses) has been applied to the HD PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited to keep the front surface free of dust and stains.
  • All the lenses come in a silver version in addition to the black version.

Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

Pentax HD DA Limited lenses specifications

 HD Pentax DA 15mm F4 ED AL LimitedHD Pentax DA 21mm F3.2 AL LimitedHD Pentax DA 35mm F2.8 Macro LimitedHD Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 LimitedHD Pentax DA 70mm F2.4 AL Limited
Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format sizeAPS-C / DX
Focal length15 mm21 mm35 mm40 mm70 mm
Image stabilisationNo
Lens mountPentax KAF
Aperture
Maximum apertureF4.0F3.2F2.8F2.4
Minimum apertureF22.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades979
Aperture notesRounded aperture diaphragm
Optics
Elements8956
Groups65845
Special elements / coatings1 Hybrid aspherical element, 1 ED glass element, High-grade multi-layer HD (High Definition) CoatingHigh-grade multi-layer HD (High Definition) Coating
Focus
Minimum focus0.18 m (7.09)0.20 m (7.87)0.14 m (5.47)0.40 m (15.75)0.70 m (27.56)
Maximum magnification0.15×0.17×1×0.13×0.12×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeScrew drive from camera
Full time manualYes
Focus methodUnitExtending front
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleYesNoYes
Physical
Weight189 g (0.42 lb)134 g (0.30 lb)214 g (0.47 lb)80 g (0.18 lb)147 g (0.32 lb)
Diameter63 mm (2.48)
Length40 mm (1.56)25 mm (0.98)47 mm (1.83)15 mm (0.59)26 mm (1.02)
ColourBlack, Silver
Filter thread49 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codebuilt-in hoodMH-RBB43built-in hoodMH-RE49MH-RF49
Tripod collarNo

Additional images

15mm F4 in black 15mm F4 in silver, hood extended
21mm F3.2 in black 21mm F3.2 in silver, with hood
35mm F2.8 Macro in black 35mm F2.8 in silver, hood extended
40mm F2.8 pancake in black 40mm F2.8 in silver with screw-in hood
70mm F2.4 in black 70mm F2.4 in silver with screw-in hood
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Comments

Total comments: 198
12
Madaboutpix
By Madaboutpix (7 months ago)

Given the unchanged optical formular, the updates may not change the resolution characteristics of these lenses. But the updates should nonetheless affect IQ by reducing flare even further, increasing transmission, and enhancing bokeh. That's what I call progress where it matters. Notice that we're talking lenses whose smc versions already enjoy solid reputations among photographers who actually use them. They may have not excelled in all the laboratory tests they were put through, but somehow, for no particular reason (as Forrest Gump would say), they consistently reward you whenever you slap them on a Pentax and really shoot them - at least that's my experience with the DA 15 and 35mm Macro Limiteds on my K-7. Mechanically, they're just a dream. They're small, discrete, and immensely enjoyable. WR would have been great, yes, but even without the updates are to be welcomed and strike me as clever marketing on Ricoh's part. I wouldn't hesitate to use them on a future 24MP body ...

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
kenyee
By kenyee (7 months ago)

ditto WR....doesn't make sense to just add an HD coating to these :-P

And I still like my FA lenses..just wish they were WR..

0 upvotes
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (8 months ago)

Normal lenses looks like... lenses! Booring, just made for being functional.

BUT LOKS AT THESE!!!! They all are very beautifully crafted. I wish to own a pentax K-30 one day...And use some of those.

4 upvotes
Michael Barkowski
By Michael Barkowski (8 months ago)

I would have been more impressed if they added two different initials. Instead of HD, how about WR?

0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (8 months ago)

Not too sure many out there appreciate the relative optical simplicity and unmatched performance potential of single focal length/prime lenses.

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (8 months ago)

APS-C max ! Kiss your full frame Pentax dreams goodbye ! I guess I will just use my FF PK mount lenses with my full frame Sony NEX-VG900 ;)

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

FA = farewell Asahi

0 upvotes
waxwaine
By waxwaine (8 months ago)

No Pentax FF dream or need here. Totally pleased with my compact APS-C sensor. Enjoy your tendinitis with your noisy max 6400 iso performance.

4 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (8 months ago)

max 6400 iso on full frame Sony sensors ? Is that a joke or what ?http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Ratings

$6,000 Nikon D4 vs $180 Sony NEX-3N @ 12800 iso :http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7352/9297888590_7b3dfd678d_o.jpg

Pentax Q vs Sony NEX-3N size comparison :http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3694/8759364204_00414bb129_k.jpg

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Macintosh Sauce
By Macintosh Sauce (8 months ago)

This is interesting, because they come in both black and silver. This must mean that Ricoh is going to release black and silver versions of the new K-3/K-3s. :D

I'm waiting for the new K-3s - I will be all over that with the five DA Limited primes. :)

0 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (8 months ago)

I agree, except I suspect it will be black and silver in the one camera with a retro SLR design.

0 upvotes
fakuryu
By fakuryu (8 months ago)

People saying that the Limiteds are expensive and low performing obviously never shot with quality lenses before.

5 upvotes
Jonathan Lee
By Jonathan Lee (8 months ago)

with HD on lenses, does it mean the next gen camera will have killer quality on video? :)

0 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (8 months ago)

Ricoh/Pentax said they are not interested in HD video and it shows. They should come out with WR versions to match the new flashes.

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

Ricoh / Pentax never said that, Joe. In a year ago interview, they only said that they can't increase video performance with current hardware, because video is hardware dependant. They didn't tell anything about what they plan for the future.

0 upvotes
photosen
By photosen (8 months ago)

The silver ones are downright pornographic.

5 upvotes
Stefan M
By Stefan M (8 months ago)

They have great IQ and the built is fantastic. The lenses were the reason I bought Pentax and there is not single reason to switch to another system.
And by the way: K-5 definately is pro gear quality. Claiming that FF equals Pro is utter nonsense.

A lot of people seem to complain about these lenses being slow. But those seem to think that photography is about shooting at 1.4 all the time. Might explain all the boring and pointless bokeh shots around.

Cheers

14 upvotes
Collie Camp
By Collie Camp (8 months ago)

Pro Gear? IMO even compared to a semipro Nikon D7000, the Pentax seems not as well build. No offence.

Just saying: if you pick up a Canon 5d Mk3 it feels like a brick - I think Pentax needs something on that build-level too for these nice Limited Lenses.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
fakuryu
By fakuryu (8 months ago)

"Pro Gear? IMO even compared to a semipro Nikon D7000, the Pentax seems not as well build. No offence.

Just saying: if you pick up a Canon 5d Mk3 it feels like a brick - I think Pentax needs something on that build-level too for these nice Limited Lenses."

You obviously never held a K5 before. Comparing a K5 magnesium body to a plastic D7000 body?

BTW the K5 feels every bit as a brick like the 5DIII, 1DX, D800, D3s, D300s and 7D

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

These are the killers.... Very good move, Pentax. But what I don't understand is why Canon Red on Pentax lenses.... What happened to green?

0 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (8 months ago)

A red ring signifies the top of the line Ricoh 'GR' lenses, so maybe they've adopted this now for Pentax branded lenses as well.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (8 months ago)

I think it makes more marketing sense if big players stick with their distinctive color so when people spot the lens, they know which brand it is.

Canon = Red
Nikon = Yellow
Olympus = Blue
Pentax = Green

These colors are very established, if Pentax changed it, that means it now has to start from ground zero to rebuild its brand recognition.

3 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (8 months ago)

Yes, but green doesn't actually signify top of the line when it comes to Pentax. That's reserved for the additional gold ring such as on the DA 55mm. And on the FA Limiteds there're no rings at all.

Anyway the red ring already appears on the other two new Pentax HD-coated lenses - the DA 560mm and the 645 90mm Macro.

0 upvotes
Alex Sarbu
By Alex Sarbu (8 months ago)

That's no Canon Red; and by the way Canon don't have exclusive rights over the red color (Leica might have something to say about that).
Canon is actually using several colors for their lens rings, including green. Pentax is doing the same, nothing wrong with that... and going for a different, distinctive color for their HD lens line makes sense.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

basically lenses should be black with red markings/decorations because they should not reflect light (we have white ones for outdoors under the sun for the temperature may go too high to damage the lens).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (8 months ago)

Given Pentax's propensity towards garishly painted cameras I guess we should be thankful it's not tartan plaid or pink polka-dots.

1 upvote
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (8 months ago)

Who buys 40-43mm lens anyway? What is it good for? Will they ever make 24mm/f2 lens? Or 17-70 f2.8-4.0? Is it so hard? Sigma can do it! What are they doing all day long? Otherwise not bad system.
PS. Maybe Ricoh will come up with a better(zoom) model soon....

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Photo_AK
By Photo_AK (8 months ago)

43 mm is the REAL normal focal length for leica format, it equals the diagonal of the 24 X 36 imaging area. True, Ricoh does not YET sell or produce a full frame DSLR, but that can change. So yes, 43 mm does make sense, a lot of it.

1 upvote
Den Sh
By Den Sh (8 months ago)

These are DA lens meaning that they only cover APS-C image circle. 40mm is really quite far away from true normal 27/28mm on the cropped sensor.

0 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (8 months ago)

I suppose on whether you like the short tele that the 40mm will bring. Personally I rather like it, it suits my style as a walkaround lens most of the time.
One thing though, Pentax in the 60's produced a 55mm Lens as the standard prime, and Nikon for a time produced their Standard prime of 58mm, again back in the sixties. So the 40mm on APS-C is not that far off that focal length.
But then again, the 40mm is not for everyone which I can appreciate.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

it's less difficult to make a 24/2 for APS-C SLR than 35mm format (because of very different angle of view) but it's easier to make for mirrorless mounts (NEX, X, and EF-M) for shorter back focus (18 < 24mm).

just let APS-C SLRs die, and these lovely high cost low performance Pentax lenses.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (8 months ago)

^^ Agree with you on high cost but disagree with you completely and irrevocably on the low performance part.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (8 months ago)

What's wrong with a 40 mm lens for APS-C? Any focal length can take good photos. This obsession with certain focal lengths is strange IMHO. The only focal length I do not like is 135 mm EQ (i.e. 90 mm for APS-C). This focal length forces you to take one step back when taking portraits. Very impractical IMHO.

1 upvote
Silvarum
By Silvarum (8 months ago)

@Den Sh: DA 40mm (and DA 70mm as well) covers FF circle.

0 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (8 months ago)

Now there is something I never thought I would see Pentax do ...nice work Ricoh.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (8 months ago)

I learned something today. Really outstanding lenses are expensive. Perhaps 1/4 the price of Leica but still expensive.

0 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (8 months ago)

Wow, these lenses are expensive.

I got the Sony 30/35/50/85 primes for not much more than the DA 35mm f/2.8 itself

1 upvote
silver knight
By silver knight (8 months ago)

you're comparing plastic to metal?

what about planar/distagon 85mm / 24mm/35mm. These all run $1500 each. Granted its a faster lens but these pentax lenses are built for size not speed.

5 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (8 months ago)

no, i'm comparing the min cost of entry into a lens system.
the plastic shell doesn't affect the ability of the lens to take good photos.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

> the plastic shell doesn't affect the ability of the lens to take good photos.

that claim may not be true that plastic is more resistant to heat and thermal expansion thus better optical quality than metal though it may worn out over time (ultraviolet, but most people won't have the issue).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
silver knight
By silver knight (8 months ago)

>no, i'm comparing the min cost of entry into a lens system.

well pentax wins there too - go to any yard sale and find an old k1000 with 2-3 used lenses for $50 - bingo you're set.

they also have the 35/50mm plastics too if you really need AF
(you could also probably get a mz50 with 2 AF kit lenses for $50 at a yard sale too)

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (8 months ago)

They need redesign, not just improved coatings and aperture blades (I prefer straight anyway, easier to get "stars").

Today Pentax shooter best bet is adapted lens and Sigma offerings.

0 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (8 months ago)

May I ask how would a redesign make them better? SDM/DC = Larger. WR = larger. Faster = Larger.
If you want faster, but not too much larger, then the three FA Limiteds will be the better but more expensive option
40mm but faster - Get the FA43mm F1.9
70mm but faster - Get the FA77mm F1.8
35mm but faster - Get the FA31mm F1.8 but lose the Macro.

As they stand, the DA Limiteds are unique. Small sharp gems that perform and provide superb IQ even from wide open. They are beautifully crafted and have very high quality optics.
Personally I would'nt change them at all.

9 upvotes
gorankh
By gorankh (8 months ago)

The discontinued FA 50mm 1.4 is small and fast (and affordable). Why not make a Limited version of it.

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (8 months ago)

FA50/1.4 and FA35/2 are not discontinued. Easy to buy new lenses.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Pentax 50/1.4 and 35/2 primes, not very good in today's standard (compared with 20 years old Canon) were good lenses before.

Pentax lenses were called "poor man's Zeiss, better in quality." only those who have money to burn deserve to use inferior Leica and Zeiss products.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
1 upvote
BorisAkunin
By BorisAkunin (8 months ago)

Ricoh has only been making incremental changes in the Pentax lineup lately, if that were all they're going to do it would be quite disappointing...
What these changes have in common is that they're all cheap and quick to do so it could just be stop-gap measures while they're working on real improvements.

The K-5II(s)s successor need a substancially better AF-system and they need a number of new lenses for the FF-DSLR that's supposedly in development. I would hope that they are concentrating their resources on that.

The DA Ltd. lineup needs a ~28mm lens and the FA Ltd.'s could use a ~20mm lens.

Let's hope that they'll re-release the FA Limiteds with WR, if they don't they might as well have re-released them with HD-coatings now.

0 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (8 months ago)

Not sure if the DA Limited would need a 28mm. However Pentax DO need a 28mm in their range, maybe two.
DA28mm F2.8 AL with the plastic mount and no focus clutch, like the 35 F2.4 and 50 F1.8 - Cheap lens that performs
DA*28mm F2.0 with SDM or DC drive and fully sealed. Would be big but fast enough to better the budget one, but not too fast as to step on the shoes of the 31mm Limited.
In the meantime I will stick with my SMC-F 28mm F2.8 - A superb lens in itself. :-)

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Ricoh is more like a nursing facility for Pentax.

0 upvotes
kristaps
By kristaps (8 months ago)

Yess! I second the suggestion that Pentax should come out with a 28mm lens!

1 upvote
The Customer
By The Customer (8 months ago)

Hard to believe that SMC's finally been topped, but if that's the case, then right on!

2 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (8 months ago)

I know. I have some old SMC Takumars and early manual SMC-K primes and they are superb! The new HD coating must be something special. I am looking forward to seeing the results. :-)
I wonder what is next? DA* mark2 lenses with the HD coating and a more reliable SDM? Can't wait!

1 upvote
drummercam
By drummercam (8 months ago)

The Pentax Ltd's: Fabulous IQ, meticulous aluminum machining and build quality, compact form, distinctive hoods, APS-C optimized, one 49mm CPL fits all, and a dedicated case that will hold at least 4 of these lenses if you choose to have it. All 5 of these lenses needed no upgrade necessarily because they were excellent already, but they are nonetheless worthy of the effort. The bokeh improvements are probably considerable in at least two of them, and it is in keeping with the Pentax tradition that perfection in these already nice lenses was something yet to strive for . . . and deliver. Complaints about such highly distinctive effort from Pentax leave me cold. This kind of work is why I've stayed with Pentax for 40 years. I'm glad I have only 4 of the original Ltd's. It leaves me the space to own the last one in this new incarnation, and I'll be yet again an early adopter of a Pentax lens (and one of the new flashes).

11 upvotes
mgrum
By mgrum (8 months ago)

Ignore that, don't know what I'm talking about.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mgrum
By mgrum (8 months ago)

N.B. I really can't predict what Pentax are going to do format wise - as they're the manufacture of the world's smallest format interchangeable lens camera (the Q) and also the worlds largest format all-in-one DSLR (the 645D)

0 upvotes
whawha
By whawha (8 months ago)

Too bad they didn't make them waterproof, would have made a lot of sense. Perhaps that would impact on the size and weight? I personally preferred the green rings.
Gripes aside, these and the new waterproof flash are the first serious Pentax offerings in quite a while (meaning not pink gizmos). Hopefully there will be more!

2 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (8 months ago)

Waterproofing would have required a more significant redesign, unfortunately, unlike changing the coating which only changes one small process of manufacture. It would have been nice if all lenses and cameras were waterproof and dustproof, though. We'd see more photos from rainy days when the light is often more interesting than on sunny ones.

1 upvote
fakuryu
By fakuryu (8 months ago)

Why pay premium for a Lexus when we know it is just an expensive Toyota? Same thing goes with the Limiteds. It is well built and has excellent IQ and expect DA-L prices?

1 upvote
kristaps
By kristaps (8 months ago)

I love the looks of the limited lens, but yet do not own any. The price is IMHO too high. I hope the Ricoh manages their distribution and marketing better.
The excellent backwards compatibility and good prices of prices of contemporary lens were one the prime reasons I chose Pentax system.

Now, with recent price increases the latter reason is gone .. unless in the next two years they lower the prices or start offering rebates, I will have to rethink if this system makes economic sense for me. I still can change as I have not invested too much in it.

1 upvote
Ishpuini
By Ishpuini (8 months ago)

I was seriously impressed at Photokina 2012 when I saw the demo comparing HD coating with SMC. I'm glad we're seeing this coating introducing the the entire line-up instead of only in the high profile DA560/5.6 or 645D glass.

The rounded aperture blades will certainly help the longer focal lengths! I won't be updating my DA15 and DA21 yet though, and for now I think I will stick to my older FA limiteds for the longer focal lengths.

Still, a nice update to a great line-up. Guess this means Ricoh/Pentax still sees the limiteds as core of their DSLR ecosystem, which I like because my favourite Pentax DSLR design, i.e. the still current K-7/5/5II(s), was rumoured to be designed for the limited lenses specifically. I'm hoping a new advanced DSLR from Pentax will stay in this tradition as well.

0 upvotes
Mike99999
By Mike99999 (8 months ago)

Silver and black? I sense a retro body coming soon.

3 upvotes
offertonhatter
By offertonhatter (8 months ago)

I only have the 21mm and 40mm Limiteds at the moment, not any of the others.
Whether the HD coating is a big leap over the SMC coating will only be proven when side by side tests are done.
More interesting is the rounded blades in the new versions.
For me, the current 70mm has bokeh that is a tad fussy, not creamy like the 77mm Limited. Possibly the rounded blades will address this on the HD-70mm, and if so, I will certainly be getting one.

1 upvote
foivosloxias
By foivosloxias (8 months ago)

What happened to "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"?
Seriously thinking of changing system.
Well done Ricoh!!!

2 upvotes
stanic042
By stanic042 (8 months ago)

is it bad to make good things better?

3 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

The original expression was 'if it aint broke don't futz with it'.

This goes back to depression era times when people repaired, modified, and otherwise futzed with stuff to extend its life as much as possible. The expression was a warning to keep your hands off if the thing works okay. Don't starting tinkering and tear it up.

Making good things better is good. Futzing with stuff and stubbing your toe is bad. I don't figure this is a stubbed toe moment.

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (8 months ago)

That still applies, meaning if you have these lenses already and they work fine, why buy the new ones or moan about it?

0 upvotes
VaLeX
By VaLeX (8 months ago)

they missed the opportunity to make them weatherproof, to match their bodies.
What a disappointment!

3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (8 months ago)

Those are small limited lenses. Making them water proof would drastically change the mechanical design. I don't know if that is a good choice.

1 upvote
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (8 months ago)

This is the reason why I didn't go with Pentax when I started out photography.

Slow prime lenses are OK if they are reasonably priced. But come on $700 for a slow 21mm f3.2 and $800 for a 15mm f4 ?

Not denying build quality is good but there are so many cheaper lenses out there than you can buy the cheap lenses twice and still come out on top price wise.

I think an m43 system will offer faster but similar size lenses on smaller bodies.

6 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

Interestingly, this is the reason why I did go with Pentax.

14 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

the build quality is really good, better than my door knobs.

2 upvotes
Katier
By Katier (8 months ago)

Well the Nikon 25mm f3.5 is £1400 and the 16mm f2.8 is £619 vs around £400 for both the 15mm and 21mm (based on announced RRP). On top of that you've got the 31mm f1.8 @ £1000 (so not quite as wide as the Nikon, but faster and cheaper).

2 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (8 months ago)

Brendon1000
did you realize than Pentax lenses are pancakes ?
Slower aperture is the price to pay for extreme compacity.

2 upvotes
gazonk
By gazonk (8 months ago)

Wide aperture is not the only metric for good lenses. The DA15 is a very unique lens, with wonderful rendering and absolutely incredible flare resistance. Color, contrast and flare resistance is so good that I wonder if it's really possible for the HD version to make a visible difference!

7 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (8 months ago)

I wouldn't have mind if slow aperture = cheap. But here, slow aperture = expensive ! Small is nice but frankly I use my Sony 16-105mm if I don't want to take a big bag.

If you think the 16-105mm is a crap lens you are mistaken. At times I prefer its output to any of my primes. That it has such a versatile focal length only adds to the charm.

Only issue is the lack of speed which is why I take a 35mm f1.8 and 85mm f1.4 primes around. I picked up the 35mm f1.8 brand new for $179 and its sharp, contrasty and has good bokeh.

The 85mm f1.4 is a Minolta version and I picked it up for around $700.

1 upvote
Heie2
By Heie2 (8 months ago)

@brendon1000: Understood that you don't find reason for the small, slow primes at their prices. Not everyone's cup of tea.

But as soon as you brought in the Sony 16-105 to emphasize your point, every bit of credibility was self-destroyed. You have no concept of these instruments.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (8 months ago)

Why would I take something like 16-105mm when I can take one or two of these pancakes and don't take ANY bag?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (8 months ago)

@Heie2 - Ignoring your slight on my credibility (I am honored you actually thought I had any sort of credibility in the first place ! :P) I am interested in whats the 'concept' of these instruments.

If its IQ and portability then my Sony 16-105mm is pretty compact and fits in a very small bag along with my DSLT. IQ is excellent.

If its portability then whats the point of lugging in a big DSLR ? Go mirror-less in that case for small body + lens. I mean its not like you can do away with a bag unlike in a compact mirrorless camera.

And if its speed then sorry but these lenses are slow ! A Tamron 17-50mm is faster than a few of these primes.

Finally it seems you also don't understand the 'concept' of these lenses either since you have 8 high quality penatx lenses and not one of them is a limited. :)

@Silvarum - So are you going shove the DSLR into your jeans pocket ? I would love to see a few photos of that ! :)

0 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (8 months ago)

@brendon1000 - Just let it hang from the shoulder. With lens that small, camera will not be in your way or attract much attention.

0 upvotes
SETI
By SETI (8 months ago)

Green paint is over =)

1 upvote
stanic042
By stanic042 (8 months ago)

it is not paint but metal ring ;)

0 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (8 months ago)

you're saying paint is naturally green ? ;)

0 upvotes
joseluismx
By joseluismx (8 months ago)

I've gone to many places with only my K-5II and the DA 15mm. The most fun I've ever had shooting photos.

3 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (8 months ago)

now only if Nikon can come up with lenses like these!! or if these lenses come in Nikon mounts... :-)

2 upvotes
fakuryu
By fakuryu (8 months ago)

Slow lenses? Make those lenses a f1.4 and what do you get? Yeah, bigger lenses.

9 upvotes
igruh
By igruh (8 months ago)

Is Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Lim really big and heavy?
That was the real lim.

1 upvote
fakuryu
By fakuryu (8 months ago)

@igruh

The FA43 f1.9 really is not that big but is still a bit longer than than DA 40 f2.8

1 upvote
igruh
By igruh (8 months ago)

That is what I am talking about. A bit longer, but THE stop brighter.

0 upvotes
fakuryu
By fakuryu (8 months ago)

Im on my phone but on the top of my head, it is around 13mm longer which IMHO is a big factor in lens design.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (8 months ago)

Make them faster than f2.0 and they actually become useful. As is, the only advantage they have against an f2.8 zoom is the appearance of better craftsmanship.

0 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (8 months ago)

@tkbslc I don't think you appreciate how small, light, and enjoyable these lenses are to use. I have a set of the older series, and I wouldn't trade 'em for a top-of-the line f/2.8 zoom at any price.

Well, maybe if the zoom were pricey enough to resell and buy the upgraded versions of these.

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (8 months ago)

Seems like a nice update.

Why is it that more Pentaxians post in Canon/Nikon threads due to some perceived slight than in an actual Pentax thread?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

these are good lenses if we go back say 40 years, not today. the old good lenses may be best for video use so they are doing it right. only I don't see once popular K mount for video.

btw, Zeiss T* coating was licensed from Pentax 40 some years ago.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

Have you used these lenses? No? Then you don't know what you are talking about.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (8 months ago)

Nice set of compact primes - Pentax seems to get what is possible with APS-C in terms of offering small, dedicated primes with focal lengths that make sense for a 1.5 crop sensor...

5 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (8 months ago)

True that, it does set them apart from the comp.

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (8 months ago)

I agree in terms of size and focal length. However competitive price and aperture is something they aren't getting.

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

Only competitor doing something similar is Leica, and compared to Leica, Pentax is doing a helluva good job in offering a competitive product.

6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

basically they don't have enough resources to expand to 35mm format (to develop competitive mirror box and AF module, etc.) so they stay in an awkward position of low efficient APS-C SLR.

they have a couple of good DA lenses. one that I liked is 21/3.2 but this is only 32/4.9 equiv. for bulky SLR and not as good as EF-M 22/2 we have now.

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (8 months ago)

Zvonimir Tosic "Only competitor doing something similar is Leica"

Why Leica? What's wrong with all the primes Olympus makes for M4/3?

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

Olympus is doing a fine job,yes. But altogether, Pentax has 8 Limited lenses, and Oly's offer isn't quite there yet.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

And Pentax lenses are all mechanical focus. Quite different.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

Oly and Pentax share something in that they both love small aperture lenses but their market shares are small and have to sell those cheap lenses at high prices.

both of them take advantage of misunderstanding or misknowledge by some users but Oly may be in a better position to cheat.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
stanic042
By stanic042 (8 months ago)

sweet :)

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

I can smell a retro-looking DSLR coming ... available in black, and in silver. LX-style, tilting screen. Oh, how rude! :-D

1 upvote
kwancepts
By kwancepts (8 months ago)

Great, but I am already a happy camper with my FA Limited collection :-)

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
tripodfan
By tripodfan (8 months ago)

It's not about FA vs DA Limited---you can own both!

1 upvote
Jonathan Lee
By Jonathan Lee (8 months ago)

all have the same filter thread size. nice!

2 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (8 months ago)

Those that are upset at the prices of these lenses aren't considering the quality of them. I don't know of another set of lenses for this price, for this quality, in any other manufacturer. I'd be upset if Pentax charged $400.00 for a kit lens but these seem reasonable considering the market and economic times. Plus, those are just MSRP, real prices will be lower.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

C

15 upvotes
pedroboe100
By pedroboe100 (8 months ago)

Furthermore, I find it irritating when people particularly complain about the lens caps. for the love of god, they are Metal! buy a cheapo plastic one if you don't like it, but be happy that you are getting good craftsmanship...

7 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (8 months ago)

Agreed. Many spoiled humans out there.

"You don't get something for nothing"

0 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (8 months ago)

no aperture ring.

0 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (8 months ago)

No DA lens has one.

1 upvote
Robgo2
By Robgo2 (8 months ago)

If Pentax ever produces a FF DSLR, I think we will see the classic FA Limited lenses get the same treatment. They should also add SDM, except this time, it should be with a mechanism that is reliable.

Rob

0 upvotes
solarider
By solarider (8 months ago)

It would defeat the compactness of the the lens line entirely, it would be nice and quiet, but much larger.

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (8 months ago)

Nice lenses. Nutty prices.

3 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (8 months ago)

Anyone else notice how "Pentax" is displayed much less prominently than it was before this re-style?

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

They've just been redesigned and streamlined with more thought. From design's perspective, how many Pentax name iterations is needed in a lens that fits in a shirt pocket? Two? Three? How many Apple name iterations are there per each Apple's device and where it's written?

1 upvote
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Pentax playing Leica... What is the purpose of producing such expensive lenses? Pentax should focus efforts on true innovations rather than boutique products.

3 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

Well, maybe to differentiate itself from a red ocean full of boring, plastic sameness that plague today's digital photography world?

22 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (8 months ago)

People routinely spend $3k+ on a camera body they'll upgrade every 2 years, so what's wrong with paying for beautifully made lenses you can use for a decade or more? I've been using DA Limiteds since I got my first one in 2008, and what can I say - they make photography more enjoyable for me.

15 upvotes
fakuryu
By fakuryu (8 months ago)

Because the IQ of the Limiteds is comparable to a Leica.

2 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

Gary?! The camera is the thing that takes the picture !!!!!!!!!

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (8 months ago)

Poor Ricoh and Pentax. It's not enough to make superb lenses that don't say Nikon or "Zeiss"; they have to offer these lenses at really low prices, too.

1 upvote
citrontokyo
By citrontokyo (8 months ago)

I already have the 21 and 70 and love them, but have been on the fence about the 15. May just have to use it as my dip into HD.

1 upvote
stanic042
By stanic042 (8 months ago)

the red and silver 21/3,2 is my next lens :)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

21/3.2 is a funny lens that it got metal body but plastic element (hybrid plastic on glass aspherical for low manufacturing cost).

0 upvotes
007peter
By 007peter (8 months ago)

Love the lens, hate the price. I had the pleasure of using the older 21mm + 70mm pancake. The hands-on experience is incredible, as good as my father's real West-German Made Zeiss.
But Pentax lens are just TOO EXPENSIVE. I'm mean $749 for a 70mm f/2.4 "TOO SLOW". Make it a 70mm F/1.4 ~ F/1.8, then we're talking. Until then, I can go get a much (1) Sharper (2) Faster Olympus 75mm f/1.8 for the same price, or go cheap for a $230 Sigma 60mm f/2.8. As long as Pentax keep over-charging its own loyal consumer, its market-share will continue to shrink.
How much lower can Pentax go. The companyh has been sold twice already.

5 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (8 months ago)

Those prices are MSRP; street prices should be lower. I paid a little over $400 for my DA70, but you're right, it's not worth $749.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

Gary, speak for yourself; I think that once someone impartial tries DA70, he or she would conclude the value surpasses the price tag considerably. These lenses match Leica's Summarit quality at 1/3 of the price, plus they're AF and quick-shift too.
Optically balanced, hand machined aluminium and finish ... how much you think they deserve to cost? You live in fantasy world with no meaning for real value in it.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Gary Martin
By Gary Martin (8 months ago)

That's great Zvonimir, and I'm sure that a Bentley is worth all the hand-crafting that goes into one - but I drive the Toyota that I can afford instead. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy using my DA Limiteds knowing that I'm lucky that I bought them when I did; I couldn't afford them at the current MSRP.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (8 months ago)

You know, I understand that. But if I had too choose to own 5 cheap lenses or 2 good ones that will outlive cheapos by 2 decades or more — for the same price — I'd choose latter.

4 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (8 months ago)

^^ Thats only an assumption. I have an old Cosina 100mm f3.5 that actually shakes when focusing and I get scared that it will break everytime I use it.

However it has lasted me almost 25 years nows and it still works great even though I never really took great care of it.

I have no doubt it will last another 25 years more if the A mount is still alive then.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (8 months ago)

Nice. I am a circular aperture fan, having worked with many vintage lenses. But there is more to smooth bokeh or out of focal plane rendering than a circular aperture.

1 upvote
Colin Stuart
By Colin Stuart (8 months ago)

That new 40/2.8 pancake is sexy (more so than the older one). Wish I had a new K5 to pop that baby on!

2 upvotes
Total comments: 198
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