We're still waiting for the much-teased full-frame DSLR, but Ricoh has today announced another full-frame zoom lens - the HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR, which features a weatherproof design and bright, constant maximum aperture. Although Ricoh is keeping details of its forthcoming full-frame DSLR secret for now, we're excited to see how the lens performs in early 2016, when - hopefully - the camera will become available. 


Press release:

Ricoh Extends DSLR Optics Line with Versatile 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens Ideal for Wide Variety of Conditions

DENVER, September 24, 2015 – Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced a 24-70mm high-performance K-mount lens for PENTAX digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. The HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR lens offers a versatile focal length range and weather-resistant design that makes it ideal for a wide variety of applications—from wedding, portraiture and sports, to nature, landscape and travel. Its large f/2.8 constant maximum aperture reduces the need for a tripod in low-light conditions such as sunsets and indoor scenes while producing a desirable, soft defocus effect on the background throughout the entire focal-length range.

The new lens is compatible with full-frame, 35mm image sensors, making it usable with both current and future-model PENTAX DSLRs. It effectively provides a 24-70mm focal-length range with full-frame 35mm image sensors (a PENTAX full-frame DSLR body is currently in development), and a 37-107mm range with current PENTAX K-series APS-C bodies.

“We’ve built our new 24-70mm lens to meet the rigorous demands of pro photographers for speed, sharpness and performance,” said Jim Malcolm, president, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. “With its versatile focal length and constant f/2.8 aperture, we expect this to be the ‘go-to’ lens for many Pentaxians.”

By incorporating three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) optical elements and four aspherical optical elements, the lens assures sufficient light levels even at the edges of the image field, and compensates for various aberrations to deliver fine-detailed images, rich in contrast and resolution. All elements are treated with a high-grade, multi-layer High-Definition (HD) coating that enables higher light transmittance and less reflection than conventional multi-layer coatings, providing high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions such as backlight.

Weather-resistant construction with customized seals effectively prevents water intrusion into the lens interior. When paired with a weather-resistant PENTAX DSLR camera body, it assures superb performance in demanding conditions, including rain, mist or snow, or in locations prone to water splashing or spray.

Other noteworthy features include a built-in Supersonic Direct-drive Motor (SDM) that provides quiet, high-speed autofocus (AF) operation; the PENTAX-developed Quick-Shift Focus system, which allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the camera’s AF system for fine tuning; and a zoom lock lever to prevent the accidental extension of the lens barrel when pointed downwards.

Pricing and Availability

The HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR lens will be available in October 2015 at www.ricohimaging.com and retail outlets nationwide for a retail price of $1299.99.

HD Pentax-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length24–70 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountPentax KAF3
Aperture
Maximum apertureF2.8
Minimum apertureF22
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements17
Groups12
Special elements / coatingsThree ED + four aspherical elements + HD Coating
Focus
Minimum focus0.38 m (14.96)
Maximum magnification0.2×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeUltrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight787 g (1.74 lb)
Diameter89 mm (3.48)
Length110 mm (4.31)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Filter thread82 mm
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product codePH-RBD82