Just two weeks after Ricoh revealed more details of its long-teased portrait prime, the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW has officially been released. The new lens offers numerous special elements, a new AF motor and the build quality we've come to expect from high-end Pentax lenses.

The 85mm F1.4 contains a total of 12 elements, including 'Super ED' and aspherical glass. An HD coating is used to reduce flare and ghosting. The lens has a new ring-type SDM lens motor to drive the focusing elements, which delivers 1.3x more torque than the motor on the 50mm F1.4, according to Ricoh. The lens has a nine-blade aperture that is electronically controlled.

Minimum focus distance is 0.85m (2.8ft) and the maximum magnification is 0.12x. It's sealed against dust and moisture in eight places (that's the 'AW' designation - standing for 'All Weather') and can be used in tough conditions when paired with a weather-resistant Pentax camera.

The FA* 85mm F1.4 will be available in mid-June for $1899.

Press release:

Ricoh announces HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW for K-mount digital SLR cameras

Second fixed focal-length model added to next-generation, high-performance Star lens series

PARSIPPANY, NJ, May 27, 2020 - Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens, the second fixed focal-length lens in the new-generation PENTAX Star (★) lens series. Designed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, Star-series lenses boast the highest imaging performance of all PENTAX lens lineups.

PENTAX developed a new, ring-type SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) exclusively for this new lens to enable flawless, high-speed autofocus operation, with an exterior design that assures a firm grip for manual-focus operation. The HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens is designed not only to assure the highest imaging power currently possible, but also to optimize the joy of picture-taking.

The new lens incorporates three Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to effectively minimize chromatic aberration, and a glass-molded aspherical optical element to effectively compensate for spherical and chromatic aberrations and field curvature to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness, even at open aperture. This design also reduces distortion to nearly zero at a focusing distance of four meters to deliver well-defined, distortion-free images over the entire focusing range, from the minimum focusing distance to infinity.

The HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens boasts an F1.4 maximum aperture, useful with many different subjects in a range of applications, including portraiture with an effectively defocused background, handheld shooting of indoor scenes and scenic photography. The extra-large aperture produces a bright, clear viewfinder image that will surely inspire photographic creativity and imagination.

Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, the new lens features dustproof, weather-resistant construction with eight special seals to prevent the intrusion of water into the lens barrel. When paired with a dustproof, weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, it assures a durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings — even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

| Pricing and Availability |

The HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW lens will be available in mid-June at www.us.ricoh-imaging.com as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1899.95.

Main Features of the new HD PENTAX-D FA★85mm F1.4ED SDM AW

1. New-generation, high-performance Star-series lens to deliver ideal image quality

Anticipating the further advancement of SLR camera bodies in the future, PENTAX has designed this lens to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness by compensating various aberrations to a minimum, while greatly enhancing resolving power — two factors absolutely essential in the next-generation Star series. It provides exceptionally high imaging performance even at open aperture, a beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect and outstanding image rendition at close ranges — all reasons why it produces high-quality, well-defined images. It also boasts an extra-large F1.4 maximum aperture, useful with many different subjects in a range of applications, including portraiture with an effectively defocused background, handheld shooting of indoor scenes and scenic photography. It helps the camera to produce a bright, clear viewfinder image that will inspire the photographer’s creativity and imagination.

2. State-of-the-art optical technology

This lens incorporates three Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements to effectively minimize chromatic aberration, and a glass-molded aspherical optical element to effectively compensate for spherical and chromatic aberrations and field curvature to deliver extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness, even at open aperture. It also reduces distortion to nearly zero at a focusing distance of four meters to deliver well-defined, distortion-free images over the entire focusing range, from the minimum focusing distance to infinity. This lens is also treated with high-grade, multi-layer High-Definition (HD) Coating, which reduces average reflectance in the visible ray spectrum to less than 50% of conventional multi-layer coatings, effectively reducing flare and ghost images to a minimum even in demanding lighting conditions such as backlighting.

3. Newly designed, large ring-type SDM

To deliver the highest image quality possible over the entire focusing range — from the minimum focusing distance to infinity — this lens features a newly designed, large ring-type SDM to efficiently drive the focusing mechanism, which consists of a larger number of optical elements than ordinary lenses, and is required to shift heavy rear-optical-element groups in unison. Generating a torque approximately 1.3 times that of the unit installed in the HD PENTAX-D FA★50mm f1.4 SDM AW, this new SDM assures flawless, high-speed autofocus operation.

4. Dustproof, weather-resistant construction

Developed as an AW (All Weather) model, this lens features a dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction with eight special seals to prevent the intrusion of water into the lens barrel. When paired with a dustproof, weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, it assures a durable, reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting conditions — even in rain or mist, or at locations prone to water splashes or spray.

5. Other features

  • Nine-blade, round-shaped diaphragm to produce a natural, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect up to the F2.8 aperture setting, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources
  • Exterior design that facilitates focus-ring operation in manual-focus shooting and provides a firm hold
  • Electromagnetic diaphragm-control mechanism** for flawless, high-precision exposure control during video recording
  • SP (Super Protect) coating to keep the front surface free of dust and spots

** This mechanism is available when the lens is mounted on a K-1 Mark II, K-1, K-3 II, K-3, KP,
K-70, K-50, K-S2 or K-S1 camera body.

HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typePrime lens
Max Format size35mm FF
Focal length85 mm
Image stabilizationNo
Lens mountPentax KAF4
Aperture
Maximum apertureF1.4
Minimum apertureF16
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades9
Optics
Elements12
Groups10
Special elements / coatings1 aspherical + 3 Super ED elements, HD coating
Focus
Minimum focus0.85 m (33.46)
Maximum magnification0.12×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeRing-type ultrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleYes
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight1255 g (2.77 lb)
Diameter95 mm (3.74)
Length124 mm (4.88)
SealingYes
ColourBlack
Filter thread82 mm
Hood suppliedYes