Pentax Unveils Oddly Familiar 70-210mm f/4 Lens for K-Mount DSLRs

After a long, deafening silence, Pentax is finally back on the map. Minutes ago, Ricoh unveiled its first new K-mount lens in some time with the HD Pentax-D FA 70-210mm f/4ED SDM WR: a lightweight do-everything telephoto zoom for Pentax DSLRs.

The 70-210mm f/4ED SDM WR features an optical design of 20 elements in 14 groups—including three extra-low dispersion (ED) elements and two anomalous dispersion elements—boasting a minimum focusing distance of 0.95 meters and a maximum magnification of 0.32x at a total weight of just 819g. There’s also Pentax’s special “HD” multi-layer coating to improve light transmittance and reduce reflectance, and a 9-blade rounded aperture diaphragm that promises “natural” and “beautiful” bokeh.

The lens uses a ring-type supersonic direct-drive motor (SDM) for fast and quiet autofocus, a two-step focus range limiter, and Pentax’s “Quick-shift Focus System” that lets you instantly shift to manual focus after you’ve locked on to your subject by pressing the shutter-release button halfway down.

As with any 70-200 (ish) f/4 lens, this is meant to be a more compact, portable and affordable version of the 70-200mm f/2.8 holy trinity lens. However, it’s worth noting that the Pentax-D FA 70-210mm f/4ED SDM WR doesn’t seem to be unique. In fact, as DPReview points out, the lens’ specs are nearly identical to the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD lens for Nikon and Canon.

Make of that what you will.

The HD Pentax-D FA 70-210mm f/4ED SDM WR will start shipping on February 15th at an MSRP of $1100, giving K-mount shooters a more portable and affordable alternative to the brand’s 70-200mm f/2.8. Head over to the Ricoh Imaging website to learn more, or pre-order yours here.

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