Ricoh Imaging has announced the launch of the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE. Developed as an interchangeable lens for use with Pentax K-mount digital SLR cameras, this new compact, weather-resistant telephoto zoom lens provides enhanced autofocus and outstanding optical performance.
This zoom lens provides focal lengths between 84.5mm and 460mm (in the 35mm format)* to cover medium-to super-telephoto ranges. Its upgraded AF performance ensures that it delivers quiet, high-speed AF operation in still-image shooting, as well as smooth AF tracking operation during movie recording to minimise noise caused by focus and aperture shifts. Its newly designed, high-quality optics provide a minimum focusing distance of 0.95 metres, expanding the range of photographic applications. With the incorporation of a retractable structure, it measures a mere 89 millimetres in length, which coupled with its weather-resistant construction, ensures this zoom lens delivers outstanding reliability and durability even in demanding shooting conditions.
*When mounted on a PENTAX APS-C-format digital SLR camera.
Pricing & Availablity
The launch date will be announced at the beginning of July
1. With the adoption of a rear-focus system, the focusing lens is 93.6 percent lighter* than the previous version. By driving this focusing lens using a pulse motor (PLM), which is directly linked to a lead screw, this zoom lens operates faster — approximately 8.3 times** at its wide-angle end and approximately 1.7 times** at its telephoto end —and is quieter than the existing model.* When mounted on the new Pentax K-70 digital SLR camera body, it offers smoother, faster AF operation with dimly lit subjects, thanks to an improved AF algorithm that exchanges AF data between the camera body and the lens with greater precision. Performance of its power-assisted focus system during manual-focus operation has also been improved. The distance ring is designed to accurately detect the angle of rotation and swiftly react to a change of angle, so this zoom lens can shift its focusing lens smoothly in response to distance ring operation.
* When compared with the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8ED WR
** When taking a still image in viewfinder shooting, with the camera’s AF mode set to AF-S and for subjects positioned at a distance between 1.5 metres to infinity
2. This is the first K-mount lens to feature an electromagnetic diaphragm control system.* When mounted on the new Pentax K-70 digital SLR camera body, it delivers smooth, high-precision aperture control during movie recording. Thanks to this state-of-the-art system, it shifts the aperture setting automatically and smoothly, even when the brightness level of the subject changes drastically in movie shooting. Coupled with the PLM mechanism, it also provides smooth AF tracking operation and exposure control, while minimising the intrusion of focus and aperture-shift noises during movie-recording operation. As a result, it produces more natural, true-to-life movies in locations such as a theatre stage or forest where brightness levels fluctuate considerably, as well as for moving subjects like sports people and animals.
* This lens features a KAF4 lens mount compatible with an electromagnetic diaphragm control system. In order to use this lens, the camera’s firmware must be upgraded to the latest version (except for the Pentax K-70). Cameras compatible with this system are: K-1, K-3 II, K-S2 and K-S1. If this lens is mounted on a camera without the proper firmware upgrade, its diaphragm control mechanism becomes inactive, making it impossible to obtain the correct exposure.
3. With focal lengths from 84.5mm to 460mm (in the 35mm format), this telephoto zoom lens provides approximately 5.5-times zoom coverage from medium to super-telephoto ranges. Its 14-element, 11-group optics include an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical element to effectively minimise spherical and chromatic aberrations, while delivering high-resolution, fine-detailed images with rich contrast from the image’s centre to its edges and minimal colour bleeding at any focal length setting. In addition to the short minimal focusing distance of 0.95 metres, made possible by the rear-focus system, the lens barrel has also been designed to be free of extension during AF operation, making it ideal for a wide variety of applications, such as outdoor, sports and landscape shooting.
4. Its retractable structure means that the lens is only 89 millimetres long. It is extremely compact, weighing it at just 442g, making it extremely portable. The ideal lens for casual, everyday shooting.
5. The lens features a dependable weather-resistant construction with 11 sealing parts to effectively prevent the intrusion of water in the lens. When paired with a weather-resistant Pentax digital SLR camera body, it creates a durable, dependable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting situations such as mist or rain, or in locations prone to water splashes or spray.
6. The lens is treated with a high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating.* Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this Pentax-original coating delivers higher light transmittance and less reflection for bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even in demanding lighting situations such as low light.
* HD stands for High Definition.
7. Other features:
- Quick-Shift Focus system allows the user to instantly switch to manual-focus operation, even when the camera’s AF system is in operation..
- SP (Super Protect) Coating applied to the front surface of the lens to effectively repel water and grease.
- Rounded diaphragm with nine blades to produce a smooth, beautiful bokeh (defocus) effect, while minimising the streaking effect of point light sources.