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New Pentax 70-210mm f/4 brings compact zoom power ahead of anticipated DSLR

After a quiet 2019, Pentax is starting 2020 out with the launch of a new lens. On January 22, parent brand Ricoh announced the HD Pentax-D FA 70-210mm f/4 ED SDM WR lens for K-Mount cameras. The lens, Ricoh says, offers a compact, lightweight option for outdoor photography including sports, wildlife, and scenic shots.

Weighing 28.9 ounces and measuring 6.9 inches long, the compact size and focal length is designed for getting in close while still being able to shoot handheld. The lens is significantly lighter than the Pentax 70-200mm f/2.8 option, which weighs nearly four pounds. The K-mount lens is designed to be used with full-frame cameras, but can also be used with APS-C K-mount bodies with a crop factor, giving the zoom even more reach.

The lens is designed from 20 elements in 14 groups. An HD coating reduces reflections and flare, while improving light transmission, the company says. The nine-blade aperture gives bokeh a rounded appearance from f/4 to f/9.5, but the lens heads all the way up to a minimum aperture of f/32. On some bodies, an electromagnetic diaphragm control is supported for video. The lens is not stabilized, but Pentax is one of few companies to use in-body stabilization in DSLRs.

HD Pentax-D FA 70-210mm f/4 ED SDM WR

Ricoh says that the 3.1-foot minimum focusing distance gives the lens added versatility and a wider range than earlier similar lenses. The length of the lens also doesn’t change as the lens focuses. The Supersonic Direct-drive Motor allows for quiet and quick focus, the company added. A switch allows for quick adjustments from auto to manual focus.

Like many of the K-mount cameras, the lens is weather-resistant, capable of shooting in rain, mist or splashes.

Pentax fans have had to wait some time since the last DSLR launch — the K-1 Mark II in 2018. Last year, the company teased a new flagship crop sensor camera under development, originally said to debut sometime in 2020. The flagship doesn’t yet have a name, price or a more specific launch date. The company’s 2019 launches focused on Theta 360 cameras and compact cameras like the Ricoh GR III.

The HD Pentax-D FA 70-210mm f/4 ED SDM WR lens retails for about $1,100. Ricoh did not yet share a ship date, but retailers like B&H have already opened pre-orders.

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