Ricoh has new rear converter for Pentax lenses, plus products in development

ricoh new rear converter pentax lenses 1 4x aw af web

In addition to the new rugged models announced today, Ricoh also unveiled a rear converter for K-mount lenses in its Pentax series. The HD Pentax DA AF 1.4X AW extends the focal length of telephoto lenses by 40 percent (1.4x), yet it’s compact and measures less than an inch (22 millimeters) in length.

“The rear converter has been engineered to maintain the autofocus (AF) functionality while working seamlessly with both camera-driven as well as lens-driven AF systems,” Pentax says. For those interested in the specs, it has a construction of four elements in three groups, and has a high-grade, multilayer coating to “minimize reflectance inside the converter while optimizing light transmittance [for] high-contrast images free of flare and ghosting.” It’s also weather sealed for use in conditions that aren’t sunny skies.


Available in March, the rear converter will sell for $600.

The rear converter is part of Ricoh’s new product announcements ahead of the 2014 CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Yokohama, Japan. The company also released a list of “reference products” that show attendees will see before they are fully unveiled in the near future. These include a new medium-format camera with a CMOS image sensor that offers high-speed response. The camera, tentatively called the 645D 2014, is schedule to debut in the spring.

Also, there will be a new ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for use with the 645D that has newly designed optics; a new interchangeable “unifocal telephoto macro” lens for Q-mount cams; and a film duplication accessory that “produces digital duplicates of silver-halide film” in combination with a digital SLR camera and a dedicated flash unit. The last product should be exciting for those of us who shoot film.

There are no specific details about the products. The new medium-format 645D 2014 is the only item with a target launch date, so we’ll bring you more when it officially gets announced.