We reviewed the 40-megapixel Pentax 645D medium-format digital camera recently and posted these sample shots and while we generally liked the camera, one gripe we had was the lack of dedicated lenses for this model. That’s slowly changing, as Pentax said today it has introduced the DA645 25mm f/4 lens lens designed “exclusively” for the 645D. The DA645 25mm f/4 is scheduled to go on sale at the end of the month for $4,999.
What’s odd about this lens announcement is that almost exactly one year ago today, Pentax introduced a lens with a similar name, specs and price: the Pentax D FA 645 25mm f/4 lens. Here’s a link to news of that 2011 announcement. We’re checking with Pentax to try to clear up the confusion.
(Update: According to a Pentax spokesperson, the new DA645 25mm f/4 lens is a digital-specific lens that’s designed to work specifically with the 645D. The D FA 645 25mm lens, which went on sale last year, can be used with both digital and film-based medium-format cameras.)
More info on the latest lens announcement in the press release below.
PENTAX Introduces New 25mm f/4 Lens Designed Exclusively For Company’s 645D Medium-Format Digital SLR Camera
Ultra Wide-Angle Lens Features Super Multi-Coating, Aspherical Elements, and Supersonic Motor Drive for Enhanced Performance and Incredible Sharpness
Denver, CO (March 22, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announced the introduction of its new DA645 25mm f/4 lens, designed and optimized for exclusive use with its popular 645D medium format digital SLR camera. By combining its ultra-wide perspective with exclusive PENTAX Super Multi-Coating (smc), Aspherical Elements (AL), Supersonic Direct-drive Motor (SDM), and all-weather (AW) construction, PENTAX has created a lens that will render super-sharp images with performance levels photographers have come to expect from original PENTAX lenses.
When mounted on the PENTAX 645D medium-format digital SLR camera body, the DA645 25mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM AW lens provides a focal length of approximately 19.5mm in the 35mm format, the widest perspective available with the 645D. Photographers now have greater creative flexibility when shooing landscapes or when photographing in confined areas with minimal room to move.
“The DA645 25mm f/4 lens is completely optimized for use with the PENTAX 645D digital SLR camera to render outstanding sharpness and clarity, even along its edges,” explains John Carlson, Sr. Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX. “Its 95-degree angle of view offers the widest perspective available for use with the camera, providing photographers with greater creative flexibility in a variety of shooting environments whether they are in a studio or out on location.”
As with any quality optics, precision engineering and glass elements are critical ingredients. The DA645 25mm f/4 lens incorporates two high-performance aspherical optical elements, which provide exceptional image-resolving power with outstanding brightness levels even at the edges, while keeping various aberrations to a minimum. In addition, the lens is treated with PENTAX Aero Bright Coating to ensure an outstanding anti-reflection performance over a broader wavelength range to deliver images that are more brilliant and higher quality than those produced by previous models. Additional lens coatings and anti-reflective materials are applied to create a lens that is totally optimized for the 645D camera.
As the newest addition to the AW (all-weather) series, this new lens includes dustproof and weather-resistant construction with 11 special seals to prevent the intrusion of dust and water into the lens interior. By coupling this lens with the PENTAX 645D camera body, photographers can be assured they are using a durable and reliable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding outdoor settings where water, rain, and dust can be prevalent.
The new DA645 25mm f/4 lens features a conveniently placed interchangeable built-in filter holder (including a 40.5mm diameter circular polarizing filter) located within its barrel. The lens also features fully automatic diaphragm control; a built-in lens hood optimally shaped for its angle-of-view when used with the 645D; a Quick-shift Focus system for instant switching between auto and manual focus; and a Special Protect (SP) coating applied to the front surface of the lens to repel, dust, water, and grease.
In addition, the lens incorporates an advanced SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) autofocus mechanism to ensure smooth and quiet autofocusing, as well as a rounded diaphragm to produce an attractive “bokeh” for enhanced appearance of a photograph’s out-of-focus areas.
Pricing and Availability
The new Pentax DA645 25mm f/4 lens will be available at retail outlets nationwide and online in late March with a suggested retail price of $4,999.95.