Pentax Introduces Five K-Mount Limited Series Lenses and Updated Flashes

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Pentax has released five new K-mount autofocus lenses for its series of APS-C format DSLR cameras. The lenses are updates of existing lenses and are being released as a limited-production run with a focus on quality construction featuring updated HD lens coatings, circular aperture designs, and handsome, durable all-metal barrels. In addition, Pentax has announced two new flash units to update their present top-of-the-line models.

Starting with the widest of the new lenses, the HD Pentax DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited provides the 35mm equivalence of a 23mm lens for ultra-wide-angle shooting. The wide view and a minimum focus distance of 7.1” allows you to get close to your subjects without losing the context in which you are shooting, and its low distortion minimizes converging lines and other unflattering effects of shooting with such a wide perspective. Quick-Shift Focus System lets you switch from auto to manual focus in an instant, and depth-of-field and distance scales on the lens barrel aid in manual focusing. An improved, high-grade multi-layer High Definition lens coating minimizes flare and ghosting and renders high-resolution, high-contrast imaging. The lens itself is particularly compact and features a built-in, pull-out type lens hood that deflects stray light. The DA 15mm f/4 is available in a black or silver finish.

The HD Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited lens is also supplied in black and silver and provides the 35mm equivalent focal length of a 31.5mm lens, which is ideal for landscape vistas and shooting in cramped quarters. It is a very compact lens, at only 1 inch long, and weighs 4.2 oz. A high-grade multi-layer High Definition lens coating minimizes flare, and a rounded diaphragm creates pleasing bokeh.

Going up the focal-length ladder, the HD Pentax DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited lens offers a 1:1 magnification ratio for sharp and true close-up macro photography. The minimum focus distance is only 5.5”. Its 35mm equivalent focal length is 53.5mm, which classifies it as a standard-length lens; its f/2.8 maximum aperture is effective in low light. It, too, is built with a super-compact design to pair seamlessly with all the K-mount cameras. Its Quick-Shift Focus System enables you to switch from auto to manual modes easily and a high-grade multi-layer High Definition coating minimizes ghosting. The 9-blade diaphragm helps to provide pleasing out-of-focus areas. It is available in silver and black.

Next, the HD Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited lens is an ultra-thin pancake lens that barely protrudes from the camera body. It measures only 0.6 inch long, weighs just 3.1 oz, and also provides the Quick-Shift Focus System, a 9-blade diaphragm, and a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture. Its 35mm equivalent focal length is 60mm and it is available in a black or silver finish. Its small form factor and slightly longer-than-normal focal length make this an ideal everyday lens when you want to keep your kit compact and still have a bit of extra reach.

With the HD Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited, we have the longest focal length of the new lenses. Its 35mm equivalence is 105mm and the maximum aperture is f/2.4, making it ideal for shallow-depth-of-field portraiture. It, too, offers the Quick-Shift Focus System and high-grade multi-layer High Definition lens coating. Like the lenses mentioned above, distance and depth-of-field scales are clearly marked on the barrel. The 70mm lens also features a Super Protect coating on the front lens element for effective protection against dirt and finger smudges. Black or silver versions are available.

  HD Pentax DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited Lens HD Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited Lens HD Pentax DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited Lens HD Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited Lens HD Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited Lens
Lens Mount Pentax KAF Pentax KAF Pentax KAF Pentax KAF Pentax KAF
Focal Length 15mm (35mm equiv.: 23mm) 21mm (35mm equiv.: 31.5mm) 35mm (35mm equiv.: 53.5mm) 40mm (35mm equiv.: 60mm) 70mm (35mm equiv.: 105mm)
Aperture Range f/4 to f/22 f/3.2 to f/22 f/2.8 to f/22 f/2.8 to f/22 f/2.4 to f/22
Angle of View 86° 68° 44° 39° 23°
Minimum Focus Distance 7.1" (18 cm) 7.9" (20.1 cm)  5.5" (14 cm) 1.3' (40 cm) 2.3’ (70.1 cm)
Maximum Magnification 0.15x 0.17x 1.0x 0.13x 0.12x
Lens Construction 8 elements in
6 groups
8 elements in
5 groups
9 elements in
8 groups
5 elements in 4 groups 6 elements in 5 groups
Diaphragm Blades 7 7 9 9 9
Filter Thread 49mm 49mm 49mm 49mm 49mm
Dimensions (DxL) 2.5 x 1.6” (63.5 x 40.6mm) 2.5 x 1.0” (63.5 x 25.4mm) 2.5 x 1.8” (63.5 x 45.7mm) 2.5 x 0.6” (63.5 x 15.2mm) 2.5 x 1.0” (63.5 x 25.4mm)
Weight 6.7 oz (190 g) 4.2 oz (119 g) 7.5 oz  (213 g) 3.1 oz (88 g) 4.6 oz (130 g)

AF540FGZ II and AF360FGZ II Flash Units

The AF540FGZ II and the AF360FGZ II professional flash units update the Pentax models presently available and have added not only power and design durability, but features to enhance video recording as well. Compatible with Pentax SLR, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras that have a hot-shoe mount, they are powerful and versatile. Their new all-weather construction pairs well with the Pentax WR DSLR cameras. High maximum guide numbers (177.2’ for the AF540 and 118.1’ for the AF360, both at ISO 100) indicate more power than their predecessors; their effective flash ranges run to 26.2’ for the AF540 and 17.7’ for the AF360. They are both auto zoom enabled and cover a focal length range from 24mm to 85mm.

Pre-flash in P-TTL mode provides more accurate strobe shooting. High-speed, on-camera, and wireless flash is available in P-TTL. Both models offer a constant light source for videos or long-exposure still photography and an improved LCD shows the effective flash range. A simple dial is available to control flash exposure compensation. The AF540FGZ II and the AF360FGZ II can also act as both commander and slave via their optical pulse transmission wireless shooting function. With up to four channels available, the wireless function enables effective, coordinated off-camera flash setups for creative lighting control.

  Pentax AF540FGZ II Flash Unit Pentax AF360FGZ II Flash Unit
Mount Shoe Shoe
Guide No. 177.2' (54 m) at ISO 100 118.1' (36 m) at ISO 100
Flash Duration M1/1: approx. 1/1200 sec.
P-TTL: approx. 1/20,000 sec. max.
M1/1: approx. 1/1200 sec.
P-TTL: approx. 1/20,000 sec. max.
Effective Flash Range Approx. 2.6-26.2' (0.8-8.0 m) (Guide No. 45, ISO 100, f/5.6) Approx. 2.3-17.7' (0.7-5.4 m) (Guide No. 30, ISO 100, f/5.6)
Color Temperature Daylight-balanced Daylight-balanced
Compatible Sensitivity Range ISO 25-1600 ISO 25-1600
TTL Dedication P-TTL P-TTL
Flash Modes / Exposure Control P-TTL auto with pre-flash, manual, multi, wireless (P-TTL/Manual), constant light for video/long-exposure photo P-TTL auto with pre-flash, manual, multi, wireless (P-TTL/Manual), constant light for video/long-exposure photo
Flash Output Setting Wireless (P-TTL): 1/1, 2/3, 1/2, 1/3
Wireless (Manual): 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256
Manual: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256
Multi flash: 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256
LED beam mode: Auto, 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16
Wireless (P-TTL): 1/1, 2/3, 1/2, 1/3
Wireless (Manual): 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256
Manual: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256
Multi flash: 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, 1/256
LED beam mode: Auto, 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16
Continuous Flashes 2-100 2-100
Flash Frequency 1-200Hz 1-200Hz
Flash Sync Modes 1st-curtain sync, 2nd-curtain sync, Contrast-control sync, High-speed sync 1st-curtain sync, 2nd-curtain sync, Contrast-control sync, High-speed sync
Wireless Flash Control system: Optical pulse transmission
Wireless position: Master (M), Control (C), Slave (S)
Channels: 1 to 4
Compatible modes: P-TTL, manual (M)
Control system: Optical pulse transmission
Wireless position: Master (M), Control (C), Slave (S)
Channels: 1 to 4
Compatible modes: P-TTL, manual (M)
Bounce Settings Vertical and horizontal orientation with click stops at:
Right: 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
Left: 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 135°
Up: 0°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°
Down: 0°, -10°
Vertical and horizontal orientation with click stops at:
Right: 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
Left: 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 135°
Up: 0°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°
Down: 0°, -10°
AF Spot LED Beam Range Approx. 3.3-23' (1-7 m) Approx. 3.3-23' (1-7 m)
Flash Output Compensation In P-TTL mode: -4.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps In P-TTL mode: -4.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Power Source 4x AA Alkaline (LR6), Ni-MH, or Lithium (FR6) batteries 4x AA Alkaline (LR6), Ni-MH, or Lithium (FR6) batteries
Dimensions 3.0 x 4.4 x 4.2" (76 x 113 x 108mm) 2.6 × 4.3 × 4.1'' (68 x 111 x 106mm)
Weight Approx. 12.3 oz (350 g)
without batteries
Approx. 10.2 oz (290 g)
without batteries

For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.
 

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I have used one of the the original DA Limited lenses - the 35mm f/2.8 macro. That lens is an absolute jewel. I rented one a few years ago and I was quite impressed. The feel of it is really nice. Smooth focus ring, all metal construction and it produced nice contrasty images for me.

I can just imagine what an upgraded version of the lens will be capable of producing. I just hope I can get this or one of the other DA Limiteds at some point in time.