Ricoh Announces the Compact, Weather Resistant HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE Lens

pentax_55_300.jpegRicoh has announced a new Pentax K-Mount lens model, the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE. This is a premium grade lens with Weather Resistant construction for use in demanding conditions; with features included that allow it to capture professional grade images.

This new lens is designed with 14-elements, 11-group optics, including an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) optical element, to reduce spherical and chromatic aberrations, while delivering high-resolution, finely detailed images with superior contrast at all focal lengths. The lens is also designed to provide very fast Autofocus, thanks to the use of an innovative Pulse Motor design.

According to Ricoh, this new Pentax Lens Model includes the following key features, making it a very desirable option for photographers looking for a lens that can provide exceptional image quality and optical zoom range in a compact package:


1. High-speed AF operation

With the adoption of a rear-focus system, the lens is almost 10 percent lighter than the PENTAX's previous 55-300mm lens--the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8ED WR. By driving this focusing lens using a pulse motor (PLM), which is directly linked to a lead screw, this zoom lens also operates faster -- approximately 8.3 times at its wide-angle end and approximately 1.7 times at its telephoto end --and quieter than its predecessor. When mounted on the new PENTAX K-70 digital SLR camera body (also announced today), it assures 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. Operability of its power-assisted focus system during manual-focus operation has also been improved. Since its distance ring is designed to accurately detect the angle of rotation and swiftly react to a change of angle, this zoom lens can shift its focusing lens smoothly in response to distance ring operation.

2. Quiet AF operation and electromagnetic diaphragm control, perfect for video recording

This is the first K-mount lens to feature an electromagnetic diaphragm control system.* When mounted on the new PENTAX K-70 digital SLR or other compatible camera body, it assures smooth, high-precision aperture control during video recording. This state-of-the-art system shifts the aperture setting automatically and smoothly to result in more natural, true-to-life videos, even when the brightness level of the subject changes drastically, such as a live theater performance or a sunlight-streaked forest scene, or with active subjects such as athletes and animals. Coupled with the PLM mechanism, the system also assures smooth AF tracking operation and exposure control, while minimizing the intrusion of focus- and aperture-shift noises during video recording.

* NOTE: This lens' KAF4 mount is 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 proper firmware upgrade, its diaphragm control mechanism becomes inactive, making it impossible to obtain correct exposure.

3. High-quality images, with a minimum focusing distance of 37.4 inches (0.95 meters)

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 minimize spherical and chromatic aberrations, while delivering high-resolution, finely detailed images with rich contrast from the image's center to its edges and minimal color bleeding at any focal length setting. In addition to a short minimal focusing distance of 0.95 meters, made possible by the rear-focus system, the lens barrel has also been designed to be free of extension during AF operation.

4. Compact telephoto zoom lens

Thanks to its retractable structure, the lens is only 3.5 inches (89 millimeters) long and weighs less than one pound (442 grams).

5. Weather-resistant construction

The lens features dependable, weather-resistant construction with 11 sealed parts to effectively prevent the intrusion of water into the lens interior. When paired with a weather-resistant PENTAX digital SLR camera body, the result is a durable, dependable digital imaging system that performs superbly in demanding shooting settings.

6. HD Coating to optimize image description

The lens is treated with high-grade, multi-layer HD (high definition) Coating. Compared with conventional multi-layer coatings, this PENTAX-original coating assures higher light transmittance and less reflection to deliver bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghost images, even under demanding lighting conditions.

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.

Availability of the new HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE Lens will be announced in early July, 2016. This lens will have a suggested list price of $399.95, and can be purchased from http://www.ricoh-imaging.com or from authorized Ricoh Imaging Retail Outlets.

See the official press release below for more information about this new HD Pentax-DA lens:

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Ricoh Imaging announces compact, lightweight and weather-resistant HD PENTAX-DA lens

Advanced-design telephoto zoom lens delivers high-speed, quiet autofocus and outstanding optical performance in an extremely portable package



DENVER, June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation today announced the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens. Designed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, this new, weather-resistant 5.5X telephoto zoom lens provides enhanced autofocus (AF) and outstanding optical performance in a compact and lightweight package.

The lens provides effective focal lengths between 84.5mm and 460mm when mounted on a PENTAX APS-C format digital SLR, including the new PENTAX K-70 announced today (see separate news release). Its design enables quiet, high-speed AF operation in still-image shooting, as well as smooth and quiet AF tracking operation during video recording, with minimal mechanical noise created by focus and aperture shifts.

PENTAX HD (high-definition) coated optics deliver sharp, bright, high-contrast images free of flare and ghosting. The HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens offers a minimum focusing distance of 37.4 inches (0.95 meters) to further expand the range of photographic applications. With a fully retractable design, the lens measures only 3.5 inches (89 millimeters) long when retracted, and weighs less than one pound (442 grams), making it easy to carry around, even for casual shooting.

Fully weather-sealed, this lens is a durable and dependable companion for outdoor shooting--even in rain, snow or other wet conditions--when used with any of the many weather-resistant PENTAX DSLRs, such as the new K-70.

| Pricing and Availability | 

Availability of the HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3ED PLM WR RE lens will be announced in early July. When available, it can be purchased at www.ricohimaging.com for $399.95, as well as at Ricoh Imaging-authorized retail outlets throughout North America.

| About Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation |

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd., a global technology company specializing in office imaging equipment, production print solutions, document management systems and IT services.  Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in about 200 countries and regions.

The company, now known as Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation, was originally founded in 1919, under the name Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. and launched its first SLR camera in the 1950s under the PENTAX name. Today, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation continues to produce the heritage-rich, award-winning line of PENTAX DSLR cameras, lenses and sport optics equipment as well as Ricoh's offering of stylish and compact digital cameras, known for their wide-ranging, rich set of features.

For further information, please visit www.ricohimaging.com

© 2016 Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation. All rights reserved. All referenced product names are the trademarks of their respective companies.