We’ve known that Ricoh has been developing a full-frame Pentax DSLR for a while now, but today they’re announcing a new weather-resistant lens meant to go with it. The HD Pentax-D FA 24–70mm f/2.8 ED SDM WR uses the K-mount and will be a key piece in Pentax’s move into the full-frame DSLR market.
The lens has three extra-low dispersion elements and four aspherical elements to fight the usual optical pitfalls like distortion and vignetting. The designers also applied a new multi-layer HD coating to cut down on ghosting and increase weather resistance. Of course, you can also use the lens on existing crop-sensor Pentax bodies, where it will act like a 37–107mm zoom.
As it stands, the new 24–70mm f/2.8 is everything you’d expect at one of the most classic focal ranges around. It’s a foundational piece of a modern full-frame DSLR system for many pros, a market Ricoh is hoping to attract with a full-frame Pentax DSLR. What’s not standard, however, is the price tag, which checks in at just $1,299. Sony, Canon, and Nikon all offer their flagship 24–70mm lenses at much higher prices.
We’ll give the new lens a full test as soon as possible, but this is promising news for the Pentax brand and its upcoming camera body. Affordable full-frame is still as desirable as ever.