Pentax Keeps Investing in DSLR With New Weatherproof Prime Lens

HD Pentax-D FA Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW lens

Despite a general move away from DLSR cameras and their accessories in the photographic industry, Pentax seems to be doubling down with its launch of a new lens for its own digital SLR cameras.

The company has unveiled the HD Pentax-D FA Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW lens for all-weather shooting with the brand’s K-mount range of cameras.

This is a full-frame prime model that’s aimed at replacing Pentax’s 100mm f2.8 SMC D-FA WR Macro from 2009 and it’s a unique addition to a camera/lens manufacturing industry that’s focusing almost entirely on mirrorless devices and ever more lenses for them.

Just to name one example of the opposite of what Pentax is doing: Dominant DSLR maker Canon is not only abandoning DSLR cameras and lenses, it’s also releasing mirrorless camera alternatives for many of its existing DSLR lens models.

Moving back to the new Pentax release, it comes with a new kind of optical design that consists of 10 elements in 8 groups that include an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) optical element made of glass. This is complemented by 2 Anomalous Dispersion optical elements that work together to minimize aberrations and purple fringing.

Despite being a full-frame model, the new lens can be used with APS-C Pentax cameras for an effective 150mm focal length that’s ideal for smaller subjects and certain types of nature/wildlife shooting.

The overall construction of the Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW is designed for all-weather use and is largely impermeable to moisture, rain, dust and grit infiltration. This makes it even more useful for outdoor shooting in nature.

This is the first time that Pentax has done this with one of its macro lenses and consequently, the HD Pentax-D FA Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW is ideal for weatherproof Pentax DSLR lenses.

The new lens also offers 1:1 magnification for focusing on subjects and has a minimum focus distance of 13cm, or 5.1 inches. Internally, it features an 8-blade diaphragm that delivers superbly natural bokeh according to Pentax.

Other key specifications and features of the HD Pentax-D FA Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW include full autofocus, a 24.5-degree angle of view (that decreases to 16 degrees if used with APS-C sensors) a minimum aperture of f/32 and a 49mm filter size. The lens weighs 348 grams or 12.3 oz.

Pentax is releasing its new Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW lens in black as of November for $549.95 and this release includes a lens hood and case. There will also be a special edition silver version of the lens going on sale in December, but interested buyers had better get their hands on it quickly because for whatever reason, Pentax is releasing only 300 units of the silver version worldwide.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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