Ricoh Imaging might not have a shiny new mirrorless camera range to focus on like many of its rivals, but that's allowed it to finesse its existing, much-loved lines, from its Pentax-branded DSLRs through to its GR-series compact cameras.
And now it's sought to better an older fisheye lens developed for Pentax DSLRs, namely the smc Pentax-DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5ED (IF), which has been transformed into the new HD-Pentax DA Fisheye 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 ED.
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The new lens differs from its older sibling in two ways. First, Ricoh has applied the same multi-layered HD coatings that feature across its most recent lenses.
These are claimed to help deliver high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness and minimal flare and ghosting, and they're joined by a Super Protect (SP) coating on the front element to help repel water, grease and dirt.
The second change is a reworking of the lens barrel, which now matches the barrels of other modern Pentax lenses. The zoom and focusing rings now bear the familiar square dimpled pattern rather than the grooves of the previous lens's rings, while the lens hood can also be removed from the front of the optic when required.
Ricoh Imaging states that while the lens is designed for APS-C-based bodies such as the most recent KP and K-70 DSLRs, it can also be used on its full-frame K-1 and K-1 Mark II bodies with the lens hood removed to produce nearly circular images.
Otherwise, the lens produces diagonal fisheye results – i.e. those that occupy the whole frame without any borders.
Otherwise the lens has much the same specs as the previous model, which includes a 14cm minimum focusing distance, six diaphragm blades and a Quick Shift Focus system that allows for focus to be adjusted manually once autofocus has been achieved.
The lens will go on sale from the end of July with an RRP of $499.95 in the US and £499.99 in the UK. Pricing for Australia has not been confirmed as of yet.
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