Ricoh announces ‘HD’ update to Pentax DA Limited primes

Ricoh Imaging has announced an updated set of Pentax DA Limited primes, with improved lens coatings and circular aperture diaphragms. Based on the existing 15mm F4, 21mm F3.2, 35mm F2.8 Macro, 40mm F2.8 and 70mm F2.4 designs, the ‘HD’ versions gain Pentax’s multi-layer HD (High Definition) coating, promising reduced flare and ghosting, and include diaphragms that are completely rounded at large aperture settings to give attractive background blur. Other specs, including physical dimensions, optical formulae, minimum focus distance and maximum magnification remain largely unchanged. The lenses will all available in September 2013, in a choice of silver or black. 

US and UK suggested retail prices for the HD DA Limited lenses are as follows:

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Press Release:

Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation Introduces Five HD PENTAX DA Limited Lenses

New Lenses feature enhanced performance with high-grade HD coating and new rounded diaphragms for stunning bokeh effects

DENVER, CO, August 27, 2013 – Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation (Ricoh Imaging) is pleased to announce the introduction of five new HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses. The acclaimed HD PENTAX DA Limited series of prime lenses, specifically designed for the PENTAX  K-mount DSLR cameras includes the HD PENTAX DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited, HD PENTAX DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited, HD PENTAX DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited, HD PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited and HD PENTAX DA 70mm F2.4 Limited, elevating optical design and performance.

Touting highly-enhanced optical performance the HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses feature treatments of both SP (Super Protect) coating and the PENTAX-original high-grade multi-layer HD (High Definition) coating, which assures much higher light transmittance than conventional multi-layer coatings delivering sharp, clear images with significantly reduced flare and ghosting, even under demanding, backlit conditions. All five lens models have also been upgraded with completely rounded aperture diaphragms at wide aperture settings for optimal optics performance and gorgeous bokeh effects.

“Ricoh Imaging continues to innovate and improve all aspects of photography,” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Imaging. “With an industry-leading 24 APS-C optimized lenses our family of K-mount DSLRs and lenses provides consumers with a system that has been fine-tuned and meticulously architected for optimal image output. And, with enhancements like HD coating, we are continuously helping consumers achieve more technically sound images.”

Inheriting the distinctive visual description and premium appearance of the lauded PENTAX Limited Lens series, the refreshed line of HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses features a meticulous finish in every detail, from the outstanding image rendition to the high-quality, hand-machined aluminum body, the refreshed lineup provides the utmost durability and elegant design.

Pricing and Availability

The HD PENTAX DA Limited Lens series will be available for purchase in a choice of black or silver at and retail outlets nationwide in September 2013 with the following suggested retail prices:

  • HD PENTAX DA 40mm F2.8 Limited- $549.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited- $699.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited- $699.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited- $749.95
  • HD PENTAX DA 70mm F2.4 Limited- $749.95

Major Features (common to all five models):

1. High-grade HD coating for exceptional image rendition

HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses are treated with HD coating*, a high-grade multi-layer lens coating that assures higher light transmittance and lower reflectance than conventional multi-layer coatings. As the result, HD PENTAX DA Limited lenses produce sharp, clear images free of flare and ghost images, even under such adverse lighting conditions as backlight.
*HD stands for High Definition, and signifies the lens’s capacity to reproduce images that excel in transparency, definition, resolution and rendition.

2. Round-shaped diaphragm for beautiful out-of-focus rendition

All lenses feature a completely round-shaped diaphragm to optimize the performance of their distinctive optics. This diaphragm produces a natural, beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus) effect, while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.

3. Acclaimed Limited Lens-series qualities for distinctive visual description and a premium appearance

While inheriting the design concept of the Limited Lens series, these lenses were designed by combining a series of mechanical and numerical evaluations with human assessment of test-shooting samples to assure supreme image reproduction. Their optical design has been optimized for digital photography to deliver sharp, clear images with outstanding contrast, even at the maximum aperture. In addition, their lens barrel, hood and cap are all made of a high-grade aluminum material, hand-machined for perfect proportions and beautiful texture.

4. Enhanced exterior design signifying HD series

While inheriting traditional design features of DA PENTAX Limited Lenses the new HD PENTAX DA Limited lens series features a red anodized ring on the front of the focus ring to signify the presence of new HD PENTAX lens coating and enhance its exclusive appearance.

5. Other features

  • SP (Super Protect) coating (already featured in four other lenses) has been applied to the HD PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited to keep the front surface free of dust and stains.
  • All the lenses come in a silver version in addition to the black version.

Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

Pentax HD DA Limited lenses specifications

Additional images

15mm F4 in black 15mm F4 in silver, hood extended
21mm F3.2 in black 21mm F3.2 in silver, with hood
35mm F2.8 Macro in black 35mm F2.8 in silver, hood extended
40mm F2.8 pancake in black 40mm F2.8 in silver with screw-in hood
70mm F2.4 in black 70mm F2.4 in silver with screw-in hood

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The Customer

Hard to believe that SMC’s finally been topped, but if that’s the case, then right on!


I know. I have some old SMC Takumars and early manual SMC-K primes and they are superb! The new HD coating must be something special. I am looking forward to seeing the results. 🙂
I wonder what is next? DA* mark2 lenses with the HD coating and a more reliable SDM? Can’t wait!


The Pentax Ltd’s: Fabulous IQ, meticulous aluminum machining and build quality, compact form, distinctive hoods, APS-C optimized, one 49mm CPL fits all, and a dedicated case that will hold at least 4 of these lenses if you choose to have it. All 5 of these lenses needed no upgrade necessarily because they were excellent already, but they are nonetheless worthy of the effort. The bokeh improvements are probably considerable in at least two of them, and it is in keeping with the Pentax tradition that perfection in these already nice lenses was something yet to strive for . . . and deliver. Complaints about such highly distinctive effort from Pentax leave me cold. This kind of work is why I’ve stayed with Pentax for 40 years. I’m glad I have only 4 of the original Ltd’s. It leaves me the space to own the last one in this new incarnation, and I’ll be yet again an early adopter of a Pentax lens (and one of the new flashes).


Too bad they didn’t make them waterproof, would have made a lot of sense. Perhaps that would impact on the size and weight? I personally preferred the green rings.
Gripes aside, these and the new waterproof flash are the first serious Pentax offerings in quite a while (meaning not pink gizmos). Hopefully there will be more!


Why pay premium for a Lexus when we know it is just an expensive Toyota? Same thing goes with the Limiteds. It is well built and has excellent IQ and expect DA-L prices?


I love the looks of the limited lens, but yet do not own any. The price is IMHO too high. I hope the Ricoh manages their distribution and marketing better.
The excellent backwards compatibility and good prices of prices of contemporary lens were one the prime reasons I chose Pentax system.

Now, with recent price increases the latter reason is gone .. unless in the next two years they lower the prices or start offering rebates, I will have to rethink if this system makes economic sense for me. I still can change as I have not invested too much in it.


I was seriously impressed at Photokina 2012 when I saw the demo comparing HD coating with SMC. I’m glad we’re seeing this coating introducing the the entire line-up instead of only in the high profile DA560/5.6 or 645D glass.

The rounded aperture blades will certainly help the longer focal lengths! I won’t be updating my DA15 and DA21 yet though, and for now I think I will stick to my older FA limiteds for the longer focal lengths.

Still, a nice update to a great line-up. Guess this means Ricoh/Pentax still sees the limiteds as core of their DSLR ecosystem, which I like because my favourite Pentax DSLR design, i.e. the still current K-7/5/5II(s), was rumoured to be designed for the limited lenses specifically. I’m hoping a new advanced DSLR from Pentax will stay in this tradition as well.


Silver and black? I sense a retro body coming soon.


I only have the 21mm and 40mm Limiteds at the moment, not any of the others.
Whether the HD coating is a big leap over the SMC coating will only be proven when side by side tests are done.
More interesting is the rounded blades in the new versions.
For me, the current 70mm has bokeh that is a tad fussy, not creamy like the 77mm Limited. Possibly the rounded blades will address this on the HD-70mm, and if so, I will certainly be getting one.


What happened to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?
Seriously thinking of changing system.
Well done Ricoh!!!


is it bad to make good things better?


The original expression was ‘if it aint broke don’t futz with it’.

This goes back to depression era times when people repaired, modified, and otherwise futzed with stuff to extend its life as much as possible. The expression was a warning to keep your hands off if the thing works okay. Don’t starting tinkering and tear it up.

Making good things better is good. Futzing with stuff and stubbing your toe is bad. I don’t figure this is a stubbed toe moment.


they missed the opportunity to make them weatherproof, to match their bodies.
What a disappointment!

Roland Karlsson

Those are small limited lenses. Making them water proof would drastically change the mechanical design. I don’t know if that is a good choice.


This is the reason why I didn’t go with Pentax when I started out photography.

Slow prime lenses are OK if they are reasonably priced. But come on $700 for a slow 21mm f3.2 and $800 for a 15mm f4 ?

Not denying build quality is good but there are so many cheaper lenses out there than you can buy the cheap lenses twice and still come out on top price wise.

I think an m43 system will offer faster but similar size lenses on smaller bodies.

Zvonimir Tosic

Interestingly, this is the reason why I did go with Pentax.


the build quality is really good, better than my door knobs.


Well the Nikon 25mm f3.5 is £1400 and the 16mm f2.8 is £619 vs around £400 for both the 15mm and 21mm (based on announced RRP). On top of that you’ve got the 31mm f1.8 @ £1000 (so not quite as wide as the Nikon, but faster and cheaper).


did you realize than Pentax lenses are pancakes ?
Slower aperture is the price to pay for extreme compacity.


Wide aperture is not the only metric for good lenses. The DA15 is a very unique lens, with wonderful rendering and absolutely incredible flare resistance. Color, contrast and flare resistance is so good that I wonder if it’s really possible for the HD version to make a visible difference!


I wouldn’t have mind if slow aperture = cheap. But here, slow aperture = expensive ! Small is nice but frankly I use my Sony 16-105mm if I don’t want to take a big bag.

If you think the 16-105mm is a crap lens you are mistaken. At times I prefer its output to any of my primes. That it has such a versatile focal length only adds to the charm.

Only issue is the lack of speed which is why I take a 35mm f1.8 and 85mm f1.4 primes around. I picked up the 35mm f1.8 brand new for $179 and its sharp, contrasty and has good bokeh.

The 85mm f1.4 is a Minolta version and I picked it up for around $700.


@brendon1000: Understood that you don’t find reason for the small, slow primes at their prices. Not everyone’s cup of tea.

But as soon as you brought in the Sony 16-105 to emphasize your point, every bit of credibility was self-destroyed. You have no concept of these instruments.


Green paint is over =)


it is not paint but metal ring 😉

M Jesper

you’re saying paint is naturally green ? 😉


I’ve gone to many places with only my K-5II and the DA 15mm. The most fun I’ve ever had shooting photos.


now only if Nikon can come up with lenses like these!! or if these lenses come in Nikon mounts… 🙂


Slow lenses? Make those lenses a f1.4 and what do you get? Yeah, bigger lenses.


Is Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Lim really big and heavy?
That was the real lim.



The FA43 f1.9 really is not that big but is still a bit longer than than DA 40 f2.8


Seems like a nice update.

Why is it that more Pentaxians post in Canon/Nikon threads due to some perceived slight than in an actual Pentax thread?


these are good lenses if we go back say 40 years, not today. the old good lenses may be best for video use so they are doing it right. only I don’t see once popular K mount for video.

btw, Zeiss T* coating was licensed from Pentax 40 some years ago.


Have you used these lenses? No? Then you don’t know what you are talking about.


Nice set of compact primes – Pentax seems to get what is possible with APS-C in terms of offering small, dedicated primes with focal lengths that make sense for a 1.5 crop sensor…


True that, it does set them apart from the comp.


I agree in terms of size and focal length. However competitive price and aperture is something they aren’t getting.

Zvonimir Tosic

Only competitor doing something similar is Leica, and compared to Leica, Pentax is doing a helluva good job in offering a competitive product.


basically they don’t have enough resources to expand to 35mm format (to develop competitive mirror box and AF module, etc.) so they stay in an awkward position of low efficient APS-C SLR.

they have a couple of good DA lenses. one that I liked is 21/3.2 but this is only 32/4.9 equiv. for bulky SLR and not as good as EF-M 22/2 we have now.


Zvonimir Tosic “Only competitor doing something similar is Leica”

Why Leica? What’s wrong with all the primes Olympus makes for M4/3?

Zvonimir Tosic

Olympus is doing a fine job,yes. But altogether, Pentax has 8 Limited lenses, and Oly’s offer isn’t quite there yet.


And Pentax lenses are all mechanical focus. Quite different.


Oly and Pentax share something in that they both love small aperture lenses but their market shares are small and have to sell those cheap lenses at high prices.

both of them take advantage of misunderstanding or misknowledge by some users but Oly may be in a better position to cheat.


sweet 🙂

Zvonimir Tosic

I can smell a retro-looking DSLR coming … available in black, and in silver. LX-style, tilting screen. Oh, how rude! 😀


Great, but I am already a happy camper with my FA Limited collection 🙂


It’s not about FA vs DA Limited—you can own both!

Jonathan Lee

all have the same filter thread size. nice!


Those that are upset at the prices of these lenses aren’t considering the quality of them. I don’t know of another set of lenses for this price, for this quality, in any other manufacturer. I’d be upset if Pentax charged $400.00 for a kit lens but these seem reasonable considering the market and economic times. Plus, those are just MSRP, real prices will be lower.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.



Furthermore, I find it irritating when people particularly complain about the lens caps. for the love of god, they are Metal! buy a cheapo plastic one if you don’t like it, but be happy that you are getting good craftsmanship…


no aperture ring.


If Pentax ever produces a FF DSLR, I think we will see the classic FA Limited lenses get the same treatment. They should also add SDM, except this time, it should be with a mechanism that is reliable.



It would defeat the compactness of the the lens line entirely, it would be nice and quiet, but much larger.


Nice lenses. Nutty prices.

Richard Murdey

Anyone else notice how “Pentax” is displayed much less prominently than it was before this re-style?

Zvonimir Tosic

They’ve just been redesigned and streamlined with more thought. From design’s perspective, how many Pentax name iterations is needed in a lens that fits in a shirt pocket? Two? Three? How many Apple name iterations are there per each Apple’s device and where it’s written?


Pentax playing Leica… What is the purpose of producing such expensive lenses? Pentax should focus efforts on true innovations rather than boutique products.

Zvonimir Tosic

Well, maybe to differentiate itself from a red ocean full of boring, plastic sameness that plague today’s digital photography world?

Gary Martin

People routinely spend $3k+ on a camera body they’ll upgrade every 2 years, so what’s wrong with paying for beautifully made lenses you can use for a decade or more? I’ve been using DA Limiteds since I got my first one in 2008, and what can I say – they make photography more enjoyable for me.


Because the IQ of the Limiteds is comparable to a Leica.


Gary?! The camera is the thing that takes the picture !!!!!!!!!


I already have the 21 and 70 and love them, but have been on the fence about the 15. May just have to use it as my dip into HD.


Love the lens, hate the price. I had the pleasure of using the older 21mm + 70mm pancake. The hands-on experience is incredible, as good as my father’s real West-German Made Zeiss.
But Pentax lens are just TOO EXPENSIVE. I’m mean $749 for a 70mm f/2.4 “TOO SLOW”. Make it a 70mm F/1.4 ~ F/1.8, then we’re talking. Until then, I can go get a much (1) Sharper (2) Faster Olympus 75mm f/1.8 for the same price, or go cheap for a $230 Sigma 60mm f/2.8. As long as Pentax keep over-charging its own loyal consumer, its market-share will continue to shrink.
How much lower can Pentax go. The companyh has been sold twice already.

Gary Martin

Those prices are MSRP; street prices should be lower. I paid a little over $400 for my DA70, but you’re right, it’s not worth $749.

Zvonimir Tosic

Gary, speak for yourself; I think that once someone impartial tries DA70, he or she would conclude the value surpasses the price tag considerably. These lenses match Leica’s Summarit quality at 1/3 of the price, plus they’re AF and quick-shift too.
Optically balanced, hand machined aluminium and finish … how much you think they deserve to cost? You live in fantasy world with no meaning for real value in it.

Gary Martin

That’s great Zvonimir, and I’m sure that a Bentley is worth all the hand-crafting that goes into one – but I drive the Toyota that I can afford instead. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy using my DA Limiteds knowing that I’m lucky that I bought them when I did; I couldn’t afford them at the current MSRP.

Zvonimir Tosic

You know, I understand that. But if I had too choose to own 5 cheap lenses or 2 good ones that will outlive cheapos by 2 decades or more — for the same price — I’d choose latter.


^^ Thats only an assumption. I have an old Cosina 100mm f3.5 that actually shakes when focusing and I get scared that it will break everytime I use it.

However it has lasted me almost 25 years nows and it still works great even though I never really took great care of it.

I have no doubt it will last another 25 years more if the A mount is still alive then.


Nice. I am a circular aperture fan, having worked with many vintage lenses. But there is more to smooth bokeh or out of focal plane rendering than a circular aperture.

Colin Stuart

That new 40/2.8 pancake is sexy (more so than the older one). Wish I had a new K5 to pop that baby on!


I’ve never seen a bigger group of cackling hens. Embarrassing.

Gary Martin

I have all 5 of these lenses, and I love them dearly, but now they all feel a little bit less special today ;(


Gorgeous lenses.

Zvonimir Tosic

Best damn looking lenses in the entire DSLR universe right now. And I trust new improvements in coating and in iris shape add extra flavour to image quality.


HD Coating


A new refreshed line of lenses and Available in silver… I wonder what they are preparing for? 😉


k-02 available in 9 different metallic finishes?


Very possible. They have been doing that a lot lately…


That silver DA15 is sexy as hell.


If they had added weather sealing to them, they may have enticed current owners to upgrade. I can’t see many users upgrading because of a new coating, except for maybe the few diehard pentaxians who have to have the new stuff.

Should’ve added weather-sealing.


Maybe just maybe a remote chance these are meant for new customers to pentax……. sigh

Zvonimir Tosic

Considering very tight tolerances in lens design, adding WR would change the design of all these lenses, add all new cost. We’d be paying twice this price. Not only that, lenses would inevitably change their look, maybe became “chunkier”, and overall less appealing than they’re now.
Or shall I rephrase — these are not workhorse, motorised, weather sealed monster lenses, but classically elegant lenses for screw drive only. They’re your elegant convertible 2-seater, not your 4WD Hummer.


Leica M are not weathersealed either.


@Zvonimir: Look at the 100/2.8 WR Macro. It small, metal, weather-sealed, and not ridiculously expensive. In fact, it’s pretty much a DA limited 100/2.8 in every possible way apart from the name.

I really think they should have taken to opportunity to make these weather sealed, especially since they just introduced the weather-sealed flash units. As it stands, these don’t seem enough of an upgrade for me to get rid of my current DA Limiteds.

Zvonimir Tosic

I think if they did introduce WR throughout the line, in their books that would be an all new production cost which isn’t justified, I’m afraid. This is an upgrade with a minimum of interference in current design and appeal.



The 100 f2.8 Macro WR is metal, weather sealed but unfortunately, not Limited small.


This is a kick in the balls for current owners of this new system.


This isn’t a new system; it’s the 40+ year old K-mount.

R Butler

How so?


I can answer that: prices.

Pentax glass continues to climb up to the stratosphere. And perhaps most attractive aspect of K-mount – DA and FA primes – are now well past being competitively priced.

R Butler

That’s fair enough – I was trying to work out if this was one the ‘there’s a new product that somehow undermines my existing purchase’ arguments that I don’t quite understand.


Anyway, my answer was a guess, and is really a personal pet peeve about a system that I’ve enjoyed tremendously in the past.
Perhaps Mssimo was hoping for a FF DSLR or some updated SDM zooms.


You can always switch to Sony. They seem to be looking for folks like you.


Canon’s prices are shooting way up too. It sucks for users of both systems. Look at the new 24-70L II for example. Maybe this a trend manufacturers are taking to move DSLR products up-market.

And yet the Yen has been weakening lately vs. the USD (prices should actually be going down).


ohh sorry..thought this was the Q system!


When I was shooting pentax I remember those lenses being almost half that price. $750 for a 35/2.8!?! Yikes.

Pentax should’ve done this with the Fa limiteds(31/43/77). Those are the best lenses pentax makes, wonder why they didn’t get the treatment?

KL Matt

They look fantastic in silver!

KL Matt

High Definition coating, eh? So does this mean the updated versions will resolve more detail than their predecessors? Will they have improved T-stops, considering Pentax seem to be claiming higher light transmission? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get even 1/4 stop more light? (I can’t imagine it’s really that much in practice, however).


Beautiful lenses, far too expensive for APS-C lenses, metal barrels or not. The DA primes are a main reasons to shoot Pentax, but they have slowly but surely increased the prices of these primes, until Pentax has simply stopped being such an attractive option, even for people who don’t mind spending on quality gear.


You mean FA primes. None of those lenses above are very interesting…


The FA primes are even more expensive, but they’ve always been priced higher because they are FF lenses.

The above lenses are interesting to APS-C shooters (meaning ALL Pentax shooters). The 70 f/2.4 is superb, and the others are quite good. When the K-30 first came out the 40 2.8 was $296 at B&H. Now it’s $500 and the red ring version will be even more. It’s an f/2.8 APS-C lens, and for some reason Pentax thinks close to $600 is a fair price for it. Puzzling.


Such beautiful lenses. If only they made a full-frame camera and full-frame lenses. If Pentax can make aps-c and medium format, why not full-frame?


Dude don’t even ask about a FF pentax lol. They’ve had a mock up for like 10 years. It’s the reason I (and many others) have left Pentax. No pro bodies and lackluster lens releases over the past decade(except for the da 55/1.4).
Hopefully Ricoh rights the ship. Pentax was a very respected name back in the day. It sucks seeing them focus soley on the amateur/enthusiast market and put out gimmicky crap like custom colored bodies instead of badass pro gear.


Buy the 645.


Sure. It’s only, what, $ 9-10K?


the DA 40 and DA 70 covers the FF circle (at least in film, should be the same in digital format)

Rod McD

These are incremental improvements to five good existing lenses that will offer a little extra to new buyers. It’s probably uneconomic to upgrade for those like me who already own the current versions. It’s also a pity Pentax didn’t add seals to make them water resistant to match its camera bodies


Bingo. They should’ve had seals.


I’d prefer if they had penguins.


Puffins, maybe.
I don’t know where all this penguin business comes from :^|


Seems pretty expensive for such slow lenses.


You need to look beyond mere aperture here. The lenses aren’t that slow and a K-5/K-5ii/K-5iis with its class leading ISO can certainly use them in a wide variety of situations.


And don’t forget that all of these are stabilized, even the 15mm 🙂


Quick! Everybody dump their old out of date lenses on Ebay now!


I am sure first time buyers shall be pleased


do it, these will be so much better, it is very well worth it to sell your non-hd limiteds for pennies.


Nice looking lenses and look at those wonderful DOF markings.

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