Pentax releases its first-ever weatherproof macro lens

PENTAX-D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8ED AW
(Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

As we hear more and more reports of Canon, Nikon, Tamron, and others, pensioning off its DSLR lenses, Pentax is bucking the trend by launching a brand new lens for its digital SLRs. The HD Pentax-D FA Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW becomes the first all-weather macro lens in its K-mount range. The new full-frame prime will effectively replace the Pentax 100mm f2.8 SMC D-FA WR Macro which dates back to 2009.

The 100mm macro lens has a new optical design with 10 elements in 8 groups; these incorporate one Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass optical element and two Anomalous Dispersion glass optical elements to compensate for aberrations and minimize unwanted purple fringing.

Pentax' All Weather (AW) construction makes its first appearance on a Pentax macro lens - making it suitable for use in adverse weather conditions when used with one of Pentax' range of weatherproofed DSLRs. Although designed for full-frame use, the lens can be used on APS-C models too, giving an effective 150mm focal length that is particularly useful for shooting wildlife subjects such as butterflies.

The macro lens gives up to 1:1 lifesize magnification, with a minimum working distance 13cm (5.1 inches). It has an 8-blade circular diaphragm that boasts 'natural, beautiful bokeh'.

The 100mm macro lens's construction uses six weatherproof and dustproof seals to protect it from the elements (Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

A silver version of the lens will be sold as a special edition of just 300 units (Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)

Specifications

Mount: Pentax KA
Full frame: Yes
Autofocus: Yes
Stabilization: No
Lens construction: 10 elements in 8 groups
Angle of view: 24.5° (16° on APS-C camera)
Diaphragm blades: 8
Minimum aperture: f/32
Minimum focusing distance: 0.303m (1.0 ft)
Maximum magnification ratio: 1x
Filter size: 49mm
Dimensions: 65 x 80.5 mm
Weight: 348g (12.3oz)

Pricing & availability

The HD Pentax-D FA Macro 100mm F2.8ED AW lens will be in available in black from late November for $549.95 – which pleasingly is the same price as its predecessor; it is supplied with both a lens hood and case.

A special edition silver version of the lens will go on sale in early November, also for $549.95 – but will limited to just 300 units worldwide.

Do also look at our guides to the best macro lenses (opens in new tab), and to the best Pentax lenses (opens in new tab).

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Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 


His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.


He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.