After first showing off the lens over a year ago, and sharing a few more teasers during a livestream two weeks ago, Ricoh has officially unveiled the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm f/1.4ED SDM AW—a “next-generation, high-performance” portrait prime for K-mount DSLRs.
The lens is only the second prime to be added to the “Star series” of high-performance lenses for digital cameras, and like its 50mm f/1.4 predecessor, it promises to deliver “extra-clear, high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness.”
Optically, it will achieve this by using 12 lens elements in 10 groups—including three Super ED elements and one glass-molded aspherical element—to compensate for chromatic and spherical aberration while reducing distortion to “nearly zero” at a focus distance of four meters. There’s also an “HD” coating to reduce ghosting and flare.
In terms of autofocus, the 85mm uses a new ring-type SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) developed exclusively for this lens, which delivers more torque and promises “flawless, high-speed autofocus operation.” Finally, as we’ve come to expect from high-end lenses like this, the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm f/1.4ED SDM AW is fully weather sealed.
The HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm f/1.4ED SDM AW is scheduled to ship in mid-June, but expect to pay a premium for the privilege of owning the second “Star series” prime. According to Ricoh, this new portrait lens will run you $1,900 when it goes up for sale.