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June 18, 2010

Pentax patents show three prime lenses with 21.6mm image circle (M43rds)

This time we have a patent-rumor from Japan. Let's start from the beginning... A photographer in the PentaxForums forums points to Japanese blog Egami blog (computer translated) that shows three lens patent diagrams from Pentax, and the lenses have a 21.6mm image circle, which may scream Micro Four Thirds in some quarters.

The three lens patents are for 14mm f2.8, 17mm f2, and 17mm f2.8.

More discussion:
+ M43rds dpreview forum

The "Pentax joins Micro Four Thirds" rumors have been making the internet rounds, including a comment by Valentin Sama in April 2010.

Now patents are patents, they can't take pictures, so there are many different possibilities, some of them are:

+ Pentax may just make select profitable M43rds primes, since Olympus/Panasonic are not in a particular hurry to make M43rds primes

+ Maybe they will also offer a body? The lowest cost would be perhaps to rebrand a M43rds Panasonic body like Leica does so they can sell it with their native lenses to Pentaxians?

+ Join M43rds at full-speed, making both cameras and lenses?

+ Do nothing, the patents are just part of planning or R&D or defensive strategy

As Anu points out in the Comments, the patents were filed in 2008, but were revealed just a couple of days ago. Is the revelation time a random occurrence or are they laying the ground for something?

And if we push further into speculation territory, the 17mm f2.8 may perhaps point to a body as well, since it wouldn't make sense to have a pancake-kit lens without a camera body?

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