NEW Pentax K-3 Mark III Jet Black (Image credit: Ricoh Imaging)


Manufacturing of cameras has taken an interesting turn in production. Who would have thought that you could get a camera in a variety of versions of your favorite model.

UPDATE: New reports suggest that no fewer than six different versions of the Pentax K-3 Mark III are in development, including dedicated monochrome and astrophotography models. 

Additional coverage of the company’s online presentation, held in Japan in December 2021, indicates that the Pentax K-3 Mark III will come in six variants: one with a gunmetal finish, a version with a modified shutter release button, a manual focus version, a monochrome model, and an astro model (as reported by Pentax Rumors). And as shown above, a model that is Jet black.

The translated event report reveals that the jet black model will be completely black, including the logo and all engravings. The “shutter stroke change model” is designed for faster shooting with a shallower shutter stroke. The K-3 Mark III MF will be entirely dedicated to manual focus, while the gunmetal model will resemble the base color of the original K-3 Prestige Edition. 

New Pentax K3 in Gunmetal finish

ORIGINAL STORY (02 Dec 2021):Rumor has it that Ricoh is considering an expansion of the Pentax K-3 Mark III product line by adding a monochrome camera as well as an ‘Astro’ variant. 

It might seem strange to release a black-and-white version of the Pentax K-3 Mark III, which would on paper appear to challenge cameras like the Leica M-10 Monochrom, but an astrophotography version makes more sense.

The news comes from a report by Digital Camera Info, keeping track of several different online events that were held recently by Ricoh Imaging in Japan. The report shows that the Japanese outlet Ten Riff had been tweeting updates mentioned in Ricoh’s Pentax Meeting Online 2021. 

It was supposedly announced in the online meeting that Ricoh is “considering a derivative model of the K-3 Mark III equipped with a monochrome sensor… K-3 Mark III Monochrome: uses a monochrome sensor without a color bayer filter… Achieves natural resolution and noise-like image quality without bayer complementation”.

blue pink and white andromeda galaxy way
Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

The translated tweets may not convey a perfect description, but it is evident that a lot of thought has gone into the design of these potential models. Further tweets tell us that “Pentax [Ricoh] is considering a model for astronomical objects ‘K3 Mark III Astro’… to prevent infrared voyeurism? It is a premise to make a pledge that ‘it will be used only for astronomical photography… general shooting is not possible’.” 

The meeting also revealed that a calibration-free update to the K-3 Mark III’s Astrotracer feature – which uses the camera’s sensor shift stabilization in tandem with an optional GPS module to shoot trail-free astrophotography – will be provided in a firmware upgrade expected in spring 2022. 

The Astro model supposedly has a Hα (hydrogen-alpha) sensitivity of x10, so it’s likely that nebula will photograph well using this proposed camera. A hydrogen-alpha filter is commonly used among other filters in astrophotography kits to assist in photographing deep sky objects in what’s called true-color or broadband. 

Here’s hoping that Ricoh will officially announce these new progressive models in the coming months, but we should probably practice our backyard astrophotography in the meantime. 


With the introduction of these variations of cameras, it looks like the DSLR market is going to be something that a lot of other serious scientists, and specialized photographers may come out of the woodwork and consider. Meant to do things that other camera manufactures only think about.

And one that I find particularly interesting is their model that only shoots black and white. I have done a special every year showcasing some amazing black and white artists. https://wordpress.com/view/123photogo.com And every year I find this collection of black and white photos, they get better and better all the time. For those who really love black and white, their dream camera may have just appeared from Pentax.

With this announcement, photography becomes even more exciting!

This is a rugged, metal-bodied DSLR with a magnesium alloy body, 300,000-shot shutter life and 12fps continuous shooting. (Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

This original Pentax model was the first to come out with an ISO range of up to 1,600,000! And shooting at that ISO setting has people realizing they can now shoot anywhere.

Today’s article is compliments of Digital Camera World, and Lanny Cottrell


Recent depiction of the “James Webb” telescope

This new space telescope should show us what the universe looked like as a baby

Imagine knowing nothing about your childhood, nothing about where you came from, and spending years hunting for the answers. Then someone hands you a just-discovered trove of photographs of yourself as an infant. You’d finally be able to scrutinize every detail, searching for clues about yourself and how you came to be the way you are.

That’s just what it will be like for astronomers once a long-anticipated, $10 billion telescope finally blasts off into space in the coming days. If all goes well, it will soon show them what the universe looked like as a newborn, nearly 14 billion years ago.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful space telescope ever, is waiting at a launch site in French Guiana. It should be able to detect infrared light from galaxies that are so far away that the light from them has been traveling through space for almost the entire history of the universe.

A telescope, or a time machine?

Using telescopes, astronomers have been able to see far more distant galaxies, which means they’ve been able to see farther back into the universe’s history. So far, the most distant galaxy ever discovered, GN-z11, was spotted by the Hubble Space Telescope.

To the untrained eye, it looks like a red blob, but “it’s basically like looking back in time about 13.3, 13.4 billion years ago,” says Charlotte Mason, associate professor at the Cosmic Dawn Center of the Niels Bohr Institute and the University of Copenhagen. “That’s just 300, 400 million years after the Big Bang.”

Hubble is limited in how far back in time it can look, so finding this galaxy was kind of a lucky break. Astronomers only spotted it because decades of using Hubble have let them scour much of the sky, and this particular early galaxy is surprisingly bright.

The James Webb Space Telescope should be able to provide more information about lots of additional galaxies this old and even older, which will help researchers understand how galaxies formed and changed into the familiar shapes and structures seen today.

At Northrop Grumman, the telescope is being readied for launch by folding it up to fit on a rocket.

The James Webb Space Telescope has technology that should let it see back to 100 million to 200 million years after the Big Bang.

“So really, the period when we think the very first galaxies formed,” says Mason.

This telescope, which took decades to design and build, also has instruments that will let scientists probe the chemical make-up of the galaxies.

Christmas Eve telescope launch has astronomers hoping for good tidings of great joy

A churning mix of excitement and anxious dread has taken hold of astronomers around the world as they wait for the launch of the most powerful telescope ever, planned for the morning of Christmas Eve.

The James Webb Space Telescope has been in the works for decades, and its gold-plated, 21-foot mirror will see much farther out into space than the venerable Hubble Space Telescope. Its launch has been delayed so many times over the years that, for many, it seems almost unbelievable that it’s finally about to happen.

The three-story-tall telescope, with its heat shield the size of a tennis court, is all folded up and crammed inside a rocket. It will have to unfold itself and travel about a million miles away from Earth, cooling down to temperatures around minus 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

Before all that can happen, it has to get safely off the planet. Astronomers can’t help but imagine this $10 billion telescope getting obliterated in an instant by an unlikely, but still possible, rocket explosion. But Faherty, who will be using the telescope for her research, thinks her anxiety will actually lessen on launch day.