Pentax files viewfinder patent for medium format camera

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Pentax has applied for a patent for a viewfinder system for medium format cameras. The system allows the viewfinder to be reduced and should minimize color fringing due to the reduction.

A medium format camera has a larger image sensor than a full-frame DSLR. As a result, the folding mirror and the glass prism are also larger, resulting in a less handy housing. In its patent application, Pentax proposes a medium format camera in which the image reflected from the mirror is guided to a small prism via a condenser lens group. This image is mirrored both in height and width. Via a lens system behind the prism, the image is then ‘straightened’ again. The system that Pentax in its recently published patent application describes, allows for a smaller viewfinder and therefore a smaller camera, while limiting color shifting. The system also offers a better eye reliefwhich is especially useful for spectacle wearers.

It’s an open secret that Pentax is working on a new medium format camera; for example, through Toshiaki Iue, head of the marketing and sales department, the company presented at the Photokina 2008 explained that it will release a new medium format camera system rather than a full-frame DSLR. Especially the development costs of a line of full-frame lenses prevent Pentax from doing the latter. There is already a wide range of lenses for the Pentax 645 medium format system.

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