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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Pentax Q and C-mount Lenses = A predictable disappointment!

I did have my doubts about using adapted lenses on the new Pentax Q and they have just been confirmed by DC Watch.

Whilst the very small sensor promises full frame coverage with most C and D-mount lenses it's important to remember that the photosites on the sensor are incredibly tiny and most lenses simply cannot resolve enough detail to keep up. One combination in particular that had me salivating was the Q mated with the Pentax 8-48mm F/1.0 which would equate to a 46-267mm F/1.0 (in terms of light gathering) but it just isn't going to deliver any sort of usable image quality.

The camera does better with SLR lenses that tend to be capable of much higher resolutions so there is still some potential for interesting combinations, a 200mm F/2.8 would become an 1100mm which could have some interesting applications although even with SLR lenses I suspect only the very sharpest would be up to the job. If you're not interested in extreme telephoto then you're still best off using SLR lenses with 4/3 or larger sensors with all the associated benefits such as lower noise and shallower depth of field.

I would expect that modern megapixel CCTV lenses would perform somewhat better but they cost as much if not more as native Q lenses so what's the point? It's a shame really but I was expecting it to happen, there's just no way these old video lenses can deliver enough resolution to feed the tiny pixels in the Pentax Q It's still a cute camera and I know that the native lenses are very decent but it terms of using it for all those c and d-mount lenses that won't work on your 4/3 cam I'm afraid it's a no go!

Here's the link to the DC Watch article where they test several lenses all with disappointing results.


Tom said... Best Blogger Tips

I have not yet given away C-mount lenses on the Pentax Q. Relatively mundane purpose CCTV lenses can vary from a welcome surprise to "pretty awful" - it is a lottery. A lottery I can't help entering. At the moment a No-name (probably Fujian) Chinese 50mm f1.4 performs well even if it does focus well past infinity. The Cosmicar 8.5 f1.5 "made in Japan" has left me underwhelmed so far, at least it was cheap. The Cosmicar 12.5mm f1.9 with metal body on the other hand is a very good lens. Obviously made for a higher end market. Two Meopta lenses show that made for Cine-camera is better than made for CCTV. Also if I fit a Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 in ltm then "now we are cooking on gas" as my dear old Mum used to say.
Can't do anything with the small pixels but better lenses seem to give better chances (generally but not always).
The standard oem #01 prime does not do a bad job, but the "Toy Lenses" are built like .... "toys" I guess. the Fujian lenses are better built, work like real lenses and are cheaper.
Pity that all lenses on the Q are telephoto, experiments with '"extreme" telephoto are deemed from the outset, but the Minolta Super Rokkor 90mm f4.5 LM does not do such a bad fist of it at 504mm equivalent, unlikely to win prizes. Your Voigtlander Lanthar might be worth a try just for the heck of it.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I have orderet couple of sunex lenses to test. They have resolution suitable to video at least. DSL377A-650-F/2.8 EFL = 2.5mm, F/2.8, M12x0.5 thread, and the
DSL355A-650-F2.8 EFL=4.16.
They have less barrel distortion.

The Geeks said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

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