Pentax Q Review

Lens Overview

Pentax has introduced five lenses for the Q mount. These fall in two groups: Lenses for serious shooting, and lenses just for fun (called "toy lenses"). The lenses are identified though the numbers 01 to 05; the numbers are engraved on the lenses for easy identification.

Lenses

Lenses 01 and 02 have a built-in leaf shutter which has the benefit of a fast flash synchronization of 1/2000s (1/250s with external flash). Lenses 03, 04 and 05 have no built-in shutter but rely on the electronic shutter in the camera and have a slow flash synch speed of just 1/13s. These three lenses also have no variable aperture - the aperture is fixed at the maximal opening, and the lenses are manual focus.

The leaf shutter lenses have a built-in two stop ND filter for use in strong light or where a slower shutter speed is desired than would be possible at f/8, which is the smallest aperture available. Activating the ND filter reduces the light by two stops for an effective minimum aperture of f/16 and has the advantage of not increasing diffraction and rendering the images unsharp. The ND filter is thus a replacement for small apertures.

Lens 01: smc Pentax 1:1.9 8.5 mm AL [IF]

Standard Prime Lens (47 mm eqv.)

Lens 01This lens is only available as a kit lens but that should not let you believe that it is a lower quality lens. With a max. aperture of F1.9 and excellent sharpness this lens is a must-have in our opinion if you're into prime lenses. Our only complaint with this lens is that the lens hood is not included but must be purchased separately.

Focal length   8.5 mm (47 mm eqv.)
Optics 8 elements in 5 groups
Aperture range F1.9 to F8
Diagonal field of view 49.5 degrees
Min. focus distance 0.2 m (0.66 ft)
Max. magnification 0.05x
Auto focus Yes
Quick shift Yes
Filter diameter 40.5 mm
Lens hood Not included,
available separately
Built-in leaf shutter Yes
Built-in ND filter Yes
Weight 37 g (1.3 oz)

Lens 02: smc Pentax 1:2.8-4.5 5-15 mm ED AL [IF]

Standard Zoom Lens (28-83 mm eqv.)

Lens 01This standard zoom is available as a kit lens as well as separately. It covers a very useful zoom range and the image quality is excellent. It does have some image distortion but that is corrected by the software in the camera when shooting JPG, or in the Silky Pix software included with the camera when shooting RAW. Compared to the other lenses the zoom is large which is a good thing since it allows enough room for two-handed operation - operate the camera with the left hand and zoom with the right hand. We highly recommend this lens for its flexibility and image quality. Like the 01 lens, the lens hood is not included and must be purchased separately.

Focal length   5-15 mm (28-83 mm eqv.)
Optics 8 elements in 7 groups
Aperture range F2.8-4.5 to F8
Diagonal field of view 76 to 29 degrees
Min. focus distance 0.3 m (0.98 ft)
Max. magnification 0.06x
Auto focus Yes
Quick shift Yes
Filter diameter 40.5 mm
Lens hood Not included,
available separately
Built-in leaf shutter Yes
Built-in ND filter Yes
Weight 96 g (3.4 oz)

Lens 03: smc Pentax 1:5.6 3.2 mm Fish-eye

Fish-eye Lens (17.5 mm eqv.)

lens03It is fun to use a fish-eye lens from time to time, so we're pleased to see that Pentax is providing one for the Q. This lens is not called a toy lens by Pentax, but nevertheless it has all the limitations of toy lenses, including the lack of auto-focus.

Focal length   3.2 mm (17.5 mm eqv.)
Optics 6 elements in 5 groups
Aperture range Fixed at F5.6
Diagonal field of view 160 degrees
Min. focus distance 0.09 m (0.3 ft)
Max. magnification 0.06x
Auto focus No
Filter diameter No filter ring
Lens hood Not available
Built-in leaf shutter No
Built-in ND filter No
Restrictions No bulb shooting,
slowest shutter speed 2 s
Weight 29 g (1 oz)

Lens 04: Toy Lens Wide 1:7.1 6.3 mm

Wide Angle Lens (35 mm eqv.)

lens04A good all-round focal length. This lens being a toy lens means that it has several limitations as shown in the table below. Furtehrmore, the lens exhibits pronounced barrel distortion which cannot be corrected by the camera's distrotion correction function. The focal length of 6.3 mm is covered by the 02 zoom lens which is faster and has none of the restrictions. The zoom also has much less barrel distortion (actually none if distortion correction is enabled in the camera). The justification for the 04 lens can only be its low price and diminutive size for those who want a very compact package. We prefer to use the zoom for wide angle shots.

Focal length   6.3 mm (35 mm eqv.)
Optics 4 elements in 3 groups
Aperture range Fixed at F7.1
Diagonal field of view 64 degrees
Min. focus distance 0.07 m (0.23 ft)
Max. magnification 0.15x
Auto focus No
Filter diameter No filter ring
Lens hood Not available
Built-in leaf shutter No
Built-in ND filter No
Restrictions No bulb shooting,
slowest shutter speed 2 s
Weight 21 g (0.7 oz)

Lens 05: Toy Lens Telephoto 1:8 18 mm

Telephoto Lens (100 mm eqv.)

Lens 05The only telephoto prime lens available is this toy lens. We hope that Pentax will introduce some serious telephoto lenses with built-in shutter and diaphragm and a larger max. aperture like f/4 or better.

Focal length   18 mm (100 mm eqv.)
Optics 3 elements in 3 groups
Aperture range Fixed at F8
Diagonal field of view 24.5 degrees
Min. focus distance 0.27 m (0.89 ft)
Max. magnification 0.08x
Auto focus No
Filter diameter No filter ring
Lens hood Not available
Built-in leaf shutter No
Built-in ND filter No
Restrictions No bulb shooting,
slowest shutter speed 2 s
Weight 18 g (0.6 oz)

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