A Quick Review of the Pentax Q Cap Lens
Pentax-Q 07 Mount Shield Lens 11.5mm F9
By PF Staff in Review Announcements on Jan 18, 2014
During the summer of 2013, Pentax announced the 07 "Mount Shield" body cap lens for the Pentax Q line of ultra-compact mirrorless cameras. This intriguing lens is only as thick as a traditional DSLR lens cap, so as its name implies, it can be kept on your camera full-time in place of an actual cap. Weighing in a 8 grams and at just 6.9mm long, you can hardly even tell that it's there, so naturally it also makes your camera fully pocketable! If you're looking to compare it with a Pentax DSLR lens, we'd have to say that its closest cousin would probably be the ultra-thin and ultra-versatile Takumar 18mm F11.
The 11.5mm F9 cap lens employs a single-element pinhole design which means that its optical capabilities are limited: it transmits very little light and its focus is fixed between 30cm and 2 meters, so you won't be using it to photograph landscapes or distant subjects. If you want something to be in focus, you have to physically move the lens. The 11.5mm focal length corresponds to a long "normal" field of view, similar to what a 50mm lens would see on a Pentax DSLR. The field of view is bit wider on the Pentax Q7 of course.
Although you can't expect to get any razor-sharp or distortion-free photos with it, overall it's certainly a fun little lens, so we're prepared a fun little video review of it:
To put the size of the cap lens into perspective, here's a photo of it alongside the 01 Standard Prime (8.5mm F1.9), which is already ridiculously-small for an interchangeable camera lens.
Size comparison: Pentax Q10 beside the 07 and 01 lenses
Based on our experience in the field, this lens is best for portraits or family snaps, pets, and other close-ups: though it probably won't be replacing your smartphone for all practical purposes. Read on for some real-world sample photos and more images of the lens.
Since the cap lens has such a slow aperture, we found ourselves shooting at very high ISO settings most of the time, even in broad daylight. Even then, the photos often turned out to be noticeably underexposed and very flat in terms of color, so we've made the necessary corrections in post. All the sample photos below were taken with the Pentax Q10. Click on any thumbnail to enlarge and browse.
The cap lens has a maximum diameter of 40.8mm, which makes it just slightly larger than the Pentax Q battery. On the back of the lens there are some electrical contacts that allow the camera to identify the lens.
As before, click on any thumbnail below to enlarge.
The cap lens's full specifications can be found in our Pentax Q lens database. If you want to add this novelty to your kit, you can: just before the holidays, it made its way to American and European retailers unannounced. It is currently available for $76.95, making it the most expensive Pentax cap ever.
If you currently own this lens, we'd love to see some of your photos with it: you'd be the first among our forum members (as of the writing of this post).