Lenses of the Pentax Auto 110
Pentax 110 outfit - camera, dedicated flash, and four lenses; 18mm, 24mm, 50mm, and 70mm, with a British pound coin for scale.
So now on to trying out the P110 lenses on the Fuji camera. All the test pictures were taken of the same scene, on a tripod in the same position. We start with a picture of the scene taken with the Fuji's own lens - the 16-50mm zoom set at 24mm and f/7.1 - to give an idea of what a modern system makes of it:
And now with the P110 24mm standard lens, using the f/7 washer. The white box shows the crop corresponding to the Pentax's actual image size:
There is serious vignetting and loss of sharpness at the edges, but it barely extends into the area that the lens is intended to cover. We see the same thing with all the lenses, not surprisingly at its worst with the wide-angle 18mm.
Expanding to 100% we can see that the modern lens (16-50 zoom at 18mm) and the Pentax 18mm perform very similarly within the intended coverage of the Pentax lens (both at f/7):
The same can't be said of the 70mm Pentax lens, which seriously underperforms the Fuji 55-200mm zoom set at 70mm:
At 50mm this problem goes away, with similar results from the Pentax and the Fuji zoom at its 50mm setting:
The final comparison is with the standard focal length of 24mm (Pentax) and the 16-50 Fuji zoom set to about 24mm, which gives us:
... this time the Pentax is not quite up to modern standards, a little softer and less contrasty - but a respectable performance even so for a lens of its period.
I conclude that the Pentax lenses, with the exception of the 70mm, are remarkably good for 40-year-old designs, and can stand up well to a comparison with modern expectations. Although not ideal for APS-C because of their limited coverage and the need therefore always to crop, they should do well on a Micro-4/3 digital body. I would avoid the (rare and expensive!) 70mm, and was particularly impressed with the tiny 18mm lens. Remarkable!
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An occasional and irregular blog, mostly of photographic experimentation and photographic history.
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