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Pentax 110 Micro Lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Boatman, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. I have been reading about the wonders of the Pentax 110 lenses for the m43 cameras. Being adventerous in such things, I decided to watch for a deal on eBay and try this out. After watching for a week or so, I won a bid for both an 18mm and a 24mm lens. For under $60 I picked up these two and a m43 adapter from Rainbow Imaging.

    My thinking was that the little lenses, which are pretty fast at f2.8, would be fun for parties and the like where their small size would be less intimidating than the big (and slow) 14-140 lens that is on the GH2. I also have a Takumar 50, which is fast enough, but has proved too long for indoor photos other than head shots.

    The lenses arrived today and I got an initial reaction to them. First of all, these things are SMALL. No, I mean really, really TINY!!The 24mm, which is the smaller of the two, is just larger in diamter than a quarter. The adapter fit perfectly and in a couple of minutes I was ready to take some shots.

    So what do I think? Well, the small size is cool. It makes the camera weigh about 1/4 ounce more than its native heft of 13 ounces. The lens focuses easily with about a half turn close up to infinity. The viewfinder is bright and all the usualy manual lens features of the GH2 work exactly as they should. Where the lens falls down is in image quality. I don't think I was ready for what I saw in the first images.

    I shot the 18mm first and it is really soft in the edges. It also shows a lot of flare whenever there are bright lights in the image. There is significant vignetting. The 24mm seems bettter in all regards, but is still bad. I've read reports on the Takumar 28mm, which I also have, that state it is soft in the edges. Perhaps, but by comparison it looks like the finest Leica money can buy.

    So, I don't know about these little guys. They're cute and look like fun. The field of view of the 18mm would be an advantage in room settings, which may be playing to its strength also. But, optically they are limited. My Tak 28 is not THAT big and it's only a half EV slower than these 110s. It may be a better solution. Or I could go all in and pick up the Panasonic 20mm and get autofocus and all the rest. For now, I'll play with them and have some fun. I haven't made a big investment and I can always sell the little buggers. Good fun but not up to the hype.

    18mm indoor
    View attachment 4059

    18mm minimum focus
    View attachment 4060

    18mm infinity
    View attachment 4061

    24mm indoor
    View attachment 4062

    Takumar 28mm f3.5 (focus at corner of counter)
    View attachment 4068

    24mm minimum focus
    View attachment 4063

    24mm infinity
    View attachment 4066

    lens size
    View attachment 4067
    • Like Like x 4
  2. Jdumas

    Jdumas Mu-43 Regular

    Nice shots and please add to archive https://www.mu-43.com/f81/pentax-18mm-f-2-8-110-image-thread-9103/ You should give these little guys a good try before discounting them. Also, I have liked mine so much more using my VF2. The short focus throw means just tenths of a degree will have a huge effect on the focus plane so I try to use 10x assist when possible. I also have the 24 and meant to start a post in the sample section for it.

    I think they are really fun lenses. I remember having 110 cameras growing up for family shots when I was young (1985ish). You know the ones with flash cubes? I guess thats where the nostalgia for theses lenses come from for me.

    This 8X10 portrait is hanging on my wall from the 24.
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    This is at work with the 24.
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    From the hip with the 24.
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    I generally like the 24 better than 18 (I have not tried the 50 or the zoom) but I am a portrait shooter mostly around 50-100 range in 35mm. The vignette and softness on the corners just give it character to me LOL plus it is classic pentax styling.

    Have fun with these lenses and please remember to put your camera in your pocket from now on because you now can!

    Ha in fact my avatar is a mirror shot with the 24 and epl1, Enjoy!
    • Like Like x 4
  3. gekopaca

    gekopaca Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    Here is my tests (I bought them few weeks ago) :

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    I'm waiting now for the 70mm I just bought, and I will try some chinese wide additives on the 18 and 24 :wink:
    • Like Like x 5
  4. Does anyone know where lens caps can be obtained for the 110 lenes? What about cases? I was thinking a 35mm film plastic film can would work quite nicely, however I just threw all mine away about three months ago. Doh!
  5. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa

    since there is a little interest on these lenses I'll post some links to my blog where I put up my tests and stuff on the 110 lenses I bought

    in my view ...: Pentax 110 adapted lenses on micro4/3

    some comparisons with the standard kit zoom and my OM 50mm stopped down to f2.8
    in my view ...: Pentax 110 lenses on the Panasonic G1

    on this page I tested the 24mm for flare when shooting into the sun directly and then shielding by hand.
    in my view ...: Penta 110 24mm: flare and softness

    and where i compare flare across four 50mm lenses I have (including the pentax 50 which is my favorite compact lens for the G1

    hope that helps :) 
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    KEH usually sells some, but mine fall off often enough ...
  7. Thank you, everyone, for your helpful comments. I do think my initial post came off a little hard on the 110 lenses. I was kind of dissapointed as I had seen geopac's shots, and others, before and expected more than I initially saw.

    However, I've used them more and they have potential. I have a 25th wedding anniversary to go to next week in a function hall. Natually I'll bring my camera and I'll try out the 110s there. That is really what I wanted them for; inobtrusive, fast, reasonably wide angle. I took a couple more shots in the office and some others out in the yard and they do look better than what I posted as samples.

    18mm office lighting
    View attachment 4085

    24mm mimum focus distance
    View attachment 4086
    • Like Like x 1
  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa

    it seems to me people are often chasing a magic lens, one that takes good photographs. Perhaps its embodied in the phrase "say, thats' a great shot, you must have a great camera".

    Clearly geopac is a skilled photographer and knows how to make use of his tools. The 110 lenses are just simply tools. They have attributes which at once make them desirable and undesirable. Its understanding these attributes which helps you to take good images by selecting the right tool.

    I think that for your upcoming event one of the real advantages for these lenses is exactly quick snaps which are in focus and sharp. Using the 18mm or the 24mm you can make some nice quick snap candids. Unlike the m4/3 lenses (which refocus on power cycle) you can leave the lens pre-focused to a working distance (check it now n then in the viewfinder and then note the number the lens is focused to).

    The combination of extra f-stop for higher shutter and shallower DoF will work in your favor.

    don't forget to have fun and enjoy the day too :) 
    • Like Like x 2
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
  10. It will be interesting to see if I can manually focus as well as the camera can with auto-focus and face detection. I suspect not, but the softness of the Pentax lenses may yield more relaxed images that for 'people shots' might work better than the ultra crisp Panasonic lens shots. I'll post how it works out.
  11. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    that's the spirit, hope it goes well :) 
  12. Pat Donnelly

    Pat Donnelly New to Mu-43

    Apr 17, 2010
    Has anyone successfully created Waterman stops for these lenses? These would address focus quality and flare issues?

    I am delighted to hear that the cost of the adapter has finally come down!

    Has no one got the pan focus 18mm? No need to focus it at all, apparently! Does that hold true with m4/3 sensors?
  13. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Pan-focus. Are you talking about a magic lens or simply a small aperture?
  14. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Pan-focus as in fixed focus.

    I've been able to amass the entire Pentax 110 line with all the filters and the caps and even the aluminum case. I had to buy 5 or so sets to get all the parts to put it all together. I have like 4 of the 18mm lenses.
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