Pentax smc D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR and Pentax smc 14mm F2.8 measurements & review

Wednesday July 27 2011

Lens Review
Pentax smc D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR  and Pentax smc 14mm F2.8 measurements & review

We have the latest test results for these prime Pentax lenses. With these additions we can now compare the results for 10 Pentax lenses ranging from the kit-featured Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II and super zoom Pentax SMC Pentax-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF] to the more expensive Pentax SMC DA 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM.

Pentax smc D FA MACRO 100mm F2.8 WR

This lens is designed to perform nicely on portrait or Macro photography. Its specific design specifications mark it as weather-proof.
To check its image quality measurements on the Pentax K5 and the K20D click the following links:

The review, however will be based on the better resolved sensor, currently embedded on the Pentax K5

The DxOMark Score

To have a scope on where this lens stands, at DxOMark we have previously tested other 100mm lenses such as:

The results on this Pentax lens are quite good on measures such as chromatic aberration, transmission and vignetting.

Nevertheless by obtaining a 14 at f/4 on the K5 we can say that its performance is a bit disappointing taking into account the extraordinary sensor quality of the Pentax K5.
These results are influenced by the lens resolution which remains a bit low when compared with the other 100mm lenses previously cited.

100 mm lenses comparison

At DxOMark lenses are measured according to how well they perform mounted on a specific camera. Most of the time two measured lenses might be very similar but the cameras used for the measurements almost generally possess a different kind of sensor. This generally impacts the lens’ final score.

Pentax vs Nikon

In this rare occasion we can compare a Nikon and a Pentax lens under almost the same conditions as we are using the Nikon D7000 and the Pentax K5 cameras. These two cameras -as you probably know- share the same sensor.

No doubt here, the Nikon 105mm mounted on the Nikon D7000 outpaces its competitor as the resolution results are much better. On every other measure the 2 lenses are pretty close.

Pentax vs Canon

For this comparison we’ve resorted to the K5 on the Pentax side and an EOS 7D on the Canon side.

In these results the Pentax 100mm comes very close to its Canon competitor even if this lens lacks of resolution, (resolution Metric = 46 for Pentax vs 51lp.mm for Canon), the lack of resolution on the Pentax lens side is compensated by the noise performance of the Pentax K5.

Pentax smc 14mm F2.8, a wide and fast lens :

See the full results for this lenses mounted on a Pentax K5 here.
The results are a bit disappointing, considering the high market price for this lens.

What we like

  • Good Distorsion (0.73%) measurements
  • Vignetting (1.5 EV in the corner at f/2.8) remains pretty well controlled on the wide angle. 

What could be better

  • Again, the sharpness of this lens mounted on the Pentax K5 is a bit low in comparison of similar lenses mounted on sensor with a close resolution (Nikon D7000, Canon EOS 7D).
  •  The resolution in the field is not really homogenous; sharpness falls quickly in the corner at f/2.8.

14mm Pentax vs 14mm Samyang

In general on both mounts the Samyang lens is better than the Pentax. The Samyang 14mm Nikon mount has a lower price and a clearly better resolution (9 lp.mm). Nevertheless the Pentax lens controls distortion better.

On the Canon mount, even if the results are lower, the Samyang lens still takes the lead.