Pentax 05 Toy Lens Telephoto review

The Pentax 05 Toy Lens Telephoto is a very light and inexpensive toy lens for Q cameras.

The Pentax 05 Toy Lens Telephoto ($79.95 list) is another in the toy lens series for Pentax’s ultra-small Q camera system. It’s one of the smallest and lightest lenses you’ll find for any camera, and its 18mm focal length gives it a field of view that is roughly equivalent to an 85mm lens on a full-frame camera when paired with the Q7.

The lens measures just 1.6 by 0.8 inches (HD) and weighs in at about a half an ounce; it’s small and light enough that you can throw it in to a small camera bag without noticing the added weight. Its aperture is fixed at f/8, so you’ll likely use a flash when shooting in dim light. It can’t focus as close as the 04 Toy Lens Wide, but the 10.6-inch minimum focus distance allows for a slightly shallow background when working at close distances.

I used Imatest to check the sharpness of the lens when paired with the Q7. It’s not nearly the equal of the 06 Telephoto Zoom in terms of sharpness. Our tests showed it to record only 1,028 lines per picture height, well shy of the 1,800 lines we require for a sharp photo. There’s no visible barrel or pincushion distortion, which is not surprising as short telephoto designs generally don’t exhibit it. The 06 Telephoto Zoom is sharp throughout its range, and boasts a maximum aperture of f/2.8—but it’s also nearly four times the cost and is comparatively huge and heavy.

It’s not exactly fair to compare an $80 toy lens against an f/2.8 zoom, though. The Pentax 05 Toy Lens Telephoto is a good lens for folks who are looking to capture images with a lo-fi look, and it matches especially well with the funky color output that the Q7′s art filter system is able to produce. If you like that aesthetic, this lens is an inexpensive and insanely compact addition to your Q kit. We had more fun with the wide-angle toy lens, in large part due to its extreme close focus capability, but if you are more of a telephoto photographer and are in want of images with a slightly fuzzy look, this is the lens for you.

The Pentax 05 Toy Lens Telephoto is a very light and inexpensive toy lens for Q cameras.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc