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Take a body cap and insert a single element 11.5mm f/9 lens, permanently focused so depth of field only extends from 1' to 6.6', and we end up with the Pentax 07 Shield Mount Lens for the Q series of cameras, that is available for £49. How does it perform, what is it intended for? Does it have value as a creative tool? Let's look into it a little more closely.
The lens is very tiny, but undeniably well made. The 11.5mm focal length is an interesting choice, giving us a 35mm-equivalent of 63.5mm on the Q and Q10 and 53mm on the Q7. So is either a standard lens or a modest telephoto depending upon your camera. The lens is a single element with a circular Waterhouse stop style of aperture yielding f/9. No adjustment of aperture or focusing is possible and the lens offers depth of field that covers 1' – 6.6' or 0.3m – 2m. At 8g in weight it is hardly noticed and it protrudes so little that lens and camera can now slip easily into a shirt pocket.
My immediate thoughts were that such a lens must start to suffer from diffraction as all other Q lenses stop at f/8, however, the circular aperture may make the difference. The close focus means the lens must be as short sighted as I am, so all distant subjects must be blurred. If we consider what subjects this leaves us then we have close ups and possibly spontaneous party and holiday pictures. After that we are in the realm of creative blur, which is fair enough as we can spend a whole lot of money on Lomography-style kit.
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Pentax 07 Mount Shield Lens Sample Photos
Close Up - Gravestone Sharpness Falls Off Rapidly Even At Close Distances | 1/100 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 200
Crane - Light Spreads Around Highlights | 1/50 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 200
Architecture - All Distant Details Are Blurred | 1/320 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 200
Autumn Tree Colours - Only The Centre Of The Frame Approaches Any Semblance Of Sharpness | 1/160 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 200
Berries - Close Ups Can Be Acceptably Sharp | 1/50 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 200
Portrait Of Crow - No Focusing Means Capturing The Moment Is Easy | 1/20 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 400
Canal Landscape - Monet Style Landscapes Will Be The Norm | 1/50 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 200
Close Ups Of Flowers Can Have A Pleasing Quality | 1/60 sec | f/9.0 | 11.5 mm | ISO 200
This lens is not the stuff of MTF tests and scientific evaluation; it is the stuff of spontaneity and fun. The Q series cameras are interesting in themselves in that they seem to encourage a spirit of experimentation. K mount lenses, C mount lenses; all sorts of adapters for obscure optical units can be attached. The Mount Shield Lens is yet another possibility, a myopic fixed focus lens that has much in common with a box camera and is never really sharp anywhere.
However, there are possibilities, and in the area of creativity that is very much in the hands of the photographer. Rather than spend hundreds of pounds on a plastic camera with a poor lens, here we have the package available at very low cost for Pentax Q users.
The lens is passably sharp at the centre with close subjects and, combined with the flash popped up, is an ideal party lens. No focusing, no fuss and no bulk. This is fine for Facebook and the like. For anything that needs to be sharp and crisp, then we need a different lens.
Anything more than 2m away is blurred, but that in itself can be exactly what is wanted. It is not really my style of photography, but I know other photographers who would be delighted with the effects obtainable. If you have a Q series camera, then the cost involved to explore this is very low indeed.
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Pentax 07 Mount Shield Lens Specifications
|Angle of View||37.5° - 44.5°|
|Filter Size||No Data|
|35mm equivalent||53mm - 63.5mm|
|Internal focusing||No Data|
|Box Contents||Front and rear caps|