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Photokina 2012 Report — Part 4: Pentax, Schneider-Kreuznach and Zeiss

by Felix Esser on 09/26/2012

This is part four of our photokina 2012 report, featuring impressions from the Pentax, Schneider-Kreuznach and Zeiss stands. In this article: the Pentax K-5 II(s), the Pentax Q10 and Q lenses, the new Schneider-Kreuznach Micro Four Thirds lenses and the new Carl Zeiss mirrorless and DSLR lenses.

Pentax

Ahead of photokina 2012, Pentax announced a number of new cameras and lenses expanding their K-mount DSLR, Q mirrorless and 645 medium format systems. I took a closer look at some of the announced products; due to lack of time, I couldn’t cover everything, though.

K-5 II(s) — The by far most interesting new product from Pentax was no doubt the successor to their popular and acclaimed K-5 DSLR, rather pragmatically labelled the K-5 II. To be precise, the most interesting announcement was the variant K-5 IIs, which comes with an ani-aliasing-filter-less sensor, promising outstanding image quality in terms of per-pixel sharpness. (We announced the K-5 II and K-5 IIs here.) Sadly, the unit demonstrated at photokina was still pre-production, so I was (again) not allowed to save any pictures. However, from what I could judge from the zoomed-in preview on the screen, the K-5 IIs’s sensor seems to really deliver in terms of sharpness. Whether high ISO performance has been improved over the K-5 cannot be said at this point. I hope that we will get the K-5 IIs in for review soon, though. Below are some hands-on pictures of the K-5 IIs paired with the 70mm f2.4 limited lens.

The K-5 II, like its predecessor, has a very functional and ergonomic design. The 70mm f2.4 is a wonderful lens, and incredibly small for a fast-ish short telephoto.

In a rather oldfashioned way, the K-5 II sports a small LCD panel on top, which displays the most important paramters like shutter speed, ISO, aperture etc.

The rear display has very high resolution and is very bright and thus easy to read even under a strong light source like that at the Pentax stand.

The Pentax K-5 II and Pentax K-5 IIs can be pre-ordered from B&H Photo.

Q10 — the Q10 (announced here) is Pentax’s second Q mount camera and continues with the incredibly small form factor of its predecessor, the Q. The Q10 is virtually identical to the Q, which only some minor changes in design and a slightly updated sensor. For a mirrorless camera, the Q10 is extremely small, smaller even than most point-and-shoots, which makes it look and feel almost like a toy. The same holds true for its minute lenses, which feel like they’d break when you hold them too tight. However, this toyishness does have a certain appeal to it, and I am sure the Q system is much fun to use.

The Pentax Q in red, with the 28-83mm-equivalent standard zoom attached.

There is hardly enough space for all the buttons and dials at the top of the Q10.

The rear is dominated by the 3″ screen, which seem enormous on this small camera.

With the 47mm-equivalent f1.9 lens attached.

The Q10 in black with the 18mm-equivalent f5.6 fisheye lens which, like all fisheye lenses, provides and incredibly wide angle of view.

A silver Q10 with the K->Q adapter and a K-mount lens attached — which frankly seems a bit pointless, since the Q’s 1/2.33″ sensor has a 5.6x crop factor, and most K-mount lenses are far too large and heavy to make any sense on a Q system body.

Pentax Q system cameras and lenses can be bought from B&H Photo.

And below some more impressions from the Pentax stand.

The Pentax K-30 comes in a number of distinct colors and has an interesting angular body design. (You can find our K-30 review here.)

Current Pentax K, Q and 645 lenses as well as Ricoh GXR modules showcased.

The 645 D is Pentax’s digital medium format camera (find our first impressions here.) Sadly, the 90mm lens was already on its way to the next exhibition.

The Pentax K-30 and 645 system cameras and lenses can be bought from B&H Photo.

Schneider-Kreuznach

Schneider-Kreuznach, a lens manufacturer from Germany, had already announced development of Micro Four Thirds lenses a while ago (our news here). At this year’s photokina, we could finally take a first look at the prototypes of the three lenses that will be available soon. These are the Super-Angulon 14mm f2, the Xenon 30mm f1.4 and the Makro-Symmar 60mm f2.4. All three lenses were only prototypes and could not be tested yet. So a couple picutres of the lenses will have to suffice for now. We will try to get the lenses in for review once they become available.

From left to right: Makro-Symmar, Xenon, Super-Angulon.

Carl Zeiss

I guess I do not need to introduce Zeiss. The brand has been famous for their T* coated lenses for decades, and has a heritage that goes back to the early days of photography. Ahead of this year’s photokina, Zeiss announced a number of lenses for both DSLRs and mirrorless systems (our news here and here.) The mirrorless lenses announced are a 12mm f2.8, 32mm f1.8 and a 50mm f2.8 macro, which will come in X- and E-mount (the former with physical aperture rings.) The DSLR lenses announced are a 135mm f2 and a 55mm f1.4, the latter marking the start of a new line of high performance lenses that deliver the resolution needed for use on DSLRs such as the Nikon D800E with its 36 megapixel anti-aliasing-filter-less sensor. Like with so many products at this year’s photokina (which, in retrospective, was very disappointing), these lenses could not be tested yet.

That sums it up for today’s part four of our photokina 2012 report. Tomorrow: Leica, Hasselblad and Cosina Voigtländer.

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