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Pentax 50mm f/2.8 Macro Aperture Series: Church Mosaic, Dusk (Pentax K1 SuperRes)

Pentax smc P-D FA 50mm f/2.8 Macro

See my Pentax K1 wish list at B&H Photo. Note that there are rebates on some Pentax lenses, including the 50/2.8 macro (limited supply) and 100/2.8 macro.

The Tiled Water Fountain scene evaluated medium range, the Map of the World example evaluated close range, and this scene look at near infinity focus.

It is a 2nd take; see the just prior sunlit version. The difference in lighting makes for an interesting comparison in how lighting affects scene details (sidelit vs flat lighting). This example also has the camera dead-level in both directions, and to within 0.1° left/right. Focus is always hard to balance just-so for peak results, but this series nailed it, with impressive results.

SuperRes pixel shift mode (“SR-PSM”) of the Pentax K1 was used, for maximum image quality.

Pentax 50mm f/2.8 Macro Aperture Series: Church Mosaic, Dusk (Pentax K1 SuperRes)

Images up to 28 megapixels with large crops, all from f/2.8 through f/11.

The Pentax K1 blows away anything I’ve seen on this subject before. Even setting aside sharpness, the avoidance of color moiré is stunning.

The about $300 Pentax 50mm f/2.8 Macro (while supply and instant savings last) is a bargain. Anyone shooting the K1 must have it. Small and light, it makes a perfect lens for travel or landscape (and macro). The manual focus haptics are very poor compared to a Zeiss manual focus lens, but can be worked with.

f4 @ 1/80 sec, ISO 100; 2016-05-24 19:49:20
PENTAX K-1 + smc PENTAX-D FA 50mm F2.8 MACRO

[low-res image for bot]

Peter H writes:

Your work with the K1 has forever changed my image quality paradigm.

I've been having to view the crops at 200% to enjoy all those textural nuances; the scary thing is the K1 super res pictures look as good as most other cameras at 100%. I think this camera might overturn the whole printing paradigm as well - in terms of dpi required.

Whilst I've been disappointed to see the super res modes susceptibility to subtle changes in hue/luminance, which will limit its use in landscape photography, studio or architectural photographers now have a 'cheap' alternative to the Hassy H5D Multi Shot. I'm not convinced the motion correction software is up to the task for many landscape scenes either, based on your examples. That said, in calm conditions or with immutable subject matter (rocky alpine scenes come to mind), super res could work very well.

Now that the damaging effect of demosaicing is plain to see, perhaps a return to the old camcorder 3CCD design is in order! Having three APS-C 28MPix CMOS sensors aligned by a prism would give you super res with every shot, without all the concomitant problems of the current technology. One wonders what such a camera attached to an Otus could produce...

DIGLLOYD: Agreed—no DSLR or mirrorless camera can approach the quality of SuperRes, and I”d bet that it would beat just about all medium format. It is a stunning development, but SuperRes has some frustrating limits for real world use, and the Pentax lens line is marginal compared to what Nikon or Canon users enjoy. Triple sensor would be quite expensive and bulky in full-frame but maybe (as suggested) in APS-C—but the required precision would be very difficult and expensive. No...I think it’s single sensor and whether SuperRes or Sigma style stacked true-color pixels, we are “getting there”, the K1 being a giant leap forward.

Now consider a Pentax mirrorless camera similar to the A7R II with pixel shift and the fast array of lenses that would then be possible. OMG. Well, will Sony get there first, or is some patent or whatever preventing it? Still, the Pentax file quality is the best of any camera on the market, without or without pixel shift. Sony would probably “cook” the raw file as currently done.

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