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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Some Sample Photos with FAJ 18-35 on 5D (Full Frame)

Here are some recent sample photos of mine shot with my FAJ 18-35 on my Canon EOS 5D:-


(Or to Start SlideShow Here)

All the photos are direct out of the camera jpegs, no retouching and post-processing of any kind, downsized to 1MB file limit automatically by the Photobucket image engine. EXIF data are preserved, though (but the focal and aperture number reported are not real as those are just fixed values as "cheated" by the chipset of the K-mount to EOS adaptor).

As for the real f-number, the first 6 photos were taken at f/8 whereas the rest were taken on another day with f/11. As the FAJ 18-35 lens has no aperture ring, I just used adhesive tape to fix the aperture position after removal of the protruding aperture coupler and then calibrated those f-numbers against my Canon 24-105L and also my Pentax FA 24-90 which had been modified before but has an aperture ring.

As for the actual focal length, it was fixed at 19mm, as at the widest 18mm the lens rear glass element is protruding too far into the mirror housing that it has conflict with the large full frame mirror of the 5D. Just zooming in by 1mm for the focal will safely avoid any conflict.

Now, let's look at the samples. Actually, I am really impressed with the image quality it reproduced. The resolution is not low at the centre and is actually still quite acceptable at the far image corners. The colour and tone renditions are very accurate and natural. The flare resistance and control is simply superb. All in all, it is just a good to very nice lens, provided that the user stops it down by two stops when used Full Frame. On the other hand, when wide opened, obvious vignetting can be seen (on Full Frame).

As you cannot see 100% full size photos in my album above, I have extracted some quick examples with full size 100% crop below to illustrate:-

1. High Resolution:

Here is the 100% crop of the image centre from one of the sample:-

(Click to enlarge and inspect in full)

And, here is 100% crop of one of the extreme image corners from the same sample:-

(Click to enlarge and inspect in full)

I know that the FAJ 18-35 lens has mixed comments and feedbacks from its users, many complained that it was a rather soft lens with poor resolution, even on 6M Pentax DSLRs. But what I can say putting aside for the chance of possible quality issues of this MIV (Made in Vietnam) lens, I bet most of the problems seen and reported were caused by inaccurate focusing, as this lens requires really precise focus to achieve the best resolution - in this case my 5D's "AF" detection is adequate, even for this "demanding" lens.

This example has just illustrated well on how AF errors can decrease drastically the final effective resolution (fully explained here in my old technical article here). In fact, a more accurate AF system is far more important than a sensor with more pixels. If the focusing system is just not precise enough, most of the pixel resolution is just wasted.

Also, as I stopped down the lens at fixed position for the aperture now, I needed to wide-open it and marked the best correct infinity focus position after some tests and actually I am glad that my 5D did always indicate quite accurate focus and I did compare and notice the resolution difference for slight focus shift in the focusing scale of this lens (in which the throw of focus is very little for the lens just from infinity to 1m/3ft).

2. Almost Non-existent CAs:

Here is the 100% crop of the extreme image corner from another sample, with tree branches against a bright sky (typical CA showcases!):-

(Click to enlarge and inspect in full)

Well, the picture says it all! (I have no more to say! I just wish to make a little remark that the image is of 12.8 MegaPixels!)

3. Super Flare Resistance:

Look at the following crop on the sample which contains the reflection of the sun in early afternoon on the mirror building. Again, the picture tells all!

(Click to enlarge and inspect in full)

There is only very minimal lens flare and fogging under this really adverse condition. And, I did not even put on the lens hood, as by that time I had not yet found out a method to attach the hood as it is in the wrong direction after the adoption. Well, I must have my hat off to Pentax for their superb SMC ghostless coating which this lens has, which is just with unmatched performance and a real miracle, especially considering that this lens was just a kit lens afterall ((somehow relatively expensive btw, by today's standard).

As for the lens hood adoption. Now, I have the solution. It is just easy - add some adhesive tape again inside the bayonet of the hood "mount" and thus limits its position with good tightness such that a very little degrees of angle can be turned before it is fixed. That's it!

At this point, I would not illustrate further, just happy mesaurbating! Enjoy!! ;-)

Read Also:-

Compatibility List of Pentax Full Frame AF Lenses on Canon 5D

Sample Photos of Full Frame Fisheye and 43 Limited on 5D

Preview: Cantax K5D Full Frame! ;-)


  1. Anonymous20/4/09 17:28

    It's new look at 18-35. I like this lens at digital FF.

  2. Yep, the full frame digital body gives a new life to this plastic kit lens! :-D

  3. Heh, looks pretty sweet. Where'd you get the K to EF adapter? Also, I notice you're in Hong Kong, I am too, heh.

  4. Go to the "Duck Kee" at Sam Shui Po and you can find it, around HK$280.

    The workmanship of the adapter is not really that good, though. You should use a Hoe to remove the protruding sharp part of the "lens lock" which might scratch your mirror housing, just in case. The length and position of the "lens lock" "spring" (which is just a thin brass sheet) also need some "adjustments", by loosening the screws and re-fixing and/or by hoeing, so that all my Pentax lenses can slip in smoothly and locked easily - it is usable without those fine "adjustments", but mine is much better now than without.

    Some shops at Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui also have the adapters but with different brands, these are more difficult to find and are in general more expensive. I don't know if those are better but it seems that none of them are of higher precision, unlike adopters for other brands which "high precision" models/options are available.

  5. Love how these photos turned out on the FF body. I wonder how this lens will perform on the new K1. I have one laying around here as well for a couple of years for the day that Pentax finally released a FF body, hah!

  6. My FAJ1835 works with my K-1 but the resolution and coating (anti-flare) are both somehow sub-par by today's standards.


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