Pentax Plus Megapixel Lens Test

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 02, 2011

Last month, we released the first ever Megapixel lens test where we did a shootout between 5 leading surveillance lens manufacturers - Computar, Evetar, Fujinon, Tamron and Tuss. Member feedback was very encouraging and the lessons learned in image quality differences was quite useful.

One comment, raised by CCTV legend Vlado Damjanovski, was to test Pentax's Megapixel 'Plus' lens, a lens that he said performed quite strongly. We asked a number of camera manufacturers but it appeared that none of them used or had considering using Pentax lenses. However, with Vlado's recommendation and Pentax's marketing claim of 'innovation for installer friendliness' we decided to check it out.

The Test

We bought a Pentax Plus 2.8-8mm MP lens and did a series of shootouts against Fujinon's varifocal MP lens (YV2.1x2.8SR4A-SA2).

The shootouts were done in 5 different spots with a 720p HD camera:

  • 2 spots in the center of Field of View - one at 40 foot wide FoV (32 ppf) and the other at 80 foot wide FoV (16 ppf)
  • 2 spots in the fringe / edge of the Field of View -one at 40 foot wide FoV (32 ppf) and the other at 80 foot wide FoV (16 ppf); the fringe is important as image quality degradation is common here
  • 1 night time (under 1 lux) outdoors test to compare low light performance

Finally, and equally important, we did a comparison of the setup / focusing performance between the two lenses to better judge Pentax's marketing claim of installer friendliness.

Recommendation

While the image quality using the Pentax and Fujinon lenses were a draw in our test, the Pentax demonstrated far superiority in setup at a much lower price than the Fujinon. Given that the Fujinon was one of, if not the top in our HD lens shootout, this makes the Pentax Plus lens very impressive and worth stong consideration.

The Pentax lens is an especially strong fit for cameras that lack auto back focus / autofocusing capabilities as the Pentax lens provides, by far, the easiest setup/focusing of any lens we have ever tried. For cameras that include auto focusing, the Pentax still makes it easier to adjust the zoom level but the automatic fine focus capabilities of those cameras reduces the benfit of Pentax's approach.

DISCLAIMER: We only tested with a 1.3MP camera, the maximum rating for the Pentax lens. The Fujinon lens is rated for 3MP and may provide superior performance for higher resolution cameras.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Pentax Key Details

Three key details stand out for the Pentax Plus lens:

  • It's cheap. We bought ours for $75 online. Most varifocal MP lenses, like the Fujinon cost over $100.
  • When zooming, the Pentax lens stays nearly in focus throughout the entire range. With typical lenses, the image gets completely blurred out and you lose where you are. With the Pentax, you do not need to guess or struggle where you are at.
  • When fine focusing, the Pentax lens allows for very discrete changes in focus level by clicking from level to level. This stops you from overshooting the focus, a common problem with continuous, smooth focusing mechanicms. See the video below for a live demonstration/explanation.

Lens Setup / Focusing

This short video compares the traditional lens setup and Pentax's:

Center FoV Comparison vs Fujinon

The comparison below show Fujinon and Pentax at a 40 foot wide FoV in the center of the camera.

The image quality is real close with the Pentax possibly providing slightly more details in the subject's face.

The next image is from 'far' away with a subject in an 80 foot wide FoV:

It is hard for us to determine any major practical difference.

Edge FoV Comparison vs Fujinon

Now, we switch to the fringe of the camera's FoV to look for performance variances:

It's hard to tell major differences between the two.

Next, we move to the far point on the fringe:

Again, major differences are really not noticeable.

Night Comparison vs Fujinon

Finally, we did a test at night with a subject on the right center.

The Pentax might be slightly better (you may see a little more of the chart the subject is holding) but overall the differences are essentially immaterial.

1 report cite this report:

ACTi New Low Cost HD Cameras (TCM) on Feb 06, 2012
In the past two years, ACTi has struggled. As we saw last year, their growth has not kept pace with the overall IP camera market. Recent product...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Axis Launches First Stereographic Panoramic Camera on Apr 05, 2018
Fisheye panoramics have not had much innovation in the past few years, with their multi-imager cousins getting most of the advances, e.g.,...
Dahua 4K Micro 4/3 Camera Tested (IPC-HF8835F) on Apr 03, 2018
Dahua is going big. Their new 4K HF8835F Micro Four Thirds sensor is one of the largest now on the market. Dahua is claming: Starlight...
Camera Form Factor Guide on Mar 16, 2018
When selecting surveillance cameras, users may choose from a number of different form factors, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses,...
IPVM Camera Calculator User Manual / Guide on Mar 09, 2018
Learn how to use the IPVM Camera Calculator. The guide below includes instructions, images, gifs, and videos demonstrating and explaining the...
Hikvision 6MP Camera Tested (DS-2CD4565-IZH) on Feb 27, 2018
In the next installment of our ongoing testing of 5MP/6MP cameras, we test the Hikvision DS-2CD4565F-IZH, a 'Smart Series' vandal dome combining...
Hanwha ExtraLux Camera Tested on Jan 11, 2018
Hanwha has released the latest in their Wisenet X line, the "extraLUX" series, claiming to "capture crystal clear, true-color images in low-light...
Dahua Multi-Imager Tested (PDBW8800-A180) on Nov 28, 2017
Dahua has released their latest generation of multi imager models, including the PDBW800-A180, a 4x1080p dome model claiming 30m/~100' IR and Smart...
Hikvision 4K IR PTZ Tested (DS-2DF8836IV-AELW) on Nov 10, 2017
The IR PTZ trend continues, now with 4K resolution, with Hikvision releasing its DS-2DF8836IVAEL-W camera, a 4K 1/1.9" PTZ model specifying 200m IR...
Geovision 4MP Super Low Cost Turret Tested (EBD-4700) on Sep 29, 2017
~$100 cameras, even for 4MP, are now expected by many dealers, as price cuts and ongoing sales have set this expectation. At the same time, many...
Axis: Use QR Codes Instead of Access Cards on Sep 12, 2017
Innovation in access may be hard to find, but Axis recently suggested an idea for credentials few have considered. Rather than using plastic cards,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

May 2018 Camera Course on Apr 20, 2018
Save $50 on early registration until this Thursday, the 26th. Register now (save $50) for the Spring 2018 Camera Course This is the only...
Global Real-Time Video Surveillance - EarthNow on Apr 20, 2018
A new company, EarthNow, with backing from Bill Gates, Airbus and more, is claiming that: Users will be able to see places on Earth with a delay...
Dedicated Vs Converged Access Control Networks (Statistics) on Apr 20, 2018
Running one's access control system on a converged network, with one's computers and phones, can save money. On the other hand, hand, doing so can...
April 2018 IP Networking Course on Apr 19, 2018
This is the last chance to register for our IP Networking course. Register now. NEW - 2 sessions per class, 'day' and 'night' to give you double...
Rare Video Surveillance Fundraising - Verkada $15 Million on Apr 19, 2018
Fundraising in video surveillance (and the broader physical security market) has been poor recently. Highlights are few and far in between...
'Best In Show' Fails on Apr 19, 2018
ISC West's "Best In Show" has failed. For more than a decade, it has become increasingly irrelevant as the selections exhibit a cartoon level...
Security Camera Cleaning Frequency Statistics on Apr 18, 2018
150+ integrators told IPVM how often they clean cameras on customer's sites and why.  Inside we examine their answers and break down feedback...
Worst Access Control 2018 on Apr 18, 2018
Three access control providers stood out as providing the most problems for integrators. In this report, we analyze the answers to: "In the...
Axis VMD4 Analytics Tested on Apr 17, 2018
Axis is now on its 4th generation of video motion detection (VMD), which Axis calls "a free video analytics application." In this generation, Axis...
Arecont CEO And President Resign on Apr 17, 2018
This is good news for Arecont. Arecont's problems have been well known for years (e.g., most recently Worst Camera Manufacturers 2018 and starting...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact