Distance Test (f1.4)

Extreme corner crops (full frame re-res’d to 6000 pixels)

The test target here a ‘domestic scene’ at a distance of approximately 100 metres.

Canon 85mm f1.2 L MkII at f1.4 (corner) Pentax SMC A* f1.4 at f1.4 (corner)

All over again we see better contrast, resolution and colour in the corners of a 400D frame from the Pentax. The SMC A* just makes the Canon look bad, any honestly it isn’t: I’ve not tested anything the 85L didn’t embarrass at wide apertures, but it has truly met its match in the shape of the A* f1.4.

Centre frame crops (from full frame re-res’d to 6000 pixels)

Canon 85mm f1.2 L MkII at f1.4 (centre) Pentax SMC A* f1.4 at f1.4 (centre)

At distance, we see an alarming bloom of chromatic aberration around the house window from both lenses, but quite horrifically in the Pentax’ case. Attempting to squint through the ghastly haze we find that the SMC A* is even better at distance than it is at close range, producing cleaner, sharper captures than the Canon L time after time, but that CA is gruesome. The Canon’s is much easier to correct, too: neatly adhering to a few pixels’ boundary, but the Pentax’ wild glow is tough to repair.