Distance Test (f8)

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

Canon 85mm f1.2 L MkII at f8 (corner) Pentax SMC A* f1.4 at f8 (corner)

As if to redress the balance from the f2.8 tests, at f8, the light was a fraction stronger while shooting the Pentax, favouring its rendition of the scene. And once again, I must add that the Pentax isn’t really this much better than the Canon at this aperture. In equal light, they’re impossible to tell apart at distance on a 1.6x sensor.

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

Canon 85mm f1.2 L MkII at f8 (centre) Pentax SMC A* f1.4 at f8 (centre)

Well illustrating the difficulties facing the real world tester (namely the inconstancies of the real world), the Pentax’ apparently sharper rendering is mainly the result of fractionally less diffusion in the atmosphere. In England, the light is rarely identical two minutes’ running. Suffice to say that the Pentax doesn’t outperform the Canon at long range as clearly as it does at close range.