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8 78541 10/12/2012
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Keywords: Pentax Mid Prime APS-C DA Limited Tested


Registered: October 2012
Posts: 52
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by dugong5pm
Review Date: 10/12/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: razor sharp, lightweight, tiny!
Cons: pricey, hard to find

one of Pentax's jewel (along with the other "Limited"). superb performance & also stylish. Use it with the tiny K-x/K-r, and you're ready for streets. Colors are great & amazing sharpness. a must have lens for pentax users.

Registered: November 2010
Posts: 6
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by sjwaldron
Review Date: 12/8/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $340.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Small convenient lens with great build quality and image sharpness.
Cons: The manual focus ring is almost too small.

What I like about the lens:
- A great all-rounder type lens that’s almost at the standard focal length for APS-C sized image sensors (35mm would be equivalent).
- A lens that’s frankly special and unique due to how physically convenient it is yet still achieves no compromises image quality.
- Small portable size, probably one of the smallest 35mm lenses available.
- Easily carry the lens with you in a pocket or similar (comes with a soft leather bag). Even if you are a photographer that prefers zoom lenses, also having this lens with you at all times should be a given. Just make sure your bag is big enough to hold that zoom after you become smitten with the 40mm.
- A sharp high contrast lens from its widest aperture. Edge to edge sharpness abound.
- Bokeh quality is exceptional thanks to the large number of aperture blades.
- “good enough” for 35mm full-frame sensor if a FF-DSLR is ever released by Pentax.
- High all metal build quality and dependable auto-focus method (screw-drive) you can depend on as a life-long lens.
- Lens specifications and serial number engraved on the lens.
- Quick-shift manual focus is useful as always. It’s useful to me when I’m done using the lens and then I manually rotate the lens back to it’s smallest size before putting it back into the camera bag.
- The lens doesn’t have any issues with flare or chromatic aberrations.

What I’m not too fond of:
- The manual focus ring is almost too small.
- I somehow got a small scuff on my manual focus ring, showing a tiny bit of silver aluminum. Not sure how it happened, but don’t expect the lens to stay completely black unless you baby it (I don’t baby my equipment by any means).
- Screw drive auto-focus, while reliable, is louder than in-lens SDM motors. Not really a negative given the positives of screw drive, unless you really need something low noise.
- The lens hood and lens cap, while convenient in some ways, takes a few seconds to attach and remove as they are screw thread type devices.
- 40mm focal length isn’t optimal on APS-C cameras. When photographing people at events, it’s primarily best for waist and up style images instead of full body ones. A Pentax 31mm Limited lens in this respect is a better buy if you can afford one.
- Not specifically designed to be weather resistant (WR), but those are a newer addition to Pentax’s lens lineup.
- I would like to see nice especially curved aperture blades like the D-FA 100mm WR Macro lens has, but the sheer number of blades the 40mm LTD has compensates for that.

Part of the challenge of DSLR photography is finding the motivation to take equipment out as sometimes the stuff can be burdensome compared to say a digicam in your pocket. I take this lens out by itself attached to the K-7 all of the time as it’s just that convenient. Get a camera bag that can hold just that combination and you have a high quality, fully optical (viewfinder, etc) system that’s ready at a moments notice without much baggage holding you down. Pentaxians are doing a disservice to themselves if they don’t have a copy of this lens. No lenses are prefect, including this one, but it does many things right. It gives you a good deal of convenience and mobility, yet also gives you strong performance at a reasonably useful focal-length.

More information and pictures on my blog.

Registered: September 2010
Posts: 23
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by Tord
Review Date: 9/5/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, sharp and compact
Cons: None that I can think of!

Amazing little lens which was my introduction to Pentax Limited range, and it is really a petite wonder!

Some have problems with the lens cap, but I drilled a small hole in mine and secure it with a string to the lens barrel - works OK, and no risk of losing it!

A good allround lens, and very tiny!

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 16
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by RadiantLite
Review Date: 6/13/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: tiny, great image quality

Pentax 40mm f/2.8 limited is an exotic lens which can produce a really nice image quality even wide open at f/2.8. Physically, it is very small and thin even with the lens hood attached. (When you buy this lens you will get the lens hood and also nice small leather pouch). It can focus pretty close 30cm to infinity. When you focus in, the lens will rotate and protrude around 1/2 inch. At around 165g, this lens is very light, basically you'll feel like you are only carrying a camera without lens, which is good for portability.

Check out
for sample photo and reviews

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 8
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by tachyon1701
Review Date: 9/14/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp, very quick AF, small size, light weight, build quality
Cons: None

This is a true gem in the Pentax's already amazing prime lineup. I mean pancakes are what Pentaxs are known for! Every pentax owner should have one of these in their camera bag. It won't take up a lot of space, i promise!

From image quality, to build quality, from AF speed, to chromatic aberration control, everything is top notch. People complain that the lens doesnt have a bigger aperture, or the lens cap is too fiddly (it's not, you can always use a generic 49mm lens cap if you don't like the screw-on one), but they don't realise what we are getting for the price!

Images can't get any sharper, even at f2.8! People pay $1000 for primes and can't get IQ like this! This is a bargain too good to pass up!

It is also worth noting that a 50mm "normal" prime isn't really normal at all. Just google or wiki it, and you'll find out that the true normal focal length is 43mm.
grim grimsson

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 6
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by grim grimsson
Review Date: 6/30/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, lightweight, fast
Cons: none

A lens that is fun to use. It is lightweight, I can really feel the difference from other lenses I have when carrying the camera around. It can fit in the pocket as an extra lens without carrying a bag for the equipment.

It is fast, and sharp all the way to the border from wide open. Colours are rendered well.

Very solid construction.

Registered: June 2006
Posts: 5
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by nighthunter64
Review Date: 1/12/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $274.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Smallest lens ive used !!
Cons: none so far

this is the smallest lens in the world and its quality is top notch !!!

super good light with big opening!!

- Superb Pictures
- The lightest lens around for 40mm
- big opening f2.8

Perfect Portrait lens.. easy to carry...

The new Pentax Limited series is a must for everyone owning Pentax DSLR equipement!!

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 7
Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA review by leprechaun
Review Date: 1/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $375.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Gives me the ultimate: an SLR in my pocket

I bought a used DS body so that I could use their stunning ultrawide/fisheye zoom. Then I saw this "pancake" lens.

It took all of two minutes to make up my mind (one of which was purely $$ related). I have no regrets.

Camera and lens fit in a coat pocket. Bought a belt holster case for the pair so I could leave the jackets and coats at home.

What I have is DSLR that goes anywhere anytime on my hip. It's a treasure.

The lens is plenty sharp, and fast enough to cope with many situations.

You may still want a good pocket subcompact, but a DSLR on your hip is addicting. Take my word for it. If you own a Pentax, take a look.


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