SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Review

This lens makes no sense.

Why?

  • Listed as a DA lens which is Pentax speak for crop or APS-C it should be of no use on full frame. But it works just fine on FA (full frame) once you set the crop to FF manually to override the lens.
  • Thin lens. More pancake than any pancake lens I have ever seen. Looks more like a body cap or a fixed aperture pinhole lens than the focus ring having lens it is. 

  • Even with its tiny size it still has a metal hood and cap for the hood. 

  • While it carries the vaunted Limited name and the all-metal build that brings this copy cost me less than $160.
  • f/2.8 is amazing on something so tiny and inexpensive.
  • Resides on my amazing value Pentax lens list mentioned in this earlier post.

There you have it. And this is the discontinued green and not even the more recent red ringed version. That one is better. Has to be. It is newer and has a red ring. But I am perfectly happy with this one.

So none of this matters if it does not produce good images. And that is the thing. It is amazing.

Sharp:

Black and White

Great colors:

SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

Fast focusing:

SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

Great focusing and images in low light:

SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

And again it is just fine on full frame. Some vignetting wide open, but nothing offensive. I have seen full frame lenses that do worse than this.

Black and White

At this price point if you have a Pentax DSLR I recommend buying one.

That is all I’ve got. Here is a link to an ongoing gallery.

Happy shooting.

-ELW

 

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