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Pentax smc 40mm f/2.8 Limited Review


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Background
Still dabbling into the world of Pentax – and here we are with our first Limited lens!

 

The smc Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited lens is a small little “crepe” of a lens. Little it is, but is that all it has going for it?

 

Let’s take the journey together to see if this thing is great, a clunker, better than the zoom lenses that we have been using prior.

 

For a deeper dive into the Limited series of lenses and specific product pages, check out this official page from the Ricoh website:
https://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/products/limited_lens/da_limited/

 

Disclosure – images were post processed to my liking and in various styles. Some were processed from RAW and others may be out of camera JPG.

 

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Handling/Size/Weight/Build
This is a small lens. I joked earlier and called it a “crepe”, as it is smaller than some “pancake” lenses. being small, it is not too small to be used with ease. At under 100 grams, it is trivial to keep this with you at all times.

 

I would say that this is probably the smallest lens I’ve ever used but the handling does not suffer! Kudos to Pentax for putting this great engineering into this lens.

 

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The ring above the focus distance numbers adjusts the focus. Above that is a screw in lens hood. Interestingly, the screw in lens hood has a screw in lens cap. I’m generally not a fan of these as they take a long time to take off and put on.

 

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Weather Sealed
From what I can find, this lens is not weather sealed. This matters little to me as I am not one that would probably use this kind of lens in a heavy downpour. I do still have the WR 18-135 and 55-300 zooms if I ever needed it.

 

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Image Quality
So here is what most want to know. Sharpness is here and much better than the Pentax 18-135 and 55-300 DA zoom lenses.

 

I will also be the first to admit that I am spoiled by the current batch of Nikon, Fuji, Leica and Olympus lenses. From kit to “Pro” lenses those companies have put out some really impressive glass. The primes as well are great in the modern era.

 

The Limited lens here is very sharp, even wide open and has a decent fade off into the background blur. There is an ever so slight nervousness in some of the backgrounds when you have a lot of fine detail there such as grass or tree leaves. Overall though, the bokeh is sufficient for a 40mm lens with a 60mm field of view.

 

Moving away from sharpness, the color and contrast of the lens is perfectly fine. No complaints there from me. Others even comment on the color and contrast and how much they really like it.

 

Images speak louder than any of my words, so please judge the results I’ve been able to get from this lens.
You’ll be able to see how the bokeh falls off or renders carious types of backgrounds.

 

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Focusing
Focusing is just as much about the lens as it is the camera and its auto focus system. This lens does have a more confident and snappier focus than the 18-135/55-300 DA zoom lenses.

 

For static shots and street photography, the lens works well.

 

An interesting inclusion to the lens is a full time manual focus override. Even as small as this lens is, I had no trouble finding and manipulating the manual focus ring when needed. A slight concern may be that you could accidentally nudge the focus ring accidentally.

 

I found that a slight change in the grip of the camera when the Limited lenses are attached handles this concern for me.

 

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VR (Vibration Reduction Stabilization) / IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)
Pentax K-3 has IBIS, so no VR is in this lens. Given that, I found the K-3 IBIS to be capable of working well with the focal length of this lens.

 

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Bottom Line
As your normal lens, the 50mm-ish type lens (technically a 61mm) – this Limited Pentax is sharp, usable wide open and has great color, contrast rendering.

 

It is small and light enough to keep with you at all times, but I think that most people will be using this lens more often than other Limited lenses.

 

There could be some handling issues if you are used to gripping the lens with your left hand and unintentionally bumping the manual focus ring.

 

Beyond that – I find that I really like using this lens. Some may feel that f/2.8 is not a fast enough aperture for them desiring and f/1.8 or faster lens.

 

I find that between the IBIS of the camera and the usability of the wide open performance – I’m more than happy with it.

 

Bottom Line = Highly Recommend.

 

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See my content here:

http://www.visualohio.com | BESTLIGHTPHOTO BLOG | 500px Profile & Pics

 

I shoot Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax and Leica.  Probably not enough!  LOL

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