Pentax-DA 15mm F4 Limited Review

Conclusion

On this page we talk about the pricing of the Pentax 15mm Limited and offer our overall evaluation.

Who Is It For

We think that this particular lens is great for just about anyone who enjoys using wide-angle lenses for more than just landscape photos, as its close-up sharpness, bokeh, and minimal distortion mean that it can be used for a broad variety of applications. This lens is also great for photographers who need a compact wide-angle solution or want wide-angle image quality better than that of the kit lens.  And of course, this lens is for anyone who has Lens Buying Addiction- if you did not have one prior to reading this review and decide to get one, we're sure that you will fall in love with it!

Pricing

The Pentax 15mm Limited has an MSRP of $649.95, and this price applies in most countries outside of the US.  Prior to April, 2012, this lens was priced at $509.95, but it has since gone up to $549.95, and as of June, 2012, we consider this the street price.  This price is reasonable for a premium lens, though if you simply want a wider field of view than the kit lens, you may wish to consider the Tamon 10-24mm lens, which is cheaper and has acceptable image quality.  You won't find a comparable lens in terms of size, however.

Pentax 15mm Limited

Pros and Cons

Overall, the 15mm is very well-rounded, with no big disadvantages.

Pros:

  • Little fringing and minimal distortion
  • Great for close-up photos
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Built-in hood
  • Fine metal build
  • Lens with a great reputation

Cons:

  • Corner shaprness is average
  • Aperture blades not rounded
  • Expensive

Rating

Sharpness 
 9
Aberrations 
 10
Bokeh 
 9
Autofocus 
 8
Handling 
 9
Value 
 8
Overall 
 8.8 (Very Good)

Breakdown and comments:

  • Sharpness: Very good up close, but only average corner sharpness at a distance
  • Aberrations: Exceptionally well-controlled
  • Bokeh: Can be very smooth at close focus distances, though highlights may be distracting
  • Autofocus: Short throw results in fast focusing, and Quick Shift is very handy to have.  Nothing special otherwise.  The AF is noisy as it employs the traditional screwdrive.
  • Handling: The lens is very compact yet still easy to hold.  The built-in lens hood is handy. One point was deducted for the lens cap design.  
  • Value: The MSRP is relatively high; this is an APS-C-only lens.

This 15mm lens is without a doubt one of our favorite lenses that we've tested to date.  It is a pleasure to use and carry around, and as long as you can afford it, few further complaints can be made about this lens.  Highly recommended!

Buy It Today

The Pentax 15mm lens is available in the US from major Pentax retailers, which at the moment include B&H Photo, Adorama, Abe's of Maine, Amazon, and other smaller stores.  It is also available directly from Pentax, albeit at full MSRP.  In the UK, it is available from SRS Microsystems, Amazon, and other smaller stores as well.

Once you have the lens, we invite you to post your own review in our lens database.

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