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03-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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DXO reviews and tests DA40 2.8 Ltd

DXO recently reviewed another Pentax pancake - my favorite little lens the DA 40 f2.8 pancake.

QuoteQuote:
The good points of the Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 Limited:

Decent resolution starting at f/5.6.
Well-corrected distortion.
Vignetting “correct” for this kind of lens.
Invisible or barely-visible chromatic aberrations.
Remarkable compactness.
Very light-weight.

The “debatable” points of the Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 Limited:

The resolution at f/4 and f/2.8 is quite disappointing both over the field and in the center.
Lack of brightness.
DxOMark - SMC DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

Overall a positive review, but with a very puzzling conclusion on the brightness issue. In contrast to DXO, Lenstip.com's measurements of the brightness of the lens showed it to be about the brightest lens they had come across. I also haven't found resolution suffers much below f5.6 either in my experience.

03-19-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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This lens is a cracker acording to photozone and has superb sharpnes across the range.
The two wider lenses need stopping down a couple of stops but not the 40 it seems ?Pentax SMC DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited - Review / Lab Test - Analysis
03-19-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by westmill Quote
This lens is a cracker acording to photozone and has superb sharpnes across the range.
I agree. The SLRGEAR review of the lens also shows that f2.8 is decently sharp too, as is evident:

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Pentax Lens: Primes - Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited SMC P-DA (Tested) - SLRgear.com!
03-23-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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I really wonder if DxoMark folks are paying strictest attention to focusing during their tests. SLRGear made a special point of this a while back. The DXO tests seem out of sync with others.

03-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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I find many Pentax lens tested by DXO have low score compare to canon and nikon lens...
03-23-2012, 09:51 PM   #6
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For all fairness could be QC problem. Photozone had to test 3 copies of Canon EF 24-70 2.8 L USM to get an average copy. And the final result on FF body is not really that inspiring.

But on other website it says the canon 24-70 L lens is THE lens to get. Figure that. Also people has been singing praises of DA*16-50, the copy I gotten was the worse lens I ever mount on the K5. The exposure and focus were all over the place and the 18-135 easily runs circles around it.

Luck seems to play a part sometimes?

Last edited by lightbulb; 03-23-2012 at 09:57 PM.
03-23-2012, 10:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lightbulb Quote
For all fairness could be QC problem. Photozone had to test 3 copies of Canon EF 24-70 2.8 L USM to get an average copy. And the final result on FF body is not really that inspiring.

But on other website it says the canon 24-70 L lens is THE lens to get. Figure that. Also people has been singing praises of DA*16-50, the copy I gotten was the worse lens I ever mount on the K5. The exposure and focus were all over the place and the 18-135 easily runs circles around it.

Luck seems to play a part sometimes?
Well, the DA* 16-50 has been the most notorious Pentax lens in respect to quality control.
03-24-2012, 07:39 AM   #8
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I wondered too about that since my DA40 is nearly perfect. The review for DA21mm wasn't soo great either, but my copy is very good (so far I know).

03-24-2012, 08:12 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
I find many Pentax lens tested by DXO have low score compare to canon and nikon lens...
Are you comparing on APS-C cameras? Compare the same lens on a D700 or D7000. The format makes a huge difference in resolution scores.
03-24-2012, 08:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Compare the same lens on a D700 or D7000.
DXO makes it very difficult to compare lenses across systems, since pretty much all they have measured so far for Pentax bodies are Pentax lenses.
03-24-2012, 09:49 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
DXO makes it very difficult to compare lenses across systems, since pretty much all they have measured so far for Pentax bodies are Pentax lenses.
That wasn't the point I was trying to make. I'll try again. You can compare results from a Pentax DA 40 on a K-5 to results from Nikon DX 35mm on a D7000, and the scores will tell you about lens quality because the sensors are equivalent. If you compare a DA 40/K-5 to a Nikon D700/FX35mm, lens performance is eclipsed by the differences in format. The D700 lens scores will be much higher. You can't just compare raw lens scores, you have to look at what camera it was measured on.
03-24-2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
I find many Pentax lens tested by DXO have low score compare to canon and nikon lens...
Maybe DXO is a DPReview affiliate.

Last edited by Parallax; 03-24-2012 at 10:30 AM.
03-24-2012, 11:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by liukaitc Quote
I find many Pentax lens tested by DXO have low score compare to canon and nikon lens...
I wouldn't be surprised if, in terms of absolute sharpness, some of the DA Limiteds do not quite measure up to the best from Canikon. There are necessary compromises to be made in having a small lens. The Nikkor 35 f/2 looks to be 3x the size of the DA40.

Also, IIRC, the K-5 has a slightly stronger AA filter than the Nikon D7000, which would result in slightly decreased measurable sharpness.
03-24-2012, 12:41 PM   #14
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I think the best is to try the lens a few days and decide by yourself. You are the only one who knows what you like or not like...
03-24-2012, 01:39 PM   #15
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just go check those da lmited lens DxO recently tested....the best is da70 with score 14..others are like 10, 11. overall, pretty low score consider they are pentax top quality prime.
and I browse though some nikon lens tested on d7000, I can easily see an overall higher score
DxOMark - Pentax Prime Lens Series
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