Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-22-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Purchase Decision: Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited

I'm thinking about picking up this lens used at my local camera shop. Is $375 a good price? Anything that I should look for or make sure is included with the lens?

Pentax SMCP-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited Series Autofocus Lens

I currently have a K7 and am looking to improve the indoor/low light and natural light performance of the camera. Most of the photos I capture are candids of the kids in the house and the occasional birthday party where lighting is a challenge and using a flash can get annoying/distracting. I also hope to use the lens for general street photograpy and other interest / artistic images.

This will be the first lens I've actually 'purchased' for myself, so this will be the start of my LBA. I'm also considering a few other fixed length low aperature lenses (below) so any other advice would be most welcome.

SMCP-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited
35mm DA L F2.4
SMCP-DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited
SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 (to replace my 18-55mm kit lens)

Thanks Fellow Pentaxians!!
Joe

01-22-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 119
The DA 40mm XS is significantly cheaper and has the same optics as the 40mm LTD (not as nice in other regards). You can even get a K-01 with a 40mm XS for ~$300!

If you're looking for real lowlight shots, I'd recommend a faster lens than f2.8 if possible. The 50 1.8 will capture a lot more light.
01-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #3
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,826
QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
Is $375 a good price? Anything that I should look for or make sure is included with the lens?
Is it new? If so, that's an excellent price. Used, it's a fair price. It should come with the lens cap, hood, pouch, documentation, etc. If it,s use, the usual elements should be checked : damage to the body, operation of the focus ring, AF when mounted, results when you take a sample picture.

QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
SMCP-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited
35mm DA L F2.4
SMCP-DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited
SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 (to replace my 18-55mm kit lens)
All of these are excellent in what they do. The decision to buy any lens should be based on the intended use. You might (or not) find that the 21 and 35 are close in focal lengths. If you want to go with all those primes, will you really need the 18-135 zoom? What will you use it for? What will you do with the primes?

Before committing to buying high quality but expensive glass, make sure you know the way you will put any lens to use. Otherwise you're wasting money.
01-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Ikarus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: California
Photos: Albums
Posts: 471
For your intended use, I'd get the 35mm DA L F2.4. The others you list are a tad slow, and focal lengths above 35mm are often a bit tight indoors. Also, if your kids are at the age where they are very active and move around a lot, you might want to reconsider your opinion on flash. At the occasional party, it does not have to be annoying or distracting, if you use it right (by minimizing output power and using tilt / swivel bouncing off walls and ceiling).

01-22-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
I've got the 40 Limited, had the 40XS, and have the 35/2.4.

First, $375 is an average price - nothing special. You can get it from Adorama for$359.95 when you put it in your cart.

Second, it's a very nice lens and build quality on it is outstanding. IQ is fine but the 35/2.4 does nearly as well and runs $175ish. It's biggest advantage over other lenses in its focal length range is its size - its tiny.

Third, if you are looking for low light then its not that great. It's not terrible but the 50/1.4, older 50/1.7s, and the new 50/1.8 are better. You can get a used 50/1.4 in great shape for $250 or so. The new 50/1.8 is $246 at Adorama BNIB.

Good luck.
01-22-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Kentucky
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,415
For kids and interior shots the 21 may be a better choice with its wider angle. Do you have the kit 18-55? Compose and take some shots at both 21 and 40 to get a feel for the difference.

The price is decent for a new lens at a local store.
01-22-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Original Poster
I just want to start by saying thank you all for the quick feedback!!

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
All of these are excellent in what they do. The decision to buy any lens should be based on the intended use. You might (or not) find that the 21 and 35 are close in focal lengths. If you want to go with all those primes, will you really need the 18-135 zoom? What will you use it for? What will you do with the primes?
Sorry, it would definitely help if I explained my thinking on the use for these lenses. My main reason for wanting the primes is for the better low light performance when I'm out taking 'planned photos'. The reason I would still want the 18-135 is to have a weather sealed walk around lens that would be versatile for impromptu photos and to deal with bad weather and not have to switch lenses (assuming lighting is decent). I put what I think my use for each lens would be...perhaps I a bit off on my thoughts in which case, you all might save me a ton of money and keep my LBA in check :-)

Landscape photography
- SMCP-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited

Candid low light/natural light indoor/outdoor photos
- 35mm DA L F2.4

- Portraits and/or artistic close ups of objects, nature, etc.
SMCP-DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited

Weather sealed 'jack of all trades' walk around lens
- SMC DA 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6 (to replace my 18-55mm kit lens)

I'm hoping that all the experience in the forum can guide me so I'm not buying unneccessary lenses as I don't have deep pockets. From some of the other comments, it sounds like the 35mm might be the best 'first purchase' and then build from there?

QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
Also, if your kids are at the age where they are very active and move around a lot, you might want to reconsider your opinion on flash
Definitely not against flash, in fact, I'm looking into a Metz 58 AF2 as well. I would just prefer to do as much with natural lighting as I can before firing the flash. I'm starting to educate myself on flash usage through sites like 'strobist'. I'm definitely trying to prioritize my spending to get the best bang for the buck to get myself into a better situation when indoors.

Thanks again folks!! Keep the feedback coming, it's much appreciated!! :-)
Joe
01-22-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Before committing to buying high quality but expensive glass, make sure you know the way you will put any lens to use. Otherwise you're wasting money.
Except that you can (and probably will) resell many of them later, and it's difficult to know what works well for you until you get experience with a variety of lenses first.

Generally speaking, if you don't pay too much when you buy used, you can resell it later and lose no more than the shipping charges and PayPal fees - sometimes not even that. And if you don't ask too much when you sell it, it doesn't take long to sell. I think it's worth it for the experience you gain, and the questions it answers for you.


I would pick any of the other lenses you mentioned over the DA40. I specifically chose not to pursue one (back when I was making these decisions) because I saw better IQ from the FA43, and even preferred the FA35/2 (now essentially reborn as the DA35/2.4). But at least this one factor (the optical IQ) you can decide for yourself before you purchase: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model


Last edited by DSims; 01-22-2013 at 12:59 PM.
01-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
Pentaxian
seventysixersfan's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,710
Joe,

I have all of the lenses you're thinking about, lucky me! (I don't have DA-L 35 but do have FA 35 which is similar) So here are some thoughts I have.

I agree that the DA 40 limited for $375 used is not the lowest price you could get. Look at the pentax forums marketplace and you'll see that used DA 40 limiteds often sell for around the $275-300 range.

If you want a super lightweight, impossibly thin and compact lens for your camera, the DA 40 XS is a solid choice, and a particularly excellent value if you get it used. (shameless plug-- I'm selling mine right now on the marketplace...)

But I also agree that for indoor low light use, you may want to get the DA-L 35 f/2.4. It's a great value and a little faster, plus a little wider, than the DA 40.

For interior shots of kids, the even wider view of a DA 21 would be a big benefit, but mounted on your K-7, I'm afraid that the f/3.2 is not fast enough. For landscape photography though, the DA 21 is awesome!

You may want to look into any of the 50mm lens choices because they offer faster than f/2 but you may find that the FOV is a bit too tight indoors. I'd say the same about the DA 70, it's a fantastic lens, one of my favorites, but it's harder to use indoors because of the minimum focusing distance and that you'll pretty much only get above shoulder shots of one kid. That said, I've "made it work" many times, and love the pictures I take with my DA 70, whether indoors or outdoors.

the DA 18-135 is a great WR lens to match with your K-7 but consider buying it used. The full-price for the lens brand-new, without buying it as part of a new camera bundle, is a bit high and may not justify its optical quality and convenience.

QuoteOriginally posted by alphanerd Quote
You can even get a K-01 with a 40mm XS for ~$300!
PS-- that's no longer true; the price has since risen to about $399 for this bundle.
01-22-2013, 01:07 PM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by seventysixersfan Quote
For interior shots of kids, the even wider view of a DA 21 would be a big benefit, but mounted on your K-7, I'm afraid that the f/3.2 is not fast enough.
It's for this reason that I'm also considering selling the K7 body and upgrading to the K5-II. I was really hoping to maximize my K7 first but it's hard to ignore the better sensor performance of the K5-II body, or even the K5 for that matter. I mainly wanted to focus (pun intended) on lenses and come to the conclusion that the K7 may be reaching its true indoor/low light limits for what I want to capture.
01-22-2013, 01:21 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southern California
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,181
QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
I was really hoping to maximize my K7 first but it's hard to ignore the better sensor performance of the K5-II body, or even the K5 for that matter. I mainly wanted to focus (pun intended) on lenses and come to the conclusion that the K7 may be reaching its true indoor/low light limits for what I want to capture.
It's true that you may need to upgrade your body later, but I'd definitely concentrate (pun intentionally avoided) on getting at least 2-3 better lenses first. Bodies only depreciate anyway. You should spend more on lenses than your body, except in unusual circumstances.

After you learn what the lenses can really do for you, you can upgrade the body. The K-5 II/IIs may even be cheaper (or at least available used) by then, or Pentax may have a new model out.
01-22-2013, 01:43 PM   #12
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,861
lol its hard to take in all the advice in this thread, eh? Maybe if you look at the lens reviews and sample photos the decision will be easier
Just make sure you get the best deal possible in your location.
01-22-2013, 01:57 PM   #13
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
lol its hard to take in all the advice in this thread, eh? Maybe if you look at the lens reviews and sample photos the decision will be easier
Just make sure you get the best deal possible in your location.
The advice is awesome and really not hard to take in :-) I have looked at lens reviews which is what helped me build my list but the samples don't really give me ideas on practical use and I really want to keep LBA in check as I don't have deep pockets and really need to prioritize my spending. To be honest, the whole journey here started with just thinking about buying a flash, then went into lenses and then possibly switching bodies or systems all together mainly because I know I'm pushing my K7 too far with the kit lens. I play around with aperture priority and manual mode all day and while I'm learning a lot on how to adjust my camera, I'm also learning that it's limited by two things apart from the person behind the camera and those are: glass and sensor. The flash is somewhere in that mix too and I've already resolved that I will need it at some point in the near future.

Anyway, thanks for all the great feedback thus far!! Sounds like I can do better than the 40 both in terms of price and perhaps the lens in general. It sounds like the D-AL 35mm will be a better place to start than the 40 overall.
01-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #14
Pentaxian
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,826
QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
My main reason for wanting the primes is for the better low light performance when I'm out taking 'planned photos
Makes sense. But you might want to consider getting a FA50 f1,4 or DA50 f1,8 or (even better) a used F50 f1,7 instead of the 35 and 40 (which would be redundant anyway).

QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
The reason I would still want the 18-135 is to have a weather sealed walk around lens that would be versatile for impromptu photos and to deal with bad weather and not have to switch lenses
Makes perfect sense, I got a 18-55 WR that I only use for difficult weather (it does get a lot of use).

QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
Landscape photography
- SMCP-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited
Excellent choice, also works for cityscapes. Not so good with portraits, however.

QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
Candid low light/natural light indoor/outdoor photos
- 35mm DA L F2.4
As I wrote, a faster 50 lens might be better, but of course the FOV is narrower. The 21 and 50 work very well together, I've found.

QuoteOriginally posted by jsm0372 Quote
- Portraits and/or artistic close ups of objects, nature, etc.
SMCP-DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited
Good choice, but again maybe not quite needed if you decide to get a 50.

I think your reasoning is in general very sound. You don't want to get lenses just "because", but you have a purpose in mind for each.

My personal primes lineup is made of the 21, 50, 100 (macro). I think those focal lengths play well together. Getting a 21, 35 AND 40 might be excessinve (that's just my opinion). At least one of these lenses will get little use, because the focal lengths are too close together.

If you are set on a 40, you could indeed get the very nice XS. It's much less expensive. Or go with 21, 35, 50. Or just 35 and 50 if you don't really want wide. Or 21, 35, 70 but you'll still lack a really fast lens.

Just my two cents.
01-22-2013, 02:04 PM   #15
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Just my two cents
Maybe your two cents but certainly worth a ton more in my book!! Thanks a bunch!! Everyone here has confirmed that I'm at least on the right track, now just need to build my kit based on all the great feedback!!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
40mm, camera, da, f/2.8, k-mount, lens, light, pentax, pentax lens, slr lens, smcp-da
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited samples Marlboroman Lens Sample Photo Archive 40 09-12-2017 12:03 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax limited DA40 DA 40mm f/2.8 DA70 70mm f/2.4 bear111111 Sold Items 7 01-20-2013 01:17 AM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited, great condition weave2d2 Sold Items 2 09-18-2012 07:48 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax SMCP-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited Series (Silver from Limited Edition K5) Stevizzy Sold Items 10 09-02-2012 01:50 PM
For Sale - Sold: SMC Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited Lens dcshooter Sold Items 7 08-15-2012 07:53 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:40 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top