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11-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Pentax 40 - how is it?

Hi.

I would like to resolve a little problem I have: I've read so many articles about SMC M2,8/40 being not good optically and others stating that the new DA 2,8/40 FF for digital SLR excellent... Does it mean, that Pentax redesigned the lens? I would then sell my M and buy the new one. Thank you in advance. Beda, Prague, CZ

11-20-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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They're roughly the same lens design. I'm pretty sure the major update was coatings, so better contrast.

Really, unless you can snag a M40/2.8 for 50USD or so, just get the XS version. Cheaper, smaller and new coatings.
11-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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The M-40/2.8 gets unfair press, it's a nice little lens.
I never use mine prefering the AF, auto exposure, quickshift, superb sharpness and contrast of the DA40 ltd
11-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by beda12 Quote
Hi.

I would like to resolve a little problem I have: I've read so many articles about SMC M2,8/40 being not good optically and others stating that the new DA 2,8/40 FF for digital SLR excellent... Does it mean, that Pentax redesigned the lens? I would then sell my M and buy the new one. Thank you in advance. Beda, Prague, CZ
The DA 40's optics have been refined, and the coatings and new aperture diaphragm also made a big difference. It's endlessly better than the M version IMO - though I still have both for the sake of the collection.

In fact, the DA 40 is probably the best pancake lens in the world at the moment, as it performs impressively well for its size (though there are larger lenses much better than it, to be sure).


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11-20-2013, 06:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
In fact, the DA 40 is probably the best pancake lens in the world at the moment, as it performs impressively well for its size (though there are larger lenses much better than it, to be sure).

At the risk of being tarred as a heretic, I've been playing with a new Samsung NX 30mm F2 for the past few days. So far, I'm quite impressed. I'm using it on a NX1000 to build my own take on a Ricoh GR - I wasn't keen on 18mm as a do everything lens, preferring something around 28mm on an APS-C sensor. And the F2 is proving handy.
11-20-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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I find the old SMC Pentax-M 1:2.8 40mm to be difficult to use physically because of its thin aperture and focus rings.
But it is very good for travel, of course. I use it without filter or hood, just a standard lens cap.

At wider aperture ( f/2.8 ~ f/4) it is one of the sharpest lenses in my -M collection, and on dslr, much better than the the zooms due to the lack of the "purple fringing" on edges. Many on this forum show images with, and accept purple fringing as normal and correctable but i dislike it because I mostly like to just use camera jpgs.

I wonder if the simple, small diameter 5 element lens diagram shown in the -M Lens catalog of the time shows why this lens type might be good.

The first photo (I posted perhaps too many times before on subject of this lens) , shows the lens hand held and wide open in low light.
https://app.box.com/s/209edf19081385021670
The second, also at wide aperture ( I forget, maybe f/4) , shows the low level purple fringing in the out of focus zone on the thin tree branches and the typical sharpness across the apsc plane in the distant architectural detail.
https://app.box.com/s/1vjtlzjs7rskzp3fzijb
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