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02-19-2016, 08:02 AM   #1
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Pentax 20-40 best uses

Seems like people rave about the Pentax 20-40 ltd. Given its odd range, and that it's not the fastest lens either (albeit not necessarily slow), I'm wondering what type of photography people think it is best suited for, and if people think that is more suited to one type of photography versus another.


Thanks!

02-19-2016, 08:09 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I use it for almost everything except wildlife lol..

On my k-3 it's good enough for indoor shots, and since it's weathersealed and silent, I just leave it on the k-3. But if I were to say it's suited for something, it's suited for street photography due to it's small size, silent and reasonably quick AF, and the slow aperture is mitigated by having outside daylight.

Just to throw some shots out there:






Last edited by JinDesu; 02-19-2016 at 08:16 AM.
02-19-2016, 08:15 AM   #3
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I think it was designed as a compact travel lens - about the same size as a kit 18-55, but in exchange for a little at the wide and long ends, the IQ is much better and it's 2/3 of a stop faster across the range, which I've found useful in museums and the like. The silent focusing is handy indoors, and the WR outdoors. There really isn't another lens in the same niche. Constant 2.8 17-50 zooms or variable 3.5 17-70 zooms are quite a bit larger, and carrying two or three DA Limited primes can be inconvenient. It's a good "weekend trip, one lens" option.

Edit: It also has a usefully short minimum focus distance, and I added some examples.









Last edited by THoog; 02-19-2016 at 10:29 AM.
02-19-2016, 08:25 AM   #4
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I found it to be a great outdoor-adventure lens. Fairly small, wr, almost no ca or flair. Great for shooting into the sun for sunrises and sunsets.

It really pulled through in those situations where my 16-50 would often struggle.

I actually sold mine a while back to raise funds for my 150-450, and I already miss it.

02-19-2016, 08:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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seems to me they should consider introducing a FA 30mm-60mm Limited for the K-1...

Michael
02-19-2016, 08:52 AM   #6
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I use it for everything. I no longer see the point of attaching my 21mm or 40mm limiteds. The 20-40 Ltd,, the15 Ltd, and the DA*50-135 are a great travel set, and all fit in a reasonably compact case. Pentax once designed what they called a "Flexi" lens of 32 to 39 mm -- a 35mm with a little wiggle room. I see the 20-40 sort of as the realization of that idea.

Last edited by Marktax; 02-19-2016 at 09:13 AM.
02-19-2016, 08:55 AM   #7
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It's my walkabout/travel/most other situations lens for the K-3II, exchanged only when I need long range (55-300) or fast (50/1.8). Performance is fantastic, not to mention quiet. And what a build quality. If I want wider than 20 then I take two vertical shots and stitch, giving me approx 13-15 FOV, and if I want a little longer than 40 then I can crop the K-3II's image.
02-19-2016, 09:04 AM   #8
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I already have the 16-85, which I think is a terrific lens. I am trying to see if there is a case to add the 20-40, but am having a hard time convincing myself due to the cost.


I like the idea that it is a good street lens (Jin Desu - I work about a block away from your first shot, so I can really relate)


Interesting feedback, esp that it can effectively replace the 21 and 40 ltds in one lens.


I thought that the limit range may be a little frustrating, but I guess you just have to understand its strengths and limits.

02-19-2016, 09:07 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
Seems like people rave about the Pentax 20-40 ltd
True, but there were a lot of complaints, as well (odd focal range, short zoom, variable aperture, silly lens cap..). But ultimately the people who love it, love it.
QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
I'm wondering what type of photography people think it is best suited for, and if people think that is more suited to one type of photography versus another.
Not the first choice for handheld low light photograhy and maybe landscapes. But it allows a lot in capable hands. Walkabout lens, decent for close ups, nice bokeh, character, great centre sharpness, WR, silent AF, QS, HD coatings.. I only tested one, and it was quite nice. Main reason why I don't have one is its price here in EU

PF official review: https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/hd-pentax-da-20-40mm-limited/introduction.html?src=lrdb

More user reviews here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/hd-pentax-da-20-40mm-f2.8-4-limited-dc-wr.html

Last edited by Na Horuk; 02-19-2016 at 09:15 AM.
02-19-2016, 09:31 AM   #10
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If anything, my flickr has a page for it with full resolution shots linked in each photo's comments. I've been busy this winter so I haven't gone and updated it much, but I should be come spring.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jindesu/albums/72157649616280071

@Spode - I work in midtown, so I have a lotta NYC shots haha
I used the DA*16-50 and I used to have a DA 40mm XS and a DA 21 Ltd. Originally my DA 21 Ltd was my go to lens for walking around, but mine broke. Then I tried the DA 40mm XS and I thought it was too tight to be a perfect walkaround. I then bought the DA 20-40 and it has been with me for a year and I love it. I also tried the DA*16-50 for a few days (it had SDM issues so I returned it, it was a used buy) and if not for the fact that I already had the 20-40, I would have considered the 16-50 instead. So I would say they are both equally fantastic lenses, and it seems the 16-85 is similar enough to the 16-50 that maybe you don't need the 20-40.
02-19-2016, 10:16 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
I already have the 16-85, which I think is a terrific lens. I am trying to see if there is a case to add the 20-40, but am having a hard time convincing myself due to the cost.

I like the idea that it is a good street lens (Jin Desu - I work about a block away from your first shot, so I can really relate)

Interesting feedback, esp that it can effectively replace the 21 and 40 ltds in one lens.

I thought that the limit range may be a little frustrating, but I guess you just have to understand its strengths and limits.

I would have a hard time justifying both the 16-85 and the 20-40, but the 16-85 is large and heavy for my tastes. I balked at the launch price on the 20-40 Ltd, but it's down to half that, and worth it IMHO.

In terms of limits, compared to 18-55, in most cases 20-40 just means a step or two forward or back - it's not that hard to adjust. In 35mm terms, 30-60mm is around the range of the shorty zooms (35-70, 28-70) I carried in my film days, and the 20-40 Ltd is a huge step up from them in terms of IQ and features.
02-19-2016, 10:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spodeworld Quote
I'm wondering what type of photography people think it is best suited for
Pictures speak louder than words, so check out the

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/247859-da-limited-zoom-club.html

- one of those threads with more likes than posts!
02-19-2016, 10:27 AM   #13
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One thing I can say from these images is that it produces nice and contrasty images with rich colors.
02-19-2016, 10:34 AM   #14
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To me, the DA 20-40 is designed mainly for streets photography in mind...and in addition, since it is a reasonably fast lens, it is also good for indoor (with or without flash) photography. If I have to carry only one lens when I travel, this would be the one. The other choice, of course, could be the 16-85 or 18-135.. however, this one works far better indoor especially with flash.

Here is an example of the photos I have taken while travelling to Japan.
https://flic.kr/s/aHskbzp6vN
02-19-2016, 10:39 AM   #15
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It's a lightweight, variable normal lens with great IQ. Didn't realize it's true worth until a 5 day backpack trek last Sept where it's size & lightweight really stood out and the photos I got were better than expected. Took a DA15 & DFA100 also, but they got little use, the 20-40 really had my needs covered. Now my wife & I each have one (got tried of sharing) the 20-40 btw, goes really well with her KS-2.
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