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02-28-2019, 06:16 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Views on DA 20-40 Ltd in comparison to DA35 F2.4

The DA 20-40 only recently came to my attention but having thought about it, it fits a lot of the criteria I'm looking for. Firstly it's in the range I use most, secondly it would save me buying a wideangle, which I currently lack, thirdly it's a wr lens, handy for hiking as I often keep a camera in a pouch on a waistbelt, fourthly it's not big or heavy and would fit both my current camera bags which are the ideal size for me to carry stuff around in.

Reservations are, it's a zoom and so far I've not found a zoom which I like in terms of size or range or IQ. The DA 35mm f2.4 I have delivers the quality and focal length I'm after and if the da 20-40 didn't perform as well I don't know if iI'd be happy with thatt, so I'm after opinions from those of you who've used it as to whether it compares and how. I've read the reviews and looked at sample pictures but it's not always possible to tell from those sources whether it will suit 'you'.

The option is to buy it to replace the DA35 and a future purchase of a 15 Ltd or stick with the 35 and purchase the 15 in the future. what I don't get with the latter is the wr and all purpose nature of it. Thoughts most welcome. Oh and I'd be looking at a 2nd hand purchase as well.

02-28-2019, 06:29 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Welcome aboard. Our Marketplace is an excellent source for well-cared for lenses and equipment at reasonable prices from reliable sellers.


You might want to read this detailed review:
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 Limited Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
02-28-2019, 06:42 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I was once in the market for the DA20-40 zoom, but bought a DA 35 Limited, to slot between my 21Limited and my 40Limited...

the 35Limited ended my search/lust/LBA for the zoom lens, it's that good...

I used to have the DA 35/2.4, but never really connected with it...
02-28-2019, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I was once in the market for the DA20-40 zoom, but bought a DA 35 Limited, to slot between my 21Limited and my 40Limited...

the 35Limited ended my search/lust/LBA for the zoom lens, it's that good...

I used to have the DA 35/2.4, but never really connected with it...
If Pentax made a 35mm wr lens I doubt I'd be thinking about the da 20-40mm.

02-28-2019, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I was once in the market for the DA20-40 zoom, but bought a DA 35 Limited, to slot between my 21Limited and my 40Limited...

the 35Limited ended my search/lust/LBA for the zoom lens, it's that good...

I used to have the DA 35/2.4, but never really connected with it...
I agree on all points. However, none of the lenses you list are WR and if the OP wants WR in the 20-40 range with good IQ the zoom lens has both.
02-28-2019, 08:08 AM - 4 Likes   #6
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I own the SMC DA 40, the FA 35 f/2, the FA 31 f1.8 and previously owned the DA 35 f/2.4 Plastic Fantastic. I also own the DA 20-40. None of these take bad shots unless the operator screws up. I like all of them... but my least favorite is the DA 35 f2.4 - I never really loved it. The problem could be me.

The SMC DA 40 is tiny which is a good benefit but even the loss of 1 stop (f4 vs. f2.8) doesn't drive me away from the DA 20-40 in most circumstances. Something that may not be obvious about the 20-40 is that it is VERY light for the size. (It isn't large, but it is lighter than similar sized lenses.) The rendering of the HD coating may help, my DA 40 is SMC.

Here's a few DA 20-40 shots:





FA 35 below:





DA 40 below:





---------- Post added 02-28-19 at 10:11 AM ----------

Looking over my shots... I use the DA 20-40 for landscapes, the DA 40 for intimate shots - tight framed, and the FA 35 was used for flowers. LOL. This isn't by intention - I just happened to find these shots as best personification of the lenses. Each of them can shoot the same scenes as the others I just don't tend to use them that way.
02-28-2019, 08:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I own the SMC DA 40, the FA 35 f/2, the FA 31 f1.8 and previously owned the DA 35 f/2.4 Plastic Fantastic. I also own the DA 20-40. None of these take bad shots unless the operator screws up. I like all of them... but my least favorite is the DA 35 f2.4 - I never really loved it. The problem could be me.

The SMC DA 40 is tiny which is a good benefit but even the loss of 1 stop (f4 vs. f2.8) doesn't drive me away from the DA 20-40 in most circumstances. Something that may not be obvious about the 20-40 is that it is VERY light for the size. (It isn't large, but it is lighter than similar sized lenses.) The rendering of the HD coating may help, my DA 40 is SMC.

Here's a few DA 20-40 shots:





FA 35 below:





DA 40 below:





---------- Post added 02-28-19 at 10:11 AM ----------

Looking over my shots... I use the DA 20-40 for landscapes, the DA 40 for intimate shots - tight framed, and the FA 35 was used for flowers. LOL. This isn't by intention - I just happened to find these shots as best personification of the lenses. Each of them can shoot the same scenes as the others I just don't tend to use them that way.
Thanks for that comparison, very useful. That DA 40 is really good. It's hard to tell from the pics because the subjects are all different but would you say the da 20-40 loses much in IQ from the primes you've got?

---------- Post added 02-28-19 at 08:58 AM ----------

To explain a little bit further where I'm coming from, I think I'm looking for a reason to get it rather than a reason not to get it. I don't think IQ is always important, except when you need it to be and I suppose I'm questioning if the 20-40 can deliver when I need it to. My suspicion is, it won't quite or more likely, I won't quite be able to make it because, like all zooms, It'll require me to hit the sweetspot and often I don't because I'm taken by the moment and forget about twisting it to the right focal length and hitting the right aperture. I find primes more forgiving in that respect.
02-28-2019, 09:52 AM - 3 Likes   #8
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As always a lot will depend on the type of photography you want to do.

I have the DA15, DA21, DA40, DA35/2.4, DA 20-40 among others.

I would say get the 20-40 as foundation for a 2 or 3 lens compact kit.
It's lightweight, WR, has silent DC autofocusing, handles like a prime and you are not really making any compromises in image quality versus the primes.

The 20-40 has slightly better IQ at 20mm in my opinion and is faster (2.8) than the 21 prime . At 40mm it is roughly equivalent to the DA40 prime but one stop slower.

The 15, 20-40, 70 makes a great compact three lens kit for portraits, landscapes, and general photography.
The 20-40 and 55-300WR gives you a fully weather sealed lightweight 2 lens kit if you need more reach.

02-28-2019, 10:30 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
The DA 20-40 only recently came to my attention but having thought about it, it fits a lot of the criteria I'm looking for. Firstly it's in the range I use most, secondly it would save me buying a wideangle, which I currently lack, thirdly it's a wr lens, handy for hiking as I often keep a camera in a pouch on a waistbelt, fourthly it's not big or heavy and would fit both my current camera bags which are the ideal size for me to carry stuff around in.

Reservations are, it's a zoom and so far I've not found a zoom which I like in terms of size or range or IQ. The DA 35mm f2.4 I have delivers the quality and focal length I'm after and if the da 20-40 didn't perform as well I don't know if iI'd be happy with thatt, so I'm after opinions from those of you who've used it as to whether it compares and how. I've read the reviews and looked at sample pictures but it's not always possible to tell from those sources whether it will suit 'you'.

The option is to buy it to replace the DA35 and a future purchase of a 15 Ltd or stick with the 35 and purchase the 15 in the future. what I don't get with the latter is the wr and all purpose nature of it. Thoughts most welcome. Oh and I'd be looking at a 2nd hand purchase as well.
I have both lenses and use them on a K3ii. The DA35 f/2.4 is a great value and, with a proper lens hood, performs nicely! I bought the DA20-40mm Ltd because it covered the focal range I use the most AND it is excellent optically! Comparing the two lenses for build quality,; the LTD zoom is superior! Operationally, the DA20-40LTD has been flawless for me, and the DA35mm sits mostly on a shelf. However, the Da35mm f/2.4 has found new life adapted to my Olympus Pen-f! Frankly, the lens comparison is for radically different tools, imo. Having both has been very handy and both work fine, given their respective features and limits.
02-28-2019, 11:18 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
Thanks for that comparison, very useful. That DA 40 is really good. It's hard to tell from the pics because the subjects are all different but would you say the da 20-40 loses much in IQ from the primes you've got?

---------- Post added 02-28-19 at 08:58 AM ----------

To explain a little bit further where I'm coming from, I think I'm looking for a reason to get it rather than a reason not to get it. I don't think IQ is always important, except when you need it to be and I suppose I'm questioning if the 20-40 can deliver when I need it to. My suspicion is, it won't quite or more likely, I won't quite be able to make it because, like all zooms, It'll require me to hit the sweetspot and often I don't because I'm taken by the moment and forget about twisting it to the right focal length and hitting the right aperture. I find primes more forgiving in that respect.
I think the DA 20-40 is equal to most primes in that focal length. I have never felt a let down in the rendering and sharpness. The DA 40 (SMC vs. HD coating) does provide better starbursts than the DA 20-40. The range of subjects that i shoot with the DA 20-40 is pretty wide. It is a NICE lens. Interestingly it was not one I bought for myself. My dad got it when he was shooting a K-50 or K-3 (he's now shooting a Panasonic GX-7). I was skeptical and didn't think I would like the 20-40 at all... but it won me over. My favorite kit with it is to carry the DA 15 (SMC), the DA 20-40 and the DA* 50-135. Another kit is the 20-40 and the 60-250, or the 20-40 and the 77 and the 200... etc.

The DA 40 is almost always used when I need more stealth, street shooting for example. Or when I need the least threatening lens possible. A way to put a subject at ease.

The FA 35 f2 is almost never used these days - other than on m43 - since the AF function and A aperture control died after it was dropped. It has been repaired/realigned but the lens works mostly like an M or K series lens.

The FA 31 is my "fast fifty" for APSC - it works well when I want a normal perspective but honestly I liked it much more on the K-1 I borrowed. However I have made a decision to stick with APSC for now (and m43 to keep my dad happy).
02-28-2019, 11:35 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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The DA20-40 is very good. Take the DA70 or FA77 for a terrific walkaround combo.

And I've used it with my K-1 in the same way, it covers 24mm and 35mm primes in a light and WR all-metal package with modern AF.

It's not small, BTW ... the IQ is gained from a fair amount of glass, it's about the size of the FA31.

02-28-2019, 12:28 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
The DA 20-40 only recently came to my attention but having thought about it, it fits a lot of the criteria I'm looking for. Firstly it's in the range I use most, secondly it would save me buying a wideangle, which I currently lack, thirdly it's a wr lens, handy for hiking as I often keep a camera in a pouch on a waistbelt, fourthly it's not big or heavy and would fit both my current camera bags which are the ideal size for me to carry stuff around in.

Reservations are, it's a zoom and so far I've not found a zoom which I like in terms of size or range or IQ. The DA 35mm f2.4 I have delivers the quality and focal length I'm after and if the da 20-40 didn't perform as well I don't know if iI'd be happy with thatt, so I'm after opinions from those of you who've used it as to whether it compares and how. I've read the reviews and looked at sample pictures but it's not always possible to tell from those sources whether it will suit 'you'.

The option is to buy it to replace the DA35 and a future purchase of a 15 Ltd or stick with the 35 and purchase the 15 in the future. what I don't get with the latter is the wr and all purpose nature of it. Thoughts most welcome. Oh and I'd be looking at a 2nd hand purchase as well.
I have a similar situation. I don't have anything but the kit lens that's WR and wider than the 55-300. I'd really like something to fill that gap, but I use a lot of primes for everything but sports. I'd love a WR 21mm LTD, but I'm afraid at Pentax release rates, and its absence from the roadmap, that such a thing might be available sometime in the late 2040s. I've rented the 16-85 twice and was quite impressed by its image quality, it's quiet, and the WR was great for a trip to Iceland. But it's not small.

I'm going on a vacation to Germany and Austria this summer, with a fair amount of time in towns and cities. I'd really like an option that's relatively small, but also WR. So I've thought a lot about the DA 20-40 LTD. Last time I was in Munich I went with just a 40 and the 15 and got some great shots. Even this time when the weather is good I'll probably do a lot of shooting with the 15/40 combo. I don't know... maybe I'll rent the 20-40. I'm already spending a lot on the trip.
02-28-2019, 01:13 PM   #13
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Everyone's responses are very re-assuring. I did consider renting it to try it out but I couldn't find anywhere in the UK that listed it, so if anyone knows somewhere, I'd be most grateful.

An upcoming trip to Australia is what has focused my mind. My initial thoughts were a wide, a 'normal' and a telephoto. To that end I have the 35 and a d-fa 100mmm macro. I thought a 20 or a 15 would complete it and all be relatively compact, plus they are all the same filter size. Then the 20-40 came to my attention and the only real question left for me is the image quality and if it's good it would mean I would have a good two lens travel and walkabout kit, that would suit how I use a camera.


I'd sort of discounted zooms as Lightroom tells me I use them most at either end of the range, which in most, is not ideal, so all in all not much point in me having one, might as well use primes. In fact I'd recently tried and returned an 18-135 wr but as well as not managing to master getting decent results from it, it's a big old lump too and I didn't want that banging against my hip.
02-28-2019, 03:00 PM - 3 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I own the SMC DA 40, the FA 35 f/2, the FA 31 f1.8 and previously owned the DA 35 f/2.4 Plastic Fantastic. I also own the DA 20-40. None of these take bad shots unless the operator screws up. I like all of them... but my least favorite is the DA 35 f2.4 - I never really loved it. The problem could be me.The SMC DA 40 is tiny which is a good benefit but even the loss of 1 stop (f4 vs. f2.8) doesn't drive me away from the DA 20-40 in most circumstances. Something that may not be obvious about the 20-40 is that it is VERY light for the size. (It isn't large, but it is lighter than similar sized lenses.) The rendering of the HD coating may help, my DA 40 is SMC.
I've also got the 20-40 and the DA 35 f2.4. I've got the FA 43 Ltd too, plus two zooms that cover that focal range (DA 12-24, DA 18-135). When I first got the 20-40 I did a side-by-side comparison with the 35. (I haven't kept the test shots.) The 35 had a little more centre sharpness and a good deal more corner sharpness than the 20-40. Some of the difference was probably due to field curvature in the 20-40, which is quite marked. And the 35 is very very sharp - it even compares with my FA 50 f2.8 macro and DFA 100 f2.8 macro. The 35 has much more edge and corner resolution than the 18-135 - visible without pixel peeping.

But numbers aren't everything. Like UV I don't really warm to the 35. It's partly the focal length (I use the 20-40 most often at the ends rather than the middle and it is good at both ends) and partly the 35 just seems a little ... clinical (?). That's just purely a matter of taste. The charm of the 20-40 is similar to the charm of the DA 15 Ltd which I got recently: very good contrast and punchy colours give images a lot of vitality. The bokeh is very pleasant too. The question is whether you accept the compromises.

DA 20-40 Ltd
20mm f2.8


20mm f8






23mm


34mm f7.1


40mm f4


40mm f8


QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
An upcoming trip to Australia is what has focused my mind. My initial thoughts were a wide, a 'normal' and a telephoto. To that end I have the 35 and a d-fa 100mmm macro. I thought a 20 or a 15 would complete it and all be relatively compact, plus they are all the same filter size. Then the 20-40 came to my attention and the only real question left for me is the image quality and if it's good it would mean I would have a good two lens travel and walkabout kit, that would suit how I use a camera.
If you are interested in the natural world, I'd strongly recommend something wide and something long for visiting Australia. Much as I love it, the 100 is not long enough to be your only telephoto. You might have to overcome your aversion to zooms and at least get the 55-300 PLM. 15, 20-40 (or 35 if you prefer it) and 55-300 would be a good compact kit, although you would have to accept that even 15 might not be wide enough on occasions. An alternative would be 16-85, 55-300 and a normal-ish prime of your choice (a 40 or nifty fifity maybe?) for low light, portraits and images for stitching - but if you found the 18-135 too bulky the 16-85 would be more so. Dust and sand are often an issue in Australia so don't bank on making constant lens changes.

Last edited by Des; 02-28-2019 at 03:30 PM.
02-28-2019, 03:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
\
But numbers aren't everything. Like UV I don't really warm to the 35. It's partly the focal length (I use the 20-40 most often at the ends rather than the middle) and partly the 35 just seems a little ... clinical (?). That's just purely a matter of taste. The charm of the 20-40 is similar to the charm of the DA 15 Ltd which I got recently: very good contrast and punchy colours give images a lot of vitality. The bokeh is very pleasant too. The question is whether you accept the compromises.
I hesitated to say clinical but yes that was my thought also about the DA 35 f/2.4 - interestingly I don't feel that way about the FA 35 f/2. I fully admit it could be ME - or something specific to the lens. I don't always find images others make with that lens clinical but I often do. Double blind comparisons would help.

EDIT: BTW - you seem to have missed focus on the shot with the bear toys... LOL.
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