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12-16-2009, 06:28 AM   #1
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DA* and DA Limited, What's the real difference?

Just shifted to Pentax the last year and have been focusing on the DA*'s for my K20D.

12-16-2009, 08:09 AM   #2
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Both are rather distinct lines of excellent lenses, but with a different philosophy behind each line. The DA* are pro-style--fast, weather-sealed, and SDM-equipped, and include zooms. DA Limited are all primes, emphasize compactness, high optical quality. They will sacrifice some speed and perhaps *ultimate* performance to keep the compact format. To date, all use the screwdrive for autofocus.

Note that when I say *ultimate* here, it's not meant to knock the Limited lenses, which I think are great. It's that there's always a compromise involved. For example, I expect that the Zeiss ZK 21/2.8 is probably better optically (and obviously faster) than the DA21 but with a huge penalty in terms of size and cost.
12-16-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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As soon as everyone agrees what the "rules" are, Pentax releases a lens that doesn't follow the rules. Example: after the three FA Limiteds, which all are f1.8 or f1.9 and not small, Pentax came out with the DA40/2.8 Limited, which never fit in with any previous reasonable definition of Limited. The DA40 only makes sense now when you see the other DA Limiteds. The latest rule-breaker is a D-FA lens with no aperture ring.

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