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SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

Sharpness 
 9.0
Aberrations 
 9.1
Bokeh 
 8.0
Autofocus 
 9.4
Handling 
 9.6
Value 
 8.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
104 371,340 Sat June 13, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $505.42 9.29
SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
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SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
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Description:
The SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited is a prime extreme wide-angle lens only suitable for Pentax APS-C DSLRs. Technical details:

SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades
Optics
8 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
18 cm
Max. Magnification
0.15x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 88 ° / 77 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Pouch 37748
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal screw-on
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 39.5 mm (2.5 x 1.58 in.)
Weight
190 g (6.7 oz.)
Production Years
2009 to 2013
Launch Price
$572 USD
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:4 15mm ED AL Limited
Product Code
21800 (black)
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
Notes
One aspherical element and one ED element.
Variants

Black and silver

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftBuilt-in HoodAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Ascending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 104
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,710
Lens Review Date: June 13, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fun Factor, Perspective, Lack of distortion, Sharp
Cons: so far none...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K5 IIs   

This is not one of these lenses where you pixel-peep, shoot charts and boast about the CA you found on certain images. This is a lens you take out the house and have some fun with ! The perspective this lens gives you on a cropped camera is amazing ! You could be standing a few feet away from an object and you are still able to get the entire object in the frame. With most lenses you have to back up to get the entire scene in the frame, but with this lens you actually have to move forward and closer to the subject ? Of course you still have to have to take into consideration things such as white balance, ISO, aperture and shutter speed, but once that is settled, you will be amazed at the pictures you can take with this lens. The distortions are minimal ! The Pentax colors are there, if not the occasional pixie-dust magic. Can't wait to take this lens out at night with my tripod and check out the star-burst !
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: June 13, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $230.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small
Cons: Front cap, f4
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: KP   

Contrast is good but not as good as the 31mm Limited by the latter is on a different level. The front cap really takes time to open.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2019
Posts: 18
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
New or Used: New   

K3
1.







2.






3.







4.








5.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,012
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $225.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wide! Small and leightweight, build quality great, starbursts, nice retractable hood
Cons: Could be a little sharper and have a larger aperture?
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

This is a nice small lens that can go wider than the 18-55mm kit I had. I bought it for a trip to Japan and it was able to fit a lot in the viewfinder. I also took it to Yellowstone and it didn't disappoint there either. Lots of contrast and plenty sharp stopped down. You do have to be careful how you focus at wider apertures or it can appear soft on the edges if they are out of focus. I also wanted this lens for the starbursts, and you can shoot right into the sun with this one. I've also had a limited lens before and like the build quality of them. I also like how the built in metal pedal hood retracts easily. Mine came with a plastic Pentax pinch cap so I've never used it with the original metal one so can't comment on that. I have no issues with focusing it, but when taking close photos at max aperture the bokeh can appear a little "busy" as they say, but you can get decent subject isolation if you are close. This is a lens that will teach you a lot about composition. Just changing where you stand by a few steps can change what you see in the photo dramatically, and a poorly composed shot can appear quite boring, so keep your shots creative! Below is a link to an album of some high resolution samples I've gotten with this lens:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhphotography/albums/72157713363148671
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2018
Location: Poland
Posts: 722
Lens Review Date: December 23, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, IQ
Cons: price
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

Beautiful lens, excellent for all sorts of themes, from landscapes to street photography. Pretty sharp from the widest aperture. Excellent build quality; the built-in hood is a nice advantage. SMC-version is famous for its starbursts, especially when stopped-down.*


   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 923
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Starbursts, micro-contrast, Pentax colors
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

This is a keeper when it comes to all the lenses I've owned. This is one very versatile lens that is my go-to when shooting APS-C and landscape. And the starburst characteristic is very special, which is missing to some degree with the newer HD version of this lens. Not sure if the HD is worth losing the starburst effect that this lens is known for.

Selected-4935 by David Carman, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent color, contrast and built quality
Cons: difficult to add lens filter
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k-50   

This is now the widest lens I own. It has been simply wonderful to use.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: December 26, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness
Cons: lens cap
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k3   

I also love this lens and hate the screw on lens cap.

Keep in mind you can buy a pentax brand plastic non screw on lens cap that fits on top. I have this on my lens, and have no issues.

Pentax 49mm O-LC49 Lens Cap 31526

I kind guesstimated the amount of space between the front of the lens and the inside of the lens cap. I figure there are a couple of millimeters between the front of the lens and the back of the lens cap. And that's only when you squeeze it together. I have been using it for months and i haven't ever had it scratch the lens. The plastic cap looks like it was made for the lens.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, small, built in hood
Cons: Slow
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K5 IIs   

Nice little quality lens with great IQ and nice colours.
At f4 it has good center sharpness but is a bit soft towards the corners. Stopped down to f8-f13 it really shines. Haven't experienced any CA worth mentioning. I do find it a bit slow since I need to keep it at around f8 to get corner sharpness. If it where a 2.8 it would be 3 times larger and heavier so why complain, it's a practical little wide angle!

@ f6,3:
   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2015
Posts: 53
Lens Review Date: September 28, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $520.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Size, build quality, flare resistance
Cons: corner sharpness, purple fringing
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K 3 II   

Either my copy was really bad or people don't care about corner sharpness and purple fringing.
Corners on my copy were atrocious, worse than Sigma 10-20 I used to have. Visible even at screen size, not 100%. Purple fringing all over high contrast areas as well.
On plus size: great build quality, really loved the size. AF quick and accurate, great colors and starbursts.

Overall: I've sold it as I couldn't accept those corners. Check the photos, these are resized and corner softness is easily visible.



   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Hanoi
Posts: 213
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: close up, well-control distortation
Cons: easy to drop the shade
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K200D   

The size of this lens is quite small but the quality is really valuable. When I travelled around Europe, I used only 15ltd to pose.

Spree river, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: October 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, colotr rendering, angle
Cons: Aperture?
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

Brilliant gem from Pentax. Small, high quality, great build and overall great image quality. It is well larger than the 40 or 21 Limited, more in the order of size of the 40 limited. However, for a 15mm, that is really small. Compared for instance to the 10-20 Sigma (3.5) it is amazingly small.
This is a lens I often use for wide angle photography, both outdoor (great starburst indeed) and indoor. I also own a 10-17 fisheye, and this is in a different league. That is great as toy for fun pictures, this is serious equipment. Very happy with the purchase - although it is expensive...
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2013
Location: Weddington, NC
Posts: 468
Lens Review Date: August 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp & compact
Cons: wish it were a bit faster
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5, K-7, K20D, K220D   

I wasn't sure that I needed this lens as I already own the DA12-24 however once I put it on the camera I realized how much different it handled than the 12-24. It is small, light and easy to carry. I have taken some of my best images with this lens. I find it excellent for street shooting and general use in a closed setting. It's also great for architecture.
The only drawback is that it's f4. I wish that it were a stop or two faster but that would change the size and handling of the lens.
I consider it to be a core lens that compliments my collection of FA's and is equally as sharp.

taken with the DA15 / K-5

floating_ducks_DxO by peterjcb, on Flickr

IMGP2725_DxO by peterjcb, on Flickr

under_the_heros_Photoshop CS6 / Topaz plug-in by peterjcb, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 4,873
Lens Review Date: August 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Vibrant images, joy of use, small, light, no flare.
Cons: No WR, corner sharpness wide open, small aperture
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

Giving this one a 10.

It's better, IMO, than the HD 15mm. The sunbursts are beautiful, the bokeh is great for a 15mm. No flare, which is a big concern (for me at least) at this aperture.

There's a tradeoff between aperture and weight, and Pentax built this for weight. No flare.

Only downside that really bothers me is the lack of WR.

That said I don't think I'm ever going to sell mine.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Berlin
Posts: 103
Lens Review Date: July 25, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Built, quality, integrated retractable hood
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

One of my favourites. Great for travel. Small, great build, great optical quality and thank you Pentax for the retractable hood. This is VERY convenient.
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