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SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited

Sharpness 
 8.8
Aberrations 
 8.6
Bokeh 
 8.4
Autofocus 
 9.4
Handling 
 9.5
Value 
 8.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
93 344,085 Sun January 3, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
95% of reviewers $411.47 9.10
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited

SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
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SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
supersize

Description:
The SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited is a compact "pancake" lens designed for use on Pentax DSLR's only.

SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 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, 5 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.2
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 68 ° / 59 °
Hood
MH-RBA 43mm
Case
Dedicated pouch
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 25 mm (2.5 x 1 in.)
Weight
140 g (4.9 oz.)
w/ Hood: +15g
Production Years
2006 to 2013
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:3.2 21mm AL Limited
Product Code
21590 (black)
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
Notes
The filter thread on the lens is 49 mm. The dedicated hood which screws into the filter thread has a 43 mm filter thread.
One aspherical element.
Variants

Black and silver

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 91-93 of 93
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 665

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 9, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: superior optics, quality construction, small and lightweight, it's a Limited
Cons: unconventional lens hood/filter attachment

The SMC Pentax-DA f/1:3.2 21mm AL Limited is one stunning lens. It is very, very small, constructed entirely of metal, and contains superior optics. Without a doubt, it is my best wide-angle lens that I own. Like all DA lenses, it has the clutch focusing mechanism that allows one to manually focus the lens, even when the camera body is set to autofocus.

Unlike the FA Limiteds, the DA Limiteds are only available in black and they lack the aperture ring of the FA Limited series. They are digital only lenses, designed for the smaller image circle of an APS-C sensor.

I have not experienced any focusing issues that others have noted with their sample. That is most likely because I do not use this lens in interior, low-light situations. It is my default landscape/vista lens.

My only complaint with this lens is the unconventional lens hood arrangement and the way filters are attached. True to Pentax, they rarely do everything like everybody else. That is a large part of the charm of the Pentax Corporation.

The hood is a convex shaped snap-on/twist-on metal hood with a rectangular opening for the optics. You position the lens hood onto the lens, in an about 90 degree orientation, and turn 90 degrees clockwise to snap/lock the hood onto the lens. One item that I need to constantly be aware of is that the lens cap is a push-on type that fits very snug. I'm a bit anal and if the logo is a little crooked, I'll turn the cap so that the logo is horizontally level. Dumb, I know, but I like a slight degree of order in my life. Anyway, it is very easy, when turning the cap, to unsnap the hood. I could fall off in such a situation.

The other 'problem' with the snap-on/twist-on hood is the filter arrangement. The lens uses the Pentax traditional standard 49mm filter threads, but if you mount a 49mm filter directly onto the lens, you cannot attach the snap-on/twist-on OEM lens hood. If you desire to use a sun hood with a 49mm filter, you will need a screw-on hood of some type that attaches directly to the filter.

For awhile, this is what I did. I mounted my normal 49mm protective UV filter to to the lens and used a snap-on 49mm cap from the FA or DA non-Limited lenses. That works well, but I lost the hood, which I almost always use with a lens, even indoors (to minimize stray light hitting the front element of the lens).

The other way to go is to use the OEM hood, but mount a 43mm filter INSIDE the lens hood. This works, and there is enough room between the hood and the front element of the lens, but you can only attach one filter at a time. There is hardly ever a call for more than one filter at a time anyway, but it could be possible with special effect filters (like a star filter) in conjunction with a polarizer, for example.

The hood/filter design really isn't a negative aspect of this lens, just a quirky Pentax 'feature'. That's why we love Pentax.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,309

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very small, very light, very sharp.
Cons: slight distortion

This is a little gem, very small and very light. no excuse to leave this at home, as its just so small...

Optics are top notch, it does have a little distortion as the FA20 had too, but it is very sharp even wide open and isn't prone to CA/PF or Flare/Ghosting..

Very good metal build quality and great hood that is just tiny.. Quick shift focusing is nice to have too..

I haven't actually had any AF issues with this lens on my K10d, though it did play up on my K100d, or maybe the k100d played up with this lens attached.. But still rarely affected real life pics..
   
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2006
Location: Fairfax, VA, USA
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small size, very sharp and very light in weight.
Cons: Sometimes has a bad auto-focus

I think of this lens as having the sharpness of the 50mm F1.4 , but in a FL great for general wide angle picture taking. I use it indoors for family shots and plan on it being one of my travel lens / hiking lens. The only down side I can see is that it doesn't always auto-focus corrently on my K10D, but that is an issue with many wide angle lens at times. I really like this lens! The other down side is now I have to save up for the 40 and 70mm pancake lens as well!
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