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SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro

Reviews Views Date of last review
116 433,534 Sun December 22, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
97% of reviewers $464.09 9.50
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro

SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro

The Pentax 35mm Limited macro lens is designed for use only with APS-C format Pentax DSLRs.

SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 9 blades
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
14 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45 ° / 38 °
Built-in, slide out
Soft case Z100
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 46.5 mm (2.5 x 1.8 in.)
215 g (7.6 oz.)
Production Years
2008 to 2013
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:2.8 35mm Macro Limited
Product Code
21730 (black)
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★☆☆ Usable with reservations at select F-stop/focal length combinations
Show details

Black and silver

Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftBuilt-in HoodAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos

Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
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Junior Member

Registered: November, 2017
Posts: 28
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp, solid
Cons: focus limiter
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

I have a lot of Pentax lenses, but this one quickly moved to the top of my list for close work, and especially for product photography (my main business). It's incredibly sharp, and wide enough to provide very nice depth of field (which means I need fewer images in my focus stacks). Sure, it has a wide throw, and a focus limiter would be nice (it does rack a bit on low contrast shots), but I almost always focus manually, so it doesn't matter that much for my work. A solid workhorse, and I simply cannot do my best work without having it in my kit.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2017
Posts: 177

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 17, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $480.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Color, 3D pop, close focus
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

Yes, I do use this lens on the K-1 and bought it when I bought the K-1 for native plant macro photos. It is on the K-1 99% of the time. When shooting full frame, I do crop the corners a bit. The 1:1 macro distance from the front of the lens glass is 1 1/8 inch using the full frame size = 35mm focal length. More depth of field using full frame for macros.

I also use it for everyday photos, milky way photos, sunrise photos, etc.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2019
Posts: 246
Lens Review Date: December 4, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: KP   

Best lens by Pentax
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2008
Location: Westbrook, ME, USA
Posts: 174
Lens Review Date: August 21, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp without being clinical, nice colors out of the lens, great build, nice focus damping, build in hood
Cons: lens cap scratches very easily, long focus throw/hunting
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: KP   

With a focus limiter this would be a perfect lens. But life is not perfect!

As it is, it's some of Pentax's finest work. It is very sharp, but avoids the sort of clinically sharp look of some macros. Nice bokeh, nice contrast from the usually good Pentax coatings. The focus damping is the best I've used outside of Takumar era lenses and the overall feel of the lenses build is super premium. The built in hood is sort of addictive to pull out, like cocking a tiny gun.

Autofocus is ok, but really hurt by the long focus throw considering that Pentax cameras like to hunt sometimes. I do NOT recommend using contrast detect AF with this lens, it's a huge pain.

This lens is an incredibly good match with the Pentax KP... I use it to shoot macros handheld with the KP's edge extract focus peaking on manual mode. I wish the lens cap didn't scratch so easily, mine looks like it has been in combat just from, I dunno, being in my empty pocket? Annoying.

Overall I'd say it's in the running for best walkaround prime lens for APS-C pentax. For me it's this or the 70mm.
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sharp and multipurpose lens.
Cons: VERY noisy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 7    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   

Good lens over-all, but a bit too noisy. 35mm f/2.8 is a strange combination as its not the best for portraits, and a bit too close for Macro work. For portraits, the 43mm f/1.9 might be much better, and for macro work several other lenses are more "convenient"; such as, Takumar 50mm f/4 Macro and D-FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Posts: 99
Lens Review Date: May 21, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, compact
Cons: Noisy AF
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3-II   

Wow... Difficult to put short but I'll try.

First it's a very sharp lens and also a very nice gp lens to have attached in your camera.
The built in hood is almos like a secret device, very welcome to have. Actually it's a must because almost every other macro of this type has the front element very recessed (like the old SMC 50/4 M).

My previous all pourpose lens was the 40mm DA Limited, but I prefer this 35mm.

The only con I can remeber is the very noisy AF.
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 45
Lens Review Date: June 13, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $260.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp! macro, small, light, great colours & contrast, low aberrations
Cons: No focus limiter
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-S1   

I have a 35mm/F2.4 which is the main walkaround lens on my K-S1. It's a great little lens but with some drawbacks: it has long minimum focus distance, not very sharp edges and so-so bokeh. That is why I bought the 35mm/2.8 Macro Ltd. Wow, what an amazing lens, it blows the 35/2.4 out of the water! It is better in every respect, and the 1/2 stop difference is negligible.

This lens is a pixel peeper's nirvana sharp corner-to-corner from wide open, has excellent contrast, colours, clarity and detail. Aberrations are low wide open and almost non-existent from F4 and up.

The macro capability is great for objects and flowers, obviously not good for live insects. The built-in hood is very convenient. It is heavier than the 35/2.4 but still very light for a macro lens. As all Limited lenses, the build quality is top notch.

The only drawback I can think of: due to long throw, the autofocus can be slow sometimes. A focus limiter would help.

Otherwise perfect lens, highly recommended!

Registered: January, 2011
Location: 5th floor
Posts: 1,346
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $495.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, built, sharpness, contrast, flexibility, value
Cons: What negatives
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-7,3,1   

I don't know about you guys, but when all things - and when I say all thing I say all thing considered, I have been thinking more and more that this very lens could well be the best lens ever made.

I really don't care if it is a re-badge or whatever - it does not matter.

Sharpness is crazy. Reminiscent of Zeiss. If you are not getting the results, check your camera, or have you your lens checked. Although I don't think so, I suppose that is possible (to have a bad copy of this lens). Or neither there is something wrong with you. You should be able to get as sharp a result as anyone with almost any equipment.

Versatility is phenomenal. This can do it all. Not wide enough? Well, shoot pano and stitch them together. You will get amazing results.

Handling and manual focusing are as good as any lenses I have ever tried.

Sure, there are faster lenses at this focal length out there, I just cannot think of any lenses that comes this close to perfection.

AF is a bit to be desired. But this is not necessarily a knock not he lens itself. The screw drive is a old technology that wasn't very good. An update AF version of this lens ought to come out one day soon.

The only thing it is not for is 1:1 macro.

If I were to buy a Pentax APS-C today this is the lens I would get with it, unless of course you want to do 1:1.
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Kiev
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Metal constructive. Small size. Convenient built-in hood. Excellent sharpness. Convenience when used in manual mode.
Cons: Absence of waterproofness and dust protection.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

The lens came to me. He perfectly photographs the subject photo, macro photos. You can shoot landscapes (and glue several photos of the landscape into a single panorama).
But for photographing people's portraits, as well as for reporting shooting, it is better to purchase other lenses. Although this lens can be shot in these genres of photography. But this lens was not created for this. And he does not show himself with the best of the parties. Here for objective shooting it in my opinion is ideal! And, although autofocus is not the fastest and accurate, if you learn to focus in manual mode, the photos will have excellent sharpness, contrast and color reproduction.
And yet, my advice to beginners to use this lens: do not try to maximize the opening of the aperture when shooting. You can miss with sharpness. Due to the fact that there will be too little depth of sharply depicted space.

I recommend this lens! But when I save a message, it automatically appears "no" instead of "yes." I can not fix it. I do not know what it is connected with.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 6,349

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Flexibility, versatility, build quality
Cons: Arguably should have been made WR.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

If there were one lens I wouldn't mind getting permanently stuck on my K-5, this would be it. I bought it for medical photography when I replaced my dead *istDL with a K-5, and it has served me exceedingly well in this capacity. Image quality is astounding.

It has an APSC equivalent field of view to a lens in the 50mm range, so in those terms it makes a very flexible "normal" on crop cameras, albeit somewhat slow for a lens in this category (the vast majority of 50mm non-macro Pentax lenses since the Super Takumar era are f/2 or faster). However, even for those not necessarily interested in true 1:1 reproduction, the amazingly close minimum focus distance of this lens is a boon. Quickshift focus and a fairly long throw over the near and macro range make manual adjustments a breeze. The lens does hunt occasionally, though not as badly as the 100/2.8 WR, and if you're shifting from very near to very far (or vice versa) on a subject with no clear edges, getting close with quickshift and then touching up with AF is advised.

One could argue that like the 100mm f/2.8 macro, this lens should really have been uprated to WR; and an appropriate time to do this might have been when the HD-coated version was produced.

Unfortunately, unlike some of the DA series prime lenses, this one turns out not to make the transition to full frame at all well. There is VERY noticeable corner vignetting on the K-1 which is worse on stopping down, and when the hood (which is inbuilt, and a very nice, deep profile) is extended, an overt Outer Black Circle is produced. This is a lens which is best left on crop mode, unless one has the time to find the acceptable edges when cropping manually. I have not yet updated my K-1 firmware to permit 1:1 crop, and I cannot say for certain whether this would eliminate the corner vignetting without the hood deployed.

I can certainly accept the designers' decision to concentrate on producing the desirable flat-field macro profile optimised to an APS-C sensor, especially with the wide field of view, but it's heartbreaking to see just how near it comes and yet how far it misses being a really fantastic wide-angle lens on the K-1 (to which the build quality is nicely matched). I'm sort of hoping they upgrade and redesign it for full-frame at some stage in the future, though it would probably mean growth in both the front and rear elements to maintain the proper flat-field projection over the full image circle.

It's not really designed for bokeh, but because of the very close minimum focal distance, it isn't hard to throw the background out of focus. On APS-C this is a wonderful piece of kit; anyone who needs both something wider than 50mm and macro or ultra close focus capability, and who can afford the premium over the DA35/2.4 "plastic fantastic", should consider it.
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Dundas, Ontario
Posts: 26
Lens Review Date: March 29, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Versatile, compact, amazing capabilities
Cons: I am sure some will find some, but I can't seem to.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax   

Another review to over a 100 here, well I think it's not going to matter much. I think this lens is excellent, or maybe even amazing. Macro lenses require some dedication, skill, maybe even patience and probably a tripod if focusing really close. I find this lens to be great throughout the focus range. Perfect colors, hues, tonal range and sharpness is amazing. Some people complain about the focusing which is rather odd, I find this lens to focus plenty fast and quick shift focus assist really helps speed things up - so then when I go from close range to mid range, I always use the quick shift focus and then use the AF button to fine tune the focus point if necessary. This lens focuses really fast for me, as good as all the other DA Limited lenses. My wish would be for Ricoh to make like a DA70/2.8 macro lens, it would be my ultimate lens.

DA 35 Limited is a great lens. It looks really well matched on any Pentax DSLR - just look at the gorgeous focus ring and the build in hood! It's probably my most favorite DA limited lens, but all are very equal and amazing in a way.
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: January 12, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, contrast, build and feel are great.
Cons: AF unconvincing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k30   

I was shooting with the 2.4 in Ireland, and found that the greens (of which there are plenty in Ireland) could sometimes look a bit garish. Despite the great clarity, and nice micro contrast, generally I wasn't convinced by the realism of the colours in some situations. So when I found the 35mm 2.8 macro limited going cheap, I snapped it up, thinking I would sell the 2.4. However, I found with the limited, that oddly blues seem to boom out quite a bit! Maybe my eyes are going funny! Or maybe it's the white balance on my k30, which somehow has never been as convincing as my old k100d.....?

The Limited has fantastic sharpness, and a touch of extra 3d depth. Perhaps the thing which really strikes me is the deep contrast. It seems easier to balance the shadows and highlights convincingly in PP. I love the build and feel. The built in hood is nice, and manual focus is a pleasure, just like with the old lenses.

The AF is really pretty bad. It does this weird micro hunting, as if you were in AF-C mode, and when it finally locks you are never quite convinced it's nailed it. I do find the colours a little cool for a Pentax lens.

With a possible move to FF on the cards, I have a nice (ridiculously sharp!) A 35-105mm 3.5 which compares pretty well, giving more of a classic subtle colour balance. So with a preference also for a longer macro; the punchy, FF compatible, and quick AF 2.4 might actually be the keeper of the two.

Thinking of trying the 40mm limited instead maybe. Quick, small, cheap, with by all accounts just as good IQ, tiny, and seemingly more useful on FF???

Update, 11/7/17:
I did get the 40mm limited. I know this goes against the opinion of many here who think the 35macro is one of the best there is, but I think I do prefer it? The 35 is definitely sharper, but the AF is much better, the pocketability is great, and the rendering is warmer and more flattering, with slightly better bokeh.

The 35 is great at some things, and is incredibly sharp. I find the cool colour rendition combined with the almost brutal sharpness can make some images unattractive. It often shows fantastic 'pop', mainly because the colours are so vivid, but the 40 has a different kind of 'pop' with great separation of the subject, never seems to LACK sharpness, and has that fantastic useabililty as a bonus.

If I do get that FF, I think the 35macro might be on the sell list to pay for a 100macro. That said, I can't deny a faint sneaking suspicion I might yet learn to love it....?
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 418
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $251.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Allowes plenty of light at f2.8.
Cons: The push-on front lens cap
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

I've had this lens for awhile and I had to really think something up for the "negative aspects" section. I had the DA 35mm f2.4 and although that lens was sharp I think that this 35mm f2.8 macro limited is sharper. I pick out my sharper images by zooming in or cropping and with this lens the job is really tough because (as long as I hold the camera still) all of the photos are sharp! The 35mm focal length is good because it makes it easier to take hand-held macro shots. The first mushroom photo below is without a flash and the second mushroom photo one is with my Metz 58-AF-2 at a 45 degree bounce angle. I have a Tamron Di SP 90mm f:2.8 Macro that I most always use on a tripod but I find that the 35mm macro doesn't need "babysat" as much. Some times you know that a particular lens is a "keeper" and you won't ever give it up for any reason. I've got 4 lenses like that and this one is at the top of my list!

March 27, 2017--The lens I used (35mm 1:2.8) for this review almost got sold but it ended up getting broken by a "potential buyer". Sooo, I bought another one. It seems I didn't want to sell it as bad as I thought. After having used my new one extensively, (and having bought a Pentax 49mm snap on front lens cover) the only thing I have to add is that this copy is every bit as good as my first one. I upgraded all the "aspecs" to 10 all the way because I really, really have a lot of faith in this lens. I'll never- ever even think of selling this one!
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2011
Location: North-Rhine Westphalia
Posts: 846
Lens Review Date: July 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $435.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Close-to-perfect "3-D" rendering, beautiful build quality, convenient pull-out hood, 9-bladed aperture, a viable standard that doubles as a competent macro.
Cons: Super-close working distance at 1:1 can make lighting challenging, AF occasionally hunts, F2.8 a bit slow for a standard.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3, K-7   

Likely the best-rendering lens in my bag. Crisp sharpness and contrast, top-notch colour saturation and differentiation, yet nothing clinical about it. A lens with real character. Some users gripe about the somewhat "busy" bokeh in non-macro situations, but to my mind, creaminess isn't everything and can even be a bit boring, particularly when paired with flat, muddy rendition. A candidate more deserving of the title "Art Lens" than some, IMHO.

But why on earth do I use it so comparatively rarely? Possibly because its standard focal length forces me to be a better photographer, to be more inventive in my composition, given that I can rely less on the straightforward, tried-and-tested recipes of wide-angle and telephoto shots. This can be a little imposing or hampering, particularly if you are a photographer who is a bit weary to be without wider or longer options and reluctant to constantly change lenses.

Yet, almost every single time when I did step out of my comfort zone and really engaged with this wonderful lens, I have been richly rewarded. Here's a selection of sample shots:
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Hanoi
Posts: 213

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: perfect close up, product photography
Cons: nil
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K200D   

35ltd is really the monster of product photography. The minimum focus only 14cm so it's easy to approach the target.

DA 20-40ltd HD black edition, on Flickr

DA* 55mm f1.4 + DA 1.4x HD Converter, on Flickr

100 MACRO WR, on Flickr

35ltd, on Flickr
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro

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