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SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

Sharpness 
 9.6
Aberrations 
 9.4
Bokeh 
 8.9
Autofocus 
 9.4
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
138 413,584 Thu September 29, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $312.89 9.58
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
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SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
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Description:
The SMC Pentax DA 40mm Limited is the successor to the original M 40mm "pancake" lens. It is slightly smaller and 20g lighter because it lacks an aperture ring, and features improved optics.

The DA 40mm lens works perfectly on film SLR's, even with the hood.

SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades
Optics
5 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 39 ° / 33 °
Full frame: 57 ° / 48 °
Hood
MH-RC 49 mm
Case
Dedicated pouch
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal screw-on
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 15 mm (2.5 x 0.6 in.)
Weight
90 g (3.2 oz.)
Production Years
2004 to 2013
Launch Price
$220 USD
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:2.8 40mm Limited
Product Code
21550
Notes
User tests show that this lens covers the 24x36 mm format.
The lens hood has a 30.5 mm filter thread allowing for smaller filters when the hood is mounted.
Variants
Black and silver
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
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New Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 29, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $382.73 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: it is super small
Cons: the size as well
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: pentax k-30   

i bought this lens because of the sheer size of it and i thought it looked cool. i love the built quality and the images that i got from this lens is price well paid. but the cons is also the size of it, at first i felt it strange to hold the lens but after some time i ended up holding the camera body instead. would definitely recommend a friend to get one.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 839
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Too numerous to list - funky, weird, magical, under-rated, typical Pentax
Cons: Not weather-proof
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

Absolutely marvellous...I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

#1 handheld, available light, iso 3200, F 3.2. #2 two large 500 w/s studio lights with umbrella to the left and soft box to the right, on a tripod, F10.









Just shy of magical. We are lucky to be Pentaxians.

Cheers,
Cameron
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 3,905
Lens Review Date: August 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small & light, well-built, sharp, good contrast, that limited lens look
Cons: Not quite as sharp as 35mm limited
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3, K200D, Fujifilm X-M1   

Unlike most people, who buy the 40mm as their first limited lens, I bought it as my last in order to complete the set. That's probably because I bought the 35mm first, and when you have the 35mm (the best of the DA limited lenses) there's not much reason to buy the 40mm.

The 40mm lens is sharp wide open (but not quite as sharp as the 35mm), with amazing contrast and colours, typical of the DA limiteds. It's very small but handles nicely - I've used it quite a lot on my Fujifilm X-M1 on which it's manual focus only and didn't have any problem despite the very small size. Manual focus is smooth and precise. Autofocus is quick.

I used it as my main walk-around lens on a trip to Paris (I bought the lens on that trip) and was very happy with image quality on the Fuji camera. I recently took it on holiday to Norway and Sweden and used it on the K3 and was again very happy.

The focal length is a useful one for general use. I believe that focal lengths of lenses are what you make of them and this one takes very little getting used to, though those that prefer wide angle may not like it.

Overall, I'd recommend the 35mm over this one for it's focal length, macro capability and overall image quality, though the 40mm beats it in size, which makes it very useful for travel. Image quality is very nearly as good as that from the 35mm though, it's really only wide open where I notice the 40mm is not quite as sharp. If small size is more important to you than the other aspects then the 40mm is a good choice. The 35mm is also considerably more expensive.

I have only used this on digital so far but I plan to try it on film when I get a chance.

A few sample images.


Stockholm
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


Paris coffee
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


IMGP2353a
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


IMGP2795a
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


Stavanger
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


IMGP0995a
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


Booksellers on the Seine
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: August 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light and sharp.
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3, K10D,   

Entry level limited, cheap and sharp. Small and light. Ideal for jeans pocket. I using this with K3, K10D and Z-1 on film.
K3 - very good lens, sharp with a good AF.
K10D - This same like K3. But I don't know where is a problem with BF with this camera. Probably K10D have a correction in memory.
Z-1 - Fine setup. When you have a thin 49mm is ok, With normal filter vignette is a big problem (black corner) but only with f/2.8.

On K3 and K10D colors is very realistic. On film Fujipress 400 colors are a some "candy tone" with red and blue.
   
amateur dirt farmer...

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 5,809
Lens Review Date: June 30, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $127.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, color rendition, ease of handling
Cons: hood/cap arrangement
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

the end of the month review - SMC DA 40mm f2.8 Limited (not the newer HD version)

What an amazing piece of kit.

So tiny, it disappears on the front of the K-3, rendering the camera nearly a point-and-shoot. I shot everything this month and could not find anything that it did poorly. Strong daylight street-shooting, intimate selfies, and everything in between, Daisy delivered. Renders color spectacularly, flare doesn't seem to affect it, no noticeable CA. I never wondered for a different focal length (if I needed/wanted wider, I stitched) and it never left me frustrated and having to come back with another lens to get the shot. It's fast enough to shoot in low-light, especially with the useable ISO-range of the K-3.

The build/feel of the DA40 Limited is special - tight tolerances, even the miniscule focus-ring turns oh-so-nicely. It's small enough that you could carry three of them in your bag and you'd never know it.

Granted, with the word 'Limited' after the lens' name, it's supposed to be good - but the prior model is highly-praised, as is the DA 40XS, so there is something right in the arrangement.

The only bad thing I can come up with is the absolutely bad hood/cap arrangement. Nearly guaranteed to be misplaced at least once a week. I replaced it whilst shooting for the Single with a standard hood/pinch cap arrangement and shelved the original.


my flicker album for the lens:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/albums/72157666240057890

favorites:

silk and bokeh by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

eastern amberwing by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

fog this morning by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

if you don't have one and are thinking of a new prime in your bag - do it, don't hesitate, just buy one....
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 710

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Compact, Flare resistance
Cons: Odd Focal Length. A bit longer MFD than normall like. Odd OEM hood and lens cap (but you can use any 49mm)
New or Used: New   

The Pentax-DA 40/2.8 Limited is quite compact and light. Frankly, it took a bit to get used to how it looked on the camera. In fact it is so small, I thought -- how good can this be? How can they cram all of the magical pixie dust and optics into such a small package? Well, they did! The lens proved to live up to all of the great reviews it has earned, but it wasn't all rainbows and flowers. It did take me a bit to get used to this lens, as it was not really a lens that initially fits my shooting style (Close-up/Macro). This lens is not what I would call a "Close-up" lens as it has a longer MFD than I liked and made me feel a bit out of my element . It is also not a FAST lens so it's not one that fared well when attempting to shoot indoor / fast-action like volleyball. The 40mm focal length just seemed a bit odd to me, not wide enough and not telephoto enough, but the more I used it the less it bothered me.

There are very compelling good aspects, however. The lens is EXTREMELY sharp, allowing for significant crops without loss of image quality. This allowed me to crop and give the impression of a close-up shot. Color rendition was excellent and it produced a very nice bokeh, as well. The wonderfully surprising aspect of this lens is that it is seemingly impervious to flare. This allowed me to brave taking sunset shots with the sun in frame with very nice results!!

All-in-all, it was a fun month with the 40/2.8 Limited. It is certainly a lens worth of the praise it has received and is one I will likely use over and over again. It is highly recommended and if it suits your shooting style, certainly worth taking a look at.

(Some images from this month)

IMGP3964-2 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP4461-2 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP4365 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP4070 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP4221-2BW by Richard, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2015
Location: Almelo, Overijssel
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $385.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Really sharp and nice colors
Cons: Slow autofocus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K20D   

It's a nice sharp lens. Autofocus is a little bit slow, but fast enough for me. The handling of this lens is good enough, but sometimes it is an adventure to focus manual. If you want a really sharp and little prime for a good price, you should buy this!
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Mission, B.C.
Posts: 157
Lens Review Date: February 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Colours, contrast, size, build quality
Cons: Some focus issues (probably just my copy)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

When I first got this lens, I didn't really like it. It had great colours, but it was a real struggle to get a nice sharp image out of it. I printed off a focus calibration chart and tested it out, and found that it was front focusing pretty severely. After adjusting, the difference was amazing. It's not the sharpest lens I've ever used, but it's sharp enough, and other than sharpness the image quality is pretty phenomenal. The images have a nice 3D quality to them, and the background and foreground bokeh is buttery smooth. The lens is so small and lightweight you can just stick it in your pocket and forget it's there until you need it, and I personally find that 40mm is a more useful focal length on a crop sensor than 50mm, which I find a bit too long to be really versatile. Build quality is excellent, the focus ring has a nice amount of resistance and even though it's so tiny it still feels solid. The only gripe I have about it is that the focus ring is a little hard to operate since it's so small, but it's just a matter of using it enough that I get a feel for where it is.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Size, colors, weight, 2.8
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

This is a small lens! I do not use it very much, hence the lower scoring than most, but while filling the form, I actually do not know why I do not use it more often. Is it the focal length -- I cannot blame the lens for that.
The 35 2.4 is maybe not as good, but the angle suits me better, and the 50 1.7 is both sharper and has a better bokeh than this 40 LTD, and I therefore often choose either of them to take out.

The 40 is very small, and that was one of the reasons to buy it. Very convinient: pocketable :-) The lens cap is -- in good Pentax LTD tradation -- a bit strange, but this way you can keep the hood on at all times. Working with the filters and the hood is more difficult, but luckily, the engineers made a round opening (rather than the rectangular one in the DA21), so even when rotating a CPL filter, the hood can stay on.

Build quality is top notch, as is a 2.8 aperture, colors and all. If you like the focal length (and do not have literally deep pockets): ideal. For the budget (and you do not have deep pockets financially): new, they are not cheap...
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, sharp, fast focus, fairly fast aperture
Cons: Nill
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

This is my first limited. I always thought I'd save up and buy a 43mm, but the price was right and this lens has set up camp on my pentax body most of the summer. The focus is soo fast and the quality is amazing for such a tiny lens. I haven't lost the cap yet, but the screw is quick on and off. I lust no more for the 43.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: October 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $330.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: No CA, excellent bouild, colour rendition
Cons: hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K10D   

Highly recommended
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 2,327
Lens Review Date: September 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Tiny, sharp
Cons: Focus ring too narrow
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5ii   

A little pancake gem. Small, light, excellent build. Optically very sharp corner to corner, hardly any CA or distortion, nice bokeh, good colour and contrast. Autofocus is very quick and accurate. Manual focus is a bit harder - the focus ring is of necessity quite narrow and the focus throw is on the short side. The inverted lens hood is clever and works well, the screw-on lens cap is unusual but usable.

40mm is just a little bit tighter than 35mm but the difference is small in practice and one gets quickly used to it. I prefer this lens to my DA35 Macro Ltd. It is nearly as sharp, just as fast but handles better.




More here
   
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Berlin
Posts: 103

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 25, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, great built, 49mm thread for filters
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

GREAT optics in a small package. I started with a DA40XS but switched to the DA 40 Limited, amongst other things because of the thread size. The 27mm of the XS is very exotic.
The 49mm thread found in the Limited appears on a lot of other lenses.
So I have to keep a smaller range of filters and lens caps.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Houston
Posts: 127

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, small size, light, contrasty
Cons: 2.8 bit slow. Weird lens cover
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

I love this lens. It's small, compact and light and gives a lovely rendering on the K5. Better than 50mm as a walk around on ASP-C. Some of my favorite shots have been with this lens. Shots are very sharp with great contrast. It's at a great focal length on the k5. The optics is fantastic. It's all metal so you don't have to worry to much about breaking it. Keep an eye on the little lens cap as it's so small you tend to misplace it a lot. This lens is a gem. I won't sell.

I wish this lens was faster than 2.8 so I can use it for hand held low light shots.

Wish I could put 9.5.

Bayou City Lights by michaelkchenry, on Flickr

Going with the Flow by michaelkchenry, on Flickr
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2012
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 1,185
Lens Review Date: June 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Contrast, sharpness, flare resistance, build, size
Cons: Compact size sometimes makes it difficult to handle
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-01   

As a 40mm f2.8 lens, this I feel this lens is very, very good. Itís very sharp and has great contrast. It resists flare very well. The AF is quick and accurate on my K-01. There are a couple of aspects of the design that have their pros and cons. The small size is wonderful for carrying, but means there is not much of the lens to grip when you mount it. Part of the barrel at the sides is ribbed to alleviate this. The other thing is the design of the screw-on hood and lens cap, which can be fiddly to remove, but also provide excellent protection for the lens surface. Neither of these small handling issues is enough to detract from the score, so Iím rating it as 10.

The other question is whether a 40mm f2.8 lens is going to be useful. I already had an FA35, so I was putting off buying this, but my experience with the DA21 impressed me and then I saw this one for $250 new, so I couldnít resist. I donít find myself walking around with this lens on by default, and perhaps I take 10% of my shots with it. However, those shots are often some of my best. Itís especially good for single or group portraits when you want to keep some details in the background. The nature of the bokeh is very pleasing at f2.8.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited



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