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SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited

Sharpness 
 9.7
Aberrations 
 9.4
Bokeh 
 9.3
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.6
Value 
 9.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
90 290,965 Sat February 4, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $471.22 9.42
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited

SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
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SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
supersize

Description:
The SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited is high-quality a compact telephoto "pancake" lens that is designed only for Pentax DSLR's. The lens is pictured above with the hood on.

SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F2.4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
70 cm
Max. Magnification
0.12x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 23 ° / 19 °
Hood
MH-RD 49 mm
Case
Pouch DA70
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 26 mm (2.5 x 1 in.)
Weight
130 g (4.6 oz.)
Production Years
2006 to 2013
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:2.4 70mm Limited
Product Code
21620 (black)
Variants
Black and silver
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital OnlyDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-30 of 90
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 1,698

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 3, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $515.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp IQ, beautiful bokeh, compact, all-metal and luxurious
Cons: lens hood doubles size of lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-x   

This is very possibly the best lens I own when I take into consideration that it has no weaknesses in any areas. I cannot find a fault in it, with the tiny exception of the rather long minimum focusing distance that makes it a little challenging to use indoors. But the pictures it takes are extraordinary. The autofocus is quick and snappy. The colors are very pleasing and the sharpness is very high. I love the focal length for capturing candid face shots, especially outdoors. This is one of my favorite lenses to take when traveling or for special events like weddings. Strongly recommended!
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: July 16, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, bokeh, autofocus, construction, size
Cons: price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

A great lens for a number of situations. Impressive image quality, quick and reliable autofocus, a joy to handle.

Some example photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29196412@N04/8397757125/in/set-72157611750190147
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29196412@N04/8561784143/in/set-72157611750190147
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29196412@N04/8724405064/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29196412@N04/8675930518/
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: January 30, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and fast lens with beautiful bokeh
Cons: Long minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax k-5   

It's very nice lens which I used for portaits and landscape photography. For indoors some time focal lenght is too big and I usually used 35mm limited. Beautiful colors and fastness of lens. For that price an excellent lens and I can strongly recommend it, if this focal lenght is ok for You.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Lietuva, Vilnius
Posts: 627

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $615.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent craftsmanship, size, color rendition, sharpness wide open, good "bang for your buck" ratio
Cons: Wish it was faster, but considering the size of the lens, I doubt that is possible.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-r/K-5IIs   

Build quality

When I first saw this lens, it looked like jewelry to me. Like a gem. So small, so well crafted. Made out of quality aluminium, it has this pleasing feel of cold metal, focus ring operates very smoothly and „buttery“ also the numbers on the focus scale are carefully engraved (as well as the PENTAX title on the lens cap).

Optical performance

For portraits, sharpness is already very good at 2.4 and it gets superb sharp at 5.6. Even though, my sweet spot is usually between f2.4 and f4.

Bokeh is smooth and pleasing, but to get the best results, you should avoid backgrounds with a lot (!) of contrast, as the bokeh gets a little too „nervous“. But to be honest, I can remember only one photograph where I had this problem.

I haven‘t noticed any problems with aberrations or flare. Of course, you can get some in extreme conditions (just like with any lens), but that is perfectly normal.

Autofocus

On K-r/K-5IIs AF is fast enough for portrait work and for specific situations you can always pre-focus with focus ring, which is a joy to use.

Because AF is driven by screw-drive motor it does make some noise, but again, in specific situations focus ring saves the day again.

Conclusion

More or less this lens shines in all specifications, but that is not the most important thing.
The most important thing (at least for me) about this lens is that, because it is so compact and almost weightless, it is going to be there, when you need it. In that specific moment when you least expect it. After all, photography is all about being at the right place, at the right time
   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 137
Lens Review Date: January 4, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SMALL:) colours, sharpness, dynamic range
Cons: Could be F1.8
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

Hi,

I bought this lens following with my positive experience with 40mm Ltd and a bad one with 50-135 DA*.This lens is so small (40mm is smaller of course) and is 70mm !!! I do not know how Pentax made it but they did - hats from heads. I love taking shots with the lens being outside, it is just perfect. I would prefer 100mm for sessions but for fun with kids in a park, it is just a joy. I cannot find anything I would complain about or even I cannot compare it to other lenses. I used to have Nikon 35mm and 50mm and even if they are smallest Nikon's lenses they are massive next to 70mm. Thus there is not much on the market you could refer to for comparison.
Having this lens attached to my K-5 I have a small set that I do not look like a pro or rather quassi pro guy, it is just discrete and I like it.
So, with this lens you get sharpness, quality, colours, wide dynamic range, IQ and the most important SIZE If the lens was bigger perhaps it could perform better but for what it is, it is just an amazing lens. Get it.
I did not give 10 marks everywhere as I left it for those lenses which cost Ł3000
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Berlin / Freiburg / On the road
Posts: 99

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 1, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $690.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, sharp, beatiful colours, perfect portrait lens
Cons: speed, minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5, K 10D   

Even though so much has been said here about this lens I have to join the parade and applaud this fantastic small piece. It is perfect for portraits and anything else. Beatifully nuanced colors, nice bokeh, small, well made and unobtrusive. It is expensive, but surely worth it. Even though many seem to dislike the hoodI think it's well designed and offers the perfect protection.


Summer democracy by pentax_georg, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, great rendering
Cons: could be faster, weird focal length
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

This is a gem! One of my favorite Pentax lenses ever.

Small but sharp, the performance of this lens is incredible. Very sharp wide open it gets better until 5.6. But not everything in life is about sharpness, contrast is great and the color rendition superb. Very similar to the DA 35mm 2.8 but even better in my opinion. Autofocus is also fast.

My only concern is the aperture, is not fast enought for portraits. Don't get me wrong, it's very good lense for portrait but but I miss the deep of field of a 77mm 1.8 Limited or a 85mm 1.4.

All in all, this is a very nice lens. Small and compact i carry it with me at all times, it really deserves the Limited designation.

Great job Pentax!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/9720442728/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/9720450012/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/9717217167/in/photostream/
   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Leeds
Posts: 152

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 14, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality, size, build quality
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax k-r (and K-01)   

Every now and then I start wondering if the grass might be greener on the other side. Might I want to switch to Nikon?

This lens isn't the only reason I stick with Pentax, but even if it was the only reason, it might still be sufficient to persuade me to stick with Pentax.

As far as I am aware, no one else makes a lens that compares - a tiny prime lens of this sort of focal range.

Combine that with the fact that Pentax have their image stabilisation in the camera, and this lens is even more unique. A 2.4 lens, with image stabilisation, smaller than a 50mm 1.4.

I originally owned a DA35mm, FA50mm 1.4 and the Tamron 90mm macro. But I found the 35 and 50mm a little too close to each other, and the 90mm was big and heavy (and I wasn't really making use of its macro abilities) so I sold the 50mm and the 90mm in order to be able to afford this, and love it, and will often just carry this and the 35mm.

And I haven't really found myself missing the 1.4 of the 50mm.

And the lens hood is great. Just leave it on, and it is always there, and the lens is still tiny. Or if you don't like it, just take it off.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Optics, Size
Cons: Lens Hood
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-01   

An absolutely perfect portrait lens - I couldn't recommend this more highly to other Pentax owners.

The only negative I've found is the lens hood - it's really awkward to take on and off, and I ended up just purchasing a cheap UV filter and leaving the lens hood at home all the time. For what I shoot, I almost never need the hood - so this strategy has worked out. It may not work out for you. That said, the inconvenient hood is still worth putting up with to get your hands on this glass, it's simply wonderful.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Newcastle Australia
Posts: 5,281
Lens Review Date: September 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small size, crisp sharp focus, good price
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

I have found this to be a great lens to carry at all times, Very versatile, great colour and bokeh, and is relatively cheap compared to some other lens of this length.



   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: LODINGEN, Northern Norway
Posts: 274

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $733.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Chrisp,christal sharp,smooth bokéh, well built
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

Got this from my father, in adwance to my 45th birthday.
Its bought at the Norwegian Pentaxshop Fovi.

Its now one of my favorit lenses. I have just taken some test shots with it, but it delivers some extremely chrisp pics, with creamy bokéh.




App:
I have now used it for 2 years. Its sharp as a knife, but some fringing wide open.
Perfect for portraits.


   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Skĺne, Sweden
Posts: 418

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 5, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $385.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, build quality, AF-speed, bokeh, image quality
Cons: AF-accuracy, purple fringing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5, K-01   

This review is for a mint condition DA70 bought second-hand on the Pentaxforums marketplace, serial nr is in the 00023xx-range.

PROS
  • Very small size and low weight
  • Build quality
  • AF-speed
  • Image quality
  • Bokeh
  • Conversation piece

CONS
  • AF-accuracy
  • Purple Fringing

Build and parameters
The DA70 might be a bit larger than the DA40, but I would say that the size and weight of this lens is even more impressive. I'm not aware of any other short telephoto lens of this size, and it still has a respectable f/2.4 maximum aperture. Equivalent to a 105mm focal length in 35mm format, a typical portrait lens one might say. I've used it mainly to that, but it is so small and nimble that it has also covered pretty much all my telephoto needs (I'm not a bird shooter). Build quality is top notch, and the pull-out and removable hood works very well and is a nice touch. You are given the option to go super slim or with the hood as protection (against flares, but also for mechanical damage to the lens).



Image quality
The lens is sharp in center already wide open, and very suitable for portraits at f/2.4 and f/2.8. I use it for both headshots and full body. Stopping down to f/4 the corners will be very sharp as well and you can use it for events, motorsport and so on. Bokeh is smooth and never distracting, but one might say that it does not have any special character either. Personally I don't mind a bit of swirlyness in a portrait background, but technically you can't say anything bad about the DA70's bokeh. It has shown some purple fringing in high contrast situations, but it easy to correct in software, just as the vignetting and negligable distortion. Ghosting and flare is well controlled and the smart extendable hood does a good job here.



Use and handling
Typically for a DA Limited, the handling is great. The lens is very light weight and small size. Where a large lens like the DA* 50-135mm might get you tired after fifteen minutes, you can shoot all day with the DA70. Auto-focus is very fast, but the DoF is pretty thin and I miss some portrait shoots at f/2.4. I think this has to do more with the camera (K-5) then the lens though. Speaking of portraits, that is what I would say is the typical area of use for this lens, but like I said earlier I use it as a general telephoto. It is very sharp stopped down a little and will allow for a bit of cropping if needed. I liked the DA70 very much, and I ended up getting the FA77 which I would say is better for portraits, but the DA70 has advantages like lower CA, faster AF and smaller size and might be more all-round. The FA77 is probably the closest rival, regarless of system, but there are many other great portrait lenses. None of them will be as small as the DA70 though, and many will be manual focus only and softer wide open. With such a wide are of use and relatively low price, especially second-hand, I think that the DA70 offers great value.



Overall impression
The DA70 must be seen as a gem in the Pentax lineup. It offers a wide range of uses in a very small and high quality body, and at a reasonable price. I have compared it to the DA* 50-135mm and for me the DA70 does the same job at one fifth of the size and half the price. No other company will offer a lens with the same specifications either, a truly unique lens, with its greatest rival in the same stable (The FA77), both exceptional portrait lenses that will work as general telephoto as well.



My pictures on Flickr with this lens
   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,124

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 3, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $545.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build, compact size, bokeh
Cons: minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

A most civilized lens. It does everything beautifully, with a minimum of fuss. Sharp across the whole frame, very usable wide open. A great lens for portraits.

Compared to lesser lenses, the DA 70 Limited produces images with a clarity and lack of aberrations that is striking. It is like a thin veil has been lifted. So clean; it makes excellent use of the K-5's resolution. However, if you look carefully at 100% magnification, you will see that it doesn't have the brutal sharpness of the Tamron 90mm macro (or presumably the comparable Pentax DFA 100mm macro). But that is not a concern, as the difference is not visible at normal sizes, and is easily compensated for with a modicum of edge sharpening if required.

All round, this lens behaves very similarly to the DA 40 Limited. They make a great pair. Very clean, very pleasing images. Colours are Pentax-excellent, though they don't quite pop in the mystical way they do with the DA 15 Limited.

I know f2.4 isn't "fast" in absolute terms. This does not bother me though because of the excellent high-iso performance of the K-5. The only thing that does disappoint me about the DA 70 is the 70 cm minimum focus distance. Certainly no macro lens!

This is taken wide open


... and this is at f/8


No extra sharpening is applied to either.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 327

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 16, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $425.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: size, quick shift, sharpness, colours
Cons: bokeh can be harsh (especially in situation with trees in background), only f2.4
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used   

great lens in terms of build quality and IQ, extremely sharp and can handle backlit situations very well (unlike fa 77)

a few points ill add on:
- it's only f2.4, for this reason it has led me to want to get the fa 77, it's fast enough for most situations but i would prefer to have more speed for the specified use (portrait / subject isolation)
- bokeh is not great in some situations, i found when shooting against trees in the background it was too nervous and not creamy at all
- i would get this lens if you want a good budget prime, if you have the money i would rather the fa 77 due to speed and bokeh (although it has much more CA)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Lithuania
Posts: 344
Lens Review Date: February 6, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $628.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Buil quality, AF speed, size, weight, sharpness, colors
Cons: Few abberations, a bit focus shifting (albeit controlable)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

It's rare but I give this lens 10. It absolutely superb in every way.
Build quality is impressive, engraved letters reminds old lenses (and does it nicely). I like telescopic hood and the lens cap. The cap is even with velvet material inside!
The lens is very light and discreet, small. It also looks amazingly beautiful.
The picture it produces is very sharp straight from f/2.4. At f/5.6 it is so sharp from corner to corner.. Colors are saturated and really punchy.
The AF speed is decent, no complains about it. It is accurate too although it may sometimes choose to focus further instead of the closer subject.
Now few negatives:
The bokeh is okay, but I have seen smoother or just more eye pleasing. Not to say it is bad,not really,it's actually good, but it could be better too. Also there may be a bit abberations although the amount is not significant. At closer distances the focus may shift a bit further.
All in all, it is superb lens for the money. It is very sharp, very discreet and very good quality. I sold my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 to get this lens. I know I lost some versatility and zoom option as well as silent focus. But I also got small size, light weight and better IQ too. And the focusing.. To be fair, I found the limited focusing faster than Sigma at some point. Not to talk about abberations and field curvature. I am totally in love with DA70mm.

Update
: I sold the lens after using it for +- 9 months. After using it I can say that it was not enough DOF control to me so it was the main reason. Also the bokeh is not that good, a bit lacking character, not very smooth either. In every other aspect it is highly recommendable lens, very light, absurdly sharp, well built and producing high IQ. It's just me who wanted more bokeh thing.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited



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