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HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR

Reviews Views Date of last review
9 33,424 Wed July 26, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,359.25 9.78
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR

HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR


The HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 Limited is the first full-frame Limited lens featuring a built-in silent autofocus motor and weather sealing. It is a premium ultra-wide lens with metal finish in the style of the FA Limited lenses and with an emphasis on top-notch optical performance. The aperture mechanism is controlled electronically (KAF4 mount)*.

At 21mm this lens is a nice supplement to the FA limited lenses and to a walk-around zoom like the D FA 28-105mm  zoom.

Its optics incorporates four ED (Extra-low Dispersion) and one Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass optical elements. RICOH states that this will minimize chromatic aberration and prevent color bleeding, not only in the main in-focus area, but also in the surrounding defocused areas. It also features a large-aperture negative meniscus optical element, a biconvex aspherical glass-mold optical element, and a high-refraction glass optical element in the first lens group, to reduce overall size despite its ultra-wide-angle design. RICOH claims that this lens will deliver outstanding imaging performance for sharp, crisp images without any fuzziness, even in peripheral areas. Stay tuned for our upcoming test of the D FA 21mm lens which will look into these claims.

*  Cameras compatible with this system are the K-50 and newer. For K-1, K-3 II, K-3, K-S2, K-S1 and K-50, the camera’s firmware must be upgraded to the latest version. If this lens is mounted on a camera without proper firmware upgrade, its diaphragm control mechanism becomes inactive leaving the aperture fixed at F2.4, making it difficult to obtain correct exposure.

HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 8 blades (rounded)
11 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (in-lens motor)
Min. Focus
18 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 68 ° / 59 °
Full frame: 92 ° / 81 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Electromagnetic Aperture Diaphragm,Metal Build,Distance Scale
Diam x Length
74 x 89 mm
416 g (14.7 oz.)
Production Years
2021 to present (in production)
$1296 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-D FA 1:2.4 21mm ED Limited DC WR
User reviews
In-depth review

Available in black and silver

Supersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedInternal FocusingBuilt-in HoodAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR in-depth review!
Price History:

Add Review of HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR Buy the HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F2.4 ED Limited DC WR
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-9 of 9

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 3,132

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 26, 2023 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: rendering, resolution, size, handling
Cons: price, lateral chromatic aberrations
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

The DFA21 is a lens with very well balanced performance. It is compact and light for it's specification and behaves well for any uwa task. Colours and rendering are very good. It has high contrast and resolution whilst still looking very smooth in most situations. Stop down for exceptional clarity in pan focus shots and open up for very attractive "glassy" smoothness at close range.

The only significant optical compromise is lateral CA resulting in some colour fringing towards the edge of the frame in high contrast situations. This aberration can be fixed in camera/post in an almost lossless way. Longitudinal CA is very well suppressed with basically no visible bokeh fringing or purple fringing which really contributes to the clarity of the images. It has some simple barrel distortion and vignette but both are at appropriate levels.

The stand out feature is the overall package. It's a lens that feels as if every aspect is intentional, well thought through and well executed. The goal being a compact lens that excels in actual use.
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 27

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 12, 2023 Recommended | Price: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, size, ruggedness
Cons: price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

Stunning lens, extremely rugged and stable. Wide open razor sharp with a fair amount of vignetting. Easy to correct barrel distortion, nothing like the dreaded wave/moustache distortion of older designs. Slightly slow but precise AF. Superb, very distinctive imaging with perfect colour and contrast.

Great reportage lens at f2.4, able to isolate subjects even at medium distance. Its size and weight make it easy to carry around, while its WR capability, the built-in massive hood and its ability to take standard protective filters let it survive any abuse.


Registered: November, 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 3,968

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 4, 2022 Recommended | Price: $1,180.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built quality, IQ, Focal length on APS-C
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3iii   

The D-FA21mm is a stunning lens on the K-3iii. Truly beyond my initial expectations. The camera system K-3iii + D-FA21mm works perfectly and the focal length of the D-FA21mm is great IMHO. Not too long, not too short. I love the lens IQ and colour rendering. Most shots require little additional PP.

The built quality is very impressive. More, the lens is impressive overall. The size and weight are moderate IMHO and no issue, although the lens is bigger than my DA15 mm Ltd and even FA31mm Ltd. But the D-FA21mm size is an advantage IMHO for the handling. While I hold the camera body when using a DA15 mm, the D-FA21mm is large enough to be used as well to get the best shots and reduce "shaking hands".

I share more on a recent experience in this thread: "The D-FA21mm controls my mind" During this trip, I used the D-FA21mm, FA77mm Ltd and DA18-250mm with my K3-iii. The D-FA21 mm held its ground against the FA77mm Ltd, "The Best (Autofocus) Lenses Money Can Buy". Read more in the review...
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Posts: 16

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 19, 2022 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: top quality, light
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

Enjoy my album

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Patrick Co. Virginia
Posts: 1,390

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 25, 2022 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light for its size, good color control, WR
Cons: Can't use step rings(67mm filters), possible minor coma
New or Used: New   

I could not have afforded such a lens so I have to be right up front and say a big THANK YOU!! to Pentax Forums for doing the giveaway that resulted in my having one.
I thought having been gifted this lens might make it difficult to make an objective review and it might color things a little, but in my eye, not having paid $1400 for it (about what my car blue books for) may actually have given me a more objective approach.
Like most pro lenses I've seen, it's big, bigger than a Rokinon 14mm, but lighter than a DA18-135mm. It carries quite well, even on a dual camera rig and has passed the winter wander test with flying colors(yeah this was scary at first). It didn't fog or leak, or have issues when I brought it in from the cold(I do wrap everything in towels during warm up).
Unlike the DA lenses I have which all use the in body screw drive, this one uses an internal drive system and is actually pretty quiet and reasonably fast to lock focus even on my aging k50 in most conditions, and I've had some tough lighting so far.

I had a little trouble working with the 21mm at first. It's a little wide for "wysiwyg" walkabouts aka "street lens" use despite my having put it on an aps-c frame without additional cropping, but I've not been to a town with actual streets lately so my opinion may change when I do go. It works quite well for close ups, being able to focus down to just an inch or two of subjects, so close that I worried about hitting the front element when using the viewfinder.

It does render color quite well, and hopefully any edits to samples won't mess that up. I wanted straight out of camera but the winter lighting has been harsh and or flat lately, so I had to redevelop from raw format(Rawtherapee) to resolve overshadowed dark and gloomy shots.

I've only had it for about three weeks but my excitement hasn't quite worn off. Only the horrid weather has limited its use.

I could barely walk on this frozen road and used my hiking pole for support. This shot is from camera.

I did edit brightness and contrast this one to bring out the blue sky the way it looked in person.

This close up was a bit sharper before compression, I might replace it with a better example later.

This one was taken at speed riding in a pickup just before the snow clobbered us(note the lines on the road). I think it handled it pretty well.

The lens will flare if you try, but handles "sun in shot" pretty good in this one.

This shows how smooth and quiet the bokeh is, especially noting the trees. Also, I shot this from the hip while walking, I reckon it focuses.

A little coma? Maybe if you pixel peek.

I think this one is going to be in my bag for a very long time. I just which good glass didn't cost so dang much.


Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 2,264

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 16, 2022 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: It performs
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1ii   

This lens so far offers all I have expected. Sharp results wide open - performance increases when shopping down. Aberrations are well suppressed. The D(!)FA Ltd sees many improvements over FA Ltds. These include silent AF and weather sealing. The design on the other hand aligns nicely with the three amigos. Image drawing looks nice at first hand, but I need to spend more time with this lens.
It is my first silver (nice) finish lens from Pentax since black was sold out and silver tempted me for a long time. I will keep silver for the Ltds and black for star lenses from now on. The inbuilt lens shade makes sense, but makes use of graded filters very difficult. On the positive side, this design keeps the lens small and provides similar cover as found on the 31.
Haptics and finishing of the lens are perfect.
The price tag is perfect for the package offered.

Buy it, write more reviews!
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Paris
Posts: 121

7 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 6, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: size, wr, sharp, bokeh
Cons: NA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1ii K1 KP   

Update of previous review:

Finally received a new copy straight from Japan.

The image quality is outstanding.
Transitions are superb, bokeh is smooth , it's a pleasure to shoot with.

It's sharp enough in corners at 2.4 already.

It's an impressive lens overall, for the size and for it's weight

Just one particularity strange enough:
AF is perfect on KP and K1. And AF is really fast and perfect on a K-1II with old firmware but It misses loads of shots on a K1-II with the latest firmware, although there are no back of front focus issues. But this little stuff which has nothing to do with the lens itself, so,

I can only recommend this lens, a good copy is what one can consider a Zeiss&Leica killer.

From this point-of-view, i think the 21mm limited 2.4 lens is very very well priced.

OLD EVAL : 5/10

"Wasn't going to post a bad review as i thought the lens i bought was defective or something. or refurb. Bought it from the Official Pentax Ricoh Imaging shop in paris france. Received it unsealed and in open box and without notice /manual.
But The vendor assured me it was 100% new and that they were delivered like this and without notice or manual.
So i belive him as he's the official vendor here.So, here's my review :
BAD autofocus capabilities in different situations on 3 different cameras K1ii, K1 and KP.
Worked pretty well with manual focusing. But the "feeling"i get with my Sigma Ex Dg 20mm 1.8 is much better. At 2.8 it's at least on par. The great thing about the Sigma is not only the AF which is spot on and fast, but also the aperture. I can get much more from it. It's old, it's not pentax and not limited. And it superpasses this new lens.
I never expected the quality of my crazy 645 25mm F/4 on 645Z, but at least something that would surpass the old sigma, with a nice size and wr.
Once again, maybe it's a QC problem.
But when you buy such a lens for this price you expect the QC that goes with the price and the brand.
I'm sorry for the guys, the engineers, that designed this lens."

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,912

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 18, 2021 Recommended | Price: $1,457.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, legacy design, compact, sharp, fast UWA
Cons: Some drop in contrast wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1 II   

Overall, a marvel.
Despite the dip in contrast when shooting with this lens wide open, I couldn't score this lens any higher for what it is.

An amazing feat of design, carrying on the legacy of the FA Limited lenses in form factor and style.

Everything about the lens shines, and yet it is lighter than its size suggests, thanks to the DC motor in place of the screwdrive focusing mechanism.

As for what it produces, it is not unlike the other stellar FA Limited lenses, and can be likened to the FA 31 in particular for image quality in every way, just in a more ultra-wide angle format.

It has a lot of strengths, which I am yet to test out in the field, but I demonstrate what it can do wide open, close focusing:

New Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 14

7 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 13, 2021 Recommended | Price: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Bokeh, Image quality, Size, Weight
Cons: The lens should have been available 5 years ago
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1, K1II   

The DFA 21mm is a very solid build lens and it’s a joy to use. The weight is only 40 % of the DFA15-30 and 70 % of the Zeiss Zk 2,8/21 mm. The Filter size is only 67 mm (Zeiss: 82 mm). The distance ring is nicely damped (but goes beyond infinity). Autofocus is in general accurate with the K-1II, even when shooting at max aperture. But with my K1, even with the latest firmware, AF works sometimes not perfect.

The minimal focus distance is only 18 cm.That`'s great!

The lens has no issue with shutter shake (a huge problem when I use the DFA 28-105 or the FA 20-35).

The lens has an built in hood which prevents using step uprings or simple filter systems.

The image quality of this lens is nearly perfect. Sharp from corner to corner from f4 and above. Nice colors and an excellent bokeh, especially at shorter distances.
Only a very small amount of CA is visible in the corners, easy to remove during post-processing

From left to right (and 1977-2021): M 20 mm, A 20 mm, FA 20-35 mm, DFA 21 mm (with filter), DFA 15-30mm

Black Forest f3,2

Detail from the center f2,5

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