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HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

Sharpness 
 8.9
Aberrations 
 9.3
Bokeh 
 8.3
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
24 94,096 Fri June 15, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $540.47 9.38
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
supersize

Description:
The HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited is a prime extreme wide-angle lens only suitable for Pentax APS-C DSLRs.

This lens features Pentax's latest "HD" nano coating and is available in both black and silver for $699.95.

HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
Optics
8 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
18 cm
Max. Magnification
0.15x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 88 ° / 77 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Pouch 37748
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal screw-on
Coating
HD,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 39.5 mm (2.5 x 1.58 in.)
Weight
189 g (6.7 oz.)
Production Years
2013 to present (in production)
Pricing
$449 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:4 15mm ED AL Limited
Product Code
21470 (black), 21480 (silver)
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Notes
One aspherical element and one ED element.
Variants

Black and silver


Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftBuilt-in HoodAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Buy the HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 24
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 334
Lens Review Date: June 15, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $430.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, sharp
Cons: No starbursts, filter thread behind retracted hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: KP, K-30   

This is an excelent wide angle lens, sharp and well corrected. The main advantage is it always fits in my bag. Perfectly complements the FA31, FA43, FA77 set or the DA18-135. I have only two problems with the lens. The first is the filter thread which is behind the retracted hood, so I can't use step up rings or a conventional lens cap. The other is the speed of the lens. F4 is slower than F2.8 on the DA*16-50 or F3.5 on the DA16-85. Altough the distorsion of the DA*16-50 is much worse than the distorsion of DA15 Ltd. I think the sharpness is good from corner to corner, but I think I never used the lens wide open after the testshots (there is the Da*16-50 for dark situations).
Sometimes I miss the sturbursts, which I see with the older not HD version.

Here are some examples:
IMG171104_0007 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG171229_0002 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG171229_0004 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG180331_0065 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 6, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: colors, distortion
Cons: difficult to mount a cokin filter(vigneting
Handling: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k5iis   

Sorry for my bad englisch. I've got the Sigma 10-20 and I find it good, but it takes a lot of space and I found a HD 15 limited for sale. It's always on my camera and I have much less post production work to do. It's amazing. The only problem was when I tried to mount a Cokin filter to shoot landscape: The adaptor is impossible to fix because of the lens hood. So I had to screw another neutral filter and I got dark extrem corners. This lens is as good as written in the other reviews, but be aware of the problem of fixation system for filters.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Alps
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: April 29, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $465.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: limited handling, rendition
Cons: screw cap
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3 II   

Awesome handling and overall rendition, colors and contrast.
IQ is fantastic in the center, correct in corners/border especially for a small and lightweight ultra wide.
The one negative thing for me is the screw cap - not a major issue.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2018
Location: Hérouville Saint Clair, Normandy, France
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: February 15, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $549.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp, light, well built
Cons: Not WR
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

Almost perfect.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 429
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, Weight, Build Quality, Smooth Manual Focus, Rendering, Perspective, Razor Sharp when stopped down.
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5II   


A beautiful piece of finely crafted glass, the HD DA 15 completed my set of Limited's. It's priced very well compared to the DA 14 which is huge and heavy. I'm still learning to employ this lens for optimum effect but can say it is an absolute joy to shoot with. The HD DA 15 handy for large group photos too!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2014
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 922

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, flare resistance, small size
Cons: Maximum aperture f/4
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

What they say in the lens club is true-- the 15mm Limited CONTROLS MY MIND!!! Seriously. I've checked the stats on my photos, and half of the keepers, and half of my best-ever shots, were taken with the 15mm Limited.

It's sharp. It's not as sharp as my 14mm Rokinon, but that thing is giant and heavy, with a delicate front element, and doesn't have autofocus to boot. But don't get me wrong, the 15mm Limited is definitely still awesome sharp. I generally use it between f/7 and f/11.

The 15mm Limited is ridiculously flare-resistant. When it comes to lens flare, the 15mm is the Honey Badger. Shooting a wide-angle shot directly into the sun? The 15mm don't care. It doesn't give a . The 14mm Rokinon on the other hand, will give you all this blobby green lens flare, so you have to be super careful with it.

The 15mm Limited itself is tiny-- just a wee bit too big to be called a pancake-- and the lens cap screws on. This is brilliant. It is the perfect lens for scrambling around on rocks because its small size and low weight don't cause the camera to jerk around, and you KNOW the lens cap isn't going to fall off. With my 14mm Rokinon, I have to secure the camera to my back with multiple caribiners to keep it from flopping around, and even then, I'm nervous.

Why would you buy the 14mm Rokinon instead? If you want to do astrophotography (maximum aperture f/2.8 instead of f/4), if you value sharpness above all else, if you want a lens you'll definitely be able to use on full-frame, and if you really don't mind going through multiple copies to find one that isn't decentered. Otherwise, get the 15mm Limited. You won't be disappointed.

And here's another.

And another.

And another.

Did I ever mention that this lens controls my mind?
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 15

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful colours, contrast, sharpness also lightweight
Cons: none I can think of
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k 30   

First of all, its a beautiful piece of equipment. Well made, lightweight aluminium material. Very small size so light weight to carry when on trails. The filter size is small as well, so filters are cheap.

Optically, lens is sharp. The contrast is better than DA 12-24 out of camera. Colours are true and bright.

The only drawback if any is that its a prime. So you have to take steps backward or forward while shooting landscapes, which may not be always possible. Plus you will not get to change the perspective.

But overall its a great lens if you want lightweight well made lens capable of producing best quality images, and you can play within the constraints of a prime lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 494

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 31, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image quality, small, build quality, built-in lens hood
Cons: coma, screw-in cap
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3 II   

With such a wide angle, it can be used for street photo without the viewfinder, at most you'll need to crop the result a little. As with other limited primes, the build quality, colors and contrast are great! I find sharpness to be perfectly fine, but I guess the edges are a little softer than the center wide open. I don't know what to think about the cap... it feels nice and I use it, but I wish it was push-in like on the 70mm.

edit: updated the aberrations rating to account for the coma it shows at max aperture. Does it matter? No, not really, I only noticed after starting to use it indoors and at night. Anything less than f/4 reduces the issue almost entirely so I am not changing the overall rating.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Sydney
Posts: 6

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 3, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $496.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: size, wide angle, sharpness, solid build
Cons: screw on cap, small-hard to grab
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-50   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nNeTXMP6Sk
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 1,125

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $359.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: color, contrast, sharpness, field curvature useful for many subjects, work against bright light, size, build quality
Cons: screw drive focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-3   

Lives up to the hype. Colors, contrast are visibly better than good zooms, and even better than primes like DA50mm F1.8.
I find the field curvature to be a positive feature, not a fault. On the contrary - I find it very useful.
I found it quite fun to work with the field curvature of this lens, it makes me think more about the composition and how can I utilize my equipment. I found it be a fun exercise and I think it makes me a better photographer.

Field curvature can, for example:
- help getting both the background and the horizon in focus, when the lens is pointed down.
- help a group of people stay sharp at low F-stop, if they stand in a semicircle
- give an extra depth to the picture


This lens is a solid ten, don't have any second thoughts about buying it.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 4,294

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, focal lenght, build quality, rendering
Cons: field curvature, price
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 / K-3   

Great little add-on lens to have for use indoors where field curvature may even help to get sharper edge than with the flat field lens. It's my preferred lens for indoor architectural photographs. I wouldn't recommend this lens for landscapes, there are better alternatives, either use another wide angle third party lens or the highly rated Pentax DA 12-24.

DA 15 Ltd
> Pros:
- small size
- great metal build quality
- color rendering
- center sharpness

> Cons:
- field curvature when used for lansdcapes/cityscapes, even stopped down to f11 or more
- a bit expensive for being f/4 and not full frame usable
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 1,458
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color rendition, build, lack of distortion
Cons: could be faster
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-3   

I decided t add this review after being so impressed by a commonly overlooked aspect of this lens...the color rendition....For me, it is far superior to even my fa primes, which was a completely unexpected surprise when I first started shooting with this lens.....Actually this lens has surprised me on many levels. The virtual lack of distortion, the clarity(after reading other reviews), and its ability to focus quickly and accurately at close range for a wide angle....I love this lens and find the wide angle to be surprisingly playful and very useful.....I am enclosing a photo to show the color rendition, with no added vibrancy or saturation in post...I hope the coming Pentax FF will have adaptability to these DA lenses....would love to see how this rolls as a true 15mm on the FF
   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 83
Lens Review Date: February 28, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $496.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, vivid color (polarized skies w/o polarizer), build quality, hood
Cons: wide open is F4
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30, K-x   

I can't complain at all. Even the F4-wide open is fine for the types of wide-angle shots one will use this lens for. I was most struck by the rich, dark blue skies and color I get with it (vs. my other limiteds which are all SMC-coated). I wouldn't use a CPL polarizer on such a wide-angle lens due to the gradient effect, but with THIS lens, I get dark blue skies WITHOUT one! Only thing I'd be hesitant to do with it is make large, blown up landscape posters with it, since the sharpness in the corners falls to just above "kit-quality", but only if blown up 1-1. This is most likely a tradeoff for such a wide-angle in such a compact lens. If doing that, I'd use the 21mm pancake and step back a bit. Also, hide your beautiful cap away for safekeeping and get yourself a cheap snap-on one and USE it if you plan to carry it around in your pocket (the front element is large and exposed to scratching). The hood slides perfectly, not too tight or loose and remains where you put it, so you don't need to used the included cap with a lip, you just have to REMEMBER to extend the hood! Here's my full, detailed review and images: If you love your other pancake limiteds, you'll love this one too. If forced to choose between this and the 21mm, get this one and crop, except as I explained above!

https://wildstar84.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/hd-pentax-da-15mm-f4-ed-al-limited-lens-review/
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2009
Posts: 94
Lens Review Date: February 12, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, contrast, rendering
Cons: small aperture
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-m   

First I would just like to suggest that the negative reviews found here are probably due to front- or back focusing or other issues such as decentering. My copy is flawless and incredibly sharp.

Best is to close it down to f/8 or f/11.

To me this lens shines most with respect to rendering, contrast, microcontrast and an extraordinary ability to reproduce highlights as well as low lights. The example below tries to illustrate this.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 302
Lens Review Date: January 28, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $430.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, build, image quality, autofocus
Cons: a bit soft corners, but not really noticeable in practice
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

This is my first Limited lens and I am impressed with how well built it is. Every bit the equal of old SMC lenses. The images are quite good so far and I love the size. I sold my Tamron 10-24 because it was just too big and I prefer primes where possible. I already had one of the wonderful Pentax FA 20-35 lenses and wanted something wider. After experiencing my first Limited, I have just ordered a DA 70 . The rest of my Pentax kit is a 50 1.4 SMC-A, 50 Macro SMC-A, and a Tamron AF 28-75. I have never cared for long lenses, having used Leica rangefinders primarily. The 15 fits very well and is so small that you can always have it with you. It makes my K-3 feel so nice in my hand. Reminds me of a Leitz Super-Angulon without the corner vignetting and better color.

Here are two images I made yesterday evening with the 15


This second photo could have benefited from having a level camera. Pointed a bit down makes the building tops wider than their base.
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