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

HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

Sharpness 
 8.7
Aberrations 
 9.2
Bokeh 
 8.3
Autofocus 
 9.2
Handling 
 9.5
Value 
 8.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
27 117,839 Tue June 2, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $534.32 9.30
HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited

HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
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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
$446 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
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
☆☆☆ No coverage at any setting
Show details
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 27
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 961
Lens Review Date: June 2, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $619.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: size, rendering, flare resistance
Cons: unsharp edges regardless of stopping down
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 and K-3 II   

A really great compact lens for reportage and environmental portraits. It's incredible contrasty and delivers punchy images. The tiny size makes it effortless to bring along. Close up photographs of objects render really well with great depth.

The lens works best when the subject is in the central part of the frame and the edges are there for context only. For many this will be the primary use case for a wide angle lens.

The main weakness of the lens is the soft mushy edges that stay mushy as you stop down. This makes the lens less suitable for descriptive architecture shots and landscape images where there is detail and interest across the frame.

I have given an average sharpness score because it is razor sharp in the center but soft at the edges.
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 175

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 18, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: outstanding contrast and rendering, small size, useful focal length
Cons: field curvature
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

This lens has an outstanding contrast, colour rendition and dynamic range.

It delivers very pleasant pictures, which need very little post processing, even in high contrast scenes or difficult light.
It is very resistant to flare and shows very little distorsion fo such a wide field of view (15mm is 22.5mm FF equivalent).

Due to field curvature, it is not a lens for those looking for corner to corner sharpness: the focused target will be tack sharp, even at f4 and close to a corner, but keep in mind that if your target is a distant landscape, the focus will be further away in the center and closer to the photographer in the corners.The only way to mitigate this is to close the aperture around f8.

Yet, in real life, this may not matter because your subject may often include a closer foreground near the border of the frame, or you will appreciate the main target on which you have focused to pop out in kind of a 3D effect.

It is my favorite landscape lens.
Here is a lanscape in Arequipa, Peru:
IMGP6272.jpg by Denis Bousquet, sur Flickr

Another sample in Angkor area, Cambodia:
Le grand bassin du Neak Pean by Denis Bousquet, sur Flickr

This one was in Corsica, at sunset:
IMGP4754.jpg by Denis Bousquet, sur Flickr
   
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Svealand
Posts: 172
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $417.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: rendering, small, build quality, built in hood, short focussing distance, quick-shift,
Cons: No starbursts
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I earlier owned a DA 15mm Limited but I sold it. Missed it a lot but could not find one to by so I went for the HD Pentax-DA 15mm instead. It's a great lens that I strongly recommend but I do miss the starburst that the old 15mm had.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 796
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.
   
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Alps
Posts: 35
Lens Review Date: April 29, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $465.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: limited handling, rendition
Cons: corners/borders not sharp, screw cap
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3 II   

Awesome handling and great overall rendition, colors and contrast.
IQ is great in the center, not that much in corners/borders - understandable for a small and lightweight ultra wide.
Screw cap use is not that great - not a major issue.

Good lens that does not control my mind as some others
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2018
Location: Hérouville Saint Clair, Normandy, France
Posts: 142
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.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 497
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!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2014
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 935

6 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?
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 47

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: 2,187

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: 7,914

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
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