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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
27 123,412 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
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 175

3 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.
   
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.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 499
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

7 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: 2,437

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.
   
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.
   
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: 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.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: San Rafael, CA
Posts: 769
Lens Review Date: September 29, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $566.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 IIs   

This is my first HD lens, and I have to say I am extremely pleased. And it's a Limited, so the build quality is excellent. I'd researched the heck out of this lens, so I had pretty high expectations, and this lens easily exceeded them. Just a joy to use. And sharp. The autofocus is very good, though I do use manual focus more often, just my habit. I bought this lens to be my new daily driver, replaces my DA16-50mm which I love. But I think I love this lens more. My only wish is that it was weather resistant.

Still getting used to this lens but I already know it's going to be on my camera for long long time.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2009
Location: egypt
Posts: 432

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp.compact.flare killer!
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k3   

I used both SMC and HD version.
the HD one is more flare controlled.
you can get starburst at f4 . it is VERY clear.
I like mine and happy da15 HD user!
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2013
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,812
Lens Review Date: November 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $749.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness
Cons: Maybe slow
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

Just got it! Without doubt the best lens this novice DSLR shooter has used. On landscapes at f22 you can enlarge and crop forever without losing sharpness. Shots into a rising sun have no flare and even shadow areas are sharp. I have no experience with the earlier 15mm Limited, but the one I have is great. The bokeh is very nice when wide open. Sharpness is also great wide open.

I also shoot the 18-135 and the 55-300. The 15mm is incredible compared to those lenses. Kit lensm18-55 is a poor third place.

The 15mm Limited has given me Lens Lust. Which lens should be next?
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 795

2 users found this helpful
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
Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Buy the HD Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited



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