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HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro

Sharpness 
 9.7
Aberrations 
 9.6
Bokeh 
 9.5
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.8
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
15 67,411 Mon April 17, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $496.90 9.86
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro

HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
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HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
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HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
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HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
supersize
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
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Description:
The Pentax 35mm Limited macro lens is designed for use only with APS-C format Pentax DSLRs.

This lens features Pentax's latest "HD" nano coating and is available in both black and silver for $749.95.

HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
14 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45 ° / 38 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Soft case Z100
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Coating
HD,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 46.5 mm (2.5 x 1.8 in.)
Weight
215 g (7.6 oz.)
Production Years
2013 to Present
Pricing
$421 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:2.8 35mm Macro Limited
Product Code
21450 (black), 21460 (silver)
Variants
Black and silver

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftBuilt-in HoodAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Buy the HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 15
New Member

Registered: April, 2017
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: April 17, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $445.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp at F/2.8, small, light, good value
Cons: not Splash-proofed, lens cap a bit too easy to remove, loud Autofocus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

I uploaded some pictures here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/99546618@N08/albums/72157682605956356/with/34050235626

There are already a lot of good reviews on this lens so I just wanted to add some more pictures and a short feedback:

Positive:
- Extremely sharp already at F/2.8!
- Very small and lightweight
- Quick and precise Autofocus
- Nice haptic and feels robust
- Integrated lens hood
- Good value for 445 USD
- For this focal length, there are a lot of applications
- Macro lens with a magnification of 1:1

Neural:
- Not splash- and dustproofed

- Lens cap is sometimes too easy to remove, but still ok
- The felt surface of the lens cap and lens hood is not that easy to clean
- The autofocus is quite loud

This lens really makes me happy! The optical quality is just insane!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 35

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, colors, build
Cons: not as sharp at subject around 60 feet away
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

I find the HD Pentax-DA 2.8/35 Macro Limited perfectly sharp at smaller apertures where macro work is usually done. At macro distance, the center is already sharp at f/2.8, the extreme edges trail behind. By f/8 the image is sharp across the APS-C frame. Extreme edges are as good as the center. This edge-to-edge sharpness continues to f/11, then drops by f/16 and f/22.

I also had the chance to compare the HD Pentax-DA 2.8/35 Macro Limited with the Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35, on APS-C (Pentax K-S2).

UPDATE: At portrait shooting distance, from f/2.8 to f/8, looking at 100% crops, the Pentax can equal the Zeiss's sharpness in the center, but not at the edges. The Zeiss edges are noticeably sharper. At f/11 and f/16 the Pentax is able to match the Zeiss in the center and edges.

UPDATE: Pointed at a wall around 60 feet away (focus at infinity), the Zeiss was sharper than the Pentax at all apertures from edge-to-edge. Not by much, but noticeable when looking at 100% crops. I believe this is the weakest spot of the HD Pentax-DA 2.8/35 Macro Limited. Not that the Pentax was lacking in sharpness. It's just that the Zeiss was sharper all around.

Different story at distant subjects (focus at infinity). At infinity, the Pentax was hands down much sharper than the Zeiss at f/8 and below. At infinity, from f/2.8 to f/5.6, 100% crops from the Pentax are significantly sharper than the Zeiss's from edge-to-edge. By f/8, the Zeiss's center had caught up with the Pentax, but the Zeiss's edges still trail behind. Art f/11, the tables turn and the Zeiss is sharper than the Pentax. Both the Pentax and Zeiss degrade by f/16. I'd call it a tie at f/16 and f/22.

Seems that the Zeiss behaves differently for distant subjects, although I never noticed until I pixel-peeped.This is not to say that the Zeiss is bad for landscapes. I have used the Zeiss extensively for tighter landscapes and it has been impressive, likely because I used smaller apertures, or maybe because there's not much real value to pixel-peeping in the first place! In any case, compared to the Zeiss Distagon T* 2/35, the HD Pentax-DA 2.8/35 Macro Limited is much better at distant subjects.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Posts: 1,959

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 20, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Nearly perfect in almost all respects
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5iis   

This is the best SLR lens I've ever used. It's nearly perfect, providing excellent sharpness and contrast with only very minor and largely negligible aberrations or distortion. For those who regard the lens as too slow to be an optimal APS-C normal, well, such photographers would probably be better off with a fast fifty on a full-frame camera. The DA 35 Limited is not a low light/narrow DOF lens. It's a lens for nature photography: macro and landscapes. You won't find a better lens for that kind of work.

Auto-focus is not blazing fast, but at least on my K-5iis, it's spot on accurate. Manual focus is surprisingly well dampened for an AF lens (it's comparable to the manual focus on the DFA 100 Macro), and this lens easily fulfills the goal of Limited glass to combine the virtues of older, manual focus Pentax lenses, with their beautiful craftsmanship and extremely solid construction, in an AF package.

The lens is not only sharp, but its sharpness is rendered in a beautiful, natural way. Contrast and color are also superb. Color rendition is very close to the Pentax DA standard, except that the colors in the middle of the spectrum are a bit richer than is usually the case with SMC coated glass. When used under beautiful light, images from this lens have a richness of color and a depth of beauty matched by very few lenses. Mike Johnstone and Carl Weese, in their review of the SMC version of the DA 35 Macro, compared the lens to a Zeiss 28mm and found the Pentax Limited to be the better lens. In other words, for around $400, you can acquire a lens that can hold it's own with high-end German glass. That's astonishing if you reflect upon it.

Some samples:







   
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2016
Posts: 66

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $380.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Macro, Metal Construction
Cons: Somewhat slow at 2.8, pretty pricey
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-50   

Second lens review, please go easy on me! At the time of this review I have the K-50 body with the following lenses: 18-55 WR, 50-200 WR, 35/2.8 LTD, 50/1.8, and 55-300 WR.

I bought this lens as a wider framed walk around to complement my 50mm. I probably could have gone wider, but I wanted the macro abilities as well. I've had the lens for a few months and find it to be a very sharp lens, and I've been enjoying the macro pictures I've gotten with it, it's super fun to use that way. I'm found that I'm just not a huge fan of this focal length and I end up using this lens the least of my lenses. I would likely use it more if it were a bit faster, but it's hard to use indoors on people without an external flash. I just haven't found a reason to use this lens very much because I haven't been in an opportunity to use it as such. Perhaps I like the further background separation of the 50mm focal length more.

It's a damn good lens, I'm just not used to it yet, it's something I need to exclusively use for a bit I'm thinking.

http://i.imgur.com/ywrBPYY.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1UQ5QqG.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ThF3YUP.jpg
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 227
Lens Review Date: July 10, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $305.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great all around lens, street + macro
Cons: haven't found any
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

Wow...
Great lens
Love the size, sharpness, FOV, macro...
It is a beautiful piece of craftwork

Got it used mint (HD version) at a price that would be pretty good for the SMC version... so pretty pleased with the result.
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 29

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $760.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, build quality, general look on the camera
Cons: some CA, generally purple
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3 black   

well I just got this lens to partner with my K-3. I have been using thr Tamron 17-50 F2.8 which is a cracking lens for the money. I wanted a prime 35mm lens for general use and closeups. I already have the plastic 35mm DA lens but while this is a good enough lens, it does seem to lack something, namely sharpness. To be honest I am still getting to grips with the K-3 so some of the issues with the plastic 35mm are very probably on my own making.

The 35mm F2.8 is a really nice lens. It looks great, especially if you like the retro look of the silver model. The built in lens hood is a nice idea, and little finishes like the felt in the lens cap make it seem a bit more of a premier offering.

I have just been using this lens for the usual flower shots and a few snaps around the garden. I really like the images it produces. Sharpness is there and focusing seems pretty decent. It looks the business on the K-3

The only issue I have had is some CA at lower F stops but this seems to be power for the course for most 35mm lenses. It was pretty fierce on a couple of images but sorted with Photoshop easily. Colours are rich and the images have a sharp 'contrasty' look.





This images is a deep zoom into a F wide open shot, some CA visable
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 4,686

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New   

Hello,

This lense is a perfect walkaround lense. The focal length allow for many subjects. f/2.8 give decent low light performance. The macro feature mean you can focus as close as you want and can easily closeup of small objects.

With this lense you can do everything: landscape, portraiture, macro, indoors...

Now it is a bit expensive you'd say what would you want it? Well this lense has exceptionnal contrast and great resistance to flare. The colors are punchy. It is extremely sharp from corners to corners from f/2.8 and even better at f/4. it make it an excelent landscape lense not many would dream to match even on larger format (like FF). If you shoot many landscapes, if you want to occasionnally shoot small objects or macro (flowers...) this lense is for you.

Really not many lenses match that, that's truely impressive.

You may not want it for portraiture because it is bit too sharp and the bokeh while wonderfull in macro is good but more average at normal settings. Near the same focal length you'd be better of with FA31 or FA43 for that.

Me I decided that the FA77 was for portraiture and people and that my DA35 ltd was for landscapes. But that's up to you.

It replaced my DA35 f/2.4 and for sure it is better lense in every aspects.

Here a few examples:


IMGP5081 by Nicolas, sur Flickr


IMGP5036 by Nicolas, sur Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Posts: 5,635

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP! unique FL for macro, versatile, beautiful
Cons: occasional jittery bokeh

This lens is absolutely brilliant! For a while it made me seriously question whether I needed to keep my FA31.
As a macro, it lets you really get inside your subject which can produce some stunning perspectives.
It also performs very well as a general purpose normal lens as well. Distortion is minimal, aberrations are well controlled and is super sharp.
And it's a limited, with all the build quality and tactile joy that entails. In fact it looks very similar to the FA77, which is in my opinion the most beautiful of the lot.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 3,470

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, size, macro, sharpness wide open, color, AF
Cons: could be f2, but it's already sharp wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5, K-3   

I purchased this lens long after the DA 40ltd because I wanted a normal lens, and 40mm was a bit too long, I had the choice between DA L35 2.4 (plastic), FA 35 f2, FA 31 Ltd. The DA 35 macro ltd is not as fast as the FA 31 and FA 35 2, but at f2.8 it is already sharp, while other lenses are softer when at f2 or f1.8. The DA 35 macro is also cheaper than FA 31, and is designed for digital (unlike the FA 35 2). The third party alternative was Sigma 30 1.4, with potential AF issues, not maro.

HD DA 35 macro Ltd pros:
- size
- build quality
- image quality immediately from wide open
- HD coating / color rendering
- macro
- field of view

Cons:
- humm, difficult to find
- still compete with standard zoom that also has a very good sharpness at 35mm, and the HD DA 35 macro ltd (@2.8 this 35 macro is way better than the zoom).
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 30, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, macro capability, build quality, small size
Cons: lens hood kind of odd
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3, K-5   

I bought this lens used but in new-like condition. Mostly I use it out in the streets and the smallish size helps a lot as my K-3 with battery grip weighs quite sufficiently already.

Best I like the image quality, above all sharpness, and the build quality. I must confess that I'm a fan of well made and solid technical things and this one surely meets that criterion.

Rather seldom I use it for macro shots but it's great to be able to capture small details even when on the road.

The only thing I find disturbing at times is the lens hood and its mechanical construction but you get used to it. I own many lenses and overall this is one of my favourites.

Some sample images in flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jarimakila/16231905432
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jarimakila/16795692451
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jarimakila/15966918496
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jarimakila/15799721347

   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,060

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Perfect colors, sharp, macro, light, limited
Cons: Are you kidding me?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5 and K3   

I have not used this lens much, but I do like it a lo. Here are samples:

Bright&Colorful-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5 and K20   

I love this lens. The image quality is very good. The sharpness is simply great. I own a 105mm Sigma EX as well. I recon the 35mm Macro limited is the same league or even better.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2013
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 2,388

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 31, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding IQ, Sharpness, Macro, build quality
Cons: It could be better to have a way to lock the hood in place
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   

First time I heard that there's a 35mm macro lens in Pentax's line up, I laughed and said who on earth may need macro on 35mm FL!?
About one year later I bought the lens.
And now, after one month of using it, I should say it's "The one lens to rule them all". hahaha.

The DA35ltd is a fantastic walk around lens. It's image quality is simply outstanding as everyone knows. and it's macro capability is a nice bonus for a walk around lens. because of it's working distance, I used the macro feature up to about 1:2 macro magnification most of the times, and even I thought maybe it could be better if Pentax made it as a 1:2 macro only! so people won't complain you have to hit the subject but then they'd say it's only 1:2!

And even though it's a 35mm macro lens, I was successful in shooting some nice insect macros with it. (definitely I prefer the DFA100macro for these kind of shots, but then when you only has this one! it's possible)


Because of it's fantastic sharpness, stitching shots is feasible with this lens, and I liked my result.

Blue hour by mtux, on Flickr

It's nice for landscape works too!
Here I had to merge 5 shots to one 32bit HDR to have good detail in both sky and land:

Morning at Boh Tea farms by mtux, on Flickr

And one more big thing that I found about this lens is it's quality on separating the subject from background and making a 3D shot, that's amazing!

I was after this feature for a long time

All in all, I love this lens.

Cons:
I can think of your imagination only.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Wangaratta, Victoria
Posts: 3,470

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 24, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $519.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, IQ, build
Cons: focus hunts sometimes
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

Beautifully constructed and looks the part (in silver!). My best photographic buy by far. I would rather 'zoom with my feet' than take this lens off my camera. The reviews of the SMC version say it all.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: egypt
Posts: 378
Lens Review Date: June 12, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Leica like. versatile. handsome looking with the red tape. very sharp
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K 3   

I would recommend this lens to any one looking for a versatile and sharpen lens. Top quality and valuable lens.
Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro Buy the HD Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Limited Macro



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