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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 
 9.5
Bokeh 
 9.4
Autofocus 
 9.1
Handling 
 9.8
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
24 122,737 Mon December 6, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $426.81 9.61
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
supersize
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
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
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
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 (in production)
Pricing
$496 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:2.8 35mm Macro Limited
Product Code
21450 (black), 21460 (silver)
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★☆☆ Usable with reservations at select F-stop/focal length combinations
Show details
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
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 24
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2015
Location: Calgary
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: December 6, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, size, sharpness
Cons: too short a focal length for macro
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

I have owned at different times various Pentax macro lenses, the DA 35/2.8 Limited, the DFA 50/2.8, DFA 100/2.8 WR, DFA 100/2.8. While the Limited has a nice size and feel associated with the build, it isn't the one that I kept. The biggest issue is just the short focal length, which means that at high magnifications (ie 1:1) you need to get too close to the subject, getting in the way of light, casting shadows, or disturbing the subject. I also prefer weather sealing, so the one that makes the most sense to meis the DFA 100/2.8 WR, which also has the added benefit of being full frame compatible.

Like most macros, sharpness is good. Built in lens hood is nice. I just didn't find this one as practical as the others. Would recommend? In isolation yes, it's a good lens, but there are lots of good macro options available for Pentax and I think better choices available.
   
Community Manager

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,779
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, Excellent Limited design and durability, Razor sharp
Cons: Subject needs to be very close to the lens at 1:1 precluding lens hood use
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1   

What a phenomenon.
It has all the attributes of the best of the best glass, all in a little yet quality package.
Certainly leaving no doubt as to its durability and longevity, it is built to be a legacy lens.
This implies image quality that is worth keeping such a lens for the next generation, and that it seems to exude with every shot.
In fact, from first shot, it was first love.
The amazing detail even from f/2.8 just blows the mind every time the image is reviewed on the camera screen.
It is best suited to close focus work, although it doesn't do too badly for infinity focus images too.
Congrats to Pentax for this little gem.

shot at f/2.8


   
New Member

Registered: January, 2020
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2020 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $256.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build , small size
Cons: CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: pentax Kp   





   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Posts: 8,654
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, small size, Limited IQ, macro
Cons: Not as sharp as other macro lenses

A versatile jack-of-all-trades with few flaws and much of the Limited quality.

The DA35 Macro is compact enough to be carried around without taking too much space in a bag. Its focal length makes it a nice normal lens on APS-C, and its full macro capabilities means one can leave the house with only that lens and be able to face many situations.

Sharpness, while excellent, isn't quite up there with other macro lenses. Also, the 1:1 focus distance is very, very close to the front element.
   
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Gislev
Posts: 87

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $555.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Build Quality, Ergonomics, Weight and Size
Cons: None

One of go to-lenses in the Pentax system:

Wonderful sharpness, great bokeh, excellent handling, superb value. Aberrations are next to non-existent.

I use it as a standard focal length lens, mostly - and the macro capabilities are an added bonus.

This lens really shines regardless of use; macro or non macro photography.

Highly recommended!
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Cirebon
Posts: 29

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Size and Price
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

Outstanding sharpness at wide open. Very cheap premium grade lens.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 6,771

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 3, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, IQ
Cons: Standard macro focus search but not too bad
New or Used: New   

It is just pure pleasure to put this lens on the K-3ii and go for a walk. It is a macro so the focus can be a little jerky but the pictures are clear, clean and full of detail. It is probably not for those who look for lenses with lots of individual character but that is not normally what we seek in a macro lens. I normally take the DFA 100 when I plan to do macro but this one is also nice for macro. A great all around lens!

   
amateur dirt farmer

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 28,793

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 30, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $249.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: build quality, color rendition, clarity
Cons: 1:1 requires you to be sooooo close...
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

I bought my copy on a lark; I was hoping that this lens would stave off the interest I had for the DA20-40 Limited zoom, so I was watching/waiting for an SMC copy of this lens to show up at my price-point, when an HD copy on eBay turned up: I can't tell that it was ever used, but that's fine with me...

firstly, as a Limited lens, it's all you would expect: small, metal-build, exquisitely machined, but with red highlights rather than the green I've become accustomed to (HD vs SMC) - it does give the K-3 a bit of snarkiness, but all Limiteds do that...

the built-in hood is well-executed, as is the bespoke push-on front cap, especially when compared to the DA 40 Limited... no WR, but since I've switched to BBF, the quickshift has rapidly become useful for me...

overall, the color rendition, sharpness, bokeh, and the general usefulness of this lens is amazing - and the fact that it is a true 1:1 macro lens only increases its utility for me, even if that macro ability increases the size of the lens from what you would normally expect from a Limited lens... in shooting all month, I've noticed that subjects are captured with a distinct 'pop', a true separation from the background, and its ability to render fine details borders on the amazing...

I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with this lens (Esmerelda) all month, without the normal third-or-fourth week doldrums settling - I will probably revisit this lens as a Single In lens later in the year....

in fact, the ONLY negative I have found in the last month is the macro facility of the lens: in order to pull a true 1:1 macro shot from this lens, you have to be quite close to your subject... while inanimate objects aren't a problem, frogs & insects may not sit still while you invade their personal space... beyond that, there is absolutely not reason to not have a copy of this lens in your bag...

some of my favorite shots so far:

onions by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

Finn, Stormy, and Laney by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

lily by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

mockingbird, in flight by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

and the rest of my flickr album for this lens:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/albums/72157696313578554/page1


(and if you are curious: yes, I am no longer in the hunt for a DA20-40mm Limited zoom - this lens is that good)
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 1,347

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, construction, Manual focus override, close focus capabilitiy
Cons: Cost, AF, 1:1 reproduction ratio
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3   

I got this lens as a treat to myself. I really did not need it. I already have the bargain DA35mm f2.4 and a Sigma 28mm f1.8 Ex Dg Macro. I normally use a dedicated macro lens for close up photography so the 1:1 capabilities were not why I bought it. I got a nearly new example for 300, which is a bargain for what they go for new today in the UK. I have had it a couple of weeks now and I love it, despite certain matters (which are personal to me).
So let me get one thing straight off my chest:- My favourite focal lengths on APSc is 28mm or 50mm, NOT 35mm. However, I moved to a very photogenic part of the world last summer and felt the need for a high quality "standard" lens for taking pictures of things, rather than places. The DA 35 f2.4 was and is perfectly good for this function but then this bargain came along so I took the plunge.
IQ is superb, not just resolving power but also colour reproduction I use less tweaking of the RAW images now than I do on any other lens. Even at high (1600 is high for me) ISO ratings images are clean, sharp and true to life wide open.
Build quality is also superb. The manual focus over ride is much appreciated. This leads to one of this lenses minor faults. It sometimes hunts for focus even in good light. Its not as good as the cheapy f2.4 or my Sigma. It does nail the focus but it can take a bit of time on occasion.
I like a lens that focuses closely, but really 1:1 on a standard lens is ridiculous. No worries just don't use it.
The biggest compliment I can pay to this lens is that i find myself using it when normally I would use another focal length. If you can afford one or find a used bargain get one!
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2017
Posts: 32

1 user found this helpful
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!
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 37

3 users 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: Northern Michigan
Posts: 5,018

10 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: 237
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
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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