Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
Log in or register to remove ads.

Pentax Lens Review Database » Digital Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » DA Prime Lenses
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

Reviews Views Date of last review
16 78,808 Sat December 10, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
88% of reviewers $363.07 9.07
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

The HD Pentax DA 40mm Limited is the successor to the original M 40mm "pancake" lens. It is slightly smaller and 20g lighter because it lacks an aperture ring, and features improved optics.

The DA 40mm lens works perfectly on film SLRs, even with the hood.

This lens features Pentax's latest "HD" nano coating and is available in both black and silver for $549.95.

HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 9 blades
5 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 39 ° / 33 °
MH-RC 49 mm
Dedicated pouch
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal screw-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 15 mm (2.5 x 0.6 in.)
89 g (3.2 oz.)
Production Years
2013 to present (in production)
$396 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-DA 1:2.8 40mm Limited
Product Code
21390 (black), 21400 (silver)
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★★☆ Full coverage at some F-stop and focal length combinations
Show details
User tests show that this lens covers the 24x36 mm format, but with vignetting until F5.6.
The lens hood has a 30.5 mm filter thread allowing for smaller filters when the hood is mounted.

Black and silver

Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Buy the HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 16

Registered: December, 2008
Location: RSM, CA
Posts: 505

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 10, 2022 Recommended | Price: $238.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: EVERYTHING (Almost)
Cons: CFD
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Every Pentax APS-C   

All metal. Hand built. Diminutive and unique. Optics are outstanding. Smooth precise manual focusing, zippy autofocusing. Comes with a metal screw in hood.
You buy it for its size, and it's unique character. How anyone could rate such a unique and well built lens (especially for the price) anything less than a 10 is well, a mystery to me. Bonus, it covers a full frame sensor despite it's APS-C marketing, and performs very well in this regard.

Mic drop.

No other maker out there has an autofocusing 40mm pancake lens besides Canon, and the build quality isn't even in a ballparks' parking lot. It also features a focus distance scale, all metal build, quick shift focus, 9-bladed rounded aperture, much better optics and coatings, included hood, etc. It lacks STM focusing of the Canon, but that's all. STM focusing is something video shooters benefit from the most anyways, not still shooters. I have both so I speak from experience.

Fantastic lens for the smaller Pentax bodies, great body cap for the larger ones, and it makes every camera you attach it too just that much more portable. Wish every Pentax camera came with one as a body cap standard. Fantastic on my K-M up to my K-3 Mark III. It really adds to the unique rendering of the 10mp CCD cameras especially (K10D, K-M, K200D). I may even buy a couple more before I exit this world.

The new HD coatings, rounded aperture blades, and super protect coating are definitely worth the slightly higher cost than the green ring version, especially since pre-owned bargains can be found everywhere if you shop around even a little bit.

I daydream of a version that one day has a sealing ring around the mount area as the rest of the lens doesn't even need seals considering the hood would protect the only vulnerable part. That said, it's an easy lens to keep rain off with considering its size. Again just a daydream, not a con.

I adore this lens that represents and embraces the very nature of Pentax's entire philosophy.
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2022
Location: Glyfada, a southern suburb of Athens
Posts: 199

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 7, 2022 Recommended | Price: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great colors; vivid and natural, a tiny titan
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

First things first. This lens, especially in silver, is the perfect match for KP (yes, the rumors that Pentax wants you to buy Limited lenses for KP are true).

They are ment for each other

It produces vibrant yet natural images with no need of post processing.

An impressive lens.

a few samples below.

Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 1,863

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 27, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, build quality, IQ
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3, KP, SFXn, P30   

I am surprised I have not reviewed this lens before now. I have had my copy for nearly 5 years. I paid 250 s/h for it. It has been an absolute bargain. I have all the HD DA Limited primes except for the 21mm (which I keep prevaricating over - I am not really a wide angle kind of guy), and this is easily my favourite of the range. Its slightly long standard FOV on APSC is better for how I see the world and helps cut out distracting foregrounds. I have even tried it out on my SFXn and P30 and it works just fine, with just a mild vignette at f2.8 which I find attractive. So you have 3 lenses in one - film and FF compatible wide standard and APSC long standard. It is easy to manual focus. Due to its compact size and light weight, you can take it with you anywhere, even if you do not have it mounted on your camera. When on your camera it keeps the camera profile nice and flat, so it is easy to keep under your coat to protect from the weather or to be unobtrusive. It focuses reasonably close so is very versatile. The compact hood is very good for protecting the lens without adding significantly to the lens' bulk, but the lens cap is a fiddly screw affair. 2 spent on a cheap pinch 30.5mm cap sorts that out. AF is fast and positive within the limitations of Pentax cameras, if a trifle noisy (those screwdrives again!), though the noise does not bother me.

As far as IQ goes, it is very sharp stopped down a little and still sharp even wide open, which I found a bit of a surprise as lenses are rarely that good at maximum aperture. CA's are mild wide open but soon disappear when stopped down. Flare is minimal. Not a bokeh monster though, but that is what fast standard and portrait lenses are for. Colour rendition is where it really shines. I did a comparison test a few years ago with this, the HD DA 35mm Ltd and a bunch of 50mm lenses. To my eyes at least the 40mm here is the best performing in terms of colour rendition. Offering something special that few other lenses match (in my extensive collection the K 50mm f4 and F 28mm f2.8 do something similar). Of course this is a personal subjective opinion, but it is the main reason I prefer this lens over the Ltd 35mm (and I like that lens a lot too!).

Match this lens to my KP with a wide angle and a tele macro and most of my photographic needs can be covered for almost anything short of sports and wildlife, in a light compact package. Most of the time though I just take one lens with me and so far I have never found this one wanting when I do so..

Even today mint copies can be picked up for what I paid for mine 5 years ago, so I consider this lens as a bargain and one to be highly recommended.
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 59

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 6, 2021 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tiny and sharp
Cons: Lens cap, focal length needs getting used to
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K70 KP   

40mm is a somewhat strange focal length for APSC, and getting used to the field of view has taken me a while. The screw on lens cap is frankly a pain, much better to leave it off when out and about and rely on the hood to provide protection.

Now the positives: This is truly an outstanding lens! It goes everywhere with me and it produces beautiful pictures full of character. Colours are fantastic and the images are super sharp. Autofocus is very quick and accurate if not a little noisy (hence the 8) with the screwdrive mechanism, but that is an acceptable trade off for the tiny size. The manual focus is nicely dampened and usable, but I tend to stick to autofocus. I have to have a good reason to remove this lens from my KP!
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 13, 2020 Recommended | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything
Cons: should be wider
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

My very first lens. Only wish it were wider.
New Member

Registered: January, 2020
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6
Review Date: March 12, 2020 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: I love the size of this lens
Cons: Image quality is just acceptable
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

I've owned three copies of the 40mm HD, and all three were lacking in sharpness below f8.0. I like the angle of view the 40mm gives on the KP. I love the size of the lens. I would recommend it to a friend with the understanding that based on my experience, I would not expect it to be critically sharp. But then, there's more to a good lens than just sharpness. I'm keeping the one I have.
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 156

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $219.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, sharp for price
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-01   

Bought this lens to replace my K-01's original 40mm, which I had loved. I have to say this surpasses that lens, as it is not much bigger, does not seem to be as easily knocked out of whack, and the HD coatings do add something over the previous SMC coatings. My K-01 is my laptop bag camera - something I have on me for meetings when I am not carrying my K-3 kit. I try to keep it small for my messenger bag, and the four lenses I carry, the 40mm is the one that is on the camera by default. I use it second to the 70mm, and it is a very good lens.
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 941

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 9, 2019 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Small, extremely portable, rich colors, fast AF, sharp wide open
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

The 40 HD limited is just amazing. This lens is absolutely a wonder that they were able to design a sharp, fast-focusing, all around perfect lens in such a small package, and with the newer HD coatings and round aperture blades is a bonus worth the upgrade (although the SMC version is also a great lens). Paired with the 15 and 70 limiteds, you have a very compact combo to take some amazing photos.
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2016
Posts: 123
Review Date: December 8, 2018 Recommended | Rating: N/A 

Cons: Problem with design of hood and cap
New or Used: New   

I love the lens but I think the hood and the cap need a redesign. The hood unscrews in the same direction as the cap which means that when you are unscrewing the cap, you can inadvertently either partially unscrew or completely unscrew the hood. This happened to me on a recent walk. Fortunately I was able to retrace my steps and found the hood. Perhaps the hood and cap could be redesigned so that the hood could accept a pinch type cap. The hood costs $59.99 so this is a costly loss if it happens.

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 3,713
Review Date: August 4, 2016 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: good quality and compact
Cons: no dof scale
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3II   

Iq and build quality are nice, and for most situations I think it is fast enough, especially because it is pretty great right from f2.8. I like that it is compact and easy to carry around, although some might consider it a little too small (lens cap, hood, focus ring are all quite narrow).

I got this in addition to the 35/2.4 because, while the plastic lens has great iq, the lack of quickshift was an issue for me. Surprisingly, the 40 also has much quieter af compared to the plastic 35, even though it is still screw drive; about the same speed. I don't see a difference in terms of angle of view, it gives about the same perspective as the 35; the 40 is slightly narrower than the 35, but it looks "normal" enough to me.

edit: After a few months of using it, it's a great lens to have and I've never really felt it too long for a normal. Compared to the plastic 35/2.4, colors are better even though they're both sharp.
Veteran Member

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

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 8, 2016 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tiny, incredibly sharp, relatively inexpensive
Cons: Weird bokeh for point sources of light, could be faster
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

If you are reading this review, you're probably wondering about whether or not you should buy this lens. The answer is yes, yes you should. It is absolutely superb and only costs, what, $280 now? Why are you still reading this review? Go! Make your purchase!

If you're still here, I'll provide some more detail. This lens is incredibly sharp across the entire frame, easily on par with my 31mm Limited. It has excellent microcontrast and the colors are clear and vibrant, better than the 31mm, in my opinion. There's no distortion, CA, or PF to speak of. It has almost no problems with flare. The main disadvantage, in my mind, is the bokeh. In most situations, it's smooth and creamy, but point sources of light against a dark background are weirdly distracting, sort of like fish eggs. I wish I had an example to post here, but I don't.

I cannot underscore enough how fantastic it is that this lens is super tiny. It often makes the difference between bringing the camera along with me or not, and there is always room for this lens in my bag. Otherwise, as far as the user experience goes, some people might dislike the tiny screw-on lens cap. I like it, since the lens cap is never going to fall off on its own, a problem I've definitely had with the 21mm Limited.

In short, even though this lens has a few minor shortcomings, it is AWESOME. And it's important to keep those downsides in perspective. It's a little slow for a prime at f/2.8,'s friggin' tiny, and less than $300. The bokeh can be kind of weird, but if it bothers you so can go spend twice or three times as much on a bigger lens that you're not going to want to lug around with you constantly.

I bought this lens on a whim-- I'd always been interested in it and the price had dropped to something reasonable. But, I'd never been sold on the focal length. I tend to prefer wide-angle shots, especially landscapes, and didn't think I'd be happy with anything narrower than about 30mm.

How wrong was I. I have gotten an enormous amount of use out of it. I used it extensively as a landscape lens on my recent trip to Death Valley and the Las Vegas area. There were wide open spaces and in many cases the tighter framing of the 40mm made it the best tool for the job. Some examples:

Other than that, I've found it an excellent street lens, small enough that I can carry my camera around with me everywhere and take pictures of whatever suits my fancy. Here are a few:

Surprisingly, I even used it for wildlife photography once. Why? It was the lens I had with me when this turkey wandered by:

Its also a great focal length for shots out the window of the airplane. Wide enough to grab a lot of scenery, not so wide you can't avoid the airplane wing:

It's pretty great for portraits and full-body shots, too, but I don't have any examples of those to post.

Anyway, the 40mm isn't going to be replacing my 31mm due to the bokeh issue, but as far as price for optical quality goes, this lens can't be beat.

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 11,789

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 30, 2015 Not Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Tiny, fairly sharp
Cons: Focal length on APS-C, focus mechanism, price
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 3    Value: 6    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K200,K-5,K-3   

It's tiny, decently sharp at f4 and sharp at f5.6 and above. I was very happy when I bought this lens and I used it a lot because of its tiny size and weight when traveling by bike for more than a week (that's the only lens I carried and I did everything with this single small lens), using it a normal lens, and stitching for wider field of views. But now the quick shift mechanism has some mechanical play and AF is not accurate near infinity.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 501
Review Date: December 6, 2014 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, flare resistance, true-to-life colour rendering, build quality, compact size, lens hood, standard 49mm filter size
Cons: None - I even like the screw off lens cap!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5II   

This is my second Pentax Limited Edition lens. The first (HD DA 21) was purchased in May of this year and never ceases to amaze me with magic hour landscape and urban street shots. The 40mm is very special too. Discrete and compact, it works well for walk-around and travel photography. With an f/2.8 maximum aperture and rounded diaphragm blades; the bokeh this lens produces is smooth and buttery - nice for up close portraits.

The small size (this lens is exceptionally tiny and could be mistaken for a lens cap) converts a Pentax DSLR into a camera that in not much larger than most mirror-less cameras. I love the 40 mm focal length - this lens is versatile for both portraits and landscape as well as being reasonably fast for indoor available light captures. Image quality this lens delivers is stellar for reproducing 24" X 36" prints on high quality canvas (from images captured on a k-5II). While the HD DA 21 is amazing - the HD DA 40 is slightly better.
New Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 11

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 13, 2014 Recommended | Price: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great resolution, dynamic colours, compact
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K7   

I have used this lens regularly for several months and I am well satisfied with it. For me, it has become a 'standard' or everyday/where lens. I have used it to cover weddings, for travel and family events. Its size means that it packs easily when I travel by aeroplane, nobody feels threatened by its presence and thus I can capture intimate moments without any fuss or concern. At a recent wedding, the groom [who works for a national news TV channel] commented to me in writing post wedding that my pics [all taken with this lens] were some of the best he had ever seen. Of course I don't know what he has seen but given his professional status I reckon he has some idea. At another wedding it was forbidden to take pics during the ceremony but I was able to capture moments quietly and without notice, something that was later much appreciated by the happy couple. Anyhow, you cannot please everyone but this lens pleases me a lot.

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 31, 2013 Not Recommended | Price: $546.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Small, HD coating, Circular aperture
Cons: No difference from the old one, Almost $200 over
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 4    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5   

HD renewal wasn't good enough. It just add HD coating, circular aperture, and several detail change and that's it!!! PENTAX try to get more money from us which is $546 from $374. Sharpness? Same. I really disappointed about what Pentax did. If they renew DA* lenses, they will just add HD coating, little bit of design change, circular aperture, and done.
Add Review of HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Buy the HD Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:27 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]