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SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS

Sharpness 
 9.3
Aberrations 
 8.1
Bokeh 
 9.1
Autofocus 
 9.4
Handling 
 9.1
Value 
 9.8
Reviews Views Date of last review
35 119,460 Sun July 31, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $163.84 9.17
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS

SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS
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SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS
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SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS
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Description:
The SMC Pentax DA 40mm XS is based on the optical design of the SMC Pentax DA 40mm Limited, but its exterior is designed by Marc Newson so as to match the design of the K-01 mirrorless camera. The lens will work with Pentax DSLRs as well as with the K-01.

It is smaller being only 9.2 mm thick. The aperture blades are rounded which produces a smooth bokeh. The front element has SP coating which repels dust, water and grease and which makes it easier to wipe the front element clean.

Price: $249 when purchased separately, $149 when purchased in a K-01 kit.

SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
5 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
27 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 39 ° / 33 °
Hood
None
Case
None
Lens Cap
Lens Front-cover 27
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
62.9 x 9.2 mm (2.5 x 0.36 in.)
Weight
52 g (1.8 oz.)
Production Years
2012 to Present
Pricing
$172 USD current price
$249 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:2.8 40mm XS
Product Code
22137

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS in-depth review!



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 35
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 493
Lens Review Date: July 31, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Optical quality, size, convenience
Cons: None

This lens is a gem. So light and compact, it makes small cameras like the MZ-10 almost pocketable. The focal length is nice both on APS-C and film, and the lens works fine on all film cameras from the A series onwards. It's worth using on them, too, since the focusing ring, while small, is pleasantly damped and f2.8 is easily bright enough to focus using a split image. The focus throw is very short (presumably to help it focus on the K-01 for which it was designed) but this isn't a problem in practice for manual focusing, and means the AF is very snappy.

Image quality is fantastic right from f2.8 - sharp and clear with great colours and nice bokeh, which remains pleasant when stopped down, thanks to the rounded blades.
I really feel like I can't recommend this lens enough - it's an absolute steal at current prices, even here in the UK where gear tends to be a bit more expensive. If you see one, grab it.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Posts: 254
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $95.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optics, size, design
Cons: rubber cap could be better, but who cares?
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used?: Used    Camera Used: K5IIs   

To say that Pentax and Marc Newson did a great job streamlining the DA 40mm limited would be an big understatement. I would even call the XS version a masterpiece and I'm not easily impressed. I was missing my long sold DA 40 when I remembered this lens. It seemed extremely affordable so I thought I would try it. It did not disappoint. This is an amazingly portable lens with sublime quality for it's size. So here it is, a relic of Pentax history, a solitary orphan in the XS catagory.The DA 40mm limited definitely has better build quality but I actually like this lens much better with it's curved aperture blades, lighter weight, and smaller size. This is a unique and very collectible lens. The rubber lens cap is not the best, but not utterly horrible. I've had no problem at all mounting this lens to the camera despite it's slightly tight fit. The hood issue is not a deal breaker. I took Nick Seibers excellent advice here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/182396-40mm...ns-hood-2.html Only I used a 37mm to 28mm stepdown ring and bought a cap. I also purchased a more conventional 37mm hood for more demanding studio work. Works extremely well. Score! What an amazing lens for such a low price.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 825

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size, sharpness, colors rendered, focal length
Cons: OEM cap
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K-30   

I love small lenses, and I love sharp rendering. This little beauty gives me both. Such a fun and convenient little lens! I like it better than the DA 50 f1.8, and I guess I'm more comfortable with the 40mm perspective than the 50mm for most stuff. (60mm vs 75mm FF equivalent)
The DA 40XS actually does a better job than the DA 35 f2.4 which I've used a lot. The DA 35 has been handy indoors. I don't miss the f2.4 to f2.8 jump, but even 35mm is a bit long for indoors, so I'm not sure how much I'll use the 40.
In my testing the lens is soft (but ok) at 2.8 but sharpens nicely by f4. It's best at f5.6-8 and still very good at f11.
I see what others mean about the lens cap that Pentax includes. It does seem like it would be easy to lose. I first tried using a 27mm to 49mm step up ring and then a standard 49mm snap on cap. It didn't work the greatest because there isn't a lot of thread to attach the ring securely, and it added unnecessary bulk to the lens. I then found that you can get a nice little 27mm snap on cap. (Search for "27mm snap on lens cap" at ebay. I got mine for $.71) Works great.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2013
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 112

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 3D pop!! - Color, Sharpness, Flare resistance, size
Cons: purple fringing at wide aperture, easy to fix
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K-01   

I've had this 40mm XS ever since I got my K-01 kit a couple years ago. I have a slew of lenses to play with and only recently did I pull this pancake out to put it to work again.

The only issue I have with it is some purple fringing on high contrast points or edges at wider apertures. But this is very easily fixable in post. I gave it a high aberrations rating because purple fringing is so minor and fixable. The kind of aberrations that really bug me are the smeary, coma types where the optical quality is truly visible and un-fixable. This lens does not suffer from those issues.

Lately I've been shooting a freind's Leica M3 and M6 with some classic Leica glass. There's something to those lenses that makes the in-focus subject really pop with a 3D realism. It's more than bokeh or shallow DOF. There is a contrast and sharpness factor that really brings out this dimensionality. I think that's what stands out to me as a Leica "look". So I've been playing with my collection of Pentax and Takumar M42 glass to see what I have here that does a nice job of that strong 3D rendering. Fortunately, lots of Pentax/Takumar lenses are pretty good at that thing. But what really struck me recently is this 40mm pancake. It really does do THAT thing I was after. It's really quite special honestly. This is a fantastic and absurdly affordable lens, but this 3D realism it brings is just very much a big standout for me. I'm sure the Limited does it just as well too.

So I kind of see my little K-01 kit with this 40mm XS pancake as my digital Leica at a fixed 60mm equivalent. And the XS is really fun on a DSLR too.
   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Storrs, Connecticut
Posts: 46

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tiny, sharp, downright cute and very useful
Cons: Stupid lens cap
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K--01   

It amazes me that this tiny lens can be so good. I should use it more but have been on a tear to find the perfect "fast 50" and mostly have ignored it. While deleting some lesser pix, I found these forgotten samples. I checked and sure enough it was this little devil that I've been ignoring--but no longer. Here are some pix I snapped quickly on a woods walk. It was getting dark and I had to push the lens to its maximum.







And lastly, here is my answer to the idiotic, expensive, original lens cap that always wants to come off and get lost. It's just a plastic lid. I sanded the inside to make a tight fit and it never comes off except when I want it to. Also, it protects the whole lens extremely well, is color coordinated and cost nothing.

   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Buddina
Posts: 67
Lens Review Date: September 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, size, reasonably fast
Cons: Size, fiddly cap, focus, especially in low light
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used?: Used    Camera Used: K50 K01   


1/15 sec 2.8 iso 1600

Bought this secondhand, and in mint condition, to pair with a K 01, which I'd acquired fairly cheaply. I like it. Never used a pancake lens before so the whole experience was quite novel. Focusing can be poor at times, especially in the absence of good light, and focusing on the K 01 can be problematic due to the very nature of the auto focus system, comparative to a DSLR which has no problems, or significantly less with aquiring the subject.
That said, manual focusing is quite easy, coupled with focus peaking more or less negates any issues I have found with this lens.
Still mastering the joy of mirror less, but so far I am very pleased with the results. 40mm is a focal length I like and the results with the K5 sensor seem comparable with results I have gotten with the K50.
Purchased a wee square 27mm hood from China and it looks well groovy on the camera!

Colour rendering and sharpness are good, landscapes stopped down to 5.6 or 8 seem quite sharp at the corners.

It's a fun wee lens and I will use it as a walkabout or travel lens when you don't want to be carrying 3kg on your shoulder.

Get one!
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 15, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K3   

After being on the fence about this little guy I finally picked one up. Great lens small, fast,and sharp! Primarily shooting in urban environments I find it keeps my K3 small light and unobtrusive.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: January 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Very small and light
Cons: Focus shift
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Handling: 5    Value: 8    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: Sony A7   

The SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS is a tiny lens, but a good performer nonetheless. At f/2.8, the center is already very sharp and constrasty. Stopping down to f/4 yields a significant improvement. By f/5.6, the center is essentially as sharp as it gets, and the corners are very usable.

Unfortunately, the lens suffers from a bit of focus shift (the plane of sharp focus moves when the lens is stopped down).

The handling is not as good as the DA 40 Limited, of course. The focus ring seems to have a bit of play, and is simply too small to use comfortably.

Recommended, if you can get it for the right price.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 302
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $134.99 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Speed, sharpness, size
Cons: Size, no aperture ring, filter size
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K-3   

I have had this lens for only a short while but am enjoying it very much. The focal length is nice for general photography and even portraits, being the 35mm equivalent of 60mm. I do a good deal of outdoor/garden photography and it just "fits". The image quality so far is quite good, just as you would expect from Pentax. The CA deficiencies are most probably due to the extremely compact design. I also agree that (sometimes) it seems much to small mounting it to the camera.
People have complained about the filter size of 27mm, but I have not had much trouble finding a hood as well as UV and CPL filters on ebay. Hoya makes a nice filter set with pouch in 27mm. Look also at filters for video as 27mm is the filter size for many video cameras. I also found a 27-52 step-up ring. Some vintage filters are also around since the Zeiss Ikon cameras used 27mm.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: color,amazing sharpness
Cons: maybe not negative aspect for another people,but it is too small
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used?: Used    Camera Used: K10D   

IMGP1740 by panminyu819, on Flickr

The lens is too small,then you using the lens,the camera looks like not take lens,so it is very funny.
photo that be taken by the lens have very clear color and amazing sharpness.

check the photo by yourself.
anyway,it is a great lens!
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K -01   

I bought a lenshood in China. I live in Holland and then it is cheaper to order it there than in de USA. No shipping costs. The model is a DV-S HOOD 27MM Original disigned for a film camera it works very good. Its also sold in de USA http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-Screw-Digital-Camera-Camcorder/dp/B00BAYL18U
   
Emperor and Senpai

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Nashville, IN
Posts: 5,113

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, takes almost no space, small
Cons: Noisy af, almost too small.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K-01   

I got mine as part of the k-01 kit and was pleasantly surprised at the sharpness. It's so small it takes almost no extra room in the camera bag, so it always goes in. The only gripes are it is so small it is almost hard to remove from the camera and it has loud autofocus. Definitely a keeper for me though.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Inverigo, Italy
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: July 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: tiny,light,fine color rendition,respectably fast and sharp
Cons: some CA ... no hood design
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K-01   

certainly a good lens ( barely bigger than a body cap ... so unobtrusive you can live it on camera all the time ) ... a perfect companion for street shooting with the pentax K-01, having used it for about six months, for me, the only real annoyance is the lack of an adeguate hood by design ... a tendency to purple fringing ( easily correctible in software ) in certain conditions, produces images with really fine color tones ... a lens with its limitations ( as all lenses ) but a fine little lens.
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Cirebon
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: July 6, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Size (Thinest), Light, Fast AF, Sharp enogh wide open (but see cons)
Cons: Terrible CA when wide open, Lens cap
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K-01   

I love colors rendering, sharpness, portability (lightweight and thin), AF speed and convinience when using manual focus. Better using f/4 to avoid terrible CA.

I can recommend this lens if you got under 150 USD in excellent,mint and like new condition.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 48

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 12, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Size, weight, autofocus
Cons: CAs, not that sharp, build, close focusing distance
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used?: New    Camera Used: K-01   

I really, really want/wanted to like this lens. However, I find the level of CAs distractingly high. That, and the fact that sharpness is mediocre make for images that leave something to be desired... they just don't look crisp.

Today, for example, I snapped a few shots of Parliament Hill in Ottawa (Canada) and the 100% crop is so fuzzy and riddled with CA. (I'll try to upload it.) Granted, contrast was high as it was a bright day, but still - it was ISO 100, 1/800 shutter, and f/5.6, and held stably on a concrete ledge.



Overall, it's something worth having because with the K-01 it fits in my briefcase and I take it with me every day. There's a lot to be said for that, too. I wonder if the 40 mm limited is noticeably better.

EDIT: not sure if it's considered the same thing, but based on this and other photos it seems the problem is purple fringing. It's horrid. I know one can selectively eliminate the purple from photos in, e.g., Photoshop, but that's annoying.
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