Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited lens review: Prime performance in a zoom

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited mounted on Pentax K-3: Good overall score | Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited vs. Pentax HD DA 21mm f3.2 AL vs. Pentax HD DA 40mm f2.8 Limited mounted on Pentax K-3: Competitive IQ | Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited mounted on Pentax K-3 versus competition | Conclusion
Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited lens review: Prime performance in a zoom

When Pentax announced the revised HD Limited primes, the firm also revealed the first HD Limited zoom. Read on to find out how this exciting new addition to the range performs. 

While other firms continue to update existing full-frame lenses for use with their APS-C format cameras, Pentax has concentrated on dedicated lenses for their crop-cameras. The result is one of the widest range of lenses of this type available. The line up consists of several series but the DA Limited models are highly regarded for their mechanical construction, high-grade optics and small size.

The new HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED is the first zoom in the range from the new owner of the Pentax brand – Ricoh.  It’s the equivalent to a 31 to 62mm and the variable f2.8-4 maximum aperture allows both shooting in available light while maintaining a relatively small form-factor. It measures just 2.72 x 2.8 in (69 x 71mm) and weighs a featherweight 9.98 oz (283g).

This new model features a weather-sealed and machined aluminum outer and has 9 elements in 8 groups using both ED and super-ED glass in its construction. Minimum focus is just 11.02 in (28cm) while Super Protect (SP) and HD lens coatings repel dust, water and greasy fingerprints and reduce flare and ghosting respectively. The new lens is available in chrome or black finish for just less than a $1,000.

Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited mounted on Pentax K-3: Good overall score

Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited vs. Pentax HD DA 21mm f3.2 AL vs. Pentax HD DA 40mm f2.8 Limited mounted on Pentax K-3: Competitive IQ

Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f2.8-4 ED Limited mounted on Pentax K-3 versus competition

Conclusion