Pentax HD DA 35mm f2.8 Macro Limited lens review: Discerning choice

By Kevin Carter - Friday December 20 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Pentax HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited Lens performance: Mid-range score | Pentax HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited vs Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited both mounted on Pentax K-50 | Pentax HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited versus competition | Conclusion
Pentax HD DA 35mm f2.8 Macro Limited lens review: Discerning choice

Pentax’s new owners have refreshed the brand’s Limited lens range adding a rounded diaphragm opening and new HD coatings for improved rendering, transmission and lower ghosting and flare. Read on to find out how well this upgraded model performs.

On an APS-C body this focal length is the equivalent to a 50mm normal lens, and a macro like this is often chosen to complement a high-speed short tele or fast moderate wide-angle. The reasoning is the flexibility. With a high-speed lens for low-light work, the standard or ‘normal’ macro is capable of close-ups one minute then quarter length portraits the next.

This particular DA Limited model is a revamp of the smc version, featuring a rounded diaphragm and new HD coatings. The coatings reduce ghosting and internal reflections from the sensor’s surface while also improving transmission and ‘clarity”, say Ricoh, the present owners of the Pentax brand. The current Limited models are highly regarded for their drawing style, and while highly subjective this is an important characteristic for photographers.

The new lens retains the high-grade sturdy aluminum outer and adopts 9 elements in 8 groups and achieves a 1:1 magnification with a rather close 5.47 inch (139mm) minimum focus distance. With a 49mm filter thread, an overall an length of 2.5-inches (63mm) and weighing 7.5 oz (214g) the new Pentax HD DA 35mm f2.8 Macro Limited is available now at $749.

Pentax HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited Lens performance: Mid-range score

Pentax HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited vs Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited both mounted on Pentax K-50

Pentax HD DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited versus competition

Conclusion