Pentax HD DA 40mm f2.8 Limited lens review: Compelling choice

By Kevin Carter - Thursday, January 02, 2014

Lens Review
Introduction | Pentax HD DA 40mm F2.8 Limited mounted on Pentax K-50 | Pentax HD DA 40mm F2.8 Limited versus competition | Conclusion
Pentax HD DA 40mm f2.8 Limited lens review: Compelling choice

The Pentax 40mm f2.8 Limited is one of two pancake type lenses from the firm and although this model is just 15mm in length it’s actually the larger of the pair. Read on to find out how well this refreshed HD version performs.

Pentax’s DA Limited range is highly respected for both build and image quality – they’re also known for their unique ‘drawing style’ or image rendering, making them one of the most compelling series of lenses ever made specifically for APS-C cameras. With an overall length of just 0.6” (15.4mm) this pancake-style model is one of the smallest in the range, though the firm introduced an XS version based on the same optical construction as this lens, which is no thicker than a lens cap. This HD version is a refresh of the earlier smc model and includes a new rounded diaphragm opening and improved coatings. In all other respects it's the same with a high-grade aluminum outer and an optical construction of 5 elements in 4 groups. Although there’s no room for a built-in AF motor it has autofocus using a screw-drive style mechanism with the actuator based in the camera-body. This tiny model focuses down to 15.7-inches (40cm), adopts a 49mm filter thread and weighs just 3.1 oz (88g). It’s available now at $549.

Pentax HD DA 40mm F2.8 Limited mounted on Pentax K-50

Pentax HD DA 40mm F2.8 Limited versus competition

Conclusion