Pentax 40mm f/2.8 Limited Review

by Enche Tjin on December 20, 2008

Pentax 40mm f/2.8 limited is an exotic lens which can produce a really nice image quality even wide open at f/2.8. Physically, it is very small and thin even with the lens hood attached. (When you buy this lens you will get the lens hood and also nice small leather pouch). It can focus pretty close 30cm to infinity. When you focus in, the lens will rotate and protrude around 1/2 inch. At around 165g, this lens is very light, basically you’ll feel like you are only carrying a camera without lens, which is good for portability.

pentax 40mmThis lens is capable to produce very good quality image with nice background blur at f/2.8. It is also very sharp that it can capture speckles of dust. The focal length is equivalent to 60mm which is considered a standard lens.

Being a standard lens, there are many things you can do with the lens, portrait, still life, general travel are some of the application. But for indoor, wide landscape or architecture shots, this lens is not wide enough.

Tried with Pentax k100D, the lens focuses accurately but not as quickly as lens with SDM (Supersonic Drive Motor) or other lens-based motor. It takes almost 1 second for the lens to focus. It also create a some noise in the process. So this lens with Pentax k100d is not ideal for action or candid shots. For general photography such as still life, travel, portrait, the lens will do very fine.

Build Quality
The built quality is also impressive, it is all metal construction, no plastic or rubber. Due to the size of the lens, the focusing barrel is quite small, but it is very smooth and easy to work with.

The other not so good about the lens is the lens cap. It is screw cap, means that you need to screw out the cap by hand. It takes me at least 5-10 seconds. the lens cap is very small and if you’re not careful, you could lose it.

Overall this lens deliver a very impressive image quality, detail and sharpness with reasonable price. I will highly recommend this lens.

Other alternative will be Pentax 50mm f/1.4 which is slightly bigger, longer, sand cheaper but 2 stop faster. Also consider Pentax 70mm f/2.4 Limited pan cake lens which is ideal for portrait.

Image Quality : Excellent 5/5
Build Quality : Very Good 4/5
Price value: 5/5

Travel and general purpose : **
Landscape : **
Portrait/Still Life : ***
Candid/Photojournalism : ***
Sports: -

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