Expecting SLRGear.com? We’re moving our lens reviews to Imaging Resource! Read about it here.

Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited SMC DA

 
Lens Reviews / Pentax Lenses i Not yet tested

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited SMC DA
35mm $523
average price
image of Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited SMC DA

(From Pentax lens literature) Pentax expands its Limited lens series with the smc Pentax DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited (focal length equivalent to 52.5mm in the 35mm format). This compact lens with one-to-one magnification in a normal focal length features high-grade aluminum construction of the lens barrel, hood, and cap.

Key Features:

  • Compact lens with one-to-one magnification in a normal focal length
  • High-grade aluminum construction of the lens barrel, hood, and cap
  • Quick-shift Focus System for instant switching from auto focus to manual focus
  • Pentax SP coating protects the exposed lens elements
  • Developed specifically for Pentax digital SLRs
  • Focal length equivalent to 52.5mm in the 35mm format

Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited SMC DA User Reviews

9.8/10 average of 4 reviews Build Quality 9.8/10 Image Quality 10.0/10
Write your own review! link will open to SLRgear.com
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (6 reviews)
    Sharp, nice build, compact, excellent optics
    AF prone to hunting

    Solid design, optically excellent - little distortion, no CA to speak of, very sharp even wide open, no flare. Colour rendering is excellent, as is contrast. Bokeh is OK, can end up a bit 'busy' with some shots when wide opened. Mechanically it is a good design with a built-in retractable sliding hood and a recessed front element.

    35mm is a nice focal length on APS-C and I've found that I tend to use this lens more and more, not just for macro shots. f2.8 is not all that fast though.

    The AF can hunt - it is a long way between the end stops and it takes time to spin if AF misses the first time. Assembly quality and QA could be better - on mine one of the iris blades sometimes slightly sticks.

    At 35mm you have to get in really close for macro shots - not much use for things that can crawl or fly away !

    If you are thinking of splashing out on a DA prime, get this one - it will grow on you. But do not lose that expensive metal lens cap !

    Some of my shots taken with this lens are here :
    http://flic.kr/s/aHsjwHnZse

    reviewed January 30th, 2014 (purchased for $500)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    small, light weight, metal construction, full time manual focusing, true 1:1 Macro, built-in hood, 49mm filter size
    none really, maybe the bokeh in some shots - maybe

    Might be my most used lense in my bag, and I have the three amigos (31ltd, 43ltd, 77ltd). I jokingly call this lense my 4th Amigo.

    I bought this lense for it's macro capability. Anyone doing so needs to remember to get 1:1 you are going to be just 1-2" from the front element. That can be an issue if you need to light the subject. While there is a lot of room to crop thanks to the resolving power of this lense, if you want to light your subject at 1:1 distance I would consider the D-FA 100/2.8 WR which sells for a hundred bucks more give or take. I decided to grab both as I really like the versatility of the 35ltd as a walk around lense even a street lense as well.

    Being a macro the AF is never going to be speedy. If you need faster AF look at the older FA35/2 sibling which can often be found as new old stock. MF'ing can also take some getting used to because of the long travel of the focus ring. Again that is due to the lense being a macro. Macro lenses have to cover a lot of AF range that standard lenses do not.

    As a walk around or general use lense I don't there you can do a lot better at any price. It just a very consistent and solid performer.

    I use mine a lot for product and tabletop shooting but did find it being somewhat problematic for shooting items I need to get very close to in order to fill the frame to a reasonable degree. But that is due to the focal length and is not a short coming of the lense. Just had not thought about it when I bought my first copy.

    Over all I find no real weak areas for this lense when using it. Then again I don't put a lot of stock into lab numbers for a lense. I want a lense for pictures not for running tests.

    Oh, yeah, about CA and bokeh. I have yet to run into anything but very minor CA and then only when using a flash on a metal piece of jewelry. Bokeh might be the lenses only marginal area. Even still it is not bad but can, at times, be a bit 'nervous' given a 'busier' background. It's not as smooth as say the FA 77mm/2.8 Limited but is still very acceptable. Here are a couple examples shoot at not quite 1:1 distance:

    http://www.brecklundin.com/Lenses-Gear-and-Setups/Pentax/Pentax-DA-35mm-f28-Macro/PentaxDA35mmLimitedhiiso/590462831_dD3Gf-L.jpg

    http://www.brecklundin.com/Lenses-Gear-and-Setups/Pentax/Pentax-DA-35mm-f28-Macro/k20dlenstests35mm-20090704-2/581608892_WywZM-L.jpg

    http://www.brecklundin.com/Lenses-Gear-and-Setups/Pentax/Pentax-DA-35mm-f28-Macro/k20dlenstests35mm-20090704-1/581608065_f6wpm-L.jpg

    http://www.brecklundin.com/Lenses-Gear-and-Setups/Pentax/Pentax-DA-35mm-f28-Macro/k20DDA35mmlimitedtest-20090629/577926360_CfamW-L-1.jpg

    A bit more nervous bokeh
    http://www.brecklundin.com/Jewelry/Antique/14kt-Amethyst-Cocktail-Ring/amethystbracelet01-4/955540006_XAJx3-L.jpg

    You can see the bokeh in the last shot is not as smooth as the previous shots. It can be distracting for some shots. Just the way it goes with this lense.

    reviewed April 29th, 2011 (purchased for $569)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    Its a very small lens, pull out len cover, witch you can adjust to your needs.
    almost to small.

    I have bought a number of prim and limted len's from Pentax, all have been of high quality and construction, the best part is the picture quality,and extreme sharpness of the pictrues, not just sharp but stand there and look at all the detail sharp,sharp. you won't go wrong buying this lens if sharpness is what you are looking for in a Macro lens.

    reviewed July 18th, 2010 (purchased for $699)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    close focus, color rendering on K-7 & K20D, field of view, speed, self storing lens hood, compact size
    easy to lose lens cap

    Great walk-around lens.

    reviewed August 18th, 2009 (purchased for $325)