Pentax 35mm HD Limited Macro Lens Review: a high performance optic with classic styling


posted Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 10:41 AM EST


Over at SLRgear, we continue our reviews of Pentax's updated HD Limited series, now with the Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited HD DA review. As with the recently reviewed Pentax 70mm f/2.4 Limited DA HD, the "HD" version of the Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited HD DA gets a modern update with Pentax's new High Definition coating, which aims to allow a higher light transmittance and more clarity, plus a slight facelift with a fancy red ring (as opposed to a green one).

Lens construction remains largely unchanged with a solid all-metal build with 9 elements in 8 groups and a slightly updated 9-bladed aperture diaphragm that's now also rounded. All this is designed into a very compact size with a cool, retro-esque look that's reminiscent of an old film SLR lens.

In terms of test results, the new Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited HD DA performs admirably with very good sharpness with well-controlled distortion and vignetting -- though there is a bit of CA, especially in the corners. Of course, the big upgrade is the new High Definition (HD) coating, which as advertised does its job to minimize flare and boost contrast and saturation. The autofocus system also performed decently, though not as fast at the 70mm HD Limited we reviewed earlier, however, and the old-style screw-drive AF motor is a bit on the noisy side.

Jump on over to SLRgear to read our full Pentax 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited HD DA lens review to see our test results and read our current verdict, which are based on RAW file output.

This updated compact macro lens is currently available in a black or silver finish and ships with a built-in metal pull-out lens hood, metal push-on lens cap, rear cap and soft case for a street price of around $746.95: Adorama: Black, Silver | Amazon: Black, Silver | B&H: Black, Silver. By purchasing this lens, or any other product, by clicking on one of our trusted affiliates, you help keep these reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our senior lens technician Rob Murray. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

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