Pentax has quite a reputation regarding street photography thanks to their extensive Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 lens lineup which covers the range from moderate wide-angles to moderate tele. These lenses aren’t exactly cheap but ultra compact and high quality items. The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 is one of these lenses. Looking at its shape it is quite obvious why it is called a pancake lens – it is as flat. Just like most current Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 lenses it is a DA lenses with a reduced image circle dedicated to the APS-C format. Its field-of-view is equivalent to 60mm on full format cameras.
The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 VS Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L
The Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L is a lot more different with Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 when it comes to body built. But for capturing quality images, they are the same in terms of this field. Fortunately Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 was at least sane enough to keep the price level to a relatively moderate degree. Thanks to the extensive use of metal rather than plastics the build quality of the lens is excellent. The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 focus control ring of the tiny lens seems to be made for elfs but then there’s simply not enough space for anything bigger. On the other hand, Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L is a perfect lens that can lessen the flaring and you can actually achieve photos with natural colors and good contrast. Chances of distortions and aberrations are very small because Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L has such great capacity. To attain the extended zoom range, Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L has 1 high-precision molded glass aspherical lens together with 2 replica aspherical lenses. Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L is quite similar as with Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L but there is a difference in terms of their focal ratio. The EF 16-35mm with a constant f2.8 aperture is a whole stop brighter than the Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L, but that extra stop is expensive. Aside from the fact that Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L is cheaper than EF 16-35mm, EF 16-35mm is also heavier. Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L can focus fast and easily, without any noise and accurately. The zoom rings are very smooth and comes in a very nice size.This lens can be used an any range starting from ultra wide to almost standard focal lengths and consists most well-known wide angle classics like 20, 24, 28, and 35mm. Experience this amazing features of Canon EF 17-40mm f 4L here.
Typical for most Pentax lenses the Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. Consequently AF operations generate a moderate degree of noise. The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 AF speed is very fast on the K10D – finally the focus group is about as light-weight as it gets. The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 focus accuracy was excellent. This unique pancake-style standard lens measures just over a half inch in length and weighs just 3.17 ounces. Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 offers incredible sharpness and image quality, this lens is ideal for even the most discerning photographer who demands top performance in an ultra-compact package. Click here now for more of Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 great features.
Here is a summary of Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 review from a satisfied customer:
Great walk around lens
After using the old Pentax-M 40mm pancake for a while, I decided to get this DA Limited version. 40mm on a Pentax dSLR is a great focal length for portraits and for regular walk-around use. The 1.5x multiplier of Pentax dSLRs makes the focal length work out to the equivalent of 60mm on a 35mm film camera. The f/2.8 aperture is nice and fast, especially if you’re coming from the kit lenses. It’s fast enough to take pictures indoors (shake reduction doesn’t hurt either) and creates a pretty narrow depth of field for portraits. The super compact size makes my K100D feel very light and easy to carry around. It’s perfect for outings where you’ll end up taking pictures of people and close objects.
The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 ultra-compact “pancake” design weighs just 3.2 ounces and is just over a half inch in length. The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 original Quick-Shift Focus System allows instant switching from autofocus to manual focus operation. The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 focal length is equivalent to 60mm in the 35mm format. The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 offers exceptional high-contrast, high-resolution optics with minimal aberrations. The enclosed lens hood minimizes flare and ghost images. Developed specifically for PENTAX digital SLR cameras. Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 has an equivalent of 61mm – offers a perspective similar to the naked eye. Designed specifically for digital photography, it is not backwards compatible and therefore cannot be used on conventional 35mm Pentax cameras. With an ultra-thin design and a closest focusing distance of 40 cm, this lens makes the istDS look more like a “supersized” compact than a full grown SLR. Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 nine-blade diaphragm assures true to life reproduction of out of focus areas and you can use regular 49mm filters on the lens or 30,5mm filters on the combined lens cap/hood.
The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 has the following features and specifications:
- For Pentax Digital Cameras
- Compact Pancake-Style – 0.6″ / 15mm Long
- Minimum Focus Distance – 15.7″ /40 cm
- Super Protect / SP Lens Coating
- Filter Size – 49mm
- Pentax KAF Lens Mount
- Equivalent to 60mm Lens in 35mm Format
- Quick Switching from Manual to Autofocus
The Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 has the following Pros and cons:
- Decent resolution starting at f/5.6.
- Well-corrected distortion.
- Vignetting “correct” for this kind of lens.
- Invisible or barely-visible chromatic aberrations.
- Remarkable compactness.
- Very light-weight.
- The resolution at f/4 and f/2.8 is quite disappointing
- Lack of brightness
- Non Versatile
The lens cap on the Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 lens combines both in a very clever design. Simply unscrewing the centre from the lenscap transforms it into a lenshood to protect the lens from stray light causing flare. Build quality is excellent with no play in the focusing ring and a nice smooth feel when using it. Just like the zoom lens supplied with the istDS, this new Pentax DA 40mm F2.8 lens has the Quick Shift Focusing system which makes it easy to override the auto focus by simply turning the focusing ring by hand. Click here now to experience this exciting features of Pentax DA 40mm F2.8.