DA 20-40 Puzzle

Started May 29, 2014 | Discussions thread
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DA 20-40 Puzzle
May 29, 2014

A few weeks ago I bought this lens which I find to be a joy to handle and use, but extremely disappointing in terms of its resolution at the sides of the image even when stopped down.

Of course I read all the reviews which I could find and there was a general feeling in these that the lens was too highly priced to represent good value.  Since its launch, however, there has been a price drop and currently there is a 10% instant rebate, so I felt that this criticism was no longer fully justified. The reviews also did not take into account that this is a product which appeals to users of Ltd lenses like me who appreciate their lightness and compactness as well as their IQ. (The new forthcoming Sigma 18-35 may well be a better lens but it is too heavy for me!). My intention was that I would save a lot of lens changing between the DA 21 and 35 Ltds and this was certainly so- but at the expense of the IQ which I was getting with the primes.

What I find puzzling is that most of the reviews report good sharpness across the frame from f5.6 ( one said from f4). One private reviewer said that he/she thought that there was considerable sample variation and I believe this to be the case.

My friendly Pentax dealer agreed that the softness of my copy was unacceptable and we tested my copy against 3 others which he had in the shop and all seemed to exhibit the same characteristics with the result that he refunded my money - (alas I succumbed to a used DA*300 so the visit increased my expenditure still further!).

I really loved the lens and was very disappointed to part with it. The puzzle to me is why I have read a lot of glowing reports from individual users who must have good copies- yet on the other hand there are clearly a lot of bad copies out there. I liked the lens so much that I am thinking of trying another one in the future in the hope that I shall find a better one, but I shall be sure to try it first.  I am particularly sad as in combination with the DA 15 and 70ltds it would complete a brilliant lightweight travel kit.

Would be interested to her of the experience of other users. Just to avoid any misunderstanding - I am not knocking Pentax!  I have used about 12 Pentax lenses in the past and never had an issue!

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Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited +9 more
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