Brilliant if it was 28mm

Started Dec 4, 2013 | User reviews thread
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Isherwood New Member • Posts: 12
Brilliant if it was 28mm

This is slightly frustrating lens. It is pretty sharp & has classic Pentax saturation but what sets it apart is it's size. Even with a slim-line filter & the hood attached the camera slips into a small camcorder bag, plus it doesn't seem to intimidate & people usually don't mind when I take candid shots in public.

What frustrates is that it's just a bit too long to be a normal prime. It's optical design was takes from a film era 40mm, Pentax were too lazy/cheap to transform it for APS sensors. The digital equivalent would be 28mm, which would have made a perfect prime to keep on all day. Personally I get on very well with a longer lens but it means that photos concentrate on the subject with little background. Sometimes the context is also important.

The lack of any real focusing ring always slows me down when I need to nudge the focus but the real, unforgivable flaw is that after not that much use the thing started to rattle badly. It was out of warranty so I removed the mount & carefully tightened all the screws inside. Inside the metal shell I found quite a bit of polycarbonate. Compared to lenses made between 1955 & 1975 (what I think of as the golden age) it looks somewhat cheap. The lens coatings & optical designs have improved but the overall robustness has sadly declined, & this applies to all manufacturers.

 Isherwood's gear list:Isherwood's gear list
Pentax K-5 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 Limited +14 more
Pentax smc DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
Prime lens • Pentax KAF • 21550
Announced: Dec 15, 2004
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