How good is the DA 20-40 compared with DA 21 and 35 Ltds?

Started Apr 20, 2014 | Questions thread
klimbkat
klimbkat Senior Member • Posts: 2,254
Re: It is good

While I do not have either the 21 or the 35 ltd, I do have the the DA 15, FA 35 M40, FA 43, and DA 70. In my experience the DA 20-40 ltd compares very well with these, particularly the 15, 43, and 70. Like most of these lenses, it has its own character and quirks, but delivers very nice results. The DOF is thin and at wider apertures I believe there is some field curvature, particularly toward the wider end of the range which can lead to the impression that edge sharpness is not particularly good.  In my experience, at least with the shooting I do (not flat scenes wide open), this is not an issue.  While not macro, the close focus is very good, much like the DA 16-45.  Just looking at the numbers, DXO gives the 20-40 essentially equivalent results to the 21 and 35:

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Pentax-HD-DA-20-40mm-F28-4-ED-Limited-DC-WR-on-Pentax-K-3-versus-Pentax-HD-DA-21mm-F32-AL-Limited-on-Pentax-K5-versus-Pentax-HD-DA-35mm-F28-Macro-Limited-on-Pentax-K5___1262_914_1219_676_1220_676

I have had my copy since early December and it is now my default walkaround lens - light, WR, and great rendition.

Brick Walls

North Falls

Trusty Sack

Bleeding Hearts

Most of these originals are pretty big.  If you are looking for a light, WR, normal zoom with limited rendition, for me at least, the DA 20-40 ltd. works very well.  I pair it with the 15 and 70 for a small, flexible travel or walkaround kit.

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