Pentax SMC DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited Pancake Lens Review

Pentax SMC DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Pancake Lens Handling and features

The slender lens body of this 40mm pancake lens is constructed from high quality plastics and protrudes just 15mm from the camera when focused to infinity. The lens only weighs 90g, but even so this is nearly 40g more than the newer XS lens. The quality of materials and workmanship is excellent, with this lens feeling much more solid than the XS lens. When fitted to the Pentax K-5 body used for testing, this lens makes quite a compact system, at least for an SLR.

Focusing isn't performed internally, which is par for the course with pancake lenses, but the filter thread does not rotate, making it perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. The 49mm filter thread size is standard for Pentax, so it shouldn't be too difficult to pick up accessories to fit. A thin manual focusing ring rotates during auto-focus, but it is adequately recessed to prevent it accidentally catching your fingers during operation. Manual focusing action is smooth, but not particularly well damped. A distance scale is provided, but no hyperfocal scale has been marked on the lens barrel, which is a shame. The Pentax 'Quick Shift' focusing system has been implemented on this lens, which means manual adjustments can be applied once the lens has focused automatically.

Although focusing is screw-driven, it locks onto subjects very quickly. The older screw-driven system does generate more noise than newer silent focusing lenses do though.

The minimum focus distance of 40cm is fairly typical for pancake lenses. A maximum magnification of 0.13x is possible, which may not be best suited for frame filling close ups images of small subjects.
Smc Pentax 40mm Limited

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