HD PENTAX-DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited Lens Review

HD PENTAX-DA 35mm f/2.8 Macro Limited Handling and Features

HD Pentax DA 35mm Macro Limited (6)

Build quality is excellent, as is the case with other lenses in the Pentax Limited range, although this isn't a heavy lens, weighing only 215g due to the use of aluminium in its construction. For a lens providing life size magnification at its closest focus distance, it is very compact, being only 46.5mm long. The lens balances well with the Pentax K-5 IIs body used for testing, and it will feel just as good when used with compact Pentax K-mount camera bodies also.

Focusing isn't performed internally, with the lens barrel extending by around an inch at the closest marked focusing distance. Thankfully, the filter ring does not rotate, which makes it perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. The 49mm filter thread size is standard for Pentax, which should make it easy to find accessories and filters to fit.

HD Pentax DA 35mm Macro Limited (8)

The manual focusing ring rotates during auto-focus, so some care may need to be taken to avoid it catching your fingers during autofocus. Important for a macro lens, manual focusing action is smooth and well damped, which makes it a joy to apply manual adjustments. A hyperfocal scale is marked on the lens barrel, which is of limited use as it only has marking for f/11 and f/22 and these are quite close together. The Pentax 'Quick Shift' focusing system has been implemented on this lens, which means manual adjustments can be applied once autofocus is complete.

Auto focus is screw-driven, although it still manages to lock onto subjects at normal distances very quickly. The older screw-driven system does generate more noise than newer silent focusing lenses do. There is no focus range limiter to prevent the lens from hunting through the entire focus range when it struggles to obtain a lock.

The minimum focus distance of 13.9cm means that the working distance provided is limited when compared to macro lenses of a longer focal length. This can make it difficult not to shade your subject when shooting.

HD Pentax DA 35mm Macro Limited (5)

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