HD PENTAX-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited Lens Review

Pentax HD PENTAX-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited Handling and Features

HD Pentax DA 21mm F3 2 AL Limited Black (3)

Typical for lenses from the Pentax Limited range, build quality is excellent, although this lens isn't heavy, weighing around 134g. It's compact too, at only 2.5cm long. The lens makes a great travel combination with the Pentax K-5 IIs body used for testing, and it will feel right at home smaller Pentax K-mount cameras also.

Focusing is not performed internally, so the lens barrel extends by around five millimetres at the closest focusing distance. Even so, the filter ring does not rotate, which makes it perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. A compact rectangular shade clips into the 49mm filter thread, which keeps the overall size to a minimum, whilst still providing decent shade for the lens.

HD Pentax DA 21mm F3 2 AL Limited Black (8)

The manual focusing ring rotates during auto-focus, so care may need to be taken to it catching your fingers during autofocus. Manual focusing action is smooth and well damped, which makes applying fine adjustments a pleasure. A useful hyperfocal scale is marked on the lens barrel, which is handy. 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.

Auto focus is screw-driven, so it generates more noise than newer silent focusing lenses do. Even so, it locks onto subjects quickly and accurately.

The minimum focus distance of 20cm is great for shooting in claustrophobic situations. A maximum magnification of 0.17x is possible, which may not be best suited for frame filling close ups images of small subjects.

HD Pentax DA 21mm F3 2 AL Limited Black (4)

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