Pentax SMC-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Sample Images

Here're some sample images KINDLY PROVIDED AND COPYRIGHT BY PATRICK PIHL taken with the K10D and RAW-converted via ACR 2.4 (and compressed with JPEG level 8).

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE (=several megabytes) which requires quite some bandwidth for downloading so please don't waste the limited resources here.

Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 21.0mm
Exposure Data: f/3.2 @ 1/200s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 21.0mm
Exposure Data: f/4.5 @ 1/30s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 21.0mm
Exposure Data: f/5.6 @ 1/250s
Size 3872x2592
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 21.0mm
Exposure Data: f/8.0 @ 1/250s
Size 3872x2592

Verdict

The Pentax SMC-DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited is a very good lens but it is not as special as its longer cousins (specifically the Pentax FA 31mm f/1.8 Limited) nor is this really possible because of the increasing design problems when pushing things towards wide and ultra-wide angles. The center performance is exceptionally high whereas the borders require f/5.6 to achieve very good levels. The amount of barrel distortions and vignetting are Ok but nothing to rave about for a new fix-focal lens. CAs are quite well controlled. The coolest aspects of the lens are naturally the extremely small size, the very low weight and a relatively moderate price tag of around 450€/US$. Combined with the "longer" pancakes lenses, the DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited and DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited, you'd have a complete yet very unobtrusive fix-focal lens setup for street photography.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
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