Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 Limited macro - Review / Test Report
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2008

Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Wolfgang F.W. Paul!


The Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.8 macro is a new member of the prestigious "Limited" series - these lenses are assembled by hand thus resulting in a limited production volume. The DA 35mm f/2.8 is the first true macro lens carrying the Limited brand. Like many other recent Pentax lenses it is also available as a Tokina variant for Nikon and Canon DSLRs. Typical for most Pentax DA lenses it is a dedicated APS-C format lens with a field-of-view equivalent to about 53mm so it can be regarded as an APS-C version of a standard macro lens.

The build quality of the lens is superb thanks to tight tolerances and most parts made of metal. The focus ring operates very smooth and slightly damped. The lens extends significantly towards when focusing towards close focus distances - this is quite typical for macro lenses. The front element does not rotate. A SP (Super Protective) coating made of a special fluoride compound has been applied to the front element making it easier to clean and more resistant against water and fingerprints.

The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result AF operation will generate a moderate degree of noise but the AF is still very fast on the K10D. Thanks to a Quick-Shift mechanism you can focus manually without the need to switch to manual focus mode once the (Single-)AF has founds its focus position.

Equiv. focal length52.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements in 8 groups
Number of aperture blades9
min. focus distance0.139 m (max. magnification ratio 1:1)
Dimensions47 x 63 mm
Weight215 g
Filter size49 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel-shaped, telescope-style
Other featuresQuick Shift Focus System. SP-coating.

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