Pentax SMC DA 35mm f/2.4 AL - Review / Lens Test
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2011

Special thanks to Joachim Seidler for providing the lens for testing!

Introduction

Pentax prime lenses have a fabulous reputation but especially their "Limited" series is more on the pricey side of life. There was e.g. no entry level 50mm lens which serves often as an entry path to the world of primes for interested beginners. Obviously Pentax also recognized this 'missing link' by introducing the Pentax SMC-DA 35mm f/2.4 AL. The max. aperture of f/2.4 is a bit unusual but in terms of field of view it resembles a classic 52mm standard lens. This is a similar approach like Sony's 35mm f/1.8 SAM DT for instance.

In order to be able to offer the lens at a competitive price Pentax had to take some compromises naturally - the lens body is completely made of plastic down to the lens mount but there's nothing wrong with this anyway. The lens is compact and very light-weight so a plastic mount is just fine here. The parts are tightly assembled and the small focus ring operates reasonbly smooth. The inner lens tube extends a bit when focusing towards closer distances. The front element of the lens features Pentax' "SP" fluoride coating which is meant to protect the element against dust, finger marks or smearing.

The Pentax DA lens relies on the legacy AF system driven by the camera's AF screw. This may be disappointing for some but the Pentax SDM is simply a cost factor. However, the optical system is very small and light-weight so the AF remains very fast. Noise-wise the AF is, of course, more noticeable than SDM lenses. The AF accuracy of the tested sample was very good nonetheless.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length52.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3.6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 5 groups inc. 1x hybrid-aspherical element
Number of aperture blades6
min. focus distance0.39 m (max. magnification ratio 0.17x)
Dimensions45 x 63 mm
Weight124 g
Filter size49 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodoptional
Other featuresSP (super protect) front element



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