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Pentax DA 35mm f /2.8 Macro Review


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Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £330

Pentax has given its 35mm f2.8 Macro a Limited Edition designation, which indicates that it ought to be something a bit different. The lens has a distinctly old-fashioned feel: it has a proper depth-of-field window and an extended manual-focusing movement that carries the optics into close-focusing mode. For its size, the lens is fairly weighty but not uncomfortably so; there is a reassuring coldness to the lens, which indicates that plenty of metal has been used in its construction.

In a more modest lens the ‘macro’ specification might have been used somewhat liberally but the Pentax’s depth-of-field window also displays a reproduction-ratio scale that extends right down to 1:1, with a marked minimum object distance of just 13.9cm. As if this were not enough, the Pentax lens also returns some very impressive peak resolution results. The top figure, in the centre of the field, is an excellent 0.46 cycles/pixel at f5.6. Unfortunately there is a rather wide gap between the centre of the image field and the edges, and although stopping down narrows the gulf it never brings the two areas completely together. The centre area is always much better than the edges although the overall pattern of resolution results becomes consistent after f11.

Visually the image quality is very good and the lens is a pleasure to use.

Sample images


Whatever Pentax has done to create this Limited Edition lens, its efforts have been rewarded with a very high level of performance. It is true the maximum aperture is only f2.8 but in every other respect this is a real winner.

Trusted Score

Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Design 10
  • Image Quality 9
  • Features 10

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