Pentax DA 40mm and 70mm Limited lens review, tested with Pentax K10D


The following images were taken with the Pentax DA 40 and 70mm Limited Edition lenses, using the Pentax K10D. Unless otherwise stated, each image was recorded using the K10D’s JPEG 10M *** mode and sRGB colour space, with Auto White Balance, Multi Segment metering, Natural Image Tone, and Sharpness, Contrast and Saturation set to their zero positions. The individual file size, exposure mode, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and lens details are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized full images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Portrait: 2.01MB, Aperture Priority, 1/1500, f2.8, ISO 100, 40mm (equivalent to 60mm)

  With an equivalent focal length of 60mm and maximum aperture of f2.8, the 40mm Limited Edition lens makes a good option for close-range portraiture.

This shot was taken wide open at f2.8 and while not as sharp as the 70mm result below, it’s still respectable and the background thrown nicely out of focus. At f2.8 even the shirt sleeve is beyond the depth-of-field.


Landscape: 3.68MB, Program, 1/500, f8, ISO 200, 40mm (equivalent to 60mm)

    Switching to a landscape shot taken at f8, the 40mm delivers a good, but not exceptional result.

This tallies with our other outside results with this particular lens which weren’t as sharp as we’d hoped. Again, it’s not bad, but the 70mm Limited Edition appears to out-perform it – see below.


Portrait: 2.03MB, Aperture Priority, 1/2000, f2.4, ISO 100, 70mm (equivalent to 105mm)

  The 70mm Limited Edition lens is ideally suited to portraiture with an equivalent focal length of 105mm and bright focal ratio of f2.4.

Here it’s wide open at f2.4 and the background is considerably more blurred than the 40mm result above. The crops also reveal it to be sharper too, although beware there can be some coloured fringing even in the middle of the frame when wide open – see third crop.


Landscape: 2.93MB, Program, 1/400, f8, ISO 200, 70mm (equivalent to 105mm)

  Turn the 70mm Limited Edition to landscape subjects and it can deliver tighter compositions packed with detail.

The crops taken from left, centre and upper right areas are all sharp and detailed with no undesirable artefacts to speak of at f8.


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