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Pentax SMCP-DA 14mm f/2.8 ED (IF) 35mm Primes
The PENTAX smc P-DA 14mm F2.8 ED (IF) is designed to be used with fully automated cameras. It incorporates a high-refraction extra low dispersion (ED) glass element to produce a high-resolution, high-contrast image with true-to-life color rendition, and features an internal focus system to make focusing smoother and faster.
Submitted by sjwaldron a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2010
Strengths: What I like:
- Seriously excellent at limiting chromatic aberration.
- Seriously excellent sharpness, especially at MTF.
- Quick-shift focusing ability without having the focus ring turn when AF is happening.
- 14mm on APS-C is a nice focal length
- Close focus ability
- Use as a Rectilinear wide angle landscape lens is top notch.
- A nice large f2.8 aperture that produces sharp images on my K-7 from f2.8 onward, however with visible vignetting comparing f2.8 to say f5.6 that I have noticed with limited testing so far.
- Produces “star burst” style light sources.
- Solid all metal barrel construction.
- The bokeh in general is pleasing to my eyes around 80% of the time.
Weaknesses: What I don’t like:
- APS-C only lens.
- Extreme edges are un-sharp with visible distortion on my lens, but I’ll admit I like the effect in some images.
- The manual focus ring is “grainy” in feel with a considerable amount of friction when turning.
- It’s a lot larger than Pentax’s newer DA 15mm F4 Limited lens.
- Lens flare without the hood isn’t difficult to produce.
- The 6 flat aperture blades can produce quite visible hexagon shaped bokeh bright spots at times.
- Not specifically designed to be WR (weather resistant), so it could use an engineering refresh from Pentax.
I have photos and more info on my blog article I wrote about the lens: http://photographybanzai.com/2010/11/03/lens-review-pentax-da-14mm-f2-8/
Overall I’m happy with this purchase, but also keep in mind I paid less than half what the current going price online is at. Before having a chance to pick it up, the lens was never on my radar as I have a 10-17mm fisheye and felt I didn’t need another wide angle. In retrospect, having a rectilinear wide angle is very very nice as I can produce quite different scenes compared to the fisheye lens at say 17mm where distortion is at the lowest point. Overall I’m extremely happy I bought the lens as it’s a great fit for many of the subjects I like photographing such as landscape and architectural. I would still seriously consider the lens at full retail price, but I would be on the fence for a while as it has a few drawbacks.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $300.00
Purchased At: Locally used
Similar Products Used: Pentax DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED
Type of photography: Outdoor
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