Thursday, 29 August 2013

HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited first thoughts (needs to be better)

Pentax/Ricoh have updated one of their lenses. The new lens is called HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited and it replaces the smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited. The lens construction is still the same, but they have made some optimizations to the lens, so the output from the lens should be better.

HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited
I don't know any photographers that don't love a great bokeh effect on their pictures. So it is great to see that Pentax/Ricoh have work hard to improve this effect in this lens. This is really important in macro pictures as you would like your subject to be sharp and the rest have a nice creamy background.

The HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited lens has a new HD coating that should mean less flare and ghost images than the smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited lens. A lot of companies are adding different kind of coating to their premium lenses, which has shown that it makes a difference in the output of the images.

The existing smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited lens have an average rating of 67%, so it is really that great a lens, so one can hope that the HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited will have a better average rating at Pentax Index.

Here is a comparison of the two lenses based on specification:



smc DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited
HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited
Focal Length 21mm 21mm
Equivalent to 35mm format 31.5mm 32mm
Maximum aperture f/3.2 F3.2
Minimum aperture f/22 F22
Angle of View 68 degrees 68°
Construction 8 elementa / 5 groups 8 elements in 5 groups
Focusing Range 0.2m - infinity 0.2m (0.7ft)
Magnification approx. 1:5.9 (0.17x) 0.17x
Filter size 49mm 43mm or 49mm
Mount Pentax KAF - Bayonet KAF
Weight 140g 134 g (with hood 146 g)
Dimensions (Length x Diameter) 25mm x 63mm 63mm x 25mm (2.5 inch x 1.0 inch)
Kit Content Front cap
Rear cap
Lenshood
Soft case
Lens hood: MH-RBB43
Lens cap: Exclusive Cap
Lens case: Exclusive Case
Special Features Quick-shift focusing system
Dirt resistant SP coating on front lens element
HD Coating
Rounded aperture (F3.2 to F4)
Quick-shift Focus System
SP (Super Protect) Coating
Number of Diaphragm Blades
7

The price difference between the 2 lenses is $50, and with that little difference I would go for the new lens.

Follow the HD PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited at Pentax Index.

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