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6 Best Pentax Limited Lenses in 2024

Last updated: June 12, 2024 - 9 min read
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It’s fair to say that Pentax cameras are not the well-known force they once were. But they are still making new DSLRs, and the best Pentax Limited Lenses are known for their quality and performance. These lenses offer sharp images, durable construction, and unique features that stand out in the photography world.

Our guide dives into the 6 best Pentax Limited Lenses, showcasing their strengths and why they might be the perfect addition to your camera bag.

Our top pick is the HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited, which is celebrated for its exceptional sharpness and low-light performance. It’s a versatile lens that’s great for various photography styles. And if it’s not quite the right one for you, then we have looked at five other lenses for you to consider.

Our Top 3 Pentax Limited Lenses
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver

What Is the Best Pentax Limited Lens?

Selecting the best Pentax Limited lens involves considering sharpness, build quality, and versatility. The lenses chosen excel in professional photography, offering exceptional image quality and durability. Factors like low light performance, bokeh quality, and compact design were key in their ranking, ensuring a blend of practicality and artistic capability.

Our Top Pick
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
  • Exceptional low-light performance with F/1.8 aperture
  • Compact, durable all-metal construction
  • Superior sharpness and minimal chromatic aberration
  • Smooth, pleasing bokeh for portraits
  • Quick, accurate autofocus in most conditions
Best Wide-Angle Prime
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
  • Ideal for landscape and street photography
  • Weather-sealed design for outdoor durability
  • Fast, accurate autofocus with manual override
  • Minimizes aberrations for sharp, clear images
  • Compact and lightweight for easy portability
Best Compact Prime Lens
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
  • Perfect for street and environmental portraits
  • High-quality, durable metal construction
  • Compact and lightweight for everyday carry
  • Produces sharp images with minimal aberrations
  • Pleasing bokeh with 9 aperture blades
Best Portrait Prime Lens
smc Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited Silver
  • Ideal for flattering portrait photography
  • Compact design, easy for travel and daily use
  • Delivers sharp, clear images across the frame
  • Minimal chromatic aberration enhances image quality
  • Smooth bokeh perfect for subject isolation
Best Macro Prime Lens
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro Limited
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro Limited
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro Limited
  • True 1:1 macro capability for stunning close-ups
  • Exceptional sharpness and clarity across the frame
  • Durable, high-quality metal construction
  • Compact size ideal for macro and everyday photography
  • Weather-sealed design for reliable outdoor shooting
Best Versatile Zoom Lens
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F/2.8-4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F/2.8-4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F/2.8-4 ED DC WR Limited
  • Versatile zoom range for diverse photography needs
  • Weather-sealed for reliable outdoor shooting
  • Exceptional image quality with minimal aberrations
  • Compact and lightweight design enhances portability
  • Quick and silent autofocus system for discreet shooting
 

Our Favorite Pentax Limited Lenses

Let’s take a closer look at our favorite Pentax Limited lenses. We have considered wide angles to macros, and assessed the strengths (and any weaknesses) of all these lenses.

1. HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited

Our Top Pick
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
Brand
Brand
Pentax
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
341 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 1.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
31 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited is an unconventional lens, falling as it does between a 28mm and a 35mm. This is quite deliberate, and aims to offer a fresh perspective to its user.

Its wide F/1.8 aperture is perfect for low light conditions, allowing photographers to capture detailed images without a flash. The lens also produces beautiful bokeh, making it a good option for portraits where a blurred background is desired. However, it’s worth noting that at its widest aperture, some softness can appear in the corners of the image.

Although it is machined out of metal, and uses glass elements, it weighs just 12 ounces (345 g). Its all-metal construction ensures durability, though the lack of weather sealing means extra care is needed in bad weather.

The lens’ optical design, featuring high-grade elements, effectively minimizes chromatic aberrations, enhancing image quality further.

It’s a good-looking lens, with an almost retro-style feel—from the aperture ring to the depth-of-field scale. The HD(High Definition) coating contributes to the excellent optical performance. And the SP (Super Protect) coating helps to maintain that performance by repelling water and grease. This a great choice for a fast, sharp, everyday lens that will last.

 

2. HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited

Best Wide-Angle Prime
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
Brand
Brand
Pentax
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
416 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
21 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited lens is a great choice for those into landscape, architecture, and street photography. Its 21mm focal length captures wide scenes with ease.

The f/2.4 aperture helps in low light and creates soft backgrounds. This lens is tough, made of metal, and weather-sealed for shooting in rain or dust.

Sharp images are a given with this lens, thanks to its design that reduces aberrations. It’s light and small, making it easy to carry all day. The autofocus is quick in daylight but may slow down in darker places. For close-up shots, it can focus up to 7.1 inches away.

This lens doesn’t have image stabilization, but that’s less of an issue with Pentax cameras that have it built-in. It’s a good fit for full-frame cameras but also works with APS-C models, giving a 31.5mm view. This is a stylish, fast, and reliable, high-quality wide-angle lens.

 

3. smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver

Best Compact Prime Lens
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
Brand
Brand
Pentax
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
90 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
40 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver lens is a standout for its compact design and excellent build quality. Made of metal, it’s both durable and lightweight, making it a perfect companion for photographers on the move.

Its 40mm focal length is equivalent to 61mm on full frame (this is an APS-C-only lens) and offers a view similar to the human eye, ideal for street and everyday photography. However, its F/2.8 aperture, while good for many situations, isn’t the widest available for low light or ultra-shallow depth of field.

Optically, this lens impresses with sharp images and minimal aberrations. It handles chromatic aberration well, ensuring photos are clear and vibrant.

The bokeh is pleasing, thanks to its 9 aperture blades, enhancing portraits and close-up shots. It’s quick to focus in bright conditions, though it may slow in low light.

This lens doesn’t come with image stabilization, but that’s less of an issue for Pentax shooters with stabilized camera bodies.

It’s a great choice for those who prioritize image quality and portability over additional features like weather sealing. Its simplicity and performance make it very useful for a wide range of photography styles.

 

4. smc Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited Silver

Best Portrait Prime Lens
smc Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited Silver
Brand
Brand
Pentax
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
130 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.4
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
70 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The smc Pentax-DA 70mm F/2.4 Limited Silver lens is ideal for portrait photography, thanks to its 105mm equivalent focal length on APS-C sensors.

This focal length is perfect for flattering close-ups with a natural perspective. Its wide F/2.4 aperture allows for excellent low-light performance and creates beautiful, soft backgrounds that make subjects stand out. 

Built with high-quality metal, this lens is both sturdy and feels premium. Despite its solid construction, it remains light and compact, making it an easy choice for photographers on the go.

The lack of weather sealing is a downside, but its overall build quality means it can handle everyday use with ease.

Optically, the lens delivers sharp, clear images with minimal aberration, thanks to its well-designed optics. The bokeh is smooth, enhancing the lens’s appeal for portrait work.

Autofocus is reliable in bright conditions, though it may slow down in dimmer settings. The optical design deliberately delivers flattering soft edges at wide apertures, and sharpens up as you stop down.

Overall, this lens is a great fit for photographers looking for high-quality portraits and detailed shots without the bulk.

 

5. HD Pentax-DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro Limited

Best Macro Prime Lens
HD Pentax-DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro Limited
Brand
Brand
Pentax
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
214 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 2.8
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
35 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The HD Pentax-DA 35mm F/2.8 Macro Limited excels in delivering sharp, detailed images, a hallmark of the Pentax Limited series.

Its 35mm focal length is versatile, equivalent to 53.5mm on full frame. So it’s perfect for capturing everything from street scenes to intimate portraits even landscapes.

The wide F/2.8 aperture not only performs well in low light but also provides a shallow depth of field, ideal for isolating subjects and achieving beautiful bokeh in portraits and macro shots.

Constructed from durable metal, this lens is both compact and lightweight, making it an excellent choice for photographers on the move.

Its weather-sealing feature is a significant advantage, offering peace of mind when shooting in challenging outdoor conditions.

The lens’s optical design, featuring low dispersion elements, effectively minimizes chromatic aberrations, ensuring images are crisp and free from color fringing.

With a true macro capability of 1:1 magnification, this lens allows photographers to explore the tiny details of their subjects, bringing the unseen world to life. Although the focal lenght can make it tricky not to crowd your subject or get in your own light.

The quick and accurate autofocus is complemented by the ability to manually override for precise focusing. This lens is a fantastic tool for photographers who value exceptional image quality and versatility in a compact form.

 

6. HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F/2.8-4 ED DC WR Limited

Best Versatile Zoom Lens
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F/2.8-4 ED DC WR Limited
Brand
Brand
Pentax
Lens Weight
Lens Weight
283 g
Maximum Aperture
Maximum Aperture
f/ 4.0
Focal Length Range
Focal Length Range
20-40 mm
Image Stabilization
Image Stabilization
No

The HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F/2.8-4 ED DC WR Limited lens is notable for its unique zoom range, offering versatility from wide-angle to standard focal lengths.

This makes it an excellent choice for photographers who enjoy capturing a variety of subjects, from sweeping landscapes to detailed street scenes.

Its variable aperture, while not as wide as some prime lenses, still performs admirably in low-light conditions, providing flexibility without the need to swap lenses.

As with all Pentax Limited lenses, this lens impresses with its exceptional build quality. The added weather sealing is a boon for outdoor photographers, ensuring reliability in challenging conditions.

Optically, the lens delivers sharp, clear images, with minimal chromatic aberrations, thanks to its ED glass elements and HD coating. The autofocus is quick and precise, enhancing the shooting experience in dynamic environments.

Despite lacking built-in image stabilization, the lens benefits from the in-body stabilization found in many Pentax cameras, mitigating camera shake in lower light situations. Its lightweight design and robust construction make it a valuable tool for photographers who prioritize quality and versatility.

The HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F/2.8-4 ED DC WR Limited lens is a very useful addition to any photographer’s bag, especially those who value the ability to adapt to a wide range of shooting scenarios without compromising on image quality.

 

Conclusion: The Best Pentax Limited Lenses

Although they are not as well-known as many other brands, we can see that Pentax Limited Lenses offer some excellent choices, and superb quality. Each lens is designed to meet specific photography needs, from wide-angle landscapes to detailed macro shots, ensuring photographers have the right tool for any situation.

Our top choice, the HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited, is chosen for its exceptional sharpness and low-light performance. This lens stands out among the rest for its versatility and image quality. However, you have five other excellent lenses to consider, if this isn’t the one that meets your needs.

Our Top 3 Pentax Limited Lenses
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-FA 31mm F/1.8 Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
HD Pentax-D FA 21mm F/2.4 ED DC WR Limited
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver
smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited Silver