Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited

Last updated (26 July’10):
– Review by Popphoto

The Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited features 21mm (equiv. 31.5mm) at focal length with maximum aperture of f/3.2. The lens construction has 8 elements in 5 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 68 degrees. Closest focusing distance at 7.92 inches (0.2m) and has a filter size of 43mm or 49mm. The Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited lens weighs 4.9 Ounces and it measures 2.5 inches in diameter and 1 inches long.

Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited Reviews

Popphoto reviews the Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited and writes;
“An excellent choice for composed or from-the-hip snapshooting, as well as landscapes and interiors, this lens’ true forte — due to its compact, carry-on proportions — is probably travel photography. It will easily fit in the smallest of camera bags. Also, with that tight close-focus distance and great magnifying power, it’s an unusually good choice for dramatic, wide-angle close-ups.”
rating: N/A

SLRLensreview reviews the Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited and writes;
“Rich, saturated colors, excellent center image resolution, low vignetting and excellent build quality – these are all obviously positives.. Also handling of flare can be better. “
rating: N/A

Photodo reviews the Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited and writes;
“Mechanically well engineered and giving good resolution results across the frame and aperture range, this lens makes a nice, but not exceptional wide angle addition to the kit with virtually no space or weight penalty.”
rating: N/A

Photozone reviews the Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited and writes;
“The center performance is exceptionally high whereas the borders require f/5.6 to achieve very good levels. The amount of barrel distortions and vignetting are Ok but nothing to rave about for a new fix-focal lens. CAs are quite well controlled..”
Rating: ★★★★☆

User Opinions

Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited User Reviews

moderate wide-angle — to go | Rating: ★★★★★
“Without getting into the optical qualities in detail, I can only say that I find the drawing and color properties pleasing. Focus is fast, and the build quality is excellent. Combined with the Pentax K10D, this is my sketchpad — the kit I carry when I don’t carry much. “ – by Ben Rosengart

Great Lens | Rating: ★★★★★
“The focal length is directly in the “sweet spot” for street photography, indoors, landscapes and even aerial photos. It focuses amazingly close for dramatic macro-like effects, and when you combine this with a small aperture you can get a very wide depth-of-field, as well. Overall, a very well-made “stealth” lens that is a versatile must-have!” – by Marion D. Philpott

AMAZING Lens! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I just bought this lens for my Pentax K10D and it is truly stellar. I love to shoot wide angle landscapes and this lens has such clarity and absolutely no flaws that I can find so far. I have not had to use denoising software on a picture I’ve taken with it yet. It is well worth the price you will pay for it, and I have no doubt that it will be the “prime” lens affixed to my camera most of the time. “ – by Cynthia Farr-weinfeld

great carry around lense | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is the perfect lense for walking around and grabbing shots. Easy small and the quality is great. If my main purpose isn’t to take pictures but I want to have my camera with me or if I am trying to be more inconspicuous it’s the one to have.” – by Philip Morgan

Great walkaround lens! | Rating: ★★★★★
“Lens is extremely light and of highest build quality and has an equivalent 32.5mm focal length when used on a APS-C sensor.” – by Nicholas S. Fiduccia

A lot of lens in a petite package! | Rating: ★★★★★
“I love the 21mm- it’s perfect for street photography,landscapes, all around “snapshots” and, with it’s close focusing, even near macro. It’s small in size and light in weight which makes it a joy to carry and it is actually made of real metal! It focuses quite fast with AF and if needed it can be overridden to manual focus without pushing any buttons or moving any levers..” – by Steve Wildermuth

Perfect for street shots and handheld self-portraits | Rating: ★★★★☆
“If you are looking for a camera lens that transforms the look of your imposing SLR into a advanced point and shoot (everyone jumps out of the way of SLR for some reason), while maintaining excellent image quality, and increased ease of handling, the DA 21 is the perfect lens for you…” – by parkpy

More user opinions | Write your opinion

Features & Specifications

Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited Specifications

Pentax DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited Lens Features

With newly developed, high-performance optics, this new lens measures only one inch (25 millimeters long) and weighs a mere 4.9 ounces (140 grams). Mounted on a Pentax digital SLR camera body, the lens protrudes very little from the camera’s front panel, making it an ideal choice for carry-everywhere, instantaneous snapshot photography. This versatile angle of view produces natural images with a moderate perspective and an expanded depth of field (or a wide in-focus area), making it ideal for many different types of subjects and occasions, including snapshots, landscape, travel photos, and architecture.

The DA 21mm incorporates a hybrid aspherical lens in its eighth optical element to effectively compensate for a variety of aberrations, which cause adverse effects on overall image quality. In order to assure high-quality image reproduction over the entire focusing range, it also features a floating mechanism, which is designed to adjust the degree of aberration compensation in relation to the focusing distance.


* Pentax KAF Mount
* Equivalent focal length to 31.5mm in the 35mm format with *ist D series
* The image circle is designed to match the CCD used in Pentax digital SLRs
* Ultra-compact pancake-type design weighs just 4.7 ounces
* Exceptional high contrast, high resolution optics with minimal aberrations
* Responsive “Quick-Shift Focus System” allows instant shift from AF to MF
* Comes with a lens hood to minimize flare and ghost images

What’s in The Box:

* SMCP-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited w/Hood (21590)
* Lens Hood MH-RBA 43mm (38748)
* DA 21mm Lens Cap (31518)
* DA 21mm Lens Soft Case (37747)

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