Monday, May 14, 2007

Camera Labs Reviews the Limited DA 40mm and 70mm Lenses

(Updated to correct embedded video) I've got to put it to Gordon Laing, getting in front of the camera can be harder than standing behind it, but he makes it look fun and easy with the video portion of the review he's done of the DA 40 and 70mm lenses on a K10D. Hosted by YouTube, no less.

For the written portion, there's over 7 pages of review to go through, and you'll find he's documented every step he's taken to analyze the performance of the lenses, including the serial number of the lenses to the color space of the output images. He loves how the pancake profiles are so unique and light, but he has a few words to say on the issue of lens caps and image quality. However, it's neat to see the way the lenses all compare in their performance, as well as field of view and depth of field, which makes this review a real stand out.

Don't miss the part where he looks at how corner sharpness in the two lenses compares to the 18-55mm kit lens. The DA 40mm is the standout by a fair margin in terms of clarity, CA, and vignetting but despite the drool worthy performance, I dare say, the 70mm comes out on top.

Gordon writes: "The choice between them of course depends on your coverage requirements, and almost inevitably the DA 40mm feels less exciting due to its effective field of view being close to a standard lens...But that said the DA 70mm did prove to be the sharper of the two in our tests, and despite coloured fringing being visible even in the middle of the frame on some occasions, it was the model we ultimately preferred. Its longer focal length and brighter aperture allow for a very small depth-of-field and it unsurprisingly excels for portraiture...Beyond a little fringing on the DA 70mm and some softness on the DA 40mm samples we tested, there’s not many bad points to mention. "

Links: Pentax DA 40mm and 70mm Limited lens review, tested with Pentax K10D, Video Portion

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