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  • Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras
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Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

by Pentax

Available from these sellers.
  • Digital SLR-exclusive design
  • SP coating to protect the lens against water and grease
  • Limited lens-series quality for distinctive visual description and a premium appearance
  • Exceptional high contrast, high resolution optics with minimal aberrations
  • Ultra-thin, super-lightweight design. 4.9 ounces, 5.5 ounces with lens hood.
3 new from $699.95 4 used from $340.00

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Frequently Bought Together

Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras + B+W 49mm Clear UV Haze with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M)
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  • Buy Used and Save: Buy a Used "Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited Lens for Pentax Digit..." and save 33% off the $509.95 list price. Buy with confidence as the condition of this item and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the "Amazon A-to-z Guarantee". See all Used offers.

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Pentax
  • Model: 21590
  • Lens Type: wide-angle
  • Minimum focal length: 21 mm
  • Maximum focal length: 21 mm
  See more technical details

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches ; 5 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000FZ2VXY
  • Item model number: 21590
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 2, 2001

Product Description


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.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
The color and contrast this lens produces is just incredible.
Tariq Gibran Hamid
It's small in size and light in weight which makes it a joy to carry and it is actually made of real metal!
Steve Wildermuth
I have always loved the 35mm focal length for film, and find the 28mm useful.
the photogeezer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Marion D. Philpott on February 9, 2008
Verified Purchase
I love this lens. 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!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steve Wildermuth on September 19, 2008
Back in the '80's I owned a Pentax ME Super and I thereafter soon bought several "M" lenses to go with it (most notably the 28mm F2.8 and the 135mm F3.5). These lenses were given the "M" classification because of their Miniature size. I always loved the optical and mechanical performance of those little wonders. I have now finally found in the 21st Century an equivalent (actually they're even a bit better!) in the Pentax Limited Series. I am now the proud owner of three of that breed: the DA 21mm f3.2, the DA 35mm f2.8 Macro and the DA 70mm f2.4. 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. While it is in the wide angle family, it is not an ultra wide, so there is little to no distortion to be found. I would highly reccomend this lens (and any member of the Pentax Limited Series, for that matter) to anyone who wishes to push the boundaries of their photographic experience and invest in some superior quality primes. You can see the difference!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By parkpy on August 4, 2009
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. With respect to handling, I hate carrying around a bagful of camera gear. There are many times where I want to walk around with just the camera and lens. The combo of K200D+DA21 is about as light as a SLR+lens can get and it handles beautifully. Two potential negatives include wishing for either a bit more width (or more focal length), and a maximum aperture of only 3.2.

Wanting more length is not a problem, as the DA21 takes high enough quality pictures to allow me to crop until I get what I want. I can't do anything about width, but 21mm was good enough for me in cities such as Hong Kong and Seoul. Also, in the times when I needed to take hand-held self portraits with my significant other, the DA21mm performed flawlessly. Try taking one handed self portraits with the DA* 16-50!!

When there isn't ample lighting, which is the case in most indoor photography, i do increase the ISO more than I'd like, and at that point, high ISO+slower shutter speed means crap photos. But I'd rather carry around my monopod than carry around my FA50mm. With my monopod, i can user a lower ISO and get results i like.

In short, a lot of rambling later, the DA21mm is just about the perfect walk around lens. I would take it over the FA35mm too. Just because the significant other hated the fact I couldn't take self-portraits with the 21mm:)
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ben Rosengart on January 16, 2008
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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Farr-weinfeld on June 15, 2008
Verified Purchase
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By the photogeezer on September 20, 2010
Reviewing my travel and other shots, I find that this lens' focal length covers 80% of what I shoot. I have always loved the 35mm focal length for film, and find the 28mm useful. This little 21mm crops to about a 31.5 equivalent, right between the two.

How often have I seen travellers crading a huge 72-filter size zoom like a drunk protecting his bottle. A lens this small, especially on one of the smaller Pentax DSLR bodies, makes an SLR pretty close to (winter) coat pocketable.

This lens has been criticised for having barrel distortion approaching 2.5%. My particular sample doesn't seem this severe. If you are concerned about this, learn how to correct barrel distortion in your imaging program. I find no fault with the DA 21's sharpness past f4. Shooting at low ISO's and at full resolution, you can do pretty severe crops and still maintain a decent file size.

I paid $429 for mine new at B&H two years ago. The prices I am seeing now are ridiculous, even for a lens this good. These small lenses are what drew me to Pentax, but I would not have bought this or any other DA lens at these latest prices. Pentax is in no position to be shooting themselves in the foot.
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