March 18, 2009

DA*55 Photos of San Jose Del Cabo

My short trip to Baja, Mexico coincided with the annual Festival in the Centro Historico downtown area of San Jose Del Cabo. San Jose, founded in 1730, is the oldest city on the Baja Peninusla.

The festival gave me an opportunity to try out the new DA*55 lens with my K20D. While I only spent a few hours on two different afternoons walking around the festivities, I tried to test this lens shooting a range of different subject matter and in different lighting conditions.

Original images all shot in RAW and converted using CS3 to jpegs for posting on Blogger. Other than setting my white and black points (levels) on several images, I did not do any additional processing to these images.

Click on any of these thumbnails to see a larger image file.


  1. I am really liking the concept of a sealed prime in this length. All the samples I have seen look good. I think you have a winner!

    If I post the first comment do I get a prize?

    Keep the good stuff coming!

  2. The one of the giant hand holding the body, and the girl in the white dress are my favorites. But lots of good shots here, thanks for posting.

    The focus seemed a bit soft in some -- I'm assuming shallow depth of field? For example, woman cooking bread on the griddle, or the woman in the red apron stirring the pot. Looks like focus feel a bit behind the main subjects. Or perhaps it's some very slight subject blur due to motion?

    Looks like a terrific lens though.

  3. I know I will love this lens, having tried it at the PMA09. It is reminiscent of the famous Pentax 85mm f/1.4 in angle of view with the APS-C sensor. The bokeh is really great given the nine rounded off blades. I hope that the picture with 5 tacos for $40.00is not US currency!

    Thank you for the pictures.

  4. Thanks Yvon. I still need to spend more time getting used to this lens, but so far I really like the color, contrast and bokeh. And no, it was 5 Tacos for 40 pesos which turns out to be a very reasonable $2.85. They were really good by the way!

  5. This lens is on my lens hunting list. A great addition to my current collection. I would love to hold and test it out myself!

  6. Your shots really show this lens to be winner. It seems to be an excellent general purpose lens, not just for portraits and closeups as some have suggested. I can't wait to get mine! (It should come to me in about a week.)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. theoquda...

    I don't know where you are coming from, but the new 55mm has the best bokeh I have seen for a long time. It is much better than the FA50mm...

    The lens was specifically made for the APS-C sensor, so don't expect it to have the same image circle. If it would, they would have named it D-FA* 55mm f/1.4

    And your last question, I have heard people saying that Pentax was going out of business for many years...What are you thinking? Do you think that the President of Pentax USA would say..."Yes, we are going out of business!"

    Sorry for the intrusion, but I couldn't resist. Pentax is here to stay and will only get better. They have proven that many times in the past.

    You can delete this comments if it creates too much controversy.

  9. Mr.Bunnell: Great photos, it looks like this new lens is a winner.

    Yvon: You have a great blog; I read it and often learn new things.

    That being said, I think Mr.Bunnell did not attain his current position without learning how to tactfully address a pointed question. As a matter of fact, I have gained the distinct impression that his is proud of his ability to engage his customers online, without the need of an intermediary. (and kudos to him!)

    As for myself, I confess this lack of concrete information from Hoya/Pentax regarding planned camera releases has resulted in me holding back on any plans to invest in new equipment until the future becomes clearer.

    FF, EVIL, etc... When I am unsure of the direction the company is taking, I go all conservative and hang onto my cash. Times are tight, yada yada.

    I would dearly love some clarity from Hoya/Pentax.

  10. benjamin kanarek the fashion photographer is calling your name over at pentax forums.

    Some nice shots I love the portrait of the young girl!

    It's wonderful ned to see you posting almost weekly :)

  11. Nice shots, Ned! Looks like not only a nice lens but a great vacation! Cindy

  12. Anonymous8:56 AM

    it was $850 for that lense here at a local store, i will need to save a little more for a sealed prime :(

  13. $850... The new Pentax pricing went into effect where I live today, this actually makes the DA*55 about $400 cheaper than the 12-24, $400 cheaper than the FA31, and less than half the price of the DA*50-135, I guess now, you can say that this lens is a true bargain!!! And it's just over $100 more than the DA35 is currently priced and is the same price as the FA43, how can you not get this lens now???

  14. Some pretty skookum shots, Mr. Bunnell and, I had a chance to play with the DA 55/1.4 on Wednesday (Mar 18th) and, YOWZA, it is sharp lens, albeit of a rather dodgy looking character -- me :o -- with really bloodshot eyes :( ... see photo in D(e) P(raved) Review thread ;)


  15. Decent-looking results considering there's little/no post-processing. I think a bit of a Curves adjustment would yield very printable results. Thanks for sharing, Ned!

    The DA* 55 appears to me (based on the evidence so far) to have the sort of rendering one expects of a DA* series lens. It should appeal to those Pentaxians who like weather sealing, SDM, and prime lens characteristics in a short tele FL.

  16. Looks good to me. I'm very interested in how this will be in use. I just had to sell my old FA 50mm f/1.4 :/ So hopefully I'll be able to buy this new 55mm soon :)

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