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Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 35mm Primes

4.87 star rating
                      4.87 / 5 (15 Reviews)
MSRP : $359.95

  • Camera Format35 mm SLR
    Lens TypeFixed Focal Length Lens
    Focal Length50mm
    Lens Max Aperturef/1.4
    Min Aperturef/22
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Macro LensWithout Macro Lens
    Closest Focusing Distance18 in
    Picture Angle47 degrees
    Attachment / Filter Size49 mm
    Groups / Elements7 Elements in 6 Groups
    Diameter2.5 in
    Length1.5 in
    Weight7.8 oz
    Product ID20724200

Product Description

  • Aperture range: f/1.4-22
  • Min focus: 0.45m (1.5 ft.)

  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 5 (15 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by NYPhotographer a Casual

    Date Reviewed: March 18, 2008

    Strengths:    Light,Small

    Weaknesses:    None

    Bottom Line:   
    This is a great lens. I also have the kit 18-55mm but that only
    goes to 3.5. I needed something to create amazing Bokeh and
    work great indoors or low-light and this was it.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Price Paid:    $200.00

    Purchased At:   B&H Photo

    Similar Products Used:   18-55mm Lens

    Type of photography:   People

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Stan M a Professional from PA

    Date Reviewed: August 28, 2003

    Strengths:    Quality of my pictures, and they sell well!
    Small filters
    Dropped in on hard surfice, and it still works

    Weaknesses:    No hood when purchased
    Manual focus not so good
    Seems to be cheaply made, but I know it is good

    Bottom Line:   
    I have had this lens for about 10 years now. In the meantime I got into pro business, purchased Canon EOS 3, L lenses, Pentax 645N, and Bronica GS-1. I use this lens now for available light photography during the wedding ceremonies, and when I want to travel light.

    Among all these lenses, this is one of the very best I own. At f1.4 it is a little soft. As expected, the DOF is very shallow. However, the object in focus (eyes of a person for me) appears to look fine. Starting at f2.8 this lens is extremely sharp, even too sharp for portraits. I have 11x14 head and shoulder portraits (at 5.6) that look like medium format. There is no grain and the sharpness is stunning (with Reala 100).

    I made my own test of lenses I use for photographing people, and this one when it is set at f2.8 clearly beats my Canon 28-70 L lens. It hurts a little – I spent so much for the L lens, and my cheap Pentax is better. Until recently I have been thinking of getting Pentax 85mm, 1.4 or Canon 85mm, f1.8. After my tests and seeing the results form a few weddings, I do not even think of other fast lenses.

    It amazes me how good marketing can make people believe that certain brands or lenses are better than others. This Pentax is as good as I have ever seen in my life.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $240.00

    Purchased At:   Valley Forge

    Similar Products Used:   Canon 28-70L
    Tokina 28-70 f2.6-2.8

    Type of photography:   People

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by gpagonis a Professional from San Francisco

    Date Reviewed: February 8, 2003

    Strengths:    Benchmark level sharpness.
    Fantastic color reproduction.
    Best priced 50mm f/1.4 for 35mm SLRs.
    Excellent bokeh.
    Small and understated.

    Weaknesses:    AF may hunt occasionally with some Pentax cameras.

    Bottom Line:   
    Without a doubt this is the best value 50mm f/1.4 lens available. Canon and Nikon may be very slightly better wide open but at a much higher cost. The sharpness of this lens is absolutely stunning. The only lens of the nearly twenty I own that has come close to this is my Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. The colors are out of this world! You have got to see it to believe it. The size and weight are negligible and the built quality is top notch. I love the feel of the focus ring. It rotates very smoothly and the fact that it may not be tight enough for some people has never caused any problems for me. In fact, it makes manual focusing very fast. Very resistant to flare and no distortions are equally good characteristics of the lens. Although the lens performs best stopped down a little, it creates fantastic bokeh at f/1.4 with excellent protrait results. Of the many reviews I have placed in this site, this is the first time I have wished for an available value rating higher than 5! Highly recommended.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Purchased At:   B&H

    Similar Products Used:   Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
    Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
    Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7
    Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.7

    Type of photography:   Outdoor

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by choeN a Expert from London & KL

    Date Reviewed: January 5, 2003

    Strengths:    Seriously good optical design. That is what matters in a lens.
    Very affordable even when new.

    Weaknesses:    clicklaty sound of the aperture ring. It's a personal preference that is should be more quiet (but it does stop down to the chosen aperture very correctly).

    Bottom Line:   
    Compared to the SMC Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 (also clad in plastic), this is a modern, solid lens. Do not let the plastic shell fool you- it's tough. I've dropped it, knocked it against hard surfaces etc and the mechanisms are still working! Better still, the focusing ring remains smooth. When I first bought this lens, the focusing ring was as tight as any new manual focus lenses.

    I use it evenly on a Pentax MX, LX, ME Super (all manual focus cameras) and the MZ50 (AF).

    The aperture ring though is something else- the plasticky click clack noise when turned doesnt sound reassuring. 5 years on and it still sounds the same- but most importantly it stops accurately.

    The lens as a whole feels substantial, a lot of glass, unlike the Canon ones which feels plastic and light.

    The glass is just superb, giving nice bokeh where it's needed. The SMC (super multi coating, a Pentax expertise and trademark) gives beautiful colour rendition, and wonderful tonal range in black and white. Surprised? I certainly was, and still am. Whenever I am capable, it gives tack sharp images even wide open (depth of field considered).

    I am not too sure about it's AF capability though, for the Pentax MZ50 I own have a very noisy motor which hunts a lot in difficult light. I use it as a manual focus lens anyway.

    And when used in manual focus mode, it is like an Owl's eye in the dark. What will affect it is the tool attached behind it- the camera body (and it's viewfinder), and the photographer.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

    Similar Products Used:   Nikkor Ai 50mm f1.4, Nikon Series E 50mm f1.8, Canon FD 50mm f1.8, Pentax SMC-A 50mm f1.7 (all manual) Canon EF 50mm f1.8.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Victor a Intermediate from Seattle

    Date Reviewed: October 28, 2002

    Strengths:    Sharp and contrast, but plastic at the same time.

    Weaknesses:    Don't know yet

    Bottom Line:   
    This is my first fixfocal lense, and I like it very much. The sharpness is very good, on 2800 dpi scans I can recognize the details of 1-2 pixels in size, and I still not sure if this is the lense resolution limit. But, from other side pictuers taken with this lense are plastic. Colors are great, flare control is great too: I haven't seen flare so far. At this time this is my favorite lense.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Price Paid:    $189.00

    Purchased At:   B&H

    Similar Products Used:   Helios 77/1.8

    Type of photography:   Outdoor

    Reviews 1 - 5 (15 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

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