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SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7

Sharpness 
 9.2
Aberrations 
 8.5
Bokeh 
 8.9
Handling 
 8.9
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
122 361,996 Sun March 19, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $62.41 9.01
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7
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SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7
supersize
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7
supersize

Description:
The SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7 is a fast standard lens shipped with many 1980's Pentax bodies. It supports all exposure modes.



SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
KA
Max. Aperture
F1.7
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.15x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32 ° / 27 °
Full frame: 47 ° / 40 °
Hood
Various types
Case
Hard case HA-90B
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 31 mm
Weight
165 g
Production Years
1984 to 1989
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A 1:1.7 50mm
Product Code
20897
Notes
Lens was sold without hood. Several hoods will fit like PH-S49 (50mm) and screw-in type metal and folding rubber hoods
Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-30 of 122
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Bratislava
Posts: 6

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 12, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, A setting, sharpness, coatings
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K10D   

Another never-made-mistake lens in my collection. Sharp even at wide apertures. I'm very happy with A setting and it's very addictive. It's good all-around lens. You can shoot portraits, landscapes but if you need it will serve well on celebrations, marriages and etc...

Btw I don't understand ppl who gave "no AF" comment as a cons of MF lens. Imagine you are reviewing your car eg BMW with what you are satisfied but you will mention "it's not Mercedes" as cons.. Really? o.O

   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 1

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 'A', sharp stopped down, beautiful wide-open, price
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k30   

If you shoot with a Pentax and you don't have this lens, you need to have a word with yourself.

If you want sharp, it really does sharp; if you want dreamy pixie land, it does dreamy pixie land; flare resistant; Pentax colours. ! Its small, it has all the exposure automation and data, and it's cheaper than going for a curry! Much cheaper. Oh, and also with a macro ring its the shizzle.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 8

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, portable, sharp
Cons: No AF, not as well built as other 50's
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 7   

I like this 50 mm 1.7 lens; its small, has a nice dampened focus ring, light and bright, but if it didn't have the "A" designation for coupled aperture I'd probably take the M or K lens any day because of their better "feel" and built quality. This one has more plastic parts and a plasticky feeling to it - yet the optics are great.
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Wild-Nord-East Hungary
Posts: 51

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, colors, bokeh, price
Cons: -
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: MX, P30n, K-x, K-30   

I like to use the full aperture; it also very sharp.
When I have to take photo in low light, I use this prefer.
(not the DA 50/1,8)
I use Eyecup O-ME53, set focus manually faster than the AF.
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Rotterdam
Posts: 123

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, compact, build quality, colors
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I give this lens a 10 even though I rated a 9 for most of its characteristics. These lenses are very easy to find 2nd hand for a reasonable price. I paid around $45 and its worth much more! To repeat the previous post, don't penalize for manual focus. If you want auto focus, then just get an auto focus lens

Besides this 50, I also own a SMC Pentax-M 50mm F1.4. Optically the M is more attractive, but it always stays home since I have the Pentax-A 50mm F1.7. This is pure for the benefit of controlling the aperture from the camera. In fact, i stopped buying M lenses and pure focus on the A series now. Thanks to this beauty.


(background of this photo here)

   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2014
Posts: 241

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Colors, sharpness and a 'A' setting
Cons: manual focus in dimmer light is a challenge without split-ring viewfinder
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

I don't penalize for manual focus because you know that is required going in. With that in mind, I give this lens a 9 only because there are a couple other 50-55 K/M/A era lenses that are a bit better in my mind.

I first used this while filming some teens at a rock-climbing wall. It was under trees and early evening so the light was not great. Standing back about 40-50 feet and using at f2 I was surprised later to notice that zooming in on the computer I could clearly see not only the blue/white pattern on the climbing rope but also the weaving pattern. It is very, very sharp in the center and very good at the edges when stopped down f8.

Next chance to use it was on a trip to the coast. In the pictures below you can get a feel for the nice color and bokeh of this lens at f2.5 and f2 handheld. The EXIF shows 28mm but this was a mistake on my part. I was using a M 28mm f2.8 before this and apparently didn't tell the camera I switched to the 50mm lens.

I learned on a manual focus SLR back in the days of film so it doesn't bother me to shoot in manual focus mode for non-action photography. I think having to compose and focus like this makes you think more, which for me is usually a good thing.

IMGP8096 by tw0759, on Flickr

IMGP8099 by tw0759, on Flickr

This lens is only a little more than the many M 50mm f2 lenses out there (mine was $40 on ebay) and worth your patience if you are ready to experiment with these beautifully built older lenses. The lens cost to IQ is an easy 10.
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 65

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 3, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good image quality, sharp after f2, build quality, fast
Cons: soft wide open, to narow FOV (75mm)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-500   

Overall great lens for small price.
Soft at f1.7, sharper at f2, razor sharp after f5.
Great lens when there is not too much light, unfortunatelly offers to narrow field of view (75mm) quite difficult to shot indoors like at family parties etc.
At f2 you will be able to take photos with literally four times smaller ISO then when using for example kit lens.
Not to versatile but much sharper than any zoom.
It is worth to pay more and get A instead of M, exposure automation makes life much simpler.
Grate build quality, great value for the price, highly recommended.








   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Banja Luka
Posts: 297

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Great Colors, Wonderfully creative, great bokeh
Cons: FOV on DSLR, minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-x   

This is my first prime, and it's really fun to use. Since it's manual focus, it's not so good for action moments (or I'm not fast enough with it ), or moving stuff (except when you get the catch-in-focus to work), but it's a great lens for portraits, for close up photos of flowers and insects. It's not macro, but still produces some great photos. Planning to get an old extension tube and try it with that.

Field of View is rather limited on crop sensor, so you have to choose your subject carefully. It will not be very good for group photos, unless you move away like 10 meters. Planning to get 24mm or 28mm for that, or just go for DA 35 2.4 for general use.

Recommended!

Adding some photos:


==
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Lithuania
Posts: 344

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great color rendering, good contrast, sharp as knife stopped down
Cons: Lacks micro contrast at 1,7, focus throw could be shorter
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-5   

I give it a strong 8, because of lack of character in terms of bokeh and some aberrations. Otherwise it small nice lens, deadly sharp when stopped down, provides very good color rendering and nice overall contrast (much better than most M42 lenses, like Helios 44-2 and similar). Good value for money.
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 101

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing piece of glass!
Cons: None!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-01, K-30   

I share the previous reviewer's musings about whether this is the sharpest lens ever. Perhaps, perhaps not - I certainly have not tried every lens ever made for Pentax. But it is by far the sharpest I have ever used! I thought the 50mm M F1.7 was sharp (and indeed it is), but this one even beats it's venerable older brother. It truly is an amazing piece of glass. It's not just sharp, it also gets nearly perfect scores in bokeh, CA, distortion, you name it - this lens can do no wrong. And the fact that you can use it with full auto-aperture functionality is an added plus - no green button metering necessary! If you can find one, don't part with it!
   
Inactive Account

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 26, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Is this the best 50mm ever ?
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5. K10D   

Just gets the edge over the 50mm M f1.7. Not on sharpness but on colour rendition .
I think this lens is actually better than the f1.4

This is my " baby " and so so good. Don't think about it , just buy it
   
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2013
Posts: 93

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 23, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, small, light, well made
Cons: None so far
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Another bargain buy, another 50mm prime - I'm building quite a collection. My first impressions are that it's sharp but images are not as pleasant as with my Ricoh and Chinon 50mm f/2 lenses in bright contrasty light. In shade the Pentax steals it with excellent colour and tone reproduction (see 2nd sample below).

It's very small and very light but feels like a quality lens, with smooth, even focusing and a positive, precise aperture ring. It looks and handles like a proper lens should. At f5.6 it's nice and sharp, wide open it's a little softer but still acceptable and aberrations are notable by their absence.

Samples here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1630revello/sets/72157637968472706/

Edited JPEGs with FRC below







   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 15

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $7.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, IQ, ease of use
Cons: Non
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5II   

Bought this lens for $7(!!!!!!) in an op-shop in mint condition.
Probably my best buy ever!
It is compact and easy to use and gives great results.
Love the build quality and the large focus scale.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 726

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 23, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, built quality, sharp
Cons: Manual only
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

I got this lens along a few other A and M series lenses and a SuperProgram 35mm camera from my parents a few years ago.

This is by far the sharpest lens in my collection, if ... you focus it right. A bit soft at f/1.7 but very sharp at f/2 and up

Bokeh is very smooth and is attractive, as expected from a fast prime.

If you pixel peep, you'll notice some very slight aberrations, especially when using longer exposure.

Being a manual focus lens, handling it is a joy with a long focus ring travel for precise focussing and a nice compact body.

Pair this lens with a Takumar macro focussing + doubling adapter and you end up with a fast 1:1 100mm f/2. macro lens which works beautifully.

This is a very good lens which often gets overlooked being a manual focus but it should find it's place in more photographers collection. It is cheaper than the other Pentax 50mm primes (f/1.2, f/1.4) yet it delivers almost as good image quality. 9/10
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Location: Samara region, Tlt
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp wide open, build quality, "A"
Cons: expensive in aftermarke
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Kr   

It was my dreamlens. Bought in Moscow last summer. Sharp, silky focusing, nice colours with hood. Excellent lens.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.7



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