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SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2

Sharpness 
 8.2
Aberrations 
 8.3
Bokeh 
 8.0
Handling 
 9.0
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
65 193,606 Mon September 10, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
89% of reviewers $34.75 7.88
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2
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SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2
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Description:
The SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2 is a compact standard lens released as a cheaper kit lens for Pentax auto-aperture bodies. It supports all exposure modes.



SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
5 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
KA
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2
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
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 31 mm
Weight
145 g
Production Years
1985 to 1998
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A 1:2 50mm
Product Code
20697
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Lens was sold without case and 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 F2
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 65
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 64
Lens Review Date: September 10, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tiny, Light, Smooth Focusing, Auto Aperture
Cons: None for the price

A lens that were it made today would have to be premium priced for its combination of compact size, excellent handling and performance. Capable of very good results. Automatic aperture makes it easy to use on any Pentax DSLR, and full-frame means you can re-use it on a mirrorless or Pentax full size sensor camera too should you end up there one day.

Aperture ring is a little crunchy but leave it on A and use the camera controls. Focusing is just as smooth and tactile as any Takumar, Leica or Nikon manual lens I own.

I use it on my 2005 Pentax istDS, which makes for a very small and light package. Example in first picture, followed by photos taken with this camera/lens combination.

   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2017
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,448
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp - easy to focus - handling
Cons: Bit slow
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-50, K-1000   

I got this lens with my K-1000 when I got her off ebay... ~$50 all together maybe? While I know I have used the lens with my K-50, all the pictures below were taken on Film (K-1000).

I'm not so technical, so I rather show some examples of the lens as a review.

This was my go to lens for a while; it is extremely easy to use, which aided me very much to learn Manual photography (K-1000).

While most of the shots presented for review here are taken at mid to minimum aperture (hence the big depth of field), the lens does present nice bokeh when properly used (see the orange picture for example).

Great beginner glass - it makes you solve issues of poor lighting, and gets you to improvise a bit... I'd recommend.

   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Százhalombatta, Hungary
Posts: 37
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $29.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Smooth focusing, "A" setting, quite sharp from f/2.8 onwards, compactness
Cons: The plastic aperture ring is definitely its weakness
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K10D   

I got this lens mainly for the reason that it is an "A" lens. This is my second 50mm, the other being an Auto Chinon MC 50mm f/1.4. Although the other is better optically, this one makes shooting a breeze, since I can just forget about stop-down metering and simply focus and shoot, which makes this lens very-very useful, even on a modern DSLR. My K10D is equipped with a split screen, which improves the usability of this lens.
My copy however isn't in mint condition; the lens has some dust inside, not visible on the images though and the aperture ring struggles, when I switch it from "A" to manual mode. However, I do not ever plan on using it manually, since the "A" setting is the sole reason I purchased this glass. The focusing ring turns very smoothly and image quality-wise the lens performs very well. It's perfectly useable wide open, but it significantly improves around f/2.8 and onward.
Another plus is that I only paid 8000 HUF for this, which is around 29 USD... you can get no lens cheaper than this in my country.

Overall I would give this lens a 9 for its price-performance ratio, but it wouldn't be correct, since the 1.7 version is better. I give this a strong 8 therefore.
Autumn Leaves ~ Pentax K10D + smc PENTAX-A 50mm f/2 ~ f/2.8 ; 50mm; 1/250s ; ISO200
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 577
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light, Pentax rendering
Cons: Nothing for the price

This lens (along with its M sibling) gets a bad rep, which seems to be mainly based on the fact that it's slower and cheaper. It really is still an excellent lens. Sharp (in fact, sharper and more usable wide open than my A50/1.7), nice bokeh, lovely Pentax handling and colours, and so tiny it's essentially pocketable.

The A50/1.7 is probably my favourite Pentax 50mm prime, but if I only had the f2 version instead I certainly wouldn't be complaining.

Wide open on K100D:
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2016
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cost. Portraits.
Cons: Manual Focus.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K Bodies   

Not a fan of primes or manual focus. That's just me... I'm fully aware many people love primes and they produce great photos. I like the practicality of a zoom.

However, every now and then I get a good photo from this lens at F2. Good for portraits and fun to rekindle the manual focusing approach- at least for portraits.

And I dig being able to stick a film lens on a digital body - just to be different but also frugal! Seems to catch people's attention.


   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2015
Posts: 48
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $24.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: decent and cheap
Cons: decent and cheap
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

So, here's the deal: it's a good lens, but... the 50mm A f1.7 does better. It's as simple as that.

Color rendering is good, sharpness too, handling too, bla bla bla. It's not really an "exciting" lens, but it does the job.

Buy the 1.7 version if you can, otherwise this is nearly as good, for cheaper.

I don't have much to add.
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Moab, Utah
Posts: 90

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $5.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, color rendering
Cons: bokeh, only 6 aperture blades
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony A7s, A7m2   

This lens is the lens I used in high school with the camera Mr. Schaeffer let me borrow for journalism class . I also own the 1.4 which he would never let me touch. This lens, as far as I can tell is just as sharp as the f1.4, colors just as good. It's sharper than my Sony 28-70 kit lens. Where it lacks is the 6 blades of the aperture just don't make for cool looking out of focus stuff. It's not bad, but not the same wow factor as the 1.4. I've had at least 3 of these. They're easy to take apart and get any dust out of and put back together. Really a pleasure to use this lens too. It just feels right.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,415
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $6.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Color quality, contrast, sharpness, size, weight, speed, handling
Cons:

I'm not sure why this 50mm lens has such a different rating than the faster lens. Sure, it lacks the added fractional and whole stops of the 1.7, 1.4, and 1.2, but it's a sharp little lens, very light, it handles well, and the image quality is great. I've had, I think, seven of these now and all have been good performers. To my eyes, this lens transmits color better than most any lens I've used. The same is true with contrast. It is not quite as sharp, across the aperture range, as the 1.4, but you have to go to the FA Limited lineup to find lenses sharper than the 1.4. So, take this lens for what it is: a fast 50 that typically sells in good condition for about $15 (including shipping, in 2015) on eBay and makes a great walking around general-use lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 557
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.50 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very light weight, precise build quality, nice bokeh
Cons: Fully functional only in 'Auto Pict' mode on my DSLR camera bodies
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-x, K-2000, K-100D   

I learned SLR photography back in the '80s with a very similar lens on a Minolta X-570 so this one takes me for a ride in the way back machine. I find that I really enjoy getting back to basics with this lens. The simplicity of manual focus and a fixed focal length forces me to compose my shots more carefully. One thing I do miss on my DSLRs when using this manual lens is split screen focusing. It is thus doubly important to make sure the viewfinder's diopter is dialed in correctly. After setting it with my sharpest autofocus lens on the camera, I feel reasonably certain I'm focusing accurately with this manual lens. User control over exposure setting is also somewhat limited as this lens only seems to work in 'Auto Pict' mode, which leaves the camera body in charge of setting the aperture and shutter speed. To work around this somewhat, one can bracket exposures or manually set the ISO. These limitations give the lens a somewhat short depth of field when used on a DSLR body, but that can be great for medium to close up shots where a soft background is desired. Considering that I grabbed this lens on eBay for $10.50, including shipping, I have no real complaints about it at all. It can be fun to use and will produce nice results if you take the time to understand its inherent strengths and weaknesses, especially when using it on a DSLR body, for which it was never designed.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2014
Posts: 18

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 10, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap, auto aperture, smooth focusing ring, lightweight
Cons: Very soft, (not sharp) only decent size aperture (f2)
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-3   

Okay, this lens is not sharp at all. I also own the 18-135 WR, which actually has a lower sharpness rating, but the 18-135 is FAR sharper. This lens' bikes is alright, but seriously, just get a 50mm a 1.7 if you want a cheap, fast, sharp lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2014
Location: Springhill Nova Scotia
Posts: 235

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: ist D   

Very nice lens. Having A setting makes it very quick to use. colour is nice and the build quality is good, not a lump of plastic feel.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Not too bad wide open, Cheap, f/2.0, Great colours, Sharp when stepped down !
Cons: None so far.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Kr   

It is a great lens ! I have it almost a year. I love it ! totally replaced my Kit.
I have mentioned everything above. Plus manuals are way better for the learning curve.
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Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2009
Location: North
Posts: 4,258

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: small; very cheap; fast enough at f2; decent performance for the low price
Cons: Hexagonal bokeh; Not much cheaper than 50mm f1.7 options
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K5; K30; Sony A7   

This is mainly reviewing the lens on FF (Sony A7)
For full sized samples, just click on the links and get to the original image


DSC00409 M50 f2 by jenkwang, on Flickr
@f2



DSC00429 by jenkwang, on Flickr
@f2.8



DSC00439 by jenkwang, on Flickr
@f4 (sharpness is good, but the hexagonal oof highlights is obvious)



DSC00450 by jenkwang, on Flickr
@f5.6



DSC00458 by jenkwang, on Flickr
@f8


IMO, the lowly 50mm f2, does well enough and not much issues at all on digital FF.
The main bad point and the one that I would mark down this lens on, would be the hexagonal OOF highlights when used at any setting other than wide open.
The 50/1.7 options are not much more expensive for a bit faster aperture which is another reason it can't be considered a better buy.

Excellent small size as a 'might as well add to the bag' fast 50mm.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 17,480

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Can be sharp, IQ, overall build, bokeh ...
Cons: "Slow" @f2, but gets to job done well stopped down ...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, K-r   

Bonjour,

I picked up a copy of this lens (finally) from an eBay auction via the British Heart Foundation ... and I really do not know why I had not acquired one earlier. I have the SMC A 50/1.7 (and maybe someday I will break down and get the f1.4 ...).

There's really not a huge difference between these lenses, IMHO. Sure the f1.7 gives you another half stop, but once the A 50/2 is stopped down a few steps, I really do not see much difference. You really pay a "speed" premium for the f1.7 ... and even more so with the f1.4 that is really not justifiable in a lot of shooting circumstances.

Here's how mine came with a "freebie" MV , case and strap attached ... and some sample captures to come later at springtime ...

Salut, John le Green Frog

Edit of 04/04/2015: I have had an A 50/1.4 for over a year now and the extra speed of f/1.4 can be quite useful. Still if one does not need this extra stop, the f/2 is still a very decent performer IMHO. J

   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Useful, Easy to Use, Good Bokeh, one of the best
Cons: Came as a Kit lens, and it is abundant
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Kx, K5   

After several years of having this lens, and after selling it, I bought two copies recently. Afterying so many other lenses, I discovered that this is probably the best lens made by Pentax in the A model.
Here are some samples:


SMCPetax-A-50mmf2-a-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr



K5-SMCPentax-A-50mmf2-TheGarden1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr



K5-SMCPentax-A-50mmf2-TheGarden2-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


K5-SMCPentax-A-50mmf2-Mandarine1-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr
Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 50mm F2



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