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SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro

Sharpness 
 9.3
Aberrations 
 9.1
Bokeh 
 8.5
Autofocus 
 8.3
Handling 
 8.9
Value 
 8.8
Reviews Views Date of last review
27 142,229 Fri April 28, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $318.39 9.04
SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro

SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
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SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
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SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
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Description:
The SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 macro lens features 1:1 macro capabilities. It has the same optics as its FA and F series predecessors.

SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
8 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32 ° / 27 °
Full frame: 47 ° / 40 °
Hood
PH-RBC 49mm
Case
S80-80
Lens Cap
Lens Cap F 49mm
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Focus Clamp
Diam x Length
67.5 x 60 mm (2.7 x 2.4 in.)
Weight
265 g (9.3 oz.)
Production Years
2004 to Present
Pricing
$346 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-D FA 1:2.8 50mm -MACRO-

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 27
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $245.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image Quality
Cons: Built quality, Autofocus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K70   

The sharpness is outstanding, Very Good to Good at full aperture, excellent at f/4.0 and above.
What I don't like is the absence of focusing range limiter - the camera, often, search for a long time to focus) and the so-so built quality: focusing ring not tight, 'plastic' feeling.
Quickshift is very convenient.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 1,032

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Insanely sharp on K1
Cons: Cheap plastic body and lower quality build
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K1   

I've tested over 30 different lenses on my Pentax K1 camera. Many of these lenses are premium quality Zeiss and Voigtlander manual focus lenses.

Of all of the lenses I've used on my K1, this cheap, poorly made, little Pentax macro lens renders the very sharpest image in the pixel shift mode.

This lens on the K1 (with good technique) will render a pixel shifted image file that will absolutely blow your mind when it comes to clarity and sharpness!

UPDATE (October 2016) - After lots more experience with this lens and many others, I have found one other lens that equals the Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro when it comes to sharpness - the Zeiss ZF 100mm f/2 (Leitax converted to K mount of course).
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 79
Lens Review Date: June 16, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness
Cons: Focusing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5 IIs   

I am quite amazed by its sharpness. It took me some time to get used to the macro feature. I feel that 100mm would be lot easy if you are shooting insects. I find it very difficult to focus on the moving subjects with macro feature. Here is a shot that i am satisfied

   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 62

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 1, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $276.45 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ,Sharp, Weight, multi purpose,price,fast & fast focus
Cons: A little hunting in close
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3 & K3ii   

This is my second excursion into macro,photography. I first started with an after market 90mm true macro lens.
I was not satisfied with the results to say the least.I purchased the Pentax lens a couple of weeks ago. I am about finished photographing, 50 years of collections from around the world.
I am extremely happy with the results.
THIS lens makes a swell walk around lens as well as a great macro lens.
The IQ,sharp detail, color rendition, and all the other good qualities of this lens, make me realize that higher prices do not always mean better quality. I paid approximately twice as much for my first macro lens anf got substantially less value.
I would recommend this lens to anyone needing the macro capability in a true standard focal length.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 1:1, 2.8
Cons: No WR, My copy does not focus at infinity...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

This lens simply does what you expect it to do. Sharp wide open, close focussing distance, quick shift. It's a pity is has no WR (put it in the wet grass...)
Compared to the 50mm f/4 M series macro, which I owned before, the 1:1 and 2.8 make a good addtion. That lens has its front element far back in the lens, which this DFA version does not have. That is an aspect I prefer from the old M. Nevertheless: I highly recommend this lens.

PS My copy does not focus at infinity. It does almost, so the pictures are sharp (hyperfocal distance), but I do not get the AF confirmation, which is annoying...
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2011
Posts: 52
Lens Review Date: March 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $398.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: EXTRA SHARP, Quick shift.
Cons: None really, except bokeh is slightly lower than other 50mm Primes
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

What most others have stated here. This lens is the best
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 355
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, even wide open. Quick shift.
Cons: Clamp function
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K200d   

This lens is very sharp, even wide open and at normal distances, so not as fast as other 50mm primes, but you can use its full aperture range. The versatility of native 1:1 macro focusing is also an invaluable, in my opinion, even if you don't plan to do a lot of high-magnification dedicated macro shooting with this lens. Even a moderate 1:2 reproduction ratio, which is easily hand-holdable in good light with this focal length, gives a completely different perspective from the usual 1:4 or less "pseudo macro" magnification available on general purpose zooms.

Didn't notice any specific probem with aberrations, there is also a good hood that locks onto the lens barrel and works really fine, also to protect the protruding front element. This protrudes a lot at maximum magnification, however leaving a healthy working distance

This lens has a long focus throw and of course it tends to hunt a bit if you are photographing a mixture of subjects in macro and non macro range. However this is to be expected with a macro lens; this doesn't make the lens any less useful for conventional photography, on the contrary i enjoy it a lot. With quick shift manual focus one can always rapidly avoid excessive hunting.

What could be improved is the smoothness of the manual focus action, which could have been better. I also find the clamp funcion of limited help, when engaged it makes the focus ring harder to turn, allowing for more precise fine tuning, but the movement feels really skippy and harsh in this mode; perhaps a focus limiter would have been more useful.

Overall the build quality is not stellar, i'd say i would expect a little bit more from a rather pricey lens, but it's more than adequate to ensure durability .

These are all very minor quirks, the lens can't be faulted optically. If you need this focal length with macro capabilities, look no further.







   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2014
Location: New York City
Posts: 49
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $346.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5IIs   

http://flic.kr/s/aHsk2KsvBu

I needed a f/2.8 or faster, I haven't used a 50mm since I owned a Ricoh. So,I'm coming from using a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8 on my Canon 50D to a 50mm on my Pentax. Very impressed, not only is this lens super sharp and fast but it will practically shoot in the dark and having the macro is a bonus.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $521.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Image Quality
Cons: Expensive
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 5    New or Used: New   

I just bought this lens at B&H and had to return it because it was made in Vietnam, the quality was not as good as the reviews here.

The version made in Japan should be much better.

Adorama, Ebay and Amazon all sell the Vietnam version.

Does anyone know where I can buy the version made in Japan?
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2011
Posts: 293

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small size, sharp, colours, contrast, 49mm filters
Cons: No focus limiter
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

I've only had this lens for a short while, but already I'm impressed with it, and I really like shooting with it. I've been using a DA35 limited macro mostly, and have loved that. I also tried out a DFA 100WR macro, but found that I'm more of a "close up" photographer than a chasing bugs with strobes kind of photographer. Just couldn't warm to the 100mm (150 cropped equivalent) range.

This 50mm fits the bill perfectly. It is very hand-holdable, yet it provides an important measure of distance from subject that the DA35 doesn't offer.

It's got a nice, quality, plastic build. A bit of a weird barrel shape when it extends but nothing wrong with it. Good focus ring to grab ahold of. Nice light weight, and 49mm filters that match many other Pentax primes. Unfortunately, the hood is huge. The flip side is that some of the nifty pull-out hoods, like on the DA35 or DA15, can be quite a hassle in terms of lens caps and filters. So the up side is that the DFA50 hood can be totally removed. I wish it fit my FA50 but it doesn't.

I wish, I wish, I wish they had not done the clamp, but used the space for a focus limiter. That would've been so much smarter. Thus I rate autofocus at a 7.

I think it is a very sharp, clear lens with good contrast, fine colours and pleasing bokeh for close-up work. I'm seriously debating whether or not to ditch the DA35. I think it simply comes down to focal length and whether you like the caché of a metal lens body. This is a seriously overlooked lens.

p.s. who in the world would rate this lens (any lens) as a 1 unless it simply couldn't take pictures at all? Just like Olympic figure skating I recommend everyone drop the top and the bottom rated votes.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Brisbane. Australia
Posts: 1,085

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small , Light, Solid feel, Love the Clamp for extra friction on the Focus colar in Manual Focus, and Quick shift
Cons: Zero... Well, could do with a Focus Limiter....
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: istD*, K-7 and K-5, MZ-5n (35mm film)   

Teriffic little lens, small light , a pleasure to use, SHARP.. great marco for close places, and doubles as an excellent 50mm portrait lens. Quick shift is loverly, and the clamp makes Manual Focus feel like using an old MF lens. Aperature Ring, and FF so I can still use on my old film bodies without any issue. Would have been an 11 if it had a focus Limiter, anybody who can't produce cracking Pictures with this lens probably shouldn't have one in the first place.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2012
Posts: 24

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 1 

 
Pros: Light
Cons: Cheap plasticky build, way too short in FL
Sharpness: 2    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 3    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 1    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

What a big hoo ha about such an average lens. It's way too short to use as a macro, so it's just an f2.8 prime 50, and it's not sharp either.
Why wouldn't you get the FA 50 or DA 55mm... I got this for $60 and I still don't think it was a good deal.
   
Banned

Registered: March, 2012
Location: Charleston & Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,683
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The best of the 50mm's
Cons: Read text for more; all minor issues
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-01, K-5, LX   

Considering both the present market of 50mm's that Pentax offers, and also the ones in the past - this is by far the best optical 50mm lens that Pentax offers. Sure it is not as light, or as small, or even has the better aperatures of some of the other 50's, but... For this 50 it's all about the optics, and also the added benefit of having 1.1 macro.

This would be a great choice as a first lens with any Pentax (interchangeable lens) camera; or a great first addition to any of the kit lens that come with any of the Pentax cameras. This 50 is by far one of my most used Pentax lens'.

Wishing that every lens were this good optically and also for the included macro capability.

The only minor concerns for this lens. One has to be a bit careful when the lens is in manual focus mode. The manual states not to go beyond either of the focusing ends. The lens also extends considerably in macro mode.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,007
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $419.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARP! (even wide open!), great bokeh
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-r   

I cannot emphasize this enough: this lens is incredibly S-H-A-R-P, even wide open! The 50mm focal length is quite useful on APS-C, and the bokeh is great as well. I have not experienced any chromatic aberration or distortion and there's quite a bit of contrast. The autofocus is not as slow as I thought and is very good for a macro lens. The 1:1 macro capability is superb, and the f/2.8 aperture lets me get better pictures in low light.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Prague
Posts: 1,198

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness and contrast, lightweight and tiny
Cons: extends a lot on 1:1 focus, body construction

really outstanding optical quality. My macro lens when going out with lightweight gear, but it is great for general shooting too. Maybe just too sharp for portraits, I have to soften those in PP.
It is particulary great when combined with TC or tubes, still retains superb IQ even with accessories for greater magnification.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro



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