Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Lens Review Database » Film Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » FA Prime Lenses
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 9.2
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 8.1
Autofocus 
 8.9
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 8.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
23 148,887 Mon September 30, 2019
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $506.58 9.27
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8

SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
supersize

Description:
The smc PENTAX-FA 20mm F2.8 is the first and only autofocus 20mm prime lens available from Pentax. It shares the optics with its A-series predecessor.

SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
© 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
10 elements, 9 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
25 cm
Max. Magnification
0.12x
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 72 ° / 62 °
Full frame: 94 ° / 84 °
Hood
MH-RB 67mm
Case
S70-70
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
70 x 44 mm (2.8 x 1.7 in.)
Weight
255 g (9 oz.)
Production Years
1995 to 2004
Launch Price
$500 USD
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 1:2.8 20mm
Product Code
22880
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8 in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 23
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 427
Lens Review Date: September 30, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide field of view without looking too real estate interior false
Cons: none

A lens I have owned since new when I loved it on the Z1, the 20mm was an easy lens to to live with. During the digital APS-C era I let it sit in the cupboard while I played with the zoom lenses. Now with the full frame digital available it has come back into the camera bag. I was surprised with the shallowness of the depth of field, with such a wide lens I expected much more depth even at wide apertures, this made isolating the subject easy. It is a lens from the film era that I have become attached to again thanks to the field of view on the full frame K1, more proof that any holes in the current lens line up can be filled with some of the quality older glass. The contrast the lens shows , even when shot under harsh lighting conditions is impressive. Black and white conversions from the raw file really worked well, with clouds in the sky showing up nicely. I must confess to not using the dedicated lens hood often enough, this was due to my laziness at not wanting to screw in the saucer like hood for what seemed like mostly little effect, I did manage to get some image degradation in one shot and the rainbow apertures in the picture appealed to me. The small size of the lens even with a 67mm filter thread also made for easy handling, the manual focus ring has plenty of throw making is easy to obtain accurate focus when required, the AF was quick enough and until I started writing this I never really gave the AF speed or accuracy a second thought, always a good sign. I didn't feel the need to try it on the K3 as I was enjoying the wide shots too much, perhaps down the track I will try it again on APS-C. Any deficiency in the images were down to me and defiantly not the lens, this one has moved up in my ratings now that the K1 makes it shine again.

tied up by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

last seat view by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

those eyes by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

burra night by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

web day by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Santa Rosa,CA
Posts: 15

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $465.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide angle wide clear aperture wide grin on my face.
Cons: Aperture ring sticks badly but I just leave it on "A" and let the camera decide.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

I have owned a few wide angle lenses but this one takes the cake. With f2.8 at its widest the lens isn't overly sharp. Although my night shots come out amazing. Stopping down to 5.6 is where it sings in daylight. Sharpness is great but bokeh isn't, but really it's a wide angle not for portraits. I wish my 17-28 was as close focusing, but that's another story. Great lens!
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $625.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: light weight, small, auto focus not bad
Cons: expensive, not sharp at all
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 3    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: pentax k1   

I just received my mint copy 20mm lens from Japan. sharpness can not compare to FA *24mm at all. Is it a bad copy or 20mm lens does not perform well on full frame? 16-50mm is a much better lens on aps-c camera if SDM not a concern.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 290
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very useful focal length on the K1 for architecture. Sharp and contrasty.
Cons: Expensive and difficult to find used.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

The "Master of space". Picture taken on a tripod, 30 seconds @ f/16 with a Pentax K1. Essential for WA rendition on FF.
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 47
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Sharp and good colour rendition
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax k1   

I bought this lens used from eBay. I have used it for more than a year now. At f8 or more the lens is very sharp . You can print big prints and still get great results.it produces subtle colours more like the film era. I like it for wide portraits.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 960

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 6, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Relatively “small”
Cons: Build quality leaves much to be desired
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Kx, K30, K3   

I got my copy at a relatively bargain price.

The middle group of the lens seems slightly fogged up, but it doesn’t seem to affect the images.

At 2.8 this lens lacks contrast and pop. At 2.8, the images it produce are rather disappointing. The lack of contrast can be mistaken for lack of sharpness. Not to mention, it tends to underexpose. At 2.8, indeed, the lens begs for some PP help.

At f/4, things begin to brighten up a lot, contrast goes up considerably, and colors begin to come alive.

At f/5.6, and f/8, this lens fulfill its promise. Wonderful, sharp, contrasty yet providing that distinct film-like images, easily distinguishable from the images of my DA21. Bokeh is relatively smooth, though maybe nothing special.

What I find best about it is the lens seems to love close focusing!

At the end of the day, an easy 9/10 lens.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: SE Idaho - Rocky Mtns
Posts: 558

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color & Contrast
Cons: Some barrel distortion
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K1   

Found this lens in Japan in mint condition. Very pleased with its performance on my K-3 II as a '30mm' . I purchased this to use with my K1 when it arrives. Will update review then.

Edit: 10/13/2017 Now using on my K-1 ... Awesome performance. Very happy with this lens in full frame. Would not change my review in any respect.
   
Moderator
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Posts: 8,089

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent IQ, fast AF, super compact
Cons: Significant barrel distortion
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

Just a great lens. My DFA15-30 is better optically, but the FA20 is tiny and takes regular 67mm filters.
Worth keeping just for that.
An album of my month shooting this lens daily can be seen HERE
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2007
Location: Near Seattle
Posts: 2,737

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 21, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $625.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Compact size; f2.8; sharpness; film-like rendering; focal length for K-1
Cons: Slow AF like most older lenses; non-clinical older style of rendering that may not appeal to users unfamiliar with film-era lenses; no LR profile
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 6    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1   

I try to be conservative with my ratings above.

In early 2017, the FA 20 f2.8 is a rare treat for a K-1 owner. It's small, and lightweight. Considering how large and heavy the DFA 15-30mm lens is, this alone is reason enough to own one.

This lens feels like a bit of a throwback to the film era. The AF works just fine but it is not inspiring, not that it needs to be at this focal length. The rendering is pleasant, and has a certain film-like non-clinical look that is becoming more rare as newer "digital" lenses replace these old-style ones in K-mount.

I do wish LR had a profile for this lens, but I've been getting by using the DA Ltd. 21mm profile. I don't notice much corner weirdness.There is noticeable purple and green fringing that software fixes to some extent, but as an older lens this should not be surprising. Handling is OK considering that the FA style is, well, strange. At this focal length I just don't have to manually focus much, so the narrow focusing ring doesn't bother me like it does on the FA-50 for example. The lens seems quite sturdy overall.

It's a great lens to take hiking because of the smaller size and perfect focal length for big scenes. I've also gotten some highly satisfying PixelShift images with the K-1 as well as fun HDR images.

Hope this is useful, thanks for reading.

M


f2.8 @ 1/6, ISO 800



f8 @ 1/60, ISO 200



f6.7 @ 1/20, ISO 400, PixelShifted



f6.7, 1/20, ISO 800 3x HDR
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weight, build quality
Cons: Focusing ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax ZX, K10D, K30   

Usable at f2.8 (limited distortion and vignetting, okay sharpness), really excellent at f5.6.
Slightly better than A 24mm f2.8.
Well build, light.
The only thing I dislike is the focusing ring: too thin, badly located, rubbery.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,260

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, 3D depth, lightweight
Cons: Colors not as good as the limiteds
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New   



OK
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 206
Lens Review Date: July 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, beautiful colors, size.
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5, K0-1   

I own the DA 15, the DA 10-17 and the Sigma 30 f1.4 but this is now my go to lens for general shooting. It rarely leaves my camera. The colors are gorgeous and even the black and white images I have shot with lens appear crisper, with better contrast, very filmlike. I love it for close up portraits, street scenes and landscapes.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 338

7 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Colour quality and sharpness
Cons: some distortion
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K20D, K5   

Before I bought FA20/2.8 I used A20/2.8. They look to be identical construction. So it is sharp lens, with good color rendition. Probably best Pentax 20mm lens ever made.





more samples here
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 368

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 17, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb colors, contrast and sharpness
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k-5   

I have used several good wide angle lenses: da12-24, sigma 10-20 f4-5.6. This lens out perform all of them by a really long margin. Color and sharpness is just superb and are comparable to the three FA limiteds. It is almost always on my camera because of the aperture size and focal length. I am very glad that I bought this lens.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: April 7, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Colors, Close Focus/Perspective
Cons: Distortion
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-X   

I bought this lens around a month ago and have been extremely happy with the results. I hemmed and hawd over getting a used FA 20 or getting a DA 21 after trading away my DA 35 macro limited. While the 35 macro was sharp, I always felt the need for a wider focal length lens for indoor shots as well as landscapes. I rationalized paying a bit more for the FA 20 over the DA 21 because I could enjoy the FA lens now and potentially use it on a digital full-frame if it's ever produced in the future.

I've had a great time using this lens and love the sharpness, close focus/perspective, and colors. My copy is fairly sharp wide-open and gets fantastically sharp by f3.5. I really like the bokeh but it can be a bit 'choppy' looking at times to my eye. There is some barrel distortion but I don't find it to be a big issue.

Here are a couple shots:

FA 20mm - Example 1
FA 20mm - Example 2
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:14 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top