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SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 9.4
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 8.2
Autofocus 
 8.9
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 8.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 111,214 Tue March 21, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $525.77 9.44
SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8

SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
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SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
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SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
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SMC Pentax-FA 20mm F2.8
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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
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
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
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 16
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Posts: 5,245

2 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: 2,696
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
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
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
Posts: 922

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.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2007
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 337

6 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: 353

1 user 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
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Israel
Posts: 943
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size/weight, sharpness even wide open
Cons: none
New or Used: New   

Excellent lens. My copy is exceptionally sharp wide open which makes it ideal for low light shooting indoors shooting. Unlike its modern counterpart, the DA 21/3.2 Ltd, it does not have the quick shift auto focus, which is the only nitpick about this lens. After I bought mine from a fellow forum member, I gave my DA 21 to my daughter without hesitation.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 62
Lens Review Date: September 29, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, excellent color, and relatively compact
Cons: CA when wide open on DSLR

I cannot agree more with other reviewers about its sharpness and color rendering. In addition, I had thought it's a big lens. However, it turns out to be relatively compact. Here is a side by side comparison between FA20/2.8 and DA21/3.2 limited. It has some CA wide open on DSLR. I think that's some common problem for pre-DA lenses. If you shoot both film and digital, this is a must have. I am thinking of selling my DA21 limited now.

   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Bronx NY
Posts: 5,599
Lens Review Date: May 12, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent IQ even wide open, excellent color, good close focus
Cons: some minor CA and slight flare tendencies associated with WA lenses

I like wide angle lenses. I've got the DA 12-24, Zenitar 16mm FE, FA 20-35, and this lens the FA 20mm. This is an excellent lens. Surprisingly compact for it's 2.8 aperture and 20mm focal length. It has nice tight close focus and is contrasty and sharp sharp sharp. If you need to manually focus, the focus ring has a nice smooth feel to it. I would say it's bokeh is second only to my "K" 50 F1.2 and my FA 77 F1.8. I use a "normal" collapsible rubber hood when shooting with my K20D and have had no troubles with vignetting. I tried a 'wide angle' hood on it, but found a 'normal' hood gave better flare protection. Other than a slight proclivity to CA and flare which are common with all WA lenses, I consider this lens to be completely free of any kind of problem. Someone else mentioned it as good as their FA limiteds and I concur.

NaCl(instead of the FA 31, get this one instead)H2O
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: montreal
Posts: 136
Lens Review Date: April 5, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp,good contrast and color.
Cons: none for me

I bought this lens many years ago when i was shooting slide film with my Z1-p.
It was graet on film and still great on a DSLR.Sharp,good contrast and color.I have a Sigma 10-20mm and the FA20 is so much better at 20mm compared to the Sigma,the Sigma photos look soft,low contrast and dull colors!
Should use my FA20 more,i'm not a big WA user,but i recommend this one
   
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus

Registered: May, 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Posts: 10,648
Lens Review Date: September 29, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Colour quality, Sharpness, viewing angle
Cons: Minor Barrel distortion

For me this is a must have lens. I would say this lens is equal to my Limiteds and being faster than the DA 21 is an added plus. The best quality is the colour, slightly warm and very rich looking. Excellent sharpness and field of view on a digital. I have a 12-24 but this gets used more than that for landscape shots. Overall it is just so much better and faster than the zoom. The hood is a bit of a pain but a modified clip on hood can work as well. Slight distortion depending on the shooting angle but not an issue and should be expected in a wide angle lens.
If you can find one at a fair price buy it. This is the type of lens that made Pentax famous for world class optics!
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness and colour.
Cons: Some distortion

Excellent IQ. Sharp from wide open. Nice colour and contrast. Good OOF rendering for a wide. Build quality is a step above my other FA which is a FA 50mm 1.4.
Only negative is some barrel distortion.
I use a heliopan 67mm wide metal hood which accepts the lens cap at the end so there is no need to unscrew the hood (I only use this lens on digital)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 593
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness
Cons: Barrel distortion
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

This lens is very sharp and has very good colour reproduction.

The only real negative is some barrel distortion.

The lens is well built and a joy to use.

When using it on my K10D DSLR I use a 67mm "standard" metal hood which works perfectly.
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