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SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

Sharpness 
 9.0
Aberrations 
 8.3
Bokeh 
 9.4
Autofocus 
 8.6
Handling 
 8.8
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
151 448,287 Fri January 10, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
97% of reviewers $244.54 8.94
SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4
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SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4
supersize

Description:
The SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 is the only film-era 50mm still in production by Pentax. It is fully compatible with all Pentax DSLRs as well as film bodies.



SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
7 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
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
PH-SA49, PH-RA49, RH-RC49
Case
S70-70
Lens Cap
Lens Cap F 49mm
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 37 mm (2.5 x 1.5 in.)
Weight
220 g (7.8 oz.)
Production Years
1991 to present (in production)
Pricing
$311 USD current price
$219 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 1:1.4 50mm
Product Code
20817
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Notes
Various hoods with 49mm thread will fit.

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 151
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2017
Location: Medellín
Posts: 1,206
Lens Review Date: January 10, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $345.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small and compact, AF.
Cons:

This is a nice standard lens. Sharpest at f/4. A bit soft and dreamy wide open. Only difference I could find with the M version are the newer coatings and of course the exterior and AF. Originally got it for my K-5 around 2011 but stays mostly on my MZ-S now.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2019
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, handling, fast aperture, good bokeh
Cons: low contrast backlight, some CA (easly removable), plastic but it helps for lightness
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K1   

This is one of my best Pentax lens, maybe the best one. Consider it is compared to my other lens like FA * 80-200, 24, 28-70 and F* 300. Thanks to this lens I carry my heavy K1 every where I use it especially for my son's portrait and it gives me awesome sharpness, colors, contrast and definitely wonderful memories. IMHO this lens is underestimated, maybe because pro user wants more subjects pop and creamy bokeh. For this you can buy 85mm A or FA star. I can say this lens is fine at full aperture, but in some situation you can have CA and loss of contrast especially in backlight condition. When you stop down from F1.8 this lens is a pleasure, like a dream.

Full aperture 1.4 is very useful for my nighty video clips, it helps me to not push iso (I don't like high ISO
on video) and at same time great bokeh. Very good focus ring, quite smoothly. Constructions is fine, even there is too many plastic, but it helps lightness of this lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2011
Posts: 363
Lens Review Date: November 7, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, image quality, aperture
Cons: Some CA in worst conditions, not the fastest AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

This lens represents a good value for money especially for full-frame users. The images are sharp, have beautiful rendition, and have little flaws. In the worst conditions (severely back lit subjects) CA can get pretty bad, but I have only noticed it on APS-C, probably because of that extra crop making it more visible. I'm sure it's there on full-frame, just have never stress tested it to compare, but I just don't see it.

For the price, if you're looking for a standard lens length fast prime with AF for full-frame, I think this is the best one.
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Wild-Nord-East Hungary
Posts: 133
Lens Review Date: September 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: all
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3 II   

... like a beautiful dream ...
   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 48
Lens Review Date: August 25, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast Lens
Cons: None so far
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-50   

Hi,

I recently bought think lens and this exceeded all my expectations.

I was not sure what condition this lens will be as i bought it used and luckly this is in very good condition.

I am surprised how fast this lens is and how quickly i can focus.

Thanks
Sateesh
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 984
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, excellent low light abilities, nice bokeh
Cons: Lower contrast at wide apertures, some chromatic aberrations
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

Had a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 and it was an excellent lens, but wanted more automation. Not sure if this FA 50mm f1.4 lens is based on similar optical qualities but it is basically the modern version of this lens I was looking for. Yes, it is not built as well as the old Takumar, but good enough and still quite a dense little piece of glass that doesn't turn yellow like the radioactive Takumar would. It is a very sharp lens, and those that are saying it is not are probably confusing softness with lack of contrast when wide open. All that is usually needed is a little boost of contast in photoshop. And some purple fringing can appear at large apertures but it is actually much less worse than my 77mm limited was.

The bokeh is excellent and dreamy wide open. I do notice slight saw-blade shaped bokeh around f1.7-f4, which my Takumar and its 6 bladed aperture didn't do, so you have to be careful at thee apertures with out of focus highlights. At f4 and on, out of focus highlights become octagons since it is an 8 bladed aperture. Mine is a made in Japan version and I like the way it looks on my K-3.

Autofocus is pretty darn good, it rarely misses, and is very fast due to a short focus throw. It's just a little bit noisy which I expected it to be. Focuses much more quickly and consistently than my DA 50mm f1.8 I used to have. Switching to manual focus is fine too, I mean the thin focus ring requires careful movements and will never be as good as the Takumar in this regard, but it does turn smoothly and is perfectly adequate for me, so the handling of this lens is as good as it needs to be. It is also a small lens and easy to carry around with you. Compared to the prices of competing lens, this lens is still an excellent value and I recommend it. If it was updated with quick shift or a more modern autofocus system and/or more modern lens coatings it would be even better, but more modern coatings could take away from the wonderful way it renders images so I will keep and enjoy mine just the way it is. Might I add I have played around with the new DFA 50mm f1.4 on a K-1 in a store and can attest that it is indeed a much superior lens but at a much larger price tag and size.

Here are some samples from my lens:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhphotography/46273960235/in/dateposted-public/ (Notice slight purple fringing around her head and around her camera. Barely distracting unless you are looking for it).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhphotography/46464558144/in/dateposted-public/ (It was a hazy day, pay attention to the sharpness of the foreground. f8.)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhphotography/40223481793/in/dateposted-public/ (Dreamy/glowy wide open but still very sharp).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhphotography/47136173742/in/dateposted-public/ (Shot directly into the sun and at minimum focus distance).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshhphotography/47136181792/in/dateposted-public/ (Also shot into the sun at f1.4, focus point about 10 feet away. You can get very thin depth of field at f1.4)!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 485
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Crazy-sharp between f/4 and f/11.
Cons: Soft wide-open (not a concern for landscape photography).
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

   
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2018
Posts: 52
Lens Review Date: August 28, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap and realy good. small size.
Cons: A lense of this quality should be built in metal.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-x   

Incredible bokeh on digital camera. Short, lightweight, this lense is essential for me.
For exemple, family photos, without flash, camera in hand.


   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Gislev
Posts: 86
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $425.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, Build Quality, Ergonomics, Weight and Size
Cons: None

A perfect short tele on the K-3 II, and a gem in available light situations.

IQ is wonderful - and it's hard to fault stopped down from 2.0. I actually find the rendering of the lens at full 1.4 rather charming. There's some film photography rendering in the way it depicts things ... Yeah, I am an analog photographer, too.

I really love this lens for all its perfection and virtues: It's sharp as hell, it's got stellar resolution, It has a lovely bokeh, aberrations are neglectable in real life situations, and the autofocus performance is great.

It's an old design, but it more than holds its own.

Pentax - please don't discontinue this lens, just because you've made a 50mm/F1.4 behemoth: This is the way a nifty fifty (for APS-C and Full Frame) should be!!

Highly recommended!
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2018
Posts: 5

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Old film magic
Cons: 1.4 not usable
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: KP   

The interesting lens with some old school magic. I love using it for the portrait at f 2.8 At f 5.6 they good for the most situation. At f 1.4 this lens is unusable, no sharpness at all. But I never sold it, all pictures taken on this lens have magic pictures

   
Junior Member

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 48
Lens Review Date: April 9, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness
Cons: looks
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

This lens has been to me the one I use as first choice, and also when all else fails. Rarely ever fails me in nailing the focus. Even better with later technology.
I'm not an advanced photographer that was tried tons of lenses, so I can't attest to the color, but bokeh is pretty decent, and again, sharpness is amazing, dead on, and consistent.
If a photo from this lens is not usable, it is almost always my fault.
Had it stolen once, replaced with a "rare legend" but did not satisfy my sharpness requirements (not as dead on or consistent), so bought this 1.4 again. Even though my second copy was older than the first, the performance was just as I remember. Happy to own it again.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2017
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 19, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Colour, Price
Cons: Build Quality, Inconsistent focus (at least my copy)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1   

Overall, it's a great lens for the price. Picked mine up for around 170USD (which is admittedly quite a steal). I'd recommend this as the first lens you get, if you get the full frame K-1. It makes for a great walkaround lens.

At f/1.6 (I haven't actually shot this lens wide open yet), it's already pixel sharp in the centre, and the corners are pretty decent, but it suffers from halation (soft glowy edges) that most 50 1.4s are prone to. At f//2.2 you could consider it sharp, throughout the frame already. Stop it down to f/4 and it's great. Somehow, it gets even sharper as you stop down further to about f/8. Haven't tested it past f/10 though.

Aberrations and fringing are pretty well controlled too.

I think I am unlucky, but my copy of the lens suffers from inconsistent focus. Worst of all is that it can't be corrected, because sometimes it's back focused, sometimes front, and sometimes on point. The misfocus is microscopic though, and hard to tell past f/2.2. There's a slight bit of play in the barrel which I'm sure isn't supposed to exist, so probably just a bad copy.

Compared to the Canon and Nikon 50 f/1.4, the Pentax is definitely inferior in terms of build quality and focus. The while the Pentax has a good weight to it, it still looks cheap, especially with the tiny rubber focus ring squeezed at the front of the lens. (It doesn't make manual focus hard, it just makes the lens feel low budget.)

Autofocus is fast enough for most uses, but is still slower, and definitely noisier than the Canon 50 1.4 I've used.

I guess those two are trade offs to make the Pentax 50 so much cheaper than the competition. For the price, it's definitely worth it.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Kiev
Posts: 12

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $210.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent luminous lens, with a beautiful aquarium bokeh! One of the best lenses in the ratio of price and quality.
Cons: Use very desirable with a protective lens hood. Without it, the lens collects a lot of parasitic lighting and glare. No waterproof and dustproof. The front lens is too close. And it's easy to get stained with your fingers. An inconvenient, narrow manual f
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

This is a very good lens! High aperture, beautiful aquarium bokeh, good sharpness and color transfer.
To use a lens I highly recommend with a blend. Without it, there will necessarily be problems with backlight, highlights, and photo contrast.
Portraits this lens perfectly! I advise everyone to have this lens in their collection.

Postscript: When writing a review about the lens, I noted that I recommend its "yes" for the acquisition. But after saving the message, it is automatically written "no", instead of "yes", which I wrote initially. I do not know what this is connected with. I can not fix it.







   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 2,026

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 18, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: bright and compact
Cons: build quality, flare resistance
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3II   

I got this lens for concert photos in smaller venues that are generally poorly lit. The relatively short focal length works well for this on apsc, and with a little care at f1.4 it still has enough depth of field to get usable results of artist+instrument not blurred into oblivion. Sure, you can get very blurry portraits when focusing very close, but for my needs I'd rather use f2.8 for greater dof if lighting would allow. AF is a little slower than my other screwdrive lenses, nonetheless precise and consistent, no complaints. Handling is nice because it's compact and light, but I'm taking some points off since it lacks quick shift.

It's softer and has less contrast compared to modern lenses, especially at f2.8 and larger; stopped down it's sharp though. Highlights, for example reflecting off of polished metal, have a nice glow, I like the look. Despite the relative softness, it is worth using in low light at f1.4. Compared to the DA limited 40mm under the same light and shot in RAW at ISO 3200, the final image quality is clearly better with this one because noise washes away any extra detail that the DA lens might have captured (f1.4 and ISO 3200 for the 50mm vs f2.8 and ISO compensated in pp from 3200 to 12800).
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: March 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, good autofocus a pleasure to use
Cons: small focus ring if manual focusing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K100d   

Like the previous reviewer, I picked mine up in Japan while on holiday for almost 50% of what it would have cost in Australia.
I have the Pentax M 50mm f1.4 so I was looking forward to comparing them. I felt that the lens had exactly the same image quality, but the convenience of the Autofocus and aperture control make me think that it is tme to say good bye to the old M 50mm the only time the M had any advantage was when I mounted them on an m4/3 camera for a test. The FA's small focus ring was no match from the M's big beautiful manual focus ring.
See review here:
https://youtu.be/TDfiIHZPwKQ
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4 Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4



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