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SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.3
Bokeh 
 9.2
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.8
Reviews Views Date of last review
36 212,193 Mon February 5, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $179.80 9.58
SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7

SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7
supersize
SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7
supersize

Description:
This is a fast, compact standard lens.

SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7
© 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
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.7
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
170 g (6 oz.)
Production Years
1991 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 1:1.7 50mm
Product Code
20907
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Various hoods with 49mm thread will fit
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 36
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 8

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 5, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding IQ, bokeh, IQ already good at PO
Cons: Build although metal mount and much better af and build than plastic da501.8
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5 and k1   

Had already a50 1,4, fa 50 1,4 etc...
this one mint conditions for 150$.The fa 1.7 is better from P.O. to 2.8.
1,4 are too soft until 2.2 for my taste
From 4.0 almost identical
Bokeh is nice, as COLOR rendering

Example, center cropped, wo pp=K1 direct jpeg at 2,5 iso 1600, no hood ... :


Pure résolution at F4 (few cropped center ,k5 iso 800, with few pp for black tones of bad reflects daylight conditions, no flash, no hood)


I recommand, great with k1(and apsc) if you can find one but will be hard /rare and a keeper so will be pricey...
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,384
Lens Review Date: August 17, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $129.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, smooth, Bokeh, Fast AF
Cons: Plastic, weak focusing ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-5 IIs   

I had this lens for about 2 months and was wondering what everybody was raving about. The lens seemed sharp enough especially at long distances but I was not really impressed. I also own the DA 50 1.8, but I wanted something a little better in the 50mm range which is about a 75mm equivalent on my K-5 IIs. The other day I decided to test this lens against my manual 8 element 50mm f1.4 Takumar lens.

I could not believe how much sharper my Takumar lens was and this at every single aperture ! I wondered what the heck the reviewers were talking about, or that maybe I got a bad copy ?

While testing this lens, that's when I noticed that everything that was a few inches behind my subject was in sharp focus, but my main subject was slightly out of focus. I tried closing down the lens, but unfortunately, that did not work. That's when I decided to try my hand at Fine Focusing. This is the first time I had to do this for any of my lenses.I adjusted my lens all the way up to +10 to bring it up to speed. When I was done, the difference was like night and day !

Right now I can say that I'm a happy camper. This lens renders more smoothly than my DA 50mm f1.8(and is a bit sharper) and less clinical than some of my more expensive lenses. I would not hesitate using it on portraits. The colors are not dramatic, but very accurate. Again great for portraits on an APS-C camera. The Bokeh is not bad either, not as good as my Takumar 50mm which is the King of Bokeh, but pleasing enough.

Instead of sitting in my bag, now I have a lens I can trust and be happy with in a variety of situations...
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 47

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $139.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Fast AF, DOF scale
Cons: Lack of quick shift, plastic
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5   

This is my second copy of the lens. The first was sold after getting the 70mm Limited lens. I regretted that decision and finally picked up another one of these gems.

Fantastic lens, great performance with its sharpness, contrast, bokeh, fast screwdrive AF (on a K-5), great colors, lightweight and non-intimidating to a subject, etc. Just a great lens.

Notes:
Front element does not rotate when focusing, but the focus ring itself does rotate during AF. Fortunately, it is easy to avoid contact. No quick shift adjustment after autofocus

This lens actually has a usable depth of field scale for hyper focusing and maximizing DOF. Adjust for a APSC sensor if needed.

I picked up the 49mm screw-in Asahi Takumar lens hood designed for the 135/150/200mm lenses. It is deep and dark, eliminating lights from getting in from the sides and affecting the image. Even though the hood seems long, on a APSC sensor there is no vignetting from the hood. Find them online (here?) for less than USD $15 in great condition.

If this lens had WR sealing, additional (rounded) aperture blades, and a quiet DC style motor, it would be a nearly perfect lens. As is, it is still a great lens. Perhaps the D FA* 50mm will pack all of the features…

If you see this lens, pick it up. You will not be sorry.
---
Pics with the Asahi Takumar lens hood attached


   
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Kiev
Posts: 8

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness, already starting from the diaphragm 2,0. A small and not a heavy lens. Beautifully removes in various genres (and portraits and objects and nature).
Cons: No waterproof and dustproof. Modern coating the glass lens, now began to do much better. Without the use of a lens hood, this lens can collect many highlights (although not as much as 50 1.4).
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

For its value, it's a great lens! Photographing with this lens is best if you use it with a blend. Otherwise, the contrast of the photograph deteriorates. And you can collect a lot of highlights. With the blonde, everything is very good! Good sharpness begins already with a diaphragm 2,0. And with a diaphragm 4, the lens has the most good parameters.
In comparison with 50 1,4. , This lens has better sharpness on open diaphragms. Boke is different from him. U 50 1.7, bokeh more torn and expressive. And at 50 1.4 bokeh has a watercolor blur.
I have both of these lenses. Photos from each of them, like me in their own way.

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.







   
Junior Member

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

 
Pros: I.Q.
Cons: MF ring, No quickshift
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K10D, K30   

Very nice lens. To reach perfection, it need a telescopic of bayonet hood, Quickshift and a larger / nicer manual focusing ring.
Compared to 50/1.4 A or FA, it is better at full aperture, identical from 2.8 up.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, light, fast
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K1 (FF)   

For me, the best for my Pentax K1 in trekking, small, light, with a FA100mm F:2.8 macro in the Backpack, and a FA28mm F:2.8 AL.

   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 47

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 7, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharper than other 50mm
Cons: Plastic build
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

This FA50 1.7 seems not largely produced than other 50s. You need some patience to find one in good condition.
I compared this fa with my a50 1.7. In terms of sharpness and and color, this fa is much better. I guess newer lens do better in this area. Purple fringing is a problem in high contrast settings, so is the A50. Not sure about DA50, maybe new coating will do better. But I have DA35 2.4, I hate this DA plastic build quality. This fa is also plastic casing, but with metal mount and better built.
Besides purple fringing in some setting, this lens is a must have for portraits. I am not a bokeh expert, cannot tell too much in this. I also found this lens AF is faster than my 18-55 WR.

Attached one random low light shot. See the color rendering on K-5, looks like film!
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2015
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, great colors and bokeh, lightweight.
Cons: none, maybe plastic body is a little unattractive
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax ist DS   

Best normal lens from Pentax, sharp and fast focusing. Sharper than the FA50mm f1.4, is overall preferable if f1.7 is enough fo you.

Great lens overall, beats other famous lenses also one the value side.

Absolutely recommended!

   
New Member

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 14

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 26, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Definicion, contraste, color, bokeh
Cons: flare, reflejos indeseados
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: k50, k5, k200   

Gran rendimiento, desenfoque monstruoso (hasta algo molesto en ocasiones). Versatil (para ser un 50), liviano, pequeño. La construccion no esta mal, mejora a bastante de la serie FA. La unica gran contra es el flare con el sol de contra. Esta definitivamente mal resuelto en ese sentido y hace imprescindible el uso de parasol (no incluido) para poder trabajar con el sol presente. el elemento optico tan cerca del borde externo hace que se filtren luz y eso termina perjudicando la imagen que toma la camara.
   
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Svealand
Posts: 172

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $210.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, bokeh, fast
Cons: Plastic
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

A fantastic lens with only one downside - It's not made of metal
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 650

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 23, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, quick focus, fast
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

Truly an amazing lens. I actually sold my DA 50 1.8 to get this lens and I am happy I did. Focusing seems to be more precise, quieter, and locks focus with more confidence than the DA 1.8. Too bad this one is so rare. It is, in my opinion the best 50 1.7/1.8 autofocus lens Pentax has made.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2010
Location: New Berlin, WI
Posts: 519

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast
Cons: prone to flare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-5, K-3   

Very good 50mm f/1.7 from Pentax.

It may lack a little bit of contrast wide open but it surely is a very capable lens. It's sharp, bokeh is good and the autofocus is accurate.

If you do not have a fast 50mm lens yet and are looking for a big step up in IQ and depth of field control from your kit lens, this FA50 f/1.7 will make you happy.


@f/2.2 with PP in Lightroom


@f/2.2 with PP in Lightroom
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 1

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 16, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $102.50 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ultra sharp, small, fast focus, low light, bokeh
Cons: CA, hard to find one
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K50   

I bought mine on ebay. It was stated as mint but at the arrival there were several fungus threads between elements. Unfortunately after disassembling the lens I found that front and back elements are factory sealed and fungus can't be removed. Even plastic part of the front element was damaged. Anyway I killed the threads using concentrated sunlight, I washed each parts in medical alcohol and it stopped spreading. I'm not a professional photographer but it isn't influencing the image quality and I can shoot insanely sharp and good pictures.

Overall it's a really good value. I hesitated between F1.4 and F1.7. Maybe I'll invest in a F1.4 later but right now I'm satisfied with its sharpness, low light shots and bokeh.

You don't need to close aperture for sharpness because it's sharp at 1.7. But at 2.8 it goes insanely sharp even at the edges.

Fungus at front element:


It was a surprise at cleaning. Force damage on plastic of the front element:


After this shock I'm still satisfied with the results:






Taken at night (no additional lighting) on f1.7 ISO 3200 1/10s:
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Lincoln
Posts: 106
Lens Review Date: October 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $16.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast and accurate
Cons: None really but I could say plasticky
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-30   

I picked one of these up for a tenner (£10) because it was a tenner. It was not until I checked ebay that I realised what a ridiculous bargain I had got. I haven't used this lens nearly enough as opportunities have been few this summer but when I have used it I have loved it. Sure and quick to find focus, sharp sharp and even more sharp, accurate colours and pretty good bokeh. Nice and fast. Feels a bit flimsy but I can live with that and I will have to get some sort of hood for it but if I could get bargains like this everyday...
   
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2012
Location: Ajman, United Arab Emirates
Posts: 55

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 3, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Clear, sharp look, not arsty.
Cons: Plastic finish, not the plastic itself. Fiddly, older type front cap is flimsy.
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

My first 50mm lens was/is a Pentax Super-Takumar 50 mm f/1.4 (M42 screwmount) lens. That lens is arsty, not soft like others say.

This lens is sharp (too clear at times if you prefer artsy). It's not artsy like the Super-Takumar 50 mm f/1.4. It looks and feels plasticky, but it's strongly built.

Samples (JPEG quality was set to vibrant)











Laid back at ZanziBar, Kempinksi Beach, Ajman, UAE


























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