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SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.3
Bokeh 
 9.2
Autofocus 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 231,422 Fri October 18, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $178.09 9.61
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 16-30 of 38
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


























   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 3,717

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 29, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp, fast, compact design
Cons: Plastic feel
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-7   

This lens is very sharp and I am very impressed, especially considering its cheap price. The plastic feel is obvious but should not be a deterrent IMO because the lens has a lot to offer.

When I was first looking for a fast 50mm lens, I considered the FA50mm f1.4 but felt that the photographs were a bit soft. So I bought a Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f1.4 and I love it. 3 years later, I bought the FA50mm f1.7 because I was curious (LBA). Hence my comparison may be biased because I tested the FA50mm f1.7 against the VL58mm f1.4.

The verdict: Overall and independently of price, the VL58mm f1.4 is a clear winner, but not be that far. Hence I rate the FA50mm f1.7 as 8/10 overall. But ... if I consider the price (the VL58mm costs more than twice the price of the FA50mm f1.7), the comparison is much closer and an overall rating of 8.5/10 would be fairer for the FA50mm f1.7.

EDIT - Since I bought also the Pentax A50mm f1.2 (LBA). Thus I have now three fast 50mm lenses.

The VL58mm is faster and I prefer its colour rendition. But the FA50mm f1.7 is as sharp IMHO. The photographs are tack sharp, and sharper IMHO than the FA50mm f1.4. The sharpness is possibly one of the most important asset of the FA50mm f17 and it is very important to me. The AF is fast. The lens is very compact and light. It is a pleasure to use it on my K-7. The FA50mm f1.7 suffers from the plastic feel, compared to the all-metallic VL58mm f1.4. The colour rendering is disappointing with the FA50mm f1.7, especially compared to the VL58mm f1.4, but also compared to the A50mm f1.2.

In summary I may be biased for the VL58mm f1.4, and to some extent to the A50mm f1.2 for its speed, but I am not too disappointed by the FA50mm f1.7. I can recommend it highly for someone on a budget, or anyone who dares to have a different lens!
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 3

7 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, speed autofocus, bokeh,...
Cons: Plastic, to find something.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Kr   

This lens is extraordinary. Nothing to complain about.
A must for the portrait.

Sharpness at f5.6


Bokeh at f1.7


More examples here
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Near Sydney, NSW
Posts: 331

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Stupidly sharp wide open or otherwise
Cons: 6 sided bokeh not 8 (worth it for the sharpness over that f1.4 version)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I've owned two copies of this lens and one of the F-version, which is optically the same.
All 3 have been outrageously sharp. In fact I thought my Sigma 105mm f2.8 was sharp until I saw these lenses at f2.0. Suddenly everything else was soft.

The 6 sided bokeh is almost always fine, and sometimes quite lovely, but occassionally a bit messy. I can live with that - compared to the f1.4 version which is just soft soft soft, but has nice bokeh.

That's about all there is to say except for:
Um, Pentax - if you can make a lens this sharp - why is the FA 50mm f1.4 so NOT sharp, and why is THAT the one still in production? That would be like discontinuing the K-5 and continuing to make the istD.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp, fast, color, contrast
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-r   

I own this lens quite a while. Great for portrait shooting. Very nice color-rendering. Contrasty pictures and lightweight. Well built. And sharp open wide, razorsharp stopped down (F 2,0/2,2). I love it.
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2010
Posts: 33

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 29, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, contrast
Cons: none really
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

Fantastic lens, very sharp and beautiful contrast, I use it a lot because of its image quality.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: September, 2011
Posts: 6

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $328.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: extremely sharp, great bokeh
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-r   

Bought this off ebay recently. It's very sharp. Wide open and up to f2, it is sharper than my FA 50 1.4 in comparison. The bokeh is also wonderful.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 759

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 25, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, 3D effect, warm FA rendering, CA resistance
Cons: Micro-contrast not as good as FA 43, getting pricier, durability
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K5   

A classic lens. Though price is much higher than a few years ago, still worth it at current prices ($250-300 used) IMO. Has the classic warm FA rendering, with great 3D subject pop. I like the focal length on APS-C (essentially a very short telephoto) for indoor portrait shooting; it's a little long for a walk-around "normal" lens on APS-C. Some argue that FA 50/1.4 beats it in bokeh; I personally found that the FA 50/1.7 rendered OOF areas beautifully. AF was fast, but not lightning. The sharpness is great across the frame, but the degree of micro-contrast at pixel peeping levels isn't up to par with the FA 43 limited, giving the latter the appearance of being sharper. Overall this was a great lens, which I felt fortunate to acquire. While I replaced it with an FA 43, it's the one lens I've had any regret about parting with. Very highly recommended. Get one if you can.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2011
Location: near Berlin
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, size & weight, fast AF, bokeh wide open
Cons: a bit soft up to f/2.2, bokeh stopped down
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

In 80% of all cases I use this lens and I can rely on it. IQ is very fine maybe a bit warm but I like it. Wide open the bokeh is fine but the sharpness is not best. Stopped down a bit it is quiet sharp but the bokeh... It can be a bit nervous. CAs are well controlled but sometimes too visible. I won't miss this lens. As hood I use that one from the smc M 85/2. Fits great!

Paul
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 118

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 7, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, bokeh, compact size
Cons: manual focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

I bought this lens new in box, many moons ago, for about $150, can't remember exactly how much.
Looking at ebay lately, I see that price has jumped like other Pentax lenses.

Much like M50/1.7, it is a sharp little lens. Sharper wide-open than 50/1.4, up to about f2 or f2.8. I would not use FA50/1.4 wide open but this lens is very usable at f1.7.

Love to bring this lens along when low light shot is required. The only drawback is, like most AF lenses, small focusing ring is a challenge to manually focus.

Same optical spec as F50/1.7, but interestingly this is one of odd lens where FA version is rarer than the F, as many have reported.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 748
Lens Review Date: June 4, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: compact, fast, sharp, fast af, price, bokeh
Cons: manual focusing, not so useful focal length on dslr
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

...as some reviewers above I have to agree that this lens is outstanding value. To my naked eye it is sharp as 43 limited. Objects in focus pop out. Slightly on colder side of overall colour cast. Fast autofocus. Bit less contrast than DA*50-135 and 43 limited.
All in all - good buy.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: bronx
Posts: 6

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Close focus, low light
Cons: None

I was into SLR in the 70's and sold my film camera in 2001. Manly used point and shoots. Was never happy with the results. I am a pixel peeper LOL.
But enjoyed the small size of the point and shoot zooms.

In those days film canisters had muliple uses..LOL

But I broke down and got the K-X on sale in New Jersey for $400.00.

Great camera. its nice using an slr again.

I started buying alot on the old Takumars on ebay but hated using the adapter. I then moved to the M w/ k mount but liked the automation of the A lenses.

But now I'm hooked on Autofocus. I leave the focus point set on center. Old school

So I have bought and sold about 40 lenses on ebay since August looking for the perfect fit. Taking comparason shots. My wife calls it the lens fiasco.
My dinning room looked like a camera store for awhile.

I bought this lens on ebay with a bunch of lenses. the seller was a pawn shop that did not no how to list the item correctly. Lucky me. But to be fair I have ended up with a lot of junk on ebay as well. But I can't list what I feel I paid for it. If I had to replace it I would pay $200.00.


I get really amazing shots indoors with my k-x at iso 1600 at F1.7

The sharpness wide open is amazing.. The auto focus hunts a little put locks in great. I always use a lens hood.

I have the 50mm a f1.4 which is collecting dust since I got this.

I am keeping..
Pentax A 50mm 1:1.4
Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 APO (HAS PROBLEMS) WORKS ONLY AT INFINITY
Pentax 50mm FA 1:1.7 auto focus
SMC Pentax-F 80-200mm F4.7-5.6 REALLY SHARP
SMC DA L 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ON ORDER FROM CANADA FOR $220.00

Great Forum...

Matt
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Md
Posts: 33
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, light, fast AF, Tack Sharp, Low Price
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used   

This lens is a beast. I've had it for several months now and love it. I bought it at a local camera shop that deals mostly with Canon and Nikon. It was mounted to a cheap Pentax film camera - paid $80 for both. The body is worth about $30, which means I paid $50 for the lens! I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

It performs extremely well and nicely complements my DA 18-55 II and DA 55-300. I also own the M version of this lens and as another poster said the optics are about the same but you get auto-focus.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 317

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Corner Sharp Wide Open, very usable wide open, AF lock is confident.
Cons: The bokeh against its 1.4 cousin. AF isn't always correct.

The rare FA 50mm F/1.7

She can produce some pretty nice corner sharp results wide open.. which is this lenses primary appeal I suppose. However when the time came to move from the FA to the DA, the 6 aperture blades of the 1.7 didn't quote produce the bokeh effect of the 8 blades in the 1.4.. thus the 1.7 was discontinued. Wide open (both at 1.8) she is sharper than the 1.4 but lacks the bokeh.

This was taken with the 1.7 at F1.8


This was taken with the 1.4 at F1.8


The 1.4 produces a better Bokeh while the 1.7 is sharper in focus.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7



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