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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 
 9.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
38 231,292 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 (Ascending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 38
New Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Utah
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast aperture, superb image quality, fast focus
Cons: None

This is one lens I wish I had not sold. I've had the F1.4, F1.7 and F2.0 versions of this series and the F1.7 would be my preference. Sure, you lose almost one stop over the F1.4, but I found that the bokeh was equal to the F1.4 and the color rendition / accuracy was better with the F1.7. There was a certain "feel" about the F1.7 especially with natural light; the tones were accurate and not over saturated like you sometimes get with the F1.4.

I highly recommend the F1.7 for portraits and close-focus work. It's also light weight and very well balanced on digital or film bodies.
   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 233

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 12, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $155.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast. Super Sharp Wide Open. Light. Autofocus.
Cons: none

I have owned so many 50mm's (and multiple samples of almost all of them). The M1.4, M1.7, A1.7, FA1.4, DFA2.8 as well as numerous 3rd party 50's.

This one is the best.

Wide open, this lens will beat any 1.4 in terms of sharpness up to f2.8. After that, it is about even. This lens is a bit cooler in color than the 1.4, but I like that. Some prefer the bokeh produced by the 8-blade 1.4, but I personally think the 1.7 still renders out of focus beautifully.

Compared to the DFA 50mm f2.8 Macro, it is about the same in terms of center sharpness. The macro has the added benefit of excellent corner and edge sharpness. However, the macro is a large lens (almost double in size and weight) and it is slower. The macro is much more a special purpose lens.

Optical formula-wise, all the 1.7's are almost the same. The F and FA have autofocus, and life is just a bit easier with autofocus. However I have found the FA version to perform even better than the M and the A versions. The reason for this is that the FA1.7 and the FA1.4 are identical in size. (Normally the 1.4's are larger lenses). This results in the FA1.7 having a recessed front element almost like some macro lenses. (It is quite a bit recessed). The result is a built-in hood effect which helps increase sharpness and contrast even without a hood. In fact, this is one of very few lenses where adding a hood only gives a very marginal improvement. I'm not sure about the F version (I think it is also similar).

This lens took me a very long time to find (thanks Tom! for giving me a great deal), but of all the 50's definitely my favorite.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Posts: 8,241

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 7, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp at all apertures, especially larger
Cons: none

Found this lens in a local store and almost didn't buy it, because I already have the FA 50 1.4. Boy, am I glad I did. It's sharper at the lower apertures than the FA 50 1.4 - 1.7 and 2.0 are sharper. After that, it evens out.

Because of it's incredible performance at the lower f-stops, this has become by go-to low light lens now, replacing the Fa 50 1.4. I mostly use the 1.4 for when I absolutely need 1.4, or want it's special bokeh.

Very highly recommended.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 514

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp! Quick focus, fast, Monet masterpiece bokeh
Cons: hard to find, Monet masterpiece bokeh

I will never sell this lens. Wonderful performance all around. Useful focal length. This is the lens on my camera by default. Love it. Only comes off when I need zoom versatility or longer focal length.

The color saturation is very satisfying and the sharpness is consistant through the entire aperture range from edge to edge of the frame. You just have to learn to manage the depth of field to master it.

The bokeh is the debate for this lens. It renders out of focus backgrounds like a Monet painting. It is not creamy smooth, but neither is it harsh and distracting in most conditions (wide open it can be a tad obnoxious). I like it a lot. The rendering is very unique in that people have at first glance mistaken some of my portrait work for paintings rather than photographs. I don't know if that's good or not, but it makes for interesting discussions and its pictures get attention & generate more work for me. That says something.

Frankly, I like the bokeh a lot for it's uniqueness and for the fact that background often sets the stage giving context to a scene. Creamy smooth color transitions can make an exciting portrait into a plain picture. Besides, if you find it a bit harsh, a little software work can fix it in a snap, however it's significantly more difficult to bring definition out of a background that is too soft.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 24
Lens Review Date: February 15, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness and color rendition
Cons: Possibly a bit narrow field on digital

This is by far my favourite lens, on my ist DL it made a world of diffrence, I always used this for portraits, on my K20, I am so stunned by the IQ with the kit lens that it seems to narrow the gap between lenses. I have to say that I find mine to produce the highest quality images at the 2.8 f-stop setting, could just be me though. All of my pentax-using friends now own this lens as well.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 6,513

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: two of the sharpest "50mm"
Cons:

as mentioned, this one of the sharpest 50mm ever made. the FA50/2.8 macro is the sharper one and got the best bokeh rendering but the 1.7 has a 1 stop and a third advantage over the 2.8. that is a lot of light and OOF isolation factor.

also, at f2 sharpness and f2/8, it is equal to that of the FA35/2. except that the 50/1.7 has a brighter exposure than the 35.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 24

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, flat field
Cons: slow af performance

only knock it by 1 because it's slow af performance same with the fa 50mm 1.4. they aren't da lenses so can't expect much from old technology besides the resolving power of the glass.

this is very contrasty, sharp, and excellent for portraits. i match this on my k20d and its deadly.

this is an impressive 50mm lens provides good value to get the most out of your sensor.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lapu-Lapu City Cebu
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very good for portraiture
Cons: no lens hood

this is a must for portrait shots the details are very sharp/fine - i have tested it with my new k-x and it blends well with it - i have to experiment more with this lens @ slow shutter speed on a landscape to see how far this would go...

The only thing i don't know if this lens can be attached or have a lens hood with it?

Over- All - i rate it @ 8.75 because of it's quality and price
   
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.
   
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.
   
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
   
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.
   
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.
   
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
   
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.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.7



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