Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
Log in or register to remove ads.

Pentax Lens Review Database » Pentax 645 Medium Format Lenses » 645 Zoom Lenses
SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL

Reviews Views Date of last review
5 48,385 Mon April 5, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $399.50 8.00
SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL


Wide angle autofocus zoom. It is a good lens for sweeping landscape photos, in particular on film. Om a digital 645 camera the HD Pentax-DA 645 28-45mm is more suitable due to its wider field of view.

smc Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
645 film
Lens Mount
Pentax 645
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 8 blades
11 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
645 AF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
82 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

645 Digital: 80-53 ° / 67-44 °
645 Film: 93-65 ° / 81-54 °
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Push-pull AF/MF Focusing Ring
Diam x Length
89 x 105 mm (3.5 x 4.1 in.)
585 g (w/o attachments) (20.6 oz.)
Production Years
(in production)
$896 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 645 ZOOM 1:4.5 33-55mm AL
Product Code
User reviews
Two Aspherical Elements

Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureMedium-Format SupportAdapter needed for DSLRs
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-5 of 5
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2019
Posts: 25

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 5, 2021 Recommended | Rating: N/A 



Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Quebec City, Quebec
Posts: 6,294

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 19, 2020 Recommended | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Performs MUCH BETTER than expected. Very SHARP, contrasty, lovely colors.
Cons: Requires a small aperture and the use of a tripod to get the best sharpness.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645Z   

50 mm @ f/32
33 mm @ f/16
f/11 f/16 f/22 f/32
55 mm @ f/11
33 mm @ f/11
55 mm @ f/13
33 mm @ f/13
33 mm @ f/11
45 mm @ f/11
33 mm @ f/16

I purchased this used "like-new" 645 zoom on eBay from Japan. Perfect cosmetic and mechanical condition, no haze, no fungus. The lens is quite large and heavy, with an 82 mm filter diameter. To obtain the best sharpness, the use of a tripod is suggested. I put the lens through its paces making the above pictures of the Sainte-Anne River : I mounted the 645Z + FA 33-55 mm AL zoom on a heavy 028 Manfrotto tripod and took a series of pictures at 33 mm, 45 mm and 55 mm focal lengths, each time using apertures of f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32. Apertures of f/8 and f/32 didn't seem as sharp compared to the others and f/16 proved to be the optimum aperture, with f/11 and f/22 lagging slightly behind but highly usable. The lens also is sharpest at its shortest setting of 33 mm. Corners are very sharp at 33 mm FL and f/16 with no signs of softness due to field curvature. The other picture of the Sainte Anne River above was taken @ 45 mm FL and f/11, showing excellent uniform sharpness. I added an interior picture of Cap-de-la-Madeleine Basilica taken @ 33 mm FL and f/11 with an exposure time of 10 seconds, two pictures of the Jacques Cartier River taken handheld @ 55 mm and 33 mm FL and f/13 and two pictures of my neighbor's Norway Maple in its springtime splendor @ 55 mm and 33 mm FL and f/11, all pleasantly sharp. I added 4 vertical images of the Batiscan River taken at f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32 and 33 mm FL. All are very sharp and almost undistinguishable from one another, apertures of f/11, f/16 and f/22 showing irreproachable rendition. Finally the 2 uppermost pictures were taken handheld at 33 mm FL @ f/16 and 50 mm FL @ f/32.

I took a chance and I was wary when I purchased the lens as there exists almost no technical reviews about this 645 FA zoom and the few comments appearing below were not very "enthusiastic", to say the least.
Conclusion : Really not so bad when used carefully as a landscape tool. I think I'll keep it ...

33 mm @ f/16
50 mm @ f/13
55 mm @ f/11
45 mm @ f/13
35 mm @ f/11
33 mm @ f/22
both 33 mm @ f/22
55 mm @f/11
33 mm @ f/16
55 mm @ f/11
33 mm @ f/11

Now I'm totally confident in its ability to produce first-rate pictures.
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 84

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 14, 2019 Recommended | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, 33-55mm is a great landscape focal length for me
Cons: Soft edges ever after f/8
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 8   

So, after not finding many reviews of this lens, more so not to many positive reviews of this lens, I decided to pull the pin and buy one anyway. I already have the Pentax 645 FA 35mm f/3.5 and love this lens. But I've always found myself going between this and my 45-85mm and even 55mm 2.8 for landscape work.

So I figured getting the 33-55 kills of the issues of lugging around an extra lens. Plus its ever so slightly wider by 2mm than the 35mm (barely but noticeable).
Its NOT as sharp as the 35mm even up to f/11, the center of the 35mm beats the 33-55 all the way from wide open and up to f/11 (even tried the 33-55mm at f/14 and still the 35mm is better.
The corners on the 33-55mm are quite soft but slightly improve around f/8 through to f/11 (haven't tested past this, as I believe one shouldn't have to push past f/11 to find the sweet spot of such a lens)

I'll keep both lenses, as I feel they both have their own uses, I think the 33-55mm can be used in situations where center sharpness is semi important and soft corners can be hidden or covered up as in darker situations light night shooting.
For travel, I think i'll still tick with my 35mm, as it is the better lens without doubt

Would I recommend this lens? Yeah, it still does the job, but you need to be careful with what your shooting and the importance of sharpness given the situation...
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2017
Posts: 51

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 2, 2017 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: light weight, good focal length range
Cons: crappy cheap construction
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 6   

Having owned only a single sample, I experienced results similar to the previous reviewer, however I am using a 645z.

My copy becomes sharpest at f8, with wide open being only slightly less.

The construction feels unacceptably light and cheap given it's price, but then I started photography when everything was metal . I have a Nikon lens that was $125 brand new that has much higher construction quality. These lenses don't seem as common, or as reasonably priced, on the used market as some of the others. I think you'd have to be out of your mind to pay $2695 US at B & H for a new one.

I don't concern myself much about distortion as it is so easily correctable in post. Neither do I worry much about the spherical plane of focus as it tends not to mater for my subjects.

Apologies for the images, I don't seem able to upload something of sufficient resolution to provide an adequate demonstration. Perhaps you will be able to tell something by comparing the crop to the full frame image.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 4,369

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 20, 2008 Recommended | Rating: 6 

Pros: "All" wide angle focal lenghts in one lens. Low weight for an MF lens
Cons: Optical quality not for all round use

This is basically a lens designed for landscape use. The plane of focus is spherical and you need to stop the lens down to F:11 for good performance across the frame. It distorts quite a lot and is sharpest at its widest setting.
Contrast is slightly lower than for the 45-85 lens or the 45/2.8, but resolution seem pretty high.
Most images in my gallery is shot with this lens.

NOTE: I've have only used this lens with the film 645.

Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 AL

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:45 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]