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SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5

Sharpness 
 9.5
Aberrations 
 9.2
Bokeh 
 8.0
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 70,472 Mon March 2, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $633.00 9.36
SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5
supersize


Description:

Autofocus zoom reaching from wide angle to normal focal length. It is a versatile lens for landscape as well as general photography and it replaces three prime lenses, 45mm, 55mm, and 75mm.


smc Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5
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Image Format
645 film
Lens Mount
Pentax 645
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
11 elements, 9 groups
Mount Variant
645 AF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4.5
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
50 cm
Max. Magnification
0.22x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

645 Digital: 63-36 ° / 52-29 °
645 Film: 75-45 ° / 64-37 °
Hood
PH-RBD 77
Case
S130-160
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Push-pull AF/MF Focusing Ring
Diam x Length
85 x 99.5 mm (3.35 x 3.9 in.)
Weight
870 g (w/o attachments) (30.7 oz.)
Production Years
(in production)
Pricing
$1796 USD current price
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 645 ZOOM 1:4.5 45-85mm
Product Code
26725
Reviews
User reviews

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureMedium-Format SupportAdapter needed for DSLRs
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5 Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 16
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2014
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 59

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 2, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I use my 645Z primarily for in studio publicity work. I use the 45-85 almost exclusively in that environment due to its perfect focal length for what I'm creating. I do use the 645Z on vacation for wide angle nature shots but with the 35mm lens. The handling of this lens and it's sharpness is incredible for a medium format zoom. The most recent publicity session was for a season brochure.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Quebec City, Quebec
Posts: 1,657

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 29, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very useful focal range, extremely sharp.
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645Z, 645N   





I already had the A version (manual focus) of this lens and it is a must-have tool for the landscape photographer. Both the A and FA versions have the same optical layout and both deliver exciting results every time.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2019
Posts: 18
Lens Review Date: September 24, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:




























645D







   
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 97
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very usefull range for film cameras
Cons: big and heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645D, 645N   

For now, it's my favorite 645 lens, the one i use the most.

Ok it's big and heavy (and i don't mention that enormous hood), but it produces great colors and contrasts (look at the picture above, taken with a 645N), and a very progressive bokeh : exactly what you are waiting for a medium format lens.

The range is very versatile for film camera, from landscape to portraitures. On digital 645, this lens has to be completed with a wider angle for landscapes (if you are the kind of athletic photographer who walk hours in the nature with something like a medium format + lenses in your bag).

The autofocus from the FA version is accurate and very usefull, as the depth of field could be very thin near the full aperture, but if i had to choose only one autofocus lens, i would take it for a longer focal, as the more you zoom, the more the point is hard to find manually.



Other pictures and french review on my blog
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 84

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $369.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at f/8, good walk around lens
Cons: Soft corners at f/4.5
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax 645Z   

Having just moved into the Medium format system, I got this lens first to stick on my 645z, and after reading many hours of reviews and opinions I decided to buy one. I got mine from on of the many Japanese sellers on ebay and a pretty cheap price.

The lens is heavy, then added to the 645z body, makes it a little over 2kg. For me fine, for many maybe not. Its really best on a tripod, but I find using it in good light outside pretty fun and easy also. But still best on a tripod

Sharpness is best after f/8 without doubt, and around f/11 I find it superb. (esp for the price) If you get focus right, I find f'4.5 ok, the corners though really are soft.....

For me the lens covers a very usable focal range, having also Nikon FF it fits nicely in between 35mm, and a little over 60mm in 35mm terms... This will be one of my travel lens when I head away without doubt..

   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2018
Location: NoVA
Posts: 596

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 4, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Super sharp at f/8, nearly soft focus wide open at 85mm
Cons: None if you know what it's about
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: 645z, 645NII   

In short, this lens is simply stunning at f/8. My first project with this lens was a group photo at a motorhome rally. I knew this lens was sharp because I've owned it for 15 years--it's the lens I bought with my 645NII kit to use for weddings. The group photo included about 60 people standing in front of a row of classic GMC motorhomes, and the image was sharp enough to resolve the small print on in the nametags they were wearing. The 12x16" print I made for the host of the event is tack sharp, even when viewed through a loupe. I'm picky--this one is sharp, when it's stopped down.

But wide open at the long end, it's nearly a soft-focus lens. In fact, it's rather perfect for portraits on the long end--one can dial in the sharpness needed.

I've never had any issue using this lens--the focus and zoom controls are where my fingers expect them to be and I never find myself fighting the lens.

I looked at three different focal lengths, because the lens has a reputation for not being quite as good at the long end. I'll just show the center crops at each focal length, wide open and at f/8. For the wide end, I showed a couple of corner shots, too.

45mm

Here's the full image at 45mm:


And the 1:1 center crop, at f/4.5:


This is sharp enough, but it does improve at f/8 (essentially, I can't tell much difference between f/5.6 and f/16, except in depth of field):


Here's the upper corner at 1:1 and f/8:


Nope, no chromatic aberration. DXO Photolab has this lens in its database, but there's no lateral color at f/8 even without those corrections. Also, the leaves that are sharp are at the focus plane, near enough, so there's not much field curvature.

Here's the lower corner, which is about half the distance to the focal plane:


Depth of field is decent at f/8 and 45mm. Remember, these are 1:1 crops--parts of images that would be 7 feet wide at the 100 pixels/inch of most monitors.

65mm

Full image at f/8:


1:1 center crop at f/4.5:


Okay, this needs a smaller aperture.

1:1 center crop at f/8:


At 65mm, it's still getting sharper at f/8, but by then it's as sharp as you could want.

85mm

Full image at f/8:


This lens really is soft at wide apertures and 85mm, so let's look at three apertures and watch it sharpen up by f/8:

1:1 Center crop at f/4.5:


1:1 center crop at f/5.6:


1:1 center crop at f/8:


As with 65mm, it takes until f/8 to get all the way sharp, and that's the only weakness at the long end that I can see. Wide open, it's actually sort-of dreamy, with a soft-focus effect and very smooth bokeh. This would be a good portrait lens at the 85 end, though to be honest I've never used it at wider apertures. It has a similar effect to the 165/2.8 Pentax 67 lens.

Just for grins, here's a reminder of the 55/2.8 at 2.8:


So, when people say a zoom is as sharp as a prime, well, no. But it can be as sharp as a prime when used with care.

Rick "Stop. It. Down." Denney
   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2017
Posts: 51
Lens Review Date: August 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $498.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, construction, attractive price
Cons: like the rest, it's big and heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

Used, at a bit over $4000 cheaper than the current version, it's hard to resist . Particularly given that the image quality appears to be high.

We don't need no stinkin shake reduction. Or at least for $4000 I'll make an effort to squeak by without it.

There are a lot of these available from the Japanese market and the seller reliability seems acceptable, although I personally think they tend to rate the condition higher than I would. This my my 3rd purchase from Japan, so take it for what it's worth. DHL is 4 days to anywhere in the USA, which is better than I get from some California sellers

My particular copy needs no Auto Focus fine tuning on my D645z, is sharp from end to end, and stopped down one stop altogether a sharp and good performing lens. A much more reliable reviewer than I says it's not as sharp on the long end. He's probably right. I don't care 'cause I think it's perfectly good enough for me. But then I don't really do tests, I just make photographs

As I don't do much in reduced illumination the max aperture doesn't matter much.

No zoom creep, controls are smooth and have a nice feel, and personally I rather like the clutch type manual focus switch.

Mine came with the RH-A collapsable rubber hood, which suits me fine. The rubber separated after the first use, but was reattached more perminently and now behaves like it's going to stay there. I also have the dedicated hard hood, but it's bit large for my taste. Damn thing's heavy for an old man to carry.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: May 1, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $780.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness
Cons: no SR
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645D   

It's a very sharp lens with a reasonable price that you can get it from second hand markets.
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2012
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Posts: 171

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 29, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Takes great pictures. wide-normal focal length is massively useful
Cons: Heavy, hard-to-find lens hood
Sharpness: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax 645NII, 645N   

This is my go-to lens for the 645 system and consistently the lens I take the best pictures with. I find the wide-normal focal length suits me and a lot of the time I carry no extra lenses on the camera.

The focus, zoom and aperture rings are nicely set up and easy to use with your eye to the viewfinder. Despite owning the AF version I use manual focus 90% of the time but the AF certainly works well. It's quite heavy to lug around but feels great in the hand and pretty well balanced on the Pentax film bodies.

I can't rate this on sharpness or aberrations or whatever... All I can say is that it's sharp enough for me and I love the images I get with it. I own the 35mm A lens which is awesome but when I look at the negatives I have chosen to print most of them were shot on the wide end of my 45-85mm.

I bought my copy without a lens hood, they are difficult (and expensive) to track down so if you are shopping for a copy try to find one with the hood.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: August 26, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent IQ
Cons: A bit heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645D   

This has become my most-used lens for landscape work on my 645D. I do miss the longer-end versatility of my old Canon 24-105L, but the jump in overall IQ in moving from the 5DII to the 645D is well worth it. Paired with the FA80-160, I find the 45-85 to be a real workhorse lens. Fast auto-focus, great contrast, minimal aberrations (immediately fixed in PS CS5).

You can see some examples of my images from the 45-85 at:

http://www.cksandbergphoto.com/cksandbergphoto/Featured_Image.html

and

http://www.cksandbergphoto.com/cksandbergphoto/Previous_Featured_Images.html.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2010
Posts: 20
Lens Review Date: July 28, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax 645n   

Good general purpose lens. Since autofocus and zoom work well together, this is a good addition to a 645n kit. Optical design is suberb, just the optical viewing system in the 645n, which is quite advanced. There is much to be said for a large, bright viewfinder! I liked this lens enough to hunt down the native lens shade, which is effective (and looks nice). With Pentax flash, and a Heliopan 81B filter, I get superb color fidelity in artificial light and the same in natural light.
   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2009
Posts: 29

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 9, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $750.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: quality of images: sharp
Cons: size and weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

This lens was an early acquisition for my 645D. It is sharp and contrasty. At 55mm, it is very sharp and seems to be better than the latest P645 55/2.8 lens.

However, the 85mm end is not so long and the bulk of the lens is not insignificant. It therefore gets left at home. Instead, I take the 35 FA and 75 FA. By using the 35 FA, I can crop a little and still get the 45mm equivalent, while cropping the excellent and very light weight 75/FA, I can get the 85mm look if needed. And if weight is not an issue, I'd add the P67 55/4 (latest version), which is even excellent for macro work, to cover the middle 55mm range. So this zoom sits in my closet.
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 267
Lens Review Date: June 15, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: relatively sharp
Cons: slow, not that sharp wide open and at 22/32
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

It's a great lens for travelling, I don't find it that heavy. It's probably the only lens you need on tour. However, I rather use my 67 45mm (with adapter on 645D) for time exposure as it is way sharper than the zoom at all apertures. The bokeh could be nicer wide-open.
I am very used to the sharpness of my 67 lenses but I would still recommend this great 645 zoom.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: arlington va
Posts: 18
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, color, contrast, great lens hood
Cons: heavy

i agree that it is heavy

however, it is worth it

for years i used a 45mm, 55mm, and 150mm for the few events and weddings i would shoot each year

once i started using the 45mm-85mm and saw the results, i was hooked

yes, it does have some distortion at the wide end, but not much, and it *is* sharper than the 45mm prime
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Rotterdam, NL
Posts: 766

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 11, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, excellent colour rendition
Cons: heavy; bit slower than primes
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Briefly though inexpertedly compared this lens to the 2.8/55 and 2.8/75mm A-lenses via an adapter (and that also indicates the restrictions, because the borders were not used on my dslr). But it tends to confirm what I sensed without direct comparison on film. This lens has a nicer colour capture than its fixed lens counterparts. It is very sharp, too. If I do not need f2.8, I'd choose this lens.

Disadvantage? It is heavy. Yes, heavy enough to wonder whether I would not take the 2.8/55 and 75mm instead.
Edit: I have used this lens for longer now and sold my 55mm. Keeping the 75mm as a lightweight option.

I'd give it 9.5 if that were an option. I have not compared this lens rigorously enough to the 75mm primes to give a balanced opinion but I choose between them not on performance but convenience. The overall impression is very good. All of this applies to the 645N film camera.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5 Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5



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