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SMC Pentax 55mm F2

Sharpness 
 8.6
Aberrations 
 8.8
Bokeh 
 9.1
Handling 
 9.6
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
17 63,966 Sun August 19, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $52.50 9.06
SMC Pentax 55mm F2

SMC Pentax 55mm F2
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SMC Pentax 55mm F2
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Description:
This is the cheaper version of the 55mm bayonet lens in the K series. It shares the optical formula and physical dimensions with the F1.8 variant.



SMC Pentax 55mm F2
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
PH-R52
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 39 mm
Weight
221 g
Production Years
1976 to 1977
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX 1:2 55mm
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax 55mm F2
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 17
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 1,258

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 19, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, pretty close focus
Cons: CA
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3ii   

In the center, at f2 (max aperture) it's at least as sharp as the FA 50/1.4 at f2, with just slightly less contrast; it's much sharper than my M 50/2 at f2. The same holds at f5.6, although by then the M catches up. It's about as large as the FA 50/1.4. Solid build quality.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2017
Location: Vienna
Posts: 19
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp
Cons: none
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3   

on APS-C a very good old lens.For the first time a had some problems with overexpose but by a little training my problems disappeared an i had some fun with this lens.I can recommend this glass.

   
New Member

Registered: March, 2018
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Colour rendition, contrast, build quality and handling
Cons: Sawtooth bokeh from 2.8-4.8 and midframe and corner softness on FF
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 7    Camera Used: Sony a7   

I got a copy of this lens in beautiful condition. The handling and built quality is great. This lens is the same lens as the K55/1.8, but this one has a baffle which stops it mechanically down to f/2.

I tested this lens on a full frame Sony a7.
The bokeh is quite smooth, but the sawtooth bokeh at 2.8 and 4 are really annoying. It's weird that no one mentions this.
Wide open the lens is sharp and contrasty enough in the centre. The centre is at its best at f/5.6 and f/8. The corners improve when stopping down. At F/11 the corners are only "good", not excellent.
The extreme corners never get sharp. The softness is visible at 1:1 magnification on a 28 inch uHD screen.
At f/11 the diffraction kicks in. The centre lose a little bit of sharpness.
The lens is not flare resistance as modern lenses. A lens hood is a must.

On a full frame the lens performs better at close distances. So I can recommend it for portrait use, not for landscapes.
On an APS-C camera the lens should perform way better.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Value! Sharp at f2.0.
Cons: No a-setting for aperture. Maybe a tad long focus throw.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30   

Runs circles around the Pentax-M 50mm f2.0, which is the only other classic normal lens I own. Very nice bokeh and not soft at all at f2.0. Meters perfectly on my K-30. Wonderful build quality. Focus throw is very long, which may or may not be to your liking. All images at f2.0 with corresponding 100% crop.

   
amateur dirt farmer...

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 13,284
Lens Review Date: April 1, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: well-built, superb handling, amazing color rendition
Cons: loss of contrast in strong light

An amazing lens - supposedly less desirable than the K55/1.8, but I cannot see why...

Superb handling due to it's quality construction and well-damped focus ring. Sure, it's not an 'A' lens, so you have to remember to think a bit before you shoot (green button, dude), but how hard is that? You're using a 40-year-old manual lens; you're going to have to be involved in your shot, period.

Color rendition, smooth bokeh, reasonable MFD - it's all here in one package.

I used this lens for the Single In February challenge and it did not disappoint:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/albums/72157663633315590

If you are wanting to try your hand using manual lenses, this is a good place to start.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 1,573
Lens Review Date: June 7, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: building quality,
Cons: some people might consider too "slow"
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1000   

The so called K55 mm f2.0 was originally designed as budget kit lens for the original K1000 (the ones with a serial number on the top plate that were produced at the time the other K series were made) in the same way the Takumar 55mm f2 was the kit lens for the SP1000 that the K1000 replaced.

As the Takumar f2 was the same lens as the Takumar f1.8 with a different diaphragm (Pentax didn't produce "cheap" gear, they preferred to de-rate the specs of the upper range and sell it as low range, it's sufficient to remember the case of the SP500), so the K55mm f2.0 is the same optically speaking as the K55mm f1.8, of course the K55s were carry over Taks in new dress so we might say all four lenses are the same and the same considerations apply: they are all very good.

The K55 mm f2.0 is the rarest of these four lenses because the original K1000 was produced for a short lifespan and the lens was available just with the camera while the f1.8 could be bought separately, when the K series was discountinued in the last 70s and the production of the K1000 was supposedly moved to Hong Kong (1979, or at least there are adverts of the first K1000 with brown leatherette from that year) the cameras were delivered with the new budget lens, the M50 mm f2.0.

IMO these lenses are optically superior to the M lenses and I would recommend a K55mm also because the image in the viewfinder is bigger and therefore more 1:1, while M cameras have a bigger viewfinder so the image is alreay at natural size with the 50mm.

Here there are some samples, they are all film, non post processed scans from negative, not that great but true to what you can on print:









   
Inactive Account

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: everything
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

perfect portrait lens on crop sensor
centre sharp ++++ great colours , smooth quality manual focus
great lens on par with the pentax M 50mm f2
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: May 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Everything
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K5   

fast, sharpness, color saturation, bokeh, everything is excellent
difficult to find weaknesses of this lens, here are the sample shot:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/roe_groho/sets/72157643498217064/
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223
Lens Review Date: January 26, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and contrasty wide open
Cons: The stopping down with green button for some, not me
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

This is an absolutely wonderful lens for portraits, and other subjects:


Big Eyes by Palenquero, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: September 28, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, great colors
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K2000   

Not as popular as its "faster" 1.8 sibling, but awesome nonetheless.

I prefer center-sharp lenses as they add more depth to the images, making them appear lifelike.

This lens delivers the goods for so little, an outstanding performance!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Niagara
Posts: 2,987

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, smooth bokeh
Cons:

Great colour and sharpness from this lens. I had not used it because I have a copy of FA 50/1.4 and it sat with some other film relics I inherited. Had I known of its quality, I might never have purchased the FA 50/1.4 because, besides the extra stop in speed and "A" pin, I find the 55/2 nicer in many aspects.

It is surprisingly sharp. Below, taken at f5.6 using hyperfocal scale:

Market Day by _Matt_T_, on Flickr

It is AMAZINGLY flare resistant. I don't think the FA 50/1.4 would have done so well here:

Sunset on Dialtone by _Matt_T_, on Flickr

The colours are generally stunning:

Calming Lake Ontario by _Matt_T_, on Flickr

And the bokeh is smooth and in my opinion appealing:

Japanese Parasol I (Coprinus plicatilis) by _Matt_T_, on Flickr

In general a very well behaved lens with a useable focal length, especially for portraits:
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 111

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 7, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Beautiful Colours, Well Built,
Cons: Focus Ring is a little long if you need to be quick
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-r, K1000   

Used this constantly on my old K1000, then on my K-r afterwards. It's hard to describe how wonderful this lens is as a basic, dependable lens. I've had numerous people comment on it's quality, and it's a great buy, especially as they are now going for around $40 on Ebay.

If you want a lens that is great for plants, portraits, and a few landscapes, this is the one.

I actually never knew of the existence of it's f1.8 brother until now, but I don't think it would make that much of a difference: I get on fine with f2, and it'll probably be cheaper too.
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Tasmania
Posts: 296
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent bokeh
Cons: Manual

I have only had this lens a short while but it has fast become my favourite. Very sharp pics with excellent bokeh on a K-7 for such a cheap lens. 55mm is an excellent walk around size on a DSLR. I haven't given it a ten as I don't have anything similar to compare it to yet.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,975

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 23, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build & cost.
Cons: Slower F2.0, hard to find.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

The K55/2 was released in 1976 a year after the original K55/1.8 and was produced as a budget standard lens available only with the new K1000 camera. (The K55/2 could not be purchased on its own or with another Pentax body and was only in production from 1976-77.)

The K55/2 has the same sharpness, lens hood (52mm standard) and build of the regular K55/1.8. In all respects the K55/2 is an exact copy of the K55/1.8, except its 1/3 of a stop slower.

Unless you are a collector there is no reason to seek out the K55/2 over the K55/1.8, as it will be harder to find and cost the same. However if you do come across one along with a K1000 or on its own, it will be a great addition to your Pentax kit.

Here is a picture of the two K55's:




Sample shots taken with the K55/2.0. Photos are medium resolution scans from original slides or negatives.

Camera: KM Film: Efke 50 processed in DR5 Chrome ISO: 50




Camera: LX Film: CineStill Film 50 ISO: 50

   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 123

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 20, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, color, bokeh
Cons: Not so sharp at f/2, very damped focus ring

I bought this lens with my k1000 way back when, and I still use it today as my low-light lens. It suffers somewhat at f/2. But hiking up the aperture to f/8, or even anywhere above f/2.8 is considerably better than f/2.
I just did a small test on it. Here's the link to the page where it's at:
http://fastphotography.googlepages.com/lenstest

The verdict?
Good general all-purpose lens, but I would reccomend other lenses slightly over this one. 7.49 out of 10.
Add Review of SMC Pentax 55mm F2



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