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SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
67 216,423 Fri November 23, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $54.03 9.38
SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8

SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8
SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8

The SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8 is the faster version of the 55mm Pentax bayonet lens, unique to the K series.

SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 39 mm
221 g
Production Years
1975 to 1977
Engraved Name
SMC PENTAX 1:1.8/55
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 67
New Member

Registered: August, 2018
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: November 23, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color rendition, flare resistance, quite fast, pleasant bokeh when fully open, sharp, little chromatic aberration, mechanica quality
Cons: requires stop-down metering, or fully open on automatic
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax KP   

I have been using this lens for many years now, first on my LX, now on digital. It is quite heavy, but I love the look and feel of old glass. The colors are beautiful to me, and even fully open I am very fond of the rendition. I do not mind it is not tack sharp fully open, I am not expecting this. But when stopped down it gets very sharp, sharp enough for my needs at least . The bokeh is old school, so not really blurry, the number of diafragm blades is only six after all and they are straight.

The lens is built like a tank and has an unusually long focus throw, which can be advantageous for accurate close focusing. Or annoying when you want to go from close focus to infinity or vice versa . But focusing is still smooth after all these years.

I don't know current prices, but at the time it was an absolute bargain.

Picture taken fully open against the sunlight.

New Member

Registered: June, 2017
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: PENTAX K-3 II   

Exposure Time 1/5000s (0.0002)
ISO Equivalent 100
White Balance Auto
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 15

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 12, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-5   

Nice build and pretty sharp too when you nail the focus.

New Member

Registered: December, 2009
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: June 2, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: excellent colors, fast, looks, built
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Just received one today. Portraits at f1.8-f2.8 are awesome. Colors of sky and flowers are superb. This lens is a bargain.
On K-50


f 1.8 - 1/160 - ISO100 +2EV
foivosloxias June 2017

f 2.8 - 1/250 - ISO100
foivosloxias June 2017

f 1.8 - 1/200 - ISO1000
foivosloxias August 2017
[f 1.8 - 1/60 - ISO1000]
foivosloxias August 2017

[f 1.8 - 1/50 - ISO1000]
foivosloxias August 2017

[f 2.8 - 1/80 - ISO400]
foivosloxias August 2017
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 223
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: colors are beautiful, well built, lovely bokeh
Cons: I haven't had good luck with skin tones in portraits, could be my editing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-3   

My favorite lens for flowers or colorful still lifes. Love the rendering. Smooth focusing and sturdy build. As of now I prefer it over the A 50 1.4, but I've spent more time with the K 55 1.8.

IMGP0622 by Brady Burmeister, on Flickr

IMGP1936 by Brady Burmeister, on Flickr

IMGP2070 by Brady Burmeister, on Flickr
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 92
Lens Review Date: June 8, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, RUGGED, smooth focus
Cons: Manual focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I bought this lens off Craigslist and the sharpness and bokeh are awesome for the price so long as you are willing to use manual focus.

It is VERY rugged - I had a heart stopping moment where this lens and my K50 accidentally dropped about 4 feet to a thinly carpeted concrete floor. It landed on the filter thread rim of the lens bending it inward ... but everything still works perfectly well (on the K50 too)!

I bent the filter threads back out and was able to coax a lens hood onto it before taking this shot with my KS2 at f5.6 ISO400 at 1/500sec.

I've ordered a set of extension tubes but wondering if I really need them when a tight crop gets this...

Wish I could shoot this on Av mode, but stop down Manual isn't a bad alternative to get an image stabilized lens.

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 856

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, small size, good build quality, smooth focus
Cons: Stop down metering
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K30   

This lens is sharp enough and very usable wide open as long as you nail the focus. This was a critical attribute this lens needed to have in order to stay in my camera bag. I bought mine as a bargain lens from KEH and with shipping came out to about $52. It has some dust in it but it doesn't affect the picture quality, and it has a little finish loss in some places that gives it some character. As far as value goes for the condition mine is in and the quality of the photos it produces, I would rate it a 9/10. The focusing is very smooth and I am able to focus it quickly enough to still get great results. I do use a viewfinder magnifier. I took this photo today with this lens, shot wide open, with some post processing done in photoshop:
I was able to focus it quickly and accurately enough to get more in focus shots than I thought I would. Might I add it is not easy to get a close up of a chicken at f1.8 when they only want to run around and dig for worms!

Here is another one wide open at f1.8:

And a shot with the sun near the edge of the frame, also wide open and no post processing at all:
I slightly missed focus on the gate handle, the focus point is actually to the left on the fence.

These were all taken around f4, and shows how sharp this lens gets when stopped down:

The biggest con for me is not being able to use auto iso with this lens, due to having to push the green button and perform stop down metering. Another con is that when stopped down 1-4 clicks from wide open, the bokeh becomes a circular saw shaped pattern instead of perfectly rounded circles when having out of focus lights in the background at night. For this reason I had to drop the lens' bokeh rating. Wide open, though, this isn't a problem and I think the bokeh is great. I bought this lens to use wide open anyways, and it can be focused very accurately with my K30's "catch in focus" mode activated. All in all it's a nice sharp manual focus lens that has a lot of character, and is worth picking up if you are willing to work with its limitations.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 1,457
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $39.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price , sharpness , color rendition
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30   

Absolutely amazing resolution on the the K30 for my portrait lens on M mode.
My first photos stopped down blew my mind with such high resolution.
Color is rich and saturated , bokeh very pleasing.
You simply cant go wrong on this one !
I didn't know what to expect with this lens, but it exceeds ALL my hopes.
APS-C in combination with the SMC Pentax 55mm/1.8 really works !
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: lamia , greece
Posts: 7

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: nice build , 1.8 is great bokeh
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: pentax k-30   

superb quality not easy 2 use but great pictures.
This one with 2 other mmore lens got them from my father when i used i dident expect to be worth carrying on backback. but i really dont see any use not having him on permant attach. this pic taken with this lens on f1.8 / 2 sec / iso 100 on indoor. all the pictures with the sewing mascine + the flower is with this lence. great image quality.

JUST amazing for portait. BW !

Top quality lens extreme sarp even on 1.8 blows on f.8
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 73

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, fast, creamy bokeh, build quality, feel, looks goood on modern DSLR's, on APS sensor makes a dream @85mm f/1,8 lens (actually 55x1,5=@82,5mm). On top of it its cheap and widely available.
Cons: ....... could be SMC-A...... and AF..... and.....NAH!!!!

Absolutely brilliant lens that due to its wide availability is still ridiculously cheap. Build quality, handling feel is just second to none SMC-K/ Takumar type. The look of K-type lenses on modern DSLR's (which are the size of K-type SLR's) is so goood - after you try them SMC-M lenses, in comparison look to small and funny (with all regard to their optical quality).

As for the IQ - check Yoshihiko Takinami resolution charts to see that you will never ever need to check it again. Just go and use it!!!

The lens is tack-sharp!!! At f/1,8-2 equals theSMC-K 50mm f/1,2.

As I already wrote - on crop sensor this lens makes an amazing equivalent to: 85mm f/1,8 dream portrait glass!!!
It is actually 82,5mm, but as with real 85mm you can go all day and never be tired of using it. Finding great pictures is so fun and easy!!!

I highly recommend this lens to anyone, who is not afraid of a manual glass.

P.S.: If you want to have a more flexible version - buy a SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 or f/1,8. At P or A - you will have a TTL (working aperture) real time metering that doesn't require the use of a GREEN BUTTON.

Do remember that f/2 and f/1,8 seems to be actually identical lenses with only difference in aperture ring clicks placement. You can set a f/2 lens one click beyond f/2....... so. Buy any of them.
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Location: Europe
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast,Sharp,Comfortable
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: pentax *ist DS   

Hi ,
I picked this lens with a missing front ring , but other than that with no defects, the images are very sharp , the bokeh is fantastic, i love it so far, have been shooting with it for few days , changing it with my 28mm Miranda when in need for wider indoor shot
The smooth focusing was feeling weird in the beginning ,due to the much looser focus ring of the Miranda I have , but when i got used to it i begun loving it ( after a 10 minute shooting )
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 27
Lens Review Date: April 3, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: superb focussing
Cons: focus throw can be bit long for quick action
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: KX, GH3   

This lens has the smoothest focussing of all the lenses I ever used. Long focus throw for very precise focussing, much longer than the Pentax 50mm f1.7. This lens is ideal for videorecording, because the focussing is such a joy; turning the ring back and forth goes effortlessly and without the smallest interruptions.

I tested both 50mm f1.4 (M), 50mm f1.7 (M) and 55mm f1.8 (K) and to be honest they are all very close in picture quality, minor differences only show up while pixel peeping. I would recommend to use lenses for making nice photos and not for the sake of pixel peeping though.

Anyway I was interested in their performance wide open and at f2.0. I found the 1.4 and 1.8 completely usable wide open but with the 1.7 ca and glow start kicking in around highlights. I would say the 1.7 is better usable from f2.0, where it improves drastically. Ended up selling the 1.7 and keeping the other two, with the 1.8 as my personal favorite standard lens. It also looks best in combination with my black KX (same generation).
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 73
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, compact, great focusing ring, nice colour rendition
Cons: Little soft wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-7, K-5, K200D   

This great little lens is a solid performer with the excellent build quality of the K series. It's sharp with good contrast and nice colour rendition, although a bit long on APS-C format camera.

Build quality is superb with all-metal parts, and the focusing ring feels simply great, nice long throw and butter-smooth rotation.

Only slight negative is that is a bit soft wide open, but at f/2.8 it sharp across the frame again.
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Location: Vadodara
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Pretty sharp even wide open, Good Contrast, Shallow DOF, Bokeh
Cons: Nothing really for the price you pay!
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-01   

Just bought this lens to experiment and it turns out a brilliant lens. Mine came in a very good condition with butter smooth focus ring. The bokeh is pretty nice and so is the contrast even wide open. This is FF compatiable as per the above details and hopefully it will be great if Pentax ever comes up with a FF Camera, I might be able to us it? who know??

Check out one of the first clicks of this lens with Pentax K-01
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 961
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Very sharp!
Cons: Nothing.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: KX   

This lens is even sharper than the already sharp M50 f1.7.

Its sharpness is closely comparable to my FA43. (The OOF rendering is way behind though). The focal length takes getting used to as it's quite on the long side for indoor shots.

Bokeh is creamy wide open. Past 2.8 the creamy bokeh gives way to somewhat odd-shaped pointed starbursts! This can be used as an "effect" but one may wish to avoid too by avoiding direct lights.

It's not as warm as the limiteds, but it has character, when I need a sharp 50, this girl gets the call. The build is great, and focusing is easy.

This lens has actually kept me from getting the DA*55.
Add Review of SMC Pentax 55mm F1.8

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