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HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW

Sharpness 
 10.0
Aberrations 
 9.2
Bokeh 
 9.8
Autofocus 
 9.6
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
30 68,175 Tue August 3, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,077.19 9.82
HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW

HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
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HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
supersize
HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
supersize
HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
supersize
HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
supersize

Description:

The HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW is a professional full-frame prime lens designed to deliver impeccable image quality for today's demanding cameras.  It is the first star-series full-frame prime lens of the digital era.

The HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW covers the full frame (24x36mm) format. On APS-C it works like a short telephoto lens.  It features the latest KAF4 lens mount*, which incorporates electromagnetic aperture control.  In addition, this is the first Pentax lens to use a ring-type autofocus motor which delivers significantly more torque than previous SDM motors.

*  Cameras compatible with this system are the K-50 and newer. For K-1, K-3 II, K-3, K-S2, K-S1 and K-50, the camera’s firmware must be upgraded to the latest version. If this lens is mounted on a camera without proper firmware upgrade, its diaphragm control mechanism becomes inactive leaving the aperture fixed at F1.4, making it difficult to obtain correct exposure.

Originally unveiled in February, 2017, the lens hit the market in July, 2018. In August of 2020 the limited quantity silver version was announced.


HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
Optics
15 elements, 9 groups
Mount Variant
KAF4
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.4
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
AF (in-lens motor)
SDM
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
0.18x
Filter Size
72 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32 ° / 27 °
Full frame: 47 ° / 40 °
Hood
PH-RBB72 (included)
Case
S100-140 (included)
Lens Cap
O-LC72 (included)
Coating
Aero Bright II,HD,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (AW)
Other Features
AF/MF Switch
Diam x Length
80 x 106 mm (3.1 x 4.2 in.)
Weight
910 g (32.1 oz.)
w/ Hood: +45g
Production Years
2018 to present (in production)
Pricing
$1096 USD current price
Engraved Name
HD Pentax-D FA* 1:1.4 50mm SDM AW
Product Code
21260
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Notes
Rated to work from -10C (14F) to 40C (104F) and in up to 85% humidity

Features:
Supersonic AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedInternal FocusingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW in-depth review!



Add Review of HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW Buy the HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 30
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 22

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 3, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $980.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp wide open, nice bokeh, well built lens, AW
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

Similar to my 85 mm, I have bought a silver one as well. I have it for a few weeks now, so no processed pictures, yet. The lens is MUCH smaller and lighter than 85, but is possessing similar optical virtues - its sharp even wide open with no noticeable softness or chromatic aberrations. Bokeh is creamy and nice to look at. Lens is bult very well and feels good in hands. Handling is perfect. AW is great to have! Did not use it for astrophotography yet, though.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 566

7 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 2, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp at f1.4. Bokeh very nice, creamy, the iris keeps the round shape up to f2.8. Very good contrast, color rendition. Probably the speed of focus is second in the line after Pentax 55-300 PLM version.
Cons: For many who likes smaller lenses, this lens will be heavy (910 g). The price is relatively high.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

For me this lens is perfectly suited to the Pentax K-1 - a good balance, stability and less hand-shake. Regardless of the weight of camera and lens in combo, the Pentax K-1 is perfectly treatable with 2-3 fingers.
On older Pentax cameras as Pentax K5ii and earlier, autofocus works, but due to the electromagnetic iris control incompatibility with the software of the camera, it takes pictures only wide open. Nevertheless, the lens is absolutely usable at f1.4 and pictures taken with Pentax K-30, K200D I use more now proves this (links/pictures included below).
I shoot portraits with this lens mostly 2 years in studio, on locations as well as nature. DFA* 50/1.4 is really very good lens.
I like infrared portraits too and I shoot them with infrared modified K-30/K-5. The new HD Pentax-D FA* 50/1.4 SDM AW is capable of focusing correctly through the viewfinder on my modified Pentax K-5 with 640 nm filter. This is a terrible surprise. Another thing that's even more impressive - the lens is sharp at f1.4! Unbelievable!

IMGP1601-Edit-2-Edit-Edit-3 by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
IMGP5450-Edit-Edit by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
IMGP5443-Edit by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
K1MG1263-Edit-2-Edit-Edit by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
IMGP5232-Edit-Edit-2 by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
IMGP1659-Edit-4 by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
K1MG2483-Edit by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
IMGP1837-Edit-Edit-2-2 by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
_IGP0009210519-Edit-Edit-Edit-2 by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
_IGP0595210526-Edit1-Edit-2 by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
_IGP82260315-Edit by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
_IMG0710-Edit by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
IMGP9671-Edit-Edit-2 by MG Mindaugas, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: December 19, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A wonderful lens; super-sharp; excellent color rendition; beautiful bokeh
Cons: Larger then a regular 50mm, but balances very well on K1 with a grip
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1   

Have been using the lens for over a year. Has become my favorite walk around lens. Highly recommended.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/145933544@N03/49956146682/in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145933544@N03/49664079722/in/dateposted/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/145933544@N03/48504667402/in/dateposted/
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2017
Posts: 16

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 8, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Its a big fat Summilux at a Pentax price
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

This lens is ridiculous.

Here is one pic, JPEG straight out of the camera, with really no thought put into the shot. Point and shoot basically.



Yes, its a big lens, but paired with a K1, its pretty well balanced. Paired with a K1, its a versatile combo for sure, and that includes fast action sports shots.
For handheld stills work with depth, this combo is right up there with a Leica + Summilux. Its pretty good !

Here is a couple more - JPG straight out of the camera, no processing yet


(zoom in to see possible abberations on the leaves)


(zoom in close on this to see the "action shot" of the pair of flies doing a dance to the right of the pony)

Fast Action Sports Shot, Wide Open - Pentax Style !

   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2017
Posts: 73
Lens Review Date: August 19, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,096.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything!
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

I committed to the Pentax K-1 as my main camera based on the release of this lens, it is an excellent performer in every regard. The new K-mount D FA* lenses by Pentax are incredible pieces of equipment and I eagerly await a wider lens in the series to compliment this and the HD Pentax-D FA* 85mm F1.4 ED SDM AW I recently purchased.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2017
Posts: 14

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 6, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
New or Used: New   






https://www.facebook.com/Vnosek/
   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Telemark
Posts: 73

7 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 8, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, nice colors, good autofocus, not too large
Cons: Sorry but still K-1 and the new 50 is not a great autofocus system
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

It's a brilliant lens. But on Pentax forums with Pentax people everything Pentax is always +25% of actual performance.

Don't misunderstand, this lens is brilliant and well suited to all types of photography. I like the size, FF lenses can be beasts, but as other Pentaxians says: "it balances nicely with the K-1", and thats true.

The autofocus is better than most Pentax lenses. But I also use other systems and the autofocus isn't great, but good.

I wish the near focus limit was 30 cm instead of 40 cm. The colors are excellent. You don't get that vintage look of course, but you get beautiful colors that are easy to work with. I used this lens along with a bunch of other quality lenses to photograph gear for a company and after putting all the files into lightroom I saw quickly that this lens and the 70-200 stood above the rest in what were quite similar shots. One of the other lenses I used was Sigma 35 mm f/1.4 art. And while this is also a great and slightly wider lens, the 50 mm just made better photos. I guess it's a combo of color rendition, sharpness and autofocus. For me, although yes different focal ranges, it's better than the 35mm sigma art, which is a brilliant lens.

I also own the Pentax 43 mm lens which is a fantastic lens. This is slightly sharper than both the 43 and 77 as expected, but the colors and 3d effect of the limited lenses make them still relevant for me. They're also more portable. But shooting in low light with the poor autofocus of the limited lenses is difficult.

I have 1200 shots with the new 50 and look forward to having more.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 906

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing quality picture making ability
Cons: price, but it is worth it

The DFA 50mm 1.4 is a fantastic lens, more than capable of making my most uninspiring shots even have some pixie dust. The photos with shallow depth of field have the most lovely bokeh. The resolving power means this lens can easily act as a telephoto just by cropping down as the quality is there. Yes, it is a heavy lump of glass but when using it on the K1 it never felt heavy, certainly when I picked up the camera bag I felt the weight , however it is well balanced in the hand. The odd filter size of 72mm means I will most likely just use the 77mm filters with a step down ring. The hood works well and reverses nicely for storage. Every time I took a photo and examined it with this lens, the result was better than I expected , there is something magical about it. The only other lens I have that does that is the F*300mm 4.5. Sometimes a lens just works right and this 50mm is one of those. Is it value for money? I think so and it is staying in the bag full time from now on.
green dog by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr
saw painter crop by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr
sunset stitch by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr
dahlia by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Posts: 8,543
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Everything except the size
Cons: Size, some CA

As stated in the in-depth review, this lens heralds a new generation of high-performances, no compromises lenses.

Apart from some CA, there is literally nothing to complain about from an optical standpoint. Images have all the pop and clarity of the best that Pentax can offer, sharpness is stellar, AF is a step above everything else on K-mount. The comparison review with the Rokinon 50mm and DA*55mm show just how good this new 50 really is.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 6,652

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 23, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, silent, bokeh
Cons: Heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1/K-1ii   

I remain ambivalent about this lens. I have purchased and sold it and then repurchased. As the photos posted here show it makes excellent images. But there is a cost and that is the size, weight and price. I also have the old DA*55 which vignettes a bit on FF, hesitates sometimes when focusing and occasionally shows some color fringing. But that lens is small and light compared to the DFA and usually will produce images that are almost as good as the DFA. I intend to keep working with and learning about the DFA but I find I grab the DA* more often. Best positive is it is an outstanding modern lens made by Pentax so we should encourage them by buying it if it is in our budget and we need a modern lens of this quality.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 21
Lens Review Date: November 19, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $899.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, bokeh
Cons: CA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1   

Very nice lens, very cost-effective compared to the Canon RF50 and Panasonic 50/1.4. A shot that Pentax K1 users can't miss
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Prague
Posts: 1,199

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 4, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: simply amazing
Cons: only available for K-mount

I thought I do not need this lens.
I had FA*85, FA35 and DFA50/2,8 as fast primes and adding another 50mm was not in my plan.
I used to have FA50/1,4 which I sold, because it was quite disappointing.
I tried A*50/1,2 and DA*55 borrowed from my friends and while these were a lot better, I did not think I needed those.
Then another friend borrowed me this lens and I was immediately fascinated by it.
Before, I thought he was crazy for buying it, because 50mm so expensive and heavy made no sense to me. But then I understood and ordered my own.
On K-1 body this lens seems adequate is size and for me being used to DFA24-70 it does not feel too heavy.
The AF works like nothing else I tried in the Pentax realm, precise and fast. Even at f1.4 I can use AF expecting to have about 2/3 of photos usable and about 1/4 in perfect focus. That is not possible with FA*85. This lens does miracles shooting little children, which I do most of the time lately.
Stopped down it's as sharp as the other DFA50, which I regarded as my sharpest lens.
It's not an APO, but the fringing is pretty limited compared to for example the FA*85. Even in the bokeh.
Quite simply a brilliant lens. I only regret it does not come in EF mount, my wife would appreciate lens like this for her Canon.
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 258

13 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything apart from the Negative Aspects
Cons: Weight and Size
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: APSC KP   

There have been some reviews lately about this lens (here and at dpreview). I find these review mostly not capturing what such a lens is about. Very technical and generic discussions.

If you need a wide aperture normal lens, this is a great option. The lens is a beautiful lens. The handling makes you like to handle it. None of the older lenses compares to it. The bokeh is magical.

A few images, mostly wide open.

















   
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2019
Location: Elyria, Ohio
Posts: 118
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $996.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredibly Sharp
Cons: Don't know yet
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

https://flic.kr/p/2e4T9ya
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 23

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, solid, silent.
Cons: Heavy, lacking manual aperture ring.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1ii   

Behold the beast! This lens is a tool from another world (I haven't tried ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 yet, so I can't really say the last word, but...). I got it on December and I used it a while during my holiday in Italy, but I realized it does not let handle itself easily as other lenses or like I expected (beside not being me a frequent 50mm user and having some issue with this angle of view - I prefer 28~30mm or beyond 60mm). So, I am giving it time to grow on me. It is a cold, merciless perfection delivering machine that knows no compromises. You need to have a god-like pre-visualizing skill of what you are doing AND your subject need to be flawless, or it will teach you all the misery and imperfection of material existence. Particularly at f1.4. It gathers so much detail that nor you nor any viewer can actually enjoy it if not cropping the image to get close to the individual pixels. It just stay hidden into the image and it provides it a mystic glow/patina of beauty.The same single-point autofocus of K1 is unfit IMO to handle its precision: I mean, you have to decide between the pupil or few millimeters away from the eyelid...and you can't, because the small square pointer is too large and you do not know what it will end up choosing for you! We could really enjoy a sound focusing system on K-1 like in Hasselblad! Jokes aside, when you start getting handy and you nail it, there you get the bee's knees... the big-bang of beauty perfection. I am pretty sure no model will like this lens... human appearance is too fallacious to afford facing a portrait with it lightheartedly. As said, it has its learning curve (a long one) to use it and to understand what it can/will do before you fire the shutter, but it delivers the incredible. A bit low on contrast/saturation, perhaps, for my tastes...? Sometimes with an interesting green glow/halo from longitudinal chromatic aberration on the subject under certain situations (but you have to dive into the image to see it). It seems to me to be a characteristic of Pentax lenses (and one I like much).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/32617959167/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/40594521793/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/40594522193/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/46370565764/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/40152630243/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/40152630243/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/46128064615/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/46368851535/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/liveactionhero/40310850713/in/dateposted-public/
Add Review of HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW Buy the HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F1.4 SDM AW



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