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Pentax Lens Review Database » Film Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » FA Prime Lenses
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8 Review RSS Feed

HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
8 20,003 Wed August 9, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
75% of reviewers $842.51 8.00
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8

HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8

This modernized version of the iconic SMC Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 Limited features updated HD coatings and rounded aperture blades.

HD Pentax-FA 31mm F1.8 AL Limited
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 9 blades (rounded)
9 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 49 ° / 42 °
Full frame: 70 ° / 60 °
Dedicated pouch (P70-140)
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on (O-LW65B)
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 68.5 mm (2.6 x 2.7 in.)
341 g (12.2 oz.)
Production Years
2021 to present (in production)
$1046 USD current price
$1049 USD at launch
Engraved Name
HD PENTAX-FA 1:1.8 31mm AL Limited
Product Code
20220 (silver), 20210 (black)
User reviews
In-depth review
One aspherical element, one ED element, one high refraction low dispertion element. Rounded aperture from F1.8 to F3.5.

Black and silver

Screwdrive AutofocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8
In-Depth Review: Read our HD Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8 in-depth review!
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-8 of 8
New Member

Registered: June, 2023
Posts: 9
Review Date: August 9, 2023 Recommended | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: All generes lens
Cons: No WR
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3iii Monochrome   

Its the best all around lens with APSC or Fullframe, construction and optical quality are amazing and the price is also good. An all around lens, the only cons is that is no WR
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2016
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 523
Review Date: July 26, 2023 Recommended | Price: $796.95 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, great clarity and bokeh, wonderful handling
Cons: maybe price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K3-Mark III   

Simply put, a great lens and I will let my photos do the talking. I give it a 9.3 rating.

Registered: September, 2020
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,457
Review Date: June 21, 2023 Recommended | Price: $579.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lovely build quality, fantastic image rendering
Cons: Older screw-drive AF and some CA for an expensive prime lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1 Mark II   

My first FA Limited, the way this lens renders wide open through f2.8 is very unique, it feels like an image that's already been put through creative image processing, yet is straight out of camera. Stopped down at f8 I was very impressed by the sharpness and color rendition. Yes, there is chromatic aberration, but if you can't live with that for such a unique lens then you shouldn't be a Pentax shooter anyway, as so many of our lenses are film-era optical designs which do not address the way CA shows up on a digital sensor.

One thing I can note as well is the FUYUNO image profile, added to the K3III and K1 via firmware and only usable with this lens and one other (a DA Limited lens). It's a profile designed to offer contrasty "wintry" mood and, while it's not winter when I gained access to this profile and as I write this, it is an interesting look. I'm not in favor of locking down JPEG profiles to specific lenses, but given that we weren't owed this profile I won't complain too much - I do think it should also be available for the older SMC version, but whatever. I like some of the images I've taken with this profile, it also works for street.

Registered: March, 2021
Posts: 995

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 14, 2023 Recommended | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Bokeh, Sharpness, Build
Cons: minor lens abberations
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

Bought this with the other Amigos (including the 21mm) and this one turned out to be my GoTo in most situations. Vignetting is significant, but easily addressed in post. Extremely strong performance in the centre, good at the edges. Perfect for most landscaeps and interiors. Flare is controlled very well thanks to the new HD, but does get hairy in very harsh situations. Pano stitching is a breeze given the low field distortion and close focus capabilities.

Registered: April, 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 2,844

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 14, 2023 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Nice bokeh
Cons: CA, not as good as the Pentax 20-40 Limited
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 4    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

I owned this lens a few years ago. During the time that I owned it, I also owned the Pentax
HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 Limited DC WR (aka bag of primes).

I performed informal side-by-side comparisons between the two lenses. To my surprise, I found that I slightly preferred the overall IQ of the 20-40mm lens over the 31mm prime. In fact, based on these tests, I sold my 31mm lens and never regretted it.

Registered: February, 2022
Posts: 2

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 25, 2022 Not Recommended | Price: $1,068.00 | Rating: 1 

Pros: None.
Cons: All.
Sharpness: 1    Aberrations: 1    Bokeh: 1    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 1    Value: 1    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1ii   

This lens is an old, criminally overpriced, mediocre piece of glass that cannot be used during the day. I can think of no lens I've ever used whose reputation was so very, very, very far away from reality. If you are the kind of person who thinks that Chromatic Aberration is "Pixie Dust," then go for it. Otherwise: avoid.

EDIT: Due to a rather unfortunate number of hostile messages I've received about this review, I'd like to make myself a bit more clear. I am a high-volume professional wedding photographer who, since the beginning of 2022, has done nearly 35 weddings. 100% of my weddings are done outdoors, but there are times that I need something fast in order to shoot the interiors of limousines and helicopters as well. I bought this lens for my K-1, hoping it would complement my Panasonic/Leica 42.5 Nocticron that I run on my second body, and that the two in combination would allow me to replace the Pentax 24-70, which I have taken nearly 60,000 shots with in the past year. However, I did not purchase it for over one-thousand dollars in order to stop it down to achieve an acceptable result. I have used hundreds of lenses in my decades of photography, and this is the most absurdly overpriced, overhyped lens I have used, with results that are professionally totally unacceptable. I have been happy with the K-1, and the 24-70 has given me and my clients many good results. I have used the DA* 50/1.4, and it is a remarkably good lens. I have nearly 40 vintage M42/K lenses, all of which I have enjoyed using in one way or another. This lens is singularly disappointing, given its reputation and its astoundingly out-of-alignment price, and I stand by my abysmally low rating without any hesitation whatsoever. If you are a hobbyist who enjoys fiddling around with overpriced glass in order to achieve decent results, I am in no position to stop you. As someone who needs his gear to work well without any time for second-guessing, I can tell you that this is not that lens.

Senior Member

Registered: April, 2020
Location: Ferrara Italia
Posts: 133

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 14, 2021 Not Recommended | Rating: 9 

Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

Used a few times but with great satisfaction. Just close the aperture a couple of stops and it becomes a wonderful lens.

Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2020
Posts: 103

8 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 24, 2021 Recommended | Price: $1,111.10 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Sharp enough, bokeh is nice when wide open
Cons: Vignettes under f2.8, some purple fringing below f3
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 7    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1 II   

A brand new 20 year old lens. Must be knocked down a few stops to avoid pretty poor vignetting. Purple fringing is visible in high contrast areas, but not too bad even wide open, pretty gone after about three stops. Must use camera body switch to change into manual focus mode, you cannot just override the focus by turning the lens. If you want a prime wide angle for your K-1 then this does get you the best one available from Pentax, but still can't be used in the care-free way the state of the art D FA 50 1.4 can be. In return, it's not the size or weight of the 50 either.
Remember to update your firmware before use.
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