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SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8

Sharpness 
 9.2
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 9.0
Autofocus 
 8.0
Handling 
 8.7
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
67 368,516 Fri May 22, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $141.41 9.11
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8

SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
supersize

Description:
The SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 lens is designed for the APS-C sensor format and performs like a small telephoto lens in that format (75mm eqv.).

Pentax promises a superb rendition of depth and a natural bokeh (out-of-focus) effect in part thanks to the rounded aperture blades.

It features a lightweight plastic construction with a plastic lens mount similar to that of the DA 35mm F2.4. The large maximum aperture of F1.8 produces a shallow depth of field which is ideal for portrait photography.

The front element is SP coated so as to repel dirt and grease and be easier to clean.

This lens is an affordable alternative to the DA* 55mm F1.4 lens. It will cost $249 and be available in late June / early July, 2012. It has a plastic bayonet.

SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.15x
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 31.5 ° / 27 °
Hood
RH-RA52
Case
S70-70
Lens Cap
O-LC52N
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 38.5 mm (2.5 x 1.5 in.)
Weight
122 g (4.3 oz.)
Production Years
2012 to present (in production)
Pricing
$96 USD current price
$224 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:1.8 50mm
Product Code
22177
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review
Unofficial Full-Frame Compatibility Tests by Pentax Forums
★★☆ Full coverage at some F-stop and focal length combinations
Show details
Notes
Lens hood and case are not included. Several hoods will fit, hereunder RH-RA52.
Plastic lens mount.

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAutomatic ApertureAPS-C Digital Only
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 67
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,638
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap, fairly sharp
Cons: Lacks character, plastic
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K5 IIs   

I retired this lens a few years ago and never looked back. Actually I'm not sure where I placed it but the funny thing is I don't miss it at all ? The reason why I say that is that to me, the lens lacked character. I know a lot of people rated this lens very high and maybe I just had a bad copy. However, I tested this lens against the 50 mm f1.7 and the Takumar 50 mm f1.4 (8 element) and this lens didn't stand a chance.

It couldn't even beat out my Takumar 55 mm f3.5. It's a good lens if you are on a budget and are just starting out it's just that there are better options out there like I just mentioned. The lens is sharp enough, it's just that the Pentax colors and rendition are not really there like in my other lenses. The Bokeh is "Meh", nothing to write home about. I took this lens out and tested in all sorts of lighting because I really wanted to like it. Once in a while I would get a keeper, but at other times the images just looked dull and lifeless. It was that inconsistency that made me move up to something better.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2016
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: April 19, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Small, Light, Cheap, Good All Rounder, Bang For Buck
Cons: Noisey AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2, K-3, K-1   

Awesome little lens that even performs well on the K-1 - Some are put off by the plastic mount but I think that the weight saving in this lens that you can genuinely put in a coat pocket makes it worth the trade off.

My full review including Sample images on YourTube https://youtu.be/t5CfB1UUE0E
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2017
Location: Cinco de Mayo
Posts: 449

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 23, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bokeh, Sharp, Cheap
Cons: No WR, No Metal Mount.

I have been experiencing many manual lenses: Takumar 1.4, A 1.4, A 1.7 and A 2.0; Carl Zeiss 50mm f2.8 and 3.5

This lens has fulfilled all my expectations for a very low price.

I think I could replace all vintage lenses with this gem... if you don't care about UNIKE bokeh in vintage lens.

For sure, the bokeh is a bit distracting, but by closing a click or two of the diaphragm the distracting disappears and really begins to shine.

Whoever decides to try it will not be mistaken: Modernity reflected in something as simple and cheap as this lens.

All samples at f1.8


   
New Member

Registered: August, 2018
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, Great rendition of colour, Sharp
Cons: Plastic build but expected for the price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Km, K-01, K-50   

I use this lens on the APS-c crop sensor bodies Km, K-01 and K-50. It works great as a portrait lens and short telephoto. 50mm on crop sensor is approximately 76 mm on full frame. Its aperture of f1.8 is great for low light situations. The compact size and light weight are a bonus. The pictures from this lens are sharp and the colour contrast is very pleasant.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 1,235
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, Maximum Aperture, Bokeh
Cons: No distance scale, Classic autofocus, No hood
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-S2   

This lens is the second Plastic Fantastic (the first one being the DA 35 F2.4). This lens is very similar on the outside compared to the first Plastic Fantastic, but it is "improved" with its greater maximum aperture, front element being recessed when focused to infinity (lack of hood is less problematic), 7 rounded blades diaphragm, and center-pinch front cap.

Indeed, the F1.8 maximum aperture is the strongest point of this lens (which is also the cheapest Pentax lens available!). Pentax do not offer many lenses that can do F1.8. Add this with the 7 rounded blades aperture and you get really creamy bokeh ; it's the most interesting aspect of this lens, ideal for portraits, and this is a good thing since this lens is made for that usage.

Like the first Plastic Fantastic though, you have no distance scale, no quick-shift and no hood.

That said, as much as I love my DA 35 F2.4, this one is so-so for me. Image quality is good, but, to my eyes, subpar to both DA 35 F2.4 and DFA 50 Macro. The DA 50 closed down to F2.8 (more than 1 stop) has a lesser image quality than the DFA 50 Macro at F2.8 (wide open).

Still, I recommend this lens, since it is cheap and the DFA 50 Macro does not have such a beautiful bokeh nor such a high maximum aperture.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2019
Location: Geelong, Australia
Posts: 335
Lens Review Date: December 19, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $68.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, auto focus
Cons: doesn't seem solid enough

I decided to buy this lens because it was cheap on eBay and brand new in the box.
I didn't expect it to be as good a value for money.

Being lightweight is for me a big bonus.
I am used to using "M" & "A" 50mm lenses and this performs slightly better in my opinion.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: December 2, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: It has Auto Focus
Cons: CA and noisy AF
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 1    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 1    Value: 3    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2; K-30   

This is one of the few nifty-fifty options with autofocus in Pentax world. The other one "in-production" is way heavier and expensive, so many Pentaxians will end up buying this one as a result. Autofocus is usual Pentax--drill-machine sounds and a bit of confusion while locking focus. The focus throw/range is very long on this lens (the focus ring rotates more than half a circle); as a result, it is a lot noisier than several other primes, including DA 35mm f/2.4. Sharpness is okay, but there are plenty of chromatic abberations (hardly ever disappears despite stopping down), low contrast (until f/2.8) and a bit of haze wide open. For a modern lens, this is poor. Compared to the other cheap nifty fifty lenses by Sony and Nikon, this lens is considerably poor.

Below are some images taken with DA 50mm f/1.8 at f/1.8:




   
New Member

Registered: September, 2015
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: AF, price, weight, image quality
Cons: nothing at that price
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-r, K5ii   

This was my last lens I bought (after DA35/2.4AL, Sigma 18-35/1.8 Art and Tamron 70-200/2.8. This lens have the best AF performance and accuracy (yield of keepers per shoot) among all mentioned in the list. It returned fate into Pentax as professional and reliable tool.

It is lightweight and gives very good image quality with quite nice bokeh and very well controlled CA and fringing. Plastic mount never was problem. It have that chep press-on back lens cap which I replaced with twist one from eBay. What a difference - but that costed 15% of the lens

I love it and I use it mostly, unless I need 35mm.

What I dislike:
Bokeh is a bit bussy and not the smoothest. Also at 1.8 is not the best lens. It does not have hood so it might be very poor in certain harsh light until stopped down to f5.6 or more. Not very often, but it happened. Regarding price, this is nothing.

Autofocus:
Great AF reminded me to review this lens, because it enjoys so understated score regarding AF. It is so reliable even in less than perfect light, especially on moving people and other difficult targets that renders DA35/2.4AL hopeless. AF works really well and continuously lock properly. It have the best AF performence of all lenses I ever had. The only lenses which are remarkably better are DFA*70-200 and DFA15-30 (among those I tested).

I'm event and wedding shooter which often finds myself at low light situations and moving targets, like people. While AF already needs longer to lock, it is utterly important that lens does not play by itself and locks asap with minimal or no corrections. No several AF presses to focus, no frustration. DA50/1.8 does that, unlike DA35/2.4AL which just correct and wait and corect, and ... fail.

Do I reccomend this lens:
YES, of course! The only better deal would be used DA50/1.8
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2018
Location: California
Posts: 47

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 28, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Light, and Great for portraits
Cons: Fringing is apparent
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3, K-1   

I took this lens on a month long backpacking trip through europe without a case. Even though it's a plastic build it stayed in perfect condition the whole way. My copy has slight problems with infinite focus where I have to roll back the focus ring a touch, That's really the only bad thing to say about it.

On the K-1 I would recommend this lens twice over, in FF mode it's a 50mm 1.8 with the only downside being vignetting wide open, BUT on crop mode it turns into a 77mm 1.8 with no vignetting so it's really a great deal if you have a K-1 as well.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.



   
New Member

Registered: June, 2018
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: September 13, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $119.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Bargain price lightweight awesome bokeh
Cons: I found the auto focus a tad low quality
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax km and K1   

I brought the Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA Lens on eBay for what seems to be a bargain it has worked perfectly on my Pentax KM (K2000 in some countries) and works perfectly on my Pentax K1. I strongly recommend this lens if your in to bokeh I'm almost tempted to try it as a redundant lens on my K1000 as a experiment.....
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 795

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 14, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap
Cons: Plastic, no quick shift, soft under F2.8
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-30   

This is a good lens to start with primes. Much better portrait lens then any F2.8 16-50 or 17-50 lenses.

Altough this lens is soft wide open. I think it produces the best bokeh/sharpness tradeoff in the F2.2-F2.5 region. This was my second prime after the DFA100 macro and it was a little disapontment regarding the sharpnss. The wider FoV and the bokeh is more flattering for portraits then what the DFA100 produced. It's definitly inferior to the FA limiteds and DA*55 which are miles ahead from this lens. Finally I sold this one and I kept my F 50 F1.7 insted which is a very similar lens, only a little better.

On APS-C the 50mm is a little akward. Too narrow FoV, I prefer somethin wider, like the FA43 or something in the 28-35mm region.

I recommend to buy a used one, because it's easy to sell if you arn't satisfiyed with it or if it works for you, then it's cheaper.
If this will be your first prime I recommend it, because it will show you many new oppurtunity, but don't expect too much from it after some other primes.

Here are some images:
IMG160619_0001 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160619_0006 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160326_0073 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160325_0011 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160619_0055 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160619_0042 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG160513_0005 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170603_0356 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr

IMG170611_0016 by Benjámin Czétényi, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2017
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: small, sharp, bokeh, lightweight, pretty fast af, works on ff as well despite it's a DA ^^
Cons: AF noise, but there is worst for sure
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K1   

This lens was basicaly designed for APS Pentax camera but is fully compatible with FF and so no problem on my K1, I'll upload some pics soon.

50mm is my favorite prime lens when I don't want to be overloaded and don't want to use zoom, at this price and quality it's hard to find better bargain.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 476

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 23, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, inexpensive, sharp, lens correction profille
Cons: For the price, none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1, K5iis   

This lens is very usable on full-frame K1. Sharp enough to feed the great 36mp sensor. Edges and corners are very good, too. Recessed front element - there is not much need for a hood. Very light and portable. The only con may be noise in focusing but most my lenses are screw drive anyway.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2017
Location: Plymouth, Devon. UK
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I am so sorry to hear of your bad experience with this lens. The difference between your review and the previous ones leads me to think you must have a bad copy. I cannot fault it on my K50.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2010
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: August 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: it has AF?!
Cons: IQ, sharpness, price
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 5    Value: 1    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k-x, k-01, k-50   

Compared with an old 50 M 1,7 this lens is pure crap. Soft, almost unusable at 1,8, cold colors which almost everyone hated it, no manual controls, cheap feel & all of this at a much higher price than competition. I wonder why they just dont take the old lenses & put some AF motors on them?
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8



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