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

SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8

Sharpness 
 9.3
Aberrations 
 8.8
Bokeh 
 9.1
Autofocus 
 8.1
Handling 
 8.9
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
58 322,022 Thu September 13, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
97% of reviewers $148.58 9.21
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
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
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 58
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: 476
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: 407

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: 11
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?
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2017
Location: Montreal
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $115.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extremely good value, great bokeh, f1,8 is great
Cons: Noisy AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-s2   

This lens is just a steal. Get one.

It's sharp, it's fast, the manual ring is smooth, the bokeh is good, f1.8 is limit for interior shots but it works.

Only complain is the very noisy AF. I tend to just focus manually.

   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Lévis, Canada (Québec)
Posts: 143

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 6, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small. Sharp. Bokelicious.
Cons: AF issues. Plastic mount. No hood.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 7    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5   

This is an amazing lens. Many pros, just a few cons, and at 150*$CAN (110 $US equivalent at the time of purchase), there's no reason not to buy this lens, unless you already have a fast 50.

First off, sharpness. Even wide open, the lens is already very sharp in the center. It has a slight "dreamy" effect, which is due to the lack of contrast. A bit of contrast tuning in post-production makes the dreamy effect go away, with nice results. Stopping down the lens raises its contrast and its sharpness, with very sharp results across the frame from F2.2 and amazing sharpness from F2.8!

Lateral chromatic aberrations are on the high side wide open, and I've run into purple fringing at times (only on metallic or similar objects reflecting the sun's light, though). However, the CAs can be corrected easily in post-production. The longitudinal chromatic aberrations are also present wide open, but are lower than expected. All this is to be expected from a non-apochromatic lens, so there's no surprise, here.

Distortion is low and not of any concern unless you're into architecture photography. Vignetting is visible wide open, but it's also very well controlled.

The bokeh is very impressive wide open, and still good when stopped down. Excellent for portraits and to separate your subject from a busy background, which will turn to cream depending on the distance.

AF speed is great, but I found the AF very hesitant and quite inaccurate wide open. Obviously, shallow depth of field is not helping the camera to focus, but I wasn't expecting the lens to miss focus 90% of the time in good light when shooting wide open. The AF is also quite noisy, which, combined with the poor focus performance, can be a bit annoying. Thankfully, manual focus is a breeze, thanks to a perfectly damped focus ring.

The lack of a real lens hood is a bit of a bummer, as the lens is a bit sensitive to flare. The plastic mount is a disappointment, but at such a low price, I wasn't expecting a metal one. Still, the construction is rather impressive, with a tight assembly.

At such a low price, the only reasons why you wouldn't have this lens in your camera bag is either because you have no use for a fast prime with a 50mm focal length or because you already have a fast prime in the 35-70mm focal length.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $115.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, I.Q., Price
Cons: No quickshift, no range scale
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K30, K70   

This ultra-cheap, ultra-light, plastic lens is actually very well, tightly built.
The sharpness, center and edges, for reasons I don't know of, is better at full aperture than the A 50/1.7 and FA 50/1.7.
Quickshift is sorely missed. I would have like a hood also.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 180

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 17, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size handling focal length IQ
Cons: does not work with extension tubes
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

I bought my DA 50mm, as I was les than satisfied by the results I was getting with my 50mm A f1.7 on my K3. I already had the DA 35mm f2.4 and I am pretty pleased with that lens, but I do like the 50mm focal length an APSc cameras.
The DA 50 is definitely the best lens I own in terms of IQ on the K3. Pictures are consistently sharper with excellent contrast and colour rendition. I paid Ł90 for my copy so its also a damn good bargain!
My only criticism is that it does not function properly when used with my KA extension tubes. It only shoots at full aperture. There must be some fault in the communication between lens and camera. Funnily though me DA 35mm does work OK with the same tubes!
I've scored this lens as a 10 because of its overall IQ and great value for money. If it were more expensive I would be a little disappointed with the extension tube issue and could be picky about the plastic mount. I would still rate it as a 8.5/9.0 though.
If you don't have, one do yourself a favour get one!
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 76

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very good IQ, sharp, good contrast, cheap
Cons: Autofocus not accurate in low light and in general, plastic mount
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-70   

Image quality is practically identical to Pentax A 50mm 1.7. I the image centre DA at f1.8 is as sharp as A at 1.7 but in the corners of the image DA is sharper.

Bokeh as well as bokeh rings looks similar but photos from A are slightly better.

When full open images are soft but acceptable, good news is that steeping it down to 2.0 helps to remove soapy blur and slightly increases sharpness. At 2.2 it starts to be really sharp.
Auto focus is not to accurate, you can easily focus not exactly on object of your interest which happened few times during the test.
Focusing is the biggest problem it might happen that image taken with 2.0 can be sharper then one taken at 2.8… In general lens is sharp and there is no big difference between it and A1.7 sadly performance is limited by focusing system which is very inaccurate. I cannot say is it fault of SAFOX X auto-focus system, lens or both but it fails to deliver as good images as optics of the DA are capable of...

Pentax A 50mm F1.7 (at F1.7)


Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 (at F1.8)


Pentax A 50mm F1.7 (at F1.7)


Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 (at F1.8)


Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 (at F2.2)


   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 51
Lens Review Date: November 15, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Good Contrast, Cheap, Small
Cons: Soft wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

K-3, f5.6, 1/50s, iso500
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2016
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: August 25, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great for portraits, clean and decently fast AF
Cons: Fixed, not the best AF, loud as well.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-S2   

I Love the old manual 50mm asahi pentax smc lenses from F/2 down to F/1.4 - this is as good as those but better :-) It is obviously an AF lens vs. MF lens, but sometimes having the MF control is nice. That being said, this lens almost always hits its focus target relatively quick.

totally reccomend for the price...as everyone has already stated..

touched up in GIMP 2


   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: La Paz, Bolivia
Posts: 107
Lens Review Date: August 20, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: price, sharpness, lightness, normal on K-1
Cons: focusing sound, 52mm thread
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 10    New or Used: New   

This is a great little lens for the price. On the K-1 you get a perfectly usable "normal lens". Vignetting wide open is there but not heavy. It's very light and small. Of course it lacks the build & comfort of the Limiteds (focus override). Only downsides (no big ones though) are the rather loud focusing noise and the 52mm thread. No idea why Pentax built this diameter since there's space enough. I bought a simple 52-49 step-down ring, which causes no problems whatsoever even if I use my 49mm filters on top.

All in all: Highly recommended.

Go on by Georg, on Flickr

Passerelle des Deux Rives by Georg, on Flickr

Le mur au bois by Georg, on Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2011
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia
Posts: 446

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Dirt-cheap even new, excellent IQ (sharp, contrasty, punchy colours, negligible distortion, flare resistance, pleasing bokeh), 7-blade rounded aperture, viable portrait lens, so lightweight and small that there is really no excuse to leave it at home.
Cons: Hood not included (but after-market solution available), cheapo rear cap, plastic-fantastic build (including the lens mount; precision-made, no doubt, but definitely not of the bring-me-to-a-safari type), somewhat noisy AF that tends to hunt a bit.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-3   

Thought I could never bring myself around to buying a lens with a plastic mount, but am extremely glad I did, because IQ-wise this nifty fifty is an absolute no-brainer. Found myself pixel-peeping, because I couldn't believe what I was getting for the money.

Granted, contrast at F1.8 isn't all that hot but still what I'd call usable, particularly for portraiture and with your model in the centre of the frame. Stop down to F2.5, and you get decent sharpness. Anything between F2.8 and F11 (or, heck, F16) gets tack-sharp, if you've achieved focus. Invites shallow-DOF shooting, given the nicely-creamy, yet not boringly-muddy bokeh.

Seriously, get one today and prepare to be amazed. If it should break (which is unlikely to happen unless you abuse it), get another.

Here are some doggy portraits and some shots from Haarlem and Amsterdam, all done with the DA50:

https://500px.com/marc_synwoldt/galleries/twister
https://500px.com/marc_synwoldt/galleries/haarlem
https://500px.com/marc_synwoldt/galleries/on-the-canals-of-amsterdam
Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8



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