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

SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
72 419,069 Sat March 11, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $138.01 9.10
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8

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

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
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Automatic, 7 blades (rounded)
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 31.5 ° / 27 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 38.5 mm (2.5 x 1.5 in.)
122 g (4.3 oz.)
Production Years
2012 to present (in production)
$96 USD current price
$224 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-DA 1:1.8 50mm
Product Code
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
Lens hood and case are not included. Several hoods will fit, hereunder RH-RA52.
Plastic lens mount.

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
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8 Buy the SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 72
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2022
Location: Ocala, FL
Posts: 115

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 11, 2023 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Color, Bokeh, Weight & Price!
Cons: Plastic mount & Noise
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K5, K3, KS-2, K10D, K20D, K1   

This is a lens that I initially did not think I liked it, it is noisy in an irritating way when hunting in AF and has a plastic mount and I have had many of these break through the years so pardon me if I dont trust it! - there, both negatives out of the way.

This lens has grown on me as I've used it, its very small and compact and lightweight and it takes great photos.

I love its colors, contrast, sharpness and bokeh.

I have a FA 50mm 1.7 and an FA 50mm 1.4 as well as many - many - 50mm MF primes and this little lens holds up well to all of them and is better than most.

Great all-around lens, not very good close focusing abilities but this comes down to preference and isn't a negative.
New Member

Registered: March, 2023
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3
Review Date: March 11, 2023 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: that price!, sharp, fast, great colour!
Cons: aberrations on older models
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Pentax *ist   

This lens was included with a K-5 body so I "guesstimated" the dollar value. This lens has impressed me on the digital bodies, so much so I sought out a Pentax film body with autofocus just to see what it could do... and I'm pleased to report it works great. It's as fast as the *ist body can focus, and the vignetting is only noticeable under extreme conditions (but I often cultivate a slight vignette in my photos anyway.)

All photos:

Pentax *ist
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm f1.8
Fujicolor 200

Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Dartmouth Nova Scotia Canada
Posts: 1,020

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 24, 2021 Recommended | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good price, Very Sharp, Works well on K1
Cons: Plastic Body and Mount
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K100D, K70, K1ii   

Had bought this lens primarily for use on my APS-C Bodies which worked extremely well but was pleasantly surprised with how well it worked on the K1 in Full Frame Mode.
Vignette is very mild at F-1.8 to F-4 and blended very well with any bokeh to become almost invisible
Vignette was almost non existent at F-5.6 to F-16 but became more pronounced above that point but still not terribly bad

Conclusion: If you have this Nifty 50 in your bag alongside your K1. Try it in full frame you will be impressed


Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 10,202

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 9, 2021 Recommended | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight, compact, very fast AF, nice image quality, pleasant to use
Cons: Plastic, AF unreliable below f/2.8, bokeh could be smoother

For a few years I had the other cheap plastic Pentax prime, the 35/2.4, and never took to it. Focus was totally unreliable and it wasn't sharp below f/2.8, negating it's advantages over the 35/2.8 Limited. The 50/1.8 though, is a different kettle of fish. The lens is light but build quality is decent enough and it feels good to use.

Autofocus is very fast but, at least on the K-3, is not too reliable at apertures wider than f/2.8, leading to missed focus on a lot of shots. When focus is right, the lens is pretty sharp even wide open and improves progressively to f/2.8 where it's extremely sharp and good for portraits. Beyond that I really haven't tested critically but it's very sharp. Bokeh is good enough but not the smoothest available.

Image quality overall is very nice. For portraits or other subject-isolation shots f/2.8 provides excellent sharpness and a decently de-focused background. If you have time to take several shots and ensure good focus then wider apertures will isolate more, though sharpness will decrease. Colours and rendering are nice and the lens is pretty good at giving a 3D rendering to images. Wide open, if you can get accurate focus, contrast is low but sharpness is sufficient though not great, but it's a good look for some types of image. Colours are vibrant without being cartoonish and contrast is very good.

The lens looks good on the camera and feels good to use, despite it's low weight. The front element is significantly well recessed for a hood to be unnecessary.

This is a fun little lens to use and I would recommend it as it can do a lot for the money. If you're considering adding this as a first prime in addition to the 18-55mm kit lens then this 50mm will give results that are far-and-away better at the focal length while letting in a lot more light.

I also have the FA 43mm Limited and the big differences are build quality, the 43mm is a bit sharper at apertures below f/2.8, and the 50/1.8 has better 3D and overall rendering. Yes, the little plastic 50/1.8 is better than the FA Limited.

I've used this on film but haven't scanned anything yet so can't comment on it's performance, but it is nice to use on a Z1 or SFXn.

Some sample images:

On the roof
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

Fujifilm 'industrial' colour negative 400
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

Colours of solidarity
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

Wall boot
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 58

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 23, 2021 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight, very sharp
Cons: Noisy autofocus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K70 KP   

Can't fault this lens. The image quality for the price is hard to beat. One thing I like is that the front element is quite deeply recessed into the body of the lens so there is little need for a hood, which adds to the compact nature of this little prime. It's also very light, and the manual focus ring is actually very well dampened and pleasant to use. One downside is the rather noisy screwdrive autofocus, but it's a necessary compromise for the small size.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,972

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 22, 2020 Recommended | 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: 4

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 19, 2020 Recommended | 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
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2017
Location: Cinco de Mayo
Posts: 727

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 23, 2020 Recommended | 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

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 13, 2020 Recommended | 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.

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 2,016
Review Date: December 30, 2019 Recommended | 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.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2019
Location: Geelong, Australia
Posts: 344

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 19, 2019 Recommended | 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

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 2, 2019 Not Recommended | 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: 17

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 4, 2019 Recommended | 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.

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
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: California
Posts: 106

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 28, 2019 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Light, and Great for portraits
Cons: Fringing is apparent
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3, K-1, KP   

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 and the aberrations are not the best controlled. 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.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Edit: I have become quite attached to this lens, at times preferring it over the 43mm 1.9 in many instances. I have found the autofocus to miss in some crucial places but I would definitely feel comfortable taking this out in some fast action shoots.

New Member

Registered: June, 2018
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 6
Review Date: September 13, 2018 Recommended | 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.....
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