smc Pentax-D FA 50mm F/2.8 Macro

Macro lens • Digital era

Sample photos

F/2.8
F/2.8
F/2.8

Abbreviations

SMC The multi-layer coating is applied to the surface of lens elements. It boosts light transmission, ensures sharp and high contrast images, minimizes ghosting and flares. Learn more
D FA Autofocus lens which is optimized for Pentax digital SLR cameras but can be also used on Pentax film SLR cameras.
MACRO Macro lens. Designed specially for shooting close-ups of small subjects but can be also used in other genres of photography, not necessarily requiring focusing at close distances. Learn more

Production details

Announced:August 2004
Production status: In production
Production type:Mass production
Original name:SMC PENTAX-DFA 1:2.8 50mm -MACRO-
System: Pentax K (1975)

Model history (4)

smc Pentax-D FA 50mm F/2.8 Macro1:1A8 - 70.195m⌀49 2004 
smc Pentax-FA 50mm F/2.8 Macro1:1A8 - 70.195m⌀52 1991 
smc Pentax-F 50mm F/2.8 Macro1:1A8 - 70.195m⌀52 1988 
↑ Change of optical design
smc Pentax-A 50mm F/2.8 Macro1:2A6 - 40.235m⌀49 1983 

Features highlight

Fast
F.E.
8 blades
Macro 1:1
Body AF
QFS
Compact
TC

Specification

Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/2.8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Pentax K [45.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:46.8° (35mm full frame)
31.6° (Pentax K APS-C)
Lens construction:8 elements - 7 groups
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Diaphragm control system:Mechanical
Aperture control:Aperture ring (Manual settings + Auto Exposure setting)
Number of blades:8
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.195m
Closest working distance:0.047m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:1 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No data>
Focusing modes:Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Autofocus motor:In-camera motor
Focus mode selector:None; focusing mode is set from the camera
Quick-Shift Focus System (QFS):Yes
Shake Reduction (SR)
Built-in SR:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:265g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀67.5×60mm
Weather sealing:-
Super Protect (SP) coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 49mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type PH-RBC49 (round)
Teleconverters: HD Pentax-DA 1.4X AF Rear Converter AW → 70mm F/3.9

*) Sources of data: Manufacturer's technical data ● smc Pentax-D FA interchangeable lenses operating manual (September 2004).

Manufacturer description #1

The SMCP-D FA 50mm F2.8 Macro and SMCP-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro are designed to optimize image quality in both digital SLR and film photography. They offer a maximum magnification of 1x (life size), producing impressive, well-defined macro images. They feature an image circle accommodating the image size (36mm x 24mm) of 35mm format SLR film cameras. As a result, the lenses produce high- quality images with edge-to-edge, vignette-free sharpness even when mounted on conventional 35mm format SLR cameras. Well known for advanced optical design technologies, Pentax optimizes the optical characteristics of the new lenses with lens coating and curvature and positioning of optical elements. In particular, lens flare and ghost have been reduced to a minimum for clear, high-quality digital images.

  • Each lens is equipped with an aperture ring to accommodate the lens-set aperture-priority AE and metered manual modes assuring fingertip aperture control from the shooting position.
  • The 100mm F2.8 Macro incorporates the FREE (Fixed Rear Element Extension) focusing system, while the 50mm F2.8 Macro features the dependable floating system. These systems ensure exceptional focusing distance to infinity by effectively reducing annoying aberrations at any focusing distance.
  • Wide focusing ring assures fast, high-accuracy focusing in manual-focus mode.
  • Built-in focus-clamp mechanism to fix focus at any distance
  • Large lens hood effectively shields the lens surface from excessive incident light
  • Both are designed to be extremely compact and lightweight. Filter size is 49mm

Manufacturer description #2

Enables 1:1 closeup photography in a dramatically more compact and lightweight body. This macro lens design features superior delineation performance optimized for digital photography, includes an image circle that supports the 35mm film size (36mmx24mm), and enables 1:1 closeup photography in a dramatically more compact and lightweight size.

Features:

  • High image quality design optimized for the characteristics of digital images
  • Image circle that supports 35mm format SLR cameras
  • Includes iris ring
  • New compact high-performance optical lens and outer parts combining a light weight with high strength for enabling a compact, lightweight body.
  • A floating lens system is used for providing superior delineation performance from the minimum shooting distance to the infinity end
  • MF operation was enhanced for enabling quick and precise focusing
  • Supports Quick-Shift Focus System when PENTAX digital SLR camera is attached
  • The focus clamp function is equipped to hold the focusing ring at any fixed point.*

*Do not turn the focusing ring forcibly when the focus clamp function is ON. It may cause the subject out of focus.

From the editor

The whole optical system of the lens extends considerably with focusing from infinity to the closest distance. The front element is not deeply recessed inside the lens barrel, as in case of most macro lenses, therefore a deep round lens hood (a part of the package) could be useful sometimes.

The lens is equipped with a CLAMP switch which is convenient for manual focus: focus manually then set the CLAMP switch to ON. The point of focus will be locked. Autofocus will also be disabled.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, portraits, travel, macrophotography and product photography

smc Pentax-D FA 100mm F/2.8 Macro (Schneider-KREUZNACH D-Xenon)

Alternatives in the Pentax K system

Sorted by focal length and speed, in ascending order

Lenses with similar focal length

Sorted by manufacturer name

Sigma 50mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ⌀551:1 @ CFD 0.188m 2004 Compare14
Sigma 50mm F/2.8 EX Macro ⌀551:1 @ CFD 0.188m 1998 Compare15
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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

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You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

In-camera motor

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/2.8 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Automatic aperture control

For Programmed Auto or Shutter-priority Auto shooting, set the lens aperture ring to the "A" position.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.