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smc Pentax-DA 50mm F/1.8

Short telephoto prime lens • Digital era

Sample photos

F/1.8
F/2
F/3.2
F/2.5
F/2
F/3.2
F/2.2
F/3.2
F/1.8
F/2
F/1.8
F/2.2
F/2
F/1.8
F/2.2
F/2
F/2.2
F/2.2
F/2.2
F/1.8
F/2.5
F/4.5
F/1.8
F/5.6
F/1.8
F/1.8
F/1.8
F/1.8
F/1.8
F/8
F/2.8
F/2.2
F/4
F/2
F/3.5
F/8
F/2
F/1.8
F/2
F/5.6

Sample photos uploaded by users

F/2.8
F/3.2

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.
DA Autofocus lens optimized for Pentax digital SLR cameras.

Model history

smc Pentax-DA 50mm F/1.8APS-CA6 - 50.45m⌀52 2012 
smc Pentax-FA 50mm F/1.7A6 - 50.45m⌀49 1991 
smc Pentax-F 50mm F/1.7A6 - 50.45m⌀49 1987 
smc Pentax-A 50mm F/1.7A6 - 50.45m⌀49 1984 
smc Pentax-M 50mm F/1.7A6 - 50.45m⌀49 1977 

Features highlight

APS-C
Fast
Body AF
Compact
Lightweight
SP
TC

Specification

Production details
Announced:May 2012
Production status: In production
Production type:Mass production
Original name:SMC PENTAX-DA 1:1.8 50mm
System: Pentax K APS-C (2003)
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/1.8
Maximum format:APS-C
Mount and Flange focal distance:Pentax K [45.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:31.6° (Pentax K APS-C)
Lens construction:6 elements - 5 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm control system:Mechanical
Number of blades:7
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:0.45m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:6.67 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No information>
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):-
Shake Reduction (SR)
Built-in SR:-
Physical characteristics
Weight:122g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀63×38.5mm
Weather sealing:-
Super Protect (SP) coating:Front element
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 52mm
Lens hood:Screw-type RH-RA52 (round)
Teleconverters: HD Pentax-DA 1.4X AF Rear Converter AW → 70mm F/2.5

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

Manufacturer description #1

This fast, medium-telephoto prime lens is ideal for portraits, still life or low light photography. Its large aperture F1.8 combined with its round diaphragm produces natural, beautiful bokeh (out-of-focus effect). It also provides access to higher shutter speeds in low light situations to avoid blurred pictures. The front lens has been specially treated with SP (SuperProtect) coating against water, dust and fingerprints. Compact and lightweight, this lens will assist you in all your outings.

Manufacturer description #2

This medium telephoto lens uses a bright open F value and round iris diaphragm for enabling attractive out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. This medium telephoto lens uses a bright open F value and round iris diaphragm for enabling attractive out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. This lens uses the latest optical system that has been optimized for digital images for providing delineation performance. A plastic mount is used to enable high cost performance and a more compact and lightweight design. With this lens, you can easily enjoy shooting of portraits, snapshots, and other situations.

The newest optical design is used, and the image circle is optimized for the imaging element size for providing delineation performance where non-point aberrations are corrected.

When attached to a PENTAX K mount digital SLR camera, this lens provides a focal length equivalent to 76.5mm in the 35mm film format. This enables unique enjoyment of photography that is only possible with medium telephoto lens, such as portraits with an out-of-focus (bokeh) background and snapshots where a portion of the subject has been removed. Also, the lens front surface uses the SP (super protect) coating for repelling water and oils. This prevents dirt and dust from adhering to the lens and enables them to be easily removed so that you can carry around this lens with peace of mind.

An open F1.8 large aperture F value is used to enable photographic representations that use an extremely shallow depth of field. This lens uses a round diaphragm for reducing the beams of light when shooting point light sources for enabling a soft, natural out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. This enables shooting at high shutter speeds even in dim locations for reducing the adverse effects of hand shaking.

Featuring a compact, lightweight design with a length of 38.5mm and weight of only 122g for enabling enjoyment of carefree shooting and easy portability

From the editor

The smc Pentax-DA 50mm F/1.8 is the updated version of the smc Pentax-FA 50mm F/1.7 lens optimized for digital SLR cameras. The optical formula remains essentially the same, however the lens barrel received a new modern design, lacks distance scale and aperture ring, and metallic lens mount was replaced by the plastic one to reduce overall weight. Petal bayonet-type lens hood is not a part of the package anymore, moreover, it can't be mounted on this lens - you have to use a screw-in lens hood. All these measures allowed to considerably reduce production costs and, consequently, lens price. Modernization of the FA 50/1.7, however, was not intended merely to simplify its construction: the front element of the new version received Super Protect coating.

The lens uses linear extension method for focusing, however, the front element does not extend beyond the lens barrel and the physical length of the lens remains constant during focusing.

Typical application

portraits, street, travel

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

Sorted by manufacturer name

1.4 HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm F/1.4 SDM AW ⌀72Pro 2018 Compare33
1.4 Sigma 50mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM ⌀77Pro 2008 Compare24
1.4 smc Pentax-DA* 55mm F/1.4 SDM ⌀58APS-CPro 2008 Compare43

Best fast short telephoto primes

The higher a lens is on the list, the better it is in its class

1.4 smc Pentax-DA* 55mm F/1.4 SDM ⌀58APS-CPro 2008 Compare43
2.8 HD Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited ⌀49APS-CPancake lens 2013 Compare41

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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.

One of the best fast short telephoto primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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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.

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.

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.