HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW Lens Review - Verdict

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Hd Pentax D Fa 50mm F1,4 With Hood On K 1 II

Value For Money

The HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW is priced at £1199, which compared to many 50mm f/1.4 lenses may seem very expensive. However, when we consider at what quality point it is pitching, then things look rather different.

Against those lenses, the Pentax looks excellent VFM. Having said that, there are a large number of alternatives at much lower prices, although they are very different sorts of lenses.

There are also many extremely low cost options on the market, commonly referred to as “plastic fantastics”. In summary, the rating given for VFM reflects the Pentax lens against its peers, that small group of very expensive lenses that aspire to quality without compromise. For more options have a look at the Top 27 Best Pentax Lenses of 2018.

HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW Verdict

There are plenty of 50mm f/1.4 lenses, although many of them have designs that date back possibly decades. There is nothing intrinsically wrong in this as the 50mm has always been a high quality optic, generally considered the perfect standard focal length for 35mm format. However, things move on, and even higher standards are now possible, albeit using complex designs and being very expensive to produce.

This new Pentax 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW lens aspires to being amongst the best of the best, and indeed it achieves that and at a price which is still high, but which is highly competitive within its own bracket. Add effective AF and all weather construction where some much more expensive lenses are manual focus only, and Pentax Users have a very enviable package. Obviously users of other marques will need to use the alternatives (notwithstanding any adapters that may be available), but Pentax enthusiasts can be confident that they can share too in the very latest quality optical designs.

HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW Pros

  • Excellent sharpness
  • Very even performance
  • Well controlled CA
  • Zero distortion
  • Lovely smooth bokeh
  • Fast, silent and accurate AF
  • All Weather construction
  • Quality manufacture
  • QuickShift manual focus
  • No flare

HD Pentax-D FA 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW Cons

  • Price tag
  • Heavy

Overall Verdict

Own this lens? Let us know what you think of it in the EQDB

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richshep 17 11 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2018 3:27PM
I have a Pentax 50 1.4 fitted to my old MX. It is tiny compared to that. So is the camera come to think of it. Glad I changed to m43!

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25 Sep 2018 10:41AM
Wow the HD D FA* 50 looks fantastic. Would be a stretch for me but I'm tempted.
26 Sep 2018 3:04PM
1200 for a 50mm f1.4? Canon 50mm f1.4 is less than half of that and I could buy the canon 50mm f1.2 L for same amount. What would make me switch to Pentax?
altitude50 15 16.9k United Kingdom
14 Oct 2018 10:59AM
Looks excellent, having seen the technology included on the Ricoh website I would think that the price is reasonable.
I am tending to go away from zoom lenses and use primes as they encourage moving around a location to get the right composition. (Where possible and practical!)
It would fit nicely on my Pentax KS-1.

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