Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8 - Review / Test
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2017

Introduction

From a reviewer's perspective it is always fun to check out mighty, expensive lenses. However, in the real life these lenses are rare breeds. The vast majority of lenses are sold on the budget side of the price spectrum - kit lenses, extreme zoom lenses and affordable primes. The Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8 is a member of that last category. A price point of around 120EUR/US$ doesn't produce any headaches. It's an APS-C lens thus the 50mm are translating to a moderate tele lens equivalent to about "77mm" on full format cameras. A 50mm f/1.8 is often the first prime lens following the purchase of a camera kit. While a focal length of 50mm is nothing special, the high speed (f/1.8) certainly is because it allows to play with shallow depth-of-fields that are just not possible with standard kit zoom lenses.

The construction of the Pentax DA 50mm f/1.8 is simple but there's nothing wrong with that. However, unsurprisingly you can feel the cost-cutting measurements. The lens body is made of plastic down to the lens mount. The length of the lens remains constant throughout the focus range although the inner lens tube is moving a little. Manual focusing works pretty smoothly.

The DA 50mm f/1.8 has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. AF operations are noisy and not overly fast by today's standards. However, it does the job.

Specifications
Optical construction6 elements in 5 groups
Number of aperture blades7
min. focus distance0.45m (max. magnification ratio 1:6.67)
Dimensions63x38.5mm
Weight122g
Filter size52mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel-shaped, bayonet mount, optional
Other features-