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Pentax launches smc DA 50mm F1.8 for APS-C cameras

By dpreview staff on May 21, 2012 at 22:00 GMT

Pentax has announced the DA 50mm f/1.8, an affordable telephoto prime lens for APS-C interchangeable lens cameras. The lens offers a 76.5mm equivalent field of view on the company's DSLRs or K-01 cameras. The lens is designed to look like Pentax's premium 'Limited' prime lenses but features a plastic lens mount. The lens is only 38.5mm long at its shortest, and will sell for around $249.95/€269/£249, making it a small and relatively inexpensive addition to a camera bag.

The lens doesn't use the internal focusing method that underpins most lenses that are quick to focus with contrast detection AF, so we would not expect great performance with the K-01.


Press Release:

PENTAX Introduces smc DA 50mm f/1.8 Medium-Telephoto Lens

Denver, CO (May 21, 2012) – PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION today announces the introduction of its new smc PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 medium-telephoto autofocus lens, which is designed exclusively for use with the company’s K-mount interchangeable-lens (ILC) digital cameras. Thanks to state-of-the-art optical design technology from PENTAX, the lens’ image coverage is optimized for PENTAX K-mount ILC cameras to deliver sharp, clear images from edge to edge. With a sleek, modern look and a lightweight body, the new PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens was designed with versatility and flexibility in mind and is ideal for photographers of varying levels, from amateurs to professionals.

“The new PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens is ideal for photographers interested in portraiture and general photography,” explains John Carlson, Sr., Manager of Sales and Marketing, PENTAX RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION. “The lens measures just 1.5 inches long and weighs only 4.3 ounces, making it small enough and light enough to accompany photographers on all kinds of outings.”

When mounted on a PENTAX K-mount ILC camera body, the PENTAX-DA 50mm f/F1.8 lens delivers a focal length of 50mm or 76.5mm in the 35mm format. The lens’ f/1.8 maximum aperture and round diaphragm blades enable it to produce a natural “bokeh” (out-of-focus) effect, which gives the blurry elements in an image a softer, rounded and more pleasing appearance. Additionally, the f/1.8 aperture makes it possible to increase camera shutter speed when photographing in poorly lit conditions, which minimizes camera shake and helps eliminate blur.

For extra preventative measures, the front surface of the PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens is treated with the company’s original SP (Super Protect) coating, which repels dust, water, grease, and other substances that may adhere to the surface of the lens. The protective coating promotes trouble-free use in all kinds of shooting situations.

The PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens will be available July 2012 with a retail price of $249.95.

58
I own it
4
I want it
4
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 108
sedentary_male
By sedentary_male (Jul 11, 2012)

Yes but the DA50mm F1.8 has an aperture ring, 8 blade aperture, USM and is weather sealed. The Canon and Nikkor don't I guess. That's why we pay a premium.

0 upvotes
ronniemac
By ronniemac (May 28, 2012)

The sad fact is that scale of production means that Canon or Nikon are able to produce and sell at a lower unit cost. Well, sad if you, like me, are a Pentax owner. On the positive side, I have approx 50 different Pentax K mount lenses, 20 of them prime, most of them old, all of them bought for a snip on Ebay. I wonder how many pensionalbe Canon or Nikon owners are using lenses from their student days?
I do wish Pentax would cut the cost of some of their lenses because the high price deters new owners and limit's Pentax market shares, thereby ensuring costs stay high. The 35mm 2.4 (which I have) and now the 50mm 1.8 are supposed to be low cost, but not in my bank account. Still I will eventually buy the 50mm f1.8, and then the budget versions of, hopefully soon to be released, 15mm f3.5, 85mm f2 and, 135mm f2.8 primes when these are available - all for less in total than the cost of one Pentax 'limited' prime lens. Dream over.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kfrog
By Kfrog (May 24, 2012)

I'm not sure I understand the reason for this lens. There already is a 50mm lens in the lineup. It is an older lens of course and it's faster at f/1.4. It even has a metal mount. The FA50mm f/1.4 has been an excellent lens for years and to come out with a new 50 at this point confuses me.

Nothing new for Pentax I suppose.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 24, 2012)

I do not know the exact pricing of the FA 50/1,4 lens in the US, but I guess it is particularly more expensive. So this little and lightweight plastic one is a budget option, just as the DA 35/2,4 is.

0 upvotes
Francis Sawyer
By Francis Sawyer (May 24, 2012)

$250 isn't cheap enough for a POS plastic mount. That's just embarrassing.

0 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (May 25, 2012)

I think your knowledge of plastics is dated. Plastic construction isn't necessary as long-lasting, but can be perfectly strong and more lightweight. That Mrs. Robinson movie guy got it right.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 24, 2012)

The price for the lens in Slovakia is 269 EUR. Interesting exchange rate indeed: 249 USD = 269 EUR. Anyone else in the US complaining about high price? ;-)

0 upvotes
mrfx
By mrfx (May 28, 2012)

EUR Price includes 150% taxes of European Socialist Union.

0 upvotes
hcarvalhoalves
By hcarvalhoalves (May 23, 2012)

I have Pentax equipment and love my classic lenses, but I won't be buying new "DA" lenses any sooner. Lenses prices are ludacrious, and although I believe they deliver optically, there's no way I'll buy overpriced plastic.

0 upvotes
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (May 23, 2012)

I have just bought a minty Minolta AF Maxxum 50mm 1.8f FF compatible prime for U$ 50. And it has a metal mount.

2 upvotes
trungthu
By trungthu (May 23, 2012)

Why all the lenses at 50mm f/1.8 for full frame from other branches have the prices around 100USD, while Pentax has 50mm f/1.8 for APS-C, with a smaller covering power, and a higher price?
Why?

2 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (May 23, 2012)

Pentax did not state clearly whether the lens is designer for APS-C image circle alone, or it can fit FF image circle too. Read the PR again; it's tailored talk, cleverly deliberated, and revealing nothing of the sort. DPR mentioned a lens for APS-C cameras, which doesn't mean that the lens cannot cover 35mm image frame.
If Pentax had clearly stated that lens *could* be used on a 35 mm DLSR camera too, without image crop, that could plummet Pentax APS-C DSLR sale in expectation of the (inevitable?) FF camera with K-mount.
Now, I didn't state DSLR, but is it presumed that if Pentax issues an FF camera, that it must be a DSLR?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (May 23, 2012)

Thank you *trungthu* for making my reply to my Pentax Rep come true :D

0 upvotes
Matthew Miller
By Matthew Miller (May 25, 2012)

Because those are old designs which haven't been updated in years? This may have a classic optical design (I hope so — the similarly-configured classic manual Pentax 50mm f/1.7 is one of the best 50s ever) but has modern coatings and modern aperture blade design.

0 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (May 28, 2012)

We won't know until we see it. It may have higher image quality.

Certainly the rounded aperture blades are better than what Canon has for $100. Nikon's new 50/1.8 is about $220, so the price is similar. The Nikon also has seven rounded blades, with the smallest aperture at f/16 vs f/22 for the Pentax.

In any case it's welcome because Pentax needs an affordable 50, especially if the FA50/1.4 gets phased out, as it may.

And many people believe it will work on full frame - hopefully as well as the Nikon.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (May 22, 2012)

Company's PR and DPR's headline don't match.
At least from what's written here, DPR implies that the lens is made for APS-C cameras. Well, current Pentax DSLR range uses APS-C sensors only, yes, but the company is known to issue lenses, from time to time, that cover both APS-C and 135 FF frames / designs. PR from Pentax never states 50/1.8 is designed to cover only APS-C frame.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 22, 2012)

why make an aps-c only 50mm lens. is this an admission will never make a full frame slr

1 upvote
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (May 22, 2012)

Where does it say anywhere that it's APSC-only? Of course Pentax' current camera range is APSC-only so by default it's being released to work on only APSC cameras, but that doesn't mean it will only ever work on APSC..

B&H actually lists one of this lens' product highlights as being FF compatible and describes it in the product overview as a 'normal' lens when mounted on a full frame camera. Why would they invent this out of nowhere? They would simply transcribe the product info supplied to them by the manufacturer for any new product released.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 23, 2012)

i am gonna go on pentax's word not bh

1 upvote
Yanko Kitanov
By Yanko Kitanov (May 22, 2012)

Pentax lenses are not only mediocre lately, but also HEAVILY overpriced. This lens is a cheapo in terms of Pentax pricing.

The very few AF third party lenses available mean almost a monopoly for Pentax and they use it in a ruthless way against their users. COOL policy - ass*oles....

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 53 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Griffo59
By Griffo59 (May 22, 2012)

True. Pentax are no longer Pentax though.

If Pentax had looked back to their heritage they could be producing great pro-level products, but all they seem to produce is junk.

This lens is a piece of junk. Cheap build, low aspirations.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 23, 2012)

All they produce is junk? This is meant to be a low end lens, not a representative of the entire Pentax lineup.

0 upvotes
Jack Simpson
By Jack Simpson (May 23, 2012)

Thank you *Yanko Kitanov* for making my reply to my Pentax Rep come true :D

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 24, 2012)

@tkbslc this is the most expensive 50mm f1.8 i have ever seen

0 upvotes
Vibrio
By Vibrio (May 22, 2012)

£250 for a plastic mount 50mm f1.8 - are they taking the pee??? canon's SRP is £130

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 22, 2012)

that isnt full frame

0 upvotes
anthony mazzeri
By anthony mazzeri (May 22, 2012)

$250 = £158

1 upvote
Subrep
By Subrep (May 22, 2012)

This new lens is SDM ?

If not, the nikon equivalent to this lens (AF 50 f/1.8D) cost only U$ 115.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 22, 2012)

thats a better lens its FF

2 upvotes
Griffo59
By Griffo59 (May 22, 2012)

Just what the world needed. Another plastic 50/1.8.

It's too short (77mm) on a crop camera for a good portrait lens and it's not wide enough for a standard lens.

Yeah! Go Pentax!

1 upvote
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (May 22, 2012)

$30 more than Nikon's recent 50mm f/1.8 and Nikon's has a metal mount, built in silent AF, and full-frame functionality as well. Pentax is lost in the sauce when it comes to lens designs/pricing.

8 upvotes
David Dobrowski
By David Dobrowski (May 22, 2012)

I agree.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 22, 2012)

Not only the new ones. They essentially doubled the pricing on many of their existing ones. Like the legendary 50-135mm for example is now $1350 and the 77mm limited is a $1000. There are a lot of reasons to like Pentax, but they sure seem to be giving plenty of reasons to stay away.

2 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (May 22, 2012)

From a system point of view.
High lens prices is one single factor to stay away from Pentax...

1 upvote
Subrep
By Subrep (May 22, 2012)

Well, if this lens is not sdm, the nikon equivalent (AF 50 f/1.8D) cost only U$ 115.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 22, 2012)

It's likely to be an excellent performer, but I would have preferred a metal mount. Also don't konw why they cannot include a proper bayonet lens hood like the Nikon 50 1.8G? After market screw-in lens hoods are not nearly as nice as a dedicated bayonet hood. Locking bayonet lens hood > bayonet lens hood > screw in hood. I get that they want to keep costs down, but if Nikon can make a complete lens + hood package for $200, why can't Pentax?

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (May 22, 2012)

I have Canon and Pentax equipment. I can buy the Canon for 100 bucks. Hummmm. Kinda high.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 22, 2012)

The Canon 50mm f1.8 is absolute junk in terms of build and AF, though.

1 upvote
schaki
By schaki (May 22, 2012)

50mm on Aps-c equals 75mm. A focal length which I not found much use for when I had the Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8D and used it with the D1H.
Wonder if this Pentax 50mm 1.8 might cover a future Pentax with FF. Probably not, so the question is how bad the corner falloff and vignetting is going to be like.

0 upvotes
amd
By amd (May 22, 2012)

I did some wonderful "close up full face" portraits on my Canon APS-C with the extremely affordable 50mm f1.8.
On Canon it's a 80mm, which makes it a very nice portrait lens. Now I need to find a ~31mm lens that can compete :-)

0 upvotes
locke_fc
By locke_fc (May 22, 2012)

What I don't get is why all manufacturers insist on releasing 50mm lenses for APS-C bodies.
The 50mm has all reason to be for FF, as it approaches the normal angle of view. In APS-C though, it's pointless. The equivalent 75mm is neither here nor there: too short for portrait, too long for walk around and general purpose shooting.

So why this fixed mentality that APS-C needs a fast 50mm? I don't get it. Anyone looking for a portrait lens on cropped sensors would better served by a 60-70mm lens.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
il_alexk
By il_alexk (May 22, 2012)

> Anyone looking for a portrait lens on cropped sensors would better served by a 60-70mm lens
Or by the 50-135/2.8 for the combination of the IQ and flexibility... Unfortunately it is more expensive $238

0 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (May 22, 2012)

Because making a 50 mm for a full-frame is quite cheap and relatively simple for them.

I had a 50 mm and I liked it. It gave similar reach of an 85 mm lens (the difference between 76 mm and 85 mm is marginal), and nobody argues that an 85 mm lens attached to a FF DSLR is useless, particularly for portraits.

I had a Sigma 50 mm f/1.4, and while it wasn't my favourite lens, it was certainly not useless. I mostly use primes, so having a Sigma 30 mm, Sigma 50 mm, and Nikon 105 mm gave me a nice range of options.

3 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 22, 2012)

locke: I agree. For cropped cameras the 50mm is not very useful. The FF 50mm as a standard equalling to human eye angle of view is some 34 mm on APS-C cameras. I have the DA 35mm and even this is sometimes too long for general purposes; I would appreciate some 28mm as a universal focal length.

0 upvotes
unotisto
By unotisto (May 22, 2012)

Like Nawknai said, they're darn cheap to make. Most designs are tried and true, so you don't need to invest much into optical design. And if you ARE starting from scratch, you only need to design half the lens.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (May 22, 2012)

50 mm is a good portrait lens. 60 mm would maybe be better, but with 16 MP you can always do some cropping.

0 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (May 22, 2012)

75mm is a nice focal for portrait.

0 upvotes
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (May 22, 2012)

Maybe it is because, if you have a 50mm lens, you can still use it as a 50mm lens on a FF camera when you upgrade? True for Canon/Nikon/Sony anyway. Whether or not Pentax will have a FF version, remains to be seen.
I did a few paid gigs using the 50mm as the main portrait lens - seems alright to me.
I'm not too sure of the pricing issue, but a quick check on amazon still shows the price as "mostly" better than the equivalent version for other brands. Though the news that they raised the price did sucker punched me, I thought of buying a few more later on, ah the price you pay for being slow.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
arpikusz
By arpikusz (May 22, 2012)

Why can't Pentax sell this lens for $150? Both Nikon and Canon has 50mm 1.8 lenses for around $100-$150...

1 upvote
GregGory
By GregGory (May 22, 2012)

'Cuz it might not be junk wide open as the Canon 50/f1.8, but we'll have to wait and see.

0 upvotes
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (May 22, 2012)

Maybe its because of the quick-shift? *shrug
Canon ef 50mm f1.8 is cheap, plastic mount but no quick-shift feature.
Nikkor 50mm f1.8G is about the same price, metal mount and has manual override.
I dunno maybe when it's out, the price would normalise between those too. Just speculating. I hope Dpreview will do a review on the lens.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 22, 2012)

These debates are pointless. Why does 12-35mm lens from Pana cost 1100 USD (rumoured price)? Is 249 USD a lot? In comparison with other Pentax lenses it´s a good deal (see how much a similar focal range lenses cost: 40/2,8: 300 eur, 50/2,8: 495 eur, 50/1,4: 340 eur, 55/1,4: 680 eur). So introducing a cheap 50mm lens (cca. 200 eur) clearly makes sense for Pentax users.

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (May 22, 2012)

Pantax lenses are generally more expensive than Canon/Nikon. That's why I choose Canon back in 2007.

0 upvotes
unotisto
By unotisto (May 22, 2012)

Anton, you're kidding, right?

1 upvote
amd
By amd (May 22, 2012)

To GregGory:
Can you provide evidence on your "junk wide open" comment? While my personal assessment may be subjective, I found no such evidence in the linked test: http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/160-canon-ef-50mm-f18-ii-test-report--review?start=1

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (May 22, 2012)

@ unotisto
nope, I am serious as never.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 22, 2012)

It´s always great to see a new lens comming. Being close to DA 35/2,4 I own, I can guess it will perform equally well (and being plastic does not influence the image quality). Likewise it will be light and small, thus easily portable. However for me it is a bit too long (or too short) and for universal purposes I would wish something like 28 mm.
To the guys complainig about the price: look at the other Pentax lenses. Apart from DA 35/2,4 and the kit lenses (18-55 and 50-200) there is no other lens cheaper than this. So why should a new fast prime lens sell for the price of the 18-55 slow kit lens?

0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (May 22, 2012)

If they are going to charge that much for a lens, at least they should put a metal lens mount on it. Pentax is penny wise and pound foolish. How much more does a metal lens mount cost to manufacture? They will lose more sales because of the plastic mount than they will save on manufacturing cost.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 22, 2012)

I have plastic mounts as well as metal mounts and despite switching lenses quite often, I do not see any problem with plastic mount lenses. As I said, the plastic 35/2,4 is extremely lightweight, which it woudn´t be if it had metal mount.

0 upvotes
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (May 22, 2012)

@Anastigmat
What like the Canon ef 50mm f1.8?
I've been using that with its plastic mount with no problem. And the thing I like about it, is that it is light. Having a plastic mount on a small and light prime lens is no issue in everyday use so far.

0 upvotes
mhike
By mhike (May 22, 2012)

People, many of Pentax's DA lenses have been tested by users on 35mm/FF equivalent and they work. Don't get hung up on that. The crop or "digital" designation is only meant to denote a new generation of lens designed around the crops. They might not be as fast as the FA line, but very sharp and well-mannered and many-most will work on FF perfectly, should Pentax ever make one.

4 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (May 22, 2012)

This is a crop lens, meaning no future FF model from pentax. At least they cleared that one up. This lens has small optical elements because it only covers a crop sensor, it hasn't got aperture controlled by a ring so it will not work on the majority of film cameras, (except the MZ-S ?), and has a plastic mount, and a screw driven AF. So in all honesty, apart from it's nice design and aperture blades, this should be even cheaper than the Nikon 50 1.8D. I hope it will be a nice lens but it sounds more like a rip-off, at least at this price.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
mhike
By mhike (May 22, 2012)

I'm in agreement. Pentax lenses are a ripoff. I've got two primes. Not insanely expensive used, but used they cost more than what competitors charge for new.

I disagree about how it ONLY covers a crop. In all likeliness, as has been proven with several of the DA line already, it will cover FF.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Andreas Stuebs
By Andreas Stuebs (May 22, 2012)

If you read the news item it says expressly that this lens is intended exclusivly for the ILC (K01) cameras. Could it be that this lens actually extends into the space used on (D)SLRs for the mirror. If that is the case, then this lens does not make any statement about any possible future FF camera other than that the ILC design will not be FF.

0 upvotes
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (May 22, 2012)

@nicola-sumthin

Where in the entire blurb did you ever get that impression?
Got no aperture ring - so its a dealbreaker? Why should it? It was designed for Pentax digital slr, not film. The nikkor 50mm f1,8G doesn't have one as well I might add. As far as I know it have been proven elsewhere that even the da 35mm f2,4 has FF coverage. Where did you get the small optics portion? By the way the da 40mm xs has small optics too but that covers FF. Your post seem to be a mix of unproven assumptions. Lets wait for the actual thing to be tested and reviewed.......please....
sheesh

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Neil Morgan
By Neil Morgan (May 22, 2012)

EXPENSIVE ?
You obviously havent bought a nikon/canon/zeiss/leica lens lately !
Gimme a break. Its not expensive at that price at all given the spec.

0 upvotes
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (May 22, 2012)

@mhike
Which 2 primes were those? Just curious, FA lenses? Because those are the ones I know cost more than the other brands used. I think its because its kinda hard to get. It can be ridiculous sometimes the price that are asked.

0 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (May 22, 2012)

@Dean Allan: Firstly, in order to cover FF, a 50 1.8 would have to be made with larger optical elements than THIS lens, which doesn't cover. Secondly, in order to have an aperture ring, so that it can be used for video or film cameras, the lens has to be more expensive. But it doesn't. In order not to have a screw driven AF, the lens has to have a USM motor, and that makes it expensive. Put all that together, all the things that this lens doesn't have, plus the plastic mount, and one can only wonder, why is this lens so expensive. Did you get it now, finally?

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (May 22, 2012)

Pentax has been utterly consistent in using the roughly 24x16mm format for all its K-mount digital cameras: it is long past time to need confirmation that Pentax has adopted this format, and is designing new lenses for it, with no regard for the format of its long discontinued film cameras.
And with all new lenses designed for the needs of this sensor format, calling it a "crop" is siilly: even medium format snobs who still call 35mm "miniature format" do not pretend that it involves a crop.

1 upvote
Griffo59
By Griffo59 (May 22, 2012)

I wish Pentax would look to their heritage a bit more.

They were never a big player in the pro 35mm market but their medium format cameras were legendary (the 6x7 SLR and 645) and widely used and well regarded.

I wish they would put more effort into that side of things rather than pushing mediocre crop cameras.

1 upvote
DeanAllan
By DeanAllan (May 22, 2012)

@nicola-sumthin

You fail to show me, a diagram, a specifications of sorts, dimensions and yet you still claim "smaller optical element" will not cover FF? (whatever that means) And with this oh-so-persuasive comeback, expect me to understand?
"In order to have aperture ring to be used in video or film" This lens was designed to be used on dslr. You do know what a dslr is right? I hope you do video alot since you're making this your dealbreaker.
In fact the rest of your post doesn't make sense to me. It has been my past experience that prices goes down after the initial kick-off (it fluctuates after that but usually holds steady)

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (May 22, 2012)

" The lens is designed to look like Pentax's premium 'Limited' prime lenses but features a plastic lens mount."
Yawn...

2 upvotes
645D
By 645D (May 22, 2012)

I got my brand new FA50/1.4 for $200 :-)

3 upvotes
random78
By random78 (May 22, 2012)

Those were the days when Pentax lenses had great low prices compared to other brands! Those days are long gone

0 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (May 22, 2012)

i also got brand new fa 50 f1.4 for 200$ or so. But i hope this is better lens than F1.4 . FA50 f1.4 is my list used lens, i do not think i have taken even 100 photos with it. Not good enough compared to legacy versions.

0 upvotes
Brett St Pierre
By Brett St Pierre (May 22, 2012)

The renowned Pentax 50 f1.4 not good enough? My how times have changed...
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-02-11-24.shtml

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 22, 2012)

Don't know where people are getting the FA 50 1.4 for $200, because in the states the cheapest you can find it for is $349.

@zxaar The FA 50 1.4 is a superb 50 from f2.8 on. Maybe 100 photos is not enough to draw such a negative conclusion. My experience with the 50 1.4, and the tons of excellent MTF tests online for it completely contradict your view.

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 21, 2012)

Finally! A new lens from Pentax. but $250... haha still nowhere near Canon's cheap 50. I use the DA 35 and it's performing better than what I paid for. I'm pretty sure this one will, too.

1 upvote
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (May 21, 2012)

I don't think Pentax have ever had a K-mount 50mm f1.8 so I assume it's an all new design. The rounded aperture blades are also a nice touch for a beginner prime.

As an owner of an old Pentax MZ-S, I'd like to know how this lens performs on 135 format.

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (May 22, 2012)

"drooling"....awwww....MZ-S....don't you wish to have a full frame MZ-SD?

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (May 22, 2012)

I am pretty sure this will perform great on a film SLR as this has to be a brand new design rather than a rehash of an existing film lens (like the 35mm f2.4.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Anastigmat
By Anastigmat (May 22, 2012)

Pentax had a 55mm f/1.8 K lens, which is the K mount version of the older screw mount design, so yes, this DA 50mm is a new design, and it is APS-C lens, which means it will not cover full frame. It is a design that is painful to see, as it rubs salt in the wound of those who are hoping for a full frame Pentax.

0 upvotes
mhike
By mhike (May 22, 2012)

Pentax had an F/FA 1.7 forever. I just bought the F version used. Maybe this is a takeoff on that, but with an extra aperture blade.

And also, just because they say it's APS-c, doesn't mean it really is. People are testing the DA lenses on 35mm and finding some of them work perfectly. Just google for whatever DA lens you're looking for and "full frame" and you'll find the info.

For "digital" or APS, it just means this is a newer generation of lenses. Maybe not as fast as the FA level counterparts, but sharper in several cases (DA21, 40, 70).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (May 23, 2012)

It won't be a superb match for MZ-S because it has no aperture ring -- so you wouldn't be able to use manual or Av modes.

The old 50's were good but the 1.4 could stand to be a little contrastier wide open.

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (May 21, 2012)

sorry Pentax - why this lens???

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 21, 2012)

to match Nikon and Canon, and because they can.

1 upvote
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (May 22, 2012)

"to match Nikon and Canon, and because they can"

Nikon and Canon have *full frame* 50mm lenses, which you can use on their *full-frame* digital SLRs.

2 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (May 22, 2012)

In all likelihood this lens covers the full 35mm image circle. Sony also has a APS-C only 50mm f1.8 prime lens. That lens automatically switches to crop mode on FF cameras (you can't turn it off for Sony branded lenses).

However if you mount the Sony 50mm on a film SLR it covers the full 35mm film. So its only designated an APS-C only lens. Its a FF lens in reality.

Since Pentax doesn't have a FF camera they probably call this lens APS-C only. I am almost certain it will work properly on a film camera.

6 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

@Richard Murdey

Canon and Nikon do say when their lens supports full-format officially. The FA 50 1.4 addresses to that. When Pentax says it's APS-C, then it's supposed to go along with other APS-C designated lenses. The DA 50 1.8 is designated to along the lines of the Nikon 50 1.8D, for example.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (May 22, 2012)

50 mm lenses sell - for some reason. F1.8 sounds nice - for some reason. Together its dynamite - for some reason.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 21, 2012)

Why come out with a crop only 50mm lens? I know Pentax only makes crop cameras now, so wouldn't something like a 57 or 60mm make a lot more sense? Lots of people use 50's on a crop camera, but that's just because they were left over from film days. Who really wants a 75mm equivalent prime? It's just always felt a tad too short. 85-90mm equivalent would be much better even though it's only a few extra mm.

And I know Pentax has some great 70 and 77mm primes, but they already had a 50mm f1.4, too.

4 upvotes
Mugundhan
By Mugundhan (May 21, 2012)

Pentax has DA*55mmF1.4 already. 50mmF1.8 is entry level

0 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (May 21, 2012)

It is designed for the format used in every Pentax DSLR and the K-01 mirrorless: why would Pentax design lenses for any other format other than the one it consistently uses? That could lead to design compromises that impair quality within the relevant image circle.

P. S. When the lenses are designed for the format of the camera, there is no "crop": it is just a different format, smaller than the one that was common with film.

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 21, 2012)

"Nikon, why come out with a crop only 50mm lens? (I do know there's the so-called 50mm 1.8D and 50mm 1.8G) I know Nikon makes crop cameras now (they even call it "DX" format)... Who really wants a 75mm equivalent prime? It's just always felt a tad too short.

I know Canon and Nikon has some great 85mm primes, but they already had a 50mm f1.4, too."

Honestly I don't know why some people complain when a competitor releases something to compete with. Sorry sir, but just because Pentax prides itself in "being different" doesn't mean it can't make something competitors have. It's the market that made the 50 prime a "standard"

0 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (May 22, 2012)

tkbslc I agree with you. The fact not just Pentax came out with a 50mm lens for aps-c cameras doesn't mean it is right. Sony brought one out some time ago and I said that was a missed opportunity to do it right and come out with a 60mm lens that would be equivalent to 90mm f.o.v on full frame. So is this.

People seem to have forgotten when aps-c first came out there were no lenses designed with the size of the sensor in mind and people used 50mm as a compromise because they were out there and fitted their new d-slrs. Not because it was in any way an ideal focal length because it isn't. The manufacturers need to get over their fascination for a focal length once sold as a standard lens (incorrectly, should have been about 40mm!) on 35mm film and start designing with the size of the sensor in mind.

2 upvotes
Sergio DS
By Sergio DS (May 22, 2012)

If the 35mm is anything to go by, this 50mm is probably full frame compatible, it seems has it is based on the old 1.7 formula, and there a re a few DA lenses that are fullframe in disguise (not all of them unfortunately)

0 upvotes
Alizarine
By Alizarine (May 22, 2012)

@Dave Oddie

Tell that to Canon and Nikon too, lol. And I'm not defending Pentax on this - C/N did it first but nobody complained. Why now?

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 22, 2012)

I wasn't calling out Pentax alone. The industry as a whole seems enamored with 50mm primes when they just aren't a very desirable length on APS-C. If you are making a short telephoto prime for that size of sensor it just seems like a weird choice. How many 75mm lenses where there in the film days vs 85 and 100mm. I'd rather have a 58mm f2.2 than a 50mm f1.8.

P.S. Canon has not released a lower end 50mm since the film era and Nikon's new 50mm f1.8 is FF compatible as Nikon has multiple sensor sizes to cover. Pentax doesn't have that excuse and neither does Sony as their cheap 50mm is crop only.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (May 21, 2012)

While the price seems a bit higher than expected or desired, the rounded aperture blades and the precedent set by the DA35/2.4 suggest that the image quality may be worth it.

It would be nice, however, if they provide an upgraded version in the future, with a hood, maybe an aperture ring, designed for full frame, and possibly f/1.4 or f/1.2.

2 upvotes
AndrewG NY
By AndrewG NY (May 23, 2012)

For the price it should have been WR, offered quick-shift, and be bundled with an appropriate hood (even better if retractable).

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 21, 2012)

I'm very happy with my DA 35mm F/2.4. This should be an other excellent one. The question is. Exactly how sharp is it and what does the bokeh look like. I'd expect it to cost about 80% of list price, so 199,95 ;).

0 upvotes
Michael de Ruijter
By Michael de Ruijter (May 21, 2012)

For that price...?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 21, 2012)

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/4/27/nikon50mmf1p8

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 21, 2012)

The PENTAX-DA 50mm f/1.8 lens will be available July 2012 with a retail price of $249.95.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (May 21, 2012)

$250 is not excellent price, but it isn't bad. If I had a Pentax camera, I'd probably buy the 35mm f2.4 instead, though.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
yslee1
By yslee1 (May 22, 2012)

US$250 and a plastic lens mount?

0 upvotes
Michael de Ruijter
By Michael de Ruijter (May 22, 2012)

@ R Butler

I think there is no real comparison. This one looks like a kid's toy and should be priced accordingly. The Nikon lens looks like a proper lens and is priced well - like something that won't melt in the sun. The Nikon lens comes with a hood and has an in-lens AF motor.

Come on! This is just getting asinine!!!

-Mike

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 22, 2012)

@michael because Nikon produces camera's without af motors and Pentax doesn't. In the future all legacy lenses will be useless because their internal motor broke. That really sucks.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 108