LensTip.com

Lens review

Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM

13 May 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary


Pros:
  • very good body quality,
  • fantastic image quality at the center of the frame,
  • very good image quality at the edges after slightly stopping down,
  • low level of chromatic aberration,
  • moderate distortion,
  • low astigmatism,
  • silent autofocus.

Cons:
  • image quality in maximum aperture range at the edges below expectations,
  • noticeable coma,
  • not too accurate autofocus,
  • some problems when working against bright light,
  • too high price.


Here we can practically rewrite everything we wrote in the Zeiss Planar 1.4/50 test summary. Pentax DA* 1.4/55 is definitely a good lens, but simply too expensive. A quick glance at the lowest shop prices shows, that we can get it for 2,500-2,700 PLZ. Very similar optically Zeiss will cost us around 2,100 PLZ, so noticeably cheaper. Moreover for 1,800-1,900 PLZ we can have Sigma 1.4/50 HSM, which isn’t behind Pentax or Zeiss. However, when we look at the price of Pentax classic FA 1.4/50 everything becomes clear. It is optically worse than DA* 1.4/55 but only marginally. In reality, it will be difficult to notice any  remarkable differences. The only difference we’ll see will be in price, because the FA 1.4/50 you can buy for around 1,100-1,200 PLZ.




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Sample shots:

Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/4000 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.7 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/4000 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.5 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/800 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.0 MB
Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/1.8, exp. 1/2000 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.7 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/2000 sek., ISO 200
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.5 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/800 sek., ISO 200
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 9.0 MB
Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/1000 sek., ISO 200
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.7 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/500 sek., ISO 200
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.5 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/1.4, exp. 1/1250 sek., ISO 200
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 9.0 MB
Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/400 sek., ISO 200
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.7 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/320 sek., ISO 200
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.5 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/3.2, exp. 1/400 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 8.0 MB
Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary Pentax smc DA* 55 mm f/1.4 SDM - Summary
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/640 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.1 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/400 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.2 MB
Camera: Pentax K20D
Parameters: 55 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/200 sek., ISO 100
File: JPG, 4672x3104 pix, 7.3 MB



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