Lens review

Pentax smc FA 77 mm f/1.8 Limited

22 September 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

A silver version of the Pentax 1.8/77 happened to fall into our hands. We make no effort to conceal our emotions here – we were bewitched by it at first sight. It is simply a towering classic – one look at these pictures is enough to prove it. The lens is situated next to a 18-55 mm AL II “kit lens” and a Pentax 2/35 mm.

Pentax smc FA 77 mm f/1.8 Limited - Build quality

As you see, the lens is not big at all. The comparison between it and the competitors with similar parameters proves that much and it is presented in the following chart. In fact, the Pentax is not only physically smaller but also lighter than other Canon and Nikon products with a bit longer focal length.

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Pentax smc FA 77 mm f/1.8 Limited - Build quality

The build quality of the Pentax 1.8/77 is really difficult to fault. The lens has a metal bayonet mount, a metal barrel, a screw-in metal telescopic hood; even the front element cap is made of metal. A manual focus ring, quite comfortable and, of course, also made of metal, moves smoothly and precisely. The same is true for the aperture ring which can be adjusted manually every 0.5 EV f stop. One thing only made me wonder on this ring - it was the typeface of the digit 8. It looked as if a precocious three-year-old scribbled it learning how to write. When it comes to the inner design, we find 7 elements in 6 groups. The manufacturer doesn’t boast of using low dispersion glass. The overall picture is complemented by a 9 diaphragm blades aperture which can be closed down to f/22 and a non-rotating 49 mm filter thread.

Pentax smc FA 77 mm f/1.8 Limited - Build quality

The buyer gets both caps and a soft case included in the box.