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Lens review

Pentax smc FA 43 mm f/1.9 Limited

Pentax smc FA 43 mm f/1.9 Limited
8 May 2011
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2011-05-05 on Optyczne.pl

No other company has as many lenses with untypical parameters as Pentax. For instance when most of companies feature a 85 mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 device in their line-up as a typical portrait lens, in the case of the Pentax such a lens has been withdrawn from the market for some time now and we get a 77 mm model with f/1.8 aperture instead. When it comes to zoom lenses, the situation is the same. Almost all important market players offer a 70-200 mm class instrument, sometimes with f/2.8, sometimes with f/4.0 aperture. Pentax, on the other hand, has the unusual smc DA* 60–250 mm f/4.0 ED [IF] SDM model.

The next untypical lens is the Pentax smc FA 43 mm f/1.9. It is a full frame device which can serve as an equivalent of a standard lens with 1.8/50 parameters in the case of other companies. Of course it si a completely casual comparison; in fact, you can find more differences than similarities between those two. A classic 50 mm instrument gives you an angle of view of 46.8 degrees whereas the Pentax – 53.4 degrees. By the way it is true only if you use it on an analogue reflex camera because in the case of a digital one you are simply doomed to work only on APS-C/DX sensors, and then the angle of view amounts to just 36.5 degrees. Classic 50 mm lenses usually boast f/1.8 apertures (sometimes f/1.7 but we even saw f/2.0 in the past), the aperture of the Pentax is f/1.9. Currently the 1.8/50 models, available on the market, are cheap constructions, sometimes very shoddily made to boot. The Pentax, tested here, belongs to the top-of-the-range Limited series - it is very solidly build and costs 5-6 times more. All these properties make it a very interesting optical instrument – small wonder we decided to take a closer look at it.


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The lens was borrowed for testing purposes courtesy of the Fotozakupy.pl shop.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Pentax smc FA 43 mm f/1.9 Limited - Introduction