large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Pentax SMC D FA 50mm f/2.8 Review


rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Good sharpness, consistently low fringing, clamp feature, focus switching


  • Not very much

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £380

Users of Pentax film and digital cameras can use this lens, with its full image circle covering both APS-C sensirs and the 35mm frame. The lens is digitally optimised with SMC coatings to reduce flare, reflections, ultraviolet rays, thereby improving contrast.

The barrel construction is of a high quality while the internal optics are arranged as eight elements in seven groups. A nice touch is the focus ring which allows direct switching from AF to manual just by focusing, which would normally damage the motor on a lesser lens. A focus clamp is also conveniently situated on the barrel to lock focus in position, which I found very useful.

Pentax still incorporates a good old-fashioned aperture ring on the lens. Users of *ist series cameras need to lock this in the A- position as aperture is controlled on the camera body, but it’s nice to see that Pentax still offers backwards compatibility for more manual film cameras.

If I was purely after image quality and used a Pentax, then this lens is the one I would use over the 100mm, with higher sharpness throughout the aperture range, if only marginally. The Pentax 50mm shows consistent control of fringing with some chromatic aberration, but it’s only just visible.


A small but consistent performer

Trusted Score

rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star

Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Design 9
  • Image Quality 9
  • Features 9

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.