HD Pentax-D FA★ 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW prototype lens review

The Japanese photographer Kimio Tanaka (who had previously released info on the Pentax-09 Telephoto macro lens) posted a review of the new HD Pentax-D FA★ 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW prototype lens (Google translation). Here is the recap by Mistral75:


  • length: about 11 cm (a first version of the text said about 11.5 cm)
  • maximum diameter: about 8 cm
  • weight: about 830 g
  • filter diameter: 72 mm
  • diaphragm with 9 rounded blades
  • minimum aperture: f/16
  • no coupling cam so KAF4 mount (electromagnetically operated diaphragm)
  • minimum focus distance measured on the scale: 0.4 m
  • working distance to the minimum focusing distance: about 25 cm
  • field coverage at the minimum focusing distance: approximately 18.5 cm x 12.5 cm (this would correspond to a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.19x)
  • the lens hood supplied at the same time as the lens is referenced PH-RBB72: it includes the classic removable window for adjusting a polarizing filter

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  • Mistral75

    The Google translation of the text I wrote in French on Chassimages is sometimes odd. For instance the “sun visor” is the lens hood. 🙂

    • Thanks, updated post.

  • audio

    that is a massive combo
    can we now get back to the Ricoh GR please?

  • ZMWT

    “Weight: about 830 g”
    Just about the right weight for everyday use, especially when paired with an 1kg camera. I’d be sorely disappointed if they made it any lighter than that.

  • BP2012

    This is a full frame camera and it looks tiny in compare to that lens. That prototype looks like a bad joke to me considering the fact that is just another standard 50mm f/1.4 lens. I’ll quote one famous engineer from Zeiss who said “yes we could make whatever you want but you should ask yourself does that make sense”. I think it is very applicable here.

    • Kunzite

      Nice try. Yet the Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 weights 922g and it’s every bit as large – despite not including a ring type “ultrasonic” AF motor.

      • BP2012

        Exactly the same type of nonsense.

        • Kunzite

          Are you sure that famous engineer you were quoting wasn’t the chief designer? 😉

    • ZMWT

      There are no more small ‘standard’ lenses for the DSLRs these days, nor the crop or FF mirrorless. That ship has sailed. All focal lengths have become ‘exclusive’, and the photography market is now feeding on over-engineered, over-priced, over-weight optical crap that defies its original charter. Lenses are all the way above the scale of compactness and beauty of the film-era lenses, and that happens when the film format is forced into digital. If you wanted some of that olde feeling of lightness, forget the modern crop and FF — m4/3 cameras and their standard lenses are only reasonably small these days. And even in terms of overcorrected crap, m4/3 still makes better sense: this 50/1.4 mammoth above is 830g (!), while Olympus 25/1.2 Pro is 410g. Half the weight.

  • Michal Nicak

    Size does not matter that much, we still have FA50/1.4 in case we need small thing with weak image output shooting wide open.

    I see potential issue elsewhere. The price is certainly going to be very high, which means not very competitive. I hope that at least the image quality is stellar.

  • Mistral75
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