HD PENTAX-FA 50mm f/1.4 and smc PENTAX-FA 50mm f/1.4 Classic lenses officially announced

The previously rumored HD PENTAX-FA 50mm f/1.4 and smc PENTAX-FA 50mm f/1.4 Classic lenses are now officially announced. Sample photos, MTF charts, and additional information can be found here (check for pre-orders). Next is the press release:

HD PENTAX-FA 50mm f/1.4 and smc PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 Classic: Single-focus, standard lenses for use with K-mount digital SLR cameras, developed using two different design concepts to deliver distinctive image renditions

TOKYO, May 17, 2023 -RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. is pleased to announce the launch of the HD PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 and the smc PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 Classic. Developed for use with PENTAX K-mount digital SLR cameras, these standard lenses feature large-diameter optical elements to cover the full-frame image circle of K-mount cameras, despite their compact dimensions.

These lenses are designed based on the smc PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4, which was launched in 1991 as a standard lens for film-format SLR cameras. In recent years, this base model has gained popularity because it delivers a distinctive image rendition at open and larger apertures — a rendition completely different from those produced by today’s digital-specific lenses.

The HD PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 features the latest, high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating to assure high-contrast images with edge-to-edge sharpness, while the smc PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 Classic produces a unique image rendition resembling that created by a lens designed 50 years ago. Although both feature the same focal length and open aperture, they are designed to produce distinctively different image renditions, providing photographers with a choice of product depending on their creative intention and/or application.

Main Features of the HD PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4

1. HD Coating* to enhance imaging power

After a thorough review of the lens coatings applied to the ever-popular smc PENTAX-FA50mm F1.4, PENTAX decided to apply the latest, high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating to this new lens. Compared to conventional multi-layer coatings, this high-performance coating effectively reduces average reflectance and improves light transmittance, delivering clear, high-contrast images with minimal flare and ghost images, even in demanding lighting conditions such as backlighting.

* HD stands for High Definition.

2. New exterior design to match the latest digital SLR models

While retaining the dimensions of its base model — the smc PENTAX-FA50mm F1.4 — this lens features a totally new exterior design, similar to that of the latest DA and D FA-series lenses. This makes it a perfect match for K-series digital SLR cameras.

Main Features of the smc PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 Classic

1. Distinctive imaging characteristics

Through intentional fine-tuning of the lens design, this lens has been designed to produce a unique visual effect commonly known as rainbow flare when it captures an image at open aperture* and against strong backlight.** It lets the photographer change the position and size of rainbow flare by shifting the relative position of the subject and light source, creating a unique, one-and-only visual expression not available with the latest lenses. By closing the aperture down to F4 or smaller, the photographer can capture sharper, crisper images that are free of not only rainbow flare, but also ordinary flare and ghost images.

* It may be difficult to create rainbow flare when the lens is mounted on an APS-C-format digital SLR camera, because the camera’s image sensor is designed to use only the central area of the image circle.

** During shooting, the user is advised to mount an ND (Neutral Density) filter (included as a standard accessory), or a commercial ND filter designed to reduce light transmittance to lower than a 1/16 level, on the lens. When observing an image through the camera’s optical viewfinder, the user is advised to avoid looking directly at strong light sources.

2. Nostalgic design

This lens retains the exterior design of the smc PENTAX-FA50mmF1.4, featuring a black matte finish and a matte-black focus ring. It has no green ring — the symbolic design of recent PENTAX digital-specific lenses — to recreate the nostalgic appearance of an old-time lens from the film-format SLR era.

Common Features

  • ①When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, these lenses can be used as 50mm standard lenses in the full-frame format, or 76.5mm medium-telephoto lenses in the APS-C format. With a full-frame camera, they provide an angle of view close to that of the human visual field, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, such as snapshots, scenic images and portraiture.
  • ②The large F1.4 open aperture produces images with a very shallow depth of field.
  • ③Water- and grease-repellent SP (Super Protect) Coating has been applied to the front surface of the lenses, making it easier for the user to wipe off water or stains.
  • ④The eight-blade diaphragm control mechanism produces a soft, natural bokeh (defocus) effect from open aperture to F2.8, and also minimizes the streaking effect of point light sources.
  • ⑤Designed to be fully compatible with older K-mount digital SLR cameras and film-format AF SLR cameras, these lenses allow the photographer to retain all camera functions, thanks to the aperture ring installed on the lens body, and the mechanism designed to couple the lens with the camera’s motor-driven, in-body AF system.

Major Specifications

HD PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 smc PENTAX-FA 50mmF1.4 Classic
Focal Length 50mm 50mm
Equivalent to 76.5mm in 35mm format
(when attached to PENTAX APS-C size DSLR cameras)
Equivalent to 76.5mm in 35mm format
(when attached to PENTAX APS-C size DSLR cameras)
Maximum Aperture F1.4 F1.4
Minimum Aperture F22 F22
Lens Construction 7 elements in 6 groups 7 elements in 6 groups
Angle of View (Diagonal) 47° 47°
(when attached to PENTAX APS-C size DSLR cameras)
(when attached to PENTAX APS-C size DSLR cameras)
Minimum Focusing Distance 0.45m (1.48ft.) 0.45m (1.48ft.)
Maximum Magnification 0.15x 0.15x
Filter Diameter 49mm 49mm
Diaphragm Control Fully automatic Fully automatic
Number of Diaphragm Blades 8
Rounded diaphragm (50mm:F1.4-F2.8)
Rounded diaphragm (50mm:F1.4-F2.8)
Aperture Ring equipped equipped
Tripod Mount N/A N/A
Lens Hood RH-RC49、PH-RA49 (not included) RH-RC49、PH-RA49 (not included)
Lens Cap O-LC49 (included) O-LC49 (included)
Lens Case S70-70 (not included) S70-70 (not included)
Maximum Diameter x Length approx. 65mm x 40.5mm (approx. 2.6in. x 1.6in.) approx. 65mm x 37mm (approx. 2.6in. x 1.5in.)
Weight approx. 223g
(approx. 7.9oz.)
approx. 216g
(approx. 7.6oz.)
Temperature -10°C~40°C (14°F~104°F) -10°C~40°C (14°F~104°F)
Humidity 85% or less (no condensation) 85% or less (no condensation)
Included Accessories Lens Cap O-LC49,
Lens Mount Cap K
Lens Cap O-LC49,
Lens Mount Cap K,
Lens Filter LF-ND16 49mm
Others HD Coating
SP (Super Protect) Coating

SP (Super Protect) Coating
This entry was posted in Pentax lenses and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • FCC disclosure statement: this post may contain affiliate links or promotions that do not cost readers anything but help keep this website alive. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network. Thanks for your support!