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Ricoh has announced two new 50mm f/1.4 lenses for Pentax K mount DSLRs. The two lenses are the HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 and smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic. Although the two lenses share identical specs and appear very similar to each other, Pentax swears they are two different lenses, each with a “uniquely distinct design concept”.

The two new lenses are based on the legacy smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 lens released in 1991. This lens was chosen due to what Ricoh describes as its “distinctive image rendition at open and larger apertures” and its popularity amongst Pentax shooters.

HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4

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The HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 features Ricoh’s latest, high-grade, multi-layer HD Coating. This helps to ensure high contrast with edge-to-edge sharpness while allowing the lens to retain the small stature of the older 1991 model, the company says. It has a new exterior that matches Pentax’s latest DA- and D FA-series lenses, so it should fit in with the rest of your modern kit.

smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic



While the smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic might appear pretty much identical to the lens above, Ricoh says that it delivers “a unique image rendition commonly created by lenses designed 50 years ago”. With a wide open aperture and a strong backlight, it creates what’s known as “rainbow flare”. Stopping the lens down to F/4 or smaller, it creates the sharp, crisp images, free from flare and ghosting that one would hope for in a modern fast lens.

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.

HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 and SMC PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic Specs

Both lenses are identical in on-paper specs, so this set is good for both.

Focal length 50mm
Format Full Frame
Mount Pentax K
Max aperture f/1.4
Min aperture f/16
Optics 7 elements in 6 groups
Minimum focus distance 0.45m
Angle of view 47°
Max magnification 0.15x
Autofocus Yes
Stabilisation No
Filter diameter 49mm
Diaphragm blades 8, rounded
Dimensions 65mm x 40.5mm
Weight 223g

Price and Availablity

The HD PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 and smc PENTAX-FA 50mm F1.4 Classic lenses will become available to buy in June for $349.95 and $379.95. No pre-orders have opened up anywhere yet, although I expect they’ll start to appear for pre-order at the usual places pretty soon.

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