|SMC||The super multi-layer coating is applied to the surface of lens elements. It boosts light transmission, ensures sharp and high contrast images, minimizes ghosting and flares. The smc coating is used in all Pentax K, 645 and 6x7 lenses and also in Asahi Takumar M42 lenses since 1971.|
|FA||Full frame autofocus lens made from the early 1990s to 2004.|
|LIMITED||High-quality lens with compact and robust build. Meets the highest standards and provides excellent performance and flawless image quality unachievable with traditional optical technologies.|
|Position in the lineup|
|smc Pentax-L 43mm F/1.9 Special||2000||⊗|
|smc Pentax-FA 43mm F/1.9 Limited||1997||⊗|
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|Maximum format:||35mm full frame|
|Diagonal angle of view:||53.4° (35mm full frame)|
|36.4° (Pentax APS-C)|
|Lens construction:||7 elements in 6 groups|
|Number of blades:||8|
|Closest focusing distance:||45 cm|
|Type of autofocus motor:||No motor (Pentax K)|
|Full-Time Manual Focus:||No|
|Maximum diameter x Length:||Ø64 x 27 mm|
|Filter size:||49 mm|
Design and Features
Being a fast standard lens for film SLR cameras, smc Pentax-FA 43mm F/1.9 Limited performs good both at small, medium and long focusing distances. However on APS-C cameras it is a bit too long for a general purpose lens, and it is too short to be considered a "real" telephoto.
The build quality is excellent. The lens barrel is compact, of moderate weight, made of metal. The lens mount is metallic. The finely ribbed focusing ring has width of only 4 mm, located near the front of the lens, moves smoothly in manual focus mode and has the angle of rotation of 180 degrees which is enough to perform precise manual focusing. The front part of the lens extends approximately by half cm with focusing to the closest distance. Like all Pentax FA Limited series lenses, this model is equipped with recessed distance scale, depth of field scale and aperture ring.
The aperture is controlled by the camera as long as the lens's aperture ring is set to its "A" position. To set the aperture ring to “A” or another specific position, hold down the aperture lock button and turn the aperture ring to align the desired position with the red-line index. The click stops on the aperture ring indicate the following f/numbers: 22 - 16 - 11 - 8 - 5.6 - 4 - 2.8 - 1.9.
The lens uses front filters with standard size of 49 mm which are easy to find. They are also inexpensive.
It should be noted that most lenses of the system have such diameter of the filter thread, that is why if you will purchase additional lens with similar focal length and/or speed, you probably will be able to share filters between them.
The filter thread does not rotate during focusing which allows convenient use of different types of filters (including but not limited to polarizing and gradient).
Bayonet-type lens hood can not be mounted on this lens, a screw-in round lens hood should be used. Interestingly, the front lens cap slides over the lens hood.
The lens lacks built-in motor, the autofocus is moderately noisy but very fast. Quick-Shift Focus System is not available.
The focusing ring rotates during autofocus which looks pretty anachronistic by today's standards. It is strongly recommended not to touch the ring or manually stop its movement because it might result in damage to the lens and/or camera.
- The lens is not optimized for use with digital SLR cameras. Learn more
The lens is based on almost symmetric variant of double Gauss design which is one of the most developed lens designs in the world frequently used for large aperture standard prime lenses and large aperture moderate wide-angle prime lenses. It provides excellent compensation of aberrations, except for the oblique spherical aberration which lowers peripheral contrast.
The sharpness at the center of the frame is very good wide open and excellent from F/2.8. The edges of APS-C frame are soft wide open, good at F/2.8 and excellent from F/4. On APS-C cameras the background blur at large apertures is neutral when focusing at medium or large distances but can be pleasant at close distances. Being a technical masterpiece, this Limited lens is not only capable of producing excellent photos, but also gives aesthetic pleasure to its owner.
|Sensor size:||23.7×15.7 mm|
|Vignetting at F/1.9:||-0.8 EV|
|Sensor size:||23.7×15.7 mm|
|Vignetting at F/1.9:||-0.67 EV|
|Pentax lenses: compendium|
Alternatives (AF, 37..49 mm)
|HD Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited||2013||⊗|
|smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 Limited||2004||⊗|
|smc Pentax-DA 40mm F/2.8 XS||2012||⊗|