Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 review

The Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 for APS-C DSLRs is a good low-budget choice for portraiture

Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8
(Image: © Ricoh Imaging)

Digital Camera World Verdict

So-called ‘portrait primes’ are often fairly big, heavy and expensive, but this Pentax lens is none of those things. At just 1.5 inches long and 122g in weight, it’s really compact and lightweight, yet still delivers a 76.5mm effective focal length with a fast f/1.8 aperture on Pentax APS-C format DSLRs for which it’s designed. It lacks an autofocus motor and is somewhat basic in some respects but that’s reflected in the refreshingly affordable purchase price.


  • +

    Effective 76.5mm focal length

  • +

    Compact and lightweight

  • +

    Inexpensive to buy


  • -

    Plastic mounting plate

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    No built-in AF motor

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    No hood

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The APS-C format Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 combines a 76.5mm effective focal length with a fast f/1.8 aperture rating, making it ideal for portraiture, still life photography and any time you simply need a short telephoto focal length with a fast aperture for freezing movement or attaining a tight depth of field.


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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.