The 50mm focal-length lens is a true photographic icon and an essential piece of kit for any photographeru2019s kit bag, but there are quite a few to choose from. Richard Sibley and Andrew Sydenham test 12 such optics to assess their particular qualities

Specifications: Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8

RRP: £249.99
Street price: Around £220
Filter diameter:
52mm
Lens elements:
6
Groups:
5
Diaphragm blades:
7
Aperture:
f/1.8-22
Minimum focus:
45cm
Length:
63mm
Diameter:
38.5mm
Weight:
122g
Lens mount:
Pentax K

Chart analysis  

Tested on a Pentax K-5 II

The most noticeable thing about the Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8 is that on the lens we had, there
was slightly more vignetting on one side than on the other. Although this 0.1EV difference is noticeable in the illustration, it was indistinguishable under real shooting conditions. Curvilinear distortion is also slightly uneven, although there is little here to be concerned about as it is fairly weak. As for resolution, the lens is good 2 stops down and 1 stop from minimum, so it has a good
working range.

Score: 4 out of 5
 

  1. 1. 50mm lens test - Introduction
  2. 2. Page 2
  3. 3. Page 3
  4. 4. Specificiations: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  5. 5. Specififications: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  6. 6. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
  7. 7. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
  8. 8. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM
  9. 9. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8
  10. 10. Specificiations: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  11. 11. Specifications: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG
  12. 12. Specifications: Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 SSM
  13. 13. Specifications: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM
  14. 14. Specifications: Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4
  15. 15. Specifications: Zeiss Makro-planar T* 50mm f/2
  16. 16. Our verdict
Page 9 of 16 - Show Full List