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* 55mm f/1.4 SDM
RRP: £759.99Street price: Around £610
Filter diameter: 58mm
Lens elements: 9
Diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum focus: 45cm
Lens mount: Pentax K
Tested on a Pentax K-5 II
Pentax’s SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM lens has an impressively low level of curvilinear distortion. In fact, it’s the third best result for a lens in this test. Vignetting is also kept to a bare minimum.
Resolution is good, although the f/1.8 is better, particularly at 1 stop down from the minimum aperture. The light-green line is quite far from the dark green, showing that there is quite a difference is sharpness between the centre and edge.
Score: 4 out of 5