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PentaxTelephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR
 
4.8

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (15)
  • Easily interchangeable (14)
  • Consistent output (13)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (13)
  • Durable (12)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Low light (15)
    • Night photography (13)
    • Weddings (11)
    • Landscape/scenery (7)
    • Portraits (7)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (12), Semi-pro photographer (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (12), Yes (3)

    Reviewed by 20 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    5.0

    Great Lens & Great Service!

    By Sean Connery

    from Modesto, CA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

      I can now take indoor wedding photos without a flash! I have no downside for this lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

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      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Love it.

      By couliseaux

      from Florence, KY

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • A Little Big

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Night Photography
      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

      I bought this lens to upgrade from my FA 50mm. The DA* lenses are indeed worth the price point. It's rugged and the weather sealing is of course a great practical choice. At 55mm with the APS-C sensor it mimics an 85mm, the darling of portrait photogs. The lens if fast and silent, and balances well with the K5. I find it slightly less sharp compared to the FA50, but it's absolutely portrait sharp. The SDM is slightly slower than the screw drive lenses, this suprised me, but it's not a dealbreaker. The bokeh is arguably better. I find the hood a little goofy looking and you can't get the lenscap off with it attached unless you have long, freakish fingers. All in all I'm pleased to have this on my rig.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great Image quality, Iffy Autofocus

      By Michael

      from Wisconsin

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Kind of Big
      • Sketchy Autofocus

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Night Photography

      Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

      This thing has an incredibly good image quality that should be expected of a DA* lens, and expected from the hefty price tag. The problem I'm having is that the autofocus just doesn't want to always work correctly. At the moment I have to have my K-5 set to +8 for the Autofocus fine adjust screen just to make it acceptable and still have to use probably f/2 or above to make sure I get as much in focus I can. When it does work though, you can get some pretty fun and very high quality images. At f/1.4 you can have a lot of fun with the very small depth of field creating kind of 3D style images, but you can still get some pretty nice landscape images at higher stops.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Mast have!!!!!!!

      By laert

      from Montreal,CA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Lightweight
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Macro Photography
        • Night Photography
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

        fantastic lens!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Great performer, 3-d effect,real color !!!
        magic bokeh!!!!!!!!!!
        FA 31, FA43 or DA55SDM, FA77, D FA100mmMACRO --------- Mast have!!!!!!!
        Stupid autofocus-- really bad work SDM. Perfect for manual work!!! 6mm depth perspective-Fantastic!!!!!

        Sharp from 1.8 ,from 2.0 sharp as blade!! From F1.4 to F1.6 acceptable sharp
        Need autofocus adjusting in camera body ( k-5) if not, you will have 3mm front or back focus -it is catastrophe for this lens!!!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Exudes quality.

        By Johno

        from Vancouver, BC

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Night Photography
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

          Sharpness wide open is subpar. This lens begins to pick up as you stop down a little bit. SDM may not be the fastest silent motor, but it is adequate for my needs. And it seems to lock in focus quite well. Bokeh simply exudes quality. Weather sealing was definitely a consideration when I purchased this lens. Makes a nice portrait lens for APS-C.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          sharp, backfocus issue fixed

          By squiggles

          from brussels, belgium

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography
            • Sports/Action

            Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

            This is a great lens. Super sharp and wonderful blur. Backfocus WAS a big issue, needing and adjustment of +10 (ie maximum possible) with my k5, and impossible to use with my k10. However, contacted Pentax service (Belgium) and sent in the lens and both bodies. Backfocus fixed on both bodies (needing just -2 adjustment on k5, ever soooo slight backfocus on my k10). I've tested the lens on both cameras from about 25cm to infinity. Great across the whole range!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • Yes

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Fast and Sharp... But

            By Garfish

            from Pacific Northwest

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

              I use this lens for night shooting-- often at our commercial boat basin where lighting is low with wildly mixed colors. I needed weather sealing for this and the DA* 55mm f1.4 delivers-- and it's also very well built. Re sharpness and contrast: useable wide open and criticly sharp by f2.8. My only problem was significant back focus and I had to micro adjust +9 to 10 units to get accurate focus(I have 2 K5s). But it was worth it as the lens is both very sharp and contrasty. I don't find this lens heavy on the K5.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              A Lens Worth Gertting to Know

              By Garfish

              from The Great Pacific Northwest

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Critically sharp at f28
              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Micro-adjust needed

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Photography
              • Sports/Action
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

              I bought this lens almost exclusivly for outdoor night time use, but I'm discovering that it's an excellent general purpose lens with other uses as well such as scenics, portrait situations, and general nature shooting. Build quality is excellent and it's a bit larger/heavier than a typical 50mm f1.4 lens. When I first got the 55 f1.4, I found it to be very very soft wide open, in fact so soft I considered returning it, but I have a K5 and decided to see if micro-adjustment could correct the problem. It did, but I had to go to +10 on one body and +8 on my 2nd K5. Once corrected, this lens is still a bit soft wide open, but now quite useable-- part of that is low contrast-- f2 is better, and it's critacally sharp at f2.8 through f11. I'm glad I went the micro-adjust route as it is now optically an excellent performer, but really a lens this expensive shouldn't have that kind of issue in the first place IMO. Although a bit heavy, it feels good in use on the K5. I only gave this lens a 4 star rating because of the need for significant micro-adjusting-- once adjusted it's a five star.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              excellent product

              By joe

              from Detroit, MI

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                very quiet lens. Quick acquisition of subject matter. Great for close-ups. Really love that it picks up a lot of ambient light

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Quality shines through

                By Lex Madera

                from Virginia, Austria, Ukraine

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Night Photography
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                  Have not used this lens extensively yet, but thus far very pleased that I chose this as my 1st prime lens. It is sharp, fast and crisp. It has a nice heft to it on the camera body.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Great Lens

                  By Jay

                  from Oregon

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Slow Focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                  Very nice lens, would give 5 stars if it focused faster.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  My favorite lens

                  By Dmitry

                  from Russia

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Lightweight
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Photography
                    • Portraits

                    Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                    The lens I use most of the time. I really like to shoot portraits of them. The lens has excellent bokeh, sometimes it seems to me that the picture painted with colored pencils%)

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Great product at a price

                    By zedbeat

                    from Toronto, ON

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Fast accurate auto-focus
                    • SDM focusing
                    • Sharp at all focal length

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • General Purpose
                      • Low Light
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                      I needed a lens for low light photography and debated about getting this or the Pentax 16-50mm f2.8 zoom. This won out because of the greater low light capability. In terms of convenience the zoom would have been better perhaps but in the situations I work in I can move to get the perspective I need. I also like the wonderful bokeh and with f1.4 I can isolate my subject nicely. It is also less money than the zoom. While nevertheless expensive, it is quality, and I've never regretted buying quality.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      A very good lens!

                      By CHEN

                      from Boulder, CO

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Heavy
                      • Slow Focus

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Night Photography
                      • Weddings/Events

                      Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                      after you touch this lens, I am sure you would love it and have it! But the price is little high.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great portrait lens

                      By Jus

                      from Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Nice Bokeh

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery

                        Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                        With open hole it is great for portraits, starting with 5.6 - for landscape panoramas.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Realy nice lens

                        By Tjom

                        from Norway

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Lightweight
                        • Nice Bokeh

                        Cons

                        • Bad design

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Night Photography
                        • Portraits
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                        I love the lens in almost all ways. It's sharp, fast focusing, needs very little light in F1.4 and the quick shift to manual focus is really OK to have.

                        The downside is its' sunscreen. When I mounted a B&W Protection filter on the lens the sunscreen would not attach anymore hence the filter built out an extra 0,5 mm all around. That's poor design!

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                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Fast crisp lens, excellent bokeh

                        By KAngle

                        from Unionville, CT

                        About Me Casual Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Quick Focus
                        • Rugged
                        • Sharp Focus
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Portraits

                          Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                          Great lens for portraits paired with the K7, really great bokeh and very sharp images. Could have a little more weight to it for such an expensive lens, but still great build quality.

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Versitile!

                          By Bob

                          from Shelton, CT

                          About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Versitility

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Everyday use
                            • Macro Photography
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                            First, this lens produces an accurate reproduction. The f/1.4 aperature has opened-up a whole new range of photo oppurtunities.

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                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Sharp accurate and well built

                            By DavidB71

                            from Sydney, Australia

                            About Me Semi-Professional

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Quick Focus
                            • Rugged
                            • Sharp Focus
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • General Use
                              • Night Photography
                              • Portraiture

                              Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                              A great portrait lens for APS-C.
                              Rendering is much like the FA50/1.4 only much sharper at wide apertures (f1.4-2.0).

                              Like the FA50/1.4 bokeh can hard edged if the background is complex, but this also leads to wonderful disc rendering of background lights in night shots.

                              Focus is very accurate on my k-7 (no adjustment required).

                              Build quality is excelent.

                              Love this lens.

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                              (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Wonder lens

                              By Dave the Caver

                              from Louisville, KY

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Portraits

                                  Comments about Pentax Telephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR:

                                  The DA*55 f1.4 is great lens and like great lenses cost more than your average lens. The lens is very sharp from f2.0. The boken is smooth. There is not PF even wide open. With SDM the AF is fast enough and it doesn't "hunt" any.

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