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PentaxTelephoto 55mm f/1.4 DA* SDM Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR
 
4.6

(based on 26 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

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

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Low light (15)
  • Night photography (13)
  • Weddings (11)
  • Portraits (9)
  • Landscape/scenery (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (12), Semi-pro photographer (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (14), Yes (3)

Reviewed by 26 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Best lens I've ever had

By Chima

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I currently own three other lenses: 18-135 (kit lens), Tamron 70-200 f2.8 (which I really love) and the new Pentax 24-70 f2.8 but in all this my absolute favourite. In fact it's been on my camera body since I got it and I almost never use the others.
Truth be told, it's sometimes soft at f1.4 but I almost always shoot at f1.6 and it's really sharp from this aperture upwards.

If you purchase this lens, it's highly important that you properly calibrate it otherwise you might experience severe back/front focusing. At f1.4 your area of focus is really tiny so accuracy is instrumental.
In my case, 9-10 shots would back-focus initially but I was able to easily resolve it in-camera with a setting of +10.

 
4.0

I would recommend this product

By Dwayne

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

One of the best lenses I use on the Pentax system

(5 of 32 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

K-1

By bob

from wa

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

great lens for aps-c, but on the k-1 you get slight vigntting at the corners on 90% of your shots.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Can't go wrong with this lens

By CB

from Pennsylvania

Verified Reviewer

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

Very sharp lens!!! The key with any lens when using wide apertures is to spend the time calibrating the lens with your camera's micro focus adjustments. Accurate focus every time, no hesitation to reach for this lens from my camera bag when I want a guaranteed excellent portrait shot.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

High-quality lens

By Squidfan

from Washington, D.C. area

About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy To Use

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Everyday use
    • Home
    • Portraits

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

    I got this lens to use for portraits of family and for day-to-day photography (yes I know it's not a typical street-photo focal length).

    I find the images crisp and the lens responsive. It's heavy, but it seems worth it, and the manual focus is easy and satisfying to use.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great lens

    By Old Marine

    from Wilmington, NC

    About Me Semi-Professional

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Bright
    • Durable
    • Reliable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Everyday use
      • Portraits

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

      It's bright, it focuses fast, and is fantastic for portraits and general photography. I try to restrict using it wide open to those circumstances where the main subject fills the frame. (As others have stated, bokeh can get a little odd when wide open....but that's not a problem you face on every shot. The brightness of this lens far outweighs that quirk.)

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      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

        (12 of 13 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

        (2 of 4 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

        (3 of 4 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

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          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

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            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

              (5 of 5 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

                (6 of 6 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
                 
                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
                   
                  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
                     
                    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

                    (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

                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      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

                        (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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