Reviews and Problems with Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM
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Pentax 55mm f/1.4 SDM SMC DA* review by 3systemuser
27 February 2011
Summary: this lens can be the sharpest portrait lens , if not it at least as sharp as any of other manufactures 85mm f1,2 or 1.4 lenses. and it has good flare resistance and it is very well sealed. I do not get this lens yet for my K5 but when I had the K7 , I had it before and loved it. now, I am waiting for my new copy of DA*55f1.4 sdm to reach my house. as soon as I get this lens back , I will compare it to my Canon 85f1.2LMK2 and Zeiss 85f1.4ZF2.
Pros: IMO, this lens is sharper than all similar portrait lenses +it is sealed.
Cons: just played around with it a few days a go and did not get it yet.
Summary: Severe back-focus on my K10D and I don't understand why Pentax changed the (in my opinion great screw-motor) with the slower SDM, the image quality (manually focused because the SDM AF shows back-focus) is great by the way. I bought this DA* 55mm 1.4 especially the AF (already have the manual Zeiss Planar 50mm 1.4 and Takumar SMC 50mm 1.4)m I am very displeased with the AF accuracy.
Pros: very sharp, great build and weather-sealing
Cons: price is too high, back-focus problems on the K10D (I guess on the K100Ds too) and the accuracy of the SDM system
Summary: I have this lens for a week now, it back focuses severely. I took a lot of shots in all kinds of different conditions, but itâ€™s clear that the lens is badly calibrated. All my other AF lenses work great on my K10D. When I manually correct the AF I get good sharp pictures. I love the IQ and contrast but I bought this lens mainly for the AF (because thatâ€™s what I am missing from my Planar 50/1.4), but the AF of the 55/1.4 is clearly not working like itâ€™s supposed to...
Summary: My first copy broke after about 50 shots. Very ugly noises came out of the lens, then the focussing motor didn't work anymore. My second copy is ok so far. Sharp at f1.4, AF is a bit on the slow side.
Summary: I have tested the lens. Optically good, AF speed slow.
Pros: Optically it is very good., Compared to the FA50 contrast and sharpness are improved., Bokeh is about the same, perhaps the DA is slightly smoother., CAs are normal for this kind of lens.
Cons: The main disadvantage of the lens is that the autofocus is sloooow., Compared to the FA85, which it should replace, the DA focusses about 3 times slower., This is disapointing., It is very difficult to follow playing children with this lens., This lens is for static motives.