The Phoblographer stopped covering DSLRs many years ago, so we stopped reviewing gear from Pentax. However, the company recently announced something that’s bound to make a ton of photographers pay attention. The new Pentax smc 50mm f1.4 lens is based on a design made over 50 years ago — which is perfect for all the nostalgia hype going around right now. And best of all, it could mean something for the future of Pentax!
Just a reminder: We’re giving away a beautiful Pentax Spotmatic this month to one of our members. Why not become a member?
The Pentax SMC 50mm f1.4: What to Know.
According to the Pentax website, here are the technical specifications of the new 50mm.
- Designed for full-frame cameras
- Designed with a look externally and internally to mimic vintage Pentax lenses
- Wide open, you’ll get a lot of rainbow lens flare. Stop it down, and you’ll get sharp photos
- 7 lens elements in 6 groups
- Fully working aperture ring
- Focuses as closely as a little under a foot and a half away
- 49mm filter thread
- 8 aperture blades
- There’s a coating on the front element to protect it from moisture and dust, but no other weather sealing that we know of.
- The new Pentax smc 50mm f1.4 is designed to work with digital cameras and film SLRs with the K mount.
- $379.95 cost. But the older lenses can be had for around $30 used on eBay and on Amazon for a little less than $350. Granted, Pentax didn’t say that the new Pentax smc 50mm f1.4 is a reissue of an older lens, and only that it’s based on the older designs.
If you want to see the full press release, DIReporter is a fellow TIPA member and has it available. It was released alongside another 50mm f1.4 that’s far more modern and sports Pentax’s green ring.
The Pentax smc 50mm f1.4 is clearly designed for a few photographers. First and foremost, it’s for Pentax DSLR owners that want to play with something fun that don’t have their older lenses. Unlike what they predicted, people aren’t going back to buying DSLRs. If you own a Pentax K-mount SLR, you can also use this lens pretty easily because of the integrated aperture ring. Because Pentax doesn’t have any serious mirrorless cameras, photographers can adapt this lens to a modern mirrorless camera if they want. The passionate photographers that do this might not get autofocus capabilities, but they’ll get all that vintage beauty that the lens delivers.
Preparing for a Film SLR?
We all know that the company is actively trying to make a film camera and that their first entry into it will be an autofocus point-and-shoot camera. This is what’s desperately missing from the camera market and has been for some time now. However, a recent video made it seem like Pentax is considering making a film SLR.
Lots of folks on Reddit have been dreaming of the company bringing back the Pentax 67, while others have wanted a 35mm film SLR of some sort, like a K1000. Could Pentax be preparing for an upcoming film SLR? I’m not quite sure that they’ll remake the K1000, considering that prices for them are very affordable on the market right now. This means that Pentax would need to make something completely new using the K-mount but with a vintage aesthetic. It would also mean that Pentax could make a new SLR for the 67 mount but that shoots film. We hope that they create a very successful product, as even Leica has shown that the new M6 could be a product that’s totally viable.