Nifty Fifty - Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8

February 2, 2014 8:26 pm

I finally got a "nifty fifty" lens, the Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8.  I've been busy getting this new home for the blog up and running and haven't had much of a chance to play with it yet.  But I did, of course, take a couple test shots when it arrived earlier this week.

Prime 50mm lenses are often referred to as "nifty fifties."  The name apparently stems from the Canon EF  50mm f/1.8 II which earned the title for being affordable and still having good optical qualities.  The nickname has leaked out to pretty much any manufacturer's 50mm lens that maintains good optics while hitting an affordable price point.  My understanding is that since the 50mm lens has long been a staple of the industry pretty much every manufacturer has a "nifty fifty."

The Pentax smc DA 50mm f/1.8 definitely earns this title.  I picked it up new for just under $200 (I'd been waiting months for a good price) and the image quality is fantastic with great depth of field control.

Here's the first test shot I took:

Pentax 50mm f/2.0 test shot
50mm prime, f/2.0, ISO 2500, 1/60s

The sharpness is quite good and the depth of field is very slim (at f/2.0 and a short object-distance).  I look forward to playing with this lens more.

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