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Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM Prime Standard Lens w/ Case for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

by Pentax
23 customer reviews
| 4 answered questions

List Price: $649.95
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  • Ideal For Portrait, Still Life Or Low-light Photography
  • Focal Length: 84.5mm In 35mm Format
  • Rounded Diaphragm Blades Create A More Circular Aperture For Smooth, Beautiful Bokeh At Large Aperture Settings
16 new from $557.69 11 used from $433.55
$558.40 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 2 left in stock. Sold by 6ave and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM Prime Standard Lens w/ Case for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras
  • +
  • B+W 58mm Clear UV Haze with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M)
Total price: $585.58
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

With extra low dispersion glass and original lens coatings, this lens is superior in contrast, clarity and edge-to-edge sharpness.

Boasting such features as super-low-dispersion optical elements, extra-low-dispersion (ED) optical elements, and Pentax original lens coatings, the Pentax DA* 55mm f/1.4 lens delivers crisp high-contrast images even at the edges. The lens is outfitted with a water- and dust-resistant seal for reliable operation in inclement conditions, along with a Pentax Quick-Shift Focus system that allows you to instantly switch between auto and manual focus. The objective lens surface, meanwhile, is treated with Pentax original (Super Protect) SP coating, a special fluorine compound that's applied through a vapor-deposition process to create a surface that effectively repels dust, water, and grease. The combination of special lens coatings, ideal curvature, and superior positioning of optical elements optimizes a host of digital imaging characteristics while effectively minimizing flare and ghosting. Other features include an Aero Bright coating for maximum light transmission, rounded diaphragm blades that create a more circular aperture, a fast f/1.4 aperture for outstanding depth-of-field control, and a 1.48-foot minimum focusing distance. An ideal lens for portraits, still life, or low-light photography, this Pentax 55mm lens carries a one-year warranty.


  • Focal length: 55mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum aperture: f/22
  • Lens construction: 9 elements in 8 groups
  • Angle of view: 28.6 degrees (with Pentax DSLR)
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded)
  • Minimum focusing distance: 1.48 feet
  • Maximum magnification: 0.173x
  • Filter diameter: 58mm
  • Diaphragm control: Fully automatic
  • Hood: PH-RBH
  • Mount: Pentax
  • Objective cap: O-LC58
  • Case: S90-100
  • Dimensions: 2.8 inches in diameter and 2.6 inches long
  • Weight: 13.2 ounces
  • Warranty: 1 year

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches ; 13.3 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • Item model number: 21790
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at September 22, 2008

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By V. Waldron on February 8, 2011
The DA *55 is the sharpest lens that I have shot and that is saying a lot. I have used a variety of lenses, including the limited lens from Pentax, as well as the DA *zooms and the FA 50 f1.4.

This lens is designed to be a portrait lens and to take the place of the FA *85mm f1.4 lens. It is designed, as are all of the DA * lenses, with an in lens motor and with weather sealing. There is no aperture ring. Construction feels solid. This is a fairly heavy lens, compared to the DA limiteds and the FA 50mm f1.4.

The image quality is excellent. Very sharp from f2 on and reasonably sharp at f1.4. This is a significant difference from the FA 50, which I always felt was relatively soft up till about f2.8. Bokeh is a little busy wide open, but seems to get very nice from f2 on. Out of focus highlights are all circular, with no hexagons or octagons. Lens is very flare resistant, with or with out the lens hood.

Auto focus is the biggest weakness of this lens. It has a very long focus throw and often takes awhile to get where it is going. I don't mind it in portrait situations, but certainly this is not a lens that would work well for sporting events.

The weather sealing works well. I have used the lens in a variety of out doors situations, most recently skiing without any problems.

The Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens is a very nice lens, smaller, lighter and quite a bit cheaper. However I would recommend the DA *55 over it for those who want (a) to be able to shoot f1.4 without losing a lot of sharpness, (b) for those who need quieter auto focus than screw drive allows, and (c) for those who need weather sealing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Xadacka on February 21, 2011
Got this lens and was blown away by the build quality and sharpness, exactly what I expected and maybe even more... But then it went down hill, fast.

After just 2 days of use, the SDM failed... Meaning I had no autofocus... I had assumed that by now (Feb 2011), Pentax had fixed all the SDM problems I've been reading about... I guess I was wrong. I was furious but thankfully Amazon customer service were amazing and the next day I had a new replacement copy on my doorstep. Great, I was thinking, until I started using the second lens and realized it had it's own problems... Lens no.2 suffered extreme back-focus issues. When focusing on someone's eyes at f/1.4, the eyes would be out of focus and their ears would be sharp, Very dissapointing. Luckily my camera (K-7) has an option for AF Micro Adjustment, So with a setting of +9 I was able to correct for the backfocus. If not for the K-7's feature I would have had to send the second lens back, too.

Still waiting to see is the SDM holds up on this one but hopefully it'll be fine. Apart from the issues the lens is very very sharp. Suffers from some CA in bright light and if shooting into the sun expect a lot of flare, but nothing that's not to be expected, the included lens hood does a great job.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on August 10, 2010
Verified Purchase
I am a pro-amateur photographer and this is the first prime lens I've ever purchased. I currently own an all-Pentax system, including a K200D body with all the other SMC DA* lenses except the 200mm. My intention in buying the 55mm was to have a razor-sharp lens for candid and formal portrait photography. I've shot close to a hundred pictures with this wonderful lens over the course of the past couple of weeks, and it's ability to capture images in low light is awesome at f/1.4, but not quite as sharp as when set to f/2.0. It has marvelously creamy bokeh in the low f-stop range, including a truly magical ability to capture shading and colors not perceived by the human eye. Although I really love this lens, it probably gets a little less time on my camera than others, due to the fact that I still like the flexibility of zooms (the SMC DA* 50-135mm being a magnificent example!)

I highly recommend this for anyone wanting to experience the minimalist pleasures of a prime lens. That is, if you're willing to shell out for the SMC DA's amazingly quiet motor and superior build quality as compared with it's less glamorous brother, the 50mm f/1.4. Believe me, after trying both, the SMC DA* is worth the expense, and it capably delivers absolutely gorgeous image quality in the right hands. Five stars all the way, and kudos to Pentax.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Fine on June 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
I was blown away by how incredibly quiet the motor of this lens is. Of course, I am a Pentax fan and love their products. This one is no exception. The depth of field range is outstanding. Finally, a lens that will allow me to explore the endless possibilities of depth of field. There is an incredible difference between the standard 5.6 f-stop commonly offered on a standard lens and 1.4 that this lens offers. Well worth the price.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. Thomas on May 23, 2013
I started out in film cameras and used a collection of prime lenses. One of my favorites was a Pentax 50mm 1.4 lens. It was the lens that I used most and I got some amazing pictures with it. I have had some of my photographs published in national magazines and I won an award with Kodak back when so I think I have a pretty good "eye." Due to the dollar factor I have not been able to afford a prime lens like this one until now, and I am presenting myself with this gift as a retirement present to myself (retiring from one field and entering another). Anyway, I know that you cannot get good, professional photographs without the equipment. I have already gotten beautiful low light shots in my home with this lens and I am really thrilled with it. I predict that it will be my "go to lens" and if I take the dollars spent versus use I can easily see that this lens will eventually become a bargain. I am planning to purchase a Pentax weather-resistant camera to go with the lens, unsure whether it will be a K5II or a K30. I like the sync cord ability with the K5II but I also like the controls being in the same place on the K30 as my current Kr, and I like the AA battery alternative too. Anyway, all I can say is if you are used to beautiful prime lenses and large aperture capability you will LOVE this lens. It is solidly built and there is no question that it is quality all the way. Way to go Pentax!
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