Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited Series Autofocus Lens (Black)

Model #20180

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Expert Reviews
Pc magazine.32817846
15 September 2016

The Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited is the oldest lens that Pentax still makes, but its performance has withstood the test of time, and it captures the perfect standard-angle field of view on a full-frame camera.

  • +

    Sharp. Compact. Wide aperture. Excellent build quality. True standard-angle design.

  • -

    Slow, noisy autofocus. Some barrel distortion. Dim corners at wide apertures. Omits weather sealing.

Slr lens and camera reviews.33034498
2 August 2009

Pentax smc FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited is one of the only four FA lenses from the company's film era that are still being manufactured and sold nowadays. The lens was the first one to bear 'Limited' designation and despite its rather high price tag, ~US$500, remained quite popular among users.

6 August 2010

This is the second of the three Limited lenses from Pentax, originally designed for film and aiming to be of the highest manufacturing and optical standards. The 43mm was actually the first to be released, alongside the MZ-3 film SLR in 1998.

6 July 2011

John Riley casts his expert opinion on the SMC Pentax-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited lens.

  • +

    High quality of construction, Compact, Built on lens hood, High quality results, Fast maximum aperture

  • -

    High Price

Lenstip com.34355424
8 May 2011

Perhaps the most immediate rival of the tested Pentax 1.9/43 is the Voigtlander Ultron 40 mm f/2 SL II Aspherical. The build quality, dimensions and parameters of both instruments are very similar. Both our tests showed clearly that the significantly cheaper Voigtlander fares better.

  • +

    solid, metal casing and high build quality,, sensational image quality in the frame centre,, moderate distortion,, slight astigmatism,, low vignetting,, good work against bright light,, high transmission,, fast and accurate autofocus.

  • -

    weak image quality on the edge of the frame,, huge chromatic aberration,, monstrous coma,, noisy autofocus,, price/quality ratio could have been better.

Photozone de.34752480
23 April 2010

The Pentax SMC FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited produced mixed feelings during the tests (performed at 16mp). This is in so far surprising that the lens performed rather nicely in our initial test based on the Pentax K10D (at 10mp). The center performance is impressive at max.

Photozone de.34752480
26 December 2007

Similar to its cousins (DA 40mm f/2.8, FA 50mm f/1.4) the Pentax SMC-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited is a very good performer with a few weaknesses. At f/1.9 the contrast and resolution is somewhat soft but beyond the quality is superb and probably as good as it gets on the K10D.

User Reviews
B h photo.32817553
10 June 2016

I've been using this lens on my K-3 as a normal lens and it hasn't let me down. It works great as a 'walk-around' lens on my trips into Atlanta and also for landscapes in a nearby Nature Preserve.Sharpness and colors are super and I'm having trouble finding a reason to take it off my camera.

2 March 2017

amazing small size but excellent quality pictures

Photography review.34752477
24 March 2007

This is the first and best of the Limited´s Series from PENTAX. It´s fantastic well build with massive metal quality. The real secret of this ultimate lens is not only sharpness - it´s the natural 3D effect and the wonderful bokeh of this masterpiece.

  • +

    3D effect, smooth wonderful Bokeh, build quality, natural color rendering

  • -


B h photo.32817553
3 weeks ago

Like all the limited lenses, the construction and feel are excellent. It is a good focal length for an APS camera. So far the images appear excellent. My only quibble is the screw-on lens hood and slip-on lens cap.

B h photo.32817553
19 December 2016

Beautiful lens; one part of the three FA Limited Series that are all wonderful. Favorite lens(es) that I've owned. The 43mm does lack in performance on the edges compared to the 31mm and 77mm but for half the price it is an excellent walk around and general purpose lens.

Lenstip com.34355424
16 February 2016

Yes - corners could be sharper at 1.9 - but the main "feature" of this special lens designed by Jun Hirakawa (the japan god of lens design) is the incredible 3D performance. This was the design goal of Mr.

  • +

    extraordinary and unmatched 3D photo feeling

  • -


B h photo.32817553
17 December 2013

One of best lens for Pentax, want to use to take picture of my kids.

B h photo.32817553
3 June 2013

Great walk around lens, fast and sharp. recommend all limited series lenses- the best.

Lenstip com.34355424
12 May 2013

Obviously i'm using a very different lens from the others. I have fabulous optics in my bag like the 31, 77, 50 f/1.2 and sometimes I overlook the little 43 but anytime i take it out it delivers. No lens this size is going to be sharp across the frame wide open unless it is twice the size.

  • +

    Near enough the perfect normal, fast enough, more than sharp enough, fantastic micro contrast, bokeh is v good wide open to around f/2.8, can get nervous stopped down after that depending on subject.

  • -


B h photo.32817553
14 March 2013

Very sharp, very fast lens.

Product Highlights
    Average Expert Score
    Average User Score
    In The Box
    • Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited Series Autofocus Lens (Black)
    • 49mm Metal Lens Cap for FA 77mm f/1.8 Lens (Silver)
    • Rear Lens Cap (B) for Bayonet Mount Lenses
    • 49mm MH-RA Lens Hood
    • 43mm Soft Case
    • 1-Year Warranty
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