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Pentax announces a fast 'nifty fifty'

The HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW heralds a new generation of Pentax Star-series lenses, the brand's premium range of optics. The lens is designed to deliver greatly improved resolving power, and promises to provide exceptionally high imaging performance even when used wide-open at f/1.4.

Pentax claims the HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW will also produce crisp, distortion-free images over the entire focusing range, from the minimum focusing distance of 40cm to infinity.

The HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW is an all-weather optic and features a dust-proof and weather-resistant build, with eight seals to prevent the ingress of water and dust into the lens. Mount it on a weather-resistant body like the K-1 and you'll happily be able to shoot in rain or mist, or in locations prone to water splashes or spray. There's also a SP (Super Protect) coating to keep the front surface free of dust and spots.

Newly developed ring-type SDM

The HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW also features a newly developed ring-type SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor), which generates as much as 7.5 times the torque of the conventional SDM in existing lenses. This, Pentax says, will deliver a smooth, high-speed shift of the heavy, multi-element rear lens group during focusing.

As with many modern lenses, there's a electromagnetic diaphragm-control mechanism for consistent exposure control during movie recording, but this does mean the lens is only fully compatible with the K-1 Mark II, K-1, K-3 II, K-3, KP, K-70, K-S2 or K-S1.

The HD Pentax-D FA* 50mm f/1.4 SDM AW will be available from July 20, priced at £1,199.99 / $1,199. Australian pricing is still to be confirmed.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.