My wife, Mary Rose, and I went to the Gardens at Gantz Farm to try out my new Pentax SMC 50mm f/1.8 DA camera lens. I bought it for portraits, but, I wanted to see what it could do on flowers and landscapes.
The Gardens at Gantz Farm, at least in the section we visited, did not have any landscape photo opportunities, but, there were flowers aplenty.
About the Lens
My assessment of the Pentax lens is as follows:
In the good-old-days, before digital everything, any SLR camera you bought came with a 50mm lens. The widest aperture was somewhere between f/2.0 to f/1.4 (all considered fast by today’s standards).
The benefit of 50mm lenses is that they are as close to the human eye as one can get; hence, people refer to them as “normal” lenses. There is little distortion. They are fast and clear. Pictures are generally sharp and color is about as good as it gets.
Today, digital SLR cameras generally come with a 18-55mm “kit lens” with an f/3.5 to 5.6 aperture. It is a wide angle to short range zoom that is equal to about 75mm in a 35mm format.
The Pentax SMC 50mm f/1.8 DA lens features high-quality ED glass in a rugged plastic barrel with a plastic lens mount. It is short and lightweight, but still durable.
What I found was that I could compose some interesting images that were not quite “macro” but still filled the frame. Bokeh, that “out of focus” background people love, was creamy and made the subject pop.
Focus was extremely fast thanks to the short barrel length, but keep your hands off the focus ring while using it. This is not an internal focus lens. The outer barrel turns when focusing. That is how they could make this lens so small and compact and sell it for $116 dollars (USA).
This is, beyond a doubt, one of the best lenses you can buy for a Pentax DSLR camera and should be the lens that comes in the “kit” –not the 18-55mm that is typical of camera kits these days.
The lens is a winner when paired with my Pentax KP. It is meant for use on digital bodies and should give you great results for happy snaps and portraits.
Here are some shots I took at Gantz Farm:
Buy this lens, you won’t regret it.