Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM review

Tuesday September 11 2012

Lens Review
Introduction | Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM lens performance | Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM versus competition | Conclusion

During DxOMark testing and analysis, we determined the Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM’s strengths are:

  • Its brightness, with a transmission score of 1.7 T-stop, means the lens’ aperture is closer to f/1.7. This will allow for great low light shooting.
  • Controlling chromatic aberration. Photographers won’t frequently run into color fringing problems, the defect that displays unwanted colors at edges where dark and bright contrast meet.
  • Containing distortion, a common strength of prime standard lenses.
  • Limiting vignetting or lens shading, with the defect largely absent at apertures f/1.8 and above.

The lens’ weaknesses include:

Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM

• Resolution, with a score of 44 lp/mm, the lens performed so-so on an APS-C camera body. Sharpness was quite weak at the widest aperture of f/1.4. It reached its optimization at around f/2.8, but still struggled to obtain sharpness at the edges and corners of an image.

• Its cost. At $640 (USD), the price tag for the Pentax smc DA Star 55mm f/1.4 SDM runs higher than most lenses with similar specifications.