FA 43/1.9 Limited
This is Pentax’s first "Limited" lens. Despite its high price, the lens has sold extremely well, and is considered to be the reason that Pentax introduced further limited lenses. The lens combines exclusive design, excellent build, and a feel close to that of a manual focus lens. It is sold together with matching hood and lens cap, and a leather bag (which looks nice but does not offer much protection for the lens). The black version of the lens is available only in Japan and only since 2000.
Pentax claims that the Limited lenses are designed to offer the very best optical and mechanical quality possible at the widest possible maximum aperture combined with a small size. Production is to be limited not by the number of units built but by the high demands of production process and quality control.
The focal length of this lens is exactly equal to the diagonal of the 35 mm film format, and this makes it the "perfect" "normal" lens. Its small size and low weight make it ideal for light travel and reporting.
The focusing mechanism is noticeably tighter than that of other AF lenses. This leads to a smooth, well damped and precise manual-focus feel but also a slightly slower and louder auto-focus. Like all AF lenses, this one focuses somewhat beyond infinity, so care should be taken when focusing it manually.
|Exact Name||SMC PENTAX-FA 1:1.9 43mm Limited||SMC PENTAX-FA 1:1.9 43mm Limited|
|Year of Introduction||1997||1999|
|Sold with Hood||screw-on hood: MH-RA 49mm||screw-on hood: MH-RA 49mm|
|Sold with Case||soft case: brown leather, no name||soft case: brown leather, no name|
|Optical Formula||7 elements in 6 groups|
|Aperture Range||f/1.9 ~ f/22|
|Number of Aperture Blades||8|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||0.45 m|
|Maximum Magnification||0.125 X|
|Special Features||ghostless coating|
|Filter Diameter||49 mm|
|Maximum Diameter||64 mm|
|Cap||metal slip-on cap, 54 mm|
|Fitting Hood(s)||screw-on hood: MH-RA 49mm|
|Fitting Case(s)||soft case: brown leather, no name|
The FA 43/1.9 Limited provides decently high resolution at f/2.8 and is fantastic from f/4 to f/11. Amateur Photographer made this lens their reference normal lens, and magazines like Outdoor Photography and FotoMagazin agree that it is a very sharp and contrasty lens, practically free of flare, with some barrel distortion. What makes this lens so special is its focal length (most users prefer it over a 50 mm lens) and its bokeh — exceptionally smooth and pleasing at all apertures, rendering light sources at night especially beautiful, and making pictures seem very natural and "3-dimensional."