The Pentax SMCP-FA 43mm f/1.9 Limited is a lens that is close to perfect in terms of focal length. In the 35mm format the ideal definition of a “standard” lens is 43mm, the distance from the corner to corner on a frame of 35mm film.
The 43mm f/1.9 Limited Edition has robust construction for many years of use. Images are sharp and contrasty thanks to Pentax’s Super Multi Coating process, which results in a high retention of light. An incredibly lightweight lens with wonderful results.
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 great performer with only 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. Vignetting and distortions are well controlled whereas CAs could be a little lower for a fix-focal. I guess many Pentax users will raise an eyebrow or two regarding the following statement but the bokeh (out-of-focus blur) can look a little harsh in certain situations – see the first and fourth sample image above. The build quality of the lens is superb and surely one of the reasons for its rather steep price tag.