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FA 43/1.9 Limited

General Description

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.

Product Variations
Exact NameSMC PENTAX-FA 1:1.9 43mm LimitedSMC PENTAX-FA 1:1.9 43mm Limited
Years of Production1997 ~ still in production1999 ~ still in production
Availabilityavailable newnew, via special-order
Catalog Number2017020180
Sold with Hoodscrew-on hood: MH-RA 49mmscrew-on hood: MH-RA 49mm
Sold with Casesoft case: brown leather, no namesoft case: brown leather, no name

Technical Specifications

Optical Formula7 elements in 6 groups
Aperture Rangef/1.9 ~ f/22
Number of Aperture Blades8
Minimum Focusing Distance0.45 m
Maximum Magnification0.125 X
Special Featuresghostless coating
Filter Diameter49 mm
Maximum Diameter64 mm
Length27 mm
Weight155 g
Capmetal slip-on cap, 54 mm
Fitting Hood(s)screw-on hood: MH-RA 49mm
Fitting Case(s)soft case: brown leather, no name

Subjective Evaluation

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."