Pentax SMC-FA* 24mm f/2 AL [IF] - Review / Lab Test Report
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2007

Special thanks to Oliver Kirchner for providing this lens!


The Pentax SMC-FA* 24mm f/2 AL [IF] is another representative of the old professional grade lens league. Typical for the FA* lenses designed during the late film era Pentax used a silver finish to distinguish them from the rest of the gang. The FA* 24mm f/2 was discontinued back in 2004 so you will probably not be able to find it new in shops out there anymore. Naturally it is a full format lens and when used on today's APS-C DSLR its field-of-view is equivalent to about 36mm - a moderate wide-angle lens.

The build quality of the lens is very good with an outer shell made of metal. The focus ring has a slightly higher friction and operates only reasonably smooth and it is not damped. The FA* 24mm f/2 features a focus-clutch mechanism so you change from AF to MF by pushing/pulling the focus ring - the implementation on the tested sample feels a little sticky. As mentioned in the lens' name it uses an internal focusing [IF] group so it does not change its physical length regardless of the focus setting and the front element does not rotate.

The FA* 24mm f/2 has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera so AF operations generate a moderate degree of noise. The AF speed is very fast on the K10D.

Equiv. focal length36 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction11 elements in 9 groups
Number of aperture blades8
min. focus distance0.3 m (max. magnification ratio 1:8)
Dimensions73 x 66 mm
Weight405 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal shaped, snap-on type (supplied)
Other featuresAF/MF clutch

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