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SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
8 84,641 Wed June 20, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $720.00 9.33
SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5

SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5
SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5

This lens is optically identical to its K-series predecessor. Its redesigned barrel does not have a silver stripe around the focusing ring, however.

SMC Pentax-A 15mm F3.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 5 blades
13 elements, 12 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 88 ° / 77 °
Full frame: 111 ° / 100 °
Hard case HE-120 (initially), Soft case S90-100 (later)
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Built-in Filters
Diam x Length
80 x 81.5 mm
595 g
Production Years
1984 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A 1:3.5 15mm
Product Code
User reviews
Built-in filters: Skylight, UV, yellow, orange
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-8 of 8
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Central Ontario
Posts: 94
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: beautifully built, great photos
Cons: be careful with the exposed curved front lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1 II   

I purchased this lens new to go with my Super Program film body year ago. It worked flawlessly then and does so again with my new K1 II body. While I pre-purchased the DFA 150-450 lens, the DFA* 70-200 lens and the DFA 24-70 lens to go with the Pentax FF I knew I would eventually get, I see no real need to get the DFA 15-30 lens as I would be mainly using this at 15 mm. for landscape photography so the A 15 is a prefect substitute. Others have mentioned that the lens cap is prone to falling off but I have never had any issues. I really have nothing negative to say about this lens and am extremely happy that I kept it all these years. However, I am very careful about the front lens as it protrudes a lot and there is no way to add any protective filter. The occasional use of the built in filters is a fun diversion also.
New Member

Registered: July, 2013
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good construction, great rectilinear coverage
Cons: Limited application
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I've owned this lens since the mid-80's. Got it through a "Dutch" auction for about 1/2 retail. It's exceptionally well built and finished, about as good as Pentax ever made. As another poster said, it's unique looking - invariably, people respond with a "whoa, what's that?" on the rare occasions I use it.

The large, curved outer surface of the glass creates some fairly interesting flare effects when pointed into the sun, that I never cared for. Other than that, this lens has no other weakness I can think of. Recommended, if you can find one. Mine's not for sale.
New Member

Registered: December, 2010
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 


Link below is to gallery for samples using this lens by several different photographers.
PEG Moderator

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Hielands o' Scootlund
Posts: 49,736
Lens Review Date: July 2, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $780.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very wide
Cons: Heavy ish
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

As others have said, the lens itself has great build quality, very wide on FF cameras, not so much on DSLR's. Good for preset focus shots, F11 seems to be the sweet spot on mine.

Front metal lens cap falls off when you just look at it, lol, apart from that nothing but praise for this precision piece of Pentax engineering.

Just noticed after all these years that mine has a different engraved lettering from the smc PENTAX-A 1:3.5 15mm... mines SMC PENTAX-A 1:3.5 15mm which suggests perhaps an earlier variant if the same as other Pentax lenses of this ilk.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 925
Lens Review Date: April 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent contrast, distortions easy to correct, still sharp on the K-7
Cons: Heavy. focusing is not easy (requires tripod and liveview for precise work)

This is not a lens for every occasion.

I have it since my K100Ds and it is still sharp stepped down when I use it on the K-7.

The color rendition is excellent and flares can be managed easily or used for the photo.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 6,777

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 23, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Built in filters, angle of view, looks & build.
Cons: Cost, weight, size and exposed front lens element.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

The 15/3.5 has an amazing angle of view of 111 degrees! I can get most of downtown Vancouver in one shot, without any distortion that you would get with a fish-eye lens. You do have to take time to compose your shot, as you can get a lot of water or cement in the pictures foreground. For land/cityscapes itís best to shoot down from a slightly higher elevation. For architecture photography of a single building, itís better to use the 28/3.5 shift, as the 15/3.5 will tilt the building too much and you will get half a picture of the street.

The lenses built in filters are perfect for colour or b&w film photography and f3.5 is fast enough for most shooting situations. I use this lens exclusively on a KX or K2 film camera, so I canít speak for its usefulness on digital.

The build and look of this lens is a work of art, I would rate it as the best looking lens that Pentax has ever made. On the downside it is heavy and large, so it's not the best lens to carry around for everyday purposes. Itís more of a specialty lens and I find my 18/3.5 & 17/4 fish-eye work better as a traveling combo. (These two lenses take up the same space as the 15/3.5.)

The front lens element of the 15/3.5 sticks out like a sore thumb, so be careful as the built in metal hood doesnít protect it very much. The metal slip on cap also does not stay on very well.

I would rate this lens as an 8 for usage purposes and a 10 for build & looks. So overall it gets a 9. If you require a super wide angle lens then the 15/3.5 is perfect, as long as you donít mind that you probably won't use it very much. You can always store it in a display cabinet in your living room when itís not in use!!

September 2009 Update:
I sold my A15/3.5 and bought a K15/3.5AL in its place. No noticeable difference in optics between the two versions.

Sample shots taken with the A15/3.5. Photos are medium resolution scans from original negatives.

Camera: KX Film: Kodak Portra 160NC ISO: 160

Camera: KX Film: Kodak Portra 160NC ISO: 160

Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 24
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tack sharp. Excellent light gathering.
Cons: Heavy!! Difficult to protect glass.

I've been fortunate to get a rare 1st version Pentax SMC 15/3.5 with ONE aspherical element,only about 100 made.

It's a very capable tool.

I've posted several pictures.



Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2007
Location: Apiary, Oregon
Posts: 1,181
Lens Review Date: August 30, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Wide and rectilinear
Cons: Built in filters are of little use

This is a 15mm rectlinear lens. when complete it comes with a metal lens cover. It comes with the Y2, skylite, UV and )2 filters built in, and no way to use other filters.

with an F/3.5 to 22 aperture range has been a reliable stable where extreme wide angle photography is needed. It isn't usable with the built in flash at least of the istD.

It's too wide for general use with a film camera, but I have used it satisfactorily when special occasions called for a super wide angle. I've often resorted to it when photographing receptions in cramped quarters, and have dealt with the flash issue by using a bounce flash off the ceiling.

This lens seems to be back in vogue now. It's drawing far higher prices on Ebay than it did a few years ago.

I have lately acquired a DA* 15-50 and one of the things on my to do list is to figure out if there is anything this lens will do better than the DA* (other than work on my SuperProgram which I don't use anymore.)
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