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SMC Pentax-A 28-135mm F4

Reviews Views Date of last review
12 69,022 Sun January 19, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
83% of reviewers $109.22 7.45
SMC Pentax-A 28-135mm F4

SMC Pentax-A 28-135mm F4
SMC Pentax-A 28-135mm F4

This practical zoom lens features fixed aperture during zooming.

SMC Pentax-A 28-135mm F4
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
17 elements, 15 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
170 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55-12 ° / 46-10 °
Full frame: 75-18 ° / 65-15 °
RH-A 80 mm
Hard case HE-169
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
80 x 112 mm
820 g
Production Years
1984 to 1991
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A ZOOM 1:4 28~135mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 28-135mm F4
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-12 of 12
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2014
Posts: 45
Lens Review Date: January 19, 2020 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $78.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: zoom range, build quality
Cons: heavy, dim and very difficult to focus, long minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 1    Value: 4    Camera Used: K-S1   

This isn't a well known lens. This page is the only information I could find about it, that's why I decided to write this review.

I bought this lens to use on my film cameras, but returned it after a quick test on my digital K-S1. First of all, its a well-built lens. My copy obviously withstood lots of abuse but still worked well. The lens is very heavy and difficult to use on a small camera.

Sharpness is very good at 28mm but quickly drops at middle focal lengths and slightly improves again at the long end. The lens is sharper at closer distance than at infinity.

There is a "soft glow" effect at F4. I wanted to try it for portraits, but out of dozens of photos I took only a few were more or less in focus. It's a very dim lens and EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to focus through an optical viewfinder (I have no problem focusing my other manual lenses). Forget shooting indoors without a tripod and live view. Considering the minimum focus distance of 170 cm, forget shooting indoors, period. Even under bright sunlight, obtaining correct focus is difficult and the focus confirmation doesn't help.

This lens should work well on test charts but isn't very suitable for real life photography. If you want a good manual zoom, skip this one and get its not-so-little brother A 35-105mm/F3.5.
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Long zoom reach, impressive looks..., usable on digital
Cons: Heavy, bit dark in the finder, performance wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1ii and film   

Lots of glass for only 40 euros, once it was an expensive lens for manual SLR's. I used it on my K-01 but for APS-C it's a bit too long. I was just curious how this beast survives on digital full frame and how it compares to the kit lens. This lens performs better on the long end as it does at 28 mm. Avoid F4 anyway, it's soft and glowing. At 28 mm, the far corners never live up and keep very smeary at most apartures. At 35mm this is almost gone, stopping to 5.6 results in good center sharpness and more than acceptable images from 35mm on to the long end. It renders a bit cooler than the kit lens does of the K1ii, but the images are sharp in the in-focus zone. Bokeh is a bit misty, different from the kit lens. What you prefer is a matter of taste.

Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 881
Lens Review Date: August 8, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $42.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built, versatile and an "A" lens
Cons: Not much, F:3.5 would have been nice.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I bought this at auction and the price included p&p. The seller had noted some fungus was present but reading the reviews that were kind to this lens made me want to try it. The image that showed some fungus only showed minimal amounts.
On receipt of the lens I immediately liked it for it's pristine appearance and the well damped rings but realised the fungus might be an issue. A few images later and I still liked the lens, the only problem it seemed to have was a slight reduction in contrast on shaded images, the subjects in full sun seemed good enough not to want to increase the contrast in Picasa. I am presuming the fungus to be the cause. Not bad for a good walk around lens.This image and crop shows how the lens performs and demonstrates a little CA visible.

No pp, S.O.O.C. jpeg
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 106

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $69.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, versatility,Design, macro mode at 28mm
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3   

[ I purchased this lens as a walk around lens for my soon to be K1. I have been using it with my K3 and am very happy with it. The IQ is good and the range is very useful. I shoot mainly with M prime lenses and their IQ in general is better, but this is to be expected. The IQ is fine for a zoom. I use a shoulder bag so the weight is not an issue even on an active long day. Really, the lens size seems to fit the K3 well. The catch in focus is not useful at 28mm but I have a Nikon split image focusing screen so this is not an issue. I am very happy with this lens and recommend it highly. A quick update - Great IQ with the K1
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 31

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: build , colour , diversety .
Cons: not 2.8
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k52   

Found this sweet thing . The price was becourse of scrathes on the front lens .I can live with that . The front ,lens glass is kind of blue and oily
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Location: London, ON
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: March 26, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $99.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build quality, range
Cons: focus distance, weight
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-X, MX   

I bought this lens hoping to get something that I can leave on the camera while on walks. It has a good range, and is fast enough for most situations. It is, however, a very heavy beast, and not exactly well suited to carrying around ones neck.

Overall, I'd say the reviews here are accurate. If you want a lens that looks impressive, but works okay, this will do the job.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: The Canadian WetCoast
Posts: 375
Lens Review Date: May 17, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range. Construction. Aesthetics.
Cons: IQ designed for film. Size & weight.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: MX. Super A. LX. ist*. K7   

This lens although can be use on dSLRs, it was designed primarily for film cameras. Therefore, if you evaluate it by the amazing details of today digital images, it definitely is a disappointment. I used this reliable performer for ~30 years mainly for snapshots of 8"X10" print or smaller and cannot be happier.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2010
Location: melbourne
Posts: 936

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 12, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 


I purchased a S/H one of these to use with my LX.
I was pretty happy with it...never had a problem with image quality.
It's main problem is bulk....a very heavy lens to have hanging off the front of your camera if you're moving around.
I used mine for covering motorsport events, the range was quite useful.
It was, like most early Pentax lenses, beautifully made, & great to handle, & whilst I shouldn't say this, because to most it's not looks good...a most impressive piece of glass!
Cheers, Pickles.
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 44

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: zoom range
Cons: front heavy

I had bought the lens new in the 1980s along with my first Pentax camera (a P3). For a decade or two, it traveled with me--to the UK Lake District, Iceland, and the US Southwest, as well as for the home photos.

So it's a sentimental favorite, with which I've many fine photos that I'm pleased with.

I've stopped using the lens in due somewhat to a combination of the US Southwest and the beginning of eBay. I remember it was at Zion National Park that I first realized that 28mm wasn't enough. I then went to 20mm and 15mm (courtesy of eBay) to take the type of photos I wanted.

In terms of film days, it was fantastic (until Zion); these days there are many more choices, and the 1.5x of digital Pentaxes has something to do with that too.

Nevertheless, in terms of film it was a most dependable lens, and I still have it (though I've sold a few other lenses).
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 63
Lens Review Date: March 10, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 6 

Pros: good zoom range, focus ring feels good
Cons: CAs, bit soft and "aura" surrounding highlights

Considered the lens as I was fed up by poor AF-accuracy of my K100Ds and the lack of a "real" focus ring of modern glasses. Wanted sth. heavy, a reminiscence of the good old days of metal film cameras and metal shells of the lenses that felt and looked like being made of one piece rather than a wagging assemly of plasticy parts. In fact, it feels great. If weight is not the problem, this lense may act as a "handle" to balance the system and prevent your fingers and hands from tiring holding it. The heavy frontelement is kind of a counterweight to the boy itself. However, focussing is not easy either probaly due to the small aperture (4) and sometimes I was given results I never saw befor except from a Tamron 28-75/2.8 that was broken: whitish "aura" around highly lit objects even when they were in focus. I unvestigated this a bit and noted, it was most obvious at 70mm and aperture setting 4.0, while diminishing towards the ends of the focal range and higher aperture nos. It becomes most visible in scenes of high contrast. Else the lense is allright, although using it is more funny than examining the results. The focus ring is pleasingly firm, doesn't turn by accident, small turns achieve small difference in focus, hence control over focus can be quite accurate, provided you can see clearly enough to detect real sharpness. Overall, I give it a 6. There are better lenses around.
Marketplace Reseller

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 802

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 12, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Focal Range, looks cool, big focus ring, easy to focus
Cons: tad soft wide open, heavy beast, meh macro, close focus

My review is partially to offset the only other reviewer who happened to post 2 copies of the same review both of which were bashing this lens.

I received a copy in excellent condition, and contrary to the previous review, I found this lens to be quite nice. Overall the images were surprisingly sharp, even wide open. Stopped down to f/5.6 and the lens sharpens up a bit, but doesn't change much after that in the center. Corners come around nicely at f/8. Doesn't match prime quality when shooting wide open, but gets pretty close when stopped down a stop or two.

The min focus distance (not including macro) is about 5 feet, which is fine at the 135mm end, but at the 28mm end it isn't close enough in all situations. Luckily, the macro functionality at 28mm sort of makes up for this.

One nice thing about this lens that doesn't have much to do about optical quality is that it just grabs attention. With the 77mm filter diameter, this lens has a large piece of glass sitting at the front of it. Of course that also means more expensive filters.

If you could manage to haul this around with you, it can cover most of your needs outside (not great for low light of course), with a nice focal range. My rating is partially to offset the very negative rating of previous reviewer. Otherwise I would probably give it a 7.
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV USA
Posts: 42
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2007 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 2 

Pros: None
Cons: Its All Bad

I wrote a lengthy review on this lens, but it got lost in the internet world. It's too late to re-write, so I'll boil it down to this:

While the zoom range is attractive, the lens does not perform well and is not worth using at any price. The phots are useable, but even some disposable cameras do better.

One might think that my lens might be off, but I confirmed with another user that I am experiencing the same performance as a new one.

Definitely a no on this one.
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