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SMC Pentax-A 28mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
55 263,163 Thu September 5, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $84.29 8.42
SMC Pentax-A 28mm F2.8

SMC Pentax-A 28mm F2.8
SMC Pentax-A 28mm F2.8

This lens is similar to the second version of the smc Pentax-M 28mm F2.8 lens.

SMC Pentax-A 28mm F2.8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 5 blades
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
PH-S49 (28/35mm)
Hard case HA-90B
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 36.5 mm
170 g
Production Years
1984 to 1988
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A 1:2.8 28mm
Product Code
User reviews
Lens hood was not included with lens
Manual FocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 28mm F2.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 31-45 of 55
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $72.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharper than the kit lens
Cons: A little heavy on C/A

Not a bad lens -- works as it should. Goes well with the K2000. Auto aperture seems accurate enough. No auto-focus and those APS-C viewfinders are tiny. Nevertheless, once you get it down, pictures are nice and sharp. Think about this: Ken Rockwell with a $299 point-and-shoot and you with a K-5 and FA 31, who's going to take the better pictures? It's all about your own abilities. I got a screw-on, 49mm, metal lens-hood that was made for telephoto's. An excellent match. Satisfied with the lens, but hoping Pentax will introduce a new 28mm soon.

Indoor shots to demonstrate sharpness:

100% for pixel-peeping (center):

Senior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 120

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 17, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, light, very good optical quality for the price
Cons: Short focus throw
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

The A 28mm f2.8 has quite similar optical quality to the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 non-VC lens (which I own). Actually I think it's slightly sharper, and vignettes less than the modern zoom. I like the colours that come out of the 28mm better than the Tamron as well, though a quick white balance adjustment in post makes this a moot point.

In terms of CA, the Tamron does better but the 28mm is still quite good.

The lens was difficult to focus precisely because it takes only 90 degrees turn from min focus to infinity. That's my only major complaint.

Overall, I would give the lens an 8.5, but increase it to 9 because of the bang for buck.
New Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: May 6, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, lightweight, well made
Cons: None

My favorite lens by far. Works very nicely on a Pentax DSLR, by the way, but even more fun on my P30t film camera.

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada
Posts: 2,050

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, reasonably fast, useful FL
Cons: A bit prone to contrast loss

Useful - not quite a "normal" FL replacement on digital, but not bad.

I had my copy for a number of years (10 at least), and it was a good, well travelled performer (Paperbag now has it) .

Build quality is excellent, and the manual focusing is a treat.

Optically, as others have mentioned, the rendering is very neutral. Sharpness is adequate.

My one recommendation is to purchase a collapsible rubber hood to prevent contrast loss and flare.
New Member

Registered: January, 2011
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 20, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: 42mm on DSLR, A-setting, nice when stopped down, small
Cons: overall build, loose focus ring, bit hard to focus accurately

I have bought this lens due to two reasons. Firstly I wanted to try A lens (after two M lenses I already had). Secondly I wanted to get as close to 50mm on DSLD (K20D) as I can without buying more expensive and harder to get 35mm lens.

I was already spoiled with M50/1.7 and M75-150/4 so when it arrived I was less than thrilled with overall quality of A28/2.8. It doesn't feel as sturdy as M50/1.7. Moreover focusing ring works in some uneven manner (bit loose at 0.7m, at least my one) and it just breaks loose while I press the shutter so it is possible to accidentally turn it then. Also it is not as sharp as my both M lenses... In fact due to loose focusing ring and not-so-sharp images at first I thought that I have got damaged lens.

I am overall pleased with performance I got however. It's small. It is 42mm on DSLR, which renders really nice view. It gives nice colors and details (if you won't miss focus) too. The A-setting (along with exposure compensation) allows to get accurate exposition in vast majority of shots which really makes quite a difference from "slower to operate" M lenses. Additionally at f2.8 you can take some hand-held photos in dim light quite easily. And it has not so bad bokeh too.

All in all this is my choice for general walk-around lens for now.


low light, high iso:
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: EU
Posts: 26
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: enough sharp when stopped down, good colors, small
Cons: not sharp corners wide open
Sharpness: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8   

Quite good quality build, standard 49 mm filter, good colors, sharp when stopped down 4-5,6 and more. At f2,8 decently sharp in the center but corners are fuzzy. In comparison to the Vivitar 28/2,8 Pentax loses.

Registered: August, 2009
Location: The British Isles
Posts: 2,400
Lens Review Date: November 12, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fine wider lens

Easy to find on ebay or charity shops, excellent all round sharpness.

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Posts: 7,384
Lens Review Date: October 22, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Well built, good exposure, even and neutral results
Cons: Lacks some punch when compared to other primes
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8   

I got this lens a bit by chance, after getting the DA21 LTD (to which it obviously gets compared).

The build quality is great, with a better feel than the A50 f1,4. Metal barrel, smooth focus (short throw, like most wide primes). Good weigth and size, too, though the DA21 got me spoiled. It's also larger than the Takumar bayonet 28 mm, and a bit heavier.

Image quality is very good, with sharp, even results across the frame. Even wide open it's usable, even though it improves when stopped down (obviously). It's bright enough that manual focus is easy.

The limitation of this lens is that, when I compare it with my DA21, it lacks punch when comparing images straight out of the camera. The DA21 has much more saturated and contrasty outputs, but then again it's one of the main perks of that lens, so that's not a fair comparison. The A28's results are very neutral and should react well to post-processing. Taken by itself the images are not lacking, but when compared the difference shows.

Comparing with the Tak bayonet 28 mm, I'd say both have similar colour renderings, but the A28 is better wide open.

In short it's a good lens, very well made. It just lacks the magic feeling of the limiteds.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 805
Lens Review Date: August 17, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great IQ and colour
Cons: focussing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Shop around, these go for a wide price variance, and try to get a good copy, and you won't be disappointed.

I do find that distance focussing can be a little tricky (at least it is for me), but when you get it right, the detail and its resolving power is very good. With experience, this becomes markedly easier.

Contrast in shots is greatly improved when using a lens hood (I just use a cheap rubber one).

There is some edge softness at F2.8, but at F4 and above this disappears.

Overall, quite a solid performer, a good compromise for walking-about with.

Cheers, John
October 2010 update, after participating in "Single in September" and using this lens everyday for a month, I have upgraded its score to 9.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1,846
Lens Review Date: July 30, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: compact, sharp, useful for reverse macro
Cons: plastic build elements, focus ring can come loose

This really is a nice little lens for budget shooting. it's sharp, it's snappy, it's compact. It's color rendition is fine, and 28mm is a useful focal length, being somewhat wide on APS-C. It's also a full frame lens.

It's lack of auto focus means that I'm unlikely to put this in the camera bag, let alone on the camera, and will shoot with my DA* 16-50 instead.

I picked up my copy to reverse mount for macro, and for that, it's focal length is great.

If you're looking for a budget way to try out faster glass, this is a great start. They're common and cheap.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2010
Posts: 2,395
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fast, good build, small
Cons: low colour saturation/constrast in harsh light

A great starter prime, and a relatively inexpensive way to a good prime on your dSLR with a loose-normal field of view. Very sharp at f 4, and very respectable at f 2.8. As far as resolution is concerned, this lens is far sharper across the frame than the kit lens. A good FOV for indoors, but not particularly bright. Good for general photography and landscapes. I find it pairs nicely with a 50mm 1.7 or faster.

The build quality is very nice and operation is generally smooth, like a good instrument.

Worst quality of this lens has to do with harsh lights, colour contrast and flares. Easily fixed with a lens hood and/or polarizing filter. However, even with these things, the images will not be as saturated as would see with a 50mm, or one of the DA lenses. It's a nice look actually, more organic / film-like (of course, depending on the film), but it does not make the colours pop like other lenses. There is all sorts of resolution buried in the images, so it takes well to post-processing. I suspect a lot of the "meh" comments about this lens are related to it's rather muted colour palette. Bokeh renders nicely for a wide-angle.

I would give this lens an 8 if there was an alternative in this price range... but this lens is SHARP for the dollar.

Overall a great prime for those on a budget or just starting out into the world of primes. The aperture is wide enough and the FOV is very flexible. I find this lens is great for "snapshots" - despite manual focus, it's a nice focal length for spontaneous pictures.
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2009
Posts: 173
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, sharp, has A setting.
Cons: Lacks contrast and saturation

Got this lens on eBay in minty condition as a replacement for my 28mm SMC Takumar. The build quality of the A series lenses is a bit disappointing to me, but this lens actually handles really well. The lens is very sharp in the center even at f2.8, some sharpness fall off at the edges. Little to no vignetting, CAs are almost non-existent. Distortions are very low too. However, when shotting yesterday in the direction of the sun (without a hood) the contrast and saturation was rather low. When shooting away from the sun this thing excels. For the $55 I've paid for it this lens is great. I think it outperforms my SMC Takumar 28mm f3.5 in all areas.
Lens Review Date: December 17, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

Pros: Enough sharp, good bokeh
Cons: Not so good image corners due to 5.6

Just got this lens from e-bay. Using it with GX20.
1. It is good (not great) walk around lens on aps-c (42mm), but could be used also for landscape photo closed down to 2-3 steps.
2. It is little bit soft and cs wide open, but good for close portraits shots. Closing it down to 2 stops makes it sharp and usefull for street photography.
3. It is strongly depends on focus precision, even closed, so I use nikon`s K3 focusing screen (rebuilded by our chineese friends) and using microprisms ring have enough precised manual focus.
4. Contrast is good from wide open.
5. Bokeh is smooth and looks well for my first view.
New Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Egham, Surrey
Posts: 1

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 2, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Crispy sharp, good contrast, detail, color redition, no distortion

The picture quality from this lens is far more than the price I paid. Highly recommended to get it if you want to have 28mm. lens.

New Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: PNW
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: September 9, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: good all around focal length on digital sensor, fastish, sharp, bokeh
Cons: none really for the price i paid

love this lens great for people shots and the bokeh can be pretty nice.
took this at f2.8
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