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SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4

Sharpness 
 8.4
Aberrations 
 8.1
Bokeh 
 7.9
Handling 
 8.6
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
24 118,556 Tue February 5, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $44.92 8.38
SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4
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Description:
This is the only 35-70mm Pentax lens with fixed aperture, although faster versions with variable ranges exist.



SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
KA
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
25 cm
Max. Magnification
0.37x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-23 ° / 38-19 °
Full frame: 63-34 ° / 54-29 °
Hood
RH-A 60mm
Case
Hard case HB-105
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 80 mm
Weight
330 g
Production Years
1984 to 1985
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A ZOOM 1:4 35~70mm
Product Code
27227
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 24
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: February 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Fairly easy to use
Cons: Quite ordinary
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 7    Value: 5    Camera Used: K2 ME Super   

I have had two of these and they are rather ordinary. Image sharpness is nothing special at the lower f-stop end and gradually improves at f8 and perhaps stays the same at f11 before becoming weaker in most lighting conditions. I can't understand why some reviews really rate the sharpness so highly, to be honest. There are so many 9/10 scores and that does not line up with my experience at all on film cameras. Perhaps that is something to do with people confusing digital sensor processing and digital camera function with the lens? I find these lenses difficult to focus with constant accuracy. Fringing aberration and ghosting along contrast lines is really quite poor in some lighting conditions. They are famous for being worn out at the focus-ring end and wobbling like crazy, and one of mine was terrible for that as somebody cleaned out all the damper grease for the internal thread mechanism. Nice for discrete urban work and for general walkabout work, but there are better Pentax and other manufacturer lenses out there for doing that at the same - and sometimes cheaper - cost.
   
Forum Member

Registered: May, 2018
Location: NYC
Posts: 69
Lens Review Date: October 18, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, sharpness, close focus
Cons: aperture and focus rings quite close together
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony A7III   

Picked this up cheap and since it was an A series figured it would be decent and worth a try.

I shoot with a Sony A7III and an PK->NEX adapter fro Pentax lenses.

The 35-70 I found to be very sharp across the frame rendering pleasing colors and nice contrast.
Although it has no 'macro' mode you can shoot very close.
For the shot of the cat here I was very close (I focused on the eyes).
Also note that even though f4 is not 'fast', on a camera such as the A7III that handles low light well its not an issue (and the cat shot is indoors with artificial light)

I shot straight into the sun without a hood to get the shot of the sun flare.
If you check out the leaves and branches out at the edges of the frame you'll see that they are nice and sharp!
(I think this was shot at the 70mm end).

I gave this a 7/10 for handling mainly because the aperture and focus rings are right next to each other and I found myself grabbing the wrong one on occasion.

I have a native AF Sony 28-70mm lens and a bunch of faster primes that are probably more practical for most situations but if you want a nice performing, manual, cheap 35-70mm lens this one is certainly a goodie.




   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2015
Location: California
Posts: 174

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 19, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $28.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Compact, well made lens with good balance
Cons: In the right light a real bargain with excellent IQ
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony A6000   

[Updated - See Below]

There is a lot to like about this lens. It's a lens I wished I loved more. Small and compact, useful focal length range and excellent build quality and feel. Not to mention the bargain price. My sample looks like it has been well looked after almost looking brand new (a typical testament to the SMC-M series in my experience).

In terms of IQ I wouldn't rate it so highly. It just never seems that sharp. I'm not a pixel peeper but I find myself looking at photos I've taken with it and often wonder if I had the focus right or was I trying to handhold at too low a speed.

Colour rendition is good but I do see a little CA in some shots.

It is capable of some good shots and at $28 I really shouldn't be complaining and do use it. It's just likely that at some point it will be relegated to the back of the cupboard and replaced with a better zoom.

<A Bit Later - Like Six Months Later>

I've revisited this lens and for some reason - may be the subject matter or perhaps I've just been a bit more diligent, it's looking very good





   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,181
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Handy Focal lengths, excellent macro
Cons: No better then my Super Tak 35mm at f4
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K5   

so um... it's a bit like Vanilla Ice cream this lens.

I recently had good experience with a 75-150 M f4 and so went about looking for one of these, and well it's a fine lens sure, it's just not a "wow" lens.

At f4 my 40+yr old busted up Super Tak f3.5 is sharper, better corners, more contrast. At f4 the Super Tak is better in all those ways again.

At the longer end it's much the same, just ho hum. It's not to say this is a bad lens. it's just very vanilla?

I suppose that's what one should expect from a 80's zoom?
   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 302
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $43.40 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, sharp, good color, macro capable
Cons: a bit soft wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I found this lens recently and bought it due to previous reviews here. I am glad I did. So far I am impressed with the performance. Paired with my FA 20-35 on my K-3, it makes a wonderful walk around pair. This lens is very under valued in my opinion.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: zoom macros, bokeh, aberrations
Cons: F4
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5, A7, A6000   

I got this lens in flea market, in very poor condition, filter thread is lost, with internal corrosive
then I bring it to a repair man for cleaned and services, later ready to use
first time using the lens I'm surprise with the bokeh characters, this lens can produce beautiful bokeh, it's also has good sharpness, macro focusing is easy

here are the samples image capture:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/roe_groho/sets/72157644221845184/
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 908

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: solid build, constant f4, Pentax colors
Cons: a bit fussy to adjust zoom/focus
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

I've had a chance to compare this lens both to the A 35-80 f4.5-5.6 and the F 35-70 f3.5-4.5.
The first thing to notice is that this is a beautifully built lens. The A 35-80 and F 35-70 feel quite plasticky and cheap in comparison. It has a nice, wide focus ring (in contrast to the narrow one on the A 35-80), and it just feels good in the hand and on the camera.
It is nice to have the constant f4, but it's somewhat soft wide open. It sharpens up right away as you close down. Works great in the f5.6 range at the wide end and move to f8 as you go to the long end.
It is similarly sharp across the frame, and has those nice Pentax colors. In comparison to the other two lens, the F 35-70 is consistently the sharpest, followed by this A 35-70, followed by the A 35-80.
I'll probably end up using the F 35-70 the most because its autofocus can usually do better than my manual focus, and it also has a handy pseudo-macro mode. This A 35-70, however, is certainly a pleasurable and competent lens to use.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 176
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Handling, image quality, build.
Cons: Separate focus and zoom rings (not a big deal though)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K100d Super   

I've had this lens for over 15 years but only recently used it on digital. On film it was a very good performer overall, excellent at the long end.
This has now become my standard lens since I started using it seriously on the K100dS. I have started concentrating on abstracts, still life and close up. The lens range is excellent for that, plus it's compact and sharp. On digital is is approximately the same as a film 50-100mm. Worth buying you if find a clean copy and that focal range is useful to you.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 17,316

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 11, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, constant f4, close focus, size/handling, "A" lens ease ...
Cons: Mine is a bit "too loose" for the focus ring ...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5, K-r   

Bonjour,

Just a quick entry here since I have had this "A" lens for only a few days. First impressions are quite good, and I think that I am going to prefer this 35-70/4 over my previous "A" lens of this range, a 35-70/3.5-4.5 ...

Cannot really test outdoors due to overcast, crummy weather, but maybe some test shots will come later.

Here's a "close focus" test upon my cat, Crumble ... MFD@70mm ("50mm" entered into "SR" setting), wide open, K-5 with ISO 80, 1/180 with flash @-2 setting ... not bad for a first try ...

Allez et salut, John le Green Frog

   
Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, contrast
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax k-x DSRL   

I can do everything with this lens is the one I use the most since I bought it. I still have this little slow but I have already seen great things for my skills. I use it on my Kx digital and I saw an amazing sharpness and contrast.
Here's an example I know that I need to improve exposure, but if a little 'too open is still ok.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2,542
Lens Review Date: December 21, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: 2 touch zoom, CA/Flare control
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20D, Kx, K10D   

Superb little zoom! Sharp wide open, excellent "macro" capabilites, typical Pentax colors.

It's strengths lies in the longer end while the weakness is at the shorter end. The zoom range is a bit limited.

One can pick up this lens for under $50 if you are careful. For that price it produces pretty assume IQ! Very dependable and predictable lens...

K-x, 6400 ISO, f4.0 "macro mode"


K20D, ISO1600 f4.0 45mm



IMGP9295FSa3570 by theunartist, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, good color rendition, macro function
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Ist*DS2, Ist*DL   

The use of this lens is a joy. It's well made and operates smoothly.
The lens is sharp and has a fantastic colour rendition, comparable to the 35mm 3.5.

It has a very nice close focus ability and images are very pleasing and contrasted. One of my favorite lenses. Another positive point is his price. For around 75 you get a very good image quality in a sturdy built lense.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2012
Posts: 84

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 9, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp lens with good color rendition
Cons: A Little soft at f4, but after that Excellent
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax LX   

Got this on eBay on a lark. It had an opening price of $35.00 and I said "What the Hell" and placed the bid. To my astonishment, I got the lens for that price.
This is a joy to use. Compact, Fairly Light & Well Built. Focus & Zoom are Smooth. Solid Metal Body. Not quite as good as my 24-50mm, but for the price, grab one.
My walk-around lens on a sunny day.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 9

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

 
Pros: just lovely
Cons: none to speak of, could be a tad faster..
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9   

So far, I have only had joy from this lens. I bought one last week off of ebay and after a very short learning curve can only say good things about it.

The macro is also lovely.

Here are a few snaps I took on its first day out when walking my dog.

   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Cascais, Portugal
Posts: 38
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IQ, range
Cons: Blue fringing

Recently bought this one, along with a 70-210 / F4. Both great lenses.

The 35-70 is most of the time mounted on my K10D and it's a joy to use. Focusing is easy, the range is quite good for everyday photography, the close-focus capability is handy (not really macro, but...).

I only notice a small amount of CA, namely blue fringing in high contrast situations (a white wall limit, for example. This is only noticeable at maximum size, but nevertheless it's there. Apart form that, for a zoom lens, it gives extremely good results. And it's very sharp!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm F4



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