Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Lens Review Database » Pentax 645 Medium Format Lenses » 645 Wide-Angle Primes
SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5

Sharpness 
 9.5
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 8.9
Handling 
 9.9
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
17 76,712 Sun December 29, 2019
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $513.86 9.31
SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5

SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5
supersize
SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5
supersize

Description:

Extreme wide angle lens, manual focus. This lens uses a round hood as opposed to the petal-shaped hood of the FA and D FA versions. The field of view corresponds to that of a 24mm lens in the 24x36 mm format.


smc Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
645 film
Lens Mount
Pentax 645
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
645 A
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.25x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

645 Digital: 76 ° / 64 °
645 Film: 90 ° / 77 °
Hood
RH-RB 77mm screw-in
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
80 x 67 mm (3.2 x 2.6 in.)
Weight
470 g (w/o attachments) (16.6 oz.)
Production Years
N/A
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-A 645 1:3.5 35mm
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureMedium-Format SupportAdapter needed for DSLRsDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 17
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Quebec
Posts: 1,085
Lens Review Date: December 29, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, beautiful colors and contrast. Solid build.
Cons: None apart from being still very expensive.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax 645Z   



Picture taken tripod-mounted with a CPL. Composition necessitated extreme depth of field, so f/16 was used. The CPL removed all reflections on the leaves and intensified their hue. Sky may seem "overdone" but the color combination creates a pleasant graphic score.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2018
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 8, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon EOS 5DS R, 5Diii, 1DSii   

Hello everyone, I have been reading review from this forum for awhile, I thought it's time for me to contribute back to the society after some intense usage with them.

I am an architectural photographer using Canon 5DS R, 5D iii and 1DSii with Pentax 645 lens with Mirex adapter.

Pentax 645 A 35mm

tested at f11, after that, diffraction.

@ 35mm - without shift = Good, but there is a very visible mustache distortion which makes interior or architectural shot totally unusable

@ 35mm - shift 10mm - corner is soft and CA starts to show but still acceptable, the mustache distortion is even harder to correct.

@ 35mm - shift 15mm - corner very soft and CA is clearly visible, 10-15% of top frame have heavy vignetting as image circle isn't big enough. the mustache distortion is even harder to correct.

Its sharpness is than Nikon PC-E 35mm f2.8 with or without shift, also better than Canon 24mm TS-E II with 1.4 teleconverter but I am still sticking to the Zeiss Distagon, Contax c/y 35mm PC / I have yet to try Contax 645 35mm and HD Pentax 645 FA AL 35mm.

Old lenses like this give you that analogue film like feeling, detail yet not sharp sharp. Love it.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 4,905
Lens Review Date: September 15, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $289.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, sharpness, color fidelity
Cons: Not much
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645D & K-1   

I just received this lens yesterday, so my comments/review must be viewed as tentative even though quite positive. The lens is very well built to the point that handling it is a guilty pleasure.The strongest points thus far relate to image quality. First, the lens as many have noted is quite sharp, I would say at least rivalling if not matching my Pentax-D FA 50mm f 2.8 macro. Second and maybe more important, it offers fantastic color fidelity. The colors are so good that I am not touching them in post except for cropping and correcting for over/under exposure. I will stick my neck out and say it gives the best color fidelity I have experienced in medium format or full-frame photography. I expected the lens to be too wide to use for flower photography, but that was before I realized that on the full-frame K-1 camera, the minimum focal distance is only about four inches, meaning that for most flowers it is possible to fill the frame and then just do minor cropping to even up the margins/borders.

I chose the A version over the FA and/or D FA because of price and the fact that I neither need nor use AF for close-up flower photography or for landscape work. For intermediate to long landscape photos, just set the lens to infinity and take photos the rest of the day.

I did not plan to get the 35 for a while because of cost--many are listed at $400 up to $700. Keh marked this one ugly and listed it for only $279. The only failing I could find was missing front and back caps,
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: 5th floor
Posts: 1,431
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Relative small size, sharp, contrasty, well built
Cons: Hm....
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645D   

I haven't thought about the exact sensor size of 645D and what 35mm means in that context and format but the this focal length sort of hit somewhat a sweet spot for me. If you bother enough to take something as heavy as 645d, the size of the lens is actually pretty nice. Very sharp in the center and as you go out to the edge it surprisingly maintain its sharpness. Contrast is pretty punchy too. I love how BWs come out with his lens on. For me at this focal length I can totally live without AF. So paying extra for FA version to me is not money well spent. If you shoot landscape, this should one of the first lenses you should get for your Pentax MF format set up. It is build like a tank, and can take lots of abuse too.
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2015
Posts: 39
Lens Review Date: August 19, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, well built, reliable
Cons: None really -- faster is nicer (but then it would be heavier)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7r; Fuji GFX 50R   

I'm using this lens on a Sony A7r with dual Mirex tilt-shift adapters. The first Mirex adapter is P645 to EOS, while the second is EOS to Sony E. I'm also using the SMC Pentax-A 645 55mm f/2.8, 45-85mm f/4.5, 150mm f/3.5, and 75mm f/2.8 -- plus some non-Pentax lenses.

The 35mm f/3.5 is the best of the bunch. It shows a bit of barrel distortion, which corrects well in Lightroom if I feel the need. Sharpness across the frame is fantastic. It's a bit soft wide open, but it's quite usable at f/5.6, and outstanding at f/8 and f/11. I'll use it at f/16 in a pinch. I find that f/22 is loosing a lot of resolution to diffraction. Colour is typical Pentax. The lens is nice and contrasty to my eye. Bokeh isn't really what this lens is about.

The large image circle of the 645 lenses relative to the size of the A7r sensor give me lots of room for camera movements. Through careful positioning of the adapters I've been able to get 17mm of rise and all the tilt needed to get everything sharp using the 35/3.5.

One side benefit of these Pentax-A lenses is that they are easy to fix. My copy of the 35/3.5 came with a slightly wobbly focus ring. I heard a screw rattling around inside. It's easy to get access to the internals of the lens for cleaning and repair. I got mine back to perfect working order quickly and easily.

Bottom-line: this is an outstanding lens. Its reputation is well-deserved. Highly recommended.

===================================

I reviewed this lens a couple years ago when I used it on a Sony A7R with Mirex tilt-shift adapters (see above). My general opinion about the quality of the lens hasn't changed, but my setup has. In case anyone else wants to go down this path, I'm sharing some experiences. I'm now using it on a Fuji GFX 50R -- so a larger sensor: 33mm x 44mm. Additionally, I'm using it with a Toyo VX23D view camera so that I have a full range of camera movements.

If you need a wide angle lens that can tilt and shift on a Fuji GFX 50R/S camera, I think this is your best choice until Fuji comes up with its own wide angle T/S lens. I compared the A version that I own to a good copy of an FA. The FA was slightly sharper in the central area of the frame, but slightly softer towards the edges. In a shift application, I think it's preferable to have even resolving power across the frame -- so the SMC Pentax-A 35mm was a good choice. It's also a bit smaller, lighter and cheaper than the FA 35. People who have used both the Mamiya C 35mm (N version) and this lens usually say that the Pentax is better; I have not tried the Mamiya, but it's an option.

It is physically possible to shift the SMC Pentax-A 35/3.5 12mm on a shift adapter mounted to a GFX (or on a tech camera setup, e.g., my Toyo VX23D, or a Cambo Actus GFX). However, you probably won't be happy with the results. The 12mm shifted frame still falls within the image circle of the lens, but barely. Image quality at the edges on a 12mm shift on a 33mm x 44mm sensor is not acceptable in my view, except in cases where there's no detail at the edges (e.g., sky). Even a 10mm shift on a 33mm x 44mm sensor is problematic at the edges. Less than 10mm is fine. This means that the lens is not suitable for making uncropped flat-stitched 4:3 images using three frames (centre, shifted left 12mm, shifted right 12mm). Image quality may well be satisfactory if you crop into that 3-shot flat-stitched image.

Things get more complicated when you use this lens on a technical camera like a Cambo Actus GFX or my Toyo VX23D. The Cambo has P645 lens mounts, so it's easy to attach. I had to build a custom mount for my VX23D. This involved some machining. The lens sits on the first 12mm of a Fotodiox P645 to GFX adapter. That piece of the adapter is attached to the deepest Toyo recessed lens board (model W4F 1640); the recess is about 27.5mm. This arrangement makes it awkward to operate the aperture ring, but it's manageable. You won't have this problem on a Cambo outfit.

One complication when using the lens on a technical camera is that it has floating elements for improved close focus performance. For distances beyond about 1 metre, I put the lens on infinity and focus using the rear standard focus knob. The floating elements are not relevant at these distances, so it works extremely well. For distances less than 1 metre, you can focus this way, but edge quality is bad because the floating elements are not being used. The solution is to put the lens at the proper flange focal distance (i.e., the distance it would be from the film plane on a Pentax 645 camera), and then focus using the lens's focus ring. Using tilt changes the rules again. As tilt increases, it becomes necessary to set the focus ring to infinity and focus using the rear standard even when the nearest part of the image is closer than 1 metre.

I expect this all sounds rather awkward -- and it is. However, it's worth it for me because I have not found another option in this focal length for good quality images on a technical camera that has a Fuji GFX 50R/S as the "sensor". There are much better short focal length lenses for digital view cameras, but they don't work on my setup because the Fuji GFX flange focal distance is 26.7mm; those lenses are designed for medium format backs where the FFD is basically 0mm. This is not a problem unique to my Toyo setup. Cambo Actus GFX users are in the same boat.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Kaneohe, HI
Posts: 2,855
Lens Review Date: January 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Exceptional sharpness
Cons: Lens hood
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: 645   



This was the first prime that I couldn't afford but never regretted because it has paid for itself a dozen times over. It is my favorite lens for the 645 that I bought with the camera in 1986 and have been using for 30 years. The official specs review states that this has a 24mm equivalent for a 24x36mm format, but I believe with a 90% FOV the equivalent is closer to 21mm.

The 77mm filters are pricey but a smart investment to protect the large front element. The only peccadillo is the ultra large yet shallow round screw on lens hood which effectively does nothing other than make the lens look like a large mushroom.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2011
Location: pontiac mi.
Posts: 390
Lens Review Date: September 28, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: lite,sharp,solid
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: 645 d   

good as is, wider with screw on lenses. auto focus not an issue, dial in infinity and set the apature to f8 and shoot all day long. with it's dof bokeh is a non issue.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2014
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 335
Lens Review Date: July 18, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Relatively Light Weight, Well built, Sharpness.
Cons: Slight chromatic aberrations in high contrast scenes.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: 645Z   

The quality of this lens is something else. Built quality is quite impressive. Good sharpness, and a great performer. Aberrations are present at times, but can be removed in post.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2009
Location: East Bay Area, CA
Posts: 6,234

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp! small size, smooth focus
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: 645D   

This one renders beautifully with great contrast and sharpness. The focal length is just right for my wider landscape shots and the focus ring is satisfyingly smooth. I give this a solid 9, probably closer to 9.5 actually. I will take off a fraction of a point for having 8 aperture blades, functional but not as exciting as a 7- or 9-bladed lens when it comes to sunstars /spectral highlights. no bother, the overall IQ of the image makes up for this well. Recommended!
I paid $400 for a pretty banged up copy with some filter thread damage.

Beyond The Gate




here's a gallery of A35/3.5 images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeoria/albums/72157663192570190
   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 72
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness
Cons: a little bit of chromatic aberrations
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is my favourite lens for landscape on a 645D. It performs brilliant from f/8 to f/11. Very sharp, even to the edges. Very well built too.
I really love this lens and the way it renders colors.
I think I would have paid even more for it. It really is that good.
And it doesn't bother me at all that the lens has no autofocus, as I use the infinity setting nearly all the time (99%).
   
Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2010
Posts: 96

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, and Rendering Abiltiy
Cons: Price

This lens is one of the best lenses I have ever used. It makes wonderful images, It will out resolve any DSLR sensor I have ever owned. At f3.5 the bokeh is very nice, soft and oof objects are round not like a stop sign. Wide open the focused portion of an image is very sharp with great contrast. With the use of the hyperfocal markings it will insure you know what will be sharp, it's a film thing baby. No chimping on a 645

I use it on a 645 film camera and with an adapter on a Canon 7D, has a 56mm fov on a 7d so it is a nice portrait lens for those who like lots of negative space. I give it a 10, it is the best lens I own. I have several primes 28, 50, 75, 200, just something about this 35 that sets it self apart.

The prices in 2011 at Keh are $800+ I have to say the emergence of the 645D has run the cost of all the wide 645 glass through the roof! Sad because everyone should have one of these.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 573

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well made
Cons: Does not come in pink

I use this on a Pentax 645D. It is really nice lens. Manual focusing takes a little getting used to, but once you figure it out, the lens performs well.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Rotterdam, NL
Posts: 737
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: good rendition, sharpness, colour
Cons: hood

Very, very pleased with this lens on initial results (645, 645N), beautiful images.
I later compared it on a dslr via adapter to several 35mm lenses, the M 2/35mm, M 2.8/35mm, M 4/24-35mm, and the digital kit lens (on a tripod, fixed position). No comparison, the 645 lens blew all others away. In sharpness, bokeh, colour.
Cannot compare this lens to the redesigned FA 35mm, or how either performs on the 645D, but I have no regrets whatsoever about this purchase (300).
Built quality feels and looks to be very solid. The rubber hood may or may not be useful, I've only just acquired it and cannot yet tell.
Together with the 120mm, FA 150mm, and FA 45-85mm zoom, this one is a stellar performer, one I always want to bring along.
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 103
Lens Review Date: July 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice and wide, Wonderful focus movements,
Cons: A bit heavy

Equivalent to a 21mm, I use this lens a lot for landscape. I couldn't afford or even find the auto-focus version, but I am extremely happy with this lens. Using hyperfocal technique works very well for this 35mm lens: set lens at a smaller aperture and place the focus distance in the middle of my focus range.

The mechanical smoothness of focusing on these manual P645 lenses is just a dream. I also like the yellow nub that helps line up the lens, a cosmetic/vanity detail missing in the FA lenses. 77mm works with my Nikon filters.

Ebay and KEH pricing in 2009 was around $500 for exc+ quality. I consider that a very good price, and these seem to be priced higher in mid-2010.
   
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Ventana Wilderness, CA
Posts: 83

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $285.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp, nice sunburst shapes shooting into sun
Cons: Data to 645N body sometimes dithers between f/19-f/22 when set at f/22

This lens is the reason I bought into the P645 system and it's the only one I own for my P645N. It does near-far compositions with amazing results, though DOF improves when set using the hyperfocal distance. I haven't run tests but I am reasonably sure that the lens can put down on film a lpmm resolution that exceeds what a Nikon Coolscan 9000 is capable of recording (~67 lpmm), which indicates a need for a drum scanner at a native 5000 dpi or greater to scrape all the detail off the best images made with this lens.

The focusing helicoid could not be improved upon, it is absolutely wonderful.

Really nicely color balanced. Lens achieves such high sharpness at a cost of being excessively contrasty in some circumstances like snow and beach scenes with transparency films; better stick with Astia 100F (works better than Velvia 50 with this level of contrast). Renders best of all used with a polarizer and Ektar or Fujicolor Pro 160S.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-A 645 35mm F3.5



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:30 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top