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SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 74,642 Wed April 18, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $250.06 9.73
SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro

SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro
SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro

This was the first in a series of 100mm autofocus macro lenses from Pentax. The subsequent versions (FA, D FA) have the same optical formula. The optics are seated that far from the front that no separate lens hood is required.

SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 8 blades
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
31 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 16 ° / 14 °
Full frame: 24 ° / 20 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Focus Range Limiter
Diam x Length
74 x 104 mm (2.9 x 4.1 in.)
590 g (20.9 oz.)
Production Years
1987 to 1991
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F 1:2.8 100mm MACRO
Product Code
User reviews
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 100mm F2.8 Macro
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-11 of 11
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 40
Lens Review Date: April 18, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp
Cons: Weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Camera Used: k30   

Amazing lens! Not so easy to find but if you grab it! AF is not really useful.
I will raccomend it!
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Vallès Occidental
Posts: 39
Lens Review Date: March 7, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Colours, IQ and sharpness
Cons: Focusing ring and focus noisy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5II   

It's probably the best lens I have. I am a lover of the Pentax F series.

Some of my photos posted here:
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Posts: 631
Lens Review Date: September 30, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $0.35 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Well Built, Has Focus Limiter
Cons: Out of Production
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

Stellar build quality, AF speed is more than tolerable and sharpness is insane. Will likely upload some sample shots at a later date.
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 893

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Vivid Colours, sharpness and a good all-rounder, not just macros
Cons: Heavy, narrow focus ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

The F 100mm f2.8 Macro lies somewhere in the middle of a run of exceptional 100mm Macro lenses from the Super Multi-Coated Macro Takumar 100mm f4 to the latest D FA 100mm 2.8 Macro WR. They are all sharp lenses, with excellent reputations, so what, if anything, distinguishes the F-series version from the others?

Having read the reviews and seen the photos, I think one word (spelt in different ways) sums up the USP of this particular lens: Colour. It delivers vibrant and dynamic colours for the camera's sensor - something shared with other F-series lenses that have a very loyal following among users. And that's why I purchased one, after a long search. Plus the fact that a second hand F 100mm Macro is currently cheaper than a new D FA, and is a relatively rare lens that should hold its value.

Below is one of the first photos I took with the lens - the giant lily. From the start it was clear this really is a special lens in terms of colour rendering. It's good not just for macros, flying bugs and butterflies, but also landscapes and portraits. Someone wrote to ask me if the lens suffers from PF like their D FA 100mm. I've never tried the D FA, but my F 100mm is not too bad at PF. In bright, over exposed close ups, bees antenna can turn purple (for instance), and wide open and at longer distances the lens does some "fill ins" of bright pin-lights with modest purple. But nothing like my purple monsters - the K 135/2.5 or Tamron zoom macro.

The lens is super-sharp. However, I'd have to say that the lens is not as easy to use nor as convenient for ultra-close-ups as a 50 macro, and possibly does not have the epic close-up sharpness of my Macro Takumar 50/4 preset. The 100mm's dof at 2.8 is stupidly narrow, and it's not always appropriate to stop down to get better dof control - because the strong well defined background/colours can swamp the image.

The AF is useful, and easy and very fast when it locks onto the right object. But it's noisy and while the focus limiter is good for long distance, it is far less effective for macros. It takes time to get used to the ridiculously small focus ring.

The F 100mm is a big beast - heavy and bulky. Also, it's not weather sealed, and as a result, some F 100mm have fungus (something to watch out for) - from being used outside in damp conditions I guess.

One piece of advice: you should work out why and how you'll use the lens before buying it, and look at the alternatives, not just at 100mm. Having used both a 50mm Macro and 100mm Macro for a month each on a Single In challenge, the much smaller and lighter Takumar 50mm is the one that will travel with me more often on Macro shoots, and I personally prefer 50mm for very close up shots. The F 100mm will see more service as a specialist macro lens where extra reach is key; for portraits and visits to colourful gardens/events, as a walk-around long I remain strong enough to lug it around.

Overall, it's a superb piece of optical engineering.

Here's a link to my photos from the F 100 Macro on Flickr.

Marketplace Reseller

Registered: December, 2011
Location: Bronx NY
Posts: 335

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, autofocus
Cons: narrow focus ring, weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: k-5   

I've had the F, FA, and DFA versions of the 100mm macro. Whereas the FA was a bit lighter and made of plastic, there is a weight to the F that surprised me (maybe because it's made of metal... don't let the grey color fool you, this is a hefty metal beast). It feels solid when mounted on my k-5.

It's the same optical formula as the FA, and produces spectacular results, though the colors tend to be a bit more dynamic. It has the same focus limiter as the FA, though it doesn't have the clamp (not that I ever knew what to do with the FA's clamp anyway). I'm not sure about the exact optical formula of the DFA version, but I couldn't tell a difference regarding sharpness, CA, vignetting, etc. It was so good I eventually traded the DFA version, sold the FA and kept the F.

The most impressive part of this lens has been the decisive nature of the autofocus. It locks without searching, and when it locks, it locks faster than any other lens I've ever had.

All in all, a pretty amazing lens that, if you have a chance to buy at a reasonable price, you should. It delivers great macro results that are equivalent to many of the more modern lenses.
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 274

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 23, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, build quality, great IQ, good feeling to hold
Cons: small focusing ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I owner D-FA 100mm WR before but I sold it. But recently I find myself more interested in Macro, so I need real Macro lens.
This lens has AF performance much faster than DFA lens. I have no complaint on its IQ. Some one may say this lens is heavy. It depends. I own Tamron 70-200mm F2.8, so this lens's weight is just nothing to me. I feel very comfortable to hold this F 100mm lens in hand.

Here is some test shots that I wish to share.

HIEP5041 copy by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr

HIEP5048 copy by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 118
Lens Review Date: June 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, rendering, build quality
Cons: very rare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

This is a rare lens compared to the FA and DFA versions. Maybe that's why the reviews are scant.

Difficult to find one in excellent condition due to its age and rarity. Older F lenses tend to be popular due to subjective preferences; i.e. amount "pixie dust" , color of coating (deeper purple), and perhaps material composition of optics.

The lens has a unique rendering quality to it, different from modern digital lenses.
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2011
Location: Colestin, OR
Posts: 79
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, very solid
Cons: heavy
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10,20,5   

This is a very nice long lens, super-sharp, very solid. The narrow focus ring doesn't bother me. I bought mine used in a camera shop in Tokyo for less than $200.
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Bretagne
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: February 7, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built, aperture, macro
Cons: Noisy autofocus !

Good resolution even wide-opened, the contrast is very good. Pictures taken with are really beautiful.
The range of the focus can be limited from 0,306m to 0,7m for macro, and limited from 0,7 to infinite to be used as a standard tele-objective lens.
Negative points : The focus is very noisy, and it hardly focus a point in dark conditions. That's why I rate a 9 and not a 10.
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Malmö, Sweden
Posts: 92
Lens Review Date: August 18, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: The IQ
Cons: The narrow focus ring

This lens produces beutiful pictures. There is three things with this lens that I would like to see improved...the narrow focus ring, the lack of focus limiter and the weigth. But of these onle the narrow focus ring is a real problem. If you can find one of these pick it up.
New Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Dallas, TX, USA
Posts: 21

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 8, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well constructed lens that takes amazingly clear macro pictures and is very easy to use on any K mount SLR
Cons: It is H E A V Y

For a long time, I have be juryrigging my kit to take individual flower photos. When I saw this lens on clearance, I snapped it up.

None of my previous shots come anywhere near the clarity of what this lens produces. I should have bought it when it first came out.

Larry in Dallas
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