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SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF] Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF]

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 8.4
Bokeh 
 9.4
Autofocus 
 9.5
Handling 
 10.0
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
15 86,627 Sat April 11, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $330.63 9.60
SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF]

SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF]
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SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF]
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Description:
This fast short-telephoto lens features internal focusing (IF) and a built-in hood.



SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 IF
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 9 blades
Optics
8 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
70 cm
Max. Magnification
0.25x
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Yes
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 12 ° / 10 °
Full frame: 18 ° / 15 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
68 x 80 mm (2.7 x 3.2 in.)
Weight
395 g (14 oz.)
Production Years
1987 to 1991
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F 1:2.8 135mm [IF]
Product Code
23417
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusInternal FocusingBuilt-in HoodAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF]
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 15
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2006
Location: Belgium
Posts: 473

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 11, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh, AF,Handling
Cons: LoCa (Longitudal CA)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-1, K-3   

After a long quest for this lens that I intend to use for concerts and stuff, I finally managed to locate one on eBay.fr. When it arrived, it was in an ugly state, to the point I was concerned if it would be usable. My concerns quickly vanished when the first results appeared on the computer: it is a stellar performer. This copy shows a minor decentering to the left side, but it is minor and only visible @ f/2.8 (and only then when you pixelpeep.)

- Handling is great: compact and massive, but not too heavy, this lens balances well with both my K-1 and K-3. The integrated lens hood, while on the short side (like all integrated lens hoods) seems to be very effective in blocking stray lights. Although I read the other reviews about AF, it was a very nice surprise altogether: Autofocus is super precise and very fast. The screw-drive is audible but not annoyingly so. A very nice touch is the minimum focusing distance of 70cm, which enables semi macros up to 1:4 that is very usable and doesn't exhibit any sharpness degrading. Well done! The only minor side is the very small focussing ring (representative to the area in which it was launched.)
- This lens is bitingly sharp at the centre from f/2.8 all the way up to f/16 (have not yet been able to use it beyond that.) The edges are a bit softer but already very good at f/2.8 (and really excellent from f/5.6 on), the extreme corners are acceptably sharp wide open and become very good @ f/5.6. Contrast is always very good. All in all, there is no stopping you using this lens wide open (maybe only when shooting landscapes); the sweet spot is about f/5.6 - f/11, where this lens really shines and can compete with the best lenses out there. In any case, if the images don't turn out sharp, chances are that you are more to blame than the lens. It is really that good.
- Another really nice surprise is bokeh, which is buttery smooth wide open or stopped down.
- Distortion is unnoticeable, you will hardly ever see any pincushion distortion.
- The Achilles heel (also already noticed by others) is CA. Purple fringing will appear rather frequently in the edges and corners, especially at subjects with hard contrast. This is due to LoCa (Longitudinal Chromatic Abberation) which manifests itself in purple/green edges on ie. branches against the sky and is hard to get rid off in post. It gets better when stopped down to f/8-f/11, but even in these circumstances, it will still be noticeable.

All in all, I am very impressed with this lens and if it weren't for the CA, I would give it a ten without any consideration. If Pentax would update this lens (HD coatings, weather sealing, internal AF motor), I would buy it in a heartbeat. Very happy with this copy!
   
Forum Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Vallès Occidental
Posts: 87

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness and colours
Cons: noisy focus and focus ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 II   

Great sharpness, beautiful colors and a nice bokeh.
Some purple aberrations in situations of a lot of contrast, but that are compensated with their virtues.
It is also very usable, with a very moderate weight and measures.
A very recommended lens, really good.










   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: May 28, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast Lens, Sharpness
Cons: Noisy AF
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

Stumbled across this lens and used the feedback of this forum to purchase this lens. Love the focal length and IQ for portraits even wide open at F2.8. To me, not an everyday lens but, I can see me using for specific events.
   
Banned

Registered: July, 2013
Location: At a Starbucks, most likely!
Posts: 123

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, AF, Close Focus, Metal Construction, Size
Cons: CA, noisy AF.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-5iis   

I'm a huge Pentax F series fan, over the years i've collected some nice F-series primes. I've had always wanted the 135mm f2.8 and after a year of unproductive auction attempts I finally won one. I bought this lens in rough condition, I knew I'd never sell it, front element has scratches, marks and few chips but you wouldn't notice such issues from the amazing images it produces.. This lens arrived the same day as my much awaited and obscenely expensive Sigma EX DG 300mm f2.8. It took both lenses for an outing and although i shot with the sigma for over an hour on the way to my car i decided to give the Pentax a chance. I started with some flowers and i was amazed at the creamy, macro like bokeh it produced. Taking some pictures of Mallard ducks i noticed I was getting amazingly sharp pictures. The lens nails focus with its aggressive, loud screw drive operation. Although i expected the Sigma 300mm f2.8 to be the outstanding performer, the little Pentax performed flawlessly stealing the Sigma's thunder.

Autofocus on the Pentax was far more reliable then on the Sigma. CA was an issue on bright spots such as water droplets even at smaller apertures.

One reviewer complained about size and weight, but considering that this lens is as long (but marginally heavier) as the 18-55mm kit lens and doesn't extent i could not think of a better walk around short telephoto. People are intimidated when they see the Sigma EX 300mm f2.8, but the 135mm is so unassuming that I found it easier to take candid pictures without being overly noticed. I like the reach of the 135mm on a crop sensor, and with the K-5iis i can crop and still get good results,

The close focus distance is also very convenient. You can shoot portraits wide open from a couple of feet away with amazing bokeh and subject sepraration. This is a speed/bokeh monster without equal. This lens will stay by my side and when my Pentax DSLR is gone I'll still keep it as a souvenir. If Pentax were to make a modern version of this lens with HD coating and better CA control i'll buy it in a heartbeat. Highly Recommended 10/10


Buying advice: These lenses are sturdy, all metal construction. Dont be dismayed by scratches and small imperfections. As long as the optics are moderately clean this little gem will outlast your DSLR.

Flickr set: https://www.flickr.com/photos/22728984@N04/sets/72157645825850782/
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Newcastle
Posts: 1,954

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Stunning sharpness fast and accurate AF Brilliant colours
Cons: rarity perhaps CA but PP sorts that out fast
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30   

This is a rare beauty.

I managed to stumble across one for I price that I cannot share. If I did it would cause a riot

The reach is simply amazing on a cropped sensor (200mm). Add a 1.5X teleconverter and you get even more reach with almost NO IQ loss (Kenko Teleconverter 1.5X DG - another rare beauty).

It is on the heavy side but I like that. Balances well with the camera and actually improves handling.

Colours are very fine indeed. Contrast is excellent. Sharpness compelling. A little CA but that disappears the moment you wave Photoshop near it

I'll let the photos exhibit the genius this lens is

   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: February 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Autofocus, bokeh and sharpness at f2.8, manufacturing
Cons: Aberrations, vignetting at wider apertures
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

Excellent 135mm, focal length is really interesting for the portrait.
The results are truly amazing at f/2.8 although under certain conditions chromatic aberrations are present. Past f/4 is really impeccable and sharpness is amazing. The construction of the lens is magic, metal is really something other than plastic !
But the pictures speak louder than words ...

Bokeh at f2.8


Sharpness at f4



More examples here
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 309
Lens Review Date: August 28, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, sharpness colors, generally good bokeh
Cons: Bad PF at wider apertures
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K-r   

I haven't had this lens too long but figured I can contribute some here.

First, the one main negative of this lens is purple fringing. Pretty much at f/2.8-4.5 if you have branches, fence posts, any other thin object in front of a bright sky, you're gonna get PF. I haven't really come up with a successful way to fully remove this in post. I have successfully fixed some less-pronounced PF in other parts of images.

Now, the good: this lens is really great at medium distance portraits where your subject is close enough that you're not approaching infinity. Then it's nice and sharp but gives you good separation from background. These were all at f/4 (and hey, no fringing!)









Other aspects: it's pretty much all metal best I can tell. Has a nice little built-in hood that slides out. AF is quick without much hunting. It's not nearly as loud as my F 70-210/4-5.6 but it's louder than my small primes (DA35/2.4 & FA50/1.4) which I suppose is to be expected since the focus group on this lens probably weighs more. MF is kind of loose and the focus ring isn't very big but this is common for (perhaps too) many AF lenses.
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 274
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $545.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast and accurate focus, build quality, f/2.8, great image quality
Cons: none (slightly noisy focus does not bother me at all)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I have been looking for an excellent lens for the portrait photography. I have tried Sigma 85mm f/1.4, but its inconsistent auto focus made me return the lens. I know that 135mm on crop camera would be a little long for portrait, but to me it is not a real problem, I may step back several meters. But instead, I would have nicer bokeh with this focal length.
I am so amazed at its fast auto focus. It is as fast as my Sigma 50mm HSM prime. And the most important thing here is that it focus very accurately.
So far I am very happy with its performance. It was lucky that I got this lens from ebay for only about $545, great deal.


taken with SMC f 135mm by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr


HIEP4864 by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr


HIEP4866 copy by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr


HIEP4939 by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr


HIEP4943 copy by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr


HIEP4961 copy by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 351

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: quick AF, IQ, DOF control, build quality, internal focus
Cons: small amount of PF

This is simply an amazing lens. Super compact, auto focus is as quick as many say, build quality is excellent. The internal focus is nice, as the lens always stays the same size. It's a lot of fun to shoot with, and I've gotten many images I love with it in a short time.



   
New Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: pisa
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, build, price
Cons:

Very solid, quick but noisy af. For me, comparable at limited or star lens at a fraction price. One word: amazing
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2007
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 2,978

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, smooth bokeh and fast AF
Cons: Slightly noisy AF, PF

IMO this lens is comparable to my FA limiteds, the FA77 and the FA43, except the pixie dust of the limiteds. Also, it is not as fast as them. I'll just post some images.





   
New Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Queensland Australia
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: August 26, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: f2.8, contrasty and sparp
Cons: large and heavy

Another I saved from the dumpster at work. I have used it in all sorts of situations where I thought 135mm would be too long but the f2.8 makes it worth carting around.
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 146
Lens Review Date: August 25, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, build, focus speed
Cons: none

This is a wonderful lens. I use it wide open with no hesitation, it is sharp and contrasty. I have had the lens for almost a year, and have still not seen CA/PF, not even at 2.8.

AF is very fast and precise, but a bit noisy. The lens is built like a tank, all metal exept for the focus ring.

The only reason for not giving it a 10 is that OOF highlights could be rendered slightly better/smoother.

I believe it is optically identical to the FA version, so this review goes for that one too.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Sewickley PA 15143
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: January 3, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: All Metal, Internal Focusing
Cons: just a tad loud when focusing

I found this lens on ebay and took the plunge. a Mostly metal, solid feeling lens that focuses quickly, sharply, abeit a bit loudly. Very please with the lens
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2007
Location: Ottawa, ON - Canada
Posts: 659
Lens Review Date: May 31, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp wide open, solid construction
Cons: suffers from a little CA wide open

This is a gem of a lens. If you come across one, buy it. It focuses very well, and the built in hood is handy for outdoor shooting. I'm continually impressed with it every time I use it.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 135mm F2.8 [IF]



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