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SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

Reviews Views Date of last review
15 93,374 Sat December 12, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $258.23 8.93
SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye
SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

The F-series 17-28mm fisheye is an interesting lens featuring 180-degree diagonal field of view on film bodies at its 17mm setting.

SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
9 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
No filter thread
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 100-55 °
Full frame: 180-90 °
Lens Cap
Plastic push-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 61 mm (2.6 x 2.4 in.)
255 g (9 oz.)
Production Years
1995 to 2004
Launch Price
$400 USD
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F FISH-EYE 1:3.5-4.5 17-28mm
Product Code
User reviews
The diagonal FOV for APS-C is approximate and determined through testing
Screwdrive AutofocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 15
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 8
Review Date: December 12, 2020 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Same as below review.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1   

I used a k17mmf4 for years and like a lot this fish eye lens , lot of fun , not everyday lens but unique pictures . The build is unique also
Except the build and the look, This zoom is better according to me. It handle strong light much better, Much more easy to use ( donít have to take care of your fingers....) , A contact for dialog with the camera, more use with the range and at 17mm itís a little wider than the K !!??. Colors great and very contrasty lens. Iq wise itís a fish so extrem corners canít be razor sharp but overall very good and as good if not better than the K.
Only regret is the not so close focus....
For the price I DO recommend this lens. Works well with k1. From F5,6 this lens has already good iq. A simple update with hd coating and Pentax would have a great fisheye with this one. I paid 200Ä for this lens. After using it , I would accept to pay easily much more than twice that price. This old lens is still up to date /optics with k1.
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 13
Review Date: May 8, 2019 Recommended | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size/weight, colors, value
Cons: Cannot focus very closely
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

Got this one just the other day and have been enjoying it so far. It is very good value for the money, and it's small and light. I like the colors. I wish it focused more closely, but I knew that was not something I could expect when I bought it, and if I want a close-focusing wide angle lens, I can use my Q7+08 combo.


Registered: July, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,495

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 31, 2019 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Versatility of the zoom, the ability to have fisheye effect and minimal distortion all in the one lens
Cons: Nothing major , perhaps could focus closer but easy to work around

I had thought of this lens as a one trick pony with limited scope for a range of photos. Well how wrong I was, sure, there were days when nothing seemed to pop into the photos other than my feet and camera strap dangling into the shot, but when things worked out, interesting subjects or nice light, well this lens was fully up to capturing the shot. The wide end of the zoom was my most used, so that the fisheye effect was pronounced, however when zoomed in to the 28mm end the fisheye effect was almost hard to recognise. The only real issue with using the lens is the lack of close focusing ability, 45cm sounds close, but with a fisheye lens that is probably not close enough. I did notice that when zoomed out to 17mm there would sometimes be 2 dark corners in the frame on the K1. I presume that the sensor was moving down a little with gravity when the camera was in the portrait orientation. Easy to fix with a very small crop.

I tried using a No 1 extension tube with the lens and was able to obtain macro like photos with a super close focusing ability, I also tried it on the DA 1.4x teleconverter, amazingly there was full frame coverage on the K1 and no vignetting that I could perceive, there was also a de-fishing effect on the photos almost appearing to be a normal wide angle lens!

This is a lens that I would recommend to all as a keeper and great fun to move you out of the normal view of the world

These were some of my favourites from the month I used it in the Single in challenge

umbrellas by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

load em up by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

up tree-2 by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

64 van by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr

lightning hill by Gary Wakeling, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: August, 2011
Posts: 1
Review Date: October 15, 2018 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: compact
Cons: nothing really
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 5    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k5/k1   

Overall excellent zoom lens.Maybe I am lucky to have good copy.Af is really fast and snappy.Fisheye effect at wide end which is not annoying.Lens has some fringing wide open(normal for this kind of lens) and also little softness.But stopped down it really shines,very sharp truly because of nice contrast.For fullframe best choice even if it's hard to get.Love to use it on k1 and k5.Only cons is long min. focusing distance,approx. 45 cm.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 5,777

9 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 10, 2018 Recommended | Price: $259.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Color, contrast, and the fact that it's a zoom; plus weight and size
Cons: Soft in very far corners.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

Fisheye lenses are central to my kit, so after purchasing a K-1 in August of 2018, I set my eyes on the Samyang derived 12mm fisheye lens. Then I saw some images on flickr taken with this 17-28mm fisheye zoom and although it was fairly obvious that the Samyang fisheye was sharper, this zoom seemed to provide better rendering and colors and therefore, to my mind, was capable of producing images that look better to human perception than the Samyang optic, which is all that counts in the end. So I searched far and wide until I found a copy of the F 17-28 for a reasonable price.

If you're looking for a lens that will maximize the capabilities of K-1's 36mpx FF sensor, the F 17-28 isn't for you. While it's reasonably sharp in the center at short distances, it's less sharp away from the center and at longer distances. This is true even when stopped down. And the very far corners, particularly at the wide end, have no more resolving power than what would be achieved shooting through a coke bottle. If judged by the standard Pentax has created with its DFA series of zooms, this lens would be found wanting. But if you compare images produced by this lens on the K-1 with images produced by the DA 10-17 on 24 mpx Pentax APS-C cameras, a different picture emerges. In terms of contrast, color, and flare control, it's about a draw. But in terms of aberration control and sharpness (i.e., amount of detail captured), the K-1/17-28 combo beats the DA 10-17/APS-C combo everywhere except in the very far corners. The F 17-28 is also smaller, lighter, and offers a slightly more generous focal range than the DA 10-17. In short, moving from the DA 10-17 on APS-C to the F 17-28 on FF provides an overall improvement in the amount of detail captured and provides excellent contrast and color into the bargain.

Undoubtedly when Pentax finally gets around to releasing a DFA fisheye zoom, it will be sharper and contrastier (and heavier and more expensive) than this old classic from the nineties. But until then, this lens will do fine. As long as you're not expecting the ultimate in sharpness, it is capable of producing stunning images on a K-1.

Some examples, first at 17mm:

At 19mm:

At 21mm:

At 25mm:

At 28mm:

Senior Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Poland -> Krakůw
Posts: 199

7 users found this helpful
Review Date: September 22, 2016 Recommended | Price: $260.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Super small, superwide, small fish effect
Cons: mostly plastic.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1   

So, I bought this lens right after checking that Sigma 10-20 is not best FF option. pentax/tamron 15-30 is huge and price for me.
After some net info I bought it quite cheap.
First look. It is soo small. F 50 1.4 size.
There are some info that is not good enough for FF like K1 (RiceHigh's blog). Maybe it is copy to copy variance. Ofc it is small af Fisheye lens. So it cannot have super great pixels far from center.
But It is sharp wide open.
Fish effect is not so obvious especially over 20mm.
Lens @ long end (28mm) have similar FOV like 20mm UVA lens.
Color could be a problem as it is not super neutral. But this is why I bought X-rite Passport
If you want to have small lens for traveling there is no other option. I wish that pentax will resurrect this lens with new coating.
How good it is?
Look @ this picture:
New Member

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Rawicz, Poland
Posts: 23

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 25, 2015 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, sharp from F5.6, good AF
Cons: Some CA, small MF ring, lens cap isn't practical
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5 II   

It's very unusual lens for Pentax - FF fisheye zoom. It is very wide on FF camera and has got nice wide angle range. On APS-C it is interesting too. 17mm is rather similar to DA 15mm than Pentax kit lens 18-55. So you get very useful range with moderate distortion (on 28mm distortion is really small, largest on 17mm).

Lens is moderately sharp, better of course stopped down. From the F5.6 I cannot complain. Colors and contrast are pretty good. Lens produce some CA on the edges (mosly purple fringing) but it's not a big problem. AF works fine and that's a relief because MF ring is too small for me. I have to complain about lens cap - it always fall off

F 17-28 is an interesting alternative to DA fish-eyes or even wide angles if you make some post-processing. See samples below:

New Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 7, 2015 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice color rendition and sharp
Cons: Not as what I expect in mind but the performance outweighs the negative
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 2    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax KR   


Registered: May, 2010
Location: now 1 hour north of PDX
Posts: 3,895

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 24, 2014 Recommended | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fun distortion, great color, wider than 17 prime at 17mm
Cons: f/4.5 at 28mm, some fringing at corners

I picked this up at the lowest price I'd seen in several months, and was able to compare it to my SMC 17/4. The optical geometry is enough different that this is noticeably wider than the K17. Since the K17 sits between DA14 and 15 for linear field this one must be wider than the DA14 - nice to have the scale of a 17mm but the extra field too Colors look more natural on my camera with the zoom.

Sharpness looks very good on test images - bokeh is good but this is not a bokeh-seeker's lens anyway. This does not focus nearly as closely as the prime, nor does it have the built-in filters and has no filter threads. Looking at the edges the zoom has magenta-bias color fringing, the SMC17 goes with cyan so no real winner there. This issue is visible in the corners in high-contrast scenes but does not affect the majority of the field. The sun was not available for flare tests.

I did not expect this to be so talented and a fair test against a prime that I really like - but to my eye it's comparable for IQ, came to me cheaper and is more convenient as it sends aperture and focal length to the camera. While not as compact as the prime, the versatility of the zoom can be handy.

June '17 update - just picked up a 2nd copy, having sold the first one a while back. Still great fun, and of course K-1 friendly!
I did not note above that the close-focus is closer with the prime, but minfocus with this is still nice.
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2008
Location: placerville, ca
Posts: 171
Review Date: January 20, 2013 Recommended | Price: $248.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP!!! Lightweight, high quality build.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

I just received my copy of this lens which I bought on eBay from Matsuiya (btw, and excellent eBay vendor) for $248 + $26 S&H. This is one of the sharper lenses I have. The "fish-eye" effect which it is designed to produce on film cameras is somewhat diminished on a digital SLR, but still there.
I would strongly recommend this lens to a friend.
New Member

Registered: November, 2010
Location: Yokohama
Posts: 1
Review Date: March 30, 2011 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Versatile, fun, lightweight
Cons: None

If I could save only two lenses from a fire, this would be the second (the K50/1.2 being the first). It is so super-versatile on both film and digital bodies that my other wide-angles see little action. It also has great flare control, I've shot practically into the sun and there was no problem.

I wish it had a closer minimum focus length like the other fisheyes, but that minor quibble is not enough to dock a point off the rating.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2008
Location: MN, US
Posts: 139

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 7, 2009 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Full frame, portability, fish eye effect
Cons: Plastic, not fast

Full frame, portability, fish eye effect
Plastic, not fast
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Switzerland | Portugal
Posts: 77
Review Date: December 19, 2008 Recommended | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Angle in 1.5 Crop, Colors
Cons: Not very sharp lens at wide apertures.

I Sell my Sigma 17-70 (great lens), and i need a wide lens for a Night Club Photography... at that time i havenīt Wide lens at all... so i bought this one from a friend, i like the ultra wide aspect with the little barrel effect.

It's not a perfect lens, Only sharper at 5,6 above..., but it's more that moderate, i love to try it on full frame body.

If you want to see some samples just go here: (go to "Fotos" section... Portuguese Website)

New Member

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

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 8, 2007 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small - sharp - flexible
Cons: 1.5 multiplyer on DSLRs eleminates much of barrel distortion inherent to semi-fisheye lenses

I bought this after testing it on my *istD and realized that it was an excellent wideangle zoom (equivalent of 25-42) for DSLRs. There is moderate barrel distortion that I readily remove during post-processing.

On a film SLR, it performs as expected. Great for the few times I need a "different" perspective. Since I rarely go for the fisheye effect, I'm truly happy with it as a wideangle zoom on my DSLRs.

Larry in Dallas

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 4,381

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 7, 2007 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Unique fisheye zoom for full frame 24x36mm SLR. Light and compact. Fun to use
Cons: Not the sharpest lens in the bag
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

Fisheye zooms are a Pentax specialty. No other manufacturer has anything like it (except that Tokina is now (January 2007) marketing a rebranded Pentax DA 10-17mm for Canon and Nikon mounts).

The smc Pentax-F 17-28mm was designed for film cameras where it at 17 mm covers 180 degrees diagonally. On the Pentax digital SLRs the coverage is much less, actually just a little bit more than a rectilinear 15mm lens, which still is respectable. Being a fish eye zoom it naturally exhibits heavy barrel distortion in particular at the wide end. It has a built-in lens hood and it does not take any filters.

It is fun to use although it isn't the sharpest lens around. Being this compact you tend to carry it with you at all times. At least I did that until I acquired the DA fisheye zoom.

The lens barrel is made of polycarbonate but the lens is nevertheless built very well.

This photo from the area along the Semmering Railway in Austria illustrates the field of view on a digital SLR. Focal length: 17mm, 1/500 f/8, *istD.

There wasn't much space in the locomotive shed at the Deutsche Dampflok Museum in Germany, so the 17-28mm came in handy since I wanted a picure of all of the proud BR10 locomotive (focal length again 17mm)

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 17-28mm F3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

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