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SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
43 236,762 Mon September 4, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $197.03 9.49
SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8

This is the autofocus successor to the A version of this lens. The optics remained unchanged.

SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 5 blades
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
PH-S49 (28/35mm)
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
64 x 37 mm (2.5 x 1.5 in.)
180 g (6.4 oz.)
Production Years
1987 to 1989
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F 1:2.8 28
Product Code
User reviews
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 43

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 4,613
Review Date: September 4, 2023 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast and accurate AF, small size, wide open bokeh
Cons: Weak corners, AF in Live View
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1   

This is a delightful small lens, sharp enough, especially at centre. Focus is fast and accurate, except in Liveview where it hunts but gets there in the end. The extreme corners are a bit weak, but that's to be expected of a 28mm lens of late 1980's vintage.

However, the real party trick of the F 28mm is its beautiful etherial bokeh up close and wide open. It's worth the price for that alone.

Due to its compact size, this will be in my bag more often than not.

New Member

Registered: July, 2023
Location: Leicestershire
Posts: 4
Review Date: July 19, 2023 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, colour rendition, size/weight
Cons: Focus ring, aesthetics (subjectively)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 7    Camera Used: K5-iis   

I'm a big fan of the F series lenses, despite their divisive looks. Some of the zooms can be hit and miss, but the primes I've found to be beautifully sharp, and all photos taken with them have a gorgeous colour rendition that screams Pentax.

The perfect standard focal length for APS-C, the 28mm f/2.8 makes for an excellent walkaround lens, for street, landscape or woodland photography. Sharp wide open, with only slight purple fringing, the sharpness gets even better of course when stopping down. The small size and weight is also appealing.

The only downsides really are true of all of the F series lenses. The focusing ring is tiny, and doesn't have a very nice feel to it. Its quite clackity, and not at all damped like older manual focus film era lenses. The grey body may also be off-putting to those that care about the aesthetics of a lens.

Those are however very small issues, that people seem to mention a lot here and then forget about when realising what great lenses these are. The price can be high on some copies, due to the relative scarcity of this version. The 50mm variants of the F series seem to be far more common, and therefore cheaper. Luckily, I managed to win my copy on an eBay auction for around £80 ($100), whereas most I'd seen for sale before seemed to be around the £120 mark.

Overall, super happy with this lens, and it rarely comes off my camera unless a telephoto option is needed for wildlife.

Junior Member

Registered: August, 2019
Posts: 25

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 17, 2020 Recommended | Rating: N/A 




Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2019
Location: Beautiful British Columbia
Posts: 70

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 23, 2019 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, size, contrast, speed, light
Cons: plastic body

I stumbled across my copy in a 2nd hand shop - they did not know what they had so I got it for a song. So far most of my the work I have done with this lens on K-S2, but have recently started working with it on the K-1. It's sharp right through it's entire range of f/2.8 - f/22, corner to corner, and is amazing for it's age and build. The only reason I gave this lens a 9 for sharpness is that the modern lens do beat this out - but it's close. You'd be hard pressed to find a sharper 28mm in it's normal price range. The only negative I can think of (if it can be considered as one) is that the lens correction in some PP programs is very heavy and needs some manual adjustment for full frame images.

Here are some sample images.

Frost on Blue 2 by Sean O'Connell, on Flickr

sand sculpture 3 by Sean O'Connell, on Flickr

night at miracle beach by Sean O'Connell, on Flickr
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 1,863

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 23, 2018 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: focal length on APSc, Overall general performance
Cons: rarity
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K3   

I snagged this lens whilst looking for something else in a local camera shop. I had always wanted one but given up looking due to its rarity, which I think is the biggest con with this lens - trying to find one for sale! So that is the only real downside of this lens I will mention in of this review.
I love the focal length 28-30mm on APSc. It is a much more natural perspective than the more common 35mm. I have tried the following on my K3:-
Pentax M 28mm f2.8, Pentax A 28mm f2.8, Sigma EX DG 28mm f1.8 Macro and Sigma Ex DG 30mm f1.4.
Despite supposedly being the same optical formula as the 2 Pentax MF models, the F lens is considerably sharper wide open. Compared to the Sigma models the 28 f1.8 is the sharpest wide open (but not by much), the 30mm is at least as sharp by f2.8. When stopped down the F beats the M and A lenses but the Sigmas are slightly sharper. So why choose the F over either of the 2 Sigmas? Well, the EX DG 28mm f1.8 is a huge beast of a lens which I personally do not want to carry around all day and the 30mm is still quite hefty and is pretty useless in low light as it does not focus very accurately in those conditions, whereas the F is small, compact and even wide open the sharpness is more than acceptable and it still nails focus. Other reviews here say how wonderfully sharp this lens is. I do not believe this to be the case when compared to my Ltd optics, but it is still more than sharp enough.
When compared to some other lenses (the Ltd ones, again and my K 55 f1.8) it does require a little more processing to get optimal results in terms of colour and contrast, but not much.
Wide open you can get a degree of CA's but these can be adjusted in post.
For me the biggest virtues of this lens are:-
Consistency of output across the aperture range
Light and compact
Very useful focal length
I paid £160 for my copy and I am very happy with it. If you can track one down or one just happens to cross your path I would snap one up. Highly recommended.


A few more Pentax 28 ish mm lenses have come my way - K 28mm f3.5, M 28mm f3.5 and K 30 f2.8. I have spent some time testing and assessing all of them alongside the F and revisited the A f2.8. The K f3.5 is the most sublime, but lacks AF and autoexposure convenience, to say nothing of the additional size and weight. The optical difference between all of them on APSC is marginal, though the M f3.5 does exhibit more CA's even when stopped down, but not enough really notice unless looking for them, and makes up for this with more interesting B&W images. Apparent softness I mentioned in my original review of the A f2.8, I am now convinced is due to greater susceptibility to flare and manual focusing errors by me. A hood and microprism collar focusing screen has sorted that problem out and I recommend one acquires a MF screen if you are into MF lenses of f3.5 or faster. With this in mind I would still recommend the F as the most practical and most rounded package of all the 28ish lenses I own, but there is something special about the K f3.5, and as I am a masochist and enjoy MF, I think personally I would choose the A model if I had to select just one.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Westerville, OH
Posts: 1,588

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 11, 2018 Recommended | Price: $225.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small. light, quick to focus, excellent contrast and color rendition
Cons: Not WR, some plastic parts
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, K-3   

I have a number of Pentax lenses from all of the different series, but for some unknown reason only one from the F series. It is the 28mm f2.8. It is one of my favorite lenses. It focuses lightning quick and is tack sharp to the edges from f2.8. Contrast and color rendition are second to none, IMHO. Even though I have the FA 31 f1.8 Ltd, which is close in focal length, and just a little bit faster, and a Limited, I don't see myself ever parting with this little gem.

On the K-3

1933 Chevy coupe-front-1
by Chuck Campbell, on Flickr

On the K-5

Red brick wall
by Chuck Campbell, on Flickr
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Great Plain, Hungary
Posts: 204

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 25, 2017 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, compact, quick AF
Cons: None for me
Sharpness: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

I have had this lens for ages, first using it on film and my istD cameras and other DSLRs. Since selling my K-7 a few years ago there was a hiatus for it to be used on digital. Then this year I bought the K-1 which boosted the use of this lens.

I considered before buying the 31mm Limited, but as I had this lens I am glad I did not. Seeing the results from this lens on K-1 convinced me that the +3mm in focal length and gaining one f-stop would not give me much advantage even considering that the Limited is considered one of the best Pentax lenses of all time. Well, for me certainly not, especially not for 10x the price.
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2017
Location: Nijmegen
Posts: 36

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: September 18, 2017 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It sharp right from f2.8
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax k-1   

Actually, I mainly use my K-1 for landscape with my favorite lens SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8. I was very lucky to get a copy of this lens, It sharp right from f2.8.

Nijmegen - Netherland by anakhaled abdullah, on Flickr

Nijmegen by anakhaled abdullah, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: March, 2017
Posts: 7

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 23, 2017 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp and small
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5iis   

Well i was very lucky to get a copy of this lens, Have been looking for a long time for one of these and found one on gemtree, I can't say anything bad about it, for the age of this lens you can't believe how it performs, i was looking at getting the FA version but found that this version proved to be just a little sharper in some reviews on the net, like this one,, and the colors are very deep, great for landscape and cityscapes photography. Here's a photo of my local beach. Fantastic lens.
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 1,041

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 19, 2016 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, value, manual focus to infinity in dark (truth for all film era lenses)
Cons: aberrations (can be easily fix in post)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5    Sample Photos: 1   

Sharpness: It sharp right from f2.8. I shoot a lot of cityscape, city night, and long exposure stuff. Sample image below is at f16, focus at infinity and it is very sharp.

Aberrations: this is one of its downside. But it is still better than FA35 and DFA100wr, IMO. To be fair, It can be easily fixed in postproduction. I recommend to get an ebay metal hood, it will improve the image quality.

Bokeh: It is satisfying for its price. Just donít compare it with a lens like FA31. It is like 3-4 times more expensive.

Autofocus: as I mention before, I take a lot of night cityscape photo. My K5 lowlight auto focus performance is useless on all lenses! Most of the time, I only want it to nail focus at infinity. 10 out of 10 times, K5 doesnít do it. But with a film era like F28, it is no problem to manually focus at it infinity. This is very useful for me. During day time, this lens has no problem focusing. Well, needless to say, every prime I have, never had a problem focusing on K5 during the day.

Handling: solid build lens. It doesnít feel cheap on my hand. And I prefer lens with plastic barrel. Yes, metal barrel is pretty, but I buy my gears to use not for correction. My 2 metal barrel lenses, dfa100wr and da 15ltd got multiple scratches all over its barrel. I feel so guilty every time I look at them. But with F28 plastic outher body, scratches are hardly visible.

Value: concerning its price, and what it can delivery in term of image quality, it would be a crime if I donít give it a 10! I got this lens second hand in Tokyo at around 32k yen. It is the cheapest prime I have, and so far, it is the best investment ever!
and I was looking at FA31 first but when I see this post, It change everything!

New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 7

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: September 2, 2015 Recommended | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Fast, well built, price for quality!
Cons: some CA, but just slight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3    Sample Photos: 4   

I bought this to shoot newbie models. Unfortunately, manual lenses can be a burden when someone wants to pose quickly and is a little more impatient. So not having money for limited primes. I bite the bullet and bought this little guy.
It's a beautiful lens optically. Wish it was black and not dark grey, but not a big deal.

My copy is very sharp, I could not complain at all. It creates beautiful details. Blows my FA 50mm 1.4 away in sharpness, and to my eyes is as sharp as the Pentax-M 50mm 1.7. It's got great looking Bokeh too!

Shot wide open with no tripod, F2.8 ISO100, 1/125s, no color correction or editing.

100% crop close up

Shot wide open with no tripod, F2.8 ISO100, 1/125s, no color correction or editing.

100% crop close up

Forum Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 71

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 17, 2015 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, size, weight
Cons: Autofocus hunts at infinity sometimes
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-50   

Small, lightweight and gives sharp images with good colors. Somewhat soft wide open but sharp from f/4 onward and really good from f/5.6 to f/11. It might just be my copy but the autofocus sometimes hunts for no apparent reason when I am pointed at infinity, but it does eventually lock in.

100% crop from the extreme left edge of the above image. Note the excellent sharpness of the post but a dropoff in sharpness at infinity. There is also a tiny bit of CA at high contrast areas.

New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: England
Posts: 9

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 29, 2014 Recommended | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, weight, build quality
Cons: Very little
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: ist and K5 IIs   

I bought my first SLR, a P30n, with a 50mm f1.4 in 1989 and have stuck with Pentax through 25 years of photography. Seven bodies later (five of which I still have, one stolen, one written off in a skiing accident) I finally decided the time was right to find a 28mm f2.8 to go with the 50mm and 100m macro f2.8 that are my normally walkaround kit. Finding one for the equivalent of 160USD made the decision even easier.
The lens arrived by post at 11am and at 3pm, after a few test shots, a thorough clean and the fitment of the obligatory Skylight 1B, I went out to a family wedding and started shooting.
Knowing that the venue was small and the family large I knew I needed to be able to shoot up close and personal and I cannot say how happy I am with the results. More to the point, so is the bride and over 80 of my shots, nearly 75% taken with the 28mm f2.8, are going in the album.
Having used the 50mm f1.7 for 25 years, and the 100mm f2.8 for over 15, the 28mm behaved exactly as I expected and wanted, and leaves me wanting nothing.
My advice: buy one. Soon.

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 2,958

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 25, 2013 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Focal Length
Cons: not as fast as a 31mm?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

I have gone through a complete evolution as a photographer. Before I started I only wanted the long glass. But when I first started out I shot only with zooms... then I switched over to primes and now I shoot only primes.

With this lens...after a couple of months using is by FAR my most used lens. It is a perfect lens for 'walking around'...'street shots' etc etc. If I had to leave the house with only one lens, this would be it. (I own the complete line of DA Limited lenses and this one is not 'as sharp' as those in relative terms, but the difference is negligible. Sharpness wise it would be somewhere in between the regular DA lenses and your average limited lens. I would be first in line if they released a modern version of this focal length in limited format.

I have found the more I shoot, the more I like this lens. It fills an important gap (while still being affordable) in the Pentax lens line up. The lens leaves little to complain about as far as I am concerned. After owning this lens for a while it's making want a 31mm because the focal length is close and I would like the increased speed. All that said, in absence of a 31mm, this is a must have lens as far as I am concerned.

Suggestions would be to use a good standard lens hood with this lens. I use a standard screw in metal hood because if you shoot with sunlight directly hitting the glass you will see reflections.

Overall the pros are the focal length is by far the most useful in my bag, the lens is sharper than most of the modern Pentax lenses (not necessarily the limited lenses though), also the AF works quite well with this lens.

Registered: November, 2012
Location: Newark, Delaware
Posts: 1,034

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 9, 2013 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: compact, good build, sharp
Cons: plastic focus ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5 and K10D   

I have had this lens since 1989 when I bought it for my SF10 film SLR. After 24 years this lens is still going strong and was the main reason for buying Pentax K10D instead of Nikon or Canon when I went digital. The build of this lens was much better than the Canon & Nikon lenses in my budget at the time I bought my K10D, The F28 has a better build than most consumer lenses with a plastic outer barrel but metal inner barrel and lens mount. It fits very nicely in between my DA 15 mm Limited and 40 mm Limited. Optically it is almost, but not quite as sharp as those lenses. This is a great lens as a semi wide normal lens when I do not want to carry around all of my other lenses as a street lens and an indoor lens. I rate as an 8 since it does not quite have the impressive build of the limiteds or the sharpness of my 2 limiteds and does not have quick shift focus. Still, its an old favorite that I like it very much.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8

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