Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Pentax Lens Review Database » Film Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » F Prime Lenses
SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
41 211,745 Fri April 17, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $204.22 9.51
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 (Ascending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 41
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 273
Lens Review Date: June 19, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small, good image quality from f/4 and up
Cons: Not the nicest looking lens (none of the F-series are), poor manual focus ring, plastic construction

It's ugly, as are most of the Pentax F-series lenses. Small (almost non-existent!) manual focus ring with little feel to it. Not as nice as the later FA 28/2.8 AL.

Same optical design as the A-series 28/2.8, which, again, isn't as nice as the FA 28/2.8 AL. Soft at 2.8, but sharpens up within a stop at f/4. Fast auto focus.
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2007
Location: southwest USA
Posts: 55

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 20, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb lens
Cons: None

I have never read a more misleading review than the one previously posted. I've been a professional photographer/illustrator/writer for more than thirty years, and this lens has been a mainstay since the day I got it. It is so useful that I have purchased a second because I don't want to take the chance of being without one. As a landscape, scenic, portrait lens it is as useful as any in my bag or studio. At F2.8 it is fast enough for 99% of any jobs you might ask a 28mm lens to do. As to being ugly - I'm not sure when appearance trumped performance, and as to having a small focus ring - that's nonsense. This is an autofocus lens and an extremely fast and accurately focusing one at that. Therein lies its value. It has delivered multiple national magazine covers thanks in large part to its speed. It's small size makes it extremely handy on a film or digital body. There is a reason this lens is hard to find, and that is because it is possibly one of the most useful lenses Pentax has ever offered. I find no softness at 2.8 and its bokeh and clarity have never left me wanting. I rate it a must have for serious photographers.
New Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 21
Lens Review Date: January 19, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, AF, handling
Cons: none

This lens is a ten. Tack sharp even wide open. It has amazing color
and contrast.

Great bokeh, no sight of CA / PF, small and light. Build
quality is better then most FA-lenses.

I can't understand why people complain about the small focus rings on
the F-lenses but not about the even smaller ones on the DA-limited

However, there is no need to focus manually with the F 28 mm. The AF
is super fast and always spot on. This lens can lock focus on a black
cat in a coal-cellar in a fraction of a second. I havenít missed one
shot due to focus error.

Highly recommended!
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 729
Lens Review Date: March 1, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image Quality superb, Fast AF, nice color, sharp wide open
Cons: Can't think of any

I tested this lens wide open and it's very sharp. (Subjective test)
No problem with focus speed. AF is very fast. I feel a little bit faster than my 43Ltd (in low light situation).
It locks object very fast w/ my K100D and always spot on.
The color and rendering are very nice.
What I like are the focal length and speed.
It's more usable indoor than my FA 43Ltd but of course the built quality and sharpness stopped down can't match FA 43Ltd. I still love my FA 43Ltd.
But this F 28mm/2.8 will be accompanying me side by side w/ 43Ltd.
None the less, the size is not that much different.
Very compact and not intimidating like zooms.
The most important is how fast this lens is (f 2.8) and the sharpness wide open really surprise me.
Really good for low light photography.
It's a rare lens, not so expensive compare to 31 Ltd but has almost similar focal length.
Just as 43 Ltd is considered to be "the real" normal focus lens on 35mm SLR, F 28 mm/2.8 is "the real" normal length of Digital SLR.
My recommendation is get it if you see one, I'm sure you won't regret it when you get a good copy.
New Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Marion, IA
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness and image quality, accurate/precise focus
Cons: Contrast a tad low wide open (but this is nitpicking)

One of my favorite primes. Sharp from f2.8 on up. Colors are amazing. Don't let the fact that this has the same lens elements as the A f2.8 fool you. This is an amazing lens. It seems to hit the focus perfect every time and is sharp edge to edge on my DSLR even at f2.8. Color rendering is excellent. The focus is consistent and it always seems to be sharp.

Don't review this lens and complain about image softness if you haven't actually used one of these lenses and instead are basing a review on the A 28mm f2.8. This is a nice compact prime for use on a DSLR, and is a great value compared to FA 31mm ltd.
New Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Halifax, Canada
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: September 16, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, Weight, Focus Speed
Cons: ...i'm working on it

Just picked up this little beauty and tested it a bit.

Compared to my most often used prime (FA 50mm f1.4) it's not as sharp (at f4 *or* f8) or as accurate to focus. the 28 does however focus faster, is smaller, lighter, and provides a more 'useful' focal length. If the 28 were an f2 instead of a 2.8, it'd be my primary lens. Color and contrast were too close to call.

Compared to my most similar lens (M 28 f3.5) it's not quite as sharp (at f4 *or* f8). It's close, but visible beyond 1:1 zoom in photoshop. The F is lighter, but lacks the solid feel that makes the M-Series my favorite to this day. Unfortunately, my occasional professional work doesn't allow me time to mess around with manual focus or the occasional exposure misses that happen with pre-A series lenses on my K10. Again, color and contrast were too close to call.

A few people complain that this is an ugly lens. Looks ok on my k10, but would probably be pig-ugly on one of the early silver pentax's. The FA would probably look better, but it's a very bland better. At least this has a little personality.

Another plus; small filter ring. Will accept all the same accessories as your 'nifty fifty' including the lens hoods if you shoot with any current pentax digital bodies.

Focusing ring is very small, the smallest i own in a drawer full of PK glass. Yes, it's AF, so it's not a big issue, but i bought this lens instead of a DA or noname equivilant is because of its aperture ring and full frame format for use on an old ME Super or my trusty K1000. Then, using the focussing ring will be necessary, but only occasionally because at small apertures you can basically do the Ron Popeil bit and 'Set it and Forget it' due to it's massive DOF. At f22 it accurately focusses from 2 feet to infinity when set correctly. Hooray for focus scales! When it *is* necessary to focus, the size of the ring isn't so irritating when i found how the ridges make MF a breese compared to my small and slippery FA 50 and both faster and easier than my M 28, if not quite as smooth or as easy to find without looking.

I'm not sure what i want to try with it first, a roll of Fuji Superia 100 or a roll of Kodak B&W 400CN with a red filter for even more contrast.
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color and contrast, sharpness, small and light
Cons: none found

The more I use this gem, the more impressed I am by it. It's currently the widest lens I have and so I use it for all my landscape photos. Fast autofocus even in low light, and though the manual focus ring is small it has ridges which makes it very easy to use.

This one is a keeper!
Lens Review Date: December 29, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versatile, Sharp enough wide open
Cons: K10d autofocus problems

I have put off reviewing this lens. I own 2 of them. They are my indispensable studio workhorses and work quite well in other situations. They are compact, sturdy enough for me, and perform very well wide open. Since I photograph models using direct lighting with 250 watt 3200k photofloods, the F28mm f2.8 is crucial to my work. I couldn't live without them. I have owned the FA28, and comparing the performance of these two lenses on the K20d wide open, the F28 wins hands down. It may be a different world on film, but digitally, the F28 is greatly superior to the FA28 wide open, at least on the copies I've tested. There is one flaw with this lens rarely discussed. I had occasional autofocus problems with both of my F28 lenses on my K10d. The autofocus inaccuracies disappeared completely disappeared when I upgraded to the K20d so it had to be the K10d. Buyer beware.
New Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Champagne Ardennes, France
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: January 24, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $115.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light weight, Image quality, fast autofocus
Cons: some autofocus problem with K100D
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

This lens was always mounted on my ISTDS during bike travels, before I got a DA40/f2,8 ltd. Light weight, great pictures (sharpness and colors).

Autofocus is very fast, but I have some problems on the K100D with my copy (focus point difficult at infinity).

This lens is very useful in many situations, and worths the money, but it is not common on used market.

New Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: April 18, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 


Picked this up for short money on ebay, along wih the 50mm 1.7 and several other F-series Lenses. These are probably the best of all the pre-digital auto series as based on over 10k images taken with them on a GX-10. Pity Pentax won't be doing a F.F. as these lenses would be supurb.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2008
Location: MN, US
Posts: 139
Lens Review Date: May 7, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, small, build well
Cons: none

My k20 body cover. Love it!
Sharp, fast glass, fast focus, well build, easy to carry. My favorite walk around travel lens.
New Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Gold Coast
Posts: 36
Lens Review Date: September 7, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $299.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, excellent image quality, fast focus
Cons: rare

This is absolutely excellent and beautiful lens for me.
It is very sharp in wide open with very fast focus speed. AF is very fast.
It is small lens so it is easy to carry. I am always satisfied with photos produced by this lens. I am so lucky to own this lens.
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2009
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 143
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Snappy AF, Edge to edge sharpness, great color and clarity
Cons: Haven't found any

This was a gift from a friend who was switching to a Canon set up. He used it on his older Pentax film bodies, but it has jumped onto my K10 with a flair. When I picked it up I expected it to be much like a kit lens due to its light weight, plastic body parts, but ever since I first snapped it on I have never regretted the choice. The color and contrast is always spot on, which is highlighted by the fact that the image is so sharp. The AF is the fastest and most accurate of any of the lenses I own. I am no professional, but it is hard to imagine this lens leaving my bag.
Veteran Member

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

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent lens with no weakness
Cons: None really, if you like the focal length

This is one of the rare lenses I regret selling. It had created some amazing indoor images which just pop out of the background. Each time I see those prints I regret selling it. It just didn't get much use. Since then I've bought the FA 31 and the FA*28/70, so I am ok now.

Highly recommended. It should be a hell of a lot more expensive than what it fetches
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 1,234
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, lovely bokeh, great color saturation and contrast
Cons: None, just arrived today and all I can say is "wow!"

Was indulging my LBA by cruising ebay and came across this lens. I read the reviews in this database. It wasn't a "must have" focal length but I was intrigued by its minimum focusing distance. I just reviewed my first pictures taken this morning and all I can say is "wow!" I captured a bee on a sprig of lavender and did a 100% crop. The result was worthy of my DA 35mm macro. Sometimes taking a chance on a lens doesn't pan out and I thought if this one didn't, I'd just sell it. Nope, it's a real keeper!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 28mm F2.8

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:04 AM. | See also:, 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?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]