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SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6

Sharpness 
 8.8
Aberrations 
 8.4
Bokeh 
 8.3
Autofocus 
 8.1
Handling 
 7.9
Value 
 9.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
19 124,671 Tue April 20, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $60.38 8.67
SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6
supersize


Description:
The Pentax-F 35-105mm lens has a macro feature at 105mm and a very useful range of focal lengths.



SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 5 blades
Optics
14 elements, 12 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4-5.6
Min. Aperture
F22-32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
25 cm
Max. Magnification
0.1x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-16 ° / 38-13 °
Full frame: 63-23 ° / 54-19 °
Hood
RH-B 58mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
72 x 71 mm (2.8 x 2.8 in.)
Weight
345 g (12.2 oz.)
Production Years
1988 to 1989
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F ZOOM 1:4-5.6 35-105mm
Product Code
27477
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Macro setting at the long end
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 19
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: April 20, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: weight
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: k1 II k3 II   

Purchased new, it was a remnant of a shop. Paid little.strange but comfortable focal extension for FF.Lightweight.I recommend it


https://www.flickr.com/photos/geronimovercillo/51127775820/in/dateposted/


https://www.flickr.com/photos/geronimovercillo/51126877333/in/dateposted/
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 128
Lens Review Date: February 6, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, light
Cons: strange macro mode, start at 35mm
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-1   

It was my first normal zoom on the K-1, before i bought a Tamron 28-75mm for the F/2.8 aperture.

Since then, I sold this surprising lense, but I miss it sometimes, because :
- this lens is light, so perfect for travels, and can be used for "macro" (proxy photography, to speak honeslty). One lense less on you luggage, you can make some nature et flower shots with this lens.
- sharpness is impressive for a zoom (i didn't tell the tamron is not)
- and, as a paradox, I am missing its defaults which make this lense something special to use.

What default ?
- First, you can't make the point to less than 1,5 meters without activating the macro mode
- Second, you can't activate the macro mode if you are not at the maximum focal
- Third, autofocus is really lost in macro mode : the best way to use it is to start focusing manually, then when close to the perfect point, autofocus can be used for more precision.

So, you just have to use your lense manually at 105mm if you want to shoot something close, meaning you have to reconfigure your lense, your position and it can take a lot of time (too much time for some insects for exemple) ... but that's a very good reason to think twice about what you want to shoot and how you want it. In a world and period of easy shooting, being restreint by the material can be refreshing.

The other default is that, for a normal zoom, the focale start 35mm which is not a wide angle. As I use a Sigma 20-40mm or some prime in parallel no problem for me, but you must think about it if you have not a wide angle lense to complete this zoom : if the size and weight are perfect for travelling, wide angle is necessary for lot of landscapes, don't forget this point !

Note that this lense is rare but not really famous, so it will cost you a ridiculous price.

usage of the "macro mode" :


Another sample shot


my review in french here : https://lenaick.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smc-pentax-f-35-105mm-f4-5-6/
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 19, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $106.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, good colours
Cons: Long minimum focusing distance except in macro mode
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

Cheap, sharp, small lens with good, but not very fast autofocus.



The macro function works great.

Unfortunately, the distance of the minimum sharpening is quite large if you do not use the above macro function.

But the quality in relation to the price is great.

I recommend and regards,
IICzesiekII
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 497
Lens Review Date: May 26, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons: Minimum focusing distance, slow, angle-of-view on APS-C
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

I compared this lens to FA28-70/4 and Tokina 28-70/2.8. In the 35-70 range this lens is very sharp after closing down a stop. It is definitely better than FA28-70/4. Compared to Tokina 28-70/2.8, this lens is slightly less sharp in the center, but has slightly better border / corner. The optical quality of this lens is very good for the $$ that I paid.

There are a few cons, though. The minimum focusing distance of this lens is really long and do not expect to use it for any close-range shots. The front element is exposed and can develop some flare. On K-1, it is quite useful but I occasionally feel that it is not wide enough. On APS-C it becomes a normal-to-tele zoom and there is no wide-angle to speak of.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 16

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 28, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $43.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp, light, good colours
Cons: Long minimum focusing distance except in macro mode
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Samsung GX10, GX20, Pentax Kx   

I bought this second hand in reasonable condition for its age. The aperture lever was a bit bent when I bought it, and it didn't work properly, but since I straightened it out it has performed flawlessly. This lens is really good. I compared it particularly with my Pentax FA 28-105mm f4-5.6 Power Zoom and the Tamron SP 17-50mm f2.8. The Pentax lenses are getting on for 30 years old, but I had the Tamron serviced earlier this year. The colours from all three lenses are similar, that is excellent. The contrast order is Tamron, FA, F, but there isn't much in it. At their overlapping focal lengths the Tamron is the sharpest in the centre of the frame. At up to 50mm the FA is as sharp as the F in the centre of the frame, but at f5.6 the F is the best in the corners, a little ahead of the Tamron, and a lot ahead of the FA. The F holds up all the way to 105mm (reported as 108mm by the Samsung GX20), but the FA gets relatively weaker (though it still looks just as good in the centre of the frame). The F is half the size of the FA. The FA and the Tamron focus much closer, and both the Tamron and the FA are really good close up. This is the only drawback with the F. The Macro at 105mm isn't anything remarkable. I find that the screw-in hood from a Tamron Adaptall 103A or 46A works very well. To my surprise, given that these lenses vary from 70 to 210mm focal length, there is no vignetting on the F even at 35mm. Highly recommended. I've given it 9.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: nice lens with nearly excellent qualities
Cons: plastic housing, a few loose fitted, few CA's
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: k-x, k200 etc. fuji x-e1, samsung nx1000, panasonic G-1 with adapters   

the difference between this lens and the Tokina 35-105 MF is enormous:

Tokina shows so much CA's, but this PENTAX lens only few ones. disappearing, when stopping down to f8-f11

Sharpness is nearly excellent in this aperture range from wide-angle to small tele (105)

So taking pictures in this way, you'll get fine, nice and really very sharp pictures.

This lens could be arranged into the white (professional) production line

with a small (!!!) macro ring suitable for butterfly pictures - stopped down to f11.16

One of my favorites in this focus range
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: February 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp and light weight. Relative low cost.
Cons: Rotating front element. Noisy AF.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5, Pentax K-1   

Not much to add here, lots of my thoughts are already described in the previous reviews.
My copy has (very little) starting fungus, so I decided to make some test shots with my K-5 to see if that has impact on the photo's.
Fortunately no negative impact at all!
On APS-C, the focal length is a bit odd but on FF it's really useful as a walk around lens.

I bought this lens together with a Pentax-F 70-200mm F4-5.6 and paid 50 for the 2 lenses, hence the estimated price of $ 25.
(my copy of Pentax-F 70-200mm is as new in box)

Here are some photo's taken with this lens on my K-5 a while back.

@105mm, F8
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65545813@N07/33036505516/in/dateposted/

@50mm, F8
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65545813@N07/32696257590/in/photostream/
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2010
Posts: 16
Lens Review Date: February 23, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: pentax z-70, k-5, k-1   

That is a GREAT lens. Really cheap with a very useful focal range.
Also the macro works fine.
I used it with an older film camera and now i really enjoy using it with my K1!


   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 389

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, colours, quite fast focus, lightweight.
Cons: Front element rotates, odd "macro", very slight CA, slight softness wide open.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 K-01, K-1   

I have only just bought this little beauty, but I have used it both my K-5 and K-01 over the weekend.
Why did I get it? Well, i have heard and read good reviews about the lens, and anyway I was in the market town of Stafford on Saturday and found by accident a classic camera dealer who had one on sale with a price reduction from 40 to 30. It was immaculate. So for the price of a meal at a local Italian, I bought the lens.

So what is it like and what have I found with it?

Well, considering the focal range, it is small. Build is typical SMC-F, so hard plastics, dark grey and not really a looker when it comes to lenses. But does that matter? not a bit. It is how it handles and performs that matters.

Firstly, the foibles.
As usual with older pentax zooms, and a lot of other lenses, the front element rotates. Under normal circumstances, that is fine, but not when you use filters such as a poloriser.
The Macro. Ahh the macro! The lens has a minimum focal distance of 1.5 metres. if you zoom in it hunts until you move the ring into macro mode. But even then, you don't know what the camera wants to focus, so you have to rotate the ring clockwise and anticlockwise until it likes it. My 35-70 has a similar system but not as half as bad as this. It will be something to get used to really.
Bokeh.Creamy until F8 and then a bit fussy.
It is a tad soft wide open, but strangly, if the light is spot on, it is far better.
AF is noisy, but that is what you would expect with an old first generation AF Pentax lens.

Now the good bit.
Sharpness - Yep, this is sharp. Not quite as sharp as a DA*, but more than acceptable, nay, superb!
Colours - Again, typical colours from a Pentax lens
AF - Yes noisy, but perfectly fast in all situations, unless you are focusing closer than 1.5m and you have that funny "macro" mode to contend with
CA - Yes there is a little, but you really won't notice
Contrast - Typical Pentax with a good lens, good contrast.

Finally, it is a lens that on an APS-C body may not make sense due to its focal range, but think of it as a short tele zoom akin to a 50-150 in 35mm terms, with excellent IQ and small form factor, then it makes perfect sense.
The plus point is that when the FF digital body comes out, you have a small cheap light general purpose wide-tele zoom that performs. However I think that when that FF body comes out the price of this lens will go north a lot.

So, go and find one, buy one, and enjoy a great little lens, and if you are lucky to be the first to buy the FF DSLR and use this lens, I will be very jealous.

Edit - May 2016
I have been using this a lot on the K-1.Oh boy! It is very good indeed. Still a solid 9 but if you aleady have one, and unless you really need 28-35mm and weather sealing of the DFA28-105mm, save money and put this on the FF body. It lends itself as a very fine walkaround zoom lens. I cannot believe I paid just 30 for this beauty.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Posts: 19

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 10, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: small, macro, AF speed, color & sharpness
Cons: noisy AF, slow lens
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K200D   

This lens is small and light, which makes it really nice to carry around. AF speed is very fast due to the short focus throw,
The aperture of 4-5.6 makes this a bit slower than the kitlens but the advantage is an overall sharp lens with minor abberations. As with most older lenses, it does tend to show some CA and flare resistance is low but as long as you don't shoot towards direct sunlight, it can really deliver, contrast is high and it renders colors a bit special but very pleasing.
Macro mode! very sharp and it's available. great.

If you hate noisy AF, stay away from this lens (even if it's actually no way near as rough as the F 70-210)


I prefer this lens to the kitlens, it's sharper, colors are better and it's overall more versatile. Keeping it's weaker points in mind, it is capable of high quality images. This lens can be found very cheap so price-value a solid 10.
Some shots :
http://1drv.ms/182eKGH

And oh yes, guess it's becoming more relevant these days ... it's FF ;-)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Nevada, USA
Posts: 3,348

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $19.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, relatively compact, light weight, AF speed
Cons: Weak construction, macro handling
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

I bought this lens on eBay as part of a bundle that included a working P30t camera and a flash. Those items have some average market value which I subtracted from the total I paid. The end result was $19. YMMV.

I haven't had much time to play with this lens but it's easy to get a solid impression.

Pros:
This lens is very sharp, especially when stopped at f/7.1 to f/9. Yes, this makes it a "slow" day time lens. Modern cameras should be able to handle ISO 800 today so I am OK with the "slowness".

The zoom range is versatile enough. Some may want wider and others may want more telephoto. The narrower range also means there are probably less optical compromises in the design.

It has an aperture ring!

Autofocus is very quick due to the short throw.

It has sufficient contrast.

Bokeh is not too bad.

Neutral:
It has a metal mounting surface for those who care about that.

The colors are a little flat.

Cons:
The macro engagement is awkward. You have to turn the zoom ring past 105mm over a click of some sort.

The lens barrel as a weird tapered shape which makes it awkward to control the zoom, focus, and aperture rings.

The plastic construction is weak. My copy has cracked filter threads.

No internal focusing. I am coming to like this feature more and more and I am starting to count missing this feature as negative. When is it important? Suppose you forgot your tripod and you are bracing the camera against something (i.e. a tower of bricks, a park bench table, etc). Having the camera suddenly jerk away from you because the AF motor spun the protruding lens hood against a surface is very surprising. Ok, ok... I should be more aware of my surroundings. I get it but who doesn't get carried away in their work sometimes?

Conclusion:
The greatest strength of this lens is its sharpness which is to be expect from a slower lens like this. While the zoom range may seem limited by today's standards you have to remember this is a film era lens. Rather than being a wide angle to moderate telephoto you will have a short telephoto to medium telephoto on a APS-C sensor system. It's still wide enough for a walk around lens but street photographers may find it limiting nonetheless in cramped quarters. The handling is awkward but that's not the worst thing about this lens. We can all get used to quirks and foibles. My complaint is the plastic filter/hood threads which in my copy are broken. This is first contact point when a lens is bonked against a surface (on accident, of course). It ought to be stronger. The front element spins during focus and due to the short throw of the focus ring the motion is quick and almost violent. Be aware of your lens hood. Also be aware that CPL filters and gradient filters won't play nice here.

For the resulting $19 I paid for this lens I would say I got an absolute bargain! Excellent value at this price.

Image Samples:


IMGP1620 by Never Off, on Flickr
Here's a shot at 43mm. While there is some post processing here it is minimal. A bit of saturation and vibrancy with some sharpening. Details are crisp and clear. f/9


IMGP1600 by Never Off, on Flickr
I zoomed all the way to 105mm for this high noon shot of the mountains. The light is poor and the shadows are weak during my lunch time break. Taking shots at this time of day would be a challenge for any lens. I can still resolve the texture of the clouds and the finer details of the (relatively) nearby trees. f/8


IMGP1615 by Never Off, on Flickr
I heard a helicopter coming in fast so I cranked up the ISO to 640 to increase the shutter speeds. At full zoom the chopper was small in my frame and this is a heavy crop. There's still plenty of detail to be seen though. This lens plays well with my K-30.


IMGP1613 by Never Off, on Flickr
My lone public attempt at macro with this lens. Obviously I need to practice a bit with this lens. It felt like hard work getting this shot and it's not even very good.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2010
Location: Oegstgeest
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: December 26, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, nice bokeh
Cons: lousy bult Q
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9   

Very good walk around lens, with amazing close-up posebilleties. The handling is bad and the AF noise sounds cheep. But sharpnes and color are beautiful

[URL="http://www.flickr.com/photos/31526135@N08/6575270239/in/photostream/lightbox/"
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2011
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 365
Lens Review Date: October 10, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Autofocus Speed, contrast, size, sharpness (for a zoom)
Cons: Manual focus
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-x   

I'm pleased with the overall performance of this lens. Sharpness benefits greatly from stopping down one are two clicks, but is by no means unacceptable wide open.

Autofocus speed is good for a zoom, but manual focus pays the price for this speed. (read: short focus throw).

The length and width of this lens are nearly identical with the DA 18-55mm kit lens, which makes it ideal for backpacking.

Update 04/09/2012: Upon further use, and more experience with other lenses, I've reduced the autofocus and value scores. For the $130 I paid, the lens is a decent value, but not a great one.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 697

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $137.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast AF, nice bokeh, smallish
Cons: not wide enough, gray colour, no hood, rotating front
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Since getting the F35-70 I had noticed one shop selling old stock they had this one for sale. I thought it was a typo, but after a few months I called and to my surprise they had a new old stock one avalable with guarantee.

The lens focuses really fast when enough light, the main downside is the tiny focus ring of the F-series. I bought a petal hood (58mm) for $20. But the rotating front element is a pain for the petal hood.

I paid more for a new lens, but I would have bought one used for 50-80 instantly when available.
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Posts: 188

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good size, lovely colours, sharp when stopped down
Cons: less sharp when not stopped down.

The first example of this lens i got was very lovely in the middle and the right side of the frame, but blurry towards the left edge.

Where it was nice it was very nice so i got another one, and this second one is a teeny tiny smidgeon less sharp generally, but no blurry left side.

i always try to keep it closed down at least one stop.

It's become one of my standard night lenses. f11, stuck on a tripod, lovely.

Something abt the old SMC colours. A little muted, all kinds of subtle gradations and contrasts, and when paired with sufficient rez like with this lens, things look real.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm F4-5.6



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