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SMC Pentax-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5

Sharpness 
 8.7
Aberrations 
 7.3
Bokeh 
 8.2
Autofocus 
 8.8
Handling 
 8.5
Value 
 9.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 115,964 Fri September 4, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $101.67 8.53
SMC Pentax-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5
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Description:
The large zoom range of this autofocus lens makes it a versatile walk-around lens. It features the same aperture range and optics as its A-series predecessor. It has a macro setting at the long end.

SMC Pentax-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
16 elements, 12 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5-4.5
Min. Aperture
F32-45
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
160 cm
Max. Magnification
0.25x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-12 ° / 38-10 °
Full frame: 63-18 ° / 54-15 °
Hood
RH-A 60mm clip-on type
Case
S80-160
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
71 x 92 mm (2.8 x 3.6 in.)
Weight
485 g (17.1 oz.)
Production Years
1987 to 1989
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F ZOOM 1:3.5-4.5 35-135mm
Product Code
27197
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
The lens has a macro setting at the long end where it focuses down to 75 cm
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 16
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2020
Posts: 73
Lens Review Date: September 4, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp optics; useful range; Macro zoom feature
Cons: not a pretty lens to behold; plastics; low-quality focusing ring; lack of a dedicated or built-in lens hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: PZ-1, K10D, K-3 II   

My recollection is that I bought this as a kit with my PZ-1 (new) in the 1990s, because I doubt that I'd have bought this lens on its own due to its looks and slower speed. But the range 35-135mm is very practical, and the wide-open apertures f/3.5-4.5 mean that the lens is relatively compact, even if a tad heavy in its ugly plastic encasing. There is a narrow extending tube that goes out rather far by 135mm and for Macro use -- adding to its ugliness, but at the price and for what you get, it's no big deal. I can understand how Pentax developed this as a "kit" lens for sale in department stores (where I bought mine).

I haven't used this lens a lot with my digital cameras, and I didn't even use it that much on my PZ-1 -- though now looking at it closely again, I'm not sure why (perhaps the cheap, unattractive appearance had something to do with it, making me feel that the optics were cheap also -- combined with the length of the barrel). But it really is an excellent zoom lens. There really is minimal optical aberration (distortion) at 35mm. There is some chromatic aberration in my photos of the moon, but not overly bad; I have used this with my Pentax Rear Converter-A 2X-S to make the lens act as a 70-270mm zoom -- but mainly at the long (135/270-mm) end, and works fine. What I really like about this lens is the Macro feature: it is easy to use and operates as a zoom macro lens when moved past the 135mm mark on the tube. None of my other macro lenses have this extremely useful zoom function, so that you don't have to move when photographing a bunch of flowers within, say, 20 feet of you. This alone makes this lens worth it to keep in my arsenal (not that I've ever sold or gotten rid of any of my lenses). Flowers show good sharpness and color and nice background bokeh. I've also used this for astrophotography, and the stars appear sharp. Autofocus is also very decent.

The aperture ring sits close to the camera and has a plastic-y feel to it, but it works fine. The zoom ring has good width and is easy to use; it is tight-turning (in a good way), meaning zero zoom creep (it stays where you put it, even if pointing straight up or down). The wide zoom band lies just forward of the aperture ring, and when behind the camera, the zoom rotates to the right (clockwise) about 70 degrees from 35mm to 135mm (with numbers at 35, 50, 85, and 135 without markers, and with the distance between 85m and 135mm quite small), and then an additional 20 degrees or so after clicking over into Macro mode. The focus ring at the front of the lens, on the other hand, feels really cheap and makes manual focusing less than ideal; it only turns left (counter-clockwise) about 80 degrees from infinity to closest focus (meaning not very easy to fine-tune the focus) -- by far the worst thing about this lens. It does need a lens hood, and I elected to buy a metal Sensei Pro 58-mm screw-in hood cheaply from B&H. After trying this lens on my K-3 II camera for the first time, I think that I'll be using this more than in the past.

photos of lens on my camera, showing it at longest and shortest extensions:



   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2017
Location: Vallès Occidental
Posts: 121
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good overall performance
Cons: Minimum focus distance

It is an ugly and noisy plastic lens that, however, will fill you with satisfactions for very little price.

Highly recommended for FF sensors, my K-1 with good light behaves wonderfully.

Sharp to be a zoom lens
Gorgeous colors
Very usable range
It weighs nothing
You find it very cheap

Worst:
Minimum focus distance 1.5 meters. Although then you have a macro correction, it is a nuisance
Rotates the focus when focusing.
Plastic and more plastic

I recommend it, a good "all terrain"



Ricoh IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. Pentax K-1
smc PENTAX-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5
ƒ/10.0 | 35.0 mm | 1/200 | ISO125



Ricoh IMAGING COMPANY, LTD. Pentax K-1
smc PENTAX-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5 (MACRO MODE)
ƒ/10.0 | 135.0 mm | 1/400 | ISO125
   
Inactive Account

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 12

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: close-focus ability, range, sharpness stopped down, AF
Cons: heavy, minimum focus distance, unacceptable wideopen
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-5   

It has its purposes, but I just can't justify keeping this lens for my set. I found myself frustrated with its abilities wide-open - it pretty much can't shoot wide open, very soft and glowy edges.. and also the minimum focus distance not being on 'macro' FEELS like 6 feet and not 3 as listed.

It's tough to get used to, but is a great walkaround OUTDOOR DAYLIGHT lens. I'd say go for it absolutely for the value, but I don't need it personally.

View from Window by JZackery, on Flickr

Rusty Metal by JZackery, on Flickr

IMGP16181 by JZackery, on Flickr
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 76

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Decent sharp, Fast Focus, resonably fast as for zoom, macro mode
Cons: biuld quality, aberrations, min focus 1.5m
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-500   

I have compared this lens with previously used by me FA 28-200 both comparable cheap walk around lenses.

Wide open both lenses are useful only when lack of sharpness is going to be better then using high ISO in other words both are very soft.

F 35-135 beats FA in sharpness at faster apertures but, F suffers from CA. After stepping FA down to f/7-f/8 sharpness is comparable but CA are almost non existent in FA.

In general I have chose to keep F 35-135, I managed to take good photos with FA but was always forced to go or with slow shutter speed or with high ISO...or to go with soft images
With F 35-135 you can expect it to be sharp at 35mm from f/4, at 65 from f/4.5, at 135 from f/5.6-f6,.3.
As long as you are mainly interested in the centre of the picture it will be ok if not You will have to step it down to f/8. In other words this lens is faster then FA and offers good image quality.

For the price of 90$ it is good lens.

left F 35-135 right FA 28-200

65mm

135mm






   
New Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: February 24, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $390.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp at 5.6 at its widest and Acceptable at 6 at its zoom end
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-r   

Quickly becomes my all around lens since I purchased it. Only taken off my camera twice.

Color rendition was good. Only downside with this lens is the minimum focus distance at around 3 feet when not on macro mode.

Used this in an event and was pleased that almost 80% of my shots are sharp
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Genoa
Posts: 5

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 16, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: colour rendition, focal range
Cons: little aberrations wide open, noisy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20, K-7, K-5   

My first review
The F 35-135 is a forgotten and quite rare Pentax lens, I love it.
Marvellous colours and tonal rendition
Used several times for model shooting and also walkaround
perfect focal range fot portrait
Cons: Devastating noise of the AF mechanism (similar to that of F 70-210)
a bit of coma and halo wide open
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Winchester
Posts: 2,286

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 31, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Well built, reasonably fast, good AF
Cons: Soft/halo wide open, close focus too long for some uses
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I bought this lens for a particular reason - to take pictures of trains - for this use, the 35mm wide end is wide enough on APS-C and the extra 30mm compared to the 28-105 (Tamron) I had been using is a plus.
Well built lens, pretty good optically once I had applied a bit of AF correction to my K20D. Reasonably fast (1/2 a stop up on the Tamron, which my son has nicked anyway) although this lens is a little lacking in contrast and is a bit soft full open, with halo/comma effects. Stop down 2/3 -1 stop and things are much better. Also use a hood, this helps too.
The long close focussing distance is not a problem for the type of shots I am using it for.
I like this lens a lot, probably a 8.5 for me, but given it an 8 to reflect the slight negatives for others.

Great value for me at £55
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,407
Lens Review Date: June 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, range, color
Cons: slow (f-stop)

I sold this lens some time ago, and I still miss it. It's a great outdoor zoom. Some time ago, I went through older images of my daughter and most of the keepers were shot with this lens, even over the DA* 16-50 that I had. Excellent choice if you can live with the f-stop and range.
   
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Gold Coast, QLD
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Nice zoom range (35-135mm), compact even when fully extended and sharp at various apertures
Cons: not as good for macro photography as as true macro lens would be

Got this with a MZ-6 for $15 secondhand.
Have only used it on Pentax film SLR cameras.

Very good construction-plastic but light and easy to handle. It's quite compact-even extended to 135mm, it's not too long and very easy to focus manually.

Focus ring is a bit different from say, my smc-Pentax A 35-105mm being made of plastic instead of metal with a ribbed non-rubber design.

Quite sharp at apertures like f5.6 or f8, and at maximum aperture of f3.5 is very nice.

It'd not as good for macro photography as as true macro lens would be-quite tricky to get a nice macro shot with it.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2011
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: April 15, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent quality, low price, useful range.
Cons: Fairly soft at full aperture.

This lens does not seem to be very common here in the UK, being very rarely available from dealers. My copy cost £49 in 2010 but without the original caps. I bought it out of curiosity as I already owned an excellent A35-105.
I must say that this little zoom has exceeded all my expectations and is now probably my 2nd most used lens.
As other reviewers have pointed out it is somewhat soft when fully open, but by f5.6 is sharp at all focal lengths producing vibrant, well saturated colours, unlike many older lenses. AF is quick and accurate, the only real disappointment is that the minimum focus distance in normal mode is 5 feet. The "macro" function is usable at 135mm and results are acceptable providing the lens is stopped down.
If you can find one of these at a reasonable price buy it, you will not regret it!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,008

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: cheap, good build, relative fast focus, good IQ at slow aperture
Cons: very poor IQ wide open(soft, halo, PF), long min focus dis

This is my third lens. I want longer reach. I find 35-135 is good for outdoor use. Of course it would always be nice if it goes wider. But price would be a matter.

Build is good. Feel solid. Zoom ring and focus ring feel ok.

One reason to choose this lens is the relative fast aperture. But it turns out the photo taking at max aperture is pretty useless. Very soft. Loss contrast. Has pronounced halo and PF. Photo become good at f5.6. By f7.1 it is kind sharp. But nothing spectaculars compare to kit lens. This really tells me how good Pentax kit lens is. Halo also gone stopped a bit. PF do reduced a lot but still present. Overall definitely avoid max aperture. Sign…..

The focus is faster compare to kit lens. I tested on my kx, 0.9s run from min to infinite. Need 1.1s for kit lens. This is good.

Another major annoying is the very long minimal focus distance (about 1.6 m/5 feet). Switch from kit lens to this one, I really can not get used to it, especially indoor where space is limited. Marco at 135mm is just a bit closer focus.

I paid 80 bucks for it. Well, good for beginner like me. Actually it is quite a good out door lens if you stick to aperture slow than f5.6. But if you have money buy better one.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 446
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast lens even at 135mm. Sharp throughout its range Cheaper than the 50-135. Short (physically) and easy to carry.
Cons: Cannot focus close up except at 135 (in the macro range on the adjuster)

Well I said most of what I would say in the positive and negative section of the form for posting this review. It is really not a great walk around lens but that is not what I got it for either. I got it for taking to the zoo where I wish to get animals as well as catch my son doing the odd cute thing if necessary, and it will shine there I think (have not gone yet). It is, as the others said, really a heavy lens, but it is compact and easy to get in and out of a bag when on the camera. Also as others said, it is a sharp lens all through its range. I am really happy with it so far. When I was looking at getting this lens, finding photos take with it at both ends of the range were hard to come by so I will let the photos do the rest of the talking. Here are some at both 135 and 35.


135mm:



135mm at f/4.5
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaysonlorenzen/3998821429/



135mm at f/4.5
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaysonlorenzen/3999641524/



135mm at f/4.5
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaysonlorenzen/3999807308/



35mm:


35 mm at f/4.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaysonlorenzen/3999029769/



35 mm at f/4.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaysonlorenzen/3999055915/
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 509

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 21, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good range. Decent built quality.
Cons: Not really a macro lens. Pretty soft when using largest aperture

This is a well-built zoom lens. F lenses seem to have slightly better built quality than FA lenses. It is also easier to manually focus. It has a good range and the apertures are large enough for normal use. The image quality is fine. But one has to avoid the largest apertures if possible. The images can get soft.

I am quite disappointed with the macro function. This is my first pseudo macro zoom lens, so I have no experience with this type of lens. But the macro is quite soft and dreamy. While it may be OK for portraits, I do not like this as a macro character. You have to use aperture smaller than f8 to make it work.
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 39
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: excellent range, relatively fast
Cons: halo, slower focusing

My shots have been plenty sharp and color is very nice. I'm pleasantly surprised with the out of focus blur, its smoother than I expected. I've mostly used this lens for taking outdoor candids of my kids at play in the 100+mm range, mostly in a portrait orientation. This lens has made me put my 2 kit lenses away.

The autofocus is a little different. It seems to have to work a little harder and longer than the DA kit zooms I've been using. As well, the front element rotates when focusing - not an issue for me but thought I'd point it out. High contrast shots have had a bit of halo if not stopped down. Focusing distance is on the long side as well unless you're using the macro (really just a close focus) feature of this lens, but then you're stuck at 135mm.

I'll highly recommend this lens for general walkabout photography, out of doors, inclement days or anywhere you don't really want to carry around an expensive piece of glass. Grab one if you can find one cheap. The focal range is perfect for my tastes. At 3.5-4.5 it is fast enough for outdoor shooting. Perhaps a (very) poor man's version of the DA* 50-135?
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Marion, IA
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness and image quality, focus speed
Cons: Coma/Halo until stepped down 1 stop, minimum focus distance

Image quality from this lens is outstanding at both 35mm and 135mm. Close focus ability is pretty good at 135mm. This lens focus very quickly from near to far, and doesn't hunt much at all. My pictures at 35-40mm are barely distinguishable from the DA 40mm ltd.

The downside is high contrast subjects have a large halo around them wide open, and don't go away for about 1 to 1.5 stops. It seems very usable from 5.6 at the wide end and f6.7 to f8 at the telephoto end. The other problem with the lens is the minimum focus distance is around 3ft, and the close focus function only works at 135mm.

This has quickly become my favorite inexpensive zoom.

I have only used this lens with digital, never with film.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-135mm F3.5-4.5



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