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SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
100 380,505 Mon February 6, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
97% of reviewers $42.07 8.73
SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5

This lens has the same aperture range and the same optics as its A-series counterpart.

SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
8 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
32 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-23 ° / 38-19 °
Full frame: 63-34 ° / 54-29 °
RH-RA 49mm
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
67 x 50 mm (2.6 x 2 in.)
235 g (8.3 oz.)
Production Years
1987 to 1991
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F ZOOM 1:3.5-4.5 35-70mm
Product Code
User reviews
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5
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Forum Member

Registered: June, 2020
Location: Guangdong
Posts: 82
Review Date: February 6, 2023 Not Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: useful focal range, bright color, accurate and fast AF
Cons: plastic and loose, poor IQ of close-up shots, minimum focus distance, shrinkage of color and contrast at backlight
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-50   

I held this lens for nearly 2 years. And I sold it a month ago. The main reasons are:

1. Agreed with @mtux. The minimum focus distance is "annoying", I have to stand up to shoot objects on the table every time.

2. On the other hand, the close-up function sometimes brings surprise but only with the aperture stopped down to F9~, which gradually wears my patience away.

3. Faced with backlight, the pics' contrast and color strength drop so dramatically that they can't be retrieved by pp.

To those who use APS-C cameras as I do, I certainly won't recommend this lens. Because you don't benefit from its focal range and still you have to suffer from the problems listed above. To those who use FF cameras, you may have better choices.

Some shots I am satisfied with this lens:

- 1/15s ƒ/9 ISO400 70mm (Macro)

- 1/250s ƒ/6 ISO800 50mm

Registered: September, 2020
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,457

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 29, 2023 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, quick and accurate AF, good IQ, useful zoom range
Cons: Slight image softness (vintage look), slight fringing, plastic build
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1 Mark II   

The quality and performance of this lens belie its diminutive size and weight. It really punches above its class in just about every way, even on a modern 36mp digital sensor, which is not what it was designed for. The optical compromises are very tolerable on a FF sensor. The slight softness I see stopped down may be the result of the sensor outresolving the optics, I am not an expert in that area, but I know that slight sharpening in post processing sharpens things up nicely and the gentleness of what I would call vintage rendering is more pleasant to me than clinical sharpness and microcontrast. Colors are nice and overall contrast is good. The AF speed really must be emphasized. It's not just good for an old lens, but good for a modern lens. Locks onto moving targets very reliably and quickly. This makes a very good street lens.

IMGP2406_DxO by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

IMGP2424_DxO by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

IMGP2462_DxO by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 14
Review Date: February 6, 2022 Recommended | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp lens, for macro shootings usefull, too
Cons: wide open:some few flare, few CA's and soft in the corners
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-5, K-200d, K-x, K-s1, fuji x-e1 + x-T100   

My lens has an autofus problem, so that manual focus is only possible - but I knew this for the low price.
Mon objektiv a un problème avec le focus automatique - focus manuel seulment possible pour ce prix bon marché

As experienced teacher of young students in anlanogue and digital photography I has been accustomed to close aperture two steps at least here to f 6.3-11 for optimal sharpness/ Comme professeur de la photographie argentique et numérique je me suis accomodé de fermer le diaphragme de chaque objectiv à deux pas au moins - ici à f 6,3-11

++ excellent sharpness over the full range 35-70, stopped down to f 6-3 and higher/
piqué excellent de 35 à 70 mm, diaphragme fermé à f 6,3 et plus haut

++ sharpening in macro mode makes so much fun/ mise au point au mode mace me fait beaucoup de plaisir.

O wide open corners are not really sharp and some few CAs are visible / les coins ne sont pas du tout nets si j'utilise cet objectiv au diaphragme f 3,5 des aberrations chromatiques sont visibles

Compared with the standard lens 18-55, it seems to be the better choice, because the 18-55 is only very sharp between 24 and 55 mm with f 9-11, excepted 35 mm with f 6.3 / Comparé à l'objectif standard 18-55 cet objectiv semble être le choix meilleur - à l'exception de 35mm avec f 6.3

a few stepped down an extremely sharp standard lens, for macro, too // avec diaphragme un peu fermé und objectiv standard extrèmement net, aussi pour des photos macro.

85 % = 9 points, better than the manual A lens 3.5-4.5/35-70 / 85 % " 9 points, mieux que l'obectif A 3,5-4,5/35-70
New Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: london
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 6, 2021 Recommended | Price: $18.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: size, image quality, af speed, convenience
Cons: none
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9   

Ideal for casual walkabouts, street shoots, or as a lens for an always-with-you camera. It is small, light enough, has a reasonable wide-aperture range, good auto-focus capability and acceptable (to me) image quality.
I am sure in the right hands it can be enticed to make very good images but, as simple enthusiast, I have no complaints about this film-era tool. The zoom range, limited as it is, is a plus as the lens itself is so small that if feels like a slightly bigger 50mm fixed prime.
Many people have commented unfavourably that a lot of plastic is used in this lens but it has a metal mount and the whole package does not feel as fragile as, say, the DA 2.4 / 35 that I also own.
In the end, though, the SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 is available so cheaply these days that it’s worth finding out for yourself what the fuss is about.
Below is a sample pix from me. A slightly better flickr version is at


New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 20, 2021 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: size, weight, iq
Cons: maybe there are some at full frame, none at aps-c
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-70   

Amazing with a k-70, i dont know how good is it with a k1.
Low distortion, low vigneting, some cromatic aberrations but easy to correct in post. Ultra fast AF with good light. Relatively fast aperture. Supercompact at 70, maybe the compactest? This lens is amazing.
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 58

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 6, 2021 Recommended | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Cheap, image quality, tiny, macro ability
Cons: Noisy, ugly!
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: K70 KP   

I use this lens much more than I thought I would. It's plasticky, has a not very appealing 80s grey colour and makes a screeching sound whilst focussing. It can make any DSLR look charity shop ugly.

That said, it surprises me every time I use it. The short zoom range is just right for a walk about lens, it has a useful macro feature at the long end and it produces sharp, contrasty images. Autofocus is very fast and accurate. For the price it is definitely worth having, if only as a solution to the 'which prime should I take?' debate that we all have. Take this instead and on the plus side no-one will be mugging you!
New Member

Registered: July, 2017
Location: Tbilisi
Posts: 18

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 27, 2020 Recommended | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Please read. I couldn't summarise. Really.
Cons: Please read. I couldn't summarise. Really.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

You know Einstein's famous quote:

Two things are infinite: the universe and number of lenses that one or another considers hidden gem; and I'm not sure about the universe.

On APS-C, this lens comes very close to being a hidden gem, yet fails to be one. That hidden gem throne is well occupied by Takumar 3.5/35 for me, and I doubt there's any lens that is as cheap and amazing as that (excluding Helios 2/58 of course).

Why could this be such a good lens, and is still an amazing one for an average price of only 40$ (whereI paid only 10 USD plus shipment from the US to Georgia) but couldn't manage to break the hidden gem barrier?

I may better warn you that I shoot B&W mostly, and my review will be oriented around that.

(Below paragraph is not relevant with the review. You may well jump below the lines to continue the review. I just wanted to say a couple of things and that's all)

I also maybe should say that if it was not thanks to this forum, I'd not go for this lens. I love Pentax community. Nowadays my K-50 doesn't want to work any more and, sadly, I don't have money to buy a new camera. If I'll dare to get some credit, I'll go for FF - which means a shift from Pentax as K-1 is by far not affordable. The best options nowadays are A7ii and 6Dii, and likely I'll go for the former to be able to use my few lenses.

Thanks folk - thank you all that write about their experience with lenses here. If it was not thanks to you, I'd not be able to do as much as I could do. Thank you a hundredfold!



Like everything else about this lens, sharpness is a mixed bag. It is by far not bad, yet, as you can expect, not amazing either. Here are two examples:

If you pixel-peep, you'll see that the lens is not "razor sharp" - neither life is. I seek 3D pop in my lenses, which is why I love Takumar and Helios. This lens, sadly and as you can see, cannot deliver such photos. Yet, if you'll use it on APS-C like me (and the vast majority of us), it should not upset you in many cases. Though, there may come times when you'll see why 3D pop is maybe the most important thing in a lens:

Think of this photo with some real good lens. My best shot from Southeast Asia, this is one photo I damn wish I took with Helios. Also if you look closer, you'll see that the edges are somewhat wrong. The lens does this sometimes, and doesn't at other times. I still couldn't figure out when it behaves nicely and when it doesn't. "It has character", but not the type that we'd wish it had.

Don't use this lens to shoot people with their surroundings. Faces get lost. This is a shot of my wife. I tried to precise-focus, and this is the result.


Simple and plain: Bad. There's a lot of purple fringing, especially on the wider end and (as expected) wide open or close to that, yet they don't totally disappear after a certain point. They are largely fixable, but at times are not and it is annoying. I don't shoot color much and aberrations are not that much of an issue, but when I use this to shoot color, I just pray that it won't give me much aberrations.

Albeit it is black and white, on the upper part of the photo you can see how bad it can get.


I never tried to see some bokeh with this lens, which is why I cannot say much on this front. As the name suggests, you'll be better off if you won't expect much either. When it did some bokeh, it wasn't (much?) disturbing:

In the second photo, see that you can count the hair of the guy. This is why I said that sharpness is a mixed bag - leaned towards good than bad.

Here is some "portrait". At 35mm, it is not so bad.


This is one of the three AF lenses I have (other two are F 70-210 4/5.6 and 2.4/35). It is better than 70-210 and worse than 2.4/35. It's not once that I needed to try to focus for a second time. But as it is easier than trying to manual focus, I don't complain.

Okay, with this photo I do have a lot to complain.


The lens is small and light. Too much light for my taste. I doubt anyone can complain about its weight. And anyway, my K-50 is almost a kilogram itself. I cannot care much about weight unless the lens is a kilogram itself.

Focusing and aperture rings are not problematic. They are neither "coarse" nor "featherweight". I like Takumar's handling better, but this lens ain't bad as well.


For the price: Excellent. For what it does, it could well deserve 100 or even more dollars.


Rather strangely, the lens' strangest point is its "macro" capabilities:


I don't know why, with this lens, the camera's dynamic range falls at times. But that's not the case always.

Here is one good example. But in the photo below, whatever I did didn't work and I left it as what you see:

To not to imply that it is bad, I may add this lastly:


The range and the aperture are given in any lens we purchase. I won't be silly to comment "ah, it is just 35-70" or "why oh why is it not fixed aperture". I also don't expect super flare resistance or aberrations control from a 30 year old lens. But there are things which make it come close to being a "hidden" gem, but holding it back:

- Contrary to the custom, the lens is better on the tele side than wide. A potential walk around lens it is expected to be, yet cannot be simply because of this.

- Sharpness depends on don't know what. It drops sometimes, and just because it wants to. There is no way to predict how the photo will come out. There are a lot more good photos than bad ones, but when that one missed shot is the potentially the best of the bunch, you cannot stop hating the lens some.

- I didn't say above but the colors are tend to be more blueish - just like Sigmas. It is just moving one slider in PS, but if you shoot JPEG (in which case I don't know why you have [D]SLR though), this can be some issue.

- AF needs micro-adjustment. Sometimes you need +2, sometimes you need -3. Probably it is a singular issue, yet needed to add.

A bit better wide performance, and more reliable sharpness, this well could be on par with Takumar and Helios. But as is, it is just below these two PP monsters. Check it out though. It can be that my copy has some issues. Anyway it is darn cheap, you can put aside some 30 dollars and sell it back for the same price, I believe.
New Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 20

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 21, 2020 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: small, sharp, nice build quality
Cons: zoom ring a little stiff
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-70   

strongly recommend only around $40
my video review
New Member

Registered: August, 2018
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 13, 2020 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small size comparable to primes
Cons: Purple flare
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Km, K-01   

Great zoom lens that has a size of a prime. If used on APS-c format on the wide end the 35mm (52.5mm on full frame) is great all around lens while the 70mm (105mm on full frame) at f 4.5 can be used as decent portrait and medium telephoto lens. This lens also has Micro capabilities or better said close distance focus capabilities which is great for getting closeups of details eg. flowers. It can be a great inexpensive addition to the DA 18-55 kit lens and it has a slightly larger aperture than the DA kit lens. The lens is from the film era, it is prone to flares so lens hood is recommended.
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 22

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 5, 2019 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: small, cheap, sharp enough
Cons: slow, plastic
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Well it isn't fastest lens on market, doesen't have widest zoom range...
But it's small, cheap and sharp enough from wide open - that make this lense a grate deal.
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 941

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Amazing Value, excellent IQ, Macro
Cons: Not the presttiest lens, but who cares?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30, K-3, K-1   

Truly a lens that is a best bang for the buck bargain lens. Excellent image quality,full frame compatible, and macro ability. The only downside is that the contrast suffers in bright lightning. Get a deep hood and you'll be good to go.

_IMG5382 by David Carman, on Flickr
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 84

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 24, 2019 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cheap, Small and reasonable IQ
Cons: Plastic construction. Slow.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1   

Had this lens about 5 years ago and it punched well above its weight on a K50. Does equally well on a K1 and only costs a few dollars. It's not spectacular in any sense, but it's probably better than the kit lens. It's small, funky and makes a lot of noise when focusing.

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 1,712

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 30, 2018 Recommended | Rating: 7 

Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 5    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5ii   

I'm won't post a long review on this lens. They are commonly available for under $50. If you need a limited zoom in this FL range, this is a no-brainer. Its the size of a large prime and takes really good photos.

Build quality is standard for F Series zooms. It's not on the level of WR DA or D-FA lenses, but it's more solid than standard FA and DA zooms, like for example the DA 16-45 or 12-24, both of which take good photos but feel flimsy to me, certainly moreso than this lens.

It's almost laughable how good this is, for the money. When I happen upon a good shot, I never wish that I had had a more expensive lens. It produces all of the image quality I need and feels great walking around with it on the camera. Really useful focal length range for ASP-C and FF.

I also have and will review an F 70-210 and if I had a K1 would likely be looking for a F 24-50. If you're considering buying one for $40, just do it. You'll be happy. WR and DC focusing are nice and build quality of those lenses is better, but they're good to cost more and with the exception of the excellent DA 20-40 ltd, they're not making them in limited zoom ranges, so all of these lenses, if you've owned them or read the reviews are generally considered only good a small part of their zoom range. I prefer to have a zoom that is sharp and can reliably find focus from one end to the other, even if it means having less range.

Registered: November, 2017
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 6,334

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 16, 2018 Recommended | Price: $26.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Beautiful rendition of color; Macro; range; AF
Cons: Macro (not 1:1); For the price - nothing really
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

Lens rated a 9, as it would need a 1:1 macro to be excellent - however, if it were a 1:1, it wouldn't be this cost-effective...

This is a great all-around lens. AF is good (normal F series bit noisy) - I do not use AF on Macro, so I am not even considering that aspect of the lens.

It beats any DA kit lens in this range (I'm specifically addressing the DAL 18-55 WR). It would be better if it were 28-70, but I can definitely live without the additional wideness.

I do not find it an issue that the focus ring is small and on top of the front element - you just have to get used to it - worth it.

I'll let these photos speak for themselves...

Non macro around the city:

Some Macro samples:

New Member

Registered: December, 2017
Posts: 1

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 2, 2017 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: i love it's sharpness and the bokeh
Cons: the auto focus is a bit slower.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-70   

I bought this lens for 40 dollars and I dind't aspect it would be such a plesant suprise!
for portrait or macro it is realy good. the sharpness and the beautyfull bokeh.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5

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