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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

Sharpness 
 9.0
Aberrations 
 8.4
Bokeh 
 8.1
Autofocus 
 8.9
Handling 
 8.4
Value 
 9.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
86 250,757 Sun August 13, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $43.39 8.78
SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5
supersize


Description:
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
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
8 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F3.5-4.5
Min. Aperture
F22-32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
32 cm
Max. Magnification
0.25x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-23 ° / 38-19 °
Full frame: 63-34 ° / 54-29 °
Hood
RH-RA 49mm
Case
S70-70
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
67 x 50 mm (2.6 x 2 in.)
Weight
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
27177
Features:
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
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 86
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 20
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1.50 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: decent autofocus, good sharpness, great color, cheap
Cons: build quality isn't great
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3   

What a great little lens! The color is lovely, surprisingly nice bokeh, pretty sharp at all distances. I took a chance bidding on this because I wanted to have another autofocus lens that my kids could use, but I think it can do much more than I expected. No complaints about the handling, range, or results.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: July 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cost portability and sharpness
Cons: the macro system
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

A perfect len for its focal length and versatility, the only negative point is that it sometimes costs to enter the macro mode
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Prague
Posts: 1,198
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: size, price, center sharpness
Cons: frame edge image quality

I can quite understand why people using crop cameras praise this lens so much. Withing APS-C frame there is almost no problem with sharpness, coma, aberrations or vignetting.
But the 35-70 zoom range is really not that favorable on the crop camera. It could serve APS-C user as a portrait lens, but bokeh is not so great, mainly due to hexagonal aperture.

I bought this lens ot of curiosity and I'm using the K-1, having the DFA24-70 for critical work and FA24-90 as a lightweight option. On K-1 this lens is usable as long as you stay aware of the limitations.
Limitation 1 - It was built in film days, so vignetting is a problem on the digital. Even on 70mm setting it can produce disturbing dark corner at f8.
Limitation 2 - frame edge and corner sharpness. Put simply, the frame edge will not be good until f8 and corner sharpness and contrast struggles up to f11 aperture number. The coma effect is also bad at wide apertures. This is especially true at 35mm, somewhat better as the lens is zoomed in.
Limitation 3 - focus distance - it can only focus from 0.7m, quite long distance. At 70mm there is the "macro" setting, allowing to focus somewhat closer, almost on par with contemporary standard zoom lenses. But there is no such option on the wide end.
Limitation 4 - screw driven AF is fast, but when you attempt to track a subject, the lens rattles. So only for AF-S.
Limitation 5 - Loss of contrast when shooting against bright light, especially the sun.

What are the advantages then?
It's the smallest zoom lens you can put on your camera and the APS-C picture circle is very sharp already wide open. For landscape shots you can choose f11 or f13 and have everything sharp. In all other cases just frame your shot with the limitations in mind and the result is very rewarding.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good speed @ 70mm, Value for $
Cons: Plastic feel, Mini Macro
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

Purchased this lens for a family member and tested it out before passing it on. Tried it out with some night shots and also some "macro" shots. The night shots took some post processing to make them reasonable, but the final results were quite acceptable



The next day I gave the macro feature a workout and you have to be content with the fact that this is more of a "close focus" lens than a macro 1:4 @ 12"


Overall, this is a great walk around lens that could stay on the body for a high percentage of the time. It is light, compact and produces reasonable images. The street price for this is very reasonable.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2016
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 6, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very light weight, very sharp from 5.6 and on, inexpensive
Cons: None

This is the only Pentax autofocus lens I kept after selling my Pentax digital gear a couple of years back. I used it a lot with an ME Super and I still used it with an LX, although now I prefer a wider zoom. It was the main lens I took when on the road traveling or hiking. I bought it as part of a complete outfit (ME Super, Vivitar Series 1 70-210, flash and filters) for $50 at a church sale about 12 years ago. Handles very well even when mounted on a manual focusing body. Although the lens may feel cheap and plasticky to some, the optics is outstanding; if you travel a lot with your gear on your back you will appreciate the light weight.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2014
Posts: 160
Lens Review Date: August 24, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Typical Pentax look
Cons: none for the price
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1   

Found a pristine copy of this lens to try on the K1. Wow. Nice.

It is a little noisy focusing but maybe it will wear in, not a "new" lens after all. But pretty darn sharp and takes really excellent photos outdoors for a zoom. Maybe because it doesn't have a really wide range to zoom in and out of. Close up capability is decent too you don't have to walk away from a good flower opportunity. Indoors without a flash is iffy depending on the light source. Open window light does ok with the K1, but room light only is about like using any other zoom indoors on anything, not so good usually. Don't know what it does with a flash yet...wish my K1 had a pop up flash instead of the GPS really. Should be an option!

Anyway, the K1 seems to be putting some new life into these older lenses that go really cheap because their range isn't really much use with a crop sensor camera. If you don't need wide, full frame 35-70mm is a nice handy lens.
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Thach, Alabama
Posts: 169

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 8, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $11.74 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact. Tremendous IQ. Semi-macro
Cons: front rotates when focusing, small focus ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K10D, KX, K7 and K1   

Got this one really cheap. Had a 35-80 F lens but didn't really like the IQ. OK but nothing to brag about.
This one though is quite good. Here are some







photos and crops.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 75
Lens Review Date: February 11, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small and easy to use.
Cons: Sometimes difficult to find a good AF distance
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

I know it's a bit older of a lens now, but in my small collection of cheap, thrift shop lenses, this has been one of my favorite to use. My wife also enjoys using it a lot, so I might grab a second one just so I don't have to bother sharing.

Sometimes I have a little problem getting the autofocus to lock on, but other than that it has been a very easy to use lens that has produced some great shots for me.

Works great for getting those little details you want to show in your pics.


   
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania
Posts: 59
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, bokeh, color
Cons: Flare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax k-x   

It's a very good lens, sharp like a prime, beautiful bokeh and colors like no other lens. The only problem is the poor resistance to flare and in the full light of the sun the contrast and colors are drastically reduced. A well worth it 9!
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 24

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 49mm filter size, Saturation, Sharp sharp, Prime image quality, Some macro, Full Frame, Small
Cons: Min Focal distance, f 3.5, rotating front element,
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

If you see one, grab it and run!!! Very good option for daylight street photography or any style you want. For low light go for a prime.

The saturation and sharpness is very good, contrast gets a little washed out at max aperture but not really bad. I use the same metal filter i bought from china for my F 50mm 1.7 and its really ok.

The macro is not that good but is there, and if you get smart, you can get very good shots.

No regrets. Another must get F series lens.

Revealed with Lightroom for Android minor adjustments only

   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2015
Posts: 125

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 30, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very well balanced colors, fast auto focus
Cons: bit loud auto focus, zoom not smooth (may be old lens?)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K50   

Have this lens for almost a day and it takes great pictures. Bought it for $20 locally.

Great short zoom lens. Already have kit WR lens - 18-55 and 50-200. Added 40mm XS pancake prime lens and Sears 135mm manual lens. After reading the reviews was curious and lucky to score one.

Macro functionality is added bonus and produces great macro shots.

Edit: Sep 9, 2015 - My Initial rating was 9 but I reduce the rating to 7 after using it for 10 days. Bright light this lens shines. But indoors 18-55 WR kit lens beats it hands down. Low light, the kit lens is fast on focus lock and produces much better low noise brighter image (at same ISO).

Still a good lens to carry around.

Edit: Dec 26, 2016 - The more I use it the more I like it. Increasing the rating to 9.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Linz
Posts: 301

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 11, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $28.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: small, sharp, good colours
Cons: some CA's wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

I got this lens 2 weeks ago and I have to say I am delighted with it.
It is faster and sharper (especially in the corners) than my SMC Pentax-DA L 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL WR at the overlapping focal lengths.
At F8 its sharpness is equivalent to my SMC Pentax-A 1:1.7 50mm and my WalimexPro (Samyang) 1:1.4 35mm AS UMC, so maybe I have a particularly sharp copy.
It is quite usable wide open but there are some CA's visible, but they are manageable in PP.

The AF is quick and accurate but as can be expected from a screwdrive lens a little noisy.
Despite its small size and short rotation angle the focus ring allows accurate MF in LV too.
It's not the most beautiful lens but the build quality is good and i like the handling of it.

The long minium focus distance and the relatively narrow field of view on an aps-c camera restrict its useage for indoor shooting and architecture but I like the focal lenght 35-70mm very much for hiking and climbing. With this focal range I also don't have to control my current focal length as often as with my 18-55mm lens when photographing people because of the missing wide angel capabilities.
For flowers and Insects or other macro work there is a close focusing capability at 70mm, not a real 1:1 magnification but quite useful.

Using a circular polarizing filter takes a little more effort because of the rotating front element, so you have to focus first.

All in all I like the lens very much and can recommend it.

Uncroped, unedited "macro picture"
@70mm, F11, 1/640sec, ISO-400

croped


and some examples from my flickr account:
Water Lilies and Visitor by Patrick Bittermann, auf Flickr
Sunrise by Patrick Bittermann, auf Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, real sharp, good color rendition.
Cons: Limited zoom range (maybe(.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20D   

Even with a metal lens-hood permanently on, this is easier to handle than the kit lens.
It is probably the best portrait lens I have used (see below), and such value.
I have done well in club competitions with this lens.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 377

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, nice build, Sharp, fast AF, great colour
Cons: Noisy AF (ar'nt all screw AF?) narrow FOV on APS-C
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-01, K-5, K20D, MZ-7, MZ-5n   

This is a little gem of a lens. I now have two, one bought and one given to me.
There is a nice weight to it, not too light, not too heavy. But it's biggest advantage is how small it it. It really if a prime in size, yet provides so much flexibility.
It is not that fast, but then again a 35-70mm F2.8 would be huge, let alone if there ever was a 35-70 F1.4!!

How good is it when it comes to image quality? Well I can say it is sharp, even from wide open, Bokeh is great and the colour rendition is spot on.

Think of it as a bundle of primes in one compact lens.

Downsides?
Well the Angle of view on APS-C is a tad long, 52.5mm to 105mm, but then again if you know that, you adjust accordingly.
The AF is noisy, but it is screw drive from the 80's so reality is what do you expect.

Best camera? Well it is actually perfect for my K-01. A great small combination for street and general photography.
If travel is your thing, and want a small kit system that compliment each other, then how about a K-01, 10-17 Fisheye, 20-40 Limited and this lens. The perfect trio.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2013
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Posts: 2,388

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: small, faster than kit lens
Cons: 35mm is tight, rotating front element, MFD, not much better than kit lens

I think this is an overrated lens.
I compared it with the WR kit lens and:
@ 35mm the kit lens is much sharper than this!
@ 50mm they are on par but the kit lens has better corner sharpness at f/8

The 35mm shorter end left you wanting more on wide angle.
The front element is rotating so you can't use a CPL!
It's minimum focus distance at normal usage is just 0.7m and that's too far for normal usage @ 50mm and 35mm focal length! It can focus on closer items (0.3m as mentioned in lens spec) when you rotate the zoom to 70mm and then push it to macro mode! But then the kit lens is still a better performer because it can give you more magnification.

If you find it for about $50, you just get what you paid for. Nothing more.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5



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