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SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6

Sharpness 
 7.5
Aberrations 
 7.4
Bokeh 
 7.7
Autofocus 
 8.0
Handling 
 7.6
Value 
 8.8
Reviews Views Date of last review
41 136,509 Tue October 11, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
78% of reviewers $19.85 6.73
SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6

SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6
supersize
SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6

Description:
This lens's focal length and speed is beaten by the F 28-80mm lens.



SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm 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, 6 blades
Optics
7 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4-5.6
Min. Aperture
F22-32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
0.25x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-20 ° / 38-17 °
Full frame: 63-30 ° / 54-25 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 58 mm (2.6 x 2.3 in.)
Weight
185 g (6.5 oz.)
Production Years
1994 to 1999
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F 1:4-5.6 35-80mm
Product Code
27179
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 41
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Southern England
Posts: 495
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Sharp at the long end, lightweight, cheap
Cons: Soft at the wide end
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-50   

Just to sum up:

Goes from pretty soft at the 35mm end, getting sharper as you move up to the 80mm end, at which it's quite sharp.

Colours and contrast are OK.

A little flimsy feeling, but light and fast-focusing.

I've tried a couple of the optically identical (?) FA35-80 too, and all are very similar (though one is slightly decentred).

Would recommend on the proviso that it's cheap, and that you don't mind that it's distinctly soft at the wide end.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2016
Location: South Florida
Posts: 36
Lens Review Date: June 23, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great value, decently sharp stopped down, good color rendition, light weight.
Cons: Front element rotates with focus, soft in corners, build quality plasticky.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

For $20 this is a fantastic bargain. When I ordered my first digital Pentax, the K-1, I was not sure if it would be a keeper and I wanted an inexpensive lens to learn on. The K-1 proved to be much to my liking and the 35-80 a pleasant surprise! I've subsequently bought several other lenses but still find my $20 lens on the camera more often than not. Sure I'd probably prefer a 24-90, but until I can find a decent one, I'm happy to use the F 35-80

   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Delaware
Posts: 177
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness throughout range, great color rendition
Cons: Plastic build, although does have a metal lens mount.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K200D, K50   

I picked this lens up from a $15 flea market SF1 and initially tried it out on a K200D with good but not spectacular results. More recently, I have used it on a K50 with really good results and conclude that the autofocus on the K50 is more accurate.

This lens delivers surprisingly sharp, contrasty images on the K50 with excellent color rendition and smooth, pleasing bokeh. Autofocus is fast and accurate, although it does hunt in very dim light. On a crop sensor it is the equivalent to a 50-120 lens. It has a plastic build and is not the best lens for manual focus. On the other hand, it is quite light. It's a good lens for people and portraits, one of the hidden gems in the Pentax legacy lens lineup.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 995
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $29.99 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent color rendition and sharpness.
Cons: Overpowered by bright light, so stop it down and use a hood.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-3II   

An incredible sleeper lens. At a cost of less than $30, it's extremely sharp and has great color rendering. It is remarkably lightweight, and accepts 49mm screwthreaded accessories such as hoods or filters. This lens is easily on par with an 18-55 AL in terms of rendering/color/af speed. The fine focus ring is a little light, but that makes it really quick to adjust. The lens also handles flare rather well. Works great with pixel shift as well.

The biggest detractor to this lens is that harsh light will wash out the rendering, so it needs to be stopped down a good bit. In high contrast images (bird on branch against cloudy sky is an example) you do get some purple/magenta fringe, but that's easily managed.

Overall the low rating this lens has been saddled with should be considered a bit inaccurate. If I were to assign a hard, personal score to the lens, I'd give it a 7.85/10. It is most certainly worth the money if you get a decent copy.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 3,099
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $5.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Bargain price, reasonable sharpness
Cons: Subject to flare, noisy, flimsy construction

I was pleasantly surprised in using this lens that I thought I was supposed to hate. Perhaps my expectations were so low that anything good about it would have impressed me. I find that the lens is capable of making very good images, plenty good enough for everyday, non-professional use--kid photos, party gatherings, documentation of events, that sort of thing. I am not comparing it to my 31, 43, and 77 limited lenses, of course, or even to better quality zoom lenses. Value is excellent as I only paid a computed $5.00 when I received the lens mounted on a Pentax P-3 film camera for which I paid only $15.00--so $5 for the lens and $10 for the camera. Value is excellent and it makes a good camera cover even if you do not use it to take photos!
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2015
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: September 10, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Passable image quality, superb colours, light and compact, inexpensive
Cons: Could have a wider f-stop, could be better built and weather sealed (it's not!)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 7    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

I'll just start by saying this review is based on my initial impressions of this lens, garnered through about three hours of shooting time with it mounted on a K-50 body. The reviews posted so far have been a mixed bag, with some users obviously having received a good copy of the lens, while others seemingly discount it without giving photos showing its perceived shortcomings. From the outset I'll make it clear that my copy seems to fall into the former category and that I'm generally pleased with its optical performance.
When I got it, I really didn't know anything about this lens aside from it was an inexpensive mdel from the early 1990s. In fact, I was told by the dealer that it was strictly manual focus and I was really quite surprised to find it has a decent auto-focus (AF) mechanism as part of the package. But I needed a next-to-nothing zoom that would give me a bit of reach with a high-resolution APS-C sensor, and this one did fit the bill, AF or not. It turned out all of my shots were taken using AF, since I wear glasses which makes focusing manually a chore. I found the AF to be accurate and fast in the conditions it was tested (if not a bit noisy).
But my surprise did not end with my discovery that this lens does have AF; after taking a few pictures I was happy with its optical resolution and even more taken by the spectacular colours it produces in my photos (I'd say it looks just like slide film to me, but better).
I consider my lens to be optically sound. Mechanically, it is alright when you consider it is of lightweight and plastiky construction (do not abuse this lens!). I would certainly recommend it anyone looking for a small zoom to carry around and get some good pictures with. Just keep in mind its focal range: 35-80mm doesn't give you much in the way of field of view, so I think it's best suited when you want to more-or-less isolate your subject(s), and not for things like wide-open landscapes.
Here are some sample photos I took with my Pentax K-50 mounted with the SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm f4.5-5.6 lens (all are purely out of camera JPEG images, as taken, with no edits):

https://500px.com/photo/121156341/ducks-by-ex-camera?from=user_library
https://500px.com/photo/121161007/duck-riparian-landscape-by-ex-camera?from=user_library
https://500px.com/photo/121159253/duckling-1-by-ex-camera?from=user_library
https://500px.com/photo/121160661/duckling-3-by-ex-camera?from=user_library
https://500px.com/photo/121198383/pecking-by-ex-camera?from=user_library
https://500px.com/photo/121164897/hut-roof-by-ex-camera?from=user_library
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: June 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $7.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Nice colours
Cons: My copy isn't sharp compared with my other lenses at any aperture,
Sharpness: 1    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 1    Handling: 6    Value: 6    Camera Used: Samsung GX-20   

This came in a bundle with an MZ-50 and an F 100-300 f4.5-5.6. Cosmetically all looked super. I took them outside to check that they worked. The F 100-300 annoyingly doesn't autofocus accurately enough, but the F 35-80 f4-5.6 is just awful. A shot down the garden 35mm f11, and I struggled to make out the bricks in the chimney stacks of the houses behind. So I set up a comparison between this, the very similar FA 35-80 f4-5.6, and various other autofocus lenses that I own. I tried autofocus, manual focus, live view, enabling and disabling Image Stabilisation, and varying the aperture up to f8. Nothing made much difference. The F 35-80 f4-5.6 gave the worst results of any of the lenses tried.

The FA 35-80mm f4-5.6 was better.

All the others were MUCH better in terms of detail captured and absence of aberrations; the other F's, the DA 18-55's, the Powerzooms, the FAJ 28-80, the other FA's ... the list goes on.

This F 35-80mm f4-5.6 is the worst-performing Pentax lens I have ever owned. I have looked closely at my copy for subtle signs of damage, and can see none. I'm sure that the reviewers who have found their copies of this lens to be sharp cannot have imagined it, but equally neither have I, nor presumably have the other reviewers who have panned it. I can't recommend it, and I'm in no hurry to buy another on the off-chance that it will be O.K..
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Posts: 2,983
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $5.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Small Lightweight, fast focus
Cons:
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 5    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 4    Value: 4    Camera Used: K-3   

I purchased this lens just for fun. And for $5 dollars if I didn't like it, it could double as door stop or paper weight. It's actually not too bad. Better than older cell phone camera's, but that's about it. What it did was make me feel appreciative of the excellent Pentax glass I do own

How these previous posters could give this lens a 9 for sharpness is beyond me. They must have never paid more than $10 for a lens so maybe they don't know any better.

If you're on a tight budget under $10 dollars for a lens then this is for you.
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 217
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: MZ-30   

I did not expect from this lens anything. Not paid practically nothing, and did not expect anything. I bought this lens together with a MZ-50 camera. But the first results were surprising. Now I use this lens on MZ-30 and it consistently gives me good quality pictures. Nice colours, surprisingly sharp.



The only thing that it could be a bit brighter...
   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 33
Lens Review Date: November 28, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $12.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price, colours, AF, aperture ring
Cons: Build quality
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: P30, SFXn, K-x, K-5 II   

It's less expensive than a decent lens filter and that's why you should consider one. As the build quality goes focus ring is a bit loose but otherwise it is quite good, apart from rotating front element. Image quality is good, colors are beautiful and it costs only $15 which I consider a bargain.

AF is fast with K-5 II and K-x. It's more compact than a kit 18-55. And it is easily serviceable. I bought mine with some dust inside and I made it clean in less than 2 hours. Definitely worth a try.

EDIT: I bought the second copy of this lens in set witch F 100-300 4.5-5.6 which I will review later. Focus ring works better, but zoom ring works worse than in my first copy. Optically I would rate the second copy slightly less sharp. It's also possible to make the AF slightly less noisy. I lubricated the drive shaft and gearing. I used very very little amount of fine grease. Now AF is considerably less noisy and as fast as before.



Actually I enjoy this lens with DSLR a lot more than I did with film SLR (due to rubbish manual focus feel). In many situations I prefer it to 18-55 WR. Maybe I will find the way to make it weather resistant (LOL).

If you have something that covers 35-80 range, than probably it isn't worth looking on this lens. But if you are looking for a cheap lens that covers this focal range, than it is worth considering.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2014
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: September 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap, Easy to Use
Cons: AF hard to adapt
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax MZ-50   

I got this lens with my Pentax MZ-50. As I said in the neg side, the AF mode takes longer time to adapt the scene. But after all, its great (beyond expectation when you see the price).

This one is the most nice picture I've got when using AF mode. I use Fujifilm Fujicolor C200 expired at 2013.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 856

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $17.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Reasaonably sharp wide open, lightweight, price
Cons: Lower contrast in bright light, plasticky build
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30   

My ratings are based upon the price I paid. It cost me $7, and $10 for shipping. I already owned the Pentax f 80-200 so I had the urge to get its shorter buddy. I feel the f 80-200 may be slightly better optically, but they are really close. The f 35-80 is really handy at 35mm and still 1/3 stop faster than the 18-55 dal kit lens at this focal length. When comparing it to the 18-55 dal kit lens, the 35-80 can be hair popping sharp when the aperture is stopped down a little. I do not see much improvement when the 18-55 gets stopped down. I think I prefer the rendering of the 35-80 so far despite that it can't give an 18mm field of view like the 18-55 dal can. I can always stitch multiple landscape photos together with the f 35-80 and still get an 18mm field of view if needed, though. Overall I would say this lens can be sharp at wide open apertures at both ends of the focal range, but sometimes appears less sharp in bright light because there is a lack of contrast. This is because this lens coatings really weren't designed for modern digital SLRs, but the raw images can still be tweaked nicely in photoshop for superb results. The sharpness and control of aberrations improve as you stop down the lens' aperture too. I felt that in sunny light a hood helped a little, but still can use a contrast boost in photoshop afterwards. The lens focuses incredibly quick and accurately on my K30, so I feel no need to ever use manual focus, but the autofocus is a little clunky sounding. Since it has already lasted more than 2 decades I will not fault its lightweight, plasticky build quality. Don't forget it does have a metal bayonet, distance scale, aperture ring, and 35mm coverage (few new lenses these days actually have these things anymore). Aberrations can be present at times but are not atrocious and can be easily fixed in Photoshop or Lightroom. At night, out of focus light sources in the background are suprisingly round at most apertures which surprised me since I wasn't expecting much from its bokeh, but it's not bad at all! I like buying super low cost equipment that can be capable in the right hands, and in this regard this lens doesn't disappoint despite the negative reviews on the internet. I bought it based on viewing some nice sample images from other users.

Here are some samples showing what I am able to accomplish with this lens:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/14336383858/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/14336310200/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/14617944821/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/14562571302/in/pool-pentax-f_35-80mm/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/16535561267/in/pool-pentax-f_35-80mm
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/14521902722/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/15383961657/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/14513639592/in/photostream/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/adudenamedjosh/14513640612/in/photostream/
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Location: Europe
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Zoom,Lightweight,Autofocus,IQ
Cons: slowish autofocus,not that enjoyable to manually focus
Sharpness: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax *ist DS   

This was the first lens i 've got with my *ist DS , and i was amazed by the nice pictures i got with it
I much prefer manual focus primes , but still use my 35-80 when i need autofocus,zoom or more tele lens ,cause my other lenses are 28 and 55 mm primes.
What i Don't like is the really uncomfortable focus ring ,if manual focusing is needed,it can be done , but much more uncomfortable , short trough and quite shaky.
here are some pics i made with it :
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104706888@N06/10357331695/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104706888@N06/10518770703/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104706888@N06/10518445435/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104706888@N06/10560992574/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104706888@N06/10158618873/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104706888@N06/10159565754/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/104706888@N06/10175359886/
Most of the pics are not photoshoped at all , some of them just slightly .in few there is used CPL filter.
   
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Moline, IL
Posts: 79
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness when stopped down even a little, lack of aberrations, colors and contrast, explosive AF speed (and it's accurate!)
Cons: Uhm...no quick-shift (but with the older lenses this is a given) and it's a little plasticky?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

This lens and the FA 35-80 appear to be optically identical, yet this lens gets a mid-6 average and the FA version gets a mid-8 average. I can't understand why.

It is a little soft wide open, but this quickly diminishes - stopping down to just 6.3-7.1 from 4-5.6 makes a noticeable difference. Between 8.0 and 13, it's extremely sharp. Contrast is excellent, aberrations are virtually non-existent in my copy.

And did I mention I got it for basically free + shipping? ($10)

For $10, given the performance of this lens, you absolutely cannot do better. Period, end of discussion. It's probably not going to leave my K-5 very often.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2012
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 30, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact size, fast and quiet AF, sharp.
Cons: Zoom ring a little stiff on my copy.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-m   

Odd that this handy little lens scores so low, yet gets mostly positive comments from its reviewers - I've upped my overall rating to a 10 to offset the two rather harsh ratings at the bottom which are pulling the average down. You can pick these lenses up for peanuts, and they do a great job.

I picked mine up along with an FA28-90, both lenses for less than 20 including shipping. That's less than a tenner for each lens!

IQ is pretty much on a par with my DA18-55MkII kit lens at comparable focal lengths and apertures, and I actually like the bokeh better on this lens. The extra range at the long end makes it a really useful walkabout lens, and good for portraits/candid people shots too.

The autofocus is quicker and quieter than the 18-55, on the downside you have no 'quick-shift', in fact the lens isn't really designed for manual focus, having no real grip on the focus ring at the front.

Rotating front element is always considered a downer, but with a Polarizer installed and a lens hood screwed onto the front of the polarizer, it's easy to focus, then quickly tweak the polarization by turning the lens hood, (keeping the shutter half-way) then press fully to shoot.

Here are a couple of shots, at 60mm, f5.6 and f11 (see album for similar shots with the 18-55 and the FA28-90)

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6



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