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

SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6

Reviews Views Date of last review
49 180,834 Tue May 3, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
80% of reviewers $20.38 6.77
SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6

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

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

SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
7 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
AF (screwdrive)
Min. Focus
40 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-20 ° / 38-17 °
Full frame: 63-30 ° / 54-25 °
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 58 mm (2.6 x 2.3 in.)
185 g (6.5 oz.)
Production Years
1994 to 1999
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F 1:4-5.6 35-80mm
Product Code
User reviews
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 35-80mm F4-5.6
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 49
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2020
Posts: 88

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 3, 2022 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: lightweight, nice colours and reasonably sharp
Cons: Nothing worth mentioning really
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30, K70   

I really like this lens. Its small, light and covers the range for most walkabout uses.
Whats more the colours are lovely (I tend to slightly underexpose anyway to sqeeze the most colour from a camera) and the autofocus is very fast and nearly always accurate.
I have its 80-200mm and 28-80mm siblings and this is the best in my humble opinion.
At the moment these can be found for less then £20 on ebay and if you got a copy that was as good as mine you should be delighted.

I can never remember which picture was taken with which lens or camera so today I popped out and took the attached pictures with this lens and a K30.

Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2019
Posts: 120
Review Date: March 13, 2022 Recommended | Rating: 7 

Pros: lightweight, free, decent bokeh
Cons: lens flare, Aberrations, slow
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K70   

I got the lens for free from my sister, so complaints won't be from me
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2021
Location: United States
Posts: 48

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 28, 2021 Recommended | Rating: N/A 


I bought this lens to take to the beach and other harsh environments when I did not want to take more expensive lenses.
I am very satisfied with the sharpness and colors of the photos it produces. The lens focuses quickly and accurately and is capable of producing nice clear nice photos. I am not a professional photographer, but I have used many lenses over the decades and I am very satisfied with this lens. I have read some negative reviews of this lens and I may have purchased a better than average example, but for whatever the reason, I am pleased with the lens and the photos it produces.

attachd are a few test photos I shot today with the lens.
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2021
Posts: 168

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 2, 2021 Recommended | Price: $29.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive, good zoom range with APS-C camera
Cons: Slightly soft image at 35mm end and has some aberrations (easily correctable)
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D   

This is a nice lens to be used as a general walk-around lens. I bought it to replace an SMC-DA 18-55 AL II kit lens that had become increasingly de-centred.

The lens is lightweight and has fairly good image quality for its weight and price. Its colour rendition is good, giving images with vivid colours. With an APS-C camera the lens loses its wide-angle view, but its focal range is still very useful. On the other hand, when mounted to a crop-sensor camera, the lens' effective focal length is increased into a medium telephoto lens at the 80mm end.

At the 35mm end the images tend to end up a bit soft. The sharpness increases towards the 80mm end. The wide end also has a little bit of barrel distortion, which may be visible at certain images of buildings or other scenes that have long, straight lines across the frame. There's also some chromatic aberration in high-contrast areas, as well. However, I've found these flaws are fairly easy to correct during post-processing. One disadvantage of this lens is that the front of the lens rotates as the lens is focusing. If the lens is used with a polarizing filter, the user must remember to always focus the lens first and then adjust the polarizing filter.

Edit 04/2022: Added a couple of pictures taken with this lens. I like it a lot and I've found it to be a nice walk-around lens.

Buildings in evening light by Arttu Räsänen, on Flickr
Reflection by Arttu Räsänen, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: October, 2020
Location: Regno delle Due Sicilie
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 15, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: k-70   

Senior Member

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Endeavour Hills, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 210

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 17, 2019 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, great contrast, great colour
Cons: Not quite wide enough for full frame
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

The lens that nobody loves! Try it on a K-1 and I think you may be very pleased. This was shot in Hosier's Lane, Melbourne Australia. K-1 coupled with the 35-80. I have nick-named this the "Canon lens" as the images remind me of what I perceive a Canon DSLR can produce. Hmm, maybe that will not endear me to this group!
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 187

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 25, 2019 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharpness
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 1    Value: 6    Camera Used: K20D   

This is always my forgotten lens that I remember when one of my other lenses breaks. I've had it since 1995 when I got it as a kit lens with the PZ20. It's old and grumpy with a stiff zoom ring that jams but it takes some incredibly sharp photos.

I remembered it again while looking through the lens reviews and seeing all the complaints about sharpness. So I'll post a few that I took when I was using it on my K20.

Uneditied except for exposure

This was shot at ISO 1250 53mm f4.5

While some people have had bad experiences with the lens, as it is dirt cheap, it may well surprise you.
New Member

Registered: May, 2016
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 13
Review Date: February 25, 2019 Not Recommended | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 2 

Pros: range on FF, it's a lens, decent construction
Cons: slow as in glass and AF
Sharpness: 1    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 4    Autofocus: 2    Handling: 6    Value: 2    Camera Used: K-1   

I've had this lens for a little while but didn't use it much on my k20, though it was satisfactory. Bought it mainly for the price in anticipation of the day I would get a K1 and would need a kit lens to get by until I could afford a better lens for the superb K1. Well I tried it out this weekend on my K1 and I was shocked at how bad the pictures were. They were so bad I thought I had the setting of the camera goofed up! No contrast, no sharpness, no saturation, slow AF, imprecise AF at times - other than that it was fine... It was so bad the first thing I did on returning home from the trip using it, was to go to the store and order a lens that befits the K1.
I had thought older film lenses would be just fine, and that all the DA, DFA, DG, DC, etc. lens manufacturers were dishing out were just to get us to buy more lenses. This may be the case with some of the limiteds and * lenses, but not with the average film era lenses - or at least not this one. Hopefully my K1 will forgive me for having ever put this lens on it.
BTW, my DA 35L 2.4 works great on the K1 as does my DA 70 LTD with some limitations. Now I am eagerly awaiting my D FA 28-105. I chose it over the D FA f2.8 24-70 since most people suggest the sharpness, etc. is on par for the most part and I have the 35 for indoors and 70 and a nice 105 for portraits already.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Southern England
Posts: 594

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 11, 2016 Recommended | 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.
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2016
Location: South Florida
Posts: 36

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 23, 2016 Recommended | 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

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 20, 2016 Recommended | 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.
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 1,018

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 19, 2016 Recommended | 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: 7,110

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 1, 2015 Recommended | 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
Review Date: September 10, 2015 Recommended | 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):
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 17

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 24, 2015 Not Recommended | 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..
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