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SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6

Sharpness 
 8.5
Aberrations 
 7.8
Bokeh 
 8.7
Autofocus 
 7.7
Handling 
 7.8
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
51 235,055 Sat October 10, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $86.29 8.38
SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6
supersize


Description:
The Pentax-F 70-210mm is a compact but solidly built lens with a 49mm filter diameter. However, it has variable aperture, unlike its A-series predecessor. It has no dedicated macro setting but even then it reaches a respectable 0.25x magnification at the long end. This lens is an extraordinary good value.



SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm 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, 9 blades
Optics
13 elements, 9 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4-5.6
Min. Aperture
F32-45
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
110 cm
Max. Magnification
0.25x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 23-7.9 ° / 19-6.5 °
Full frame: 34-12 ° / 29-9.8 °
Hood
RH-RB 49mm
Case
S80-160
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Rotating Front Element
Diam x Length
71 x 99 mm (2.8 x 3.9 in.)
Weight
555 g (19.6 oz.)
Production Years
1987 to 1991
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-F ZOOM 1: 4-5.6 70-210mm
Product Code
27357
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 51
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Paris
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: October 10, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazingly good zoom on k1. Iq Colors Bokeh 9 blades
Cons: Some find ugly but not so it is Typical f séries, not for low light or action
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1   

Such small size for the zoom range . 49mm rotatif front element. First mount on the k1 ... quite loud af system but acceptable
First impression i was afraid...
As I have a mint copy of a F star 300mm 4.5

But after somme pics.....damned !!!!
Except for low light and action, Its really good enough with the k1 and the size is very Nice so you can bring it with you each Time . I love my fstar but i still find it big to bring it with me often.
Quite the same size and weight than my k135 f2,5.

One or two stop after po Everywhere (F8 at 210) and its a real good Lens. Better than my da55-300 on k5. I always hated this da plastic zoom with such a poor and loud af system...this f70 is much better , faster and less loud and much better feeling handling

Nice Bokeh, contrast, Colors. Some AC but easy correction

Very underestimated zoom and extraordinary bargain for the price. No wr, dont CARE...60€...
With a fa 20-35 , a fa50 2.8 macro and this zoom you have a good light allround kit with your beloved quite heavy k1 …. And sometimes i will add my fish zoom f 17-28 too ;\…

Try to find a good copy (old...) . If not sharp you found a lemon, no way so try again
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2020
Location: ATX/DFW
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cost, good telephoto length on crop, fast AF, beautiful color rendition straight out of camera
Cons: Not the sharpest, loud and violent AF, rotating front element
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-S2   

To preface, I don't have massive amounts of experience with quality modern Pentax glass, as I'm pretty attached to legacy lenses.
I got this lens from a fellow PF user for only the cost of shipping due to a bit of haze, so that could partially impact my sharpness rating. For $20, it's a deal I couldn't pass up, and I'm glad I took it. On crop, this pairs excellently with the SMC-F 35-70 for a good all round kit if you don't need wide angle. In typical Pentax fashion, the colors are wonderfully rendered- greens in particular are really beautiful. I'm not much of a pixel peeper, so the sharpness is just fine for me. Not the sharpest, but it's definitely usable. Some aberrations and fringing in high contrast areas that can easily be corrected in PP. Like the 35-70, the front element rotates, and the autofocus can be downright VIOLENT and of course loud, but it's pretty quick. Required a bit of calibration on my K-S2. Manual focus is eh, not much feedback and tiny focusing ring, but it's fine if you're using focus peaking in live view. I'll be taking it back out to motor racing events once we get past the current global situation, looking to see how it performs at an F1 weekend later this year Plasticky build with a polarizing look, but I'm personally a fan of it with the white and grey body of the K-S2. Some images below. Weird lines in bokeh in some of them because I was shooting through a wire cage, but the first image is an example of some of the really nice circular bokeh possible.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 6,683

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 12, 2020 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Not sure there are any
Cons: Heavy, very noisy AF, poor image quality, hit-&-miss AF, very ugly

I bought this lens in order to have a compact telephoto zoom that I could use on both film and digital, especially for travel. The first problem is that this lens is too heavy to travel with. The second is that image quality is poor, though I suspect that's largely because the autofocus is very hit-&-miss, with a considerable leaning towards "miss". That second problem would be enough to get rid of it even if every other aspect of the lens were perfect, but they're not. Aside from those two issues the lens has very noisy auto-focus, which from what I gather is quite common on F series lenses, and it has looks that only a mother could love.

I always post reviews of lenses with sample pictures but not this time - I don't have a single one that was good enough to merit uploading anywhere.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Location: Quebec
Posts: 1,501

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 11, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, light, inexpensive 3X tele-zoom.
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3, K20   


Handheld K3 and F 70-210 mm.

My copy is pristine as I am very choosy and I take my time when I buy on eBay. The F series was plasticky and focusing was somewhat loud and imprecise. Personally, I'm very satisfied with its image producing performance, I shoot landscapes on a tripod and I use the optimal aperture most of the time. On an APSC sensor, it is equivalent to a 100-300 mm lens and is very sharp with good contrast and beautiful colors.


Tripod-mounted K20 and F 70-210 mm.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2019
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 16, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap (mine is usd40), good contrast, acceptable sharp for a old zoom lens, good bokeh
Cons: The "ref ref" sound when auto focus, heavy
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1   

Try to find 1 if u got the k1. It can be used as portrait lens thanks to 9 apediture blade.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Posts: 35,978

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 20, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, lightweight for it's range. acceptable performance
Cons: Noisey and clunky focus, aberrations

I was inspired to go out an snap a few more F 70-210 images using the K-1.

Not bad in the long end but not spectacular. As is typical of this type of lens, as the barrel goes longer the lens gets less sharp.
2018-F-70-210-210mm-woodpile by Norm Head, on Flickr

Nothing wrong with it at 70mm
2018-F-70-210-70mm-woodpile by Norm Head, on Flickr

2018-F-70-210-cabin by Norm Head, on Flickr

The out of focus areas aren't the smoothest, but it is ƒ8.
2018-F-70-210-chickadee-3 by Norm Head, on Flickr

2018-F-70-210-chickadee-2 by Norm Head, on Flickr

This one near the closest focusing distance... really, not bad at all.
2018-F-70-210-chickadee-1 by Norm Head, on Flickr

It is noisey and when it locks focus it will almost break your wrist with a loud "ka thunk", but if you're looking for a budget lens it's one of the best. I doubt you'll find a better FF telephoto for the price.
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2011
Location: sunpic.lt
Posts: 82

11 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, size, weight, filter thread
Cons: Focus is a bit noisy, especially dramatic with AFC
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1   

I would save the words and let pictures speak for themselves. The only thing I could add is - this is very underestimated legacy lens, something similar to canon 70-200 F4 L.



















   
New Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: March 8, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: FF compatible, decent image quality at low cost
Cons: Noisy AF (when it hunts)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5, Pentax K-1   

While saving money for a DFA* 70-200 F2.8 in the near future, I'm using this Pentax-F 70-210 lens on my K1 as a temporary low cost solution.
It serves as a kind of 'filling the gap lens' for my beloved FF prime lenses (FA 50 1.4 and FA* 200 2.8).

For a Pentax-F lens produced in the 35mm film era about 25-30 years ago, the image quality is very decent.
Considering the price ($30) I paid for it, I'm more than happy with it.

Here are examples taken a while back with my K5:

Taken at 135mm, F8.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65545813@N07/32386742064/in/photostream/

Taken at 210mm, F10.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65545813@N07/33181056981/in/photostream/

Taken at 210mm, F10. Bokeh is quite nice too.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65545813@N07/33230976555/in/photostream/

For me, the main thing I don't like about this lens is its rotating front element (while focusing) which make the use of a CP filter impossible.

I bought this lens as part of 3 lenses listed below, paid €110 for the lot, worth every cent to me!

SMC Pentax-K 85mm F1.8
SMC Pentax-F 24-50mm F4
SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6

Therefore, the estimated price of $30 for the Pentax-F 70-210mm.
($40 for the Pentax-F 24-50mm and $50 for the Pentax-K 85mm)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2014
Location: Washington
Posts: 2,177
Lens Review Date: December 31, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range, Color, Sharpness
Cons: Slow aperture
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5 and K3   

When photographing a shooting event I used to carry a Tamron 80-200 f2.8. I bought this little gem and ended up selling my Tamron. In bright light it does everything I want it to. Here are some samples shot straight to .jpg.

IMGP2718 by teamrimfire, on Flickr
K3, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO 100, -.3 step, 155mm

IMGP2748 by teamrimfire, on Flickr
K3, f/8, 1/400 sec, ISO 100, -.3 step, 110mm

IMGP2880 by teamrimfire, on Flickr
K3, f/16, 1/125 sec, ISO 100, -.3 step, 70mm

PMET3742 by teamrimfire, on Flickr
K5, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 200, 100mm
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2011
Posts: 39
Lens Review Date: December 29, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast auto focus
Cons: noisy, slow aperture

this lens is a hidden gem as its auto focus is way quicker than my da* 16-50 and 55 1.4. Image quality is not bad at all. A must own lens for small budget people like me.

   
New Member

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $56.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Price and Focal Length
Cons: Max focus distance is way too short and the cheap feel
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 4    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

This is a good entry telephoto lens with a couple shortcomings. I have found the ideal application for this lens is portrait type photography. This lens is simply not useable for sports, wildlife, or landscape pictures because it lacks infinite focus (at least my copy) with a maximum focusing distance of a paltry 20 ish meters. The other major shortcoming is the poor plastic construction of the focusing ring (which is tiny by the way). I also had the front element fall out of the lens, It was luckily on grass and screwed back in later that evening. I will give a couple of good examples of where this lens shines. All photos were shot RAW and contain no lens corrections in lightroom to provide acurate samples. Most have been taken one stop from wide open. Take in mind any compression due to these photos being a web upload.


This picture was taken at F5.6 at 100mm, The original file was very sharp, with the glasses and hair clearly defined.


This picture was taken at F5.6 at 70mm, another sharp picture with good details.


This picture was taken at F5.6 at 70mm, good depth of field with out of focus details rendered smoothly. Pretty Sharp as well.


This picture was taken at F8 at 210mm. This was where I found out this lens lacks infinite focus, I could only capture images when the players were only feet from the sideline.

Even if you take into account where this lens can not perform, It is still worth the buy. This lens is an incredible value at $56. I have seen it listed for more, sometimes even over $100, but I would steer clear or buy something more versatile and well built. I would totally recommend the purchase at around $50. This has been a great lens to add to the collection, a definite 7-8/10.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Blenheim
Posts: 657
Lens Review Date: February 29, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Cheap, robust, reasonably sharp
Cons: Awful SA (white fringing), AF hunts
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 3    Autofocus: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-50   

I purchased a used copy of this lens with high expectations after reading many reviews.
The copy I received looked to be in reasonable condition for its age, but IQ is a totally different story.

Sharpness is good but not exceptional.

The lens is actually not bad in situations without bright edges, but it suffers from horrible spherical aberrations (white fringing) below about F10 whenever there are strong highlights.

The lens is heavy, but robust. Zoom is acceptable, however manual focus ring is very small and not ideal.

AF tends to hunt, is noisy and sometimes it feels as though the lens is being hit by a hammer when it is focusing.

If you can avoid using this lens in situations with strong white highlights or can stop it down to F10 or more, it's quite good value for money, however due to severe white fringing around bright highlights, I wouldn't recommend it if you have access to a better zoom in the same range.

I also have a kit 50-200 DA-L, and I'd consider the F 70-200 slightly sharper at wider apertures, however any increase in sharpness is more than offset by the terrible white fringing around bright objects, the DA-L is much lighter, and IQ is as good if not better once both lenses are stopped down.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2014
Location: Paris region, France
Posts: 138

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 13, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Value for money, colour rendering, quick AF, cool looks...
Cons: Front element turns with focus, some PF, noisy AF
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

I sold my DA 50-200 a month ago in order to get this lens (and some other oldies...), basically because I really like legacy Pentax glass. I don't have much to add that has not already been said in its praise. Looking forward to a lasting relationship (and counting on Lightroom to take care of the PF).

A seagull at Etretat, Normandy, France; 135mm, 1/2000, f/4,5


A cliff at Etretat, Normandy, France; 190mm, 1/250, f/7,1
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2010
Location: New Berlin, WI
Posts: 519

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, good IQ
Cons: A ugly lens
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-x, K-5   

I had a copy of the SMC-F 70-210 for a while with my K-x and K-5, and took many pictures with it. Not bad at all. Actually an excellent value. Capable of above average IQ.
I recommend 135mm wide open for portrait. It really is crisp with a pleasing bokeh. It is 10x cheaper than the 50-135 but certainly not 10x less capable. The best 70-210 $100 can buy.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 1,457
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Low price , quite sharp , good build
Cons: Hunts too much in AF , very Ugly
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30 , K3   

I just picked this lens up on Ebay for $40. Its ugly !
However I heard positive things so figured why not give it a try.
There is a bit of flair on lightly colored objects , but nothing too bad.
Its quite sharp in the middle ranges with aperatures of 8-11 , and also quite sharp on the wide end at f4 which comes in handy.
Autofocus is spot on in enough light , but if it doesnt nail it right the first time there is alot of hunting.
Overall its a very good lens even compared to new designs and can hold its own.
Nice and heavy with a solid feel.
Manual focus is almost a joke. The ring is tiny and this lens is loud and very clunky.
Im going to give it a thorough workout on the K30 and K3 before giving a final call on it , and will post my findins here in detail.
Its a keeper for now.....but man is it ugly and loud !
Add Review of SMC Pentax-F 70-210mm F4-5.6



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