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SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL

Sharpness 
 9.4
Aberrations 
 8.3
Bokeh 
 7.8
Autofocus 
 9.0
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
29 105,942 Sat August 29, 2015
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $394.05 9.28
SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL
supersize


Description:
The Pentax FA 20-35mm is a prosumer-quality full-frame wide-angle zoom lens with a constant aperture of F4.

SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
10 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
No
Min. Focus
33 cm
Max. Magnification
0.16x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 72-45 ° / 62-38 °
Full frame: 94-63 ° / 84-54 °
Hood
PH-RBA 58
Case
S90-100
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
Ghostless,SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
68 x 70 mm (2.7 x 2.8 in.)
Weight
245 g (8.6 oz.)
Production Years
1998 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-FA 1:4 20- 35mm AL
Product Code
27960
Notes
Two aspherical elements
Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusAperture RingAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL
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Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Southeastern Connecticut
Posts: 603

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 29, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Painterly rendering, beautiful color
Cons: A little on the soft side of sharp
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K3   

I purchased this in anticipation of wanting a short zoom in advance of the FF and because I find that I like the rendering of some of the FA lenses. Plus I tend to shoot landscapes and water scapes, so this is a pretty good width for me.

I haven't used this a lot but I took it out the other evening. It was a great sky, and I thought this lens did it more than justice.

Here's one of the resulting photos....
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
Lens Review Date: February 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A full-frame lens that is compact, light, sharp, beautiful colors and superb microcontrast.
Cons: A bit of lateral chromatic aberration (easy to correct)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-X, Sony A7, Pentax Z1-P   

I have never used this lens a lot on APS-C because of the unappealing focus range and also because I have crop format lenses that cover a broader range with good image quality (like the DA 16-45/4).

Itís on full-frame that this lens really shines: it offers a very useful range, from super-wide to normal-wide, in a compact package with superb image quality. There is no other compact full-frame wide-zoom with constant aperture that can rival the FA 20-35 when it comes to consistently delivering gorgeous pictures with great micro-contrast and fantastic colors.

The FA 20-35/4 AL is really a small lens that takes very little space in the bag and is quite light (245g), yet it is very useful by replacing both a 20mm super-wide and a 35mm normal-wide, as well as all the focal lengths in between. It is really usable throughout the zoom range at any aperture.

At the 20mm end, the corners are a bit soft wide open, but the whole frame sharpens up nicely at F/8-F/11 Ėof course, people usually don't shoot landscape wide open anyway. For interior scenes or night shots where the corners are not really important, the lens is perfectly usable at F/4. I have made some comparisons with my Pentax FA 20/2.8 on full-frame and I consistently prefer the results from the FA 20-35: pure resolution is equivalent (maybe a tad better on the 20/2.8 when stopped down) but micro-contrast and colors are so much better on the zoom. Surprisingly, the zoom is also much more resistant to flare. This might be caused by the zoom having the superior "ghostless" coatings.

At the 35mm end, image quality is already very good over the whole frame at F/4 and it rivals prime lenses at F/8.

Some people seem to regret this lensí F/4 max aperture. To me, itís not really a limitation given the high ISO capability of modern cameras and I would even say this is rather a big advantage because it allows the lens to be very compact. As a bonus, the lens extends only a tiny bit when zoomed in and focused close. With the lens shade on, you will not even notice the length variation.

Lateral chromatic aberration is a bit strong at 20mm, especially wide open, but it cleans up easily without leaving any residue. There is no visible LCA at 35mm.

Distortion at 20mm is noticeable on straight lines running next to the edges (though not bad at all for a wide-zoom) and vignetting is visible wide open, but both are quite easy to correct if necessary (distortion is the common spherical type). Distorsion and vignetting are negligible at 35mm.

I give this lens a rating of 10 not because it is perfect but because it has many unique qualities that largely overcome its few drawbacks. It has been my most used lens for the last year on a full-frame Sony A7, constantly delivering outstanding results. Together with a Voigtlšnder Nokton 58/1.4 and a C/Y Sonnar 100/3.5, it makes a very light and portable full-frame kit that I carry everywhere. I guess the FA 20-35 will also perform superbly on the forthcoming Pentax full-frame DSLR.

Cheers!

Abbazz
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,124
Lens Review Date: February 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $398.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great focal range on film. Good optics.
Cons: Plastic, too slow and poor handling. Expensive.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

The FA20-35/4 zoom is a relatively new lens and could be considered an update to the 1980ís Pentax M24-35/3.5 zoom. The FA20-35/4 was released in 1998 and remained in production until a couple years ago.

Optics:
For a zoom lens the FA20-35/4 has good optics, however itís not better than a prime lens with a focal length in its zoom range. My K20/4, K24/2.8, K24/3.5, K28/2, K28/3.5, K30/2.8, K35/2 & K35/3.5 all have better optics and less distortion. Used on a FF film body the FA20-35/4 does have noticeable corner distortion, a cropped DSLR will hide some of these issues.

Focal Range:
The best thing about the FA20-35/4 is its focal range on film, as it covers the end of the ultra wide range and the entire regular wide angle range. This makes the FA20-35/4 a great traveling option for me if I only want to take one wide angle lens on a trip. On APS-C this lens looses some of it usefulness and is just another wide to normal zoom.

Build:
While itís nice that the FA20-35/4 only weighs 245 grams and is camera bag friendly, there is a resulting trade-off. Everything on this lens is made of plastic except the metal lens mount. At least the finish is not that easily scratched silver one that was used on many FA zooms and it should hold up over the years.

Usage/Handling:
Manually focusing the FA20-35/4 is a bit awkward, as the focusing ring is smooth, narrow and is right under the filter thread. Your fingers naturally gravitate towards the zoom ring which is much wider and has a more bumpy texture. I donít have a camera body that supports auto focusing, so I canít comment on that feature. I prefer a push/pull zoom design, which would have made things much simpler than using this two touch lens. The FA20-35/4 has a 58mm filter thread,

One weird thing about the FA20-35/4 is that there is no half stop aperture (F/13.5) between F/11 and F/16. This is the first Pentax lens that I have seen where you only have F11, F16 then F22, strange and annoying!

The FA20-35/4 has a modern tulip style bayonet lens hood (PH-RBA 58mm), which fits around the end of the lens and does not touch the filter thread. The hood also has a removable window so you can turn a mounted polarizer filter. The FA20-35/4 comes with the S90-100 soft lens case, which has enough room to also hold the hood.

Speed:
F4 is a too slow for me and the FA20-35 should have been at least an F3.5, like the M24-35. Pentax really should have turned this into an F* 20-35/2.8 zoom, with better optics and build. Then we might have a classic zoom lens on our hands. At least the FA20-35 is a constant aperture zoom, which I like much better than the variable ones.

The FA20-35/4 vs the M24-35/3.5:
I also own the older M24-35/3.5 zoom and this is how I rate the winner in various categories:

- Optics: Tie
- Focal Range: FA20-35/4
- Build: M24-35/3.5
- Usage/Handling: Tie
- Speed: M24-35/3.5

Iím a bit disappointed with the FA20-35/4, as I though it would be much better than the older M24-35/3.5. In reality the FA20-35/4 is only better in the focal range and I prefer the M24-35/3.5 overall.

Summary:
As a film only shooter, Iíll use this zoom as my wide angle lens when I want to travel light. Itís not as good optically as my K series primes in this focal range, but good enough when you want the convenience of only one lens. I would have given the FA20-35 a 9 if its handling was better and it was faster.

Overall I rate the FA20-35/4 an 8.5, the same as what I gave my M24-35/3.5


Sample shots taken with the FA20-35/4. Photos are medium resolution scans from original slides or negatives


Camera: K2 Film: Fuji Sensia 100 ISO: 100




Camera: KM Film: Adox Silvermax ISO: 100

   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 10,073

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp, great rendering
Cons: ummmmm... not built like a tank?

I can't add much to the previous reviews--it's just a wonderful little lens. I was unaware of its existence until quite recently but quickly decided I had to get me one. I was right: it's going to get a lot of use--because it's so easy to carry and because it delivers the shots.

   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 145

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 12, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Color, versatile
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

This lens is my first choice for landscape photography among 200 lenses I have used. I would rate this lens at 10 with no doubt and it is on par with FA* 85 and FA 31. These three lenses are the most trusted lenses whenever image quality is the concern.
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: June 28, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: range on FF & APS-C body, sharpness
Cons: large hood, F4 only, crazy price for "new" lens...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 (digital) MX (film)   

My favorite, go-to lens used to be a 24mm f/2.8 prime. Equivalent to a 35mm on a crop sensor, it was a perfect fit for me. And on my film cameras, I would change between this 24mm and a 35mm.

Then, I stumbled upon a good offer for this lens, new, in box, and with warranty. I don't regret it:
- It gives me 4 primes (20, 24, 28 and 35mm) all-in-one and produces nice, sharp images.
- On film caemra, the range is just perfect for landscapes. and then, the F4 limit is not a problem at all. I love it !!
- On my K-5, the range is also very pleasant, though I tend to use more the Tamron 17-50.

So, this lens is now almost always on my film camera, and is the perfect solution for traveling light with limited gear. 20mm is very wide, and aberrations and distortion is still well contained. It has AF, which, even if I don't need it with the MX, is still a nice-to-have for future cameras...

A very highly recommended lens for anyone shooting film.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Istanbul
Posts: 23
Lens Review Date: June 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp from wide open, all focal lengths, colour
Cons: limited range, plastic build, some distortion
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 6    Camera Used: K5, k-01, kx, DS, mx   

An underrated lens. Doesn't look like much, has a limited range, unimpressive aperture, unimpressive build. Yet it is more solid than it feels, has wonderful rendering - colour, contrast, sharpness - and the range is actually very useful, and the lens very compact.

I bought this lens in the days of film, and it has continued to perform excellently on every digital camera I have owned. It is a lot sharper than my copy of the DA 21, even at f4 -f5.6, and more flexible. 16 years on, no other lens has lasted as well.

There is some CA, and a little distortion, but I find the shots I get with this veteran always satisfying. Hard to find at a reasonable price though.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Posts: 1,828

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Prime quality, size and weight in zoom lens
Cons: Distortion at wide end of lens
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5iis   

This may be the best overall zoom lens I've ever used. At least on an APS-C digital camera, it has very good edge to edge resolution at all focal lengths. It also features very good microcontrast and excellent color rendition. In terms of overall image quality, it comes very close to the primes lenses I have in the 20 to 35 range (i.e., M 20/4, K 28/3.5 and K 35/3.5). The FA 20-35 features Pentax's "ghostless" coatings, introduced in the late 90s (and used in the FA limiteds and the FA* 200/4 macro). The coatings basically accentuate the typical FA color rendering, adding a bit more bite and intensity. This makes the FA 20-35 an excellent choice for landscape photography. You'd be hard pressed to find more aesthetically pleasing colors for landscape in a zoom lens covering this range.

Only real weakness in the lens, optically speaking, at least when compared to prime lenses, is that it does feature quite a bit of distortion at the wide end.

Build quality is good but not outstanding. It's metal mount lens with most everything else made of plastic. The advantage of the plastic is that the lens is very light. But the better sort of DA zooms, like the DA 10-17 and the DA 12-24, feature sturdier builds. One big advantage of the lens is that, unlike the DA 14-45 and the DA 17-70, the barrel of the lens does not extend when zooming. This keeps the lens compact and prevents the sort of barrel wobble afflicting those aforementioned DA standard zooms.

Some sample images:

@ 20mm--




@ 26mm--




@35mm--

   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,048

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $435.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp from f4, great color contrast, IQ, excellent, small
Cons: short range: 20-35mm, but if that is all you need, no problem
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-3   

Great lens, better than the 21/3.2 limited. Will post picture in a few days. I got this lens few months back, but have not used it. Now that I got my K3, I am using all my FA and F lenses because I discovered that their AF is super fast on the K3.


VeleroAtDanaFA20-35mmf4-7-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr


Dana-1 by Palenquero, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 734
Lens Review Date: March 3, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: size, weight, resolution, colour rendition
Cons: build, 8 aperture blades
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-5, k10d   

So far I have been using this lens extensively for last two months.....outdoor and indoor....so here are my first opinions on it:
Optically it may be the best zoom lens I have ever used alongside DA*50-135,
It seems to be better performer than DA17-70 which I have at the moment too - this is not so surprising given the fact that DA17-70 covers much wider zoom range (4x vs 1.5x)
FA20-35 can resolve quite a lot of tiny details, pictures have nice clarity and great colour
Performance against the sun is quite impressive, with minimal or none flare - if there are some artifacts, they are small and quite nice
Chromatic aberation is present but it is negligible - besides it can be easily corrected in post process
Screwdrive AF is very quick on K-5 with minimal or none hunting
For me huge advantage of this lens is very compact size and small weight - the lens is small and discreet, ideal walkaround lens for street photography, for hiking, travel or landscape
Regarding the size - the lens changes its dimensions only marginally when focused or zoomed - with the lenshood attached to outer tube you can't see inner optical tube extending when focused/zoomed (this smart design was also used by FA35/2)
Another plus is 58mm filter thread....so high quality filters are quite affordable

So far I can see only one disadvantage and that is a build quality, the lens doesnt feel solid, DA17-70 is better in that aspect

Some may list its limited zoom range as a disadvantage, but for me it is suitable for me for most situations and with DA70 it became my kit for landcape, street and travel. On the other hand I believe that thanks to the limited zoom range the designers of the lens didn't need to make som many corrections and compromises, hence the greater optical quality.

Regarding the AF speed - this lens together with DA15 is the fastest focusing Pentax lens I 've tried, both being faster than DA70.
   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 47
Lens Review Date: September 25, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $380.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness / Color / Weight
Cons: Not a portrait lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5iis   

I have been waiting for this lens to show up at KEH, and it did. Funny thing is, after I bought it at KEH I searched online for the Pentax roadmap after the new limiteds were released. I pull it up and see this lens on it! What??? I figured out I pulled up the Pentax Japan roadmap... this lens is still in production and sold in Japan! After seeing this I went to Amazon and searched for the lens. Sure enough, 5 sellers came up with it new, all from Japan. So if you want, you can get it new for about 500 as of this moment, but of course no USA warranty will come with it. I guess Pentax felt that it was still worth keeping in production for the Japanese market. Anyway, on to the review:

Very sharp, prime lens sharp. It is hard to rate the bokeh, as it really doesnt seem to have bokeh. I am sure if you do a closeup of an object it would provoke some bokeh for a distant background though. I was a little worried that when I got this I would stop using my 31mm limited. Not the case.. that is my go to portrait lens with excellent smooth bokeh, and this is my go to landscape lens, sharp across the frame. I am happy about that. It is a great hiking landscape lens since it is so light. I am packing this along with my 90mm tamron on my longer hikes to reduce weight.

As others have said, CA is present, mostly in the form of blue fringing. For that, I cannot give this a 10. Other than that, this is a 10, for the purpose of landscape shooting. It is not a 10 for general portrait shooting as it is relatively sharp across the frame at the widest aperture. There are some types of portraits that will benefit from this lens, but dont expect the bokeh.

I really think that color should be a category rating for the reviews, as it is very important. This gets a 9 for color. It is good color and true to life. I would give it a 10 if it were the color of the 10-17mm fisheye, as that is perfect in landscapes, in my opinion (but not for portraits). I would say the color rendition is very similar to the 31mm lens, which leans towards magenta on the white balance scale. The blue/red white balance is just about right, maybe slightly cool. That all being said, even when shooting RAW, white balance can only have so much of an effect. For example, I own the F 35-70 lens. Very sharp, maybe as sharp as this one, however the color is off and I do not use it because of this. The shadows seem to exhibit more of a green tone, while the highlights are just about right. If you adjust the white balance towards magenta it can fix the shadows, the midtones and highlights are then way too magenta. That is what I mean by white balance not being able to correct lens color issues. This lens does not have those issues.

After all that rambling... buy this lens if you want a good landscape lens and to have a really nice super wide once the FF is released. If you are mostly a person shooter, you may want to get something that has more of a shallow depth of field.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2013
Location: Oxfordshire
Posts: 822
Lens Review Date: August 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range, Lightness, Sharpness, 58mm filters
Cons: Build (cheap), Autofocus (on older bodies) Abberations (CA's)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: MZ-S, K-7, K-01, K3II   

Updated Review July 2015 with K-01/K3II and on Film

After using this (my second copy) for a while now I have grown to really like the FA20-35 on both Film and APS-C Digital.

I LOVE the size/weight of this lens, even if you pay for it with the cheap although durable finish. This with the FA43/FA135 makes an excellent lightweight kit with film, and the DA10-17 on APS-C.
I put handling as a 9, as mentioned the lightness more than makes up for the build.

Its very sharp, little soft wide open and in the corners on film but spends most of its time stopped down anyway.

AF is OK with older bodies but with the film MZ-S and Digital K3II its really fast.

Some fringing and quite a lot of CA when used wide open, especially in the corners but can be tidied up a lot in PP.

It makes an excellent walk around lens on APS-C and a great lightweight UWA on film.

Original Review with K-7 a few years ago.

Only had this lens for a little while as a wider companion to my FA43.
Its comparable in terms of sharpness as far as I can see, and good wide open.
It is a really nice size/weight at the expense of the plastic build, its solid but just feels a little cheap.
Its very compact for the focal range and the front element does not extend very far when zooming/focusing.
Like the FA43 its prone to C/A especially wide open but that can be addressed in PP.
Autofocus is good, although sometimes misses, manual focus ring is quite sensitive.

I find its quite useful covering roughly 30-50mm on APS-C which is wide enough for most situations. On FF would be perfect.

Nice and Compact on K-3II


Pentax K-3II + FA20-35 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr
Samples:


Folly Gates by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Tree Sunrise by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Tree Sunrise by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Out for a walk by Robert Seymour, on Flickr

Maroni Village, Cyprus by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Kourion by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Seascape 2 - Footsteps in the Sand by Robert Seymour, on Flickr

On Film (MZ-5N + MZ-S)

Lichfield Cathedral Street by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Cyprus 2014 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Cyprus 2014 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Larnaca Castle, Cyprus by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Cyprus 2014 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr


Newbury Crafty Craft '15 by Robert Seymour, on Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 461
Lens Review Date: July 31, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Autofocus: 9   

I've had this lens for several years now, and it continues to impress me. Image quality is comparable with prime lenses. I own the F28/2.8 and M35/2 primes, which are no slouches, and the FA20-35 is on par with them. On a film body the 20mm length shines, and 20mm is wide enough for daily use on the K5. I'd part with the F28 before the FA20-35 (not that I'm about to let go of either). If Pentax ever makes a FF dSLR...
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,417
Lens Review Date: May 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great IQ, Great Focal Length Sweetspot
Cons: Can't be used as a hockey puck?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5iis   

After many internal debates between this lens and a DA21, I purchased the 20-35.

The bottom line, I can't seem to find a reason to take it off my camera now. It's in such a sweet spot for my landscape photography and when I compare it's IQ to my FA28 and FA35 I can't tell the difference, and perhaps maybe the FA20-35 wins by a slim margin. It even prompted me to sell my loved Sigma 12-24 because I'm still full frame ready for 2025 when a pentax version finally is released.

What more can one ask for, a great usable range for landscapes and pro quality IQ.
Yeah it's plastic, but I'm not going to use it for a hockey puck. Show me a metal lens that would survive a 6 foot drop, thus I find the build quality con superfluous

Do the rest of us budding landscape photogs a favor, DON'T buy this lens, please keep using inferior glass so I actually have a chance to sell my work more often
   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Posts: 284

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 12, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, compact, beautiful colours, great "walkabout" range.
Cons: build quality possibly - but that's what makes it light!
Sharpness: 10    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5   

Quite simply this is the best zoom lens in the wide-angle range that I have ever used. Admittedly it doesn't have the greatest range nor does it have the fastest aperture, but it is very light, fairly compact, is sharp from f4 (superb at 5.6-8), CA is pretty good and it produces beautiful colours. It is also quite handy for close-ups (not macro, but those "large flower in the foreground and hills in the background" shots that I love ) - I'd go as far as to say that this lens performs in the same league as most of my star and limited lenses. If the ratings were in percentages it would be above 95% - so I'll round it up to a 10 (it's far better than a 9)!

It is a lens that seems to have bypassed me completely over the years, I'm not sure why because back in my film days a 20mm and a 35mm (along with an 85mm) were the kit that I took out with me for most trips. A couple of years ago I bought a Tokina ATX Pro 20-35 and loved the range but the quality was too variable, so I've kept my eye out for a Pentax equivalent ever since. I eventually picked one up a few weeks ago in very good condition and it has impressed me so much that I have even ordered a second copy (apologies but my LBA is at an advanced stage).

My advice would be.... ....if you've find one at a reasonable price - Buy It !!!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL Buy the SMC Pentax-FA 20-35mm F4 AL



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