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SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11

Reviews Views Date of last review
4 32,090 Mon August 16, 2010
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,016.67 8.75
SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11

SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11
SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11
SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11

The SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11 is much shorter than the 1000mm F8, as it employs mirror elements at the cost of slower and fixed aperture.

SMC Pentax 1000mm F11 Reflex
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
6 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
800 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 1.7 ° / 1.4 °
Full frame: 2.5 ° / 2.1 °
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Built-in Filters,Tripod Mount,Fixed Aperture
Diam x Length
119 x 248 mm
2300 g
Production Years
1977 to 2004
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX REFLEX 1:11 1000mm
Product Code
User reviews
Built-in ND filters (-1 stop, -1.5 stop, -2 stops).
Built-in skylight, yellow and red filters.
Compatible rear converters: A 2X-S, K T6-2X
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax Reflex 1000mm F11
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Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1,846
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $850.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact and lightweight as compared to it's focal length. Built like a tank.
Cons: Donut Bokeh, slow slow slow. I want more from it's color rendition.

It's difficult to compare this lens, as there's really not much out there like it. On a recent photo outing, a fellow photographer who was shooing with his Nikon 400mm/2.8 on a tripod asked me if I was shooting with a 300mm lens and I indicated I was shooting with a 1000mm (handheld). He was quite surprised. Here's a fairly tight crop of the result:

(Non working link removed)

This lens will come in handy during the zombie invasion, as I can keep a weather eye out using it, and if the zombies come too close, I can kill them by using this lens as a baseball bat without fear of harming the lens. It's just that tough.

I've had surprisingly good results using this with the Pentax AFA 1.7x TC. Here's a sample moon shot:

(Non working link removed)

If you're giving this, or something similar a try, use the autofocus in live view. I had much better success (read as any success) using liveview AF than viewfinder AF.

Focusing this beast on far away objects is tricky at best and impossible at worst. I strongly suggest using liveview to focus, and zoom to 8x (using the info button on the K-7). When you do this, you'll know when you've hit the mark, especially if you're looking at the edge of something.

A few other things of note.
You cannot screw in a 105mm filter, even though that is what the front opening measures.
The built in ND filters and colored filters are nice.
The ability to rear mount a filter is a neat idea, if not overly useful (on this lens) in the field.
The ability to rotate your camera on this seems poorly implemented to me. It's tricky to get to work right.
Donut bokeh are not fantastic looking.
I haven't used this lens for much up close, although it's ability to close focus was a surprising feature.

I picked up my copy from a forum member during another purchase, and I appreciate the price he named, because it meant I couldn't turn down the purchase. All in all, if you're looking for something with this much throw, $1000 is probably fair, although I'm not sure I would have bit the bullet at a higher price.

The worst trouble is, once you've adapted your shooting to this lens, you'll begin looking for the 2000mm Reflex.
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 44
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: long reach, detail
Cons: heavy

It's a remarkable lens in many different ways. For starters, the detail possible at its minimum focal distance is truly impressive (and compares well with my SMC-A* 200mm macro). At 150 feet, one can also capture impressive detail. At 300 feet and beyond, the focus is a challenge. At over 1000 feet, there's an advantage that has little to do with fine photography and a whole lot to do with hawk watching (during spring and fall migration); even in those times when focus is not quite right or seeing (i.e., air disturbance) is a problem, it can capture sufficient detail to help identify a distant hawk.

Probably a way to insert a few photos, but I'm too new at the moment to figure out how (plenty of photos using it at my site, though the quality varies due to the different purposes used, such as showing different bird types even if an otherwise weak photo).

I generally use it handheld, and I suppose it helps that I'm somewhat large (over 6 feet tall). Hey, I wouldn't mind if it weighed less; but I'm truly happy that I have the lens.

The disadvantage, of course, of any reflex lens is the donut effect (which is minimal compared to generic lenses but it is present), which is a factor of background distance versus foreground. The bokeh is surprisingly fine if the background cooperates.

One other advantage: The distance, in terms of nature photography, allows some subjects to be "natural"; that is, rather than a bird frozen in fear, there's an opportunity to capture behavior (and I suppose a good blind would do the same, if one had a portable blind). Of course, "natural behavior" depends on the subject. A hawk may be annoyed if perched within 500 feet of me. Such is the give and take of photography, but I love the long reach.
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,405
Lens Review Date: June 12, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

Pros: Long Reach, Light Weight, Sharp Images, Low CA's
Cons: large diameter focus ring

I have had this lens for a number of years. I have found it light enough (for a super tele) to use with a monopod, and for an occasioanl handheld shot. It works best on a gimbal platform or a pro level ballhead.

The colors are quite good and fairly well saturated. Contrast is good to excellent but can use some enhancement in PP. The control of chromatic aberrations is excellent and I have never encountered PF even in extreme light range changes.

The lens is beautifully built, delivers an excellent image and these images can be razor sharp. It close focuses and is much easier to move about in the field with than the other Pentax super teles. OOF areas do not always show donut holes though some bokeh effects my show OOF objects, such as grasses and twigs, with a diffuse birefringence linearly, not something that bothers me too much if the image is balanced otherwise.

Whether the lens was worth the $4+K it initially cost is debatable. But in lieu of the rapidly escalating cost of quality glass these days, anyone getting this for anywhere near a $K or so will find themselves with a very, very good lens. Make sure you get a good copy. A little dust inside means nothing to final image quality.

New Member

Registered: December, 2006
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: March 31, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Unbelievable distance. Bumps up to 1500mm with K10D/K20D.
Cons: Big, bulky, difficult to focus accurately

I bought this lens several years ago off of eBay. It is a monster. I can take full frame shots of the moon without a doubler. Works great on my K10D & my K20D. (1500mm)

The lens must be mounted to a tripod. The camera body is dwarfed by its size & weight.

Fixed aperture w/built-in ND & color correction filters helps with dialing in exposure.

You have to take your time with setting up the shot as focusing is difficult to properly fine tune due to physical movement of the lens during this process. (Extreme Maginifcation!) It is clear and sharp.

I use this lens 10 to 12 times a year and I feel it is worth keeping. Now if I can find a 2000mm reflex...
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