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SMC Pentax 1000mm F8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 1000mm F8

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 48,218 Tue May 18, 2010
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,300.00 8.00
SMC Pentax 1000mm F8

SMC Pentax 1000mm F8
SMC Pentax 1000mm F8
SMC Pentax 1000mm F8
SMC Pentax 1000mm F8
SMC Pentax 1000mm F8

This heavy extreme-telephoto lens achieves very fast aperture for its focal length. The 52mm filter is attached inside the detachable mount.

SMC Pentax 1000mm F8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Manual, 10 blades
5 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
3000 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm (Rear drop-in)
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 1.7 ° / 1.4 °
Full frame: 2.5 ° / 2.1 °
Built-in, slide out
Dedicated trunk case
Lens Cap
Metal push-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
143 x 738 mm
5290 g
Production Years
1975 to 1986
Engraved Name
SMC PENTAX 1:8/1000 (early version), smc PENTAX 1:8 1000mm (later version)
Product Code
User reviews
Compatible rear converters: A 1.4X-L, A 2X-L, A 2X-S, K T6-2X.
Filters are mounted at the rear.
Two variants were made, identical except for the engraved name:
SMC PENTAX 1:8/1000 (early version),
smc PENTAX 1:8 1000mm (later version)
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 8,088

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 18, 2010 Recommended | Price: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Focal length and decent IQ.
Cons: Size, slow f8 and minimum focusing distance.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

The K1000/8 lens was part of the original Pentax ďKĒ series launch in 1975 and it remained in production for 11 years. It was replaced in 1986 by the A*1200/8. A Takumar screw-mount version also existed.

The K1000/8 (and the Takumar version) hold the distinction of being the longest lens in length that Pentax ever produced. (738mm without the hood extended) Itís even longer than the A1200/8, but at least itís nowhere near being the heaviest. (5.29kg) However when you add in the weight of the aluminum trunk, tripod and your camera bag, you have a very heavy amount of stuff to transport. This is not a hiking kit and if you have to walk more than 100 meters with everything thing in tow then youíll be sorry! The trunk is very awkward to carry and the weight is unbalanced, with the front being far heavier due to the large lens element. (143mm) I ended up getting a small folding hand cart to assist in carrying the K1000/8 and my 6x7 Takumar 600/4.

With your camera and the K1000/8 weighing in at around 6kg, you will need a tripod/head combination that supports at least double or 12kg. Even if your tripod does support lets say 8kg, you will find that it will be prone to vibrations due to the physical size of the K1000/8. I had to upgrade my tripod after the first outing with this lens, for that exact reason. Iím currently using a Manfrotto 028B Triman tripod, a Manfrotto 229 3D super pro head and a Manfrotto 359 long lens support for the camera end. (see attached picture, note the hood is not extended) This setup completely eliminated the vibrations that I had with my Manfrotto 055XPROB/808RC4 combo.

This lens is quite sharp considering the focal length and is fairly easy to focus with the knobs on each side of the lens. The K1000/8 does not have a focusing ring like other lenses. It also has two sights (front & back) to assist in spotting your subject. I only use this lens on a film camera, so I did not have any PF issues. The biggest problem for me is atmospheric related, like UV & heat haze, as well as reflections from water. You canít use a polarizer on this lens, as it has a filter mount at the back which holds 52mm filters. The atmospheric issues get worse the farther the subject is away from you, so I would recommend using this lens for subjects less than 500 meters away, otherwise you will be disappointed with your results. Note this lens has a minimum focusing distance of 30 meters, so you wonít be using it for portraits! The maximum aperture is f/8, which will suffice if it is a sunny day. The K1000/8 also has a manual diaphragm, so stop-down metering is required.

The K1000/8 is a fun lens, yet a difficult lens to master. Itís a lens you have to specifically plan to take on an outing; otherwise it will sit in a closet and never get used.

Sample shots taken with the K1000/8. Photos are medium resolution scans from original slides or negatives.

Camera: K2DMD Film: Fuji Provia 400 ISO: 400
(Shot is detail of a cruise ship at about 200 meters.)

Camera: K2DMD Film: Fuji Superia 200 ISO: 200
(Shot is detail of freighters at about 2.5 kilometres.)

Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 11,590
Review Date: June 13, 2009 Recommended | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: 1000mm, good IQ,
Cons: f/8, fringing, 30.0m min focusing distance

This lens came available at KEH at a time when I had some spare change and I couldn't resist. No regrets. It is what it is--a big, heavy, slow, fully manual 1000mm K-mount lens with a minimum focusing distance of 30 meters--there are no comparables as far as I know. Sure, a close-focusing 1000mm f2.8 AF pancake would be nice but get real.

IQ, in terms of rendering and resolution, is quite good (better than the 500mm f4.5 Takumar, IMHO) It does have some tendency toward green/magenta/purple fringing--but, again, not as bad as the 500mm Tak. Focusing is done with a control under the lens rather than a focusing ring: it seems a bit primitive but works well: once you get the hang of it, it's not that hard to nail the focus. The "gun-sight" is also unusual but it really is very helpful in "subject acquisition" at long distances.

Obviously, a lens of this (focal and physical) length puts a premium on stabilization. I've even found the Manfrotto Gimbal Head wanting in that regard but that may be operator error to some extent.

Bottom line: it's a unique and rewarding lens for the slightly eccentric pentaxian with a temporary cash surplus.

UPDATE (3/3/11):
1. I cured the vibration issue by upgrading to sturdier tripod legs. The Manfrotto Gimbal works well.
2. With vibration under control, I'm really very pleased with the resolution the lens delivers--really quite impressive and holds up well with the addition of a TC.
3. Min focus distance can be shortened with the use of extension tubes.
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