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SMC Pentax 120mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 120mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
7 51,614 Wed February 20, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $234.83 9.43
SMC Pentax 120mm F2.8

SMC Pentax 120mm F2.8
SMC Pentax 120mm F2.8

This fast lens also has a lighter M version.

SMC Pentax 120mm F2.8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
5 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
120 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 14 ° / 11 °
Full frame: 20 ° / 17 °
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 75 mm
355 g
Production Years
1975 to 1977
Engraved Name
SMC PENTAX 1:2.8/120
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax 120mm F2.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-7 of 7
New Member

Registered: June, 2016
Location: Ho Chi Minh City
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 3D, Natural Color, Build, Clarity, Sharpness
Cons: Rare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K50, K1   

- Sharp wide open
- Compact construction
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Cirebon
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $209.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: 3D, Natural Color, Build, Clarity, Sharpness
Cons: Rare

- Sharp wide open (Sharpness too brutal when stoped down)
- Maybe this is one of premium lens on K series. (As Limited or Star grade)
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 41

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp also @2.8 - Close focus - Build quality
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k30   

I've found a copy of this lens in a shop. I bought it and I was really impressed by the overall quality of this jewel. My copy has some sign of use but the glasses are in a perfect condition.
I have also the M135 3.5 and I can say you cannot compare those two! The k120 2.8 is much more better!
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 71
Lens Review Date: June 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp from half a stop down and onward, bokeh, colors, build quality
Cons: Glow & reduced sharpness wide open, price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-50   

Glowy & somewhat soft images wide open that could be usable for portraits but not really to my liking. Much better when stopped down slightly. Great build quality and image quality overall but the going rate is driven higher by scarcity. You can get an equally good 135mm f/2.8 lens for less, or perhaps even the K 135mm f/2.5.

Half a stop down, no post.

100% Crop of the original. Note CA on the high contrast area on the top of the beak.

100% Crop of the original

Senior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Beautiful Bavaria :-)
Posts: 123
Lens Review Date: November 13, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent focal lens, build & image quality
Cons: none

I got my copy by mistake, it was announced as the M version. Luckily, I found the matching lens hood (which the M has built in). It is much heavier than the M lens, so if you need to travel light, you may prefer the M.

120 mm is a nearly perfect focal length. 1/125 sec produces mostly sharp, unblurred images, which is much harder with a 135 mm lens.

Focussing is sheer pleasure, sharpness and Bokeh are excellent. Even flash use is possible without severe limitations, but I recommend using a flash coverage adapter.

It's hard to mess up a picture when this lens is mounted. But it's rare and seems to be quite expensive by now.

Excellent performer, but if you go for the M 120/2.8, you will get the same satisfying results. So, don't fuss about K or M, be happy to have a 120, the nearly perfect focal length (remember?)
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 7,347
Lens Review Date: October 16, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast and build.
Cons: Cost due to lens being rare. Too close in FL to 100/105mm & 135mm.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

The 120mm focal length on film is on the obscure side and Pentax finally deleted it in 1985 when the M version was discontinued. The K120/2.8 was in production from 1975-77 and most likely did not sell very well, hence it is now rare and commands a higher price on the used market than it should. (The 100/105mm and the 135mm were the more popular focal lengths.)

However the K120/2.8 is a great lens and is on par with the K105/2.8. Itís just as sharp has nice contrast and is fast enough for most shooting situations. The 120mm FL on film, makes for a very good portrait lens and a decent short telephoto. The K120/2.8 is fairly light and is very well built like the other K series lenses.

The K120/2.8 has a 52mm filter thread and shares the same lens hood with the K135/3.5 and the K150/4. This hood is easy to find on eBay and is highly recommended.

The K120/2.8 is worth seeking out if you do not have other lenses in similar focal lengths. If you do then itís probably overkill, unless you are a collector like myself.

Note the price I paid for my copy was for a Mint one with original case. I bought it from an eBay camera store, who knows the rarity of this lens. You may be able to scoop one up on eBay for a lot less, if the seller does not know its value.

This is a photo of the three Pentax K series telephoto/portrait lenses for size comparison. (K85/1.8, K105/2.8 and the K120/2.8)

Sample shots taken with the K120/2.8. Photos are medium resolution scans from original slides.

Camera: KX Film: Fuji Velvia 100 ISO: 100

Camera: LX Film: Fuji Provia 400X 100 ISO: 360

New Member

Registered: October, 2006
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 6, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, fast, excellent build quality
Cons: full manual, heavy compared to "modern" lenses

The K120/2.8 is nice and compact (it takes a 52mm filter). Color rendition is great, it's extremely sharp, and has an extremely smooth bokeh.

Frankly, I had no intention of buying a lens the day I bought my K120/2.8. A single picture, wide open, was all it took to convince me that I had to have it.

Pentax K10D ,Pentax smc P-K 120mm f/2.8, 1/100s f/2.8 at 120.0mm iso1000

Subsequent pictures convinced me I made the right choice.

Pentax K10D ,Pentax smc P-K 120mm f/2.8, 1/80s f/5.6 at 120.0mm iso400
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