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SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
62 282,441 Fri February 17, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $100.29 9.37
SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5

SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5
SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5

The SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 is the slower of the two K-series 28mm wide-angle lenses.

SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 5 blades
8 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
PH-S52 (24mm)
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 47 mm
261 g
Production Years
1976 to 1977
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX 1:3.5/28
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 62
New Member

Registered: July, 2022
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 17, 2023 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Special lens but not the magic level.
Cons: I cant think of much its an old lens.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I find it difficoult to rate less then 9. Its has some traits that is just fantastic. Used right it can outperform many many lenses on some areas. Colour... Contrast...

Yeah its manual and old but its so nice to have...

How could they even make something like this back in the time?

Get it of you can but be prepared to use time on it.

Time is the only negative i can think of. But thats how it is with manual lenses.

Its probably "50 %" better then my old M 28mm f2.8...

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 3,133
Review Date: August 2, 2022 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image quality, size, handling
Cons: not really, a bit slow perhaps
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

One of the few vintage lenses that really is good enough to compete with contemporary glass.

It's slow but performs very well for "pan focus" shooting. The size is perfect for the K-1, small but large enough for a comfortably wide focus ring. It has very nice colours if a bit gaudy at times. Sky colour in particular stand out. Besides having great resolution across the frame stopped down it is remarkably free of chromatic aberrations. This is somewhat unusual with Pentax lenses and gives an immediate clarity to the images.

Edit: I upgraded the bokeh rating from 5 to 7 because despite being relatively slow (f3.5) the out of focus areas look very, very nice indeed.

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 10,208

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 29, 2021 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very solid build, great rendering, very sharp, wonderful in use
Cons: Big and heavy, slow
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K200D, K-3   

I've used this manual lens for some years and while it's not the fastest 28mm around, it's one of the very best in terms of image quality. The build is typical K series - very solid indeed with focus beautifully smooth and nice clicks to the aperture ring. It's a very big, solid lens considering that it's relatively slow at f/3.5. Handling is really wonderful.

Image quality is fantastic - it's sharp wide open and the colour rendering and contrast are very good indeed. This lens is a lot better than the M version, which is much smaller and lighter (easier to find too) but, while sharp, has a very dull image rendering. It's also much better than all the other Pentax 28mm primes I've tried (A 28/2.8, M 28/2.8 (both versions)) bar it's faster sibling the K 28mm f/2. I'd certainly recommend this one over those A and M series ones - yes it's bigger, heavier and slower but the results and the pleasure in use make it a better lens to have.

The size and weight limit the use I give this lens for travelling but apart from that the only real limitation is it's f/3.5 maximum aperture. It's difficult, but not impossible, to get shallow depth of field and it's not the best choice for low light, though it can be used wide open and you'll get sharp results.

I really like using the lens and it produces great quality photos when used right, despite it's limitations. Some sample photos below.

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

Balloon panorama K 28mm f3.5 43MP
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Location: Illinois
Posts: 18

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 29, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, good contrast, excellent landscape lens, cheap, easy to use
Cons: some noticeable fringing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This lens deserves its reputation. I no longer own it, but it was a great landscape lens. It was so easy to use and so convenient in size and handling. Everything about it was great. I'm not going to ding it for its busy bokeh much, because I don't think bokeh is what the lens is about. It is for walking around and taking photos focused at infinity or hyperfocal or however you manage, f/8-f/11, that are sharp throughout the field. It always had blue fringing around tree branches in the sky when I shot on bright days, but they were fairly easy to fix. No other CA issues really. I don't think I ever adjusted the focus off its infinity or mark for the full year I used it almost exclusively.
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 61

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 24, 2021 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color, contrast, build and image quality, sharpness
Cons: None for this vintage K manual prime; of course realize you will use "green" button metering and set f-stop manually (no "A" setting)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: KP   

My first SMC K lens, purchased this past fall from a camera shop in Quebec. I recently started shooting manual with a nice M 50mm f1.7 and after reading about the K series, found this 28mm (just right for the KP). Absolutely love the colors, contrast and richness of the photos this lens produces. There is something rich and smooth about them- they are deeper, have a nice vibrancy to them, not clinical. After working with this lens on both landscapes and street shooting using my KP, I went and acquired the SMC K 135mm f2.5, which has a similar type of color rendition. Must be something about the K series lenses, maybe the 8 element optics of this one (the 135mm has 6)

A few quick highlights for me:

+Great build quality--feels solid but easy to work with. It does have some weight but it feels just right, not large at all
+Aperture and focus ring--smooth, well dampened
+Long focus throw, so easy to focus
+Shoots great at f3.5 (not as fast as the f2.0 "Hollywood" would be, but you would have to pay about 5-6x for that lens!) and seems sharpest around f5.6-8, and thats corner-to-corner
+Great value at $100 or to $130. The colors, richness and contrast alone are worth it!

Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 1,795

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 20, 2020 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, overall optical performance
Cons: Rarity
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3 and KP   

I had been after the perfect (for me) 28-30mm lens for my K3 for year, as it is my favourite focal length on APSc. I have tried various options. M and A 28mm f2.8, F 28mm f2.8, K30mm f2.8, Sigma Ex Dg 28mm f1.8 and 30mm Ex Dg f1.4, Vivitar 28mm f1.9. And all of them have failed me in some way or another. The M and A models a little soft at whatever aperture, The Sigma 28mm -great IQ but hideous bulk. The 30mm Sigma and Vivitar bulk again but not so bad but poor performance until you get to f2.8, when I have no complaints. F 28mm and K 30mm have come close but are not quite perfect, it is hard to put my finger on just why. Anyway towards the end of last year a K 28mm f3.5 became available and I just had to try it, especially as it cost just 125 ( my K 30 cost 250!). I love this lens and here is why:-
1. Build quality - just like every other K lens I own the quality is superb
2. Handling - again just like all my other K lenses superb feel, focusing and aperture ring. The slight extra weight of the K compared to my M,A and F models feels really nice on m K3.
3. IQ - it is great. Plenty of sharpness and good colour rendition. Easily the match and maybe a tad better than both the F 28mm and K 30mm
4. Small max aperture - this is actually a benefit as it makes it easier to focus on DSLrs which do not have split image or other optical focus aids. Also F3.5 or 4 is plenty fast enough for general use and I have the fast Sigma or Vivitar if I need f2.8, which I rarely do.
I have since acquired a KP and grip and the K 28mm behaves almost equally as well on that as on the K3, though I tend to use the K 30mm or F28mm on the KP due to their compact size.
The only con I can think of with this lens is its rarity. You can not just go out and buy one as they do not come up for sale that often. You just have to wait until one becomes available.
I would like to try it out on a K1, but I am not in a position to do that at present, but here's hoping that may change in a few months time.
Anyway on APSC I can say - wholly recommended.
New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2
Review Date: February 11, 2020 Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: image quality, sharpness, colour handling, build quality
Cons: nothing worth mentioning
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a6000 and Pentax me super   

This is a brilliant lens. I have three other 28mm vintage lenses from Minolta, Pentax and Konica to compare it to and it blows all three of them away. The image quality, corner to corner sharpness and colours straight out of the camera are superb. All the plaudits heaped on this lens are true. It is an amazing lens and if you find one I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is now my favourite wide angle lens and is spending more and more time attached to my cameras.
It has a very short focus throw but given that I use this lens for landscapes and wider street photography at f8 and at infinity, it makes no difference at all.

Registered: September, 2017
Location: New York
Posts: 1,180

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 7, 2020 Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharpness, Color, contrast, build quality, overall image quality, bokeh
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-3II   

If you can find this lens, I highly recommend buying it. They aren't very common but they are very worth it.

Sharpness doesn't compare to modern lenses but it is decently sharp wide open. The pictures produced are very contrasty and it does produce nice polarized-like images. If you dont mind focusing manually, it's a wonderful lens to focus. A decently long focus throw makes focus very accurate. It's just a wonderful lens to use.
New Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 2
Review Date: September 26, 2019 Recommended | Price: $135.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, excellent contrast, low flare, amazing build
Cons: 5-bladed diaphragm. If I were forced to complain, size and weight too.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: MX, X-T3   

I hold this lens in very high regards. I've tried many old 28mm lenses from many different brands and this is one of the best. Compared to m42, M, and A type Pentax 28mm lenses it's the best in terms of raw optical performance. Sharpness, contrast, and flare control are all at a high level. I would also say its performance is in the realm of Contax Zeiss lenses and is even better in some regards. This lens is getting more expensive every day so don't hesitate, I imagine it will only go up in price as it becomes rarer and more sought after.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 197

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 23, 2019 Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, sharpness, contrast, colors, aberations
Cons: Bit difficult to focus due the "f3.5 only"
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1ii   

Everything is said about this lens, sharp and clean images even wide open. Reliable distance scale in case the finder is too dark. I compared this with the DFA 28-105, the K-lens is even sharper overall and noticebly in the corners. Almost no fringing or whatever. Best results between f4 - f8. Balances well on the K1 also.

New Member

Registered: April, 2019
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 4, 2019 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness corner to corner; colors; handling & build quality
Cons: Some field curvature
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7III   

After all these enthusiastic reviews of this lens who say that it is an ultimate landscape lens I wanted to know what all the fuss is about and got one via Ebay for 100 Euros in very good condition.

First impression: Built like a tank, looks like it was produced yesterday (but in fact it is 42 years old!), looks like it can be used for another 50 years without any problems.

Second impression: Yes, it's very sharp from corner to corner, at least stopped down (but that's what a landscape photographer does anyway, you don't buy a wide angle like that for "bokeh" and stuff). MUCH better than any other 24 oder 28 mm vintage solution I tried up to now. Of course there are 50s or 85s who have significantly higher resolution - but for a wide angle resolution is really good.

But the real shocker were the COLORS.

While with all my other lenses I "pump up" the colors a bit (mostly via vibrance or "camera calibration" in Lightroom) to get a punchy, saturated look, this is actually unnecessary with this lens! Colors are from the start really "life-like" and "pop"! Wonderful, but at the same time natural looking, blues and greens especially. I'm not a "SOOC" guy, but this lens comes near to "capturing how I saw it when I was there".

Flare resistance is very good, shooting into the sun or with the sun just a bit outside the frame is no problem at all.
Also no problems with color fringing. Pentax's coatings seem to be really great.

Only thing is that the lens has some field curvature - if you have something in the corners which is at or near infinity, you can't get it in focus. But in typical image compositions, this is rarely the case anyway. You just have to be aware of it and choose your composition accordingly.

Highly recommended!
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Reading
Posts: 313
Review Date: March 24, 2019 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Corner to corner sharpness
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a7   

Fantasticly sharp manual focus lens. People often talk up old lenses but rarely do they stand up against modern lenses. The Pentax-k is a lens which does. I compared this lens against my Sony FE28 and this lens is sharper.

It's also fantastic for InfraRed photography and has no hot spots even at smaller apertures. The only downside is the time it takes to find one (people tend to keep hold once they have a good copy).

Registered: April, 2007
Location: Toronto/Victoria
Posts: 460
Review Date: February 4, 2019 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good on FF and finely crafted
Cons: Larger than successors, no aperture link
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1, K100D   

The K28/3.5 is probably my best 28mm lens. The others were all nearly perfect on APS-C but were less perfect on FF. This lens is nearly perfect on FF. Even wide open, the IQ is very good and at F5.6-8 it is outstanding if you need sharpness in the corners and almost no CA (a bit of red/blue is visible).

Of course, it's a slow lens; the A28/2.0 is smaller (49mm filter), faster by over 1.5 stops, and supports automatic exposure. However, the trade-offs are generally worth it for this lens.
New Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3
Review Date: September 22, 2018 Recommended | Price: $89.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness,handling,buildquality
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: LX, K2DmD, K3 Prestige Edition   

I bought two lenses for my Super-A Stereo cam, but switched to the 35mm for better 3DView, so i sold one of these beautiful examples - build like a tank and very pleasing look on digital makes it a pleasure to work with even for professional purposes it is still in my bag for the punchy pictures .
I also own a very sharp M 28 f2,8 and f3,5 and the rar K 28 f 2
All of them have their own look and handling , but the K28 f3,5 I use the most .
Highly recomended !

Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 151
Review Date: September 12, 2018 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness Weight
Cons: Focal Length
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5 IIs, K1   

I bought it used when am using K5 iis. I have 12-24 so i sparingly used this lens. But, i can clearly distinguish pictures from this lens.. they have a unique touch to them. Pictures are sharp edge to edge. Upon, buying K1 i am left with no good wide lens. So, K28 became my only wide lens and it didnt disappoint. Below are two sample pictures from my recent trip.

This was shot wide open.. so it isnt sharp around corners.. also, its not a stacked image but a 30'sec long exposure shot.
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