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SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
56 217,796 Tue February 11, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $100.30 9.41
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 16-30 of 56

Registered: October, 2009
Location: North
Posts: 4,366

8 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Cheap; Very sharp for intended usage; good size; well made; good flare tolerance
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1; A7k   

This is the best 28mm for infinity focus stopped down shooting on the FF K1 (and A7) for the price.

Don't let the f3.5 distract you away from this lens.
It was designed for a purpose.

Sharp to the edges at f8-f11 that many faster 28mm can't match.
Flare tolerant as well.
At an incredible price too.

If you are looking for a do it all 28mm or a wide for isolation shallow DOF look (an oxymoron imo), look elsewhere and probably spend more.
If you are looking for a great landscape lens, this is the one.

20160708-IMGP2521 by jenkwang, on Flickr

full size :

The water keeper by jenkwang, on Flickr

20160710-IMGP2554 by jenkwang, on Flickr

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 2,562

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, well built, smooth focusing
Cons: Horrible vignetting at 3.5 on K1
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K1   

Today I tried out my new-to-me, $190 SMC PENTAX 28mm f/3.5 on my K1 camera.

My testing resulted in the following observations:

1. Lots of vignetting at f/3.5. Gone by f/4
2. Its' sweet spot is f/11 - f/13.
3. Good and sharp, however I have to admit that the much more expensive Sigma Art lenses and Zeiss ZK lenses are a tiny bit sharper (I know because I've previously owned them).
3. Beautiful Pentax colors.
4. Distortion is insignificant

I really like the 24mm and 28mm field of view. I'm quite pleased with this inexpensive little lens. It will easily get me by until Pentax/Sigma/Zeiss some day offer a new premium lens in this range.

Senior Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Chicago
Posts: 124

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing Resolution, Sharp Wide Open, Contrast
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

This has become the most used lens I have ever owned. It rarely leaves my camera. Using a 28mm on the K3 gives me an effective focal length of about 42mm, which feels quite normal to me now.

The build/feel of the K series lenses is nearly perfect. There is nothing fragile here. But the real story for the lens is all about the image resolution... it's really quite amazing. Stunning.

Wide open (f/3.5) is perfect for when I'm after a certain "smoothness", vs the razor sharp photographs I get when stopping down just a bit more.

Blah, Blah, Blah... photographs below.

New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: between Toulouse and Pyrenees Mountains
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: January 1, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness
Cons: not found
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

My new favourite lens, a walkaround and landscape lens, light, so well-built and an incredible sharpness.
The kind of lens that produce pictures with the wow effect.
Got a lot of lenses but not a lot are better.
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2013
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 114

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: amazing colors, contrast, quality, flare control, sharpness
Cons: slow, f3.5 minimum
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-01   

This lens is plenty sharp. Even wide open shots have excellent sharpness especially in the center. It does get very, very sharp above f5.6. Looking at shots of a radio antenna in the far distance, focused at infinity, I'm finding f9.5 to be the sharpest. 8 is real good, 11 is real good, but above 11 it begins to lose sharpness. Below f6.7 it also begins to soften a bit. I'd give it a sharpness rating of 9.3, but since I have to pick I gave it a 9. It's just not razor sharp but absolutely plenty sharp for any needs. It's just that there are slightly sharper lenses out that that deserve the 10 rating.

What stands out for me is the colors and contrast. The contrast is just right for so many things, but really shines on foliage, vegetation, complex textures with micro shadows. Tremendous detail is enhanced in flattering ways and in a very balanced way. But these colors, wow. I find myself being very light-handed with my color and saturation adjustments. The raw images are almost there. There's a color tonality, a richness, something distinct with this lens, unusual. It has a signature. Reds are vibrant, blues are deep and saturated, greens are organic, yellows are natural and balanced. It's a VERY colorful lens.

Known as a landscape lens, this lens instantly tells you why. But I've absolutely enjoyed using it for close-ups and bokeh. The bokeh is unique, has an "underwater" quality to it, quite unique. I don't find it too busy or "nervous", but instead just artful and blurry in a way that really brings out the in-focus subject, has a strong 3D kind of pop. While I wouldn't liken this len's rendering or "look" to Leica or Zeiss, it does indeed compare in how the subject seems to leap out of the image with great realism, with stark 3-dimensionality. But that's only if you go for that kind of shot.

The build quality of this K28 is just astounding. It has the smoothest focus action, wonderful aperture ring action, perfect machining and build quality, hefty, robust, sexy. It's a true gem in every regard.

It controls flare amazingly well, but I do use a hood to help contrast and saturation. At apertures below 5.6 you can get tiny amount of purple fringing on specular highlights or extremely contrasty edges, but it's very small and NOT a problem whatsoever.

And here's a crop of the previous photo to show it's great sharpness and ability to grab such huge amounts of well resolved and rendered detail in the shadows. I don't think I really nailed the focus, but it's still quite resolved and sharp.
New Member

Registered: October, 2015
Posts: 2

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 22, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $85.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, Low Distortion
Cons: field curvature
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony A7s, a5100   

I bought this lens after reading that someone had searched for two years to get one!
I already had the CZ Distagon 28mm 2.8 and Pentax-m 28mm f3.5 to compare it to, however I was unhappy with the corners in the Distagon and the distortion on the Pentax-M.

I found the 'look' from this lens to be very similar to the Carl Zeiss, though the Pentax K has less distortion, slightly less CA and better corners. It does suffer from some field curvature.

I only really use these lenses for landscapes from f8 - f11, so can't comment on sharpness wide open.

I didn't find it to be any sharper overall than the Pentax-M (maybe because of that field curvature), but there is less distortion on the pentax k than the pentax M. The pentax M has a lot less CA though, so I wouldn't really rate this lens as better than the Pentax M, just different.

I have some 28mm f8 and f11 comparison tests on my site:
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 71

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp from corner to corner at f/9.5 and f/11, build quality, colors, no aberrations stopped down
Cons: Big and heavy for what it is, extreme corners not fully sharp until f/9.5 or f/11
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

This lens is probably my #1 recommendation for landscape photography on a budget. It is pretty slow, however, at f/3.5 and needs to be stopped down to f/9.5 or f/11 for the corners to sharpen up completely. Center sharpness peaks at f/8 and corner sharpness peaks at f/11 on my copy. This may sound like faint praise so far, but I've tried a dozen or so vintage 28mm lenses and none of them at any aperture have approached the corner sharpness I can get with this at f/11. Others are as good or slightly better in the center but most are quite terrible at the borders and corners, even on APS-C.

The build quality is superb as expected from an original SMC-K lens, but the size and weight exceed expectations somewhat even for an all metal lens from this era, at least given the focal length and speed. Nothing to be too concerned about, though.

I didn't enter a rating for the bokeh because it's irrelevant for my usage. I'm using this for sharp-across-the-frame landscape shots only.

My next best lens at this focal length is the SMC-F 28/2.8 and in comparing them side by side, the SMC-K 28/3.5 is noticeably sharper in the borders and corners at infinity and only slightly less so in the center. The numbers below are completely subjective but are a fair representation of the performance I have seen.

f/8 - center 9.7, corners 7
f/9.5 - center 9.3, corners 7.2
f/11 - center 8.9, corners 7.4

f/8 - center 9.6, corners 7.4
f/9.5 - center 9.2, corners 8.2
f/11 - center 8.8, corners 8.6

The SMC-F is lighter, faster, sharper at wide apertures, and of course has AF and the "A" setting. For overall utility it wins, but for landscapes it does not. For what it's worth the SMC-K is also slightly wider even though they are both nominally 28mm.

If you have the wisdom and patience to accept this lens for what it is and play to its strengths, you will be rewarded. This is the whole point of hunting down the best vintage glass, yes? It is for me at least. Use the money you saved to get a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter switch and you're good to go.
New Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Brittany, France
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 16, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great colours, beautifully made
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30 and nex6   

My best manual lens!
A joy to use on my K30 or my NEX6 with a Kipon adapter.
The colors are beautifully vivid and it handles like a dream...I love it!

Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 963

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $66.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, vivid unique colors
Cons: A bit larger than your usual 28
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: KX   

February 2018 update.
After all these time, I’ve fallen more in love with this lens. It is one of the sharpest I have, (and I do have a few of these acknowledged sharp lenses). Drawback, it may be too sharp to be used as a “portrait” lens, especially at 5.6/8/11. Too brutal with skin blemishes!

Between the K28/3.5 and the M28/3.5, the former's perceptibly much better. The colors are saturated akin to modern day DA limiteds, but more unique, and actually better. This is a sharp lens, especially stopped down to f/8-f/11. Beyond f/11, it loses some sharpness, but still way, way sharper than any kit lens.

I had the M28 first, until I found this. I think that this is a very underrated lens at 9.
New Member

Registered: May, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 3, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Better than my kit lens
Cons: heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-r   


The SMC Pentax K-28mm 3,5 is better than my kit lens 18-55mm AL zoom.
in the center of the picture the is not a big difference, but at the edges the quality is visible.

I have hoped for a bigger difference.
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 61
Lens Review Date: May 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, colours, contrast, build quality, size
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: sony a7r   

This is a truly outstanding wide angle lens when used with the 36 MP sony a7r. The sharpness edge to edge is superb and the colours are deep and vibrant.
The build quality is excellent. This is the lens that I use most and which I would consider essential for landscape photography. As hyperfocal distance is important for control of depth of field, manual focus and the depth of field scale on the lens are, in my opinion, a benefit rather than a hindrance.
New Member

Registered: July, 2011
Posts: 23
Lens Review Date: January 16, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, it is SMC pentax !
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7   

Photos taken with Sony A7
New Member

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 26, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Focus handling, Color rendition, Low distortion
Cons: Extremely hard to find, a bit large...
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Ricoh GXR A12 Mount   

I purchased this lens last week and have been spending a fair amount of time with it. I had been looking for this lens here in Japan where I currently live to no avail. Tried high and low but no one had it until last week when I spotted one in almost New condition in a favorite shop of mine! Bought it as fast as I could take out my credit card.

I am using this lens on my GXR A12 Mount (APS-C size sensor) and spent the entire weekend shooting with it on a trip to a nearby island. I'm very impressed with how smooth the focusing is and how brilliantly this lens renders colors in general... very eye-catching. In terms of sharpness it's right up there with my Voigtlander lenses and that's saying something...

I haven't noticed any distortion or CA in the images I've taken so far but will keep and eye out for them. If you are going to use this lens with a digital camera, just make sure your camera has a reliable manual focus mechanism/indicator otherwise you may not get as sharp a result as you hope to. My GXR A12 Mount has not low pass filter and has a fantastic focus peaking function that nails the focus every time. I hear Fuji also has a very nice focusing mechanism.

Here are a few shots from last weekend:

I think you get the idea.

I am going to be shooting more with this lens and feel lucky to have found such a clean copy. Wholeheartedly recommend this lens to anyone considering buying it. Just go for it!

Note: The sharpness of the images posted are somewhat affected by the automatic resizing done to reduce the size for this review!
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, even wide open, very nice color reproduction
Cons: bokeh, but this is not a portrait lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Oly ep1   

I love this really lives up to it's reputation. Very nice color rendition. I recommend a hood for it. I also have a zeiss 25mm 2.8 and am constantly comparing the too as the focal lengths are similar. The K 28mm 3.5 comes very close to the Zeiss concerning sharpness, and color reproduction but the zeiss is f 2.8 !! and still rocks at that aperture ...

ok, so here are some pics.. first one of the glass is wide open in the afternoon sun and the second is a stopped down to 8.

Senior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: HCMC
Posts: 272

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 12, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $115.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb and true color reproduction (the best I've seen from all the lenses I've ever used), Extremely sharp lens and easy to focus, awesome build...
Cons: None as of this writing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: K5   

I never liked shooting with wide primes but this lens is slowly teaching me how to use one and am loving every single time with it.

This is one rare of a gem found (and it's in pristine, like-new condition)... I think one of the best lens made by pentax... feeling lucky to own one rare and awesome lens...

The best lens (in terms of sharpness/color reproduction/build) i've ever used so far...

NO Flare even though you're shooting right in front of the sun...
Add Review of SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5

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