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SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5

Sharpness 
 9.5
Aberrations 
 9.1
Bokeh 
 8.4
Handling 
 9.6
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
56 217,794 Tue February 11, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $100.30 9.41
SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5

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



SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 5 blades
Optics
8 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
Hood
PH-S52 (24mm)
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 47 mm
Weight
261 g
Production Years
1976 to 1977
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX 1:3.5/28
Product Code
22541
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Ascending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 56
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 960
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: great image quality, good colours, great to use
Cons: a bit heavy, oddball 52mm thread

I paid little for this lens but quickly came to love it. This has long been my walk-around lens on my *istDS, in stead of the 21mm Limited I bought with the camera. I've found the images I get with it to be sharp and color-true, considerably better than I expected for the price I paid. There is a certain feeling to the pics—shapes are well represented and objects come to life. It's my favorite Pentax lens.

Flare is minimal, but I tend to use a hood. One drawback is the bokeh, which can be pretty jagged in mixed-light conditions that emphasize the effect. The mechanics on this lens are *very* good—the focus control is smooth and offers just the right amount of resistance and travel.

For me, the slow speed is irrelevant, as I tend to shoot in the f/5.6-f/8 range.

Here are some samples that show the rendering and colors captured with this lens.

http://i.emuu.net/i/2008/02/200802249477.jpg
http://i.emuu.net/i/2008/04/200804059729.jpg
http://i.emuu.net/i/2008/04/200804069730.jpg
http://i.emuu.net/i/2010/07/201007298847.jpg
http://i.emuu.net/i/2010/07/201007228791.jpg
http://i.emuu.net/i/2010/07/201007198779.jpg

Also, I participated in a PentaxForums challenge using only this lens.

I bought this lens seeing the fine review on Yoshihiko-san's site:

http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_28-30.html
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 2, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp, very good colours, also very good wide open, well built
Cons: aperture 3.5, a bit large

It has the x-factor!! 3d-like images, incredible sharpnes and beautiful colours, never disapoints me! This was my first pentax-lens, and the main reason I now have about 15 more pentax-lenses!

It is extremely well built, a beauty! (a bit larger than the 28/2.8).

It is very sharp even wide open, and it is easy to manual focus despite f3.5!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Bangor, Maine
Posts: 1,382
Lens Review Date: February 2, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great contrast. Sharp
Cons:

I swear it is almost as good as my 43mm LTD. Second most used lens I have.
Sorry I made a mistake. My lens is a M not the K.
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Grand Junction Colorado
Posts: 209
Lens Review Date: February 3, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $128.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp with little distortions when stopped down to f5.6 - 8
Cons: None other than it will not work with later crippled mount bodies

This lens is an upgrade of the original 28mm f3.5 SMC Takumar. That lens was notable for it lack of distortion and great resolution. This lens improves on that performance.
Too bad production was for such a limited time due to the M series cameras and lenses.
Performance wise, it is much better than the 28mm f2.8 M and A series lenses.
They are not that common but very worth while to buy, if encountered.
On APS digital, the lens performs beyond it years with almost no CAs making huge prints a reality.
It would be a 10 if it were auto-focus.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2006
Location: 44266
Posts: 462
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, great contrast
Cons: Heavy?

This lens is sharp with very good contrast. Barely no distortion unless you are shooting a close-up. I bought this lens when I also got my 85/1.8 and 150/3.5. I must say that i used this lens as much as the 85. I haven't really tried any of the three on the K10D, but I am sure I will be pleased. I am also sure that I will need to use a hood on them.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2006
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,530
Lens Review Date: April 7, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I bought this lens along with an M28/2.8 in late Feb 2007. Both are good lenses in terms of IQ. I gave the M to a friend and kept my K. Although the K is bigger and the M is "faster" I think I kept the K because I liked the handling.

My lens is getting about the same amount of attention as my M50/1.7. Very fun to use.
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Bondi, Australia
Posts: 206
Lens Review Date: January 29, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: superb colour, sharp as a razor
Cons: slow

used this lens in the deep southwest of Tasmania with Tech pan and Kodachrome 25 professional, both no longer available. Always used at the f/8 to f/11 range. In my younger crazy days, I tested all my lenses at all apertures with the Patterson resolution cards. 16 x 20 inch prints both colour or B & W grainless , true colour, sharp. Extremely sharp lens. If you do not mind the slowness, and are a quality obsessed type, this lens is for You. It is sharper than the 28 f/2.8.
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Paris
Posts: 222
Lens Review Date: June 30, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, colors, built.
Cons: A bit slow

I have had this lens for a few weeks and I couldn't be more pleased.

The first thing that struck me when I put my hand on this one is the built. It is extremely well made and focusing is an incredible pleasure.

As far as the IQ is concerned, it is simply incredible. I feel like it is sharper than my M50/1.7 which is reputed to be very sharp. And I love the colors and the contrast. In this aspect, I feel like the coating on the K series gives better colors than the Ms.

The only negative thing is that it is a bit slow, limiting it's use to daylight.

Here is a picture at f8:


And this is a 100% crop on a GX-10:
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 42
Lens Review Date: April 14, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: build, bokeh, colour rendition
Cons: sharp all across frame only significantly closed down

I got this lens for landscape, liking the focal length more than 35mm (in APS) and hoping it will be sharp wide open or only slightly closed down. Maybe it's just my sample but at f/3.5 is sharp enough in the center only with sides and corners visibly degraded, and it only slowly improves until f/9-f/11 when it gets as sharp as possibly rendered by K20D's sensor. Unfortunately this doesn't match its reputation (as started by Yoshihiko Takinami's tests) and my intended use. Seeing however its beautiful bokeh - possibly the best I've seen in a wide angle, I decided to employ it for more deliberate portraits and close work range, where it truly shines wide open.
Let me just add that it's a pity this superbly built lens is further handicapped by K20D's inability to correctly measure the exposure with it and other K lenses.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 6,691

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 11, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $199.50 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, quality and cost.
Cons: F3.5 maximum aperture.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

I have owned my K28/3.5 since I purchased it new in late 1975. The K28/3.5 was my only wide angle lens for decades and 28mm is a good entry level WA focal length if you are using a film camera.

The K28/3.5 is about the size of a K series normal prime, so it’s perfect for travelling light. As with all K series lenses, the build and quality are second to none. It is also very sharp and is best at f8. The maximum aperture is f3.5 and this is fine for most shooting situations. You way want something faster for night and indoor use, like a K30/2.8 or K28/2.0.

The K28/3.5 has a 52mm filter thread like most K series mid focal length (24mm to 150mm) lenses, so it’s easy to put together a 52mm filter kit. It has a dedicated lens hood, which also fits the K28/2, K30/2.8, K35/2 & K35/3.5. The hood is fairly easy to find on eBay.

If you have a 52mm reverse adapter, the K28/3.5 makes a perfect macro lens. You can get up to 6.72x magnification by reversing this lens and using the Bellows unit K.

For the cost you can pick one up for these days, the K28/3.5 is must have lens.

Note: The price I indicated for the K28/3.5 is the 1975 list price for a new lens.

Sample shots taken with the K28/3.5. Photos are high/medium resolution scans from original slides.

Camera: KX Film: Kodachrome 64 ISO: 64





Camera: K2DMD Film: Fuji Provia 400 ISO: 400
K28/3.5 reversed on a bellows, approx magnification 5:1. (Beads are about the size of a grain of sand.)

   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Hawkesbury
Posts: 1,039
Lens Review Date: July 13, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good build, sharp, no nasty surprises in the optics
Cons: Manual, slow, large and heavy for specs.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 5    Value: 7    Camera Used: K20D   

The test copy has been sitting in a cupbord on a broken k2 for the last 15 years. I never thought to try it until I saw the other glowing reviews listed here. All comments below relate to performance on a K20D. I had no exposure problems using the green button.
First impressions are good; a solidly constructed lens that has a bit of weight to it. I was surprised that f3.5 still gives you enough subject isolation to achieve reasonably accurate focus. The focus ring gives sufficient control and is very smooth.
The lens seems to be completely rectilinear, without any obvious distortions.
Testing on an overcast day, colours seemed to have good range.
I was able to force the images to have significant colour fringing by shooting the overcast sky behind various other objects. Stoping down one notch (to f4 or f4.5?) seemed to remove this completely.
The lens is sharp at most apertures, most notably when wide open and contrast is very high when wide open. This gives images a bit of punch.
Bokeh is a little busy for my taste with out of focus highlights being somewhat edge heavy when stopped down. Wide open gives a much more even treatment.
I tested this lens to see if it was better than my other three options at this focal length (18-55 kit, Sigma MiniWide II 2.8 and Kalimar KA28/2.8). Images are more consistently high quality across all apertures than the other options, however it introduces other limitations. The lack of auto aperture and the slow nature of the lens are the main ones for me. It also is larger and heavier than my Kalimar or Sigma, making a larger bulge in any pocket I choose to put it in. Ultimately I just don't use this focal length enough to make it worth carrying. Still a very good (and presumably affordable) lens if this is not a limitation for you.
Edit: I have upped my rating to an 8 because I'm weighting more for optical quality now.




This sample shows the nice performance at f3.5. Focus drop off is nice and smooth.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 6,513
Lens Review Date: November 29, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, metal build, contrast, bokeh, resolution
Cons: f3.5

was about to purchase a Vivitar 28/2.8 MC CF lens when this version showed up at my door. gave it a spin and the previous reviews are spot on accurate. glad I did the wait. the lens is incredibly sharp and contrasty but gives you enough OOF blur and smooth bokeh for portraiture use. for it's size on an APS-C sensor, this lens is perfect as a walk-around lens. it's flexible as a wide lens as well. for sure this lens rule the 28mm department. if I were to say, this lens and the K30/2.8 equalizes the FA31 in their set constant aperture. wish the K28mm was atleast f2.8. though.

btw, this is one of the rarest and hard to find K version. I'm sure you'll find lots of the M version and latter and also their more faster counterparts, but this one is the best of them all.
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2008
Location: West Coast - USA
Posts: 202
Lens Review Date: December 12, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well built, lack of distortion, sharpness, FOV
Cons: Speed

I would give the lens an 8.5 to be exact. A somewhat rare lens from the low-production early K-series, it made a compact distortion-controlled landscape lens on 35mm, while on APS-C I'd describe it more as a 'rugged' (yes, by today's standard) walkaround - in build and purpose respectively.

The lens has that great dampened-smooth MF feel and the focus ring to back it up (stiff leather with all metal underneath) - there isn't a hint of plastic here. The lens gives a very crisp distortion-free 43mm equivalent FOV on an APS-C camera. It is reasonably sharp wide open - but is clearly made to reach a peak nearer 'landscape' apertures. The only obvious gripe is speed - but the lens is surprisingly capable at f3.5 - and handles close subjects quite well for a 'wide' lens.

Is it worth the ~$100 it is going for here in late 2009? As an alternative to a kit lens - or simply a step into MF, I certainly think so.

My slowly updating 'gallery' with this lens can be found here: http://photobucket.com/PentaxK28







   
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Sweden
Posts: 359
Lens Review Date: January 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, great colors and rendering, nice bokeh for a 28mm
Cons:

No question, this is a great lens. It's sharp enough wide open (F3.5), but if you stop down to F4 (that's just a half stop!) the lens sharpens up to a very very good level. At F5.6 and beyond it's really RAZOR sharp.

It has a nice bokeh for a 28mm lens and the build quality is excellent.

Highly recommended!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 509
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty, great color
Cons: Bigger

As typical K series lens, it is very well made. Slightly longer and heavier than the M version. Looks fine on K10D.

It produces high resolution and contrasty images from f3.5, which is similar to the renowned K35 f3.5. Just a fantastic piece of history which is still very relevant today.

Due to the small aperture, its use is largely limited to out door during day light. Would highly recommend in a heart beat.

EDIT: Compared with my DA 17-70mm at around 28mm f8. This old lens beat the DA hands down. More contrasty picture and higher corner to corner resolution. However, it is not nearly as convenient.
Add Review of SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5



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