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SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift

Sharpness 
 8.7
Aberrations 
 7.8
Bokeh 
 7.9
Handling 
 8.4
Value 
 8.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
17 72,603 Sun August 15, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $510.63 8.88
SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift

SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift
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SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift
supersize
SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift
supersize
SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift
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Description:
This large lens allows for the correction of converging lines.



SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 SHIFT
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Preset, 8 blades
Optics
12 elements, 11 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
Hood
Built-in
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Dedicated metal push-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Built-in Filters,Rear Filter Mount
Diam x Length
89 x 93 mm
Weight
611 g
Production Years
1975 to 2004
Engraved Name
SMC PENTAX SHIFT 1:3.5/28 (early version), smc PENTAX SHIFT 1:3.5 28mm (later version)
Product Code
22565 (early), 22561 (later)
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Built-in filters,
Provision for rear-mounted gelatin filters.
Shift lens for perspective correction.
Variants
Two variants were produced. The only difference appears to be in the engraved name:
SMC PENTAX SHIFT 1:3.5/28 (early variant),
smc PENTAX SHIFT 1:3.5 28mm (later variant)
Features:
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 17
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 2,930

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 15, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: shift!, mechanics, field of view
Cons: chromatic aberrations, distortion, weight
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-1   

The only Pentax shift option. As you'd expect from a shift lens it's heavy and large. It handles very well for a shift lens and I quite like the solution of twisting rings to control shift and rotation.

Mine has developed a bit of give between the sliding plates so the lens moves noticeable which makes it feel a bit odd handling it. It doesn't impact IQ despite the considerable motion. Possibly the felt between the sliding plates have become worn down or compressed.
Edit: The repair was easy. The lens was designed to be tightened. Unscrew the 4 screws visible inside the lens mount (JIS driver), you need to shift fully to access the second pair. This removes everything down to the distance scale. The underside of this assembly has a plate with two larger and two tiny screws. Loosen the two large screws. Push the side of the plate to close the dovetail and tighten the two screws whilst applying sideway pressure. Reassemble. 10min job! There are som rubber bushings and a tiny ball bearing to avoid loosing.

Optically the lens is sharp and resolves detail well, particularly in the central region. A curiosity with the IQ is the relative low contrast rendering softened by wide but faint glowy chromatic aberration. It gives a detailed but soft looking image. Both these issues are surprisingly easy to manage in post processing. Because there are actually detail in there it responds well to sharpening and contrast enhancements and the softness of the chromatic aberrations means correcting it leaves less trace than expected.

At large shifts with say building cornices near the edge of the frame it's fairly smudgy but workable. The lens has mustache distortion enough to be a bit annoying but not annoying enough for me to have made a correction profile ... yet.

At closer distances the lens seem to handle the larger apertures better. Making really nice close up shots with a pleasant bokeh. For it's main purpose, architecture, I shoot it at F8-F16.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Haarlemmermeer
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: March 3, 2021 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: color rendering, no distortion, pretty sharp
Cons: chromatic aberration, unsharp when pixel peeking
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K1 II   

Bought the lens for 300 Euro, to use it for architecture photography as the general desinged purpose of this lens.


Tested it for that purpose last week and it did not disappoint me at all.
It is pretty sharp, no distortion, only the CA needs some messing around in Lightroom.
Nice colors.

The previous reviewer mentioned some lower contrast, but with these photo's nothing was done in that regard, only some adjustments for the CA and some sharpening. That's all.

I will test this lens also in some nice forests with tall trees and see what this lens can do there. Will update this review when done.





in
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Gotland
Posts: 160

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 6, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very good for architectural use
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-1   

This is a special purpose lens. I bought it to use for architectural and townscape photos on a Pentax K-1.


I thought that it works best with a tripod. I dislike tripods, so I bought a very light carbon fibre one (Triopo GT-3230 with a B-2 ball head.) And a L-bracket. And a cable release.


This outfit usually works just fine. I can compose the picture on Live Screen. Shift as needed. So the handling is easy if you accept an 100 % manual lens with quite a few more adjustments to make than a standard lens.


By now (May 2021) I am learning to use it without a tripod. I hold the K-1 as you used to hold a Rolleiflex. Cable release, f/11, Live View, and a reasonably stable hand works OK. With Live Wiew the exposure usually gets right.


After reading all the reports here I simply use f/11 and ISO 200 to get good sharpness in shifted positions. The camera is set on Av and does a good job when exposing. If I want moving objects (people) to freeze, higher ISO and perhaps wider aperture is needed.


Traditionally, architecture photographers leveled their camera very carefully. Then they used shift to frame the whole building and skip a lot of ground. But oftentimes they also tilted the camera ever so lightly up to get slightly converging lines. This works well even now.


The lens? Sharp enough at f/8 or f/11 even when shifted. Needs slightly more contrast than some other lenses in RAW development. Extremely well built, mine is 1976 vintage and in top shape. I bought it here in Sweden and had no taxes or postage cost and an option to return it if I did not like it. I kept it and am glad I did.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2017
Location: Medellín
Posts: 1,313

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 23, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: B&W filter turret, smooth handling.
Cons:

This is specialized lens, so there really is no competition, unless you out of your way and get an OM 24/3.5 which can cost many times more, plus the mount adapter. There's also the Sammy/Rok/etc. 24/3.5 which is obviously a more modern lens, wider, can use 82mm filters, is more versatile with shift and independent turret rotation, but also has lesser construction and not really better optics. The other options are, as a pro (in which case money shouldn't be an issue), and you'll know which manufacturer you'll pick because of the many more options; shooting a view camera on film/digital MF back/scanning back.
If you're shooting b&w architecture on film, look nowhere else. Integrated filters make contrast adjustment a breeze.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 25, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: perspective control, build, pre-set apeture
Cons: needs to stop down for better IQ
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: LX, K3, K5   

Bought it from eBay in 2017 for US 400. I use it mainly on my LX for film shooting.

Most of the time it is sufficient for perspective control, but sometimes it wont make it if the object is too close.

Distortion control is excellent. I also have the Rokinon 24mm/3.5 tilt-shift lens and the barrel distortion is quite obvious. But the tilt function on the 24mm rokinon doe sometimes deliver interesting result. It's quite a pity that Pentax has only one 28mm shift lens for 35mm film and they never came out with any new tilt-shift optics after this.

The build is very solid. Some people consider the handling of this lens as a con, but I find it very easy to use. I can simply handle it with one hand and I cannot help playing around with it. The Rekinon lens on the other hand feels very sloppy and I cannot stop worrying I might break the plastic knobs which fix the shift and tilt. Giving it has two knobs (one for shift and one for tilting), I often confuse myself which one is which.

As many people have mentioned though, this lens needs to be stopped down to F8 or onward to achieve really sharp images. Otherwise, you are merely using its PC function. I shoot it on sunny days most of the time, so there is no issue at all to use F8 or even smaller apertures.

The lens has three built-in filters and it's almost impossible to put on any external filters. I am fine with this so far. I occasionally use the orange filter and the result is surprising.

This is my must-carry lens whenever I go traveling. Some photos taken with this lens:






   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2016
Posts: 155
Lens Review Date: March 1, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: versatility
Cons: CA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1   

Made some exciting near focus (3 mtrs) panoramas and I'm surprised about the results for a beginner. After having clicked away the aberrations in the checkbox, I had to do some more work by hand on that (orange/red flowers) to get more definition within this color.



Another time I've used it to reproduce pictures, framed behind glass (using shift to avoid reflections) and other objects. That worked also very good. Surprisingly the lens delivers a lot of sharpness and details also with an extensive shift. The slight barrel (or mustache?) distortion I corrected with the LR preset (Canon Lens 24 - 70) within my photo sw.

I could recommend the use of f11 or more (when needed) as well.

It does accept filters (77mm), when mounted with care.

I'm very happy with that working tool and in my experience the overall quality of reproductions e.g. is not much different from those of macro lenses.

   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 38
Lens Review Date: October 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: VERY well built, image quality
Cons: Does not accept filters.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax   

Great lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 497

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 26, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, unique feature
Cons: Limited correction on APS-C
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nex-C3 with Zhongyi Focal Reducer II   



Very unique lens in Pentax collection. Fun to use for building / indoor perspective control!

It is a regret that Pentax does not have a full frame DSLR / Mirrorless. It is only after I mount it to an old NEX-C3 with Zhongyi Focal Reducer II that I have fully realized how tremendously useful this lens is!!
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2009
Posts: 4

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Nice IQ at far distance, well built, good handling, almost no distortion, low vignetting, good flare resistance
Cons: almost unusable IQ at close focus, heavy and expensive, bad IQ at apartures below f/8
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: Super Program, ME Super, K5   

I bought this lens for architecture and (possibly) landscape photography with my film bodies. And that's probably the only puropose of this lens.

It's image quality overall is pretty nice at far focus distances and you should always stop down to f/8-16. In any other case I'd rate it as almost useless and definitely weaker than the infamous M28/2,8 - except distortion. The K28/3,5 shift has almost no distortion.

Vignetting is also no issue here as well as lens flares. Although it tends to produce subtle colour casts at high contrast scenes when shifted.

Some people here were complaining about the handling - for me it's no problem; but I can imagine that the fact that you have to rotate the entire lens to shift in different directions could be a bit cumbersome when using an adapter. The many rings become second nature pretty quick if you use it a few times. I'm not even bothered by the (for me) useless filter-ring.

Focussing is another issue - it takes some time to get accustomed to the fact that you have to focus before you shift. Shifting darkens the viewfinder so much that a splitscreen will turn into a black spot pretty fast.

BTW: Here's an example (only moderately shifted)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ungutknut/9718875002/
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 5,643

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 20, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, Glass, Image Quality, Shift ---- Shift
Cons: Shooting directly into the sun, Weight, Preset non digital filters

I have had the lens just about a month. I primarily purchased it for landscapes and architecture. I had several other opportunities over the years, but this appeared for essentially the right price and its condition was essentially mint and factory new - although it had been used, you could not tell.

I can only echo the other reviews on build - metal, glass, heavy, unquestioned quality, like a tank, built to be able to withstand a nuclear detonation. The glass is perfect and it is sharp. Shifting is very easy. Rotation does take some practice. I found during my first few outings, that I did not sufficiently rotate it enough, however - this resulted in finding that you can use this to essentially take the equivalent of multiple row stitched panoramas (e.g., a 2 row by 3 image), by rotating to the diagonal positions. The lens shifts and also rotates, with a rotational stop at each position of a clock face (all 12 of them). The other opportunities I had to acquire this lens (for higher costs), I passed on - both for the cost and because the focal length crop factor concerned me. So far, I have not found it to be a problem yet. That said, its just been too hot to go downtown to shoot some buildings and see how it handles the various situations.

Since receiving it I have used it for landscapes and sunsets, shooting directly into the sun, in the evening at dusk. If there is a weakness in this lens, this may be it - primarily when shifted. I am thinking that practice with the lens as it applies to the situations will help to a degree, along with applying it to situations where it can excel.

This lens likes to be stopped down, so I started at f8, and now thinking that f11 is its sweet spot. The lens does take some time, as well as practice, to understand what it can do. With this lens you need to think through what you what to do and how you are going to do it. You can also overshift the lens. You have to understand that when shifted all 11mm, you are essentially reducing the amount of light that makes it to the ENTIRE sensor, since it appears that the light is somewhat concentrated over the portion of the sensor that the center point of the lens is shifted over. That coupled with shooting directly into the sun may not produce the best images.

This is not my video - however I happened across it. It show the lens' operations and might be interesting to folks considering this lens...

Its ability for perspective correction has been well covered. Its ability to shift from one side to the other for panoramic stitching has also been addressed. However, using this lens to take a series of images and stitching them together in somewhat of a non traditional manner has not been covered very well. Since this lens rotates in a shifted manner around all 12 of the clock points, taking these images and stitching them provides a number of opportunities as shown in the attached image.



(Non working link removed)
   
PEG Moderator

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland... "Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand" - William Blake
Posts: 55,290

6 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 4, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Possibly IMHO Pentax engineering at its best
Cons: None, that I've found, I'd rate this lens a 12
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 7   

It's one of my all time favourite lenses.

I used extensively of FF cameras (LXs etc) just as a wide angle lens, which had extra capabilities if required, not so much nowadays on DSLRs, except on a notion or on a job requirement.

As other reviewers have mentioned, it slows down the picture taking process, which I admit I do enjoy. It allows me the luxury of really checking what will become the final image in the viewfinder, because it requires a slight process to use, as opposed to dare I say with tongue in cheek point/click.

I still use use it to make myself disappear in and on reflective surfaces, rather than do the work in PP. I guess that's the journalist in me coming out where PP is almost forbidden, apart from a little sharpen and contrast.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2010
Posts: 12

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 16, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price and build
Cons: Way of shifting, not enough WA

Bought this lens as a cheaper alternative to the Canon TS-E 24mm.

"huh?"

I mainly use this lens on a digital full frame Canon. I use it for architecture and I love the image quality. If you get used to the lens, it is quite easy to work with, the two dials for aperture are really usefull. There are some cons however. The shift mechanism isn't the best I've seen on a shift lens. I prefer a mechanism that work with a little screw/knob for adjusting the shift more precisely. Second, 28mm isn't very wide for architecture, 24mm would be better (or the new TS-E 17mm by Canon).

My last con isn't really a fault of the lens, my adapter does not outline the lens exactly with my Canon so it is difficult to shift only in vertical direction. If there is somebody who knows a proper adapter, please pm
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 7,620

7 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quality, design and functionality.
Cons: Preset lens, only three built-in filters, cost, weight.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

This is the Pentax “transformer” lens! I bought this lens last fall and only recently used it. It’s definitely a specialty lens, which explains why it’s so easy to pick up one in near mint condition. I got an original “K” series one, with case and manual. You will need the manual, as this is not a simple lens to use and quite different from other Pentax lenses.

For a detailed description on how to use the lens, this is the link to the original manual:

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/499758/Pentax-Smc-Shift-28mm-F-3-5-Lens.html


Observations:

This is Preset lens, which means you have to use stop-down metering. It has two diaphragm rings, one you preset the aperture and the other controls the aperture size. It would have been easier if this was a full manual lens and would remove one ring from the already complicated design.

There are three built-in filters, Y2, O2 and Skylight. These are great for a film user like me, who shoots in colour and B&W. It would have been nice to also have a UV filter built-in. This lens is best used in sunny daylight situations, as the built-in filters are suited for this type of shooting.

This lens is very similar to the K & A 15/3.5 in size and weight. Both lenses also have a small built in hood, exposed front element and use the same “tin can” metal lens cap.

You can shift in either vertical (default) or horizontal camera position. You need to rotate the entire lens 90 degrees to use it horizontally; it’s a bit cumbersome to use it this way.

You can set all the shift dials to the “0” setting and use this lens as a regular, albeit heavy, 28mm wide angle lens. It works well this way and saves you also carrying a second lens. Whether it’s as sharp as the K28/3.5, is another story.


This is a very well built lens and has a quite amazing design. It’s a pleasure to use and if you are into architectural photography a must. I took this lens on a recent trip for this purpose and it was my only wide angle lens. I was quite impressed with the shifting effect on the skyscrapers I took pictures of. It’s also a bonus that it can be used for scenic and regular photography. I’m not sure if this lens would be of much use on an APS-C DSLR, as the angle of view might be too narrow, but on a film camera the focal length is perfect!

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


Camera: K2 Film: Fuji Velvia 50 ISO: 50 (Uncorrected – without shift)





Camera: K2 Film: Fuji Velvia 50 ISO: 50 (Corrected – with moderate shift)

   
New Member

Registered: May, 2009
Posts: 5

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 23, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $525.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality. Build quality. Shift!
Cons: Built in filters not that useful for digital

This is a lens that just makes you love the process of photography. If you have any interest in shooting architecture or panoramas, then you will not likely be disappointed in it.

In terms of image quality, the lens is wonderfully sharp, has excellent contrast, and very well controlled distortions. The first test shots I did with it in close quarters barrel distortions were visible, but in real world shooting of architecture they are negligible.

Build quality is superb. This is a solid lens, yet for what it is it doesn't feel overly heavy. If you are one of those people that love the physical design of a good lens, then you'll love this one: it has an aperture ring and a preset ring; a rotating knob that shifts the lens; a knob that rotates the lens independently of the shifting mechanism so you can put it in any orientation; and a ring that controls the three built-in filters (skylight, yellow and orange...if you're using film you'll appreciate these but on digital they're not all that useful). And of course there's a knurled focus ring with a silky smooth precision. The front of the lens has a very slight "hood" around the front element that will take a 77mm filter, and there's also a clip in the rear that will take gelatin filters.

On a Pentax digital crop sensor camera, you obviously won't get the full 28mm which does limit its usefulness for wide angle architecture. (Although the overall image quality is so good it doesn't make a bad walk around lens either, albiet a heavy one.) The lens really does shine, though, when used on a full frame camera. With a K-mount adapter I've been using it on a Canon 5dMKII with impressive results. (To see an example of full frame shift correction see here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/index.php?n=12232

The lens is also useful for stitching panormas, because by shifting the lens between photos you get perfectly aligned photos to merge. You can also use the shift to make deliberate "overshifts" or "reverse shifts" for creative effects.

Now, obviously this lens is not for everyone. If you are looking for a light, compact 28mm prime then this is not it. But if you want the ability to do perspective corrections without needing to degrade the image in post processing, or the ability to make panoramas, then this is definitely a lens you'll want to keep an eye out for.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 485

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 4, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Pentax's only shift lens
Cons: Heavy, not really wide enough, expensive

I feel sort of bad reviewing this lens. I had it for a total of a year. I found that I didn't have the patients to use a shift lens and it just wasn't something that I used enough as a nature photographer. Perhaps if it were wider I would have had more use for it.

It is a beautifully constructed lens and for those who need it, and can live at 28mm you have a beautiful lens.
Add Review of SMC Pentax 28mm F3.5 Shift



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