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SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
28 139,143 Sun November 17, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $233.95 9.64
SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8

SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8
SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8

The SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8 is the only 30mm prime lens ever produced by Pentax.

SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 5 blades
9 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: 51 ° / 44 °
Full frame: 72 ° / 62 °
PH-S52 (24mm)
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 39.5 mm
215 g
Production Years
1975 to 1984
Engraved Name
SMC PENTAX 1:2.8/30 (early variant) or smc PENTAX 1:2.8 30mm (later variant)
Product Code
User reviews
Two variants were produced. The only difference appears to be in the engraved name: SMC PENTAX 1:2.8/30 (early variant) vs. smc PENTAX 1:2.8 30mm (later variant)
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8
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Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 550
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build quality, overall optical performance
Cons: a bit soft wide open, cost
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 7    Camera Used: K3   

I had wanted one of these lenses for a long time for a number of reasons -
1. I like K build quality
2. I love K colour rendition
3. 27 - 30mm is my preferred focal length for general photography on APSc.
4. Previous reviews here had me slavoring for one!
5. I have a number of Kmount film cameras so it serves as 2 lenses in 1.
One came up from a good dealer I have used several times before at what I consider a reasonable price (250) for a very good copy , optically, mechanically and cosmetically. I think this is about right considering what I have to say below concerning its' IQ and reputation. Now to my review.
I find myself agreeing a great deal with what Paseo has said in an earlier review. Frankly I find the lens over rated. Although I do think his monetary valuation is rather parsimonious.
Yes it is very sharp from f4, but wide open no so much. Yes it controls aberrations very well. However the colour rendition is much colder than my other K lenses, and I usually have to tweak images to get a less cold look.
My copy also often gets the exposure wrong on my K3, tending towards a great deal of over exposure. I do not understand why. I think the biggest problem with this lens is not that it is not excellent - it is -but there are better options out there - particularly the F 28mm f2.8, which is cheaper, produces warmer colours and is as sharp as the K30. It also provides full automation for those that prefer it (although for myself I am not that bothered by this advantage), or one of the Sigma 30mm lenses. I do not have a K 28mm f3.5, maybe one will come my way at some point, but that lens is again cheaper than the K 30mm , and also has a similar reputation.
Can I recommend this lens, Well yes, but only with certain caveats, it is after all an excellently performing lens:-
Do not pay too much
Do not expect too much


I have been shooting the 30mm on my KP recently and the above mentioned exposure issue and coolness of the images has not been in evidence on that camera. So perhaps they are a reflection of the K3 rather than of the lens itself.
New Member

Registered: July, 2019
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 23, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $206.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, great focal length, good colours
Cons: Nothing really
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax MV   

I love this lens. Thanks to this forum for putting me onto it! I'm getting into wide angle portraits and you really need something sharp if you're going 35mm. Have a look at this picture and you'll see how good it is. Shot on Kodak Ektar 100 with my MV and flash AF 200S. Actually slightly over exposed because I misread the flash settings and had the aperture too open. Have corrected for it in Lightroom but if I had exposed correctly there would have been even more detail.

I've also attached a 1:1 crop.

New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Naples
Posts: 10

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 21, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Colors, contarst, field of view, 3d pop up, color to color transition, sharpness, k built
Cons: Some ca in high contrast border until f4, Price/performance ratio.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: k5 Lx   

I found this little lens in a penny market, attached on an perfect woring mx... and I got both for 30. A lucky shot, once in a while. I'd never spend 250-500\$\ for this manual lens, I enjoy AE and AF too much, because I shot reportage on Dslr the most.

It's a very good lens, ok, and it can produce pictures near or in pair or even nicer than many limited or star prime, but I totally disagree with all the hype and overstimating rating it has here in PentaxForums and all around... I guess it's the "very uncommon" effect, and only this reason can make the price rise up so much, as for the K 28mm 3.5 and so on. It has yhe typical "K" rendition, with some of the "zeiss" colours and tones taste, plus the early SMC personality and a bit of the warming up japan effect. I found the same thing on all the best or mid level pentax K prime (24, 28 3.5, 50 1.4, 55 1.8, 85, 105, 250...) and some limited (31, 49, 77, 70). I love it but nowdays it can't fill the gap with modern primes and justify such a high price if you don't shot on film the most.

Because it is a very good, not so fast, well built, near zeiss color, prime lens of the "K" era, nothing more than this. What's special? The color rendition. The look of colors is very very VERY good, as said. And the sharpness. Is very high from 2.8, but not as many 50mm, until 5.6. But the details perception is even stronger and nicer than a razor sharp lens, thanks to the great microcontrast between tones and colors. Infact this 30mm's pitures have such a sophisticate colour and detail rendition that seems to be edited by a "cinematic" postproduction workflow. Aberrations are ok, general contrast is not the best, anyway, but microcontrast, due to tone to tone transition, as said, is wonderfull. Bokeh is good, to be a moderate wide lens. Not the best. SMC works good as usual for flare protection and contrast. It's built as a K... perfect ad smooth to use. Compact as a 50mm, to be 2.8 the size\aperture ratio is very good. And this 30mm has a "deep blue" effect too of the 28mm 3.5 K, and sometimes it can give the 3d pop up effect of the 31mm limited. But this 30mm is not near the 31mm limited in terms of "magic" and pop up, so remaining only a bery well performing and quite fast moderate wideangle manual lens, great to use on film camera in reportage, as "one lens" experience, but hard to handle on digital camera. Anyway, it performs similar on film and digital camera. And it's a great thing if you want to use this lens for some "large field portrait": skin rendition is great, contrast and colour seems already been photoshopped. The focal lenght of 30mm is perfect for reportage and street ph. angle of view on film camera. I'm used to shot on digital with the 21mm limited, the same of 30 on film. The 31limited had been done for that porpouse. F 2.8 is ok for street and reportage.

At the end, this lens have a sense only at a price of 100, 150, if you love the 30mm and shot on film. I'd pay more than that only for collection purpouse or if I shoot a lot of reportage on film slr without AF.
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2012
Posts: 104

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, Sharpness, Usefulness
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax LX   

Whenever I travel, I tend to carry with me a film SLR along with my Pentax digital gear. To make it fun and fresh, I might sometimes look for a new lens to carry along with me too. A 30mm came up in our local buy & sell a few months ago, and after looking at what is said here, I decided to get one.

No regrets with it. I had just acquired a 28mm 3.5 not too long prior and was about to bring it with me on a trip to Iceland. So there was some hesitation about getting something with just a 2mm difference in FL. Nonetheless, I decided to go ahead anyway given its rarity. I chose the 30mm for my Iceland trip primarily because it was more compact than the 28mm and saved space in my bag.

In terms of usability, it turned out to be a handy FL for me as I was taking mostly landscape shots with the occasional environmental portraits.

I was impressed with this lens on film for its sharpness and contrast. It stood out there. Here's a pic from the trip.

Shot with a Pentax LX and on Ektar 100 film
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 41
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Form function & colour rendition

Between buying and selling many camera systems I found two of these rare
Pentax lenses, I sold both years ago but wish I'd kept one !
The SMC 30mm K 2.8 is said to render deep blues in a very special way,
I'm on the lookout for another one.
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2015
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: February 2, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: handling, sharpness, perspective, bokeh, distortion
Cons: none, maybe they could have made it 2.0 ;)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax LX   

i was lucky to find this lens at a camera dealers place who is specialized in repairing and CLA-ing old film SLR's. this guy has hundreds of cam's, is specialized in Nikon and Leica and knows a lot about lenses. obviously he didn't know what rare gem he had with this 30/2.8 so he proposed to sell this cutie to me for 90USD (the price for a 28/2.8). I knew about the lens from various reviews and thankfully agreed to the price.

i tested this lens with my LX in various conditions on various filmtypes and it is wonderfull in every aspect. i normally love wideopen lenses but the f2.8 still gives a nice bright finder image. the rendering of literally everything is impressive. i've shot architecture, landscape some objects and everything looks gorgeous. the detail and microcontrast ist good but not looking odd... it's natural and precise which is underlined by the very good IQ (distortion and aberrations are almost inexisting with my copy). the bokeh (in fore- and background) is soft but with this certain grit. the transition from sharp to soft has this hard to describe something which makes the image pop. i definitely have no negatives here and would recommend this lens before any of the available PK mount 28mm and also before any 35mm if you can deal with the additional 5mm width. it's not easy to find this lens but whenever you see one.. get it!


Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 75

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Absolutely great images! Sharpness, Boke, it's all great!
Cons: Odd focal length to get used to.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

I've only done some light testing of the lens, but I'm already finding it to be one of my favorites. I am not entirely good, nor familiar with prime lenses, as this is one of only two I own. The sharpness was stunning for me. I can't get even close with my other lenses. The fact that I found this at a thrift store for only $10 means I probably got the absolute bargain of the century, on what can be one of the best prime lenses out there.

New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Location: France
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: January 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Suavity
Cons: Do not ask this question
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5 and Pentax LX   

on film or digital, this lens is a maestro.
I will not add comment has everything that was said.
It is difficult to compare the artists because they all have a sole interpretation
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Built like a tank. Great bokken.
Cons: MF, built like a tank
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

I After reading PF, I couldn't pass up this lens when I found it in Cheng's camera shop in Saskatoon. The focal length is superb. I have abused this lens dropping it on ashphalt and he repaired it, which if it were plastic, it would be no more! When focused spot on, the shots are photorgasmic.
New Member

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: October 31, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp/ Great Walk Around/ Has its own personality
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

I really love this lens. It is the first prime I ever bought and I feel that I have really grown as a photographer with it.

I really like the focal length on my cropped sensor (it's a perfect walk around). It has great color rendition and although it can be easy to get lens flare without a hood that isn't always a bad thing. It is sharp wide open and easy to focus and very simple to hyper focus in f/8 due to convenient orange markings you can align on the focusing ring and aperture ring.

Bokeh can be busy but usually only with complicated backgrounds due to the 5 aperture blades but that just forces me consider my compositions a little more carefully. Also, there can be a fair amount of CA but Lightroom can easily deal with those. The K series 30mm f/2.8 has a personal magic batters down any shortcomings.

It's rarity also gives it a special allure as well. If you can find one in good condition it is a real treat to use.
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: September 30, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, bokeh, colour rendition
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K30, Super A   

Superb lens.

New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 9

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Blown away by it
Cons: None at all if you are happy using manual.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

Just got this lens off of eBay for 120 UKP. My 1st impressions on my first day using it is that it just blows away all my other lenses, (and I have a lot of lovely glass from the 50's up to the present day). I didn't quite believe the reviews but saw one up for bidding so went for it anyway and won. When it arrived I took some rather pointless shots of sandwiches, some toy cars and a pile of DVDs and what not, just to see how it handled before I used it properly, and on review each and every picture is stunning. Even when I zoom in, the quality holds in a cinematic way. Not often I am lost for words. Crisp, sharp, lovely colour rendition, nice natural depth of field and contrast. Wtf? Why didn't I have this lens when I was at college in the 80s, I would be a major name by now :-D Buy one if you see one!! Hopefully this shot of lupins in my garden shows the 3D quality of this lens.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,671
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Wow, just wow
Cons: Nada
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: KX film, PZ-1P, K-30   

I bought this lens new, way back when. I remember purchased it over a 28/F2 since it was lower price and close in terms of focal length and speed. It's been sitting around for some time, unused for some unknown reason. I recently purchased my 1st digital dslr camera, a K-30. I read the reviews on the forum and pulled out the old glass. Still learning the digital system and the conversion factor of old film lenses. As previous reviewers have stated, this lens simply shines. Sharp, great color and 3D like quality pictures. This lens will stand up against the best of the best from competitive lenses.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Svealand
Posts: 172
Lens Review Date: August 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $313.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, IQ, colour rendition, compact, bokeh, well built
Cons: Price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

A lovely lens. Sharp, great colorendition.
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 75

13 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: unassailable in every way
Cons: possibly the 52mm filter/cap size
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-o1   

First off--I want to thank the other reviewers on here. Especially the reviewer that compared this lens ot the 31mm f/1.9 ltd.. This was great for pointing me in the right direction.

As for the lens itself, lets take a look:

Sharpness: The lens has a signature sharpness to it that is unlike anything else I have seen. It is not an ugly, gritty sharpness, but a lower contrast painterly sharpness that renders details with a very cinematic feel. The detail is all there, but it distinguishes itself against the 50mm f/1.7 SMC-M as a more of a 'poet' than a 'philosopher.' I have not done any technical tests of the two side-by-side, but they are comparable in their beauty and IQ. These must be my two favorite lenses.

Aberrations: They are present. More pronounced CLA in backl-lit scenes, but more than acceptably mild in comparison to the 40mm XS f/2.8, possibly even handled better than the 50/1.7. If reasonable care is taken when composing, they are simply not much of an issue.

Bokeh: I gave a 9 on account of the low-blade count. It pulls off some pretty creamy margarine, if not true-to-life butter. I mainly use for street photography at at least f/8, so Bokeh has not been a criteria for me that is a dealbreaker. The few shots I have taken wider 5.6 - 2.8 range all show very cinematic qualities in my opinion.

Fidelity: The color rendition is true to life. Not quite as punchy as the 50/1.7 M, but in terms of rendering out the palette it does so with astonishing reliability. Not once have I seen a color that 'floated on top' of the image or was even slightly off. Others have called the lens "subtle" and that is probably a good word for it. The colors, right out of the camera, look natural, un-compensated-for, and frankly, quite beautiful. Provides a perfect DNG with plenty of lateral headroom in post.

Contrast: The contrast with this lens, I am still coming to grips with. The lens has been called 'less contrasty' than the 31mm f/1.9 Ltd., and while this may be true (I have not used the 31mm), it seems to me that more often than not, my negatives are coming out without much need for contrast adjustments. On the other hand, when I do make adjustments to darken the image (I am using Picasa, so I may revise once I can get some quality software), it seems to clip to black in the shadows quicker than one would anticipate. However, I have found that the highlights are where i have more headroom. As I said above, it definitely has its own signature. Today I wanted to test just B&W jpgs out of the camera and I have to say that nearly none of them needed any adjustments in post.

Field of view: On an APS-C digital camera, this becomes a 45mm lens. The crop-factor, rather than looking odd (like some cropped 28mm's can look), seems to enhance 3D characteristics of this lens. I find that the 45mm is nearly perfect for everything. Landscape, street, even portraits look quite good. When using focus-peaking on the K-o1, you can see the plane-of-focus move forward to backward. The plane of focus seems almost as if it may be partly to blame for the 3D quality of the lens. Unlike any other lens I have seen or used. As far as composing with this lens...perfect for composing with the entire frame when you are in a crowd of people. Allows you to capture ancillary details to your main subject for interesting juxtapositions. Seems to have the ability to focus very close-up as well. Using hyper-focals are pretty reliable. I am still learning the various regions (for instance, if I want a person, head-to-toe in sharp focus filling the entire height of the frame at f/8, I know to set focus at the first "3" in the 3.3 meter marking) for different f-stops, but so-far it preforms as it should if opening up. One last thing on field of view. My kit currently consists of: M-50/1.7; XS-40/2,8; K-30/2.8, a Tair 11-A 135/2.8 and a Pheonix 19-35. In terms of usefulness, fun, the most bang-for-the-buck in terms of being creative -- the resultant 45mm on APS-C cannot be beat. I also have a M-28mm f/2.8 which is only 2 mm off from this lens, but somehow it seems more distant. Again, another user commented on the difference 1mm made between this lens and the 31 f/1.9. I have to say, there may indeed be something to this. I cant exactly put my finger on it.

Handling: Handles like the best of Pentax's best manual focus lenses. Well damped focus ring. The aperture ring is solid. Same great build quality as the other lenses in the K/M/A legacy.

Value: I am not sure how to grade this one. I paid $250, shipped on eBay. That is enough of a sting on my budget to make me place my expectations fairly high. As in -- it had better be the 'one.' That said -- this thing is a goddamned heirloom, is what it is. Its quality can't really be quantified in terms of 'value.' I would personally put this up against any other lens costing much more. There are people asking double what I paid. It is worth every cent of $500 - $600. I just happened to be extremely lucky. Bidding was up-to-the-last minute, literally. I had even lost an auction on another copy of this lens the night prior. Apparently this lens is pretty rare, but make no mistake about it -- the higher prices it commands on the used market are every bit a reflection not of its rarity, but of its quality.

Overall: Well...lets just say, it may never come off my camera. Kills LBA dead. Kills return of the son of LBA double dead, decapitated, cremated with ashed scattered on the ocean floor. One reviewer called this the "poor man's 31mm f/1.9." I think perhaps I would revise that to say that the 31mm f/1.9 is the rich man's k30/2.8. At the very least, although the comparisons between the two are inevitable due to the closeness of the focal lengths, I think the 30mm/2.8 lens is in its own class in terms of what it does, the kind of pictures it takes, etc.. I can honestly say that I have a totally different disposition toward this piece of my equipment than any other piece. It is a real game changer.
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