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SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 9.6
Aberrations 
 9.2
Bokeh 
 8.9
Handling 
 9.7
Value 
 9.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
30 150,460 Sun August 30, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $233.29 9.57
SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8

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

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



SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8
© 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
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
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: 51 ° / 44 °
Full frame: 72 ° / 62 °
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 39.5 mm
Weight
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
22440
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

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)

Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8
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New Member

Registered: August, 2020
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: August 30, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Really nice rendering. Beautiful colors, smooth focusing and good build
Cons: No
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: SONY A7R2   

The Pentax K 2.8/30

...My opinion from experience.
This is not the sharpest lens -compared to my very sharp Zeiss lenses. But I have no troubles using it for architectural photos. The bokeh is really nothing to write home about - If I have to prioritize bokeh I use an other lens. But even if corner sharpness and bokeh sometimes is very important -it is the whole expression and balance of the pictures the lens produce, the way the lens "draws" the picture and the ability to reproduce the subtle gray and color shades that counts. And not to forget the depth also called the 3D rendering. This is what I find most important, and the K 2.8/30 has a lot of these qualities.
The 30mm focal length- just between the very versatile 25 and 35mm is just perfect, and the 45mm EQ focal length on 1.5 crop/ S35 mode is a better "normal" focal length than 50mm.
I have added two fresh picture shot with my 2.8/30mm lens. I hope they will tell more than my words


A picture of a little wooden viewing bridge just after the rain had stopped - 30 August 2020



f:5.6 1/50 ISO100 - SONY A7R2




And here is the bridge tower on Long Bridge in Copenhagen - 30 August 2020



f:5.6 1/200 ISO100 - SONY A7R2
   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2020
Posts: 82
Lens Review Date: August 20, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good build, looks; sharp for a 30mm f/2.8 lens; little field curvature
Cons: chromatic aberration; too pricey; lack of a good dedicated Pentax metal hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 7    Camera Used: K10D, K-3 II   

I prefer to manual-focus, coming out of three decades in 35-mm film, medium-format film, and large-format glass plates before I got into digital, and I like the build of the older K-mount lenses. I was looking for a few fast prime lenses between my D-FA 24-mm f/2 and my FA 50-mm f/1.4 lenses, and I chose this as I was looking for something small and light for landscapes when I'm traveling, as well as to do some astrophotography, so autofocus isn't important for me there. I have numerous zooms that cover the range 12-300 mm, but there's appeal to smaller prime lenses like this that are not too expensive.

Having done some shooting with this 30-mm f/2.8 lens with resolution test charts, some building photos, and some garden photos, I'm happy with the resolution from f/2.8 onwards. It can be frustrating in bright sunlight because my K10D doesn't tell me the exposure levels with this lens, and I find that its auto-shooting feature (green setting) is fine in low light but poor in bright sunlight, even with 0.5-stop exposure bracketing. So this lens will be more for low-light photography for me, moving forward, and not for use in sunlight unfortunately. The sharpness is really excellent, limited only by the pixel size in my 24-megapixel K-3 II camera. But the chromatic aberration is a problem when you look closely at images (if you just do landscapes and don't look too closely, you won't have much problem with CA). But this color fringing is a known problem with these older lenses. What is excellent is the field curvature: for a 30-mm lens, curvature is only slight and hardly noticeable unless you look closely on an APS-C image; I've not yet used this on a FF camera. The aperture ring on my copy moves well and has the 360-degree ring so that you can turn the ring from the side or the bottom of the lens easily. The focusing ring is also solid and turns about 120 degrees from infinity to closest focus.

I looked at the reviews of the 28mm, 30mm, and 35mm lenses before selecting this one (I also have the FA 35mm f/2 lens to also add to this range for me, with the option for more automated photography). I rated value as "7" because I paid $220 (incl. shipping costs, from Japan, off eBay, plus the state tax levied by eBay) and there's noticeable color fringing where you have a sharp boundary (like a branch or flower and background), but the lens is in superb condition -- all parts moving perfectly and the glass pristine. It's just that, given my comments above, its value to me is nowhere near a 9 or a 10. Mine is the earlier SMC variant of this lens; I wonder if there were any optical improvements to the later smc variant? I've noticed that other reviewers of this lens here have not commented much (or at all) on CA in this lens; I wonder if the smc variant has better coatings to reduce the CA?

photo showing the lens on my camera with round, metal, non-Pentax (wide-angle Sensei Pro) lens hood:

   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 876
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 K mount 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

Update:-

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.

Update 2:-
A K 28mm f3.5 came my way, and I have to say on the whole I prefer it over the 30mm, but only by a smidgin. And this is purely subjective The cheaper price of the K 28mm f3.5 would make me recommend it over the K 30mm, but the 28mm is even rarer so you may be out of luck trying to source one. In terms of value for money I would order the lenses as follows:-
1. K 28mm f3.5
2. F 28mm f2.8
3. K 30mm f2.8
All of them are excellent though, and I can see why one may prefer one model over another. I happily use them all!
Finally an image from the K 30mm:-

   
New Member

Registered: July, 2019
Posts: 12

2 users 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
Cons:
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
Cons:

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!



crop




crop
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Posts: 76

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
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/46299-pajenbel/albums/6799-pajenbel/picture83295.jpg
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/46299-pajenbel/albums/6799-pajenbel/picture83294.jpg
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/46299-pajenbel/albums/6799-pajenbel/picture83296.jpg
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/46299-pajenbel/albums/6799-pajenbel/picture83297.jpg
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/46299-pajenbel/albums/6799-pajenbel/picture83298.jpg
   
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

4 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: 1,833
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.
Add Review of SMC Pentax 30mm F2.8



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