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SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
21 104,580 Tue August 28, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $341.53 9.65
SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8

SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8
SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8

This is the fastest 85mm lens in the M/K series.

SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 8 blades
6 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
85 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 19 ° / 16 °
Full frame: 29 ° / 24 °
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
64 x 56 mm
331 g
Production Years
1975 to 1977
Engraved Name
SMC PENTAX 1:1.8/85
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax 85mm F1.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-21 of 21
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 509
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: high optical quality, portable, extremely well built, perhaps better than a M
Cons: A little bit soft on f/1.8; shortest focus distance a bit long; getting too expensive
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

Better than my Pentax M 50mm f/1.4 when wide open. Performs well with a doubler or a 1.7x. Extremely well built. Easily one of my best lenses. Reluctant to use due to its rarity and its high market price Maybe I should buy another one just in case.

In short distance, the resolution and contrast are on par with FA77. FA77 wins on longer distance and CA. FA77 also does better with contrast at the largest apertures. But the dreamy effect at f1.8 is very attractive for portrait. It seems more flavorful that Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f1.4. F1.8 is perhaps better choice than f1.4 in the vast majority of situations because of razor sharp DOF. The color is very attractive and unique. This lens has grown on me.

BTW, Rokinon/Samyang 85mm f1.4 is sharper with higher contrast at the largest apertures. But I still love my K85

Pentax SMC K 85mm f1.8 Examples
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 128
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh
Cons: Missing "interface" with new Pentax DSLRs ...

I bought this lens two years ago. Since then, it has become one of my most used lenses. Quite soft fully open, but still usable. Great bokeh, and really sharp from f/2 on ... 9/10 only because i cannot have the current f/stop value shown in the viewfinder of my K10D, otherwise it would have been a full 10/10 ...
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Michigan/USA
Posts: 173
Lens Review Date: November 6, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color, sharpness, oof rendering, size.
Cons: K lens have to use in manual mode, prefer PK-A.

I have a lot of nice lenses, this one is a favorite. The focusing is so easy and smooth, bright viewfinder, the color and clarity of the photo even at 1.8 is impressive.
New Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, nice out of focus rendering. Nice handling.
Cons: None

A bit soft when wide open, but sharpens nicely when stopped down. Very solidly built. Nice OOF rendering.
I have not tested on digital, but I suspect it would compare nicely with the FA77mm.
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 147
Lens Review Date: January 26, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: small, crisp focusing, superb bokeh, sharp at f2
Cons: not f1.4 but that is rather obvious, non-A

The tag line "beat by the speed of the FA* and A*" is sort of silly. As if that sums it up. I'm happy with this lens so far -- I have a sample locally for a relatively low cost compared to eBay. A few photos here:

Update: Here are some more photos (a lot at f1.8 with ND4 filter during day):

(Non working link removed)

At first, I hesitated to use it wide open but I decided to give it a try and I like it. Sure, it is less sharp wide open but the images it produces are very good. Even if you pixel peep! The DOF is razor thin though at close range. This is my favorite lens.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2006
Location: 44266
Posts: 434
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fairly sharp, good bokeh
Cons: Heavy?

I bought this lens new in the mid to late 80's I think and it has served me well. I have shot a lot of Tri-X with this one. A good 'short' portrait lens as well as good for some woodland pictures where the 1.8 is a help.
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