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SMC Pentax 85mm F2.2 Soft

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 36,574 Fri October 8, 2010
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $520.00 9.00
SMC Pentax 85mm F2.2 Soft

SMC Pentax 85mm F2.2 Soft
SMC Pentax 85mm F2.2 Soft
SMC Pentax 85mm F2.2 Soft
SMC Pentax 85mm F2.2 Soft

This is the fastest of the three "soft" lenses. Optically it is very simple with just two elements and thus much different from a regular 85mm lens.

SMC Pentax 85mm F2.2 Soft
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Manual, 6 blades
2 elements, 1 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
57 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 19 ° / 16 °
Full frame: 29 ° / 24 °
PH-R49 and clip-on hood
for 85mm/100mm lenses
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Soft Focus
Diam x Length
72 x 52 mm
235 g
Production Years
1986 to 1990
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX SOFT 1:2.2 85mm
Product Code
User reviews
The aperture ring adjusts the soft focus effect.
The aperture ring has no click-stops.
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

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Senior Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 171
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light, sharp (in the middle), great contrast.

This is an excellent studio portrait lens.

F2.2 is too soft for most applications, but the centre sharpens up very nicely within a stop or two, which is where most people would use it. This is perfect, as you never feel hemmed in by the degree of variable softness on offer. The aperture ring allows for any intermediate aperture settings to get the softness just right. Not being an "A" lens, you can see the effect in the viewfinder.

The lens produces great colour rendition and contrast, with just the slightest CA.

Although most fast MF lenses work a treat with the AF 1.7x teleconverter, this lens is an exception. The wider and softer it gets, the more hit-and-miss is the AF. Rather than endless hunting, it seems to give a false lock. Manual focus only, and you'll be delighted.

Almost perfect.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 6,627

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 28, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $520.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great creative tool and very versatile.
Cons: Price and 49mm filter thread.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

The K85/2.2 Soft falls into the specialty lens category and is one odd looking lens. (Pear shaped) It also holds the distinction of being the last “K” series lens introduced (1986) and the only one with a 49mm filter thread. (Other K series lenses standardized on 52mm, 58mm or 77mm filter threads)

The aperture ring has a range between F2.2 to F5.6 and is also used to control the degree of “softness”. At F2.2 the lens is the “softest” and it sharpens as the lens is closed down.

The focusing ring does not have a distance or depth-of–field scale and I found it a little hard to focus as my cameras all have cross-microprism screens. The lens manual recommends an “all-matte” screen. This is also a fully manual lens with no diaphragm linkage, so you need to use stop-down metering but in a different way.

These are the steps when taking a picture:

1) Adjust the degree of “softness” using the aperture ring.
2) Manually focus. (If you change the degree of softness you will have to refocus)
3) Turn on meter and set the shutter speed.*
4) Take picture.

*Due to the K85/2.2s limited aperture range, a camera with “aperture priority” works best. I have used this lens with my KX and K2 film bodies and the K2 is much better, as it has an Automatic shutter setting.

The K85/2.2 uses the “M” series short telephoto lens hood, designed for the M85/2, M100/2.8 & M100/4 Macro lenses.

My results using this lens have been quite good and I also recommend trying this lens with macro extension tubes or a teleconverter. This makes the K85/2.2 quite versatile and it’s not just for portraits. I have also taken pictures of flowers & buildings, using the lens on its own or with the above attachments.

The K85/2.2 is fun to use and will bring out your creative side, like the K17/4 Fisheye or the K28/3.5 Shift lens. I highly recommend it, even though it’s on the pricy side.

Here is a link to the K85/2.2 Soft lens manual:

Here is a sample picture taken at F5.6 when the lens is at its “sharpest”:

Here is a sample picture taken at F2.8 when the lens is near its “softest”:

Camera: SF1n Film: Kodak Gold 200 ISO: 200

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