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SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

Sharpness 
 8.5
Aberrations 
 8.2
Bokeh 
 8.3
Handling 
 9.3
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
106 355,649 Sun December 29, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $47.92 8.56
SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
supersize
SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
supersize

Description:
The SMC-Pentax M 135mm F3.5 manual telephoto lens is slightly lighter than its K-series predecessor.


SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades
Optics
5 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
150 cm
Max. Magnification
0.11x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 12 ° / 10 °
Full frame: 18 ° / 15 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 66 mm
Weight
270 g
Production Years
1977 to 1986
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:3.5 135mm
Product Code
23460
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 106
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Eureka, CA
Posts: 3,843

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 29, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: compact, built-in hood, build quality
Cons: flat rendering
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-1, KP   

This is a difficult lens to review. Prima facie, there seems very little to complain. Copies of this lens are easy to find at bargain basement prices. The lens is delightfully compact, with 49mm filter rings and even a built-in hood. It produces images which, at first glance, look sharp and contrasty. Yet I find myself not liking the output of this lens, and if the 135mm focal length was important to me, I'd be looking to replace this M series telephoto with the K 135/3.5 or the A 135/2.8.

There exist lenses which, although they seem very impressive at first glance, on longer acquaintance create a vague dissatisfaction. Images from these types of lenses just don't wear well over time. The sharpness of the lens, which often makes a strong initial impression, later on comes to seem shallow and meretricious. The fact that a lens can resolve very fine detail may be an asset, but if detail isn't rendered in a way that's natural (i.e., "precise but smooth," like the human eye sees detail), it can lead to images that look flat and/or vaguely dissatisfying. If a lens produces images with more "global" than "local" contrast, this can also lead to problems, particularly in terms of retaining detail and vibrance in shadows.

I'm well aware that this sort of analysis may strike some as overly fastidious and fussy, emphasizing, as it does, qualities of the lens performance that our not only immeasurable, but which many photographers either don't notice or don't care about. Fair enough. For those who merely want a sharp, compact, especially well-made moderate telephoto lens at a very cheap price, the M 135/3.5 really is a no brainer. For those who are more finicky about lens performance, particularly in relation to the rendering of detail and color/contrast, perhaps other options should be considered.

I'm going to show the best shots I've made with this lens, starting with APS-C (with the KP):



While this image shows what the lens is capable of achieving, there are some important caveats to bear in mind. First, I spend quite a bit of time post processing, significantly more than I would have if it had been shot, say, with the HD DA 55-300 PLM. When I raised the shadows on the forested section of the hillside it was all washed out, and I had to do quite a bit of contrast burning to fix that (and even then it's not as micro-contrasty as I would prefer). Nor could I quite get the colors exactly where I wanted them although admittedly I came close.

I actually had better luck with the lens shooting it on APS-C. Perhaps the sharpness of the lens pays greater benefits on the smaller sensor, where resolution is in higher demand. On FF, I've been much less pleased with the lens' output. Here's best shot I've made with the M 135/3.5 with the K-1:



One nice thing about the image is the starbursts: eight aperture blades is definitely better than six. But I'm not thrilled with the color. I tried to fix it as much as I could, but the bridge has a slight bluish-aqua tone that I find non-optimal. Attempts to fix it through WB adjustments caused the sky to become too purple and yellowish. This suggests a poor color balance in the color rendering of the lens. And I'm not thrilled with the local contrast on the pillars of the bridge. I worked on that a fair amount in post and never could get it precisely where I wanted.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2018
Location: Poland
Posts: 443
Lens Review Date: December 23, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: build quality, price
Cons: soft wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-50   

This lens has the famous build quality of the M-series lenses. Focus ring turns smoothly and focusing is a pleasure. It is a bit soft wide open and while I got some not-bad results at f/3.5, usually I had to stopped it down to improve sharpness. On APS-C it is quite a long telephoto which makes it less versatile for portraits but better for wildlife.
The first shot is wide-open.


   
New Member

Registered: January, 2019
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 20, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice build quality, in-built lens hood, very sharp, Bokeh, size
Cons: No A setting on aperture ring (doesn't bother me), some chromatic aberrations but nothing too bothersome
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

A fabulous little portrait lens. Great value sharp some drawbacks compared to other Pentax/takumar 135mm but having tried all three they isn't that much difference and the price is amazing. I picked mine up for just under 15Eur
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2017
Location: Lancaster
Posts: 1,222

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, sharpness, colour, build
Cons: Non as such

I am currently using this lens in the single in challenge and it is stellar. Strangely it worked better with my K3 than my KP, not that I mind as I love the K3. Focusing is fairly easy as it is quite a long throw, the difference between in and out of focus however is a twitch. I had a bit of purple fringing but haven't suffered any noticeable aberrations. This is a mega cheap lens and is tremendous value as the build quality and capability are superb.
PXK36790 by Peter Kay, on Flickr

PXK36714 by Peter Kay, on Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 29

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp and contrasty stopped down
Cons: Edges and corners on full frame unsharp wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This M135 is extremely compact with a build in hood as bonus. I like this very much on my K-01, on APS-C this is a good performer stopped down a little. On full frame this M-lens shortens at the edges and corners until F5.6 and smaller. Unsharpness and fringing will appear while opening the blades to F4 and F3.5.

I compared this on full frame with the K135 2.5. The K is real good on full frame, the M is not.

I would score this M135 for Full Frame a 7 and on APS-C a 9.

Shot on K-01 at F8


Shot on K1ii, RAW, day light, auto settings, no sharpening:






   
New Member

Registered: July, 2019
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 21, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $44.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap 135mm with good results
Cons: None really when factoring size & cost to performance
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Nikon Z6 & Pentax Me Super   

Like most SMC M Lenses the results you can get v price and portability makes these lenses a must buy. Its 135mm small as anything and gives good results. Like most Pentax old lenses you get robust construction with great focus throw and did I mention the portability.

   
New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: June 17, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: size and weight
Cons: not as sharp as my other pentax m lenses
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a6000   

I couldn't believe just how small and light this lens was when I opened the packaging it came in for the first time. It makes it a perfect stealth lens on my a6000; people have no idea that I have a 200mm equivalent focal length.
The build quality is fantastic. My lens is in great overall condition and a genuine bargain given the price I paid. The sharpness isn't quite what I would have hoped for and certainly isn't up to the standards of the 35mm and 50mm m primes I own.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2017
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: January 11, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: compact, sharp stopped down
Cons: not -A, border quality scarce even on APS-C
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K50, Fujifilm XT-20   

The Pentax-M 135mm f/3.5 is a good lens, but falls behind the Pentax-A f/2.8 and also the Auto-Chinon 135mm f/2.8 (an M42 screw lens), not just when properly analyzed but also for general IQ, IMHO.

It is usually cheaper than the Pentax-A, though.

I have posted a review here: http://www.rustichelli.net/Hobbies/Photography/LensTests/legacy-135mm-on-24M...enses-test.php
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 1,975
Lens Review Date: August 9, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: affordable, compact, good build quality
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: APSC digital and 35mm film   

It's a nice lens with good iq. It sharpens up well when stopped down, bokeh is beautiful, and colors are pleasant. The compact size makes it easy to bring anywhere. There's some CA, there's some flare and loss of contrast if abused against bright light sources, but when used outside of extreme situations it performs rather well. On the k3ii, catch in focus works very accurately in my experience.

Including two shots on digital, followed by two on film.


   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2013
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 427

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 8, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, Compact, Great Lens and Sharp !
Cons: goes purple depending on the light
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

I bought this gem shortly after reading a lot about it over here.
For years my friend (that uses Canon) told me he wanted a fixed 135mm lens (AF of course) because they are awesome. So after reading about this small one, i decided to get one.

The lens itself is very tiny, i did not expect it to be as small.

This past Saturday I went out with my fellow Pentaxeros from Barcelona (Pentaxeros is the Spanish Pentax Forums) to enjoy our city walking around and man, this is an stunning lens! It can fringe and go purple in some images easy (don't ask me how) but stopped down properly and in the most ocasions it offers stunning images.

I was very surprised, and the images delivered I just love them.
Let me show you some

_IMG1760 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG1902 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG1856 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG1739 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG1842 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG2149 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG1423 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG1730 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

_IMG1452 by Daniel Gonzalez Aguilera, en Flickr

So I'd say that if you have a couple bucks to spend, try get one and play with it. Seems to me that you won't be dissapointed. And if you do, you can always get the money back re-selling it again.
   
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 126

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 29, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Incredible lens for the money, great sharpness, great color
Cons: Short built-in lens hood.

Ok, I'm going to beat a dead horse for the thousandth time here, but you will be hard-pressed to find a better lens for the money. I got this lens in a lot off eBay with a fungus'd 50mm 1.7, but it was this baby I had my eye on. Have you ever taken two shots with a lens and fell in love with it? I did with this. I normally shoot it between 5.6-8 and my pictures come out tack sharp with nice creamy bokeh (if that's what you're going for). I haven't run into an issue with the built-in lens hood, but you can definitely tell it's kind of short, and may allow some flare. Because this is my first manual lens, I do have a neutral concern, and that's how long it takes to turn the focus dial. Sometimes I swear it takes forever to go to infinity focus. I have since gotten other manuals, and they have the same exact quality, so it must be par for the course. Honestly, now days, these are cheap as chips, and will provide you endless enjoyment for a little bit of cash.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2017
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 2,564
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Handles awesome, easy focus, compact, hood
Cons: Slowish
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50 & ME Super   

A lot of good has been stated about this lens, and I concur.

For me, I love how it handles, how easy it is to focus and operate; the hood is a nice addition.

Not the sharpest, especially wide open, but for portraits is great.

Very inexpensive, but awesome glass!

Pics to speak for the lens:













   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 872

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 1, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $22.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Beautiful lens to hold.
Cons: Min focus distance, green button metering.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I thought I had bid on a very rare lens, a Pentax-M 35-135mm F3.5 turns out the seller had listed it badly and I should have spent more time looking at the images instead of reading the headline. I found nothing on the internet about a -M zoom, only a -A, so maybe one does not exist.
No regrets though, this is quite a good lens in my estimation. Maybe better with film than digital?
Not as sharp as a couple of other 135mm's I have (not Pentax). I upped the speeds thinking it was my camera shake but still not the best for sharp images (and large volume files).
The minimum focussing distance seems over 4 feet, like most 135mm's I suppose, closer focussing would have been nice.
The colours are good.
It has not given me problems with exposure on the green button metering.
It's a nice lens to handle (apart from the green button metering), great build quality, smallish.
Wish I could be a bit more effusive about it but it's early days yet, it may grow on me.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2017
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 16, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 8-blades awesome
Cons: bokeh can be very busy.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Samsung NX1   

Using this on a Samsung NX1 with official Samsung NX to PK mount adapter. Works great, although at times bokeh could be better for a 8-blade. I prefer using my 100mm more then this 135mm, but both are really good lenses. Photos edited to taste in Lightroom.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2017
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: June 5, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp,Size, weight,Build quality
Cons: Not particularly
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3-2   

Good Build. Sharp in the center. Sharp corner too.



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