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

SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
111 440,908 Mon August 23, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $47.22 8.58
SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

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

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

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

APS-C: 12 ° / 10 °
Full frame: 18 ° / 15 °
Built-in, slide out
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 66 mm
270 g
Production Years
1977 to 1986
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:3.5 135mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 111
New Member

Registered: August, 2017
Location: Ronneburg
Posts: 1
Review Date: August 23, 2021 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Built like M high Quality
Cons: none for me
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-3   

New Member

Registered: September, 2020
Location: Derbyshire
Posts: 3
Review Date: August 21, 2021 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Beautifully built, smooth focus, sharp, fixed telescopic hood.
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: MZ5n/MX   

This lens is reviewed using film NOT digital capture.

To me this was an amazing lens. It had no right to be this good at this price level. I did not really see any distortion.

My sample was in great condition, outrageously cheap. It is the only M lens I ever got on with due no doubt that its short telephoto form factor made it so easy for my large hands.

On the MZ5n, I could use centre weighted or spot metering.

The only comparator I have is with a Zuiko 135 3.5. The Zuiko was really too contrasty - I mean over the top - and was not as sharp in rendering detail. My main 135mm lens I have today is actually a Nikkor 50-135mm zoom that is sharp all the way through the aperture range and I think is just as sharp even though it is a zoom.

I used my Pentax for landscape photography mostly for picking out detail. I got nicely coloured pictures (it's rendering can be cool) that benefitted from a warming filter with plenty of detail. Otherwise I would describe bokeh as pleasant.

I'm not surprised people are using these on digital - lets put it that way. What's good is good after all. An unassuming but wonderful tool. Beautifully made too - precise and robust.

Highly recommended.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2020
Location: Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago
Posts: 37

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 17, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, weight, bokeh, randering
Cons: I can't think of any
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

Okay, I finally found a 135mm that is acceptable to me in the sharpness department. The SMC Pentax-M 135mm f3.5 is adequate and then some. It renders bokeh beautifully, has clean transitions from in focus to out of focus, good center sharpness wide open, great color rendition, and good contrast. Overall, not a bad performer. Then there's the build quality and package size. This lens is LIGHT, small, and even has a built in metal hood that extends out when needed. This is a perfect travel lens, or just a walkaround short tele. I really enjoyed using this lens and was very pleasantly surprised.

Here's my Flickr Album through this lens.
New Member

Registered: June, 2017
Posts: 14
Review Date: December 1, 2020 Recommended | Price: $12.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: small and lightweight
Cons: None
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: P30 and Micro 4/3   

You have read all you need to know about using this on full frame film cameras - compared with carrying a zoom this offers more light, less weight and sharper images.

On Micro 4/3 it is a great value buy.
  • The crop means it is a 270mm - about the angle of view where the compression of a "super telephoto" perspective starts to be seen.
  • It is a wonderful lens for isolating a middle-distance subject in a landscape.
  • At this weight and size and current cost it is easy to justify having in my camera bag - even with a PK to M4/3 manual adapter
  • It makes a very cost-effective alternative to the M4/3 45-150 and 45-200mm zooms from Panasonic-Lumix or Olympus
The light weight means that it puts no strain on a M4/3 camera body and does not need a tripod ring.
  • At F3.5 it is 1 stop wider than an Olympus or Lumix zoom;
  • also - with far fewer lens elements, its light transmission is higher - so gives you 2-stops of practical exposure advantage.
  • With the shutter speed set to 1/250 or faster - it can be hand-held well. Any lower - and it benefits from a lightweight monopod or tripod.
    • on some of my M4/3 cameras I can use in-body stabilisation
  • Focus is easy - at near 300mm equivalent it just "pops"
  • Like all telephotos of the 1980s, there is some chromatic aberration - but it is easily suppressed in photoshop and DXO (or use black and white!)

The big image quality jump comes from fitting a longer lens hood to block out sidelight wich creates "veiling flare" that kills colour and contrast - I like those 3-position rubber folding ones.

[B]So, for
New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 26, 2020 Recommended | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: solid and compact
Cons: 1.5m minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

Great little lens. Very sharp and fun to use.
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 5,777

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 29, 2019 Recommended | 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.

Registered: September, 2018
Location: Poland
Posts: 1,550
Review Date: December 23, 2019 Recommended | 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
Review Date: November 20, 2019 Recommended | 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: 3,744

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 8, 2019 Recommended | 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
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 197

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 11, 2019 Recommended | 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: 8

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 21, 2019 Recommended | 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
Review Date: June 17, 2019 Recommended | 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: 12
Review Date: January 11, 2019 Recommended | 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:

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 3,712
Review Date: August 9, 2018 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: affordable, compact, good build quality
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.


Registered: November, 2013
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 652

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 8, 2018 Recommended | 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.
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