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SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

Sharpness 
 8.6
Aberrations 
 8.3
Bokeh 
 8.3
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
94 283,300 Tue August 1, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $49.78 8.57
SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
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SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
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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
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
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
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 94
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 470

1 user 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.



100%


100%
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2015
Posts: 19

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $13.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small-size, build quality, built-in hood, image quality, very sharp when stopped down
Cons: A bit soft wide open, prone to CA wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-70   

I got this lens in a condition almost new at a throwaway price. Actually I bid for a different lens on the bay. The seller shipped it after 20 days. But when the shipment arrived, to my surprise, it was this little baby and not the other lens! The lens was almost new well protected in its original leather pouch (that even says Pentax 135/3.5 on its lid). It is almost a collector's item! So I didn't complain much. It was a steal and I thought whatever the other lens was, it couldn't be as good a deal.

Whatever has been said about this lens so far is true and more! It is compact, lightweight but extremely well built - full metal build with a fully functional built-in hood. I'm glad Pentax has stuck to the classy old days' design principle and still builds lenses like this (the limiteds, and I own quite a few of them). It has a huge focus ring and the focus throw is quite large. That, for me is a good thing because when you are at manual, and at 135mm the DoF is quite thin. A large focus throw gives you a lot of room to fine-tune your focus. The lens is a joy to handle and balances perfectly well on my K-70. I don't use it much, but whenever I mount it on, I am amazed at the beautiful things it can do.

Image quality wise, it is a bit soft wide open at 3.5 and has some CA (which can be easily corrected in PP with one click). But stop it down, and you'll be amazed by it's sharpness. From 5.6 on it is razor sharp even on my K-70 which, we know, demands a lot from its lenses with its 24MP sensor and superb dynamic range. This lens doesn't disappoint. The bokeh is, perhaps not as smooth as some of the limiteds, but it's up there - quite smooth and creamy. The colours are true Pentax with enough detail and contrast.

This really is a magical lens. I am amazed at what this old guy can achieve at today's resolution-hungry DSLRs. Frankly, it will put many modern lenses to shame. If you haven't already, go grab one while the prices are still this low. But then, even if I had spent 5 times more than what I did, this lens would be still justifiable.

And now for some pics showing what it can actually do. All of them had been clicked in DNG and converted to JPEG in LR with minimal adjustments - some contrast, some clarity and just some tiny sharpness enhancements.

Wide open @F3.5 ISO 100 1/100s


Wide open @F3.5 ISO 400 1/125s


F5.6 ISO 400 1/80s


Wide open @F3.5 ISO 400 1/50s (maybe slight camera shake )


@F5.6 ISO 400 1/80s


My friend @F8 ISO 400 1/80s


Once again @F5.6 ISO 400 1/125s
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2015
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 18, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp, small size, build
Cons: some fringing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7   

I have to agree with the previous poster when they said that the lens should be called "smc Great Value For Money Pentax-M 135mm 3.5".

I have tried lots of vintage 135mm lenses: Canon FD 2.8 and 3.5, Carl Zeiss Jena 3.5, Sigma etc.
The Pentax is by far the sharpest 135mm that I have tried and has great colours and contrast.

It is incredibly small, even with the e-mount adaptor.
The bokeh isn't distracting either (unlike some vintage 135s).
The focus throw seems quite long, which may be useful for those shooting video.
For me, it also doubles as a carry-everywhere telephoto lens for video on M43.

The only complaint that I have is that I see some occasional fringing when shooting into the light.

Buy one while they are still ridiculously cheap!
   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: May 2, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: build quality, sharpness, colors, size, price
Cons: tad soft at 3.5
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5ii, P30, SFXn   

This lens should be named "smc Great Value For Money Pentax-M 135mm 3.5"

Lens offers beautiful colors, with nice sharpness from 5.6 onwards. Build quality is great. Everything about using this lens is smooth and positive. Focusing is a little bit more difficult with an APS-C than for example with an 50 mm smc lenses but it's still nice. Overall feel of the lens is incredible. Very well made with usable built-in hood.

3.5 to 5.6 delivers very nice portraits, 8 onwards great long distance shots.

Personally I would rate it 8,5, but there is no such option.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2014
Location: Temple PA
Posts: 89

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small & lightweight
Cons: Soft wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: MX   

Bought new in 1977. I last used it in mid 1980's & stored since then. Last few days started using it on my K10D & amazed of how it performs on digital. A underrated lens. Compact & lightweight. Lens weighs 9.6 oz. & 2 5//8" long. Built in lens hood a nice added feature. Pix shown is on of my Formula 1 Kodachrome images I recently scanned.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 4,420
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small, light, sharp stopped down, typical M series build quality
Cons: a bit slow, soft wide open

I overpaid massively for this lens but if you know what you're doing and pay a normal price this lens is good value. Typical M series great build quality and handling, beautiful smooth focusing. The little slide-out hood is handy.

It's soft wide open but stop down a little and it's very good. Colour and contrast are very nice too. It's better than the much more modern DA 50-200 or 55-300 zooms.

Not a focal length I use very often but worth having. I took mine to New York in place of either of the cheap slow zooms mentioned above and it did very well, with the added bonus that I could use it on the film SLRs I took.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Moab, Utah
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, color renditioning
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7s, A7m2   

Wow level of sharpness and color rendering. I was disappointed with this lens because I bought a camera with 3 lenses from a newspaper ad and I was hoping it was a 2.8 version. However, after testing the lens I am glad he chose the 3.5 version. This lens is fantastically sharp and the colors are perfecto.

The size is so small it's enough to make you wonder if it could possibly be any good, but be assured that it is. Like others have posted, the focus throw is just right and smooth moving parts. Solid build and the lens hood is appreciated. I always have this lens in my bag.
   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2015
Location: Toulon, South of France
Posts: 282
Lens Review Date: November 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light, compact, great bokeh, fast
Cons: min focus range
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K200D   

Bought this lens from a german pro e-bay seller.
My copy is almost mint, very tiny fungus on the front lens but only on the borders, no impact on image quality.
No scratchs, like mint.
Was surprised of how light and compact it is for such focal.
Tested it, it's a jewel ! No aberrations at all, no distortions, very sharp even wide open.
Natural colors. This lens is going to be my favorite with my Cosina MC 24mm.
The integrated lens hood is awesome. I already have a skylight 1A ont it, will add a CPL soon.
Very good deal. I recommand it if you can be as lucky as I've been with this reliable seller !

sans titre-4515.jpg by Bruno Polleri, sur Flickr

sans titre-4512.jpg by Bruno Polleri, sur Flickr

(yes it is a Harley^^)
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2007
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 86
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: lightweight, built-in lenshood, good colours
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Ds, K5   

When I bought my first M 3.5/135 it was for a film-slr.
Compared to the K 2.5/135 it couldn't hold up and it was more than one f-stop slower.
But: when compared by dslr (where you can adjust contrast - the only point where this lens may be called 'weak')it comes out to be a very good and very handsome lens.
Very good colours, nice bokeh, sharpness is high enough for the K-5.
It's surely better than most tele-zoom-lenses.
... and it's so small and lightweight!
Very smooth focussing and f-stop-ring.

I'm very satisfied with this underrated lens!
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: April 29, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: color saturation, distortion free, built in hood
Cons: none
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-500   

I had wanted this lens since 1977. Bought it in 2014. Mine is a very fine specimen and makes high quality images. I don't use it often since my smc PENTAX 50-200mm DA L is more versatile in focal length (and has autofocus) (and auto aperture). Anyway, I like it and enjoy looking for scenes suited to this focal length when I am not in a hurry.



   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 577
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, sharp, colour
Cons: Nothing worth mentioning
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-01, MZ-5N   

I bought this lens for 10, and I don't think I've ever known better value. My copy is quite dirty, dusty inside and a bit beaten up, but it takes the loveliest pictures. There is just something lovely about its rendering - the colours are great and images are sharp straight out of the camera. Meters perfectly using green button on my K-01. Obviously bokeh isn't incredible, but it's perfectly nice for what the lens is.

Absolutely no complaints handling-wise, either. Usual M-series quality and very compact, too.

I love this lens and given the prices it goes for, it's not hard to recommend it.

f8, 1/125, ISO100 on K-01:

   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2010
Posts: 703
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, tactile feel, compact, very affordable
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

135mm, the focal length time forgot. Once a very popular focal length, as witnessed by the huge volume of 3rd party examples, particularly in m42 mount, the 135mm seems to have fallen from favor. Odd, as 135mm on APS-C is nearly equivalent to 200mm on FF, and 200mm was always a popular focal length in ye olden days.

The SMC M 135mm is a delight to use. Excellent build quality, even a notch better than the M 50/1.7 and M 50/1.4. Optical performance leaves nothing to be disappointed. Good contrast and color rendition. Plenty sharp. Bokeh can be a bit harsh but I just consider that part of its character to be used to creative effect.

The SMC M 135mm excels as a short tele and is great for isolating subjects from the background. It's compact enough to easily fit in your pocket and ready to give you a little extra reach when you need it. I think its a fantastic walk around lens, particularly in urban settings. Its small size can allow you to get close to subjects without generating a lot of attention, as a large zoom might.

   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 889
Lens Review Date: June 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, Light, Very Good Contrast and Colors, Built-in Hood
Cons: Could be a bit faster
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Happened to stumble upon this lens in MINT condition and could not resist. Received it 2 days ago and took it out for a spin. It's very durable yet not too heavy. It makes for a nice portable telephoto prime. Colors are rich and very good contrast. Bokeh is very good although not the absolute best, IMHO. If you get the chance to pickup a nice copy of this lens for a good price, do it!! You will not be disappointed.

IMGP0687 by Ripper2860, on Flickr

IMGP0677 by Ripper2860, on Flickr
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