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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
104 349,968 Wed November 20, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $48.10 8.58
SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5
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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 16-30 of 104
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 33
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: 101

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: 5,956
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
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K200D, K3   

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 on various trips 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.

I've now replaced this with the M 120mm f/2.8 which is a better lens all-round: faster, still a little soft wide open but very good by f/4, while the 135mm needs stopped down more to get really good sharpness.

Some sample images:


Norway
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


Pulpit rock HDR panorama 2c M 135mm
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


IMGP1576a
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr


IMGP2425_1
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
   
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Moab, Utah
Posts: 90

2 users 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. The image quality is noticeably better than previous designs in my opinion. I also have the Takumar 135 3.5 and S-M-C Takumar 135 3.5. Like others have posted, the focus throw is just right and smooth moving parts. Solid build and the lens hood is appreciated. I almost always have this lens in my bag because it's so small and easy. I have example images and a video review about this lens for anyone interested.
   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2015
Location: Toulon, South of France
Posts: 287
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^^)
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2007
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 98
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: 16
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.



   
Veteran Member

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: 1,416
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.

   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 890
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
   
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 217
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: size, weight, build, sharpness
Cons: minimum focusing distance
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9   

I have had this lens for a few months and am very pleased with its performance. Here are a few photos that I took with this lens:
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2011
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: May 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $27.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp, excellent colors, massive construction, smooth focusing ring, no distorsion
Cons: little bit far for everyday use, portraits are squashed
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-x   

with extension tubes great for macro.

some examples:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/feketekave/13903374259/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/feketekave/13903348387/in/photostream/
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 180
Lens Review Date: April 28, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, smooth bokeh, light
Cons: None so far
Sharpness: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30   

I bought this lens a few months ago. It was my first 'manual' lens, and as a fairly newcomer to the DSLR world I was a little hesitant to move away from new, AF lenses. I shouldn't have worried. With the ease of the K-30 handling (green button and menu changing), this has been a dream to use.

I've taken pictures at long range (ducks out of reach on a pond) and close-up (flowers, but no closer than around 1m). The quality is fantastic, with a bokeh on the 'close' pictures that is so smooth.

For a very cheap lens, that is supposedly second-rate to the 'A' lenses, I cannot fault this beauty. It looks and feels good, and really delivers the goods. My second most used lens (after a 20-40 Ltd).
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 542
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great construction and feel, overal sharpness, light
Cons: Wide-open corner sharpness, but that's being picky
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: *ist 35mm   

I have always liked the feel and performance of the Pentax M and A series lenses.

In college, the 135mm 3.5 was my go-to lens for portraits. I especially liked the fact that, with my *ist 35mm body, the combination was light. Back then, I could walk around and not feel pressured to take pictures to justify lugging around the weight. The sharpness at 3.5 is good and only gets better as the lens is stopped down. Considering the low weight, comfortable size, and good sharpness, this lens is a great performer for the price.

While some people find the built-in lens hood to be a gimmick or simply not helpful, I like this feature. A built-in hood is one less accessory I have to look for. On a cropped, digital body the hood might be a bit shallow, but the good news is the filter thread is only 49mm. This means picking up a metal tele-photo hood like the Kalt variety (as opposed to the rubber, collapsible type which are too wide) are quite inexpensive.

Like other M lenses, the 135mm 3.5 has a dampened focusing ring with the "just right" amount of resistance.

The focal length and fast-ish maximum aperture can create some interesting images; getting low to the ground with street-photography gives compressed and flat images with a small slice for depth-of-field. I would say the bokeh is better than average, although it's not the most creamy-smooth performer, either. Depending on working distance, out-of-focus items in the background can be a little "nervous", as some might say, but still good. Wide open, the highlights are nice and round.

While I haven't tried it, the Pentax-M 135 3.5 might be a good specimen to try a "bokehrama" - basically panoramic images stitched from several shots at the maximum aperture of the lens. The result is an image with very, very narrow depth of field. The most common lenses for such a project are the 85mm f/1.4 variety. Few people have the budget to experiment with that kind of lens. Furthermore, the 135mm 3.5 is much lighter and therefor easier to handle.

If I had to think of a con for the lens then it would be the softer corners found in images shot at the widest aperture. When used for portraits, though, this isn't typically a problem. As another reviewer pointed out, the contrast can be a bit lower when used wide-open, but it can be fixed in post-production. Also, as one can expect there are some chromatic aberrations in back-lit and high-contrast situations. Again, it's nothing that can't be improved with RAW processing software.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 38
Lens Review Date: March 25, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, light, well built
Cons: none from my perspective
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax Kx, MX   

I gave this lens an 8 for sharpness, but on a DSLR give it a 9. Reason? You're using the central area of the lens on the CMOS sensor, not the full frame, so the falloff in the corners is not noticeable. It's gone by f5.6 anyway on a full frame film camera.

I use this as a travel lens, and thus, outdoors, I'd seldom be using anything but f8 or 11, unless I was isolating a subject, and at these apertures, it is as sharp as anything I've used. Wide open, it gives more than acceptable faces, and a nice bokeh. It really is about an average lens of this type, but it is smaller, lighter and handier than other 135mm f3.5s, so you're not going to get my copy.

This type of lens is still sharper and pictorially superior to a 135mm setting on a zoom or varfocal, it is common and therefore pretty cheap. If you are like me and use you camera on manual, and prefer manual focussing, I'd not look farther than this neat little piece of glass.

********* ********* ********

As a PS, I recently some of the accompanying duties at the BC Old Time Fiddler's Competition which was held in Prince George this year. Never one to leave a camera or two behind even if participating in events, I took along three lenses and my Pentax K10 and Kx - the 77mm f1.8 Limited, the 50mm Pentax-M f1.4 and the Pentax-M 135mm f3.5

The following pictures were taken with the 135mm Pentax-M 135mm f3.5, and were all handheld at 1/25th at f4, from about 26 feet away. I'm pleased with the results - the lens was very easy to hold steady, and the images produced very sharp and clear. After this experience, like my Mastercard, I won't leave home without it!










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