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SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4

Reviews Views Date of last review
66 297,359 Fri November 17, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $71.59 8.52
SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4

SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4
SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4

This is an extremely compact telephoto lens for its focal length.

SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 8 blades
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
200 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
52 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 8.1 ° / 6.9 °
Full frame: 12 ° / 10 °
Built-in, slide out
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
64 x 111 mm
405 g
Production Years
1977 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:4 200mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusBuilt-in HoodAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 200mm F4
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 66
New Member

Registered: November, 2023
Posts: 5
Review Date: November 17, 2023 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: sharpness, price, handling, build quality, built-in hood
Cons: low contrast, fringing wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-70   

Great lens for the price!

Wide open it is not that sharp and can produce pretty bad purple fringing and other abberations, but it improves a lot if you stop it down even by one stop, and gets very sharp at f/8!

The compact size and tank-like build quality of the Pentax-M lenses are also a big plus! I think your camera would break easier than this if it were to fall.
Another helpful aspect of the lens is the build-in hood, which can bring back some contrast into shots on bright days. Contrast is lower compared to modern lenses, but this is easilty fixable in post-processing.

In conclusion, this is a great complement to the kit lens if you want to shoot wildlife or sports, and don't mind manual focus. Definitely the best lens of this price range and focal length.

Registered: May, 2016
Posts: 3,713

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 17, 2021 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: lightweight, image quality
Cons: CA, moderate sharpness
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1II, K-3II   

I've had this lens on the k3ii a few years ago and sold it, on apsc a 55-300 made more sense with all the modern conveniences. Got a second one for the K1ii and I'm finding it much more useful, I'm using it for landscapes and abstracts.
The main advantages over other vintage lenses in this range (had fa 80-320, have vivitar s1 70-210 for example) are the combination of nice image quality, build quality, and compact size; with the others it's often pick two of these features. It's not bitingly sharp, but the images are pleasing with nice color and moderate contrast, quite unlike modern rendering. Chromatic aberrations aren't bad, but it's one area that could be a little better.
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2017
Posts: 42

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 13, 2020 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Inexpensive, sharp
Cons: Moderate CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K-3II   

I have been using this lens strictly for astrophotography. Star shapes are good and CA is moderate when stopped down to f/5.6. This lens is very easy to use with Astrotracer because of its small size. Here is an astrophoto I took with it (tracking by Astrotracer):

New Member

Registered: January, 2020
Posts: 4
Review Date: January 29, 2020 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp from f5.6 onwards. Very good at f8. Light and compact - an excellent lens for travelers! Good colors and Bokeh.
Cons: Some CA in APSC (Less noticeable in full frame.)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 7d and 5d (with adapter))
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 205
Review Date: October 15, 2019 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, sharp and contrasty stopped down, hood
Cons: red/greenish fringing wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1ii, K-01 and film   

This lens is a real surprise. Not in the same league as the K2.5/135 but decent sharp stopped down. At F4 there is a lot of green/red fringing in contrasty areas, almost gone at F5.6.

F8-F11 is the sweet spot for this lens for clean sharp pictures, even on full frame in the corners. As with most tele's, you have to correct the levels a bit in post because the lower contrast (stretch the diagram).

Low price, true build quality, portability and build in hood makes this lens a no-brainer. In good light situations I often grab this with me because it is so compact and sharp enough.

Pictures on Full Frame:


Registered: June, 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,189
Review Date: September 7, 2019 Not Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 6 

Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 5    Camera Used: k-01/KP   

Maybe I've had bad copies, but after owning two of these I can't recommend it. Sharpness is poor on APSC no matter how much you try, and the images come out flat without any character. Contrast is bad, aberrations are mediocre at best, Bokeh is busy and not very pleasing.

I had actually tested this lens against my Tak Bayonet 135 f2.5, and the 135 is sharper than the 200 when cropped to 200mm equiv at F4-F8. Disappointing.

The only thing this lens has going for it in my opinion is the fact that it's an M lens in construction so at least it's nice to hold.

I'd suggest a hard pass on this. If you need long end performance on the cheap I'd recommend looking into the A70-210 or a non PLM 55-300.

If you need an M telephoto however (for some reason), while it isn't as long, the M75-150 is almost the same size while creaming this thing in performance even wide open.
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Québec
Posts: 39
Review Date: April 29, 2019 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, Lightweight, Excellent Handling
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5 - II s   

Really surprised, sharp enough at f 11 .

New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: lake constance
Posts: 1
Review Date: March 18, 2019 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light weighted, sharp, small
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7, Pentax MX, ME super   

In my opinion this is a very interesting lens for general use on trips. Not too heavy and long. Good handling on MX and ME super. Digital use is perfect.
The built-in hood is very helpful, also on rainy days. Perfect mechanics and optical quality like my former Nikon AIS 4 200mm. But this lens is a real pocket tele with a much better coating.
Generally the coating of the smc lenses is better than the NIC and the later Nikon coatings on manual lenses.

I can completely recommend this tiny and solid lens, because you can get it for a low price in good condition. Its a pity, that you can´t get those lenses new anymore. The good old times. With the Pentax smc M 4 200mm you can bring back a little bit of that to your photograph. Enjoy it!

New Member

Registered: January, 2019
Posts: 14
Review Date: February 5, 2019 Recommended | Rating: 8 

Cons: Price, construction in relation to "K" ...
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-5II   

The lens is only good. it is too expensive for its performance. better to add $ and buy a series of "K".
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2017
Location: Lindsborg, Kansas
Posts: 87

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 9, 2018 Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, Lightweight, Excellent Handling
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

A few months ago I purchased a used Pentax M 200mm f/4 lens. I had a gap in my lens line-up between 135mm and 300mm, so I figured this would be a cheap solution (it was only $70).

When the lens arrived it was in like-new condition, and a few test shots around town confirmed that the image quality was decent… but it really wasn't a lens that I expected to use a lot.

However, I recently had a soccer match to shoot that started at 1:00 PM on a blazing hot day with the sun almost directly overhead: miserable conditions for trying to get good pictures. Because I didn't have high expectations for the match I decided to shoot the first half with the 200mm, just to see what it could do. When I reviewed the shots later, I was astonished at the spectacular images that I got with it!

The lenses I usually use for field sports are the Pentax F* 300mm f/4.5 and the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4. Compared to these lenses, the 200mm is much smaller and lighter, and the improvement in handling is definitely noticeable. This ease of handling is one reason why the lens is working so well for me. And 200mm on a crop sensor (equivalent to 300mm on a full-frame sensor) is a really good focal length for field sports.

The 200mm is also surprisingly easy to focus; much easier than the 85mm despite that len's bright f/1.4 aperture. It's so easy to focus that, at times, it feels like I'm using an autofocus lens! It should be noted, however, that using manual-focus lenses for fast action is a skill that has to be learned. I spent 20 years honing that skill back in the film era, so what is easy for me probably won't be easy for someone who has only used autofocus lenses. But, if you are willing to put in the effort to learn to use it, this lens will certainly deliver great results.

This is rapidly becoming my favorite lens for field sports. Not too bad for a 40-year-old manual focus lens!

New Member

Registered: September, 2016
Posts: 3

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 28, 2017 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great performer, even at F4
Cons: None at this price
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Olympus OM-D EM-1   

When I switched from Pentax to micro4/3 this together with the pentax m 50mm F1.7 were the only two lenses I kept. I had 10+ legacy lenses, most of them m-series. Though beautifully crafted, they were all made redundant by modern glass; the so very impressive olympus 12-40 mm F2.8 pro zoom together with Sigmas 60mm F2.8 prime.

This and the 50/1.7 couldn't be replaced, though.

I use it on the em-1 with a pixco focal reducer ("speed booster"). It's an optic adapter that concentrates the full frame image circle rendered by the lens into a smaller area, effectively reducing the focal length by a factor of 0,72 = 144mm. A positive side effect is that you also gain a full stop of light (google "focal reducer" for the theory behind all of this) turning the lens into an F2.8. In practice with micro4/3's x2 crop factor due to the smaller sensor, this lens then becomes a 144 x 2 = 288mm F2.8 full frame equivalent!

The whole package with camera+battery grip+lens weighs in at 1,200 grams. Compare that to a full frame Canon or Nikon 300mm f2.8, where the lens just by itself weighs twice as much!

As a last positive note, it looks pretty awesome mounted on the camera.

Image quality? Holds up very well compared to modern lenses, magnifications posted are 100% crops.

All of this at a price of $120 (lens+focal reducer). Sure I don't have AF, but a Canon L 300mm F2.8 costs $6,000. I'm very happy.

Junior Member

Registered: July, 2016
Posts: 49

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 8, 2016 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: In the right light it is perfect.
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k3ii   

I cannot sing this lens' praises enough. I picked it up from a good lens dealer and it was in perfect shape. Everything worked wonderfully and it was light and compact enough that I could take it anywhere. Everything on the lens feels very well-made and premium.

Image-wise this is a perfect lens for its focal length. If you nail your focus correctly and stay within the lens' limits (don't try and shoot something half a mile away or some silliness) you will find no issues at all with your images. Being f4, it's faster than a lot of other old manual lenses and you will be surprised at just what you can shoot with the lens. I've done sports, birding, and landscapes with it - the key is nailing that focus.

For the money you won't find a better 200mm manual. I take it with me everywhere I go.

Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 892

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 19, 2016 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: It is a Pentax lens
Cons: Not special enough
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5   

I was disappointed with my initial results with this lens. Using a 300mm lens on the birds in my back garden was a little unwieldy and I had liked some of the images provided by a Chinon 200mm F3.5 so when the opportunity came to get this at a good price I did.

It seems quite sharp through the apertures I have used this at, until cropping, the feather detail was not quite as sharp as the Chinon images which surprised me. Still, early days, tweak the camera settings and with better light.......

CA is better controlled by the Pentax, the Chinon shows more purple fringing and also some green. The Pen tax shows some red! Unless it's me.

I really wanted to give a lot of 10's for this lens, maybe my copy is not 100% as it left the factory.

Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Kansas City, KS
Posts: 1,612

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 2, 2016 Not Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: compact, lightweight, sharpness, rendering
Cons: contrast, color, all the inconveniences of a fixed focal length

Here's my Flickr album with all of my images from this lens: CLICK HERE.

I bought it used from eBay, actually one of the first lenses I bought when I started my collection, but I've never really put it through its paces, and even after this (most) month, I still feel like I could learn some things about it.

It's a solid M lens, well constructed and responsive. Nicely dampened focus ring that goes on for miles and miles, so it was a little inconvenient to have to crank the thing around from infinity to MFD, when I was ever in that position. The aperture ring has half-clicks from 4 all the way up to 32, but I never stopped it down past f/16 for my purposes. The lens has a built-in slide-out hood, which did improve contrast noticeably. The hood on my particular lens is adorably and amateurishly engraved with the name "Wilber Havens". I'd like to know who he is, but I'm sure I'll never find out. ;-)

The lens doesn't disappoint with sharpness and rendering - it's a solid performer, but not remarkable. Contrast and color were not as dependable, but images responded well to PP. The CA was readily available in all high-contrast situations, but Lightroom knocked it down, and it was actually less intrusive at the most usable (or, at least, my most-used) apertures, f/5.6 to f/11. The bokeh was pleasant enough for me, when I could conjure it, but I'm not much of a bokeh connoisseur, so my opinion's not worth much.

The FOV was, frankly, shocking. I'm not a keen telephoto shooter and I gravitate more towards wide-normal lenses. I don't want to be stuck at 200mm for a month ever again! lol! But, to be honest, the lens was easy enough to handle and the MFD was graciously ~2m/6ft, which was pretty manageable.

Ultimately, I was not inclined to like the focal length, and I have no other fixed 200mm lenses to compare it to, so this was a pretty blind experimentation on my part. Mr. Havens may have loved the lens enough to get his name emblazoned on it for eternity, but if I am ever in a situation where I think I might need the extra reach of a telephoto, I'll definitely be packing my A70-210/4 or my Kalimar 60-300/4-5.6 before tying myself down to a fixed focal length, even with the dependability and build quality of the M lenses.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 323
Review Date: March 11, 2016 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image Quality, Build Quality, Size
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3 and MX   

What a nice handling lens. Smooth focusing, balances very well on camera and SHARP. On the K-3 it is equivalent to a 300 f/4 without the size, you can put it in your bag and carry it all the time so you can reach out and grab those distant subjects when needed. Best at f/5.6 to f/11, not that it isn't just fine wide open. I still use my MX for black and white and now I wonder why I did not have this lens before. I recommend it highly, especially with the new FF K-1 coming out (you might look for an A version for shutter priority). Great addition to either my SMC-A set 24/35/50/135 or the DA set 15/35/70/18-135
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