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SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 118,888 Wed November 27, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
91% of reviewers $292.75 9.00
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2

This fast wide-angle lens succeeded its K predecessor and is much more compact.

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
8 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
PH-S49 (28/35mm)
Hard case HA-90B
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 41.5 mm
215 g
Production Years
1980 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:2 28mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-11 of 11

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 3,062
Lens Review Date: November 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, Lightweight, 3D rendering, Fast, Subject Separation, Build-Quality
Cons: none worth mention
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: MX, K-3, MZ-S, LX (and others briefly)   

I felt compelled to post a review in response to a more recent addition here that I just find... rather ignorant.

This is one of my newest (in the last year and a half roughly) favorite lenses. I wasn't aware of the very compact Pentax-M 28mm f/2.0 for a very, very long time somehow. It is the closest approximation to one of the all-time favs of many (and mine) which is the FA 31mm f/1.8. It's roughly half the size of that lens, and 1/3 the cost, and the performance is ... well, often so close as to be negligible. Just a fantastic piece of glass.

It excels in subject separation and has that quality many seek, a somewhat 3D rendering. The defocused area rendering it creates is smooth and buttery in most lights, similar to that more famous lens once again. It is fast and it is small and it is a joy to manually focus. Really the build of the M series across the board, as most know, is simply fantastic given the size of the range in comparison to the K series glass. While it cannot reach the level of pop and refinement that the equivalent K (the "Hollywood", affectionately) achieves, it is not uncomfortable in that company. What's more, you can toss this one in a pocket or pack and not really know its there which simply can't be said for Hollywood, which fills the room as it were.

I digress. When comparing the rendering of this lens with its slower f/2.8 cousin, there is simply no comparison; everything is improved. The contrast, the speed (yes a full-stop of additional light is significant despite some claims), the microcontrast and detail, the color transitions... all of it. Quite sharp when wide-open, and remarkably so when opened up.
Some digital examples on the K-3.!AhlxJ0gqr9IKg9sLLmMmdvSbulD7DQ?e=Zdyegs

Some additional samples available in the Lens Sample Archive thread here:
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: September 2, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

Pros: Same as f2.8 version
Cons: Costs heaps more because people need to think it's better than f2.8 version
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 1    Camera Used: K2   

C'mon people! For the sake of having 0.8 less "f" on your lens, you think it's worth paying five times as much? This is a great little lens but if you are into buying old lenses to take superb photographs, then you really don't need to spend so much. Instead, have confidence in your own abilities and realise that simply having 0.8 less on your aperture ring does not make you a better photographer.
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Alps
Posts: 35
Lens Review Date: April 18, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Handling, small, fast, IQ
Cons: price
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: K3II   

A bit pricey for what it is, but it's a lightweight, small, fast manual lens with great image and build quality.
Surprisingly sharp at F/2 and perfect at F/2.8.
Bokey is good.
Handling is awesome on M lenses.

A great option when you consider the actual offer around ~28-35mm fast lenses... if you value compactness and build quality over autofocusing.
New Member

Registered: December, 2017
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: April 10, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, Sharp, Great for street photography.
Cons: A bit over priced
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I got this lens about 9 months ago and I shot different films with it. It gives overly good performance, nice bokeh at 28mm, and soft transition from focus to edges. Also the color of this lens is warm and contrasted, which is nice for building tone. The reason I sold this is that I moved to rolleiflex, a better street photography camera.
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Boston,MA
Posts: 257

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 6, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $370.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, fast and sharp!
Cons: Bokeh is not so great
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: MX,K1, sony a7   

This lens is hard to find, but if you can find one in good shape, get it!!
The only reason I still have my FA31 is auto focus. This lens is sharp even at f2, my 31mm needs to step down to 2.5-2.8 to get really sharp.

This one was shot on my Pentax MX with Kodak extar 100

Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Lower Saxony
Posts: 163

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness and contrast wide open, color rendering, size, built quality
Cons: -
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5 IIs, K-1   

Very compact for this focal length and f/2.0; sharp and rich contrast open; sweet spot seems to be around f/4.0 to 5.6; beyond f/8 or more tight appertures tends to become softer.

Some examples, down scaled out of camera jpgs, K-5 IIs:


(click into this first to enlarge original out of camera jpg)

28mm is wide on 35mm - down scaled out of camera jpg, K-1, f/2.0
(click into to enlarge original out of camera jpg)



Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $372.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharpness, Attractive colors, Excellent portability, good Definition
Cons: none for me
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-7, ME super   

this is cool stuff!!

I bought it two months ago. it's nice appearance & performance excelled!!.

In particular, excellent sharpness are the best.
New Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: October 23, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versitile wide angle
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K100 K2000 K-50 K3-II   

Purchased a Pentax MX including the 28mm f2 in 1982 from Competitive Camera, NY, for $377.45.

One of the characteristics of this lens (and many lenses of this focal length) is slight field curvature, which appears to be somewhat more evident when mounted on my K100 or K2000 small sensor digital camera than I remember from images obtained from full frame cameras - careful composition usually will subordinate the effect when it becomes obvious or distracting. This effect is not overwhelming, but does become apparent at certain distances from a subject. As a last resort, a purist for straight line can always hammer an image in some software.

My primary experience with the lens includes: landscape, candid street work, portraiture of individuals & groups, in educational settings and as a journalist. The lens is versatile & results are satisfying. It is fast in low light and sharp at wide apertures - I have used it with good effect wide open. The lens also has some close focus abilities -

Collectors like this lens because it is fairly rare, shooters might do better with modern lenses, however, it remains useful, consider the lens if given an opportunity to obtain it.
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Nacogdoches
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 


I've never used any Pentax* or Limited series lenses and am hesitant to give any lens a 10 without that experience. With that being said, I do have ten or so Pentax MF primes, and this is my favorite, it blows my 2.8/28 M (a solid lens I've taken some of my favorite photos with) out of the water. I would get an FA 31 if I had the money, and I probably should have waited a bit longer and purchased one of the Sigmas (1.8/28 or 1.4/30), but this lens is wonderful, a clear 9.
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 322
Lens Review Date: May 6, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $379.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast (and bright finder image), sharp, good flare resistance, build quality
Cons: tad more barrel distorition than the other SMC-M 28mm's

Bought in 'Demo' condition from Adorama, sight unseen. After shooting some colour and B&W with it, I'm pretty happy; the f/2 makes focusing on the matte screen easier, and it's decently sharp wide open at relevant working distances. As this lens seems to be pretty rare, there's not as much info, but one Italian site documents the 'minimizing' of the K-series 28mm f/2 formula that was bases on a Ziess lens. The M series is very capable, sharp, and has good rendering and bokeh for a wide angle. My only bugbear is some occasionally noticeable barrel distortion, but compared to previous 28mm's and zooms I've used in the past, it doesn't matter. I'm definitely happy.

On the subject of flare, I took a test shot where I deliberately had the sun in the top corner of the image, producing visible flare in the viewfinder. The negative, when scanned, showed some loss in saturation, but none ghosting or red 'wings' that were visible through the LX's finder. Pretty impressive.

Here are some samples to give you a feel.

Pretty sharp at f/5.6. HP5+ scan.

(Non working link removed)

Good close range rendering, handling of high key bokeh & distortion. Uncorrected Provia 100F scan.

(Non working link removed)

Here's one probably wide open, focused on left edge of yellow graffiti. Handheld @ 1/30th and minimal PP sharpening, but shows rendering of distant out of focus backgrounds and highlights. Uncorrected Kodak Portra 400VC scan.

(Non working link removed)
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: left coast
Posts: 73

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 13, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $71.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very fast, very sharp, excellent build, just slightly larger than the f2.8 version
Cons: all manual, 6 blade aperture

I got this lens used, but in new condition. The difference between this lens and my M series f2.8 is dramatic. Although the 2.8 is a typically well built Asahi SMC lens and produces excellent results, this f2 is not only faster, but sharper with better contrast and color rendition.

My f2.8 renders "flat" images. That is to say landscape photos appear more 2 dimensional than 3. So do my 28mm lenses from Tamron, Beston, Takumar, and Sigma. Some are better than others. In fact the Sigma (mini-wide PK) and the Takumar both render excellent results, but still flatten out images more than I'd like. My SMC 18mm renders lively 3 dimensional images as does my 17mm fisheye, and it's a little disappointing to see the results from the host of 28's.

That being said, the f2 is lively and 3 dimensional. Granted at f2, closely focused images, such as flowers render extreme on axis sharpness, but very soft focus at the outer edges of the flower. This can be a plus in my book, although maybe not for others. When photographing images such as landscape or architecture, even wide open this softness isn't quite as evident as in close focus situations. Stopped down a bit, it renders nice clean IQ with great DOF.

Physically, it's about 3/16" of an inch longer than the 2.8. Otherwise, it handles nearly identically with the f2.8 requiring 1/4 turn for the full focal range, and the f2 requiring slightly more....something on the order of 12 o'clock to 4 o'clock.

It's a great complement to my M 50mm f1.4, A 50mm f1.7, A 35mm f2.8, M 200mm f4, Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 300mm f4, my DA's & FA's, as well as non Pentax or Asahi branded optics.

I'm very pleased with the build and performance of this lens, and should've purchased one years ago. If you can find one of these rare beauties, I highly recommend it!
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