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SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 8.0
Aberrations 
 8.1
Bokeh 
 7.5
Handling 
 9.3
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
90 379,549 Sun December 22, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
93% of reviewers $51.79 8.32
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
supersize

Description:
This popular lens came in two nearly-identical variations, depending on the year of production. The second version had the optical formula of the smc PENTAX-A version and it also looks like an early A lens (no silver decorative ring). Both optical designs have 7 lens elements in 7 groups and a 5 blade diaphragm.

The first two images depict the first version and its optical diagram, while the last image show the second version.


Data for the first version:
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 5 blades
Optics
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.12x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
Hood
PH-S49 (28/35mm)
Case
Hard case HA-90B
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 31 mm
Weight
156 g
Production Years
1977 to 1982
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:2.8 28mm
Product Code
22960
Reviews
User reviews
Variants
This is the original version. The later second version has the optics of the A version and lacks the silver ring.


The second version:
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8 (ii)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 5 blades
Optics
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.12x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 55 ° / 46 °
Full frame: 75 ° / 65 °
Hood
PH-S49 (28/35mm)
Case
Hard case HA-90B
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 31 mm
Weight
170 g
Production Years
1982 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:2.8 28mm
Product Code
22977
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

This second version of the M 28mm has the optics of the A version and lacks the silver ring.

Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 90
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2018
Location: Poland
Posts: 443
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: image quality, price
Cons: for the price - nothing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-50   

Surprisingly versatile lens when mounted on APS-C. I've been using it quite a lot on my K-50 with good results. Wide-open it is a bit soft (not a tragedy, though) but gets better stopped down. My copy gives slightly desaturated colors, which sometimes is nice and sometimes disturbing (but of course it is easily corrected in pp).*Very well-built; handling is very pleasant.



   
New Member

Registered: October, 2019
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent detail
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

Great detail and color reproduction in closeup shots.

- SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
- Pentax K-50 DSLR (16.3mp)
- mounted on tripod
- aperture priority
- ISO 100
- F5.6
- 1/3 second exposures
- white balance set to AWB
- focus peaking enabled on camera
- using manual focus assist
- 2-second timer

Right-click the following images and click "Open Image in New Tab".



   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 79
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: small, build quality
Cons: none
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

   
New Member

Registered: July, 2019
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: August 31, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Pocket Sized. F:2.8
Cons: Not as sharp as the F3:5 variant at F stops lower than 8
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Camera Used: Nikon Z6   

I picked this lens up when I bought a spare parts Pentax Me Super. I already own the F3:5 variant and find the colour pop and sharpness of the F3:5 is better at all stops below F8. It is smaller by a smidge than the F:3.5 version which I didn't expect as the 3.5 is tiny as it is. If I didn't have the f3.5 I no doubt would be happy with the 2.8, but unless your chasing the lower f stop the 3.5 is better I believe.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A near-perfect wide angle lens
Cons: Prices pushed up too high
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Film   

I've had three through the years. I still use one on film cameras, so I'm not getting confused between the actual lens performance and a digital processor plus sensor then a heap of on-camera picture quality adjustment software systems, followed by an online editing software suite to get my images. Why this has such ordinary scoring from so many people is beyond me. Maybe a lot of people have internally foggy or dirty versions they bought old and junky? A lot of people assume they can simply "look into" a lens and see haze and dust; you cannot, especially with a wide angle that tends to have small diameter and highly magnifying optics. You need to carefully shine an LED light through it - never looking directly at the light beam - to see the real muck and haze inside. My one was bought knowing it had some fungus and mechanical issues. A day-long opening and cleaning session sorted that out. As with most sub-50mm lenses, it's not the easiest of lenses to clean out. And Pentax seem to have made these with glass that tends to fog and haze with blue colouring and that is insanely difficult to clean up. get a dirty one and you will have bad images, so seek guarantees from your seller and make sure you can return it if it's full of blue foggy haze or masses of dust. Dust tends to cluster on the lens system around the aperture blades; caused by wear on their movement through the decades. Get a clean one and it will be 10/10 for image quality, but I've never known a clean one until after I've serviced one.

As with all lenses it is sharpest for most of the images across the centre-to-corners at f5.6 to f11. Outside of that range this lens stays sharp with only minor softening; pretty much what any sane mind would find 100% acceptable. Well built and easy to work (yep, you simply turn the rings) this is a superb lens. It's such a pity so many sellers force buyers to fork out a small fortune on auction sites, and it's more of a pity some buyers fork out that much cash. $40-60 is a reasonable price. Over that and you are clearly rolling in cash and may as well save a bit more and buy a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon.

Pentax made this in at least two versions, a shorter version with the numbers on the front ring and a very slightly longer and slightly fatter version with the number on the side/rear of the lens barrel.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 29
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, compact, sharp and contrasty on APS-C stopped down
Cons: Soft borders and corners on Full Frame
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1ii and K-01   

Years ago bought this little beauty together with a prestine ME, M1.7/50 and M135/3.5 for €40. My sample is like new without dust or whatever. I compared this little lens with my K 28 3.5 and this M-lens has two faces. On APS-C it perfoms very well. At 2.8 a bit soft and some vignetting, from f4 - f11 it is very sharp and contrasty and very usable. On Full Frame this lens really lacks corner and border sharpness. Wide open this is even visable in your finder, but all apertures stay behind the K-version. Also the fringing in the corners does not disapear completely. The miniturization results in inferior border & corner performance, there is too little gl ass in it to deliver sharpness on the whole image circle. Perfectly usable on APS-C, there is no reason to use this on Full Frame except weight reducing. On APS-C this lens scores a 9, on Full Frame a 6. The K3.5 is a much better lens on Full Frame, it nicely covers the whole frame with sharpness and contrast. There is a lot more glass in in it and you can see why…

Fisherman on K-01 at f5.6, wall picture on K1ii wide open.





Original test report 1978:

   
New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: May 31, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: size and weight, build quality, close focusing
Cons: bokeh, lack of 3D pop
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a6000   

This was my first Pentax lens and first 28mm lens. I bought it from eBay in what was described as 'as new' condition. It has proved to be that way. No marks at all on the lens, it came with front and rear caps and the original leather carry case. It is genuinely pristine.
This lens suits the lightness and size of the Sony body well. Even with an adaptor it is tiny. I use this lens as a walk around lens and particularly like using it for black and white photos. It is plenty sharp enough and at a 35mm equivalent of 42mm, wide enough for street photography. The build quality is fabulous. I love the feel of these m prime lenses.
My happiness with this lens means I now own two other m prime lenses and am currently looking to add a fourth.







   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 444
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, Build, Size, Overall usefulness
Cons: Not the sharpest
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30, K-01   

A great value.

I use it for general shooting on APS-C as well as for generating panoramics.

Good edge to edge image sharpness and illumination.

I think you would have to spend a lot of money to get a better 28mm.

   
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Montreal
Posts: 24
Lens Review Date: March 12, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $14.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Compact, well built, good at f/8, excellent at f/11
Cons: Having to shoot at f/11 for excellent results is limiting
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax Super Program   

I have the first version with the decorative silver ring. I get good results stopped down to f/8 and excellent results stopped down to f/11.

Shooting at f/11 means you need good light to handhold. If you’re shooting at its “full-frame” angle of view, then you can handhold as slow as 1/30 of a second.

On APS-C, though, this is a 42mm equivalent so you’ll have to rely on image stabilization or tripod for slow shutter speeds to get enough light while shooting stopped down to f/11.

Attached a photo shot on Kodak Ultramax 400. Note great colour, contrast, edge-to-edge sharpness ans lack of distortion.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2015
Location: Golden, Colorado
Posts: 189
Lens Review Date: July 7, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small and sharp
Cons: None

I like this lens a lot (early version with the silver band). It's a true 28mm for me, using it on the Sony A7 II with an inexpensive Beschoi adapter.

On the negative side, at wider apertures, as some have said, this lens is soft at the edges.

On the bonus side, it's small and unobtrusive, and when set at f/8, is in focus (by film standards) from about 5 feet to infinity, making a great walk-around street lens. I say "by film standards," because by digital standards, when you blow up your "negative" to about 60 inches wide, there is softness at 5 feet and at infinity. However, at normal screen resolution (say on a 27-inch monitor) you won't notice the not-so-sharp areas.

So... if you set this to f/8 and let your camera adjust speed and/or ISO, you can shoot from the hip all day and get outstanding street photos, without alarming those whom you are photographing. I find street photography much more appealing when the subjects are acting natural and not "acting" for a camera.

Compared to the 28-70mm f3.5 zoom that came with the Sony A7 II, at f/8, the Sony is slightly sharper in the middle. Slightly. However, from edge to edge, the Pentax 28mm is sharper overall, especially at f/8.

The bokeh is too busy for my liking; avoid shooting wide open with a lot of little lights or light areas behind the subject.

For landscape, at tighter apertures, it is decently sharp from edge to edge—wide open, not so much.

If you like your portraits up close and personal (and a little dreamy), this lens will make you happy when using it wide open.

For street photography, it is a top performer for shooting sharp, candid photos.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Athens
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: June 14, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, light, sharp and contrasty
Cons: not for me
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I have (from 1988) the 1st version and feel very happy with it. It was the standard wideangle on my trusty Mx and Lx bodies. Now, is giving precious services on a Sony α7.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2018
Location: Kent
Posts: 4

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Works well on APSC sensors. Great build quality and small.
Cons: Very soft corners on Full Frame even when stopped down.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: Sony a7, Fuji X-T1   

I picked up a copy of this lens last week and have run it through some torture tests.

Ironically it performs better on an APSC sensor rather than full frame. This might be why some people on here love it or don't rate it highly?

Colour rendition is good and centre sharpness is fine. Transitional areas between in focus areas and bokeh are nice too, little ghosting or fuss.

The softness wide open on full a frame sensor is so apparent that the peaking on my Sony a7 gets very confused as to what's actually in focus, making it tricky to use, on Full Frame. The Fuji X-T1 handled it fine with it's smaller sensor.

A good quality, cheap small lens for the APSC user.

Test Chart on Full Frame - https://flic.kr/p/Jketsi
Test Chart on APSC - https://flic.kr/p/23gR2Xa
Photo in Low Light - https://flic.kr/p/Jkeu98
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2017
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $69.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp corner-to-corner, excellent color
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-70   

I'm fairly new to digital photography, and this was the second lens I ever got besides the kit lens with my K-70. I've fallen in love with the K and M prime lenses since I started using them.

This is the widest prime I currently own, and I have to say it is SHARP corner to corner when stopped down. Excellent vivd colors like I've come to expect from these old manual lenses.

It's so small and light, I never have a reason to leave it at home when I go out!

   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2017
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 2,563

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp and easy to use.
Cons: I cannot think of a deal-breaker
Sharpness: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50; K-1000   

I think I have the 1st version.

On the K-50, this is my favorite lens. Bar none. It is fun to handle, small, sharp... It has got great color. Here are some shots...

I'm an amateur photographer who just loves the art of shooting. I love this lens, not too technical as to why I do, but I do.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2017
Location: Norwich
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: October 16, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, colour rendition, quality
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Panasonic GX80   

I was lucky enough to find the version 2 of this lens in a high street store, with the same price as the v1 in a pristine condition. I felt like stealing off a church, as the Pentax-A series (identical to this) is my favourite when it comes to IQ.

I use this on my Panasonic GX80 with a pk->m4/3 mount and I have only nice things to say about it. While the bokeh is not the best (especially compared to my Pentax-A 50mm F1.7), it is a very useful wide-angle lens. It offers a nice colour rendition (even a bit more on the muted side) that matches what I expect from a Pentax lens of the era. Videography is a piece of cake as apart from the lens being very light, it offers a very smooth focus ring that enables you to "play" with it while recording, with excellent results, aided by the in-body stabilisation.

Compared to the Panasonic kit lens 12-32mm I would say that this is a great alternative that has made me a better and less lazy photographer. I wouldn't know the qualities of version 1, but if you find a version 2, you should certainly go for it without hesitation.

The reason I'm not giving a 10 in the overall score, is due to not matching other favourite lenses of mine when it comes to connection with my mind. Lacks that special character that I personally like to see in some other Pentax primes.




Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8



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