Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Lens Review Database » Film Era Pentax K-Mount Lenses » M Prime Lenses
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 8.0
Aberrations 
 8.0
Bokeh 
 7.5
Handling 
 9.2
Value 
 8.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
77 297,695 Wed November 8, 2017
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $53.70 8.30
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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 16-30 of 77
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 1,500

8 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $39.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: size, color rendering, acceptably sharp wide open
Cons: could use a hood, not razor sharp

(I used this lens for the Single in September 2014 challenge here on Pentax Forums)

I'd been looking for an alternative to my Sigma Mini-Wide II 28/2.8. The Sigma is a nice lens, but I wasn't in love with it. I've been trying to collect as much old Pentax glass as I can, so figured 28 was a prime focal length to add to the collection. *snort* Plus, it was less than $40 and only advertised in "acceptable" condition. It's missing the little pearl, and focusing is a little stiff near infinity, but the wear is average and the glass is good.

This lens is VERY SMALL. Before this lens, the smallest lens I owned was the A50/2, but this lens is short even compared to that (although the A50/2 is still lighter weight). The focusing ring is quite narrow, especially because I was coming off the Kalimar 28-85/3.5, and I was constantly dragging my fingers over the barrel of the lens that would extend and retract during focusing (not an IF lens). This made focusing a chore at first, before I trained myself to not try to fit so many fingers on the focusing ring. The lens had no other functional surprises as a Pentax-M lens.

Performance-wise, the lens is as sharp as I could want it to be. I am not a junkie for razor sharp pictures and I don't mind overall softness. I was surprised at times at how sharp the lens could be, particularly by the end of the month when I really got good at focusing at this focal length. This lens is wider than what I typically use, so focusing on subjects in a middle distance was kind of a challenge. My eyesight is good, but not perfect and sometimes focusing at wide(r) angles can be a problem. However, using the hyperfocal distance scale, focus confirmation, and a general "too-close-too-far" method while rotating the focusing ring very slowly through the range, I came up with perfectly acceptable in-focus images and I got better at "seeing" through the lens and at the focal length.

The color was very good. Better than the colors from my M135/3.5, but not as amazing as the colors from my M35/2.8

There was a very slight amount of barrel distortion, but only noticeable when I was right on top of my subject and it was easily correctable with a minor adjustment in PP software.

I didn't notice any chromatic aberrations at all, but the lens would have benefited greatly from a hood to improve contrast. I didn't ever bother to acquire one, but I did use my hand as a shield in situations where it was necessary for the life of the image (see some of the photos from Elephant Rocks State Park).

The bokeh produced by the lens can be nice if you have sufficient distance between the subject and background, and the right amount and type of light, but this lens is not knocking anyone out of the water and this quality is hit-and-miss at best.

The Sigma focuses a little closer and I did allow myself to use a screw-on 10x macro filter on the M28/2.8 for some close-up fun. The MFD is about 10 inches, which is pretty damn close, really.

Overall, I would choose this M28/2.8 over the Sigma Mini-Wide II, so I'm glad I bought it. Even to sacrifice the A-setting of the Sigma, the colors the Pentax glass produces are more pleasant and usable, plus the Pentax is MUCH sharper at f/2.8, therefore more functional wide-open for subject isolation. Stopped down, the Sigma is sharper overall, but that's not a trait that sells a lens to me.

I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of the focal length, and you all should have one in your collection anyway. ;-) After the day is done, I still probably prefer something a little more towards the tele end, but I will keep this little guy around. The size, IQ and angle of view make it a valuable lens, in my opinion.

See my Flickr album full of images taken by this lens.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 6, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: color,easy to adjust focus,amazing sharpness,cheap
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K10D K100D   

IMGP1924 by panminyu819, on Flickr

IMGP1907 by panminyu819, on Flickr

IMGP1878 by panminyu819, on Flickr

IMGP1922 by panminyu819, on Flickr

IMGP1911 by panminyu819, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2011
Posts: 35
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: cheap and metal
Cons: color renders strangely sometimes
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5   

Here is the picture taken in South Australia lavender farm - post blossom
https://www.flickr.com/photos/templarkk/14291672261
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: April 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light, well built, tough, smooth focus, fast
Cons: aperture could be faster
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20D, K-5 IIs, K-3   

I picked up an old SLR it came with this little gem of a lens attached and fell in love.

Optically this lens is awesome. It may not be as sharp or free of CAs as the DA*/FA* lenses I love to compare it to, but it just shines in its own way. There is something refreshing about mounting an old lens to your camera that just opens up a new world for you. This lens is a prime example of this phenomenon.
When going out to shoot ANYTHING, I will always bring this lens along. It has seen use at hockey games, concerts, weddings, landscape shoots, rock climbing expeditions, portrait shoots and even wildlife sessions.

The 28mm (42mm) focal length is brilliant for a wide range of applications and one that everyone should have in their bag at all times.

The lack of an Autofocus drive is not an issue on Pentax DSLRs as they all have the catch in focus mechanism. I am a bit bummed that the aperture ranges only from 2.8 onward but what can you do; the 28mm f/2 is around, even if harder to find. The focus ring is smooth and has a perfect amount of resistance to it, feeling almost Takumar-like. The aperture clicks into place firmly and there is no wobble in either of the rings. In fact, the whole lens is built like a tank, making you feel as if you are holding the grandparent of the first limited lenses. Mine even took a tumble down a couple steps and the filter thread was bent inward, but the front element is recessed far enough into the body to be well-protected.
The focus throw is nice and long, which is an absolute JOY to have when shooting any video.

This is a lens no one should pass up. Tons were made, so prices are decently low, and it is one awesome little lens. Can't be beat for the price, and part of the joys of being a Pentaxian is the legacy glass we get to enjoy. So go on: find yourself a copy and you won't be disappointed.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: April 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great focal length (for film and digital), sharp, nice contrast
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1000, ME, K2, K-5   

Love this lens.

Love the focal length both for film and digital. On film, it's a proper wide-angle lens; on digital, it provides about 42mm equivalent FL--slightly wider than "normal," and a FL I'm very comfortable with. (I also shoot a lot with fixed-lens rangefinders--Canonet QL17, Konica Auto S2, Konica C35, Yashica Electro 35, Olympus 35 SP--all with a focal length between 38mm and 45mm.)

It's a great street-shooting lens: set it at its hyperfocal distance of 10 feet at f8 (i.e., so that the red marks line up) and shoot away. Everything between 5 feet and infinity will be in focus.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Location: Naples
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: contrast and colours, good for black and white, fine macro if reversed, sharpenss if closed, warm rendition, construction
Cons: sharpness on borders, resolution of detail, expensive quotation
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Value: 7    Camera Used: k5 mx lx etc.   

There are better wide angle-norma(Digital)... this is one of the worst pentax M project...

I had the vivitar and sigma equivalente, they were better. That's make it too expensive.

It's good for black and white shot because as a warm rendition and a good contrast that produce "ready" B/w immage.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 897

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 14, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, sharp
Cons: Not gonna list any
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5ii   

This lens came to me as part of a trade. To be honest, I didn't really want it, but was curious and we were trying to get to a cash neutral trade and this trued us up a little bit. I thought I'd play with it and sell it or pass it along.

I started getting great photos with it nearly right away. I still considered it a placeholder and have been looking for the right lens around this focal length, but it's kicking the snot out of my DAL35/2.4 right now. I picked up a K lens near this focal length that was supposed to be better and it showed me a couple of things; how tight and well machined this one feels. Focus and aperture are smooth with no wobble. It's held up extremely well. I don't see any evidence in build quality step down from K lenses. The photos were better than that particular K lens as well. It had some issues, so maybe not a fair comparison.

I will say that it's a little bit of an odd focal length for me. I'm not sure why, I know a lot of people love it, but it is. With something in the immediate foreground, it's really nice. For landscape it can be nice. For something across the room or across the street, it just doesn't feel right to me (yet). I may just need more time with it. It did make me want a 24mm. I can see what's cool now about wider field of view.

Mainly I wanted to review my impression that the fact that these are abundant and cheap ($40?) does not remotely represent their value to me. I think it's a prize. I can't say that I'll keep it forever. I may end up with the perfect 24mm and something in the 30-43mm range and pass this one along, but it's far exceeded my expectations and got me seeing things differently. I may stop fighting it and just embrace it as a keeper at some point.
   
New Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: South Hadley, MA
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $58.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, Quick, Sharp
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-x   

Just picked up this lens during the week and just started playing around with it. I payed about 60 bucks for the lens and shipping. Such a bargain. My only other prime lens is currently the 50mm M 1.7 and I like the sharpness and bokeh on this guy a little better.

Definitely worth picking up if the price is right. Can't wait to use it some more.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2009
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: size, weight, contrast wide open
Cons: resolution, flare resistance, overall corners
Sharpness: 3    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 3    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: ME Super, Super Program, K-5   

I bought this lens in almost mint condition for about 70€ and I really enjoy using it.

It's really very small, almost pancake-like... there's always a pocket that fits the M28/2,8 or the M50/1,7 (which has almost the same size/weight/look) Mechanically theres nothing to complain, it follows the M-standard.

Concerning optical quality I can't confirm the good performance many users before stated.

Yes - the contrast is pretty good; even wide open. And resolution is also decent when stopped down to f/8-16. But the corners are very weak in almost every aspect (resolution exept f/8 or smaller, CA's, vignetting). Even the bokeh gets worse when looking at the corners.

Talking about bokeh: Not very nice. It produces quite pronounced outlinings that turn cyan under some circumstances. Foreground is rendered very smooth although.

Another thing (or two) I have to complain about is the bad flare resistance and the pretty heavy barrel distortion.

Colour rendering is slightly yellowish. Almost like the M50/1,7.

In summary I can recommend this lens to people that are looking for a cheap, compact and versatile lens. Pixel peepers won't be very pleased.

(this review is based on my experiences on a film camera - on a digital sensor its slightly better)
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 853
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $68.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Compact and solid
Cons: Less value for money over $50, versus other options
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 5    Camera Used: K20D   

The M28 2.8, as reviews point out below, is a compact, solid lens that sits neatly on modern digital cameras. 28mm is a good walk-around focal length for asp-c cameras, and the M28 is a logical travelling companion for the excellent M50mm 1.7.

I have the less well regarded Version 1. I'm rating it a 6, as the ratings guide suggest 5 to 6 is "good" and that's what this lens is if you pay under $50.

My reason for posting this review is to recommend that if you want an excellent used 28mm at a more reasonable price than later 28mm's (and Pentax currently don't sell new 28mm's), you should first try a M28mm 3.5 or better still a K28 3.5. Or non-Pentax options. Like many others, I read lots of user reviews and tests before buying new or used lenses. I wasn't convinced that enough owners or testers liked the M28mm enough....but was seduced by a slightly more expensive mint, boxed lens, and the strength of the M50 1.7. It was a mistake.

Having used the M28mm for six months, and found it sharp at short distances, but disappointing rendition-wise at longer distances, I decided to purchase a K28 3.5. The difference in resolution is significant - to a "pro-level" with the K28. Well worth the additional cost, plus the extra speed of the M28 2.8 is less vital on today's digital cameras.

To illustrate my issue with the M28, take the photo below. The image after photo-shopping may look OK here, but it just doesn't have a high enough resolution for larger print-outs at 12+ inches. It needed a major boost to overcome muted colors (despite an amazingly vivid live scene infront of me). This is basic photography in a digital era - crop and shop and occassionally blow up for the wall (or to sell) - something that my M28 2.8 Version 1 does not handle well, especially compared to the K28 3.5.

   
Moderator

Registered: June, 2010
Location: The Great Pacific Northwet
Posts: 10,940
Lens Review Date: April 14, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $99.99 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, sharp, the very best Pentax quality
Cons: I paid too much.

I went on a tear in March and decided I needed some manual lenses to hone my photographic skills. I also know that using a bellows or extension tubes for macro work required the use of manual lenses, and after much reading and review the M looked like a great choice.

This lens also came with the original front and rear caps, and the lens case and strap, in decent condition.
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 33
Lens Review Date: April 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Compact, well built, inexpensive
Cons: Image quality could be better, especially wide open
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-01, LX, ist DL   

I have the older version of this lens. I used it quite a lot in the film days. The focal length is quite useful on film cameras and it was my most used lens for landscape. I don't find it as useful on APS-c digital cameras. Optically it is ok when stopped down a bit but wide open it is fairly weak towards the edges on film, a bit better on APS-c due to cropping.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 493

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 25, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: size, build, colors, IQ (?)
Cons: IQ (?)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 7    Camera Used: Pentax K7   

Im initially really puzzled by the performance in regards to the sharpness of this lens (I have the first version). To me it seems to be a not very sharp lens, but in this very thorough test (http://www.takinami.com/yoshihiko/photo/lens_test/pentax_28-30.html) made by Yoshihiko the lens performs very, very well especially at f:8 - 16. Hmm I need to do more photos with this lens at higher ISO and aperture to learn more about it.
Read the numbers (FF) as from center to edge, line pairs pr millimeter(see the link for more details and lenses):

smc PENTAX-M 28mm f/2.8 (former model) (M28/2.8(I), #6772***)
f/2.8_62_62/62_55/55_49/49_44/49
f/4.0_69_69/69_55/55_55/55_49/49
f/5.6_78_78/78_78/78_62/69_62/62
f/8.0_87_87/87_87/78_78/78_69/78
f/11_98_98/98_98/98_87/87_78/78
f/16_87_87/87_87/87_78/78_69/78
f/22_78_78/78_69/78_62/62_62/62

smc PENTAX-M 28mm f/2.8 (later model) (M28/2.8(II), #8328***)
f/2.8_62_62/62_62/62_55/49_44/44
f/4.0_78_78/69_62/69_55/55_44/44
f/5.6_87_78/69_78/69_55/62_44/49
f/8.0_98_87/98_87/87_78/78_69/78
f/11_98_87/98_78/87_78/78_69/78
f/16_87_87/87_78/78_69/69_62/62
f/22_78_78/69_69/62_62/55_55/62

Note: Went for a walk today. Here is one taken on K7 (ISO400) at f:11


See the ‘Original‘ here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/32108329@N08/8413613449/sizes/o/in/photostream/


This is a great lens when closed down to f:11: Quite sharp, no aberrations, pleasing bokeh and high value
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 622
Lens Review Date: January 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Nice feel, good optics, good bokeh
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I was sceptical of the lens based on reviews given on this forum but having received it in a package with a vintage Pentax camera I thought I would give it a try and so far it has been a pleasant surprise. The photos I've taken are as good as the M 50mm f1.7 so far and as per other prime lenses of this era that it handles predictably, under manual usage it gives me what I expect so far.

The optics are good, no dust in my copy, and I don't see the chromatic aberrations or purple fringing so far.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Far North Qld, Australia
Posts: 179
Lens Review Date: January 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid build, fast, sharp stopped down, price
Cons: Some CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30   

This is a great little lens. Its fast and sharp, of solid construction and very light weight. My only gripe with the lens is ive noticed a bit of chromatic aberrations creeping in, but these were easily fixed in post. If you enable Catch In Focus in your camera settings, it makes manual focusing a breeze. Sharp pics every time.

Its a little soft at 2.8 but tack sharp when stopped down.

Sample image at f2.8

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63892866@N03/8367370786/in/photostream/lightbox/
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:06 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top