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SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 8.0
Aberrations 
 8.0
Bokeh 
 7.5
Handling 
 9.3
Value 
 8.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
91 410,825 Tue September 1, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
93% of reviewers $51.79 8.30
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
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SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
supersize
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8
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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 61-75 of 91
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: US
Posts: 34
Lens Review Date: September 6, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, tough build and good contrast
Cons: manual
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Got this at ebay - very good copy
got very used to 50mm 1.4 takumar - this lens showed me a different perspective.
was surprised to be this acceptably sharp at f2.8
at around 60$ - I consider this very affordable prime in Pentax line up.
I also admire the DOF at 2.8 especially for portraits..
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: HAMBURG, GERMANY
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: June 13, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, flarecontrol, handling
Cons: -

I have the second version - fantastic fine lens. Checked it against a TOKINA RMC 28/2.8 - the PENTAX SMC Coating is better, focussing smother and the aperture ring is a more solid construction.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, light, colour rendition, cheap!
Cons: manual focus (?)

I think this lens has a worse reputation than it deserves on this database, especially when used on a digital (cropped) body. A great lens - small, light, and a great focal length. I've been using this regularly on my digital and film bodies for a few years now and for the $50 it cost me I'm extremely happy. If you see the lens available (and it tends to be available quite often online) I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 4,180
Lens Review Date: January 24, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Relatively fast, inexpensive, sharp & light
Cons:

This is an inexpensive lens which delivers excellent IQ. It provides excellent value and plenty of sharpness & contrast. It is easy to carry around due to its lightness, but is still built well enough to outlive you. I really like the Pentax M series lenses because they are a consistent performing bunch, and do not seem to acquire the perception of magic, which keeps the prices down to earth.

What all lenses should be: high performing, inexpensive, well built. It has the balance rarely seen in so many other lens lines. I sold the lens, but only because I have the 28mm range covered so many times already that storing it was silly.

If you need the focal range, can meter lenses in M mode without causing yourself stress, then grab one of these little guys and have fun.
   
Giveaway winner!

Registered: December, 2007
Location: beantown
Posts: 944
Lens Review Date: January 2, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Nice size, Sharp as any at F5.6 and above
Cons: Internal parts loose
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: MX   

I thought I wrote a review prior, but it seem to be gone... so here goes again.

This lens has been in my collection for a long time and has been used seldom, it was because it had a odd sharpness problem. Sometimes the image was great and sometime the very next frame it was not. Only recently about five years ago did I figure out what it could be. The inner barrel has considerable play and when the auto-diaphragm is pushed, the entire lens group jumps just a bit. I've since dampened it with my finger and suddenly (insert angels song here), the lens is always sharp! Sure it is still a little mushy around the edges wide-open, but I get predictable results with this lens now. I figure for the record that I may have the first version.

On a digital APS-C it is easy and sharp. Much like a 43mm lens the edge issues are gone and I've found the lens very nice even wide.

Update: I took the lens completely apart and seated the front group properly. Problems with the wiggle seems to be solved. As well as newer issues with aperture blades being slow.
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 59
Lens Review Date: December 20, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Easy to Hyperfocal, and Inexpensive
Cons: Loose Focus
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

What I Like: While not a "pancake" it is a very compact lens. It easily fits in a pocket when you don't want to lug around a bag. It's about the size of my 2x teleconverter. Line up all the red markings for easy hyperfocal shooting at f8. I did an entire day in Seattle with a ME Super in Av mode like this, practically a point and shoot. The price is very affordable for such an attractive focal length. Probably because it is not an "A" lens or uncommon. The front element is not sticking out too far and I only encountered light flare when pointing it directly at a bright light. Since it is a "M" lens it has excellent build quality. One thing that I like that others would probably scoff at is that it is only a 5 bladed aperture. However, OoF bits do not really show it noticeably. It is not a bokeh monster by any means. All in all it is a very inexpensive lens that fulfills many roles and fulfills them fairly well. On FF it is the perfect length for taking "Rolling Shots" of cars.

What I Do Not Like: It might just be my copy, but the focusing ring feels like a cheap autofocus lens to me and zooms from lock to lock while focusing. Once you have been shooting with it for awhile you get used to it.

Seeing as how you can get fancier/wider/faster lenses than this one I would recommend it as a good/affordable FF wide-angle and a "point and shoot" convenience travel lens.

Examples:

The low quality of the picture is from printing it with the wrong filter, not the lens.


Probably at or near wide-open as it is in shade.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Posts: 12,244
Lens Review Date: December 19, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Nice length on K-x, surprisingly sharp wide open
Cons: manual

This was one of three lenses that my sister and BiL gave me back in September (M50/2 & M135/3.5). I hadn't tried it much until recently with all the family get-togethers inside.

Physically the lens is small. It's not a pancake but its about 1 inch deep when attached to the body. Build quality is terrific IMHO. I've got several SuperTaks and AF lenses and these Pentax M lenses are solid, solid, solid IMHO. Focus ring is large for the lenses size and smooth. Is it as smooth as my SuperTak 50/1.4? Not quite but its close enough that it really doesn't matter.

Minimum focus is closer than I anticipated with this lens, which is a plus. The reference at the top says 30cm (around 12 inches). I have found that it varies by f-stop but 4 inches seems to be the minimum I can achieve. Not sure why its listed as ~12 inches above, perhaps that is at the f22 setting?

Images appear sharper at f3.5 than the kits lens but this lens appears to be more prone to flare and contrast issues. When I add a collapsible rubber hood to it those issues seem to resolve adequately. Others have noted a tendency toward purple fringing at less than f5.6. Perhaps Iím not sophisticated enough yet but I havenít encountered this problem with the lens. Could this be another area where the use of a hood can make a significant difference with this lens?

My next project is to try reverse mounting it for some macro work of the inner workings of watch movements. Given its overall short body length, smooth focus ring, and wider angle Iím hopeful that it will allow me to capture some good macros for my other hobby.

Overall, while I am finding it harder to use M lenses with my eyesight, I find this lens to be a real joy to use. It produces very nice color rendition with good bokeh and is adequately sharp at 2.8 but excellent at 5.6.
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 128
Lens Review Date: December 10, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice field of view, good standard lens with DSLR
Cons: None, get one

Always usable and friendly to the photographer. Very sharp stoppered down a bit and still reasonably sharp at F2.8. Great all-rounder. Very cheap on the secondary market and hence a great lens for the collection or starting one...................... Definitely one of my top 5
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 129

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, High Contrast, Great Build Quality
Cons: CA/PF

I'll be reviewing this lens as a MANUAL lens, so lack of autofocus and metering will not factor into it. Manual-ness may be a negative to some people, but if you own this lens, you're probably getting it for the fact that it is a manual M-series lens.

Let's start with the body:

1. The build quality is phenomenal. This is by far its greatest strength. Although the lens is 25+ years old, I believe it will easily a hundred more, if taken care of properly. I can't say the same about any modern lens. There is something to be said about the KISS principle. Simplicity, when executed properly, will last forever. In this case, it was executed properly.
2. The focusing ring is impressively smooth. It's looser than my other M-series glass, but by only a smidgen. Unfortunately, it's also a really short focus throw. I think it would be more effective on a film body, but on an APS-C sensor, it's a bit small. This makes it quite difficult to focus at times, especially medium distances. It's about a quarter inch between 15ft and infinity, which can be tricky to negotiate.
3. The aperture ring is perfect. Smooth, seats positively at each aperture setting. Good grip, good location, easy to read. Perfect.

Optics:

1. Wide open performance is very good. Of all my M-series glass (35/2.8, 50/1.7, 100/2.8) this is the sharpest and has the strongest contrast wide open. It does certainly sharpen up as you stop down a bit, but wide open is definitely usable.

2. Unfortunately, I can see a fair amount of CA/PF in very high contrast situations, even when stopped down to f/5.6. In normal use, however, this is not too important. If I cared enough about a photo to care about CA/PF, it would only take a minute to get rid of it with simple postprocessing. Not a big issue.

3. It doesn't improve too much when stopped down. It certainly gets sharper and more contrasty, but wide open performance is very good, so slight improvement isn't so significant.

I'd love to get my hands on a 28/3.5 and see how that goes. I hear they're even better!

Overall, an amazing lens. 9/10
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2010
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, small, cheap
Cons: bokeh

I bought this lens for macro shots, attaching reversed onto the camera body, but sometimes I use it as a 28mm (42mm) regular lens. In both cases I'm satisfied with its performance, it has good color rendition, sharpness, it's easy to handle, the focus ring is smooth, and the aperture ring is correct. For this money I recommend this lens to everyone, who does not care about the lacking electronics!
   
Forum Member

Registered: August, 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 92
Lens Review Date: September 1, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I got this lens to compare it to the Sigma MiniWide II. After shooting with both, I like the images out of the Sigma better. The Pentax lens just didn't seem to have the same contrast and general "pop." Maybe I just got a bad copy. In any event, I got rid of it in short order and held onto the Sigma.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 1,850
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, sharp, fast medium wide prime. Solid build.
Cons:

You've really got to hand it to Pentax and how well their primes hold up, even to this day.

This lens has good color rendition, if a tendency to PF wideopen. It's a good way to try out medium wide fast glass. It's light, fairly compact, and has has the well dampened focus of the M 50/1.4.

It's also quite sharp for a wide angle, as long as you have the depth of field where it needs to be.

I got this lens as part of a package deal. Mine is version 2, which probably makes it more of a collectors item. All in all, this is a solid lens.
   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2010
Posts: 47

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Low C.A., Color
Cons: none

Camera Used: K10d
Type of photographer: Landscape

I think this lens should have more of an avg rating of 9. When reading reviews I don't just pay attention to the rating #, but to the description. There are quite a few reviews here that have nothing but good things to say about the lens, but give it a 7??? I guess we all have our own idea of how to rate. There are some that would not give a 10 to any lens, no matter what.

I tested this lens against 3 other non-pentax lens and this one won hands down. I mostly focus on sharpness, c.a., and to a lesser extent color. Bokeh is very subjective, so I dont touch that. This focal length (and under) are getting harder to find at a reasonable price. I suggest picking one of these up.

I shoot landscape shots, typically at infinity. At f/11 this is the sharpest lens I have seen at this focal length. C.A. is present in some cases, but very little. I would give it a ten if C.A. was non-existant. Color is excellent.

I have a Ricoh 28mm 2.8 on the way, so if that fares any better than this one, I will update this. I do have 2 other Ricoh prime lenses and they tend to be sharp and the lowest C.A. (if any) I have experienced, but the color seems to be lacking a bit.

Take this for what it is worth, the fact I use it on digital, and the fact I use it at mid apertures, typically.

UPDATE: The Ricoh 28mm fared very well, sharpness just as good as this lens and same with the C.A.. I would have a hard time telling the difference between pics, except that this lens tends to be 'cool' and the Ricoh tends to be 'warm.' The Ricoh had a little less contrast/color compared to this one. I now have the m42 version of the Ricoh, so I will see if that performs any different.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Makawao, HI
Posts: 195

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 19, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:

I bought my copy off of the f/s forum nearly 2 years ago. Only got into it recently (keeping it on my K10d for walkaround). The more I use it, the more I like it. On "M" mode it's a simple matter of metering (green button) at the selected f-stop. There are a bunch of these on the f/s listings at really great prices. It's a lens thats readily available and should be in every bag.

I didn't think much of it before because it doesn't have the sharpness of the m/a 50, but the slightly wide (42mm) lens is so much more versatile than a 50.



   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2009
Posts: 392
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: FOV on film is really wide, on digital is nice normal
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 7   

Its good, but its not as sharp as the M 28/3.5. Preferred to the M 28/3.5 for usage on digital due to the aperture being a bit faster.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 28mm F2.8



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