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SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5

Sharpness 
 8.9
Aberrations 
 8.5
Bokeh 
 6.9
Handling 
 9.3
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
53 232,705 Tue April 19, 2022
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $59.69 8.86
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5

SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5
supersize
SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5
supersize

Description:
The slower of the two M variants, it succeeded the original K 28mm lens.



SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5
© 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
6 elements, 6 groups
Mount Variant
K
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
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
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 31.5 mm
Weight
180 g
Production Years
1977 to 1985
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:3.5 28mm
Product Code
22570
Reviews
User reviews
Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 53
New Member

Registered: April, 2022
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 19, 2022 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact
Cons: Vignetting
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1, K3 iii   

First, the biggest drawback of the lens: vignetting. In less than ideally lit situations (ie, most natural light shots I take), the lens vignettes noticeably until F8. That's fine, since one of the benefits of this lens is depth of field. Relative lack of bokeh could be considered a downside, but it is a wide-angle lens, so that cannot count as a weakness to me. Aberrations are also noticeable, but it is an M series lens, so it is expected.

The lens works very well with both the K1 and K3 iii. With FF, it is a nice perspective lens for landscapes, and distortion is acceptable for my purposes. With APS, the lens does a creditable job of being a quasi-macro lens, and an excellent job when reverse mounted.

Given price, age, and design, this lens works at least as well as one might expect.

Sample photos below. I will note that post-processing is used in three of the four linked images, but sharpness adjustments are minimal. (Contrast and saturation are often more in need of boosting.) The reverse mounted shot is unaltered.

K1:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/119228821@N02/51708128981/in/album-72177720297460470/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119228821@N02/51713563814/in/album-72177720297460470/


K3 iii:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/119228821@N02/51597528408/in/album-72177720297460470/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119228821@N02/51498172238/in/album-72177720297460470/
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 1,620

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 20, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, size, weight
Cons: Manual exposure only (unless you have a K3 iii
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K3, KP   

Being something of a fan of the 40-45mm FOV on film/FF, I have a thing for 28mm lenses on my KP and K3 cameras, and I will be reviewing this lens with that in mind.
I paid £45 for my copy, though optically perfect has a slight focusing error - it seems to randomly skip when approaching infinity, something my 20mm f4 also does, so it may be a design flaw with the M series. This fault does not effect image quality, but can be disconcerting if not used to it. I would cheerfully pay a few quid more for the fault not to be present.
Handling is something of a mixed bag. If you do not mind using MF and manual exposure (I don't), it makes a nice compact companion for you smaller Pentax bodies (compared to say the K 28mm f3.5 which makes them nose heavy), and needless to say work just as well on the larger ones. Some might miss the lack of AF or automated exposure, though I believe the K3 iii will offer the latter to those lucky enough to obtain one. All 2 of the controls, focusing (apart from the aforementioned fault in my copy) and aperture work just fine. Care must be taken when using the viewfinder for focusing as it is easy to miss on standard screens. I have a microprism collar screen installed in my K3 and it makes the task so much more reliable. Any softness of images I believe are largely due to focus errors and flare. This lens is design for 35mm film and as a wide angle and as such much more susceptible to flare than a lens designed for crop. I recommend the use of a standard len lens hood to mitigate against flare. I prefer this slower f3.5 model on my unmodified KP over my A 2.8 model as it is easier to get precise exposure with the slower lens.
Once the focus and flare issues are sorted out I find the image quality to be very good indeed. Perfectly usable wide open and soon sharpens up once stopped down a little. It is not quite as good as my K 28mm f3.5 but not far off and on the smaller bodied cameras much nicer to carry around. The one noticeable flaw is CA's. Well I say noticeable, but that depends on how you view your pictures. CA's are there at every aperture, worse wide open still noticeable when stopped down. BUT only if you are pixel peeping. When images are viewed in their entirety at normal viewing distances there is no issue at any aperture. Basically you have to look for CA's to find them, but find them you will if you look. Bokeh? Who cares for what this lens is designed or likely to be used as. Images are typically Pentax in terms of colour rendering and vibrance. No cause for any complaints at all. B&W images seem particularly pleasing with this lens and I would say marginally better than those taken with my K f3.5.
I was lucky to find a copy this cheaply at the present time. They seem to be quite rare on the Evil Bay at the moment and the few copies available are relatively pricey. I think this is due to lack of trading activity caused by the pandemic response so hopefully once things return to normal prices and availability will improve. I think highly enough of this lens to want to track a mechanically better copy down. I especially rate it for B&W.
As the owner of the following Pentax 28 and 30mm lenses I would rate them in the following order, but please bear in mind some of this is based on my subjective opinion and others may prefer the convenience of AF and auto exposure when considering which lens to chose:-
K 28mm f3.5
F 28mm f2.8
K 30mm f2.8
A 28mm f2.8
M 28mm f3.5
M 38mm f2.8
I would point out in terms of IQ, the differences between the lenses can be quite marginal. Optically this little lens is no slouch. Find one in decent condition at a reasonable price and I would recommend you pick one up. I think it worth having just for B&W images as it has such a unique look my other lenses lack.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Southern Finland
Posts: 657
Review Date: April 18, 2021 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, compactness, M-series build
Cons: F3,5 only
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K200D, K-5, K-1   

A very sharp and compact all-round wide angle which I used to like very much back in the film era. With APS-C format bodies I did not use this much, but lately I found out that the optics is still quite okay for digital full format use (K-1). Lack of digital era coatings decreases the value a bit, though. Very capable for macro work also, especially with a reverse ring or attaching this reversed to another (e.g. 50 mm, 100 mm or 135 mm) manual lens.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 25, 2020 Recommended | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Pretty much the same as the 2.8 version
Cons: Over-rated and over-priced
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 6   

I don't sharpen and edit images in software and then conveniently forget that when writing reviews of a lens.

For such an old lens, $40 would seem to be a fair 2020 price for a neat and tidy mini lens that gives good central sharpness at f5.6 to f16. Not so great at infinity. It's always a bit too blurry at the edges, though; but many 28mm and 35mm lenses of it's age are like this from many manufacturers. The hyperfocal range of focus printed on the lens barrel is way off as it does not focus across what it states in print. It can be difficult to get to focus every time.

As with all wide angle tiny glass lenses of the 1980's and 1990's this is dreadful to open up and clean out if you buy an old poorly kept version.

Good, sometimes very good, never excellent.
   
Unoriginal Poster

Registered: November, 2016
Location: Espoo
Posts: 2,948

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 1, 2020 Recommended | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8   

Overall this is pretty similar lens as 28/2.8 and both are equally cheap. Many rank this one better, but I honestly canít find any sigficant advantage over f2.8. This small and well build wide angle that is pleasure to use. Short hyperfocal distance and weak bokeh make this optimal to use when you want all sharp. Lens is sharp enough, but not quite in the level of the fifties.

Good value for the money, but I prefer the faster 28, thought its advantages are visible only in special cases. Most of the time these give equal results.

APSC SIC album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/154414256@N06/albums/72157693911019240
FF SIC album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/154414256@N06/albums/72157710643768551
   
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Posts: 37

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 14, 2020 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, price
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1ii   

For a $50 lens, this is a smooth operator. Recommended to me by my local camera store as shaper than the f2.8 version, I choose it over the 35mm-FAf2.8 version which had very plasticky aperture clicks.
Focus ring is impressively smooth, and the sharpness on first try outdoors in very diffuse light was above par.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2017
Posts: 681

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 13, 2019 Recommended | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Color reproduction, weight, size
Cons: Not many...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

I decided to try this out with a 20mm Spiratone extension tube today, as well as taking some general shots. With extremely mild editing, both macro and non-macro photos turned out beautifully. I am especially impressed with the color reproduction of this lens, requiring very little adjustment (if at all) out of camera to equal what I observed with the naked eye. Highly recommend, especially since you can get it relatively inexpensively.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2019
Posts: 8

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: August 21, 2019 Recommended | Price: $61.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: like all of the M series small size.
Cons: None really when factoring size & cost to performance
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon Z6 & Pentax Me Super   

You can't go wrong with this lens. Its stupidly cheap, small and gives you results far in excess of what you have a right to expect from such a price point. Is it up to today's super sharp behemoths? Of course not, but, if you want a super small lens that you can throw in your bag and have on hand in the off chance you need wide - this is it. The colour 'pop' is awesome. This is a seriously good lens. Its not sharp at all in the corners, but that is part of its allure I think, the general 'feel' of the photos made by this lens are very pleasing to my eye.


   
New Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3
Review Date: March 22, 2019 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build quality, handling, size, weight, sharp
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

It's a awesome lens. very tiny and the image quality you can pull out from is amazing. I have used this tiny beauty on APS-C format and the equivalent field of view is 42.5 mm in 35mm format. It's sharper than its 2.8 sister and the overall image quality is superior compare to the 2.8 one. Keeping your eye on ebay you can find a mint condition for a little money. Highly recommended.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2007
Location: Toronto/Victoria
Posts: 448
Review Date: February 6, 2019 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact and reasonably good IQ
Cons: Manual lens
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-1, K100D   

This is a very good normal lens on APS-C - it is as good or better than the A28/2.8 and A28/2.0 other than functionality and maximum aperture.

On the K-1, it is also better than those two lenses which suffer from softer corners and quite a bit of green/magenta CA. It's not as good as the K28/3.5, but it gets fairly close; it also has the same less obtrusive red/blue CA. It's also a very small lens.

I use it for video on my K-1, and it does a very good job.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2018
Location: Nottingham
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 29, 2019 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, lovely retro look and feel
Cons: noticed noise in poor light
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A6000   

I bought the lens as part of a bundle at a charity shop, so the $30 (20GBP) is an estimate

The lens has been used on a Sony A6000, all images shot in RAW and edited in Rawtherapee and GIMP.

I think I have a mint copy, well cared for (came with a little leather pouch lens holder) and was complete with skylight filters.

The lens is light and looks beautiful, looks fabulous on my camera, very retro.

The aperture clicks feel good and the focus ring is smooth.

I've shot landscapes, street shots and even some portraits and I am very pleased with the results.

In good light the lens has created some superb crisp, vibrant, colourful and sharp images.

In poor light I have noticed noise at ISO's where I would not expect noise with my Sony.

I would have given a 9/10 , but for the noise at low light (maybe I am too picky)


It's a keeper for sure



Council House Autumn Colours by Phil Howcroft, on Flickr

The old sweet shop by Phil Howcroft, on Flickr

Arnold Town's Number 1 Fan by Phil Howcroft, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2013
Location: Yukon
Posts: 516
Review Date: November 9, 2018 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, size, weight
Cons: None that come to mind
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5II, K-1   

Surprisingly, now that I have a K-1 I am using this lens often. Surprisingly because I also have the K28/3.5. But the full frame body is so much heavier that I decided to take this one out a little more often. Fully satisfied with the results. Build and handling is typical M, which is to say excellent.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2013
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 572

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 29, 2018 Recommended | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, small, sharp enough, very good IQ
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5II and K-1   

A fantastic lens that should be considered by everyone, even if it isn't a 9 or a 10 on the already inflated lens ratings. I have been able to compare it first hand to the esteemed K 28 3.5 and it is a lot closer than the price difference indicates (~$50 for the M and ~$100 for the K). I honestly would have been fine with keeping the M out of the two of them because they were that close. Focus throw is a joy to use, very small and lightweight... it's great for hiking with.

Here's some of my favorite photos that I've taken with it:

Yellow Leaf at Springfield Falls

A Change in Current and Color by James Baron, on Flickr

Springfield Falls
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2017
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 4, 2018 Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Color, Compact size, Light weight, Build, SMC coating
Cons: None for its size and price
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 60D   

I got this lens in April expecting it to replace my unimpressive EF-S 24mm f2.8 pancake lens from Canon. After four months' use, it is now my favorite lens even though the field of view of it on my 60D is a little bit narrow compared to that of the 24mm lens. But it is a matter of how I use it. Speaking of the lens itself, I would say it is almost perfect in terms of everything.


Sharpness:
This lens is very sharp even when wide open at f3.5. When stepping down to f8, which is the ideal aperture for snapshot in street or traveling, the sharpness is simply crazy. In the same scene, it is way sharper than my M.Zuiko 12mm f2.0 lens for M43 camera which is well known for the resolution it delivers. It definitely beats the EF 50mm STM an EF-S 24mm STM lens.


Color:
Briefly speaking, the color it renders is vivid but not over-saturated. I understand color rendering is a strong point of Pentax lens, but the performance of this lens is exceptional. SMC-M 50mm f1.7 and Super-Takumar 50mm f1.4(7 elements version) are not as good.


Anti-flare:
I can hardly see flares with using this lens against bright light source. I believe the SMC coating techniques were quite mature in the M series era. Personally, I find its coating working more efficiently than those on any modern M43 lenses I have ever used.


Build quality:
I would not say it is built like a tank since there is no such tiny tank. That is the only difference.

See more pictures here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/138599026@N08/albums/72157667317573708





   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 4,695

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 26, 2018 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp from wide open, compact, well-built, covers FF
Cons: manual focus?
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Various APS-C cameras   

The SMC-M 28/3.5 is a film-era, automatic aperture, manual focus wide angle lens covering FF sensor/film.
It has the FoV of a short-ish normal (42mm "equivalent") on APS-C.

It is very compact, and construction is all-metal.

My father bought this one new - the currency in Italy at the time was still the Italian Lire, so I just put a resonable dummy price because the price I paid would be unrealistic now.

This lens is quite sharp, even wide open, has a very precise rendering, and the bokeh isn't too bad either - although that's kind of a moot point on WA lenses since you rarely get to see it.

A weak spot is flare resistance, despite having the SMC coating. Don't put too many light sources in the picture or you'll get flares.

I'll let speak the pictures now.

Bokeh shot. it's not terrible, in fact I find it kinda pleasing. Shot at f/3.5

28_35_1 by Paolo Del Lungo, su Flickr

f/8 gets a red notch for ease of use: the manual calls it the "snapshot setting", together with the appropriate hyperfocal setting.
28_35_2 by Paolo Del Lungo, su Flickr

Flare is pretty bad with a strong light source inside the picture
28_35_3 by Paolo Del Lungo, su Flickr

At f/8 it's sharp across the frame
Snow_4 by Paolo Del Lungo, su Flickr

This shot has been developed from RAW, but microcontrast is excellent even in SOOC JPEGs
Verona_1 by Paolo Del Lungo, su Flickr
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5



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