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SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
28 161,025 Fri October 21, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $77.74 9.25
SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

This lens has an aperture range faster than that of all of its successors.

SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 7 blades
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
100 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45-23 ° / 38-19 °
Full frame: 63-34 ° / 54-29 °
MH-R two piece metal screw-in
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
One-touch Zoom
Diam x Length
67 x 76 mm
470 g
Production Years
1979 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M ZOOM 1:2.8 35mm-1:3.5 70mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-28 of 28
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Warsaw
Posts: 83

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 10, 2015 Recommended | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed, crisp images with prime-like contrast and colour, build, uniqnes - as it is a "SMC-K prototype turn real" lens.
Cons: None.... ok: 1 m minimum focusing distance - but you can always use 18-55mm WR with all long 25cm close focusing if you need.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

Amazing high speed/high quality lens - that accordingly to B. Dimitrov is an incarnation of the SMC-K prototype 35-70mm f/2.8

It produces prime-like crisp images with excellent colour, contrast and amazing sharpness on almost each aperture/FL combination. A STACK OF PRIMES INDEED.

It outclasses my (previously favourite) SMC-F 35-70mm f/3,5-4,5 zoom in this range.
Crispness, microcontrast and colour of this SMC-M are just another league.... excellent!

Very useful is a separate ring for focussing, that independently rotates on the one-touch type zooming ring.
It lets you focus without disturbing much the FL set on a zoom. On two-touch zooms it is more independent, but this solution takes what is best from one and two-touch zoom types.

One obvious drawback is the minimum focusing distance of 100cm. It makes this zoom rather a portrait/ street zoom. For close-ups and universal use - sth else is more recommended.
I also understand that this 1m MFD/MinFocDist is a cost of a top optical performance - as most zooms are a set of compromises.... it is OK with me. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


And a word of comment:
I think there is no need for magical guessing and predicting of the f-stop on certain focal length from the engraved marking on the lens barrel. The shutter speed change is visible on the camera LCD while zooming, on P-setting with lens attached. It goes as follows:
  • 35 - 47mm - 1/400 sec - which must be f/2,8
  • 47 - 59mm - 1/320 sec - which must be f/3,2
  • 59 - 70mm - 1/250 sec - which must be f/3,5
Which means that f-stops do change in linear manner with this lens while zooming.
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Torino
Posts: 75

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 8, 2015 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness,Colours,bokeh
Cons: weight and nothing else
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K 30,K 01   

This lens is heavy like a tank but if you wish do bodybuilding during photographic session really deserve any attention if you can grab one.
I loved with my K 30 is perfect with Dslr ,with K 01 is not a so fast work due the lack of viewfinder,is better use other lens as 18-55 or 50 1.7
However Pentax should back to do lens like this,is sharp at 2.8 and at 70mm i read somewhere below it can be open till f 3.5(almost a full aperture lens) so that is fu@@ing amazing!!!

Check my Flickr
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2014
Posts: 61

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 28, 2015 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: build quality, appearance, IQ
Cons: slightly heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: sony a7r   

I bought this lens following on from the excellent reviews posted on this website. My immediate impressions are extremely favorable.
I was fortunate to pick up an immaculate copy from ebay for £69.
The lens fits ergonomically on the sony a7r and looks fantastic. It makes an ideal companion with the smc m 24-35 (which continues to impress me more and more with further use (contrary to my initial impressions)). Both have a 58mm filter thread.
As with all the smc lenses, the colours are deep and vibrant and images have plenty of contrast. The aperture ring clicks true and the sliding zoom mechanism provides nostalgia for the 70's and 80's when this zoom mechanism was the norm!!
As for sharpness, I have compared the lens with the sony zeiss fe 24-70 f4. At f8 and comparable focal lengths the pentax glass matches the zeiss for centre sharpness and is only minimally less sharp at the corners if one pixel peeps. There is less distortion than the uncorrected zeiss images but obviously a lot more after the lens profiles have been applied for the zeiss. Having said that, distortion is easily corrected manually in LR5. The pentax is the faster lens wide open but obviously lacks the optic stabilisation.
I will certainly favour this lens over the zeiss for landscape photography in which manual lenses excel and most photographs taken at f8 or f11.
In conclusion, if you are wishing to have a "compact" travel solution covering 24-70mm for landscape photography I would highly recommend the combination of the smc m 24-35 and m 35-70 to sony a7 users (and pentax FF slr users when it eventually arrives). I believe that this combination will equal and possibly surpass the image quality of most kit 24-70 zooms and produce the lovely vibrant photographs that are unique to pentax glass.
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 38
Review Date: January 25, 2015 Recommended | Price: $129.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, almost no linear distortion
Cons: none, really
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K10D, Kx, MX   

I bought this lens because of the high regard the reviewers in this post had for it. I'm in complete agreement. There really is no downside. You can say it doesn't autofocus, but no lens from this era does.

It's a complete package. I've even taken pictures of some buildings with this glass, and they're more than satisfactory. Linear distortion is minimal. I initially compared it to my (new) Nikkor 43-86mm f3.5, but the comparison is laughable. The Nikkor isn't in the same league from any standpoint.

This is possibly the only zoom lens that I will hold in as high regard as my Sigma 24-60 f2.8, which is peculiarly suited to my style of photography.

My main purpose for this lens will be people outdoors. As it is effectively a 55-105mm f2.8 on a DSLR, it will take in head shots and body shots with equal aplomb. It might be the ultimate model outdoor model lens - perfect range! I'll stick to my 77mm f1.8 Limited in the indoor arena, though - my old eyes will appreciate the autofocus in low light.

This lens is every bit as good as the other reviewers say it is. Like manntax below, I'll be looking for a second copy.
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 3, 2014 Recommended | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great
Cons: no
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k5   

the best lense ever used!
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 1,972

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 6, 2014 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast , Sharp, Contrasty, Resistant to flare , compact built, mild CA
Cons: Rare, Not closely focusing, little bit heavy ?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D, K-01   

I got this lens around a year ago and recently started using it much more on my K10D after I got a split screen for it. It has become one of my favoured lenses ever . The sharpness is awesome from wide open and lens performs excellent with little CA and great bokeh.
What has surprised me is that it is actually nearly full f2.8 lens !! I just realised that it becomes f3.5 only around 65mm-70mm and it is full f2.8 all the way down to 35mm !!! - just look at the diaphragm lettering and see a separate green mark of aperture for 70mm !!! This is full range f2.8 lens with f3.5 only at 70mm !!!

Amazing value I paid for mine around $100 ( £50 shipped ) back in 2013 and it was my first zoom offering f2.8 through any range - now how does it compare to over £200 I paid for my Tamron f2.8 28-75mm that I got earlier this year ( 2014) for my Z1p film camera which I use the most on film ?? I honestly can't tell the difference even on K01 - so 16MP sensor isn't out-resolving this inexpensive fast zoom yet !! The only complain I have is that lens has little bit firmer ( still super smooth ) zoom in range between 60-70 - which might be a good thing since it doesn't suffer from any zoom creep and also offers *very* accurate focusing in this range - but I would prefer it to be slightly lighter to zoom in this range as it is between 35- 60mm.

EDIT: I revisited this review after having used the lens for more than a year now. I can say that it is one zoom only that I can safely use wide open in low light with my K-01 and not worry about the aperture ring. I just use it in AV wide open !! The image quality is very good at wide end, great at mid-range and simple AMAZING at 60-70mm . Definitely better than my Tamron 28-75mm is. The microcontrast of this lens is just outstanding, also flare resistance is great. I have knocked off one point from bokeh because it can be busier at places, but that depends on the background because I often had some smooth nice bokeh with it. Great lens - and I am looking for another one now for my son, is THAT good !

Lens is super sharp across the whole range - and is sharper than my Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 at long end up until f4-5.6 where Tamron becomes equally sharp !!

So all in all - if you are looking for a fast zoom but with limited budged - this can be your answer! This lens will deliver and offers excellent quality and fast f2.8 in whole range between 35mm - 65mm !!
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 62
Review Date: December 28, 2013 Recommended | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: fast (2.8) and pump-action zoom, good IQ
Cons: may be a little heavy, but it is all-metal-construction.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: ME-super, LX   

at film camera it is day-to-day lens.
fast (2.8-3.5), also looks great
little wider and little telephoto, than 50mm primer lens.
pump action is easy to use.

still have it, but not using, because has another lens more suitable for DSLR K-30, and stop using my film cameras.

If You need MF fast short zoom - it is You're choice.
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 17
Review Date: May 23, 2013 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp from wide open. Inexpensive for the speed.
Cons: All the drawbacks of a manual zoom; manual focus, IS updating, green button metering
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Samsung GX-20, Pentax K-x   

For a few years now I have been looking for a zoom to fill in between the 'Normal Zoom' (first the 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens, and then the Tamron 17-50mm) and the Tele-zoom (first the Pentax FA 80-320mm f4.5-5.6, then the Sigma 70-300mm DG f4-5.6).

I started with the Pentax FA 28-90mm f3.5-5.6 (beautiful colours but slow at the long end, and the images don't withstand pixel peeping), then the Pentax F 28-80mm f3.5-4.5 (heavier, sharper and faster, but more vulnerable to flare and an impossibly long minimum focus distance), then the Pentax F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 (sharper still, but too little overlap with the others; too many lens changes), the Pentax FA 28-105mm f4-5.6 Powerzoom (the best images, but the thing is HUGE, and a bit slow), the Pentax FA 28-70mm f4 (does not go as wide as its name suggests!) so back to the Powerzoom ...

Then I bought a Pentax-M 75-150mm f4 for £10. It was so much better than I had expected, I decided to try another Pentax-M, this one.

This cost a bit more, £28 including postage. I might have bought a pair of some of the Pentax F or FA zooms I have mentioned above, and some I haven't, for this price, but they wouldn't have offered f2.8.

The Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 focuses closer, and I feel that its performance wide open is excellent, but wide open in-doors with available light, the Pentax-M 35-70mm f2.8-3.5 performs better over the focal range they have in common (more detail, better contrast), and out-of-doors I can't tell the difference between the images from the two lenses.

I personally do not find this lens to be unduly bulky, my copy doesn't suffer from zoom creep, and I don't have any difficulty focusing it. I find both its construction and its handling to be excellent.

I probably won't use it much, for the same reason that I have eschewed the Pentax F 35-70mm f3.5-4.5, but my copy seems to be every bit as good as other reviewers find theirs to be.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 7,981

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: May 2, 2012 Recommended | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build, one touch zoom design.
Cons: A bit heavy, variable aperture and a two part hood design.
Camera Used: K Series film bodies (K1000, KM, KX, K2, K2DMD)   

The M35-70/2.8-3.5 was released in late 1978 and is based on a prototype K35-70/2.8 that never went into production. An AF version (AF35-70/2.8) was also released three years later in 1981. The M35-70 was eventually replaced with a slower fixed aperture A35-70/4 in late 1983.

Above average but not prime quality. The lens design of the M35-70 only features 7 elements in 7 groups, which is about half as much as the A35-105/3.5s 15/13. The K45-125 which is an older design has 14/11. I find the A35-105/3.5 to be sharper and the K45-125 about the same as the M35-70.

Focal length:
35mm-70mm is an interesting range on film and it covers the end of wide all the way to the start of the portrait telephoto range. The M35-70 makes for a good, thought heavy walk around lens.

Superb build but the M35-70 is on the heavy size for a lens in this focal range. The M35-70 has a dedicated two part screw-on metal lens hood, with the first part being a 58mm Ė 67mm step-up ring. (Same idea as the K45-125, though they are different hoods) I leave the step-up ring and a 67mm filter on the lens all the time and bought a 67mm lens cap to replace the original 58mm one. I just remove the cap and screw on the second part of the hood when Iím ready to shoot. The zoom is a one touch design which I prefer over the two touch type zooms.

F2.8-F3.5 is not bad but it would have been great if this was like the prototype K or AF version and had a fixed aperture of 2.8. Due to its size the M35-70 is better suited for daylight shooting, use a faster standard prime low light shooting.

Iím not a huge fan of medium focal length zooms and would much rather use a prime instead. Iím ok using a wide or telephoto zoom, but will always carry a standard prime in my kit. If you are looking for a MF zoom in this range the A35-105/3.5 is a better choice.

Sample shots taken with the M35-70/2.8-3.5. Photos are low resolution scans from original slides or negatives.

Camera: K1000SE Film: Fuji Sensia ISO: 100

Camera: K2DMD Film: Kodak T-Max ISO: 400

Senior Member

Registered: December, 2006
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 229
Review Date: June 5, 2011 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Single handed operation, fast, good IQ
Cons: Variable aperture

For general usage, this was often my walkabout lens on the LX.

The IQ is very good for a lens of it's day. The push pull design is very quick to operate and t had a fast aperture for it's day. Interestingly, the AF version was a constant 2.8 and it was a shame Pentax did not use that optical design for this.

The variable aperture does slow things down slightly with manual exposure using E6. Not so bad on C41 if you meter half way through the zoom range. If using auto exposure, this doesn't matter so much and it is quick to use.

The IQ and unless using large prints, it is one of the few zooms of the era I would use as a "std" lens. It was surprisingly compact and fitted nicely in the T2 fronts for the cases.

Senior Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Beautiful Bavaria :-)
Posts: 123
Review Date: February 20, 2010 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: build quality , fine IQ, sharpness
Cons: too heavy

My dislike about this lens is a very personal one: it is my only lens taking 58 mm filters. I could use an adaptor, but the filter ring is dented, the light hood is missing and hard to find.

The build quality is superb, smooth and silky focussing and change of focal length. The sharpness is such that you don't need to stop down in most cases, which makes things easier on the DSLRs.

A nice feature is the informative focal length scale with clearly marked positions for all the 'common' focal lengths plus a few more. Never seen in this way on a today's zoom!

The big con is: it makes the camera really top-heavy and 35-70 is not enough focal length, you will need more lenses and you will have to carry this one around. But if you are powerful enough, you will be rewarded with great pictures in a beautiful colour rendering and satisfying sharpness.
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Deniliquin, NSW, Australia
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 9, 2009 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Built quality, smooth focussing
Cons: none so far

Recently bought this lens for AU$100.00 incl. postage.

From the day I bought this didn't come out of my K200D.

Have excellent results from this lens, as sharp as a prime lenses.

The smooth focusing makes it a pleasure in using this lens.

I haven't find any zoom creep on this lens so push pull zoom didn't bother me.

This is the most loved lens after my 50/1.7A
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 233

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 30, 2008 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and Great Contrast Wide Open. Excellent Colors.
Cons: Little heavy. Push-Pull Design. No "A" Setting.

This lens is the predecessor of the AF35-70 f2.8 lens (Which is actually the fastest Pentax made in this zoom range). Despite it not being a constant f2.8, the tele end is really only half a stop slower at f3.5 and the difference is not noticable at all.

It is very sharp with good contrast wide open. In fact, it only improves slightly stopped down. The colors are rich and saturated.

The Push-Pull design is kind of cool in a retro sort of way, but does have a tendency to suck up dust. (So don't go around pumping it unnecessarily when you are somewhere dusty).

On a DSLR, it functions mainly as a normal to telephoto zoom, so it isn't quite as useful a range as it originally was, but I think most people would be very happy with its IQ wide open.

I bought this lens because I was really impressed with the AF35-70 f2.8 lens. (You can read the review in the other bayonet lens section of this forum). Unfortunately, that one was even heavier and not too easy to focus manually. Unlike the AF version, this lens is a dream to manually focus and has that super smooth feel of the M lenses. The performance is almost identical to the AF35-70 lens so I recommend you look it up for further reviews and info.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35-70mm F2.8-3.5

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