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SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2

Reviews Views Date of last review
21 158,964 Wed February 1, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
86% of reviewers $135.00 8.68
SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2

SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2
SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2

This fast wide-angle lens succeeded its K version and is more compact.

SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 6 blades
7 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 45 ° / 38 °
Full frame: 63 ° / 54 °
PH-S49 (28/35mm)
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 42 mm
205 g
Production Years
1977 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:2 35mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 21
New Member

Registered: May, 2020
Location: Evansville, IN
Posts: 16
Review Date: February 1, 2023 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: handling, colors, center sharpness
Cons: edge sharpness
Camera Used: K-1   

I bought this lens mostly to be used with an ME film camera for indoor school / friends photos and some downtown city shots, no flash - expected to be used wide open given a fixed ISO of 400. But of course, I've tested on the K-1, and it handles so well it'll make you want all manual focus lenses again. Comparison base is the FA-31 limited. The colors are equally beautiful. The center sharpness wide open is on par as well. Consistent with others' reviews, moving out to the edges, the M-35 2.0 does not share that sharpness. But I don't care, just using focus the ring on the M series is such an attraction all in itself. Photo below is with 2 second timer, K-1 set on countertop, ISO 400, f2 (note that the actually very impressive center sharpness is not really evident on this uploaded image), one can see how it fades laterally on the mint box's title and fine print in the left corner. Regardless, I found it to be a really useful focal length - no more stepping backwards with the 50mm - and a desirable lens.
Unoriginal Poster

Registered: November, 2016
Location: Espoo
Posts: 2,964

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


This is the hard one to judge. I loved this on APSC and it was my workhorse on travels. On FF a bit of a dissapointment due to weak corners, which is highlighted by excellent center sharpness. Also it doesn’t have as good pop as you have with M35/2.8. So my feelings are very mixed. Based on my experience with APSC I would like to praise this lens to heavens, but on FF I find better options from M series. Plus this lens is on the expensive side, which lowers value.

Very sharp on APSC. Weak corners on FF. Controls light and colors nicely. Starbursts are six pointers, but nicely shaped. Works well with sunsets. Clearly among the better lenses in the series. I recommend this M35, if you shoot with crop body.

APSC SIC album:
FF SIC album:
New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2
Review Date: October 23, 2019 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Its a 35mm f2, build, size, weight, image quality
Cons: difficult to focus at f2, busy bokeh wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony a6000 and Pentax me super   

This is my most expensive Pentax m lens. Substantially more expensive than the 35 f2.8 I also own. Then again, an f2 is always going to be rarer and more expensive than a slower f2.8 lens of the same focal length. In comparison to the f2.8, this lens is a little longer. It means the focus ring is wider which means that the handling is even better. It still balances beautifully on both my a6000 and Pentax me Super; both of which are a similar size. The bokeh is very busy on this lens. Not nice and circular but almost messy. I need to find the perfect shooting environment to get the best out of this lens. On my copy, the aperture ring is stiff going from f2.8 back to f2. The movement through the rest of the f stops is typically smooth and crisp Pentax m lens. Do I need this lens? Not really. But it's a 35mm f2 and I really just wanted it. And so should you. I recommend you pick one up if you get the chance.
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 175

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 29, 2019 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, sharp and contrasty stopped down
Cons: Misty full open, vignetting on Full Frame
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-01 and K1ii   

I bought this one 10 years ago for just € 40 because it had to be cleaned for sticky blades. All glass was infected with grease, probably vaporized oil because of extreme heat or so. So I dissembled it and cleaned it with pure ethanol and iso propanol, now it is snappy with clear glass in it. Despite this maintenance it is very soft wide open with a lot of vignetting on full frame. The sharpness is already there but it is really misty. Attached picture in the bush is taken full open on full frame, it results in a low contrast dreamy tube-style photo. For that situations it is quite nice. Don't shoot wide open in contrasty conditions, for sure you get blurred pictures with lots of blue ghosts in harsh areas. Stopped down to 2.8 it gets lots better and at F4-F8 this little lens really shines with contrasty sharp results. Always use a cap because this lens is very vulnerable for flare. The miniaturization compared with its K-sibling makes it better for APS-C than for Full Frame. I do not own that K-version but the K will do a better job wide open and at the outer areas of the image circle.


Registered: August, 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 787

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 20, 2017 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast f/2 aperture, small and light
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K2 and P3n   

I love this lens on film.

I got a bargain as my copy of the lens has sticky aperture blades. It will get a cleaning soon. But -- I bought this lens to use it wide open, so it hasn't stopped me from shooting with it.

My favourite focal length is about 40mm on film. Pentax has some choices here
  • the legendary 43mm (which is GREAT, tack sharp and may be one of the best lenses made in the history of cameras)
    the famous 40mm pancake (which isn't as sharp as I'd like, and has a lacklustre f/2.8 maximum aperture
    or one of the many 35mm lenses made by Pentax

I tried the 35's last because I thought they would be too wide; I really wanted a "wide normal." But the 35mm field of view is quite close to 40, and can always be cropped a bit.

The M series 35 f/2 gives all the metal bodied pleasure of a classic lens. That it's a bit bigger than the 40mm pancake is good, it makes it easier to focus (and use the aperture ring.)

Optically this lens is great. Nice contrast even without a hood. Image is sharp at both close and longer focusing distances. (I found the old 35mm Super-Multi-Coated Takumar weak on this, with poor performance in close-focus work.) The f/2 aperture makes it easy to focus accurately, and provides nice separation for middle-ground subjects (unlike the slower f/3.5 Super Takumar I had, which was sharp but couldn't separate subjects due to the slower aperture.)

Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 2,948

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 18, 2017 Recommended | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp wide open, fast, great colours, nice focus
Cons: none (maybe lack of A-setting but one knows about this!)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5IIs, K3, K-01   

What I wrote about the A35/2 goes almost the same for the M35/2, just that the M35/2 is slightly different built on the housing, optically they are similar. But the M35/2 is 5mm longer, has 5 rubber-rows and is that bit easier and smoother to focus and easier to focus at infinity.

So again, one of the very best 35mm lenses Pentax ever made, aside of being fully manual it shares everything else with the A35/2.

I own 2 of the A35/2 and one M35/2 and I sold my FA35/2 in favor as I prefer both despite the FA being lighter and being an AF-lens. The only 35/2 lens which I do find better is the Zeiss Distagon T* 35/2, but this is quite a heavy lens, not at all the lens you chose for light travel. I also have the SMC Takumar 35/2 which is optically identical with the K35/2 and I own the DA35/2,8 Macro limited. There is no question, the DA35 Macro-Limited is a fantastic lens as well, great macro and an AF lens, but… AF hunts due to its macro ability and long focus throw. Most of the time I use it manually for that very reason.

At 2,8 the M35/2 is as sharp as the DA35limited but has the advantage to allow a great F2 and thus is more versatile aside its lack of macro ability. But if you add a Canon D240 52mm achromatic close-up lens plus a cheap 49-52mm adapter you get excellent close-up abilities of 1:2, not bad at all, particular because 35mm is not the most demanded focal length for macro.

At infinity the M35/2 is as sharp as the DA35limited. It does not have that micro-contrast which the Zeiss Distagon supplies. It is sharp enough wide open, if one likes portrait with 35mm on APC-C:

Bokeh with 6 blades is astonishingly nice wide open, I did not expect that. At F3.5 the M35/2 is as sharp as my K35/3.5 wide open! The K35/3.5 is of course very light and has this special 3-D presentation which it shares with the Zeiss, but it's use is limited. The M35/2 has almost the same 3D ability. If I would have to chose just one lens, it might well be the M35/2 or the A35/2. Choosing between those two would be very difficult because I managed to find an almost brand new version of the M35/2, the way it focuses is that nice, that smooth that it is such a pleasure and I would almost prefer this over the advantage of the A-sitting of the A35/2.

Built quality is excellent, similar to the A35/2, but as mentioned, my copy is almost new, so something quite unique for that ancient year of manufacture.

I am aware that a review is very subjective, normally I would rate this lens 9 or 9,5, but due to some rather "of-the-point reviews" it got I feel one has to balance this out. 10 points is what I would give the best Limiteds of the Zeiss Distagon and the K28/2. So a healthy 9.5 it is.
New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 1
Review Date: October 13, 2016 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: aperture f2/bokeh, sharp, hangleing
Cons: maybe aberations at f2
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: a6000   

Nice small lens, but very rare, this is true gem, if you find it, grab this lens.
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Review Date: June 21, 2016 Not Recommended | Rating: 7 

Pros: Light, build quality, I.Q. at f5.6 - f8.0
Cons: Vignetting, sharpness, contrast at f2.0
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax MX, Super A   

Very well built, light, and nice to handle lens.
Unfortunately, the I.Q. is not acceptable at full aperture. Except if you want f2.0 to have a bright image in your viewfinder and never take a photo below f2.8, not recommended. The 35mm f2.8 is better at f2.8 (except vignetting), cheaper, lighter, and as good above f2.8.

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 9,735
Review Date: December 15, 2014 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, fast, very good IQ, very good build quality
Cons: Very slightly soft wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K3, K200D, various Pentax film SLRs   

This is a great little lens which I've used mostly on digital (K200D and then K-3) but I also use it on my Pentax film SLRs.

It's very, very slightly soft wide open and can show a little "glow", but it's very useable. This is more noticeable on the K-3 than on the K200D due to the extra resolution of the sensor. By f/2.8 it's very sharp indeed. The contrast and colour are superb and allow the lens to provide some fantastic, saturated, lifelike photos. I have never experienced any problems with flare. It has the typical "M" series build quality and handling. This is really the only lens I have which is capable of replacing the DA 35/2.8 ltd as a standard prime on digital. It's also very useful on film, and is converting me to the advantages of a fast 35mm lens over a fast 50mm lens on that format.

This lens has become my main lens to take on holidays within Spain where we're more relaxed and in less of a hurry to see sights compared to when we go abroad.

If you want a manual standard prime for a Pentax DSLR then this is probably the best there is. There's a "K" series version but it's extremely rare.

Some sample shots. The first two were taken wide open.

by Jonathan_in_Madrid, on Flickr

by Jonathan_in_Madrid, on Flickr

by Jonathan_in_Madrid, on Flickr

by Jonathan_in_Madrid, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

Early morning
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

Early sun
by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

A size comparison with the slower f/2.8 M lens:

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 167
Review Date: November 23, 2014 Not Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: size, price
Cons: contrast, sharpness, flare
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 7    Camera Used: MX, ME Super, K01   

I find this lens to be overall a pretty big disappointment.

It's relatively inexpensive, fast, light, and has the same company's name on it as many other lenses I love: PENTAX. I bought it for low-light video and general indoor and outdoor film photography.

Its biggest flaw is its contrast and handling of flare. I bought a hood for it, which helps a little (but not nearly enough).

It's also not terribly sharp at any aperture. At f/2, it's just not very good. At smaller apertures, it has lost its advantage, and is distinctively worse than, for example, the K35/3.5.

But the biggest complaint is contrast and flare. Prepare for flat, lifeless images that post-processing can only do so much to rescue.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2009
Posts: 416

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 29, 2013 Recommended | Rating: 7 

Pros: sharper than the 35/2.8
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 7   

I am only commenting on this from the perspective of sharpness in the centre of the frame. For central resolution, the ranking for me goes 28/3.5>35/2.0>35/2.8>40/2.8. The difference between each lens is approximately 10%. The absolute level of resolution is dependent on aperture and lighting conditions, but for example, at f5.6, I recently saw 77lpmm from my 28/3.5 and 70lpmm out of the 35/2.0. The 35/2.8 is capable of 60lpmm, which is pretty respectable and similar to the M 50/1.7. These figures are all on film, so it may be possible to squeeze more out on a digital sensor, as the results are reduced by the film's own resolution limits.

The Pentax-M 28/3.5 has shown itself capable of exceeding 80lp/mm on TMAX film previously, which is impressive given this is approaching the limits of film in normal contrast settings. Although the 35/2.0 is not as sharp as the 28/3.5, its close.

These readings come from tripod mounted set up, careful development of a roll of film and then analysis of the film under a scope. Limits of resolution of the film are around 100lp/mm in normal lighting.

Any anecdotal results which does not follow a scientific method is tant amount to the veracity of horoscope forecasting from the back of a local newspaper. Importantly, my results fly directly in the face of anecdotal reports that the faster lenses in the Pentax line up are not as sharp as the slower ones. I have experienced the same too with the 50/1.4 being a bit sharper than the 50/1.7 and will note that in a review too. When testing any lenses, its important they are tested side by side so that all influencing factors are kept the same. As such, my resolution results are really only for relative rather than absolute performance. Practically, once you start hand holding a camera, resolution is going to drop off substantially due to camera shake.

Given that it is substantially faster than the 28 and slightly longer, the potential for bokeh is better. However, it needs to be kept in mind that if you are looking for bokeh, you are going to be better served by something longer like the 50/1.4 or 200/4.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 576

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 13, 2012 Not Recommended | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small
Cons: F2 not 1.4
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5   

The DOF was not as shallow as I was hoping for on a cropped sensor. I am sure this would be amazing on a FF camera. Shots up close give you some good separation but if you back up a bit it’s just not enough. The sigma 30 1.4 really did a better job. The focus is supper smooth, the lens is very small and the build quality is very nice. I had the 35 2.8 and really could not tell much of a difference. The quality of the bokeh is outstanding when you are able to get the good separation.

Giveaway winner!

Registered: December, 2007
Location: beantown
Posts: 944
Review Date: December 16, 2011 Recommended | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp
Cons: none yet
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Received this as a gift and quickly, off I went to putting it to good use.

On the dSLR it is an easy favorite as it is much like a normal lens angle of view. The f2 makes it a more fast lens for indoors.

The film camera shot all look super!

Colors are no surprise and contrary to some reports out there, nope...lower contrast issues are not noticeable... or that I could tell. I suppose if I could compare with the S-M-C (K) or M42 SMCTakumar version 35mm/f2 that I can see that this is a bit lower in contrast? I think that the overall color is plenty contrasty and the sharpness is solid as you would want from f4 and up... however, wide open has been surprisingly good as well. It could be that some reports of low contrast might be from the need of a hood.

UPDATE: Had a quick chance to compare the M35mm/f2 with a M42-35mm/f2... thanks Mike. The sharpness is a tad better on the M42 version when wide open, but is so close to the M35/2 otherwise. I would agree that the M35/2 is slightly edged out by the M42 35/2 overall, but the bayonet equipped lens is too handy on a digits to quibble about the slight differences.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Zetten - The Netherlands
Posts: 9,050
Review Date: December 30, 2010 Recommended | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light, easy to focus, sharp!, colour rendering wonderful
Cons: not discovered them yet

One of the best lenses in my line up, and about a normal angle of view on a 1.6 dSLR. It is light, and easy to focus due to the minimum aperture of f/2. The M 35/2 delivers very sharp photos and I love the colour rendering of this little gem.

I use this lens mainly for landscape and street photography, as well as for photographing architecture. There's nothing not to like on it. It's well build, and the feel is great. If I would loose it, or if it would be damaged, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a similar one as replacement.
New Member

Registered: April, 2010
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 7, 2010 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, normal lens on APS-C, build quality

Bought it along with a 150/3.5 from an elderly gentleman for aprox 80USD each, a great bargain.
Currently it is my favorite lens, quick to handle, normal angle of view on my K20D and produces beautiful shots even wide open.
Bokeh is not as nice as with the 50/1.4 but is nice enough, this lens seems sharper than the 50/1.4 at 2.0 and 2.8 and have nicer colors.

I use it alot for ambient light in-door and outdoor evening shots at f2.0 and get results that astound my kit-zoom friends.

There aren't many"bad" things to say about this lens - perhaps the focus ring operation is a bit less smooth than on the 50/1.4.
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2

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