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SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2

Reviews Views Date of last review
18 122,580 Mon July 29, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
83% of reviewers $137.86 8.72
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 (Ascending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 18
New Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Monroe, WA USA
Posts: 19
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Speed! And a more nearly normal perspective than 50.
Cons: A little soft in the corners wide open, just visible distortion for architecture.

My favorite lens- almost always on the KX. It is about the same dimensions as the M- series 50 F/1.4, so a little bulkier than I'd like, but the speed allows great OOF areas, easy focusing, and good low light performance. If you like the 35mm perspective, you'll be pleased- this lens shows typical Pentax manual focus optical and build quality.

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 4,462

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, light, good contrast, sharp, good colour, easy focusing
Cons: Fully manual, bit soft wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9   

I purchased this lens for my Pentax MX in the early 1980s. I paid about $200 for it at that time and in good condition it still commands about that price on EBAY at the time of writing. I can't think of many things I bought almost thirty years ago that still work and are still worth what I initially paid for them. Of the dozen or so Pentax Lenses I own this one is the smoothest and easiest to focus for some reason. It must be a finer thread, tighter tolerances or something but it works wonderfully well. Manually focusing a digital lens is like grinding pepper by way of comparison.

The Pentax M 35mm f2 is fast, light, virtually distortion free and provides sharp, contrasty images with good colour. Here is a recent example from this lens:

The f2 speed makes it quite bright in the viewfinder and enhances manual focusing. It is a bit soft at f2 but very good from then on. It accepts 49mm filters. Like all Pentax K and M-series manual lenses it features an attractive checked rubber focusing ring, full metal construction and a wealth of engraved information around the front element's retaining ring. Boz Dimitrov's Pentax site provides further technical details:

The M-series lenses are not as robust in build as their K-series cousins but they are still still very good in every regard. Most modern plastic digital lenses look like cheap toys next to this generation of Pentax offerings. It was designed for and works very well in the film format and it is in this area it should be evaluated. It will work in digital but expect all the usual shortcomings of a fully manual lens in that format. Metering will be stop down with no AF and no f stop information in the viewfinder. Expect as well some great shots with a little practice. Ben Edict has noted: "the M 35/2 is probably the one lens in the Pentax lineup that cause the most troubles with sticky aperture blades. I have yet to see a sample, that did NOT suffer from this at one time in its life..." Some recent posts indicate that this problem may be more common with the M35/2.8. My M 35/2 is still just fine after 20 years but as I respect Ben's opinion it might be prudent to take a good look at the blades before purchase.
Lens Review Date: May 21, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: easy to focus, compact, very sharp

For me this lens is a real 10! After some experience with the hard to focus M50/1.4, the M35/2 was so joyful to use. Focus snapīs in so easy and even portraits in dimmed envirenment are almost all perfect sharp.

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After having bought the FA50/1.4 and the FA*24/2 I thought to sell my M35/2, but if I want to go out with just one small "HighEnd" system, I put this old M35/2 onto my camera body. It gives me the best compromise in focal length (=standard lense with the 1,5x crop of my sensor) combined with enough speed for available light situations.
Iīll never sell this lense because I love it!

Btw, I (really) always use a sunhood!!!
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 509

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 2, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Intoxicatingly smooth focusing; portable; 49mm filter
Cons: A bit sensitive to ambient lighting
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9   

Focusing is very smooth. But for some reasons it is not as easy to focus as my K 85mm f1.8 and my M 50mm f1.4.

Well build. But not as well building as some of my K lenses (ever so slightly). Should be very careful with focusing when aperture is larger than f2.8. Sensitive to ambient light even with a lens hood. Generally pleased with the lens.

The mechanical component is quite unique. It is hard to describe. I think it was made that way to make it more compact. Bottomline is that please be very careful when to open the lens.


Changed my rating to 9. The problem of focusing was largely due to my K10D. The focusing screen is a bit misaligned. Mis-focusing seems a wide-spread problem with K10D.

However, one does need to be more careful with focusing. Enjoy the lens more and more over time. It is great to use. Less flare than my Vivitar or Kiron lenses.

Compared with my K35/2 which is legendary on its own right. The M35/2 contrast at f2 is lower and the border IMQ is slightly lower than K35. But M35 is lighter and smaller.
Forum Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 83

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 17, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: quick handling, sharp
Cons: none

You'd be hard pressed to find a lens as quick handling and smooth as this. A better choice as a 'standard' than the 50mm especially with its f2 speed. Results for me have been faultless. A well deserved 10.
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 120
Lens Review Date: July 17, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build/Handling, Value
Cons: Some wide open issues

A solid 9.0 lens. When I purchased, didn't expect to use it as much as I actually have.

Wide open it is slightly soft. Stopping down to 2.8 resolves the softness. Images are definitely usable wide open and with some post processing the images look great.

Wide open, contrast is lower and stopping down to 2.8 increases the contrast. Post processing again helps. Overall contrast is very pleasing

It is an old lens so if the sun is just outside the field of view it will flare up. After saying that, 99% of my shots have not shown any flare or veiling problems and I do not feel that I have missed any opportunities because of this.

Wide open, bokeh tends to have the double edge rather than a smooth blur. This behaviour depends on the lighting and subject matter, but stopping down also helps somewhat.

Nice small size - makes even the Pentax Kx Kit zoom lens look bulky. Probably the best manual focus feel of all my MF lenses (second best would probably go to the K55 1.8). And the focus ring travel is just right -- not to short like most AF lenses, and not too long like some MF lenses.

Overall Comments
My go-to indoor available light lens. It is an M lens so not as convenient as the newer lenses on digital and some of the issues wide open, although eminently still usable, prevents the rating from being a 10. This normal (in digital) lens brings the best characteristics of a manual focus lens (cost/build/handling) along with very good optics. Highly recommended.
New Member

Registered: April, 2010
Posts: 4

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 7, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Zetten - The Netherlands
Posts: 8,956
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
Giveaway winner!

Registered: December, 2007
Location: beantown
Posts: 944
Lens Review Date: December 16, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | 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, 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 572

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | 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.

Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2009
Posts: 387

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | 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.
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 167
Lens Review Date: November 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | 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.

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 5,793
Lens Review Date: December 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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: K200D, various Pentax film SLRs   

This is a great little lens which I've used mostly on digital (K200D) 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. 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.

If you want a manual standard prime for a 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

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

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
Junior Member

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: June 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | 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.
New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
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