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

SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
26 153,544 Sat August 13, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $78.15 8.40
SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2.8

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

This lens has a faster M counterpart.

SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2.8
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Automatic, 5 blades
6 elements, 6 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 35.5 mm
170 g
Production Years
1977 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:2.8 35mm
Product Code
User reviews
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:

Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 26
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2017
Posts: 1,532
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2022 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, build, handling, value for money, size and weight (or rather lack of)
Cons: manual focus and manual only exposure on DSLRs
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: KP   

I am reviewing this lens as a normal standard lens for APSC DSLRs. I own quite a collection of 35mm lenses for Pentax and tested them extensively against each other at real world scenes rather than test screens, hand held and on a tripod:-
M 35mm f2.8
K 35mm f3.5
K 35mm f2.0
A 35mm f2.0
DA 35mm f2.4
HD DA 35mm f2.8 Ltd
HD FA 35mm f2.0
As a standard lens, of this bunch the M has to be the best bargain, even in these straightened economic times I am seeing them on offer for less than £50! Though some are a lot more expensive!
So what do you get for your dough? Well IQ for a start is well up there with the best of them. Sure it's a little soft wide open, but stop down to f4 or smaller and you are good to go for anything. At f8, mounted on a tripod taking a picture of a still life scene, I could not tell the difference between its output and the Ltd, either in resolution, contrast or colour rendition. You will get CAs at wider apertures but who cares? They are not really distracting when viewing pictures un-cropped. Not is bokeh great. Again why care? I take pictures of scenes and things. I do not study out of focus areas. As long as OOF highlights do not distract it does not matter. The M delivers. You can get ugly flare if you point it sunwards, but otherwise it is flare free. I use a hood designed for the 40mm pancake lenses to make sure flare is no issue and to protect the front element.
The build quality is as good as it gets. No complaints here, much better than modern glass from any of the big manufacturers IMO. The lens is beautifully compact and easy to focus. Great on the KP.
The downsides are few and obvious. Manual focus only. Manual exposure only. That's it.
So how does it compare to its alternatives? Of the 7 I own, I find it stacks up pretty well before you even consider the bargain basement price. In terms of IQ alone, the Ltd and FA shade the K 3.5 and M, but only at faster apertures. The Ltd shades them all at f4. The FA wins at f2.8 or f2. At f5.6, I see no real difference between them apart from the K f2.0 being marginally the weakest, but only at infinity focusing. If I had to choose just one lens in this FL for my APSC cameras, I would seriously consider the M 35mm f2,8 or the FA f2.0. The FA for ease of use and low light capability or the M or K f3.5 for their light weight, build quality and compactness. The M beats the K f3.5 for availability and price.
New Member

Registered: July, 2022
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: July 1, 2022 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Fujifilm X-E2   

This lens is always in my Fujifilm X-E2. I like it more than XF35f2 because it makes me feel I am a real photographer.
Unoriginal Poster

Registered: November, 2016
Location: Espoo
Posts: 2,818
Lens Review Date: September 1, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

This lens has great pop and good colors. Not quite as sharp as faster 35 but has better corners in FF. Thought I preferred f2 on APSC, these features make f2.8 my preferred 35mm on FF. This was a special case and I shot it in Single In Challenge two months a row. First in APSC and then in FF. This lens really came to life on FF. At the time I thought It was just the camera, as I had not shot much with it before, but now I know itís that this lens really shines on original format.

This is clearly cheaper than faster version, which makes this good value. If youíre FF shooter I recommend this M35 version.

APSC SIC album:
FF SIC album:
New Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: March 7, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $105.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, contrasty, and sharp all over by f/8.
Cons: Spherical Aberrations at f/2.8, coma correction
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: MX, X-T3   

Prices of 35mm lenses have blown up over the last few years, so I was super enthused when I found this one in good condition for just over $100.

Wide open shows the worst of this lenses performance, there's coma at the edges/corners and spherical aberrations that rob the image of contrast and resolution. However once you close the aperture to f/4 the image improves dramatically - spherical aberrations disappear, coma is noticeably reduced, and there's TONS of contrast and good resolution. At f/8 the image is really sharp across the entire frame.

Compared to the older f/3.5 35mm lenses, this M version has better edge/corner sharpness, better flare resistance, slightly lower chromatic aberrations, and an extra 2/3 EV of brightness at max aperture. The only area where the older 35mm outperforms this one is wide-open performance at f/3.5 - no spherical aberrations and super sharp/contrasty in the center, however if you stop the M lens down to f/4 it outperforms the older versions in the mid-frame and edges. This f/2.8 version has warmer tones similar to the f/3.5 35mm SMC Takumar lens. I personally prefer this f/2.8 version over the f/3.5 versions.

My copy has a very tiny amount of haze under the front element, but it's only visible when shining light through the back - something that will never happen in real-world use.
New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 17, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: size, build quality, sharpness, ease of use
Cons: maybe a little flat at f8 and f11
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony a6000   

This is my third m prime lens after the 28mm f2.8 and the 50mm f1.7. I love these lenses for their small size and quality and the 35mm f2.8 is no exception. My copy is in great condition and came with the original front and rear lens caps. The colours out of the lens are lovely, warm and nicely saturated. On the crop sensor the field of view is a little tighter than I would hope but it is still a great walk around lens. The lens works equally well with the camera in both black and white and colour settings; this is definitely a step up from the 28mm which I feel performs better in black and white.
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Moab, Utah
Posts: 90

11 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 10, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, contrast, 3d pop, closest focusing, flare resistance, distortion control
Cons: aperture design not great - spring too weak
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a7ii, a7s   

This might be the best all around 35mm that Pentax has ever made. It performs in all areas with no real drawbacks optically. It's very underrated in my opinion on this forum and elsewhere. The close focusing distance of 30cm really shows in the bokeh that it can produce. That's 5cm closer than most f2 35mm lenses and it helps it compare bokeh-wise to faster leses. Yet, there is not a lot of glass inside. The elements are small and few and light transmission is excellent. This makes a great night landscape lens and in my opinion, the best all-around 35mm one can own. Typically, the f-stops are slow to retract because of a weak spring design, but does not bother me for my purposes.

I also have and have compared in detail, this lens to the Takumar 35mm f4, Auto-Takumar 35mm f2.3, the S-M-C Takumar 35mm f3.5, SMC K 35mm f2, and FA 35mm f2. For anyone curious and wanting to compare, see my video for a comprehensive review with examples.

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 9,126
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, sharp, nice bokeh
Cons: Not really sharp wide open

I bought this lens because I wanted a smaller, cheaper version of the f/2 which I already have. I snapped it up when I saw one for a good price as they're quite rare (28mm lenses were far more common). It's not fabulously sharp wide open but it's very good, and extremely sharp by f4.5. There is some noticeable chromatic aberration wide open in out-of-focus areas.

Despite it's slight IQ faults, I really like the lens - the handling somehow seems even better than usual for an M series, making it a pleasure to use. Bokeh is far smoother than is normal for a lens of this age. Colour and contrast are good and images have a vibrancy that I love. This lens shouldn't be seen as the poor, slower cousin of the f/2 version but a lens that's a pleasure to own and use in it's own right. It's certainly superior to any of the much more common M series 28mm lenses (with the possible exception of the f/2, which I haven't used).

I'm very happy with this little lens, it has quickly become a favourite on my K3 and also on my Fuji X-M1.

A few samples:

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr

by Jonathan MacDonald, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: August, 2014
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: September 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Cheap, Reliable
Cons: Take a bit time to focusing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 6    Camera Used: Pentax ME Super, Pentax MZ-50   

This is the first lens I have.

What can I say? Hard, strong, reliable, sharp... Its SMC class. You can use this to train your "feel" with manual focusing.

Here is a picture that I take with this lens, using ME Super and BW-film Lucky SHD100.

New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, color saturation, compact
Cons: bokeh
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5, ME Super   

i have one with scratch and cleaning mark on back element, it didn't affect image quality, color saturation still excellent
here the sample image, the primate were have been in glass cage, close focused shot, taken at zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia, really like this lens
ISO 200, 1/160 sec, no retouch, resize only, autolevel only:

here are for more samples pics:
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: June 20, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $36.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Size & weight & appearance, contrast, simple construction & robust
Cons: Have to more sharp at frame area
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D   

All about this lens is very good.
f2.8-f5.6 have to more sharp at frame area, over f8 is perfect!
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Wiltshire/Hampshire
Posts: 1,760
Lens Review Date: May 28, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, compact, great handling
Cons: Not a lot
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: LX, ME, K5   

I think the 5 rating really is not right, and drags the average down.

This is a hidden gem in the M-line. Sharp in the centre from wide-open, razor sharp at f/4 in the centre. Great across the frame by f/5.6 on a crop-sensor. Also a great lens on film, but takes f/8 to sharpen up across the frame.

Fantastic value, as mentioned before similar sharpness to the fast-fifties.

See for a full test including 100% samples.
New Member

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small size , optics and helicoid very good
Cons: No
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: KM , ME   

I have the M-2.8/28 mm and the M-2.8/35 mm . At short distance untill 5 metre's there is not much difference between the two lenses , but if you do a landscape the M-2.8/35 mm is a real winner . At 1:5.6 even the far corners of the 35 mm negative are very sharp , so this 35 mm is very usefull lens for handheld photography with a 100 iso black and white film and a orange filter . It is a great lens .
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 124

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Size, build quality, sharpness, color rendition
Cons: long focus throw
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 3    Value: 6    Camera Used: k20d   

This is my best lens, i got this lens because of the "equivalent" to 50mm, but that's a load of lies

it has nothing to do with a real 50mm, even if i use my 50mm @ f2.8
i honestly dont know why people say "if you want a real 50mm on a crop sensor, you should get a 35'mil!
another think it has nothing to do with a 50mm is the focus throw, since it's a manual lens you'll be using the focus ring alot (...) in the 50mm it goes like ...

50mm /0.45 /0.5 /0.55 /0.6 /0.7 /0.85 /1 /1.2 /1.6 /2 /3 /5 /15 /*infinity
35mm /0.3 /0.35 /0.4 /0.5 /0.6 /0.8 /1 /1.3 /2 /4.5 /*infinity
you can see it skips from 4.5 to infinity unlike a real 50mm.
so if you want to get a 35mm for the "50mm feel" do not get this or any other 35mm lens

i got it as an extra when i went to buy my smc-m 50mm f1.4

The sir who sold me the lens was needing money and he kindly sold me the lens for 25eur along with the 50mm for 50eur
i really didn't want this lens, i just wanted a faster 50mm as i was getting tired of my smc-a 50mm f2.0
(i do ALOT of street night photography)

but in a sense i thank those people that said to get a 35mm to replace the fullframe 50mm, if it weren't for them i would have never came across this beauty, i use this lens more in daylight than i use anyother lens

from f5.6 to f8 this lens is so amazing, i never seen anything like it, even the 50mm doesn't give me such good pictures. this lens came riddled with the aperture blades problem, but nothing to hard to fix
came with original box and lens covers.
i honestly can't imagine how a famous FA limited or any STAR lens work since this is the best thing i've ever seen
(no pentax users around here to meet and test lens on my camera, im all alone eh!)

picture of the lens in its original leather case (click for fullsize)

picture of lens case top cover, reads SMC PENTAX 2.8/35 (click for fullsize)

One of the many beautiful photographs i did with this lens (click for fullsize)

posted here in the pet gallery, the bokeh is only usuable up close, but you dont want people shot's at this distance, they look weird and bloated in comparsion to the 50 mil

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Lyon area, France
Posts: 600

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 20, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small, good FL both for 24x36 and APS-C
Cons: Flares a bit
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: MX, LX, K-5   

I got this lens as part of a lot. My copy is in good condition, except for a dent in the filter thread.
This is a nice performer, and I say that after having sold my DA 35mm Limited. Compared to it, of course:
- less contrast, more prone to flare
- less sharp when focusing on closer subjects
- no macro ability (!)
But, when focused on infinity or hyperfocal, this little cheapie holds its own very well! In practice I have a hard time seeing any difference at all in these conditions.
To sum things up, this is THE lens to get if you're on a budget and want a 30-35mm prime for general purposes.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,194
Lens Review Date: September 14, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: that magical fov in crop land
Cons: zilch


I kind of collected this just because I had the 28 M, and a 50 M at either end, turns out the (on a crop) the 50 feels to portraity, and the 28 a little fickle to focus. (Slowly developing a lens collecting persuasion here..)

Can't explain it, why the 28mm feels fickle that is, but in regards for general use, the 35mm just feels good.

I suppose it's having started with a 50mm on film, the 35mm covers the same amount of area so here I am in familiar territory

Can't fault it wide open, out of focus areas are clean, its a ripper
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2.8

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