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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
24 141,159 Tue September 1, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $78.15 8.30
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 24
Forum Member

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

9 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.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,182
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
Inactive Account

Registered: September, 2011
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: June 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, contrasty, great on film
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-r   

Optically identically to the acclaimed A35/2.8. The difference in review score here may just be a matter of sample variations.

I must have a pretty darn good copy of the lens. It's contrasty wide open with excellent sharpness across the frame. Comparable to M50 1.7 in terms of sharpness. It's close to a normal lens, a little bit on the long side, when used on APS-C. Mounted on a film camera, it becomes a wide angle lens. I prefer the FoV it delivers on film more than APS-C. Something to consider if you are also a film shooter.

I've not seen this lens on sale often. The M28s are a lot more common in the used market.
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.

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 7,494
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: 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 .
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,948
Lens Review Date: July 23, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small sharp and the right focal length
Cons: None really

This is another one of Pentax's excellent 35mm offerings. On digital it has an appealing focal length, and withthe coatings and general design excels at sharp images wide open and 1 stop down we are into ultra-sharp. Contrast is very good and the size is terrific....very small.
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Minahasa, North Celebes (Sulawesi)
Posts: 585
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide open. Colors are great. Easy to focus
Cons: Not so easy to find

This is a fun lens to use because it is easy to focus compared to my SMC-M 50mm f/1.4, but still gives quite the same quality. Colors are rich and deep. I can get close enough to capture detail with this lens, a sharp performer too, even wide open. Stepped down it gets sharper. Bokeh is pleasing.

Here's a taste:

Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2,542
Lens Review Date: November 4, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: color, sharpness, easy focus
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I own a Pentax SMC-M 50 1.7 and a 28 2.8 and this 35 2.8 is just as sharp as either wide open. I am really surprised this lens is only rated 7ish.

It seems to focus easier than either of the others using manual focus on a DSLR. This, IMHO is the i perfect walking around lens...
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.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2009
Posts: 392
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp, short minimum focus distance
Cons: large in comparison to the M40, mechanism vulnerable to sticking
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

Excellent sharpness, comparable to the 1.7/50mm, slightly less sharp.

On film, the FOV is perfect, and more normal to me than the 50, with a real feel of depth to photos, as if you are there in the scene again. Great for portraits, provided you like faces which are made of my baby are funky with this lens. Starts to be possible to rely upon depth of field and hyper focal focusing.

Practically though, I find that I am more likely to reach for a 28 than the 35 if I want something wider than the 50. Given the 50's are capable of such outstanding bokeh, the 35/2.8 doesn't see that much use. Story might be different on digital I guess...I am using film.
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Bedfordshire, UK
Posts: 185
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Optical quality, built
Cons: Nothing for me...

I just want to point out that while many rave about its A version and pay 2-3 times more for that the two lenses are actually the same lens design only in different bodies. It seems that Pentax only renewed its physical design but left everything untouched.

So if you do not mind the lack of A setting and you can live without the plastic exterior of the P-A 2.8/35mm then get this one instead. It is as good optically as the A version but better built. I have both so believe me.
The "A" might have had a touch of upgrade coating-wise but it is not obvious on the pictures taken (at least on film).
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 35mm F2.8

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