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SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2 Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2

Sharpness 
 9.4
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.7
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
40 130,875 Wed December 21, 2016
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $220.63 9.20
SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2

SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2
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SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2
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SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2
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Description:
This compact portrait lens was succeeded by faster versions in the A and FA series.



SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
5 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
K
Max. Aperture
F2
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
85 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 19 ° / 16 °
Full frame: 29 ° / 24 °
Hood
PH-R49 and clip-on hood
for 85mm/100mm lenses
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Plastic clip-on
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 46 mm
Weight
251 g
Production Years
1977 to 1984
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-M 1:2 85mm
Product Code
23060
Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 40
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: lake constance
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: December 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: extremly sharp-without artifacts, small, build quality extremely high
Cons: none, out of production
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax MX, Sony A7   

This is a great lens for portrait - but especially for theatre and stage photography.
An enormous sharpness gives you the opportunity for image section, so, that you are able to replace a heavier zoom. Manual focus is on top of mechanical possibilities. I cannot remember,
that any of my several Nikon lenses has a comaparable build quality like the M lenses of Pentax. For me they are the top of lenses. Ive bought all my M lenses in used condition. Some where stronger used, my M85mm 2 was nearly new. All of them have the same proper function in stops and focussing. After 30 or more years you can work with them, like on the first day after production.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: September 28, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, small, fast
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k30   

I had at the same time the A*85 1.4, the FA* 85 1.4 and this lens. I have done a couple of test with the tripod with all of them and I have to see it is very closed to the other two (if you ask me the best is the A* but is it absolutely smaller and lighter and cheaper than the other two!!

So, if you have a budget of about 200 dollars think seriuolsly about this lens!
   
Junior Member

Registered: April, 2015
Location: Lower Saxony
Posts: 45

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: smooth bokeh, compact, sharp - but not too much
Cons: -
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-30   

down scaled out of camera jpg, K-30, f/2.0:


(click into to enlarge original out of camera jpg)
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 1, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything, especially price
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K5 iis   



Unbelivable value vs price. I couldn't expect more
   
Loyal Site Supportaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 393

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $260.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, Sharpness.
Cons: No aperture automation.

Sharpness: Sharp enough wide open; Very sharp from f4-11. In some respects the wide open sharpness is ideal for portraiture because it's not so sharp (like the 85/1.8 can be at F2.8) that it's still forgiving to your subject if they have blemishes.

Abberations: Moderate Purple CA when wide open that is so broad that it's almost more like halation. Only a problem in certain conditions, and it's pretty much under control at 2.8. Not a big issue to me.

Bokeh:
Better than most lenses. Blur quality is quite smooth, and the optical formula favors blurring the background before the foreground when each is equidistant from the subject plane. This is ideal for subject isolation in typical shooting conditions. Could use more aperture blades, but the smoothness of the blur means that the hexagons are not as obtrusive as in many other lenses with 6 blades.

Handling: Excellent. Waaaaay smaller than the preceding 85mm 1.8's. The convenience factor is very high for this lens due to its size. Time and again, this has found itself in the bag due to size.

Color Rendering. Very good. Typical M series - slightly towards blue but not obtrusively so.

Value: Not cheap, but you get pleasing performance for the price.

On Full Frame: Special mention here - this lens is fine on APS-C like a K-01, but it's notably better on digital Full Frame where it really performs well and can turn the bokeh to beautiful creamy mush. Unlike some other reviewers, my copy is acceptably sharp in the corners on FF. Not super, but just fine for intended use.

Overall: The sweet spot for me is f2.8 with close subject. The strengths of this lens are it's size and portrait performance. I like it quite well. Lens hood recommended.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: July, 2010
Location: singapore
Posts: 442

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 17, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, sharp when wide open , nice colours
Cons: negligible to mention
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A7   

#1
DSC02525 by maverick_h, on Flickr

#2
DSC02327 by maverick_h, on Flickr


Much has been said about this lens. I simply love it and it travels with me whenever i am overseas. Portable. does not take up much space. Loves the colour it renders. Probably I am lucky to have a sharp copy.

I rather let the picture speaks for itself.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 384
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, F2, lightweight
Cons: None
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 7    Camera Used: K5   

I bought this for the F2 and it's relatively small size and weight. On APS-C I'm not a big fan of 50mm and prefer 70+ mm for my portraits.

Unfortunately any of the old 85mm lenses are not cheap so you basically pay premium for these lenses. While an F1.4 would be nice they are pricey and heavy.

Anyway, I've tested on a K5 and I'm happy. For my intended use as a portrait lens this is definitely usable at F2. If I had to stop down the utility would have been somewhat diminished.

This now competes with the Rokinon/Samyang/Bower 85mm F1.4 but they are significantly heavier hence why I purchased this light weight SMC-M 85mm F2.

I'm going to be happy using this lens although sadly from a Pentaxian point of view not on a Pentax but on a Fujifilm X-E1.

I can definitely recommend this lens but if you are happy to carry more weight the Samyang may offer better value (cheaper and faster).

The most obvious con for me is the long focus throw. I'm gonna have to get in the habit of prefocussing a bit.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2010
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $260.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness compact
Cons: NA
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: pentax kx   

I enjoy the manual focus. after purchasing a DA 70 2.4, I want a more quick lens , I bought this one from a local fellow. It's very compact just like all pentax lens. The color render and boken is wondferful for me.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: September 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: compact, sharpness
Cons: lacks of contrast at full aperture
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I was searching for the perfect portrait lens. I bought a Samyang 85mm wich gave me full satisfaction but was a bit bulky. One day I bumped into this lens. Small, lightweight and sharp! I sold the Samyang and kept this one.

Very sharp, this lens is perfect for portrait. I can just complain about the lack of contrast at f2 (something that you can fix in PS) and that it could be faster. Otherwise, this is the perfect lens to take with you when travelling. It doesn't match my FA 77mm or the almighty A 85mm 1.4 but for the price is really a steal.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/9717129987/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cvicente1932/10696821676/
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: central kansas
Posts: 26
Lens Review Date: March 15, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $202.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, Fast, Sharp
Cons: Manual focus and no A setting

Just purchased this lens. I love it! I use it on my K-01 and it works great. Focusing is smooth and typical of a M lens. I have no problems using focus peaking with this lens. I just wish it had the 'A' setting, but then I couldn't afford to buy a lens like this.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: February 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

This is the sharpest lens I ever use!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 32
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Light, sharp at f2.8 and above
Cons: Bad at full aperture, no hood
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 8   

This lens lacks contrast and sharpness at full aperture, the full aperture is not usable.
The I.Q. improves a lot, though, at F2.8 and above.
I like the light weight, but a telescopic hood would have been useful.
Very light and well built lens.
To buy only if you consider it like a 85mm f2.8, providing a brighter image in the viewfinder.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 2,054
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, EASILY sharp enough for great portraits wide-open
Cons: A small amount of PF wide open
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony NEX   

I bought the lens to shoot wide at f2 or f2.8 for portraits. I like the Samyang 85mm but wanted something more compact - and this lens is much more compact! In STARK CONTRAST to the reviewer below me, I can see very crisp details in a 100% view - pimples, pores, eyelashes etc, all seem very sharply rendered. You would possibly want to reduce the sharpness if your subject has a rough complexion! I can only guess that the guy below me had a damaged lens (perhaps hence the low price?) or couldn't get to grips with MF.

Wide open at ISO1600:

100% crop


I haven't bothered to check edge sharpness because why would you shoot a portrait lens wide open and expect/need edge sharpness?

There is a smidge of PF when shooting wide open, but not enough to be troublesome and only on high contrast edges, highlights etc.

Contrast is good, OOF backgrounds are rendered nicely, and the small size, and 49mm filter thread, make this a really handy lens as well as a very good one. It's pricey for an M lens, but well worth the cost.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2012
Posts: 18
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Just about everything
Cons: Getting expensive, f1.8 would be better, but bigger
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I accidentally review this originally as a 1/10, thinking I was reviewing a different lens, then a whole bunch of people alerted me by PM.

I got myself a copy of this because of the amount of passion there was for this. Being a manual focus, manual aperture lens, I was surprised by the price that I could find on trademe.co.nz or ebay... but like I said, so much passion for such an old lens I thought it must be worth it.

It is, that's all I can say.
If it were a big lens, then I'd be impressed but not THOROUGHLY impressed... but it borders on being a pancake, and for an 85 f2 that is impressive, given its performance.
I'm as in love as the people who messaged me... thank you 85mm f2.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Turin
Posts: 23
Lens Review Date: October 18, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap, great image quality, compact
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is an outstanding piece of glass. Dreamy Wide open, Sharp at 5.6, cheap, what else are you looking for?
this is a portrait machine Wide open, good for anythig else once stopped down. grab one!
Add Review of SMC Pentax-M 85mm F2



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