Pentax Lens Reviews

Lens: smc-Pentax 15mm/3.5 Reviewer: Adam Melis Oest Date: May 29,2005

The 15mm lens from Pentax weighs about 600 grams, yet it is easy to carry because it is not very long.  Though there is no filter thread on the outside, a UV, Skylight, Orange, and Yellow filter is built in for convenience. The lens itself is completely rectilinear and photos are sharp.  It offers about 110 degrees of view diagonally on a film camera, (See angle of view pages for more information) and overall, I am very satisfied.


Lens: smc-Pentax A 35-105mm/3.5 Reviewer: Adam Melis Oest Date: May 29,2005

In my opinion, this lens is better than it's F series version despite the increased size.  Unlike it's modern form, this one maintains a constant aperture, at a 3.5 maximum, through all focal lengths.  It also has a macro mode that can be used no matter how the zoom is positioned.  This proves to be very handy, and the lens is extremely sharp.  The focusing ring is large and easy to fine-tune; it could have only been a little better.  I use it all the time because it can act as both a tele and a wide-angle lens.


Lens: smc-Pentax M 40mm/2.8 Reviewer: Adam Melis Oest Date: May 30,2005

The 40mm lens is also known as the "Pancake" because it is only 1.8 centimeters long.  This makes the camera much more compact, and the lens can be taken almost anywhere.  It is light, sturdy, and made of metal.  The aperture size is relatively large for this this type of lens, so it can be used almost everywhere.  Pictures taken with it are sharp, and it is better than a 50mm lens for it offers a little over 8 degrees more field of view.


Lens: smc-Pentax M 50mm/1.4 Reviewer: Ole Oest Date: May 30,2005

This lens is one of the best sharpest from Pentax and is a joy to use. The focusing ring is really smooth and turns over a large angle making it easy to manually focus. It has a convenient close focusing distance of 45 cm. The auto-focus variants (F and FA designation) have the same optical construction, but as for build quality this “A” lens beats the F and FA with it's a metal lens barrel and smooth focusing.


Lens: smc-Pentax M 50mm/2 Reviewer: Adam Melis Oest Date: May 29,2005

This lens is about equally sharp as all the other 50mm lenses from Pentax, but it is much lighter than those with larger aperture sizes.  The M version is made of some plastic, but is still sturdy, as is the A version, which has a little more plastic.   I can't complain, but the A and FA 50mm/1.4 and F 50mm/1.7 are probably more practical.


Lens: smc-Pentax A 50mm/2.8 Macro Reviewer: Ole Oest Date: May 30,2005

This macro lens is small and compact and a pleasure to use with its smooth focusing and metal construction. It focuses down to 24 cm and provides 0.5 magnification on a film camera. It must be used with an extension tube to get to life size (1:1) magnification. It is very easy to fine tune focus. The lens can also be used as a normal lens, but focusing is more difficult on faraway objects than on a standard 50mm lens.

50mm/2.8 Macro

Lens: smc-Pentax A 70-210mm/4 Reviewer: Adam Melis Oest Date: May 30,2005

This lens is pretty heavy, yet it is very sharp and even has a macro function at the 70mm stop.  The aperture size is constant through all focal lenghts, and both zoom and focus are controlled with one large ring.  This lens doesn't fit as an "all around" lens very well because or its large focal lengths, but I use it often because it replaces the 135mm prime and the 77mm prime, and still offers a lot of zoom.


Lens: smc-Pentax A 400mm/5.6 Reviewer: Adam Melis Oest Date: May 30,2005

The 400mm lens offers a pretty large aperture despite its long focal length.  This lens weighs 1,240 grams, and it is hard to hold steady without a tripod.  Luckily, it has a tripod jack right after the aperture ring.  With a tripod, the lens is extremely sharp, and it even has a built in hood.  The smallest aperture is 45, and the filter thread has a diameter of 77mm.  I enjoy this lens, like almost all other Pentax lenses, and I am very happy for it, even though I use it only for special purposes.


Lens: smc-Pentax F 17-28mm/3.5-4.5 Reviewer: Ole Oest Date: May 30,2005

This Fisheye Zoom is unique! No other manufacturer has anything like it. At 17 mm it covers 180 degrees diagonally on a 35mm camera, and is fun to use. On the *ist D/Ds the coverage is much less, actually just a little bit more than a rectilinear 15mm lens would be. Being a fish eye zoom it naturally exhibits heavy barrel distortion in particular at the wide end. It has a built-in lens hood and it does not take any filters. Being this compact you tend to carry it with you at all times.

Lens: smc-Pentax F 17-28mm/3.5-4.5 User Review By: Mark

This is a well-built little bottle of glass. Very solid. At the 28mm end, the coverage is very close to that of a 20mm -- not 28mm at all. It might be a good wide angle alternative for the *istD(s). But it is not as sharp as the 17mm SMC f4 fisheye, with which I did direct comparisons. Similar coverage at 17, but not as sharp and with less contrast.

17-28mm Fisheye

Lens: smc-Pentax FA 24-90mm/3.5-4.5 Reviewer: Ole Oest Date: May 30,2005

This is my favorite all-round lens for the Pentax *ist D, where it corresponds to a 35-135mm zoom. It is quite compact for its reach and aperture. It should be stopped down to about 8 so as to yield very good sharpness also at the edges. It focuses down to a convenient 50 cm, and comes with a sturdy, detachable lens hood.


Lens: smc-Pentax FA 28-90mm/3.5-5.6 Reviewer: Ole Oest Date: May 30,2005

The smc Pentax-FA 28-90mm f/3.5-5.6 is an inexpensive zoom lens and often came bundled with a camera. It performs rather well. considering that it's pricetag falls below $100.  It is an auto-focus zoom and can be focused manually despite the lack of a distance scale. The lens barrel and lens mount are made of plastic. It weighs only 195 grams. I prefer the FA 24-90, though.


Lens: smc-Pentax FA 20-35mm f4.0 Reviewer: Tim Donnel Date: September 12,2006

An excellent all-around on the *ist D series, (tiny, light, but sharp as a tack, focal lengths 30-52.5mm) and really fun on a film body, where it also shines, turning in VG-excellent results at f5.6 -f16 and all focal lengths.

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