Pentax SMC-FA 35mm f/2 AL - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2007

Special thanks to Knut Kampe (1st sample) and Oliver Kirchner (2nd sample) for providing this lens!


The Pentax SMC-FA 35mm f/2 and its clone, the Samsung D-Xenogon 35mm f/2 AL, are two of the few survivors from the full frame lens era in Pentax land. It isn't yet clear how long its story will go on but the Samsung variant is actually a fairly recently released lens so the chances are good that the community can benefit from this relatively affordable lens (~300-400€/US$) for a while longer. It has a field-of-view equivalent to about 53mm when used on today's APS-C DSLRs. As such it is basically a "normal" lens within this scope.

The build quality of the lens is good but not comparable to the Pentax Limited lenses (which are also a magnitude more expensive) in this range. The small rubberized focus ring operates very smooth. The lens extends about 1cm when focusing towards the most extreme close focus distance. The front element does not rotate so using a polarizer is not a problem.

The FA 35mm f/2 AL has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result AF operation will generate a moderate degree of noise. The AF speed is very fast on the K10D.

Equiv. focal length52.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/3 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction6 elements in 5 groups inc. 1 aspherical element
Number of aperture blades6
min. focus distance0.3 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5.9)
Dimensions64x44 mm
Weight195 g
Filter size49 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodflower-shaped, snap-on
Other features-

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