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Monday, February 26, 2024

SMC Pentax A 35-70mm 1:4, Walking The Zoom

SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 01
SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 02
SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 03
SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 04
SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4, First Impression 05
Vintage Lens Test, image making with an SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4 on a 10MP CCD Pentax K-m, walking the zoom.
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The SMC Pentax-A Zoom 35-70mm 1:4 is the only zoom lens within Pentax's inventory of K-mount lenses that has a fixed aperture. The twin-ring zoom was produced from 1984 to 1985 for the Pentax Series-A and Series-P 35mm SLR film cameras. The A-series lenses, which saw the introduction of 'automatic' aperture settings on K-mount lenses have both an aperture ring that lets the lens aperture be set manually, and also an 'A' setting which allows the aperture to be controlled by the camera automatically.

The solid and well-built lens, with 7 elements in 7 groups and 6 aperture blades, was produced from 1984 to 1985, and came with a minimum focusing distance of 0.25 meters, measures 80mm long with a diameter of 65mm, takes 58mm filter sizes, and weighs 330 grams, The lens weighs 330 grams. Divided between accolades and brickbats, the lens enjoys a Sharpness rating of 8.3, Aberrations at 7.9, Bokeh at 8.1, Handling at 8.5, and Value at 8.9, on PentaxForums.

Pentax K-m, SMC Pentax A 3-70mm 1:4
Pentax K-m, SMC Pentax A 3-70mm 1:4

I took the opportunity of mounting the lens on the 10MP CCD Pentax K-m (Pentax K2000 in the US) recently and took the camera to the community field across from the road to grab these walking-the-zoom shots against the backdrop of the rising sun. The snug-fit lens felt comfortable in the hand, easy to work with, and was flawless with the lens set to the 'A' aperture setting and the camera working in Program mode. On the equally vintage Pentax K-m, the lens is equivalent to a 50-105mm short tele on a 35mm full-frame camera, a good range for snapshots, portraiture, a walk-around lens, and street photography.



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