Pentax SF7

35mm AF film SLR camera


Production details
Announced:September 1988
Also known as:Pentax SF10
System: Pentax K (1975)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Pentax K [45.5mm]
Imaging plane:36 × 24mm film
Model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:30 - 1/2000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto
Aperture-priority Auto
Shutter-priority Auto
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description #1

TYPE: TTL auto-focus, multi-exposure-mode, fully automatic 35mm SLR with built-in RTF (Retractable TTL Auto Flash)

FILM: 35mm perforated cartridge film

FORMAT: 24mm x 36mm

LENS: SMC Pentax-F. (K- and KA- mount lenses with maximum aperture of f/5.6 or larger usable in Focus Indication system)

LENS MOUNT: Pentax KAF mount with auto-focus coupler and lens/focus information contacts. (Compatible with K and KA mounts)

FOCUSING SYSTEM: Pentax TTL phase-matching auto-focus system. Usable illumination range: EV 2 to EV 18 (at ISO 100). Focusing modes: (1) AF Single (with focus-lock device) and (2) Manual. Focusing response: approx. 0.3 sec. (from infinity to minimum focusing distance using SMC Pentax-F 35mm-70mm f/3.5-f/4.5 lens). AF assisting system: AF spotbeam projector of RTF for automatic beam casting under low-light conditions with effective range of 1m to 4m

EXPOSURE CONTROL: Light metering: TTL center-weighted PROCES (Progressive Contrast-compensation Exposure System) with automatic exposure compensation depending on brightness difference between two divided sections in viewfinder field. Metering range: EV 1 to EV 19 (ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens). Exposure modes: (1) Programmed AE, (2) Shutter-Priority AE, (3) Aperture-Priority AE, (4) Metered Manual, (5) Bulb, (6) TTL Auto Flash, and (7) Programmed Auto Flash. Exposure compensation: automatic compensation by contrast variation or via exposure-memory-lock button

SHUTTER: Electronically controlled vertical-run focal-plane shutter. Shutter speeds: (1) Auto 1/2000-30 sec., (2) Manual 1/2000-1 sec. (3) Bulb

VIEWFINDER: Pentaprism finder. Field of view: 92%. Magnification: 0.82X (with 50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity). -1 diopter eyepiece. Aspheric-Micro-Matte focusing screen. LED indications: In-focus, Programmed AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Shutter-Priority AE, Metered Manual, shutter speed, low-light warning/flash readiness, flash-exposure confirmation with dedicated flash unit and memory-lock warning

EXTERNAL LCD INFORMATION: Focus mode, exposure mode, shutter speed, RTF recommendation (low-light warning), recharge completion, successful discharge, illumination-angle warning, exposure counter, film winder mode, film loading/winding/rewinding, film loading error, self-timer, low battery warning and aperture-ring/select dial instructions

MIRROR: Swing-up-type instant-return mirror with AF secondary mirror

BUILT-IN FLASH: RTF (Retractable TTL Auto Flash) with AF spotbeam projector. Guide number: 12 (at ISO 100/m). Illumination angle: coverage for angle of view of lenses with focal lengths of 35mm or longer. Recycling time: approx. 4 sec. with fresh lithium battery

FLASH SYNCHRONIZATION: With built-in RTF or via accessory hotshoe. Sync speed: 1/100 sec. set automatically with RTF or dedicated auto flash upon full charge. Automatic flash-exposure adjustment by built-in RTF, AF400FTZ and AF240FT according to lighting conditions (1/60 sec. to 1/100 sec. and f/2.8 to f/11 at ISO 100 with automatic determination of discharge). TTL Auto Flash mode possible with Pentax dedicated flash units (AF400FTZ, AF240FT, AF400T, AF280T,AF200T and AF080C).

FILM ADVANCE & REWIND: Automatic winding/rewinding and automatic rewind stop by built-in film winder. Advance modes: (1) single frame and (2) consecutive (at approx. 2 frames/sec)

FILM SPEED SETTING: Automatic with DX-coded film from ISO 25 to 5000. (Fixed setting at ISO 100 with non-DX-coded film)

SELF-TIMER: Electronically controlled type with delay time of approx. 12 sec. Operation confirmation by LED indicator, PCV beep tone and LCD panel

POWER SOURCE: One 6V lithium battery (2CR5). Battery life: approx. 100 rolls of 24 exposure film without flash; approx. 30 rolls of 24-exposure film with flash used for 50% of shooting

Manufacturer description #2

The photos you have admired most were probably taken with an SLR. But maybe you didn't admire the time-consuming decisions needed - until now - to get outstanding results.

Pentax sees things your way. That's why Pentax now presents the new SF7: a unique autofocus SLR that communicates with you to achieve outstanding pictures.

No more puzzles.

In the big LCD ACCES (Advanced Communication & Command Enhancing System) panel you see an outline of the camera itself. You see if the film is loaded. You see the number of pictures taken. And a pointer guides you to what you should do next.

You see the future because you always know exactly what your camera is set to do. You see the way because you are guided to change the setting with pointers and instantly identifiable indicators.

Here's how you see the way.

Press the mode button with the lens ring set to "A" (auto), and a pointer guides you to choose the auto Program or auto Shutter-Priority mode. Select Program (PROG) for the best automatic combination of shutter speed and lens opening. A new dual-zone metering system assures accurate exposures even with complex back-lighting - compensation is fully automatic. You will also be guided if you select Aperture-Priority, Manual or Bulb exposure mode.

Your choice is clearly shown in the large LCD ACCES panel.

Press the drive button, and a pointer will guide you to single-shot or consecutive shooting. Pictographs display your choice. Normally, you would want Pentax's swift autofocus system but you can select manual focusing for special conditions. A flashing bolt tells you when to activate the RTF (retractable TTL flash).

Everything you've always wanted to know is right before your eyes. And you are clearly guided to the settings that will lead to the high quality pictures you've always longed to take.

Pentax's built-in RTF does more than extend your shooting capabilities at night. Of course, you will never forget your flash because it's always right there with you. The LCD ACCES panel will flash a bolt to indicate that flash should be used. After the retractable flash pops up, a high-tech program is activated for accurately calculating the intensity and distance of the flash.

New creativity in a flash.

Pentax's flash program is so sophisticated that it lets you use flash in daylight for professional-type creative effects. Daylight sync flash does wonders for a subject in shade. And with slow shutter speed sync, you can shoot sunsets and yet have your favorite friend in the foreground perfectly exposed. Everyone will be amazed at your new photographic capabilities.

24-hour autofocus.

Pentax's state-of-the-art autofocus system is fast and precise. Even under low light, the SP7 will lock in on your subject. For ultra close-ups with macroshooting, Pentax's autofocus remains by your side. And when it's pitch dark, a special beam shoots out to assure perfectly focused pictures in the dark.

Should you wish to position your subject way off-center for unusual composition, Pentax's focus lock still delivers on-target sharp focus. On-center, off-center, mountain peak or flower petal, bright light, low light or no light - Pentax captures your target.

See the light with Pentax's illuminating technology.

More choices. More lenses.

What's remarkable about the compact SF7 is that simplicity is combined with unusually flexible choices to meet the most demanding creative criteria.

Choices of exposure modes: Program, Shutter-Priority, Aperture-Priority, Manual, and Bulb modes. Choices of focus: autofocus or manual. Choices of drive: single shot or consecutive. Choices of lenses: Pentax's world famous autofocus lenses span the photographic spectrum from 24mm ultra-wide angle to 600mm super telephoto. And you can use any Pentax KA-mount lens to its full capability with the SF7.

The new Aspheric-Micro-Matte viewfinder screen creates a bright image for easier composition. Electronic focal-plane shutter speed range is from 1/2000th to 30 seconds. There's a self-timer with a bright LED that lets you see it's on. You can fit an accessory flash in the hotshoe for extraordinary double-flash effects. The SF7 loads, advances, and winds your film automatically. And sets DX-coded film speed automatically. So by holding the ergonomic and smartly styled SF7 comfortably in your hand, you can take superb pictures easier that ever before.

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

Travellers' choice


Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.