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09-02-2010, 07:45 AM   #1
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takumar 135mm f2.5 or 3.5? LBA

AHH! That Takumar club post got to me, i've decided to join the family...

Quick question, has anyone tried both of these lenses?

Similar in price, both quite affordable but the f2.5 goes for a bit more than the f3.5.

I'd like some feedback on which you'd buy.

P.S. is it better to get one of these with the hood?

I heard these longer lenses should always use the hood.

09-02-2010, 09:05 AM   #2
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See the Lens Review section of this site, as well as the 135 Club thread in this forum. If that is the the Takumar "Bayonet" f/2.5 you are referring to, I think you'll find almost overhwleming advice to skip it.

And *all* lenses should be used with a hood.
09-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #3
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Are the lenses Takumar, Super Tak or SMC Tak?

Aside from mark's point where many feel the Takumar bayonet mount is a poor lens (I don't know, I have the SMC -K 125F2.5 which is the best of all 135's IMO)

What else is important may be which version of the lens. The SMC tak 135 F3.5 is a very sharp lens and I would take that over a non SMC Tak F2.5

I would also like to know whether the F3.5 lens is a preset or not, the preset would give better bokeh due to the placement of the aperture and the 9 blade irus with curved blades, which retains almost circular aperture at all f stops.
09-02-2010, 11:39 AM   #4
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I was just reflecting upon the same question, in need of a short tele. I came to understand that 135/3.5 is a very good lens, at least price-wise. 135/2.5 - well, perhaps not so good. 135/3.5 is relatively easy to find, so maybe you should give it a try? On the other hand, I decided to buy a 100/4 macro instead.... But those are very different lenses, I just could not resist

09-02-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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Pentax did us no favors here by naming their cheap 135mm f/2.5 bayonet mount non-SMC coated lens a "Takumar Bayonet". That lens is okay if it is all that fits in your budget, and you know how to use it to minimize flare.

Any other Takumar lens will be a screw mount. Here, the f/2.5 is widely regarded as superior, especially the late model SMC Takumar 135mm f/2.5. The 135 f/3.5 Takumars are smaller and lighter, but not as fast and maybe just a little inferior optically, although that is hard to say. Any screwmount lens will need an adapter to go on a K mount body. Get the genuine Pentax one if you can. Still, they will all probably be better than the Takumar Bayonet above.

Hope that helps!
Nick
09-02-2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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Ok, so if I got everything right, then many people say the Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm 2.5 is best especially the late version. (what about version one? From what I can tell earlier worse versions are known as both 'Super Takumar' and 'Super-multi-coated takumar')

Second choice is Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm f3.5 (from what I can tell, Super-Takumar 135mm f3.5 is basically the same without the coating)

And the worst lens is the Takumar Bayonet 135mm f2.5. (the bayonette is not M42 mount, is that right?)

Do I have this correct?

The naming can be a bit confusing
09-02-2010, 10:01 PM   #7
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I owned a mint Super-Tak 135mm f2.5. It was one of the few lenses I've sold that I have some regret about years later. It was on the heavy side, but the rendering of color and the sharpness was so very fine. The handling was satisfying too.

I still have a newer and smaller "M" SMC 135 f3.5, a certain classic--but I'd say the f2.5 SuperTak had superior optics.

You know, with the exception of the "Takumar Bayonet" 135 f2.5 (which I owned for 2 days), Pentax had the 135mm focal length down quite right; it's hard to find a stinker.

M
09-03-2010, 12:57 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dj_saunter Quote
Ok, so if I got everything right, then many people say the Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm 2.5 is best especially the late version. (what about version one? From what I can tell earlier worse versions are known as both 'Super Takumar' and 'Super-multi-coated takumar')

Second choice is Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm f3.5 (from what I can tell, Super-Takumar 135mm f3.5 is basically the same without the coating)

And the worst lens is the Takumar Bayonet 135mm f2.5. (the bayonette is not M42 mount, is that right?)

Do I have this correct?

The naming can be a bit confusing
You've pretty much got it, dj_saunter. Generally, the SMC (and Super-Multi-Coated) Takumars are a bit better than the earlier Super Takumars, because of the improved coatings. Usually they're otherwise very similar, EXCEPT for the very early (early-sixties) Super Takumar 135/3.5, which has a different optical formula. This one can be identified by having a "4" (i.e. f4) on the aperture ring, and personally I'd avoid it if I were you - I have one and it's not very good!

As for the (Bayonet) version, it's often overpriced (people either get it confused with the much more desirable - and rare - M42 135/f2.5, or deliberately try to rip you off!) and it's distinctly inferior to the "proper" Takumars in every aspect. Having said that, the K mount is more convenient, and if you were to pick one up cheaply enough, I don't think you'd be disappointed.

Hope that helps!

09-03-2010, 06:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by m42man Quote
As for the (Bayonet) version, it's often overpriced (people either get it confused with the much more desirable - and rare - M42 135/f2.5, or deliberately try to rip you off!) and it's distinctly inferior to the "proper" Takumars in every aspect. Having said that, the K mount is more convenient, and if you were to pick one up cheaply enough, I don't think you'd be disappointed.

Hope that helps!
This is the entire issue, the Takumar bayonet is inferior to other pentax 135 mm lenses, but if you find one cheap, it is still not all that bad.

When I look at my 135mm lenses, my K135F2.5 only cost me $125 (about 4 years ago now, and I know the price has gone up a lot since then. My Tele Lentar M42 Preset F2.8 cost $60, my SMC Tak 135F3.5 cost $35 and the one real lemon, an XR Rikenon M42 135mm F2.8 cost $30. This last lens has a few issues, first, it suffered badly from internal reflections off the shiny black parts at the rear of the lens (black acrylic paint) and the lens exhibits a slightly unactractive color cast in some situations, as well as being about 1 stop slower, at each aperture setting than it shoudl be.

as a result, I would suggeest if you fond a takumar bayonet F2.5 for $50 it is still worth it.
09-03-2010, 09:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
(...) and the one real lemon, an XR Rikenon M42 135mm F2.8 cost $30. This last lens has a few issues, first, it suffered badly from internal reflections off the shiny black parts at the rear of the lens (black acrylic paint) and the lens exhibits a slightly unactractive color cast in some situations, as well as being about 1 stop slower, at each aperture setting than it shoudl be. (...)
It's a bit OT, but... I've seen your review of this lens. I'm quite surprised. Is your XR Rikenon the same model as the Auto Rikenon ? The M42 Auto Rikenon 2.8/135 is often said to be a very good prime (same as the Sears and other brands ?).
09-04-2010, 01:53 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
...as a result, I would suggest if you found a takumar bayonet F2.5 for $50 it is still worth it.
Being in the UK, I'm not that familiar with US prices, though they often seem to be lower than in the UK, so I initially thought that $50 sounded a bit high. I was mentally comparing the Bayonet with an M 135/3.5, which is in probably as plentiful supply as the Bayonet, and could be thought of as its main competition (as it was in the early 80s!).

I think, in the UK, an M 135/3.5 could be had for about£30 (about$46), and I reckon the Bayonet is worth about 2/3 of an M - so £20, or about $31.

(Just to compare the two: the Bayonet is faster, but isn't good wide-open anyway, the M has superior optics and coatings, is compact and light, and they both have a convenient built-in lens hood.)

Anyway, I had a look on a certain Internet site, and I was amazed at some of the prices:

Cheapest M 135/3.5: over $80
Cheapest Bayonet 135/2.5: over $200

I'm sure an M could be had for a lot less than $80 if you're patient enough, but I don't think anyone's going to be prepared to let a Bayonet go for its actual value.

In other words, don't hold your breath waiting for a cheap Bayonet to come along!
09-04-2010, 02:38 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dj_saunter Quote
Ok, so if I got everything right, then many people say the Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm 2.5 is best especially the late version. (what about version one? From what I can tell earlier worse versions are known as both 'Super Takumar' and 'Super-multi-coated takumar')

Second choice is Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm f3.5 (from what I can tell, Super-Takumar 135mm f3.5 is basically the same without the coating)

And the worst lens is the Takumar Bayonet 135mm f2.5. (the bayonette is not M42 mount, is that right?)

Do I have this correct?

The naming can be a bit confusing
Correct and right!

The M42 Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm f2.5 and M42 Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm f3.5 are designed for different purposes. The 2.5 has softer focus and slightly less contrast wide open, excellent for portraits, whereas the Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm f3.5 is sharp and high contrast from wide open.

The M42 Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 135mm f2.5 version I has different optical formula than version II, not as sharp. Opinions vary which is better, imho due to personal taste and usage.

There are different versions of Super-TAKUMAR 135mm f3.5, with different optical formulas and rendering qualities. Personally I like the early version best, those with serial numbers beginning with '1'.

Which is to say that all the Takumar versions are great, except the entire later bayonet non-SMC 'Takumar' line which imho was the idea of greedy marketing attempt to capitalize on excellent reputation of earlier M42 Super, S-M-C, and bayonet SMC Takumars.

PS I have all these lenses (serious LBA ), however my photo examples pale considerably compared to others. There are plenty of excellent examples online already.
09-04-2010, 03:32 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dj_saunter Quote
AHH! That Takumar club post got to me, i've decided to join the family...

Quick question, has anyone tried both of these lenses?

Similar in price, both quite affordable but the f2.5 goes for a bit more than the f3.5.

I'd like some feedback on which you'd buy.

P.S. is it better to get one of these with the hood?

I heard these longer lenses should always use the hood.
If you go for the f2.5 it is important to keep apart the 6-6 lens solution from the 5-4. The later came in 1968 and got SMC in 1971. Between them the SMC should have an advantage. The 6-6 version replaced the previous version in 1973 and is the same optics as the SMC Pentax 135/2.5 (K-mount) and indeed a very good lens, only second to the A*135. How to separate the 6-6 and 5-4? They have the same filter diameter, same close focus distantce, almost the same weight...well, the parts number (which you find at the manual-atuo-switch) is 43802 for the 5-4 and 43812 for the 6-6. There were no super version of the 6-6.

If you go for the f3.5, there is a 5-4 optical formula up to 1965 (likely tweaked a bit during the years since the close focus distance changed), which was replaced by a 4-4 version that got SMC in 1971. This later lens is optically identical to the SMC Pentax 135/3.5 (K-mount) (not the same as the "...-M 135/3.5) and not bad but so-so. I prefere the 5-4, and as mentioned, the earlier versions have funnier apperture blades.

There are pictures of and by many of these lenses in the 135mm club.
09-04-2010, 11:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by m42man Quote
Anyway, I had a look on a certain Internet site, and I was amazed at some of the prices:

Cheapest M 135/3.5: over $80
Not sure which site you looked at, but the M135/3.5 normally goes for significantly less than that. Even if you're not the slightest patient, it's selling on KEH in EX condition for $56, and would be less in BGN condition. Ebay auctions are, predictably, all over the map. But checking the last few completed auctions, I mostly thm going for $30-$40. Most expensive in the first page of search hits was $75, and next was $51. After that, it was all $39-and-under

QuoteQuote:
Cheapest Bayonet 135/2.5: over $200
That cannot possibly be. Are you sure this wasn't a K, not a Takumar Bayonet? The Takumar Bayonet is also a $50-and-under lens almost without exception. It's on KEH right now for $37, and completed Ebay auctions show the selling price normally in the $20's.
09-05-2010, 12:24 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That cannot possibly be. Are you sure this wasn't a K, not a Takumar Bayonet? The Takumar Bayonet is also a $50-and-under lens almost without exception. It's on KEH right now for $37, and completed Ebay auctions show the selling price normally in the $20's.
I'm afraid it was indeed a Takumar (Bayonet), but I'm relieved that the normal price is in the 20s and 30s. At that price it's a decent buy.
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