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09-27-2010, 06:12 AM   #31
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Gerjan describes two version I Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55, with 6-, and 7-digit serial numbers. The 6-digit has a 1/2-stop aperture ring detent between F/11 and F/16; the 7-digit does not. In his photo of version I, the '4' is closed; his photo of version II has open-top '4'. Perhaps your open-top '4' version I lens is a later production run?

09-27-2010, 06:35 AM   #32
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Font alone is unreliable. Even the order of the serial number is in 2 different locations on the 8-element version. I couldn't find a pattern based on serial number.


QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Mine is a serial number 147xxxx, it has the IR diamond to the right of the 4F4 mark, has the open 4 curved 6 font type for apertures and has a White A and red M beside the aperture switch.

But all these are minor and confusing varients.

the real way to tell is the convex rear element that protrudes out the back of the lens.

Parts can be swapped between many lenses over the life of the lens, and swapped in production as a function of individual supplier, fonts can change over a 7-10 year production run, BUT LENS GROUP DESIGNS CAN'T

There would be no way that a 7 element lens would carry the rear group from the 8 element lens. That has to be the most reliable tell tale.
The diamond is in the same place on all of them. It is the red line that is inside the 4 on the 8-element design.
09-27-2010, 06:38 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
Gerjan describes two version I Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55, with 6-, and 7-digit serial numbers. The 6-digit has a 1/2-stop aperture ring detent between F/11 and F/16; the 7-digit does not. In his photo of version I, the '4' is closed; his photo of version II has open-top '4'. Perhaps your open-top '4' version I lens is a later production run?
not to derail your observation, but what does that have to do with the 50mmF1.4 other than the font of the 4 itself?

The whole point of this thread is not to discuss minor cosmetic variants between different production batches but to identify the 8 element lens from later 7 element designs.

In my opinion, there is only 1 absolute way, by looking at the rear element.

A second way, but I have not seen anyone confirm 100% certanty, is the location of the IR focusing diamond. Logically this would also be reliable since different lens designs could produce different IR focusing behavior.

One additional aside, with respect to the IR focusing mark location. In principle, the closer this is to the visible focusing indicator, the less impact for Longitudinal CA, since the colors would focus closer together. That would imply the 8 element has less CA than the 7 element. Can anyone with both comment on this?
09-27-2010, 06:58 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
Gerjan describes two version I Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55, with 6-, and 7-digit serial numbers. The 6-digit has a 1/2-stop aperture ring detent between F/11 and F/16; the 7-digit does not. In his photo of version I, the '4' is closed; his photo of version II has open-top '4'. Perhaps your open-top '4' version I lens is a later production run?
This thread is about the 50/1.4. Other focal length and model variations are a whole different CanofWorms

09-27-2010, 07:56 AM   #35
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i'm amazed everyone seems to have missed this but the easy way to tell the difference is that on the older takumar the focusing ring is slightly broader.
09-27-2010, 08:10 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
i'm amazed everyone seems to have missed this but the easy way to tell the difference is that on the older takumar the focusing ring is slightly broader.
Actually, that is inaccurate with some of them. Besides, even if it held true, without multiple units in hand, it wouldn't be any more useful than going by weight.

Edit: The reason it is inaccurate is that they made both versions for a period and used the same focusing ring on both.

Last edited by Blue; 09-27-2010 at 08:16 AM.
09-27-2010, 08:34 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The reason it is inaccurate is that they made both versions for a period and used the same focusing ring on both.
I know, but does it really make it all that different to nitpick between these two lenses, they are both excellent considering their years. just pick one, go out and take pictures dammit!

09-27-2010, 08:48 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I know, but does it really make it all that different to nitpick between these two lenses, they are both excellent considering their years. just pick one, go out and take pictures dammit!
No one is nitpicking. Just determining how to tell them apart. I have all of them. (not the font variants)
09-27-2010, 08:50 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The 8-element lens shouldn't have any radio-active coatings on it. I saw the review you are talking about, and I suspect the person mis-identified the lens. I don't specifically now of an 8-element 50/1.4 yellowing, but I suppose its possible, especially if there were any elements shared between it and the second model during the overlap area in the serial # ranges.
There seems to be some confusion on the whole yellowing thing so let me just add my own observations:

I've now handled three of these (early) lenses and own one (the one featured on the lens review page funnily enough) and all of them have displayed yellowing. If you look at the pictures of mine you'll see it was actually yellow at the time of posing for its photoshoot (although after a nice summer-long UV bath on the windowsill it's looking much clearer now).

I can only conclude that the early version is just as prone to yellowing as the later one, and that the presence/absence of yellowing is no indication as to whether you have an 8 or a 7 element version on your hands. As mine has a very low serial number I don't think the "overlap" theory holds much water either - sorry!

I hope that clears things up (no pun intended) for people anyway.
09-27-2010, 08:53 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by hefty1 Quote
There seems to be some confusion on the whole yellowing thing so let me just add my own observations:

I've now handled three of these (early) lenses and own one (the one featured on the lens review page funnily enough) and all of them have displayed yellowing. If you look at the pictures of mine you'll see it was actually yellow at the time of posing for its photoshoot (although after a nice summer-long UV bath on the windowsill it's looking much clearer now).

I can only conclude that the early version is just as prone to yellowing as the later one, and that the presence/absence of yellowing is no indication as to whether you have an 8 or a 7 element version on your hands. As mine has a very low serial number I don't think the "overlap" theory holds much water either - sorry!

I hope that clears things up (no pun intended) for people anyway.
I certainly never suggested using "yellowing" or lack of it as a characteristic. However, the 8-element isn't radioactive. I don't know how you can say the serial number overlap is a theory when Nigel and I have several hundred serial numbers that in fact confirm this.

Edit: As a matter of fact, enough members on this forum have several lenses that demonstrate serial number overlap.
09-27-2010, 09:02 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Edit: As a matter of fact, enough members on this forum have several lenses that demonstrate serial number overlap.
You misunderstand me, I'm sure there is an overlap, however, using that as a way to explain yellowed lenses is the part I don't buy into.

Mine is a very early S/N and unlikely to be part of any overlap, however, it is yellow. Whether it used radioactive glass or not is a moot point - the purpose of this thread (as I read it ) is to help people identify an early version of this lens - I'm simply pointing out (from first hand experience of a 3 lens sample) that the idea of 8 element versions not yellowing simply isn't true.
09-27-2010, 09:06 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by hefty1 Quote
You misunderstand me, I'm sure there is an overlap, however, using that as a way to explain yellowed lenses is the part I don't buy into.

Mine is a very early S/N and unlikely to be part of any overlap, however, it is yellow. Whether it used radioactive glass or not is a moot point - the purpose of this thread (as I read it ) is to help people identify an early version of this lens - I'm simply pointing out (from first hand experience of a 3 lens sample) that the idea of 8 element versions not yellowing simply isn't true.
I never linked serial number to yellowing. I have speculated that the coating that yellowed may have been a result of Thorium. Regardless, no one uses yellowing or a lack of it as ID. As we have said in this thread and other is the only sure thing is the rear element followed by the red strip inside the 4.
09-27-2010, 09:11 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I never linked serial number to yellowing. I have speculated that the coating that yellowed may have been a result of Thorium. Regardless, no one uses yellowing or a lack of it as ID.
Then I apologise - I read your post as implying 8 element lenses could only be yellow if they were part of the overlap and used glass from the 7 element design.

I'm glad we agree that the (non/) presence of yellowing shouldn't be used to identify a lens though.
09-27-2010, 10:32 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I know, but does it really make it all that different to nitpick between these two lenses, they are both excellent considering their years. just pick one, go out and take pictures dammit!
I guess there are two questions, one for a true collector and one for a shooter.

If yoou want an 8 element lens, which arguably was the sharpest 50 ever, you need to know how to identify it, and the only reliable means is as I reiterated above, the location of the focus mark, and the convex protruding rear element.

Now, on the other hand if you are a collector, and trying to figure out how many worms are in blue's can, i.e. how many different 50's there are, then all these nitpicking details matter, it's just I am not a collector.

I doubt seriously I will ever get another 50mm lens, unless someone donates an F1.2. I already have a rikoh XR-Rikenon 50mmF2, an SMC-M 50mm F2, an SMC-K 50mmF1.4, the Super-takumar 50mmF1.4 Version 1, and an SMC-Macro-Takumar 50mmF4. what else except a 1.2 do I need?
09-28-2010, 08:30 PM   #45
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So I got my 8 element Super Tak, and it does appear to have a gold coating, not the yellowing I ad before with an SMC Tak 50/1.4. First few shots are quite nice. But will I be able to replace my A50/1.2 with it? It'll take more shooting on my part to determine. Any thoughts?
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