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10-28-2007, 10:34 PM   #1
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SMC Takumar 50/1.4

This is getting nuts. I was really happy with my Vivitar 28/2.8, but I wanted a Takumar lens because I'd bought a Pentax M42 adapter because some day I thought I might want one of the old Takumar lens because, well, because I can use them on my K10D (durn you Pentax!). So in my obsessive searching on Ebay I came across a Super-Takumar 28/3.5 and won it. I got it and it's cumbersome and slow to use, especially if you want to switch back from the screw mount to the bayonet mounts. But I love this lens. There is just something about the way it renders pictures. I love pushing buttons and playing around with stuff and you get to do that a lot with the screw mounts:-). Also to me there is something satisfying about bringing back an old lens such as this and giving it new life (thank you Pentax!). It's so smooth to focus and so well built. Since once in screw mount mode it takes so long to get the lens off AND the adapter leaving to much time in the field for dust bunnies to do their little thing to my sensor, I had a brilliant idea. I'd get some MORE screw mount lenses! Well of course since I got this idea, everybody else has seemed to get the same idea. In the last few weeks I've missed several opportunities for M42 lenses. One evening I laid down to pet Spike for a couple of minutes about 15 minutes before an auction ended.....and fell asleep only to wake up to find the lens had sold for $11 10 minutes before:-). But when I was there somebody would run the price up to $80 for a lens:-(. This evening I got a SMC Takumar 50/1.4:-) with an Asahi Pentax polarizer for a pretty fair price, I think. But why? I have the FA 50/1.4 and a M 50/1.7. Now I also have a SMC Takumar 50/1.4...WOOHOOOOOOOO.
Is there something wrong with me?
I don't think so because now I can unscrew the 28 and screw on the 50 in a flash! But why? I already had a good 28 and one of the best 50's ever made.
Is there something wrong with me?
No need to answer, I'm already pretty sure I know. :-)

10-28-2007, 10:55 PM   #2
Igilligan
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You got the sickness

You got sickness... and realizing you need help is the first step...

Unfortunately, I can tell you this was the wrong lens to cure your addiction...I just got that lens. The S-M-C Tak 50 1.4 and it is my fav lens right now. Has only left my camera one time in the two weeks since I got it. And I have that FA 50 too.
You have to buy a few clinkers before you are really gonna be ready to address your disease.

This one aint it. Enjoy the lens and post some pics and some thoughts when you get it.

-gus-

Last edited by Igilligan; 10-28-2007 at 10:57 PM. Reason: left out something
10-28-2007, 11:30 PM   #3
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i have the adapter and the 50mm f1.4 aswell and its great however im not sure how much i like manual focus when im in a hurry. im jus tnot that quick with it. (embarassing to say) but when im doing weddings candid shots are the hardest to get with this lens because you have to turn the focus ring soo much.
10-29-2007, 02:07 AM   #4
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You are quite right that the best solution is to get more M42 lenses. As I've so often mentioned, they are practically all I use. Once you get used to using them it just becomes second nature, like anything else. I carry four Takumars in my bag (28/3.5; 55/1.8; 105/2.8; and 135/3.5) and have another 135/3.5 and a 200/4 at home. In K-mount I carry a Cosina MF 20/3.8 and a M-50/2 which only see use under certain conditions which don't come up all that often. But they don't take up much space and it is nice to have them around. The only time I actually carry the bag anywhere is from home to the truck and back.

You will find a couple of things very handy for using these: The first is a split-prism focus screen. Chinese bargain models will do the trick very nicely. The other is to tape some aluminum foil over the electrical contacts surrounding the lens mount to correct the metering problem.

I find it best to leave my Takumars set at about f4 for ease of focusing and to speed up aperture selection, which is done by counting clicks. Just stay in Av mode, focus, then spin your aperture down while keeping an eye on your shutter speed in the viewfinder. DOF preview, as you have already no doubt noticed, is instantaneous.

10-29-2007, 08:31 AM   #5
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If there is something wrong with you, I think I have the same problem too.

I got my first Takumar in mid September. A nice Super-Takumar 28mm f3.5. Since then I e-bayed a Super-Tak 135 f3.5, a Super-Tak 55mm f1.8, and a Super-Tak 35mm f3.5. All for about $80.00(not including reasonable shipping costs). Inexpensive and work great, just what I like!

My thoughts were the same as yours. A little cumbersome to switch from screw mount back to k mount. So why not build a screw mount kit!

I love fiddling with these old lenses. And since I recently moved to digital from my ME Super, I'm used to manual focus anyway. But I think I will invest in a split prism focus screen. I'm having a bit of a hard time adjusting to the mat screen focus technique. It works, but takes more concentration. My concern with switching to a split prism screen is what will it do to the metering with my auto focus lenses. I'm not sure I want to mess with that.

Now to round out my kit, I think a 105mm would be nice..... and then maybe a 300mm...

All mine are Supers.... maybe some S-M-C versions would be nice too.
10-29-2007, 08:41 AM   #6
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That's my all time favorite lens. One of these days I'm just going to have to break down and pick up another body so I can have one dedicated to M42 lenses. Maybe an *ist DS(potmatic)...
10-29-2007, 10:16 PM   #7
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Mike, back in the summer I installed the LL-60 focusing screen so I have no exposure problems, it works very well. For focus I'm beginning to rely more and more on the hexagonal confirmation thingy. I would be willing to try the split prism screen but I'm really happy with the exposures with the LL-60 and would hate to give that up. I haven't even updated to firmware 1.3, afraid of what it could do to the exposures. I don't have to do the foil trick to get good exposures. For some reason though, I can't seem to get the "trap focus" to work with my Takumar lens. I will try shooting in Av mode, I've gotten so used to shooting manual mode. I've been setting the aperture with the switch in auto, then focusing, then switching to manual, then the green button, then shooting. Your way seems much simpler.
Fritz, i also worry about the metering with my auto focus lens with the split screen, have you tried the LL-60? Besides much more accurate metering across the table with all my lenses, it's easier to manually focus also. The split screen is probably better for focusing I guess but learning to use the focus confirmation light (not the red one in the screen) but the hexagonal one at the bottom of the viewfinder works very well.
Now there's an idea Finn, another body dedicated to the M42s..........
Actually I have been thinking of dusting off an old film body. If I could find a service that would develop my negatives and not require me to buy prints, just charge me for developing the negatives, I would start shooting more film and scan them myself but as long as they hold me hostage to buying their prints I'll be content to watch them dry up and blow away. It would be fun to shoot a few slides though.....
I'm waiting for my SMC Pentax 200/4 to arrive. I was looking for a Super Tak 200 but this other lens turned up and I got it cheaper than I probably could have gotten the Super Tak. Next up is a 300, I will have to save a bit but I want a 300mm prime. Also, I am looking for a Pentax M42 135. Mike and Fritz, are you guys happy with your 135/3.5s? I have a M-135/3.5 which I like a lot but I need a screw mount too:-).
Igilligan, I do realize I need help but with buying these lenses I can't afford it!:-)
10-30-2007, 12:40 AM   #8
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If you decide to go the split screen route do not get the chinese ones. I have one for my k100d and at f/5.6 and above it is unusable. One half of the split circle gets too dark to understand anything. I installed it, tried it out for about a month and then removed it.

I rely now on the hexagonal icon to confirm focus.

10-30-2007, 04:42 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
If you decide to go the split screen route do not get the chinese ones. I have one for my k100d and at f/5.6 and above it is unusable.
But that goes for the built in autofocus as well, it is not designed to work above f5.6.
10-30-2007, 05:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
But that goes for the built in autofocus as well, it is not designed to work above f5.6.
According to the producer who makes the kats eye split image focus screens their screens don't get darker even at f/22. I don't know how true is that.
10-30-2007, 05:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
But that goes for the built in autofocus as well, it is not designed to work above f5.6.
Sorry I misread your reply. If the autofocus is not designed to go above f/5.6 then how come the new pentax da 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 has a f/6.3 aperture at the long end? Does pentax expect everyone to use manual focusing at the long end?
10-30-2007, 05:55 AM   #12
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I love my Takumars, and find I shoot with them as much, if not more, than any of my modern lenses. A good split prism screen is a must, IMO. I also have an adapter attached to each one with the spring removed, so it is much easier to switch between the Taks and my K glass. Although, if you own three 50s, I think you should seek professional help!

QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
According to the producer who makes the kats eye split image focus screens their screens don't get darker even at f/22. I don't know how true is that.
They do get darker, however, the blackout is delayed to f8-11. With careful eye placement it is usable even to f22. Although focusing should be done close to wide open anyway for the greatest accuracy.
10-30-2007, 06:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
Sorry I misread your reply. If the autofocus is not designed to go above f/5.6 then how come the new pentax da 18-250 f/3.5-6.3 has a f/6.3 aperture at the long end?
That IS strange....
10-30-2007, 07:31 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kbrabble Quote
Although focusing should be done close to wide open anyway for the greatest accuracy.
Yes indeed, but what if the lowest aperture is f/5.6 or less?
10-30-2007, 08:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
Mike, back in the summer I installed the LL-60 focusing screen so I have no exposure problems, it works very well. For focus I'm beginning to rely more and more on the hexagonal confirmation thingy. I would be willing to try the split prism screen but I'm really happy with the exposures with the LL-60 and would hate to give that up. I haven't even updated to firmware 1.3, afraid of what it could do to the exposures. I don't have to do the foil trick to get good exposures. For some reason though, I can't seem to get the "trap focus" to work with my Takumar lens. I will try shooting in Av mode, I've gotten so used to shooting manual mode. I've been setting the aperture with the switch in auto, then focusing, then switching to manual, then the green button, then shooting. Your way seems much simpler.
Fritz, i also worry about the metering with my auto focus lens with the split screen, have you tried the LL-60? Besides much more accurate metering across the table with all my lenses, it's easier to manually focus also. The split screen is probably better for focusing I guess but learning to use the focus confirmation light (not the red one in the screen) but the hexagonal one at the bottom of the viewfinder works very well.
Now there's an idea Finn, another body dedicated to the M42s..........
Actually I have been thinking of dusting off an old film body. If I could find a service that would develop my negatives and not require me to buy prints, just charge me for developing the negatives, I would start shooting more film and scan them myself but as long as they hold me hostage to buying their prints I'll be content to watch them dry up and blow away. It would be fun to shoot a few slides though.....
I'm waiting for my SMC Pentax 200/4 to arrive. I was looking for a Super Tak 200 but this other lens turned up and I got it cheaper than I probably could have gotten the Super Tak. Next up is a 300, I will have to save a bit but I want a 300mm prime. Also, I am looking for a Pentax M42 135. Mike and Fritz, are you guys happy with your 135/3.5s? I have a M-135/3.5 which I like a lot but I need a screw mount too:-).
Igilligan, I do realize I need help but with buying these lenses I can't afford it!:-)
I'm not familiar with the LL-60? Will this work with my K100d? I'll search around on this site and see what I can find. Sounds interesting. The thing I liked about the split screen on my ME Super was there is doubt when you have focus. It's a no brainer. The downside is low light focusing when one half goes dark and results in the split screen being nearly useless.

My Super-tak 135 f3.5 is definitely my most beat up lens. I picked it up for cheap ($15.00) and I probably paid too much considering the condition. Besides the normal barrel wear, the front element has scuffs and abrasions all over it. The rear element had fungus that was starting to spider out. Fortunately for me it's on the outside of the lens and I think I was able to clean most of it off. Also it has more then it's share of dust inside the lens. To top it all of when the focus barrel is all the way out it wiggles a little, and sometimes the focus ring gets a little hitch in it. But the funny thing is despite all that, it takes really nice pictures. Really sharp from wide open. The only down side I've noticed is low contrast in some lighting situations. But not bad really, and easily corrected in PP. This old beat up lens has become one of my favorites!

Here are a couple of test shots that I took with the 135mm f3.5. Not the greatest shots, I know, but I think they show what the lens will do. The first is @ f3.5 hand held @ 1/20th sec., the second is I think f8.0 or so. No additional PP, straight conversion from RAW to jpg using PPL.


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