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04-25-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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How were the manual focus zooms supposed to be focused?

Hi, I've seen a Takumar Bayonet on ebay that went for just under 3 euro, I thought that was because nobody had what to do with it, f/4-5.6, I think it would cause blackout on most split prisms, and it is manual focus only. So what was Pentax expecting when they manufactured this sort of lenses?

04-25-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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Back in the day we learned how to focus and just got on with it, even if the eq wasn't perfect. Every brand had zooms like this, they were a huge convenience when they came out
04-25-2011, 12:21 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
Hi, I've seen a Takumar Bayonet on ebay that went for just under 3 euro, I thought that was because nobody had what to do with it, f/4-5.6, I think it would cause blackout on most split prisms, and it is manual focus only. So what was Pentax expecting when they manufactured this sort of lenses?
I think the bayonet mount Takumars were designed as budget lenses. AF was probably still something of a luxury when these came out in the 80s and early 90s, so I'm not surprised it's a MF lens. As to blackout on the split prisms? Well, the viewfinders were an awful lot bigger and brighter back in the day...
04-25-2011, 12:33 PM   #4
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OK, maybe I should have bid on it..

04-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
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Personally, I've not been very happy with that lens. It's lack of or poor coating produce a lot of flaring that is not nice. I don't think you missed anything.
04-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
OK, maybe I should have bid on it..
None of the Takumar Bayonet lenses were very good. Look instead for one of the beter MF Pentax SMC zooms (our lens review pages will indiate which ones people think are decent), or one of the excellent MF Vivitar Series 1 zooms.
04-25-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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If you think this is big just look at any 1980's zoom that was faster than f3.5
04-26-2011, 02:20 AM   #8
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Ironically, in the 35mm film camera days, viewfinder images were so big and bright (and sensitive to degree of focus) that you didn't really need the split-prism focusing aid - I personally don't remember using it very much at all.

Of course, nowadays, we're only too keen to get our hands on a replacement screen with a split-prism!

By the way, with my MX, as long as you keep your eyeball in the right place, you don't really get much split-prism darkening at f4, and even at f5.6.

04-26-2011, 02:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by m42man Quote
By the way, with my MX, as long as you keep your eyeball in the right place, you don't really get much split-prism darkening at f4, and even at f5.6.
Well I do
04-26-2011, 03:18 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by macTak Quote
None of the Takumar Bayonet lenses were very good. Look instead for one of the beter MF Pentax SMC zooms (our lens review pages will indiate which ones people think are decent), or one of the excellent MF Vivitar Series 1 zooms.
Well, that's not completely true... I've seen fabulous photos from the 135/2.5.... Iris shot with it in the Single in November Challenge, and she got very (!!!) decent results with it. Just don't shoot directly into the sun.
04-26-2011, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Those of us who cut out teeth with manual cameras and manual focus lenses have to just shake our heads when threads like this come up. The old viewfinders were a little easier to focus manually. Split prism blackout was a fact of life, you just had to deal with it. Not every camera had a split prism either but focusing skills were something you had to learn. It isn't a what were they thinking issue. That was the state of technology at the time. Zoom lenses were quite the big thing when they began appearing in the late 60's-early 70's.

Back in the day, everything was shot with a MF lens so think of the skill and practice that photographers had to learn when you look through old copies of Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. Actually, the best focusing aid is practice.
04-26-2011, 09:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcobain1992 Quote
I think it would cause blackout on most split prisms, and it is manual focus only. So what was Pentax expecting when they manufactured this sort of lenses?
Pentax was thinking, "Hey, we have a competitive product!" because it was, at the time. There are times with AF zooms that I switch over to MF to make sure I'm focused on what *I* want, not on what the *camera* wants. There are times I just prefer using a MF zoom, so I whip out my sharp (and cheap) golden oldies that predate AF technology. I'm like that sometimes.

Pentax was thinking, "Hey, we have a customer base of millions with manual-focus PK-mount camera bodies -- we should be able to sell some tens of thousands of these!" Just because AF technology existed, doesn't mean many could afford it. The first Pentax AF lens (with in-body motor!) was a bomb. AF bodies were costly. Sell affordable lenses to the hoi-polloi, eh?

BTW, Takumar Bayonet lenses aren't bad. They're only not quite so brilliant as their SMC brethren. Just don't point them into bright light sources; they're coated, but not SuperMultiCoated. My SMC-M and Tak-B 28/2.8's give similar results with the sun at my back. The Tak-B 135/2.5 is no slouch either, as other users will attest; mine is a vital member of my low-light kit.

EU3 for a Pentax lens? Should have GRABBED it!! If nothing else, it'll sell for 30x that next year.
04-26-2011, 10:30 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rense Quote
Well, that's not completely true... I've seen fabulous photos from the 135/2.5.... Iris shot with it in the Single in November Challenge, and she got very (!!!) decent results with it. Just don't shoot directly into the sun.
Thanks Rense!

If somebody wants to see those picture....Iris's Album: Single in November - PentaxForums.com
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