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06-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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Takumar 50mm 1.4 eight element vs Takumar SMC 50mm 1.4 eight leaf

Hello all. I'm looking for some advice please. I have searched through the previous posts and have not been able to find an answer to my question so far. My question is this.

Which lens would give a better overall image (Bokeh, IQ etc). Given that both lenses are in equal condition.

The Takumar 50mm 1.4 eight element M42 vs Takumar SMC 50mm 1.4 eight leaf M42?

Any help and advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Chris...

06-12-2011, 07:52 PM   #2
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Everyone says

Everyone says that the seven element lens is sharper. The seven element lens uses the extra dense radioactive lens element which more than compensates for there being one element less. I have both but have never tested one against the other.
06-12-2011, 08:09 PM   #3
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The real reason Pentax dropped the extra element was cost. The goal was to win the resolution battle which they did. The add several lenses from 1964 to 1966 that they revised due to element size etc.
06-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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I have all 3 versions (1st - 8 element version, 2nd - 7 element version, 3rd - SMC version), all three are great lenses, I use the SMC version most.

This link compares the three of them and claims the smc version produces the best picture in IQ, Sharpness and Bokeh -> Match 6: (3) Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 1:1.4 50mm vs. (14) Super-Takumar 1:1.4 50mm Photo Gallery by Sean Carpenter at

02-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
This link compares the three of them and claims the smc version produces the best picture in IQ, Sharpness and Bokeh -> Match 6: (3) Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 1:1.4 50mm vs. (14) Super-Takumar 1:1.4 50mm Photo Gallery by Sean Carpenter at
In fact, that test only compares the 7-element versions, and does not include the 8-element one.

Last edited by Smolk; 02-24-2012 at 08:10 AM.
02-22-2012, 03:41 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I have the 8 element Super Takumar and the SMC and use both regularly.

The 8 element seems to give a more pleasing bokeh. Creamy! The transition from in focus to out of focus areas is also better with the 8 element Super Tak. Not sure why this is but it is noticeable. The SMC has less CA than the 8 element. The multi coating does make a difference. The focus mechanism is slightly smoother on the 8 element than the SMC.

Also, I have an S-M-C 50 1.4 and find it better in sunlight than either of the others due to slightly less CA. Even less than the SMC!
Even so, the older 8 element is my "go to" 50mm for most situations where I want to shoot wide open or close.

The 7 element 50mm Super Takumar which I also own does not have quite the umpf of the other three. It has a slight yellowing which does not seem to affect the pictures. It is an excellent lens ,just not quite as good as the 8 element as far as IQ. I keep it in my telephoto lens case and use it from time to time when I am shooting long shots and suddenly need a short lens.

If I had to grade them, I would give the following:
1. 8 element - 10
2. SMC - 9.9
3. S-M-C - 9.9
4. 7 element - 9.8

If I had to chose just one, I would go with the 8 element version. I like the way my photos look with it and It would cost more to replace. Currently, the 8 element versions in great condition are selling for around $200-250. The SMC is going for $50-80 in similar condition.

I plan to keep all four for the foreseeable future.

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