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07-25-2011, 11:55 PM   #1
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Takumar 300mm F/4 vs. Takumar 300mm F/4 (18 blade version)

Well my neighbor/friend got a takumar 300mm F/4, the newer version, but doesn't have a camera to test it out with. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to compare them so here's what I got. Please bare in mind we had much more in mind but some hummingbirds distracted us and our tele lenses


Both are quite large pieces of glass, but in the end there's no comparison my 18 blade earlier version is much larger.

Physical differences other than size include:
weight (guess which is heavier )
location of aperture blades - front vs. traditional back
number of aperture blades (6 vs. 18)
smoothness in the focusing ring - mines stiffer
number of clicks on the aperture ring - iirc mine has more
focus through - again iirc mines longer though both focus down to the same MFD of ~18 feet
tripod mount location - mines farther foward
Filter thread size - 72 vs. 82 iirc
etc.

Now for some test shots, all done on a tripod. I didn't slave away to make everything perfect, I just wanted to get a quickish comparison going both set to the same shutter speeds at any given aperture, daylight WB, same ISO. They were converted from RAW to jpeg using the same settings in LR (copy and paste). I know mine benefits from a larger aftermarket 82mm hood ontop of its pull out one but I left it at home. This is the first time his has been shot

@ F/4

My Takumar 300mm F/4 18 blade version:



His Takumar 300mm F/4 later version:



100% crops:

1.


2.


conclusion:

With the same WB, mine definitely is warmer. Since I shoot RAW this doesn't matter to me for either cases, but it is interesting to see such stark differences. In addition I'd say the 18 blade version has more fine contrast and resolves more detail when wideopen. Neither are slouches though, especially considering their age! The later version 300 tak seems to have a slight haze about it, and the shadows have much less detail/more contrast.

Lets check bokeh as well:

1.


2.


Conclusion?
make your own Bokeh is subjective and not shown well in this test (had a bokeh "challenge" lined up but hummingbirds distracted us )

After F/4 we have whatever the next F/stop click is. F/4.5?

Mine:
1.


His:
2.


crops:

1.


2.


conclusion:
His 300 takes a massive leap in performance with this one click, but to my eyes it appears the 18 blade version still has the lead, albeit a slight one.

Now at F/8

1.


2.


crops:

1.


2.


conclusion:
At this point all things are pretty much equal, except oddly enough the shadow detail/contrast. The new tak loses quite a lot in the shadows but has more contrast giving it a slightly sharper look. Don't judge so much with the bigger leaves in the crop because at F/8 it required a slower shutter speed and the wind was blowing. Some suffer from motion blur

Well there ya have it. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
I personally wouldn't trade mine in for the smaller, newer version any day of the week even with cash involved but thats me. He understandably would much rather have the smaller lens so it all works out

I plan on doing a bokeh comparison to see whats what hopefully soon. Stay tuned

07-26-2011, 01:18 AM   #2
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Nice comparison, yeatz. They both seem to offer pretty good performance, just in slightly different ways.
07-26-2011, 02:10 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
Nice comparison, yeatz. They both seem to offer pretty good performance, just in slightly different ways.
Thanks Goddo Yes two very capable lenses.

Here's an example of the hummingbird shots I took (with only my lens, sorry )




@ F/4 and a hollowed out teleconverter was used to shorten the MFD.

A crop of the original image:



Not bad at all IMO for wideopen past its minimum focusing distance

Last edited by yeatzee; 07-26-2011 at 07:05 AM.
07-26-2011, 02:25 AM   #4
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Very impressive hummer shot!

07-28-2011, 09:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
Very impressive hummer shot!
thanks
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