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08-16-2011, 02:11 AM   #1
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Super Takumar 35mm 3.5

I'm just curious how the Super Takumar 35mm 3.5 stacks up to other 35mm m42 lenses. I'm sure the Flektogon is pretty fantastic but is there anything else out there that's worth looking at?

08-16-2011, 03:13 AM   #2
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I've had a few 35mm m42 lenses, the Super Takumar is a great lens, very small and light and sharp. The only issue I had with it was it's slow aperture. Here are some posts with images from the S Tak 35mm.
08-16-2011, 05:19 AM   #3
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It certainly is worth looking at, the Takumar 35mm f/3.5 is compact and very sharp. the only downside to this is It has a rather long minimum focus distance compared to the FA31mm f/1.8 limited I use.
08-16-2011, 05:23 AM   #4
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We're talking about a $40 lens here...pointless comparing it to the 31.

08-16-2011, 05:31 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by figmental1978 Quote
We're talking about a $40 lens here...pointless comparing it to the 31.
I think i'm fully justified in comparing it to the FA31 - the Takumar 35mm f/3.5 is very close to the FA31 in terms of sharpness. Everyone else compares everything else in the 28~40mm category to the FA31, why can't I have the same luxury? Face it, when compared to other 35mm lenses the Takumar has a long MFD*, even the FA 35mm f/2 ASPH has a shorter MFD.


*Minimum Focus Distance

Last edited by Digitalis; 08-16-2011 at 05:37 AM.
08-16-2011, 06:51 AM   #6
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It's not a Macro for sure, but it is very usable. I've never felt limited using my Tak 35mm by the MFD. I have felt mildly limited by the aperture size indoors. If you are considering buying one go for it.

There are other things like the 37mm Mir. Check out the lens review database.
08-16-2011, 07:48 AM   #7
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I have far fewer 35's than 28's. The SuperTak 35/3.5 is tied as sharpest (with Nikkor-O 35/2 and Meyer Primagon 35/4.5) and most pixie-dusted (with Isco Westron 35/2.8 and Mir-1 37/2.8, both also very sharp). While the Nikkor and Isco focus closer (around 30cm), all my others (Enna 35/4.5, Petri & Porst & Vivitar 35/2.8) are about the same as the SuperTak (around 40-50cm). You can pull in the SuperTak's near focus to under 30cm by using a no-infinity-focus wide-flange M42-PK adapter; far focus drops to about 2m.

IMHO the difference between f/2.8 and f/3.5 is minimal at this focal length -- except in dimness when I *really* need a wider aperture. That is why I have the Nikkor, an old PJ's standard. And I must admit that while I like my top 35's, I'm more likely to a 28. But that's personal. The SuperTak is a fine lens. Go for it!
08-16-2011, 09:09 PM   #8
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Here are a few shots with the S M C version of the Takumar 35 3.5, I have heard the Super Tak is a tiny bit sharper than the S M C, but I can't really tell much difference.







08-17-2011, 04:04 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I think i'm fully justified in comparing it to the FA31 - the Takumar 35mm f/3.5 is very close to the FA31 in terms of sharpness. Everyone else compares everything else in the 28~40mm category to the FA31, why can't I have the same luxury? Face it, when compared to other 35mm lenses the Takumar has a long MFD*, even the FA 35mm f/2 ASPH has a shorter MFD.


*Minimum Focus Distance
Fair enough...I'll allow you the luxury

Anyway, the Takumar 35mm 3.5 is a fantastic lens and I'm a fool for getting rid of it.
08-17-2011, 07:41 AM   #10
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I have mine up for sale, but nobody is biting on that particular lens. Even though I bought the FA35(samsung), I may just keep it. All my remaining Taks are tele.
08-17-2011, 07:44 AM   #11
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I have the Super-Multi-Coated version of this lens and I can confirm that it is very sharp in the centre at all apertures (allowing for diffraction at smaller apertures). Pixel-peeping the corners at F3.5 will show some spherical aberrations, as you would expect for a lens of this era with a simple 5-element, 4-group spherical design. However, they're gone by F5.6.

This lens has a few characteristics that really stand-out for me:
1) It's tiny. We're talking borderline pancake territory here.
2) The build quality is outstanding (better, frankly, than my DA 35 Macro Limited) and focusing feel is exquisitely smooth and well-damped.
3) Flare resistance is off the charts. Better than any modern lens I own (including the DA 35 Ltd and the FA 77 Ltd). Shooting wide-open straight into the sun with a dark subject as a background, you can barely see one faint white blob with soft edges, if you go out of your way to look for it. Stopping down makes the blob smaller and pentagonal, with harder edges, making it slightly more visible.
4) One nice ergonomic touch is that 15 feet, F8 and the focus index are all labelled in red-orange. This is the hyperfocal focus setting at the sharpest aperture on film. Simply line-up the red labels and you're all set for landscape photography.

There aren't many downsides to this lens. Obviously, the maximum aperture isn't particularly fast, but that's part of the trade-off for the small size and amazing flare resistance. Practically speaking, the only things that really gets in my way of using it more on my DSLR are the need to use stop-down metering, and the lack of AF. So, it usually lives on my Spotmatic SP F, with which it can do open-aperture metering (the S-M-C and SMC Takumars were the first ones able to do this before the K-mount was introduced).

Someday, I really should do a shoot-out between my 35mm S-M-C Takumar and my DA 35 Ltd.
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