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12-08-2011, 03:13 AM   #1
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how to use Super Takumar 1:1.4 50mm

Hi,

I have a Super-Takumar 1:1.4 50mm (serial number = 3784716). There is a switch on the lens that supports Auto/Manual mode.

When I use the M of the lens, I can't get focus at the infinity, and the images are very soft at center. When I switch to Auto mode (again, this is set by using a switch on lens, not by using body's switch), infinity focus is better but it is still soft. My lens is very old, and I don't know if it has any problem, or I simply don't know how to use it.

Thanks,

12-08-2011, 03:45 AM   #2
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Lens in A (aperture will always be wide open) or in M with aperture set to 1.4 should not make a difference with regards to infinity focus.

Which adapter are you using? If you're using an adapter that allows infinity focus (like the official Pentax one), it sounds like something wrong with the lens. If you're using one that does not fit completely inside the mount of the camera (has a flange), you will have infinity focus issues.
12-08-2011, 03:52 AM   #3
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Hello icy,

That switch, on my takumars, does not actually have anything to do with the focus. AUTO allows you to compose the shot with the lens at its widest aperture and only stops down when it actually takes the photo, which means you have a bright image in the finder. Manual keeps the same aperture all the time. You should be able to verify this by setting your aperture to f8, for instance, and toggling back and forth between Auto and Manual while looking through the viewfinder -- manual should be much darker. However, I don't really see how it could affect image quality.
12-08-2011, 04:13 AM   #4
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Well, an aperture of 1.4 could appear to cause focus issues due to the shallow depth of field, but I don't think that's the only issue here.

icy, what camera are you using the lens with? Film, digital? If you're using it on a DSLR, then you probably have the wrong kind of adapter. You need one with the narrow flange, to allow for focus at infinity. The lens should always be used with the switch in the M position, as there is no mechanical linkage between the aperture control on an m42 lens and a DSLR. You must set the aperture manually using the ring on the lens.

If you're using this on a film camera, without an adapter, then the auto setting works as notilux explained.

12-08-2011, 04:24 AM   #5
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Hi all,

I am using Pentax K-r. I have a good M42 mount (it can be used well with my Helios 44m-4 1:2 58mm).

I can see the effect of lens' switch as noctilux mentioned. So there would be a problem with my lens I will take some other tests and I will send you sample outputs.

Thank you.
12-08-2011, 04:46 AM   #6
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Thought you had a K-r, but I couldn't remember for sure.

m42 lenses use a different aperture control mechanism than K mount lenses. There is nothing in your camera or adapter for that pin to connect to, so you must use the M mode on the lens and use the aperture ring to set it. K mount cameras, yours included, use a wider aperture lever that slides, not a pin. Your camera has absolutely no clue what aperture you set, so you need to use M mode on the camera and the green button to meter properly before shooting.

If you're sure you have an adapter that allows infinity focus, and you still have the problem when you stop it down a bit using the aperture ring, then yeah, there may be something wrong with the lens. Also keep in mind that some lenses allow you to focus past infinity, so if you're just pushing the focus as far as the ring will turn, that could cause you a problem, too.

Sample shots would help a lot. If you could post one wide open at f/1.4 and another of the same subject at f/8, that would help.
12-08-2011, 05:24 AM   #7
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@Philoslothical
I think icy is familiar how to meter; he / she has another manual lens

@icy
Do you now any history about the lens? Was it ever repaired? Dropped? As far as I know, there is an adjustment (to the infinity stop) that can be made inside the lens but I don't know finer details.
12-08-2011, 05:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I think icy is familiar how to meter; he / she has another manual lens
If they were trying to use the auto/manual setting on an m42 lens, it sounds like they're not familiar with setting aperture and metering with these lenses. It's unlikely someone would want to shoot at f/1.4 all the time, so explaining how the auto setting doesn't work is on point. AFAIK the 44m-4 doesn't have a switch, which may be why this new lens caused some confusion.

I wasn't trying to be patronizing, just to include any relevant information that could fill in blanks.

There is a tutorial on fixing infinity focus on m42 lenses, including the one the OP has, here: Shooting with a Pentax K10D: Fixing the infinite focus on a Super Takumar 24mm ...

I think it would still be worth it for OP to post some samples before thinking about dissecting the lens. Just to be sure this is the issue.

12-08-2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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just to be clear, is the OP taking th elens to the focus stop, or trying to focus at a distant object.

it could be that the lens is going past infinity due to someone adjusting it for a flanged adaptor.

try setting the focus ring to the 30 foot point and see if it is clearer?
12-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
icy
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Thank you guys very much. Pentaxforum is so friendly

I think I found the problem -- it comes from my lens. My Super Takumar can only get right focus for objects which are not far than 7 metres: I must use the "infinity" mark to get a sharp image of the objects at that range. (Using the same M42 adapter my Helios 44m-4 works very well.)

I buy the lens from a Canon guy who has no problem with the lens (or he would trick me ). I will contact him and figure out how to solve this problem. I may fix the lens as in the link that Philoslothical sent I will keep you posted.

Thank you very much!

PS: I am sorry for my English. I must have some typo errors in this post FYI, I bought this lens at $25

Last edited by icy; 12-08-2011 at 08:10 PM.
12-10-2011, 02:01 AM   #11
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A similar problem
12-10-2011, 02:07 AM   #12
icy
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How a photographer fixed another problem of the lens Brian Ayling's photographic repair tips
12-10-2011, 03:02 AM   #13
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Geez, that second link is sacrilegious. I'm sure any colour cast from the thorium in the glass could easily be corrected in post.
12-10-2011, 06:23 AM   #14
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Icy is it possible the seller had readjusted infinity focus for his canon. Canon has a shorter regestry distance and the difference would be about what you describe. There is a thread somewhere about adjusting focus for Taks
12-10-2011, 06:48 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
Geez, that second link is sacrilegious. I'm sure any colour cast from the thorium in the glass could easily be corrected in post.
Yes I agree with you. He is too serious, and ... he wrote a very funny post.
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