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12-12-2011, 11:14 AM   #1
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Yellow Takumar

I wanted to confirm what I had heard before, using the takumar lens that has yellowed with black and white film is not a big problem but would be with color?

And what if I use it "as is" on my digital camera - are there adjustments I should follow?

12-12-2011, 11:37 AM   #2
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I have a Takumar that's gone a bit golden. So far the only thing I notice using it is that there's slightly warmer tint to that lens than not. If you're a person that likes their photos cool you may have to adjust your white balance a bit, but if you like the effect of a slight warming filter you may well appreciate the effect you get. You can always UV the lens to get it back to normal. There are several guides on here already as I recall. A quick search should get them for you.
12-12-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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You'll also be losing some light, so your shutter speed will be slower with a yellowed lens.
12-12-2011, 11:42 AM   #4
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They're generally not a problem on a modern dSLR. I actually have two old M42 50s because one is yellowed and one is not. They are slightly different in how they treat colors and how warm the photo is even on the same dSLR and that makes them useful under different circumstances.

12-12-2011, 11:50 AM   #5
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I had one that was yellowed and sat it in a windowsill for a few days and didnt notice much difference (new windows, guessing they block alot of UV). I put the lens outside on a clear day and adjusted it every couple hours to keep it facing the sun. Two days and it is 90% gone. very little work if you wished to get rid of it
12-12-2011, 11:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hawk232 Quote
I had one that was yellowed and sat it in a windowsill for a few days and didnt notice much difference (new windows, guessing they block alot of UV). I put the lens outside on a clear day and adjusted it every couple hours to keep it facing the sun. Two days and it is 90% gone. very little work if you wished to get rid of it
Most modern window glass has some level of UV protection built into the glass (even single pane these days) so its not surprising that putting outside worked so much better.
12-12-2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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I've not done this, as I don't have a sweet old takumar yet, but I've read that wrapping the mount in aluminum foil to bounce the light back through the elements significantly increases the rate and abilities of sun to clear the yellowing.
12-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pezmaker Quote
I've not done this, as I don't have a sweet old takumar yet, but I've read that wrapping the mount in aluminum foil to bounce the light back through the elements significantly increases the rate and abilities of sun to clear the yellowing.
I'm a bit skeptical of this approach as I am concerned about excess heat. Those old lenses have elements glued together that can come unstuck. My thought is that excess focused heat can cause/accelerate that process. I'd rather take a wee bit longer and avoid that possibility.

12-12-2011, 12:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
I am concerned about excess heat.
To each their own. I don't think that minimal amount of heat reflected light vs the light going through is going to make a difference. The black finish in the sunlight is probably producing more heat. However, it's your lens, not mine!
12-12-2011, 01:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pezmaker Quote
To each their own. I don't think that minimal amount of heat reflected light vs the light going through is going to make a difference. The black finish in the sunlight is probably producing more heat. However, it's your lens, not mine!
Less worry = more time. Perhaps its foolish but why take the risk?
12-12-2011, 01:18 PM   #11
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Without knowing the model, the yellowing is probably caused by decaying Thorium in the rear element. Here's a good tutorial on how to remove the amber cast safely, it should significantly improve the brightness of your lens.

12-12-2011, 02:19 PM   #12
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mine was quite yellow, such that it was dark. i manually WB my shots anyway so the extra warmth was no concern to me.
i did the windowsill treatment in a south facing window (during winter while that room is always cool), and the glass is totally clear now.
12-12-2011, 03:29 PM   #13
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I have a 24mm f2 Zuiko for my Olympus gear that has turned yellow...a while back I took some shots on the same roll of film with it, a Zuiko 28mm f2.8 that hadn't yellowed, and a Tamron 35-135 that also hadn't yellowed...there was definitely a much warmer cast to the shots from the 24 than the others, almost like an 81C or 85C filter was being used...

Now understand that this is with film, with a digital camera and digital images all that can be manipulated in or out....
12-12-2011, 03:38 PM   #14
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Does anyone have images showing the difference between the regular yellow cast of the Takumar multicoating and the yellowing caused by the thoriated elements? How yellow is that yellowing exactly?
12-12-2011, 03:59 PM   #15
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I run just about all my images through various PP steps. My most-used tool in PaintShopPro is REMOVE COLOR CAST, because absolutely NONE of my digicams get WB right. If shooting a yellowed lens on a dSLR, just use that or a similar tool. If shooting on film, stick to B&W. No problem.
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