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01-27-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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What Does "Preset" Mean with Takumars?

Maybe a dumb question but I'll ask it anyway, so what does preset mean when it comes to certain Takumars?

01-27-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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In a nutshell, it means the lens is sort of inconvenient to use.

It's got two aperture rings, one on which you "pre-set" the actual aperture value you want to use, and one which controls the actual aperture, which you then turn to stop the lens down.

Back when these cameras were around, open-aperture metering didn't exist, so your VF could get quite dark at say F11 or F8. Therefore, you compose with the aperture open and then turn the aperture ring all the way to the preset setting (you don't have to look- think of the preset ring as a limited) when you go to shoot.

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01-27-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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They've got at least one fan: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/172417-preset-lens-club.html
01-27-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Ah, I understand. I saw a thread whereby the OP mentioned getting several of these type lenses but I didn't know what the preset was all about. Thanks!

01-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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There is nothing "inconvenient" about using a preset lens. I find the mechanism to be probably the easiest to use on a DSLR of any of the Takumar aperture mechanisms. And I use them every effing day.
01-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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'Preset' means everything already mentioned, and more. Most preset lenses (and all the Takumar presets I know of) have two rings as described above: pre-set one ring to the desired aperture, spin the other open, compose, spin down, and shoot. Some lenses (but no Takumars that I know of) have just one ring that functions the same way: press the ring in to set the aperture limit, then spin it as needed.

Many preset lenses are built quite differently than their auto-aperture descendants. Auto-aperture lenses tend to have very few iris blades, and the iris is located far to the rear of the lens, to make the auto-aperture operation as fast as possible. Preset lenses tend to have many more iris blades, with the iris placed more forward in the body. That iris structure and placement has a major impact on the lens' bokeh.

Example: I have two Carl Ziess Jena (CZJ) Tessar 50/2.8s. One is in M42 mount, with auto-aperture and an M/A switch. It is big and black and has 5 iris blades. The other is in Exakta mount (easily adapted to PK mount), with a single-ring preset mechanism. It is small and aluminium and has 12 blades. It's hard to be sure without dissecting the lenses (which I won't do!) but the preset iris seems to be placed further forward. And I love it! The M42 with 5 iris blades is OK. The preset with 12 blades is superb! Same focal length and maximum aperture, same optical formula, but very different results.

Another difference between presets and their descendants involves coatings. Newer lenses tend to have better, more flare-resistant coatings. Primitive-coated presets require a bit of care to use: don't point right into light sources, etc. But they also render colors differently than do modern-coated lenses. I call it a 'period' feel, a pre-1960's look. Newer lenses also tend to have more optical corrections, and the lack of such in old presets adds to that 'period' look.

I'm very short on Takumar presets. Anyone with extras they want to sell cheap, let me know!

Last edited by RioRico; 01-27-2012 at 06:17 PM.
01-27-2012, 06:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
In a nutshell, it means the lens is sort of inconvenient to use.
Yikes. They're a lot more convenient than fully manual lenses without that second ring.

Preset lenses also have different rendering of out of focus areas and highlights, often giving a very desirable bokeh. This may be in part due to the lens design itself, but also due to the iris being so far forward in the lens barrel.

Edit to add: Another characteristic of preset lenses is that they often have a fluid aperture. I mean, you can tweak it to any diameter you want, rather than being limited to full, half or third stops. Some "click" on the stops, others turn smoothly from wide open to minimum aperture.

Last edited by Philoslothical; 01-27-2012 at 06:42 PM.
01-27-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by riorico Quote
fixing post, wait a minute...
rofl!

01-27-2012, 06:19 PM   #9
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Correct me if I am wrong but with my last preset (now someone else's - Pentacon 500 5.6) I would;
1. Set the preset ring to minimum aperture while the main aperture ring kept the iris wide open;
2. Focused;
3. Set the aperture on the main ring to match the preset and then;
4. Fired away in Av mode (even with a totally manual lens).
01-27-2012, 06:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote

I'm very short on Takumar presets. Anyone with extras they want to sell cheap, let me know!
Don't listen to RioRico. He's got too many lenses. Anyone with a nice 135mm preset should let me know.

01-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #11
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JVi

you have it right, but the thing that most people forget, is a proper functioning preset ring has somewhat stiff detents, the stop down ring is quite loose.

the result is that it takes no effort at all to stop down the lens when shooting, and it ALWAYS stops down to the same aperture. with normal M42 lenses you have to count clicks, or take your eye away from the view finder.

this makes consistent exposure a snap, and also makes either manual flash, or Auto flash a snap compared to a manual aperture lens, where you have to stop it down each time and rememnber where to stop down to.

I take full blame for the present craze, because I consider ColoradoCJ started his preset LBA binge after seeing my 200/3.5 preset sample photos
01-27-2012, 07:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
In a nutshell, it means the lens is sort of inconvenient to use.
<sigh> . Well I don't even need to say it do I.
01-27-2012, 07:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
a nice 135mm preset
Hi, I have a nice 135mm preset.
01-27-2012, 07:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by riff Quote
Hi, I have a nice 135mm preset.
Hi, I show interest!
01-27-2012, 07:42 PM   #15
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Oh that was a quick reply. I'm a meany, I have said item but no desire to sell at this time. Your interest is duly noted just in case.
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