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04-25-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
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My Takumar died today

I'm very sad that today, while I was taking some pictures at school with another lens, I misplaced my 50mm f/1.4 S-M-C Takumar and it fell 2 meters before hitting concrete. It had a metal hood and a rear cap mounted, so the glass was unaffected (it had some very small scratches from before, but that's another story), but the auto/manual switch was bent in an ugly way, and mechanisms must have pushed hard into each other, because the aperture ring refused to turn at all, and the focusing ring turned very hard too.
It's now sitting in my backpack - I didn't even want to see it anymore. My heart is absolutely torn in pieces. It was my favorite and everyday lens, I bought just yesterday a microprism focusing screen only for this lens, along with a bunch of other M42 lenses. This was the first lens that I ever bought, 1 1/2 years ago, along with a SPII, and I paid a ton of money for it, then first thing I did when I received it, I mounted it on my other camera, a Zenit inherited from my father. Long story short, it got stuck because I was unaware [and probably most of you still are] of the incompatibilities in the M42 screw mounts. I only got it out with a hammer and a needle between the lens mount and the camera mount, obviously doing some irrepairable damage to both.
Afterwards, I had it repaired twice (imagine adding that to the price that I already paid for it, I don't even want to make the calculation). The paint was all flaked and the mount had ugly needle grooves, but it took some beautiful images and went everywhere with me. I even slept with it in bed.
At first, I had to part with the body on which it belonged (another dear piece of equipment, a mint Asahi Spotmatic II), because of a situation where I had to make a present to my teacher, and bought another SPII which turned out to not be in 100% working condition. I had to keep the nonfunctional [but also very nice looking] body and give mine away.
Then during a fight with my girlfriend, she grabbed my backpack [which contained the second SPII with my father's Helios attached] and started hitting trees with it and smashing it to the ground. Afterwards, the lens was intact (!), but the body... better not mention. That was the first time when I felt bad about destroying an 1971 vintage piece of equipment.
Now, I'm not crying after my lens like after losing $10 on the street [still, it's maybe 20 times $10, but no matter]. I also have that Helios which is eager to replace it. I'm sad because of the mixed feelings that I don't deserve to own such pieces of history, because they seem to die in my hands, and on the other hand, that no one will be able to replace the time I've spent looking after this lens. Prices have risen so high, that I could only dream of getting another one, and I have almost zero free time to do what would be best in this situation - haunt one of these on ebay for cheap, which still can be done, but it's a matter of months maybe.
I don't know exactly why I am complaining about life to you - it's just that you may be the most appropriate to understand my sadness. These matters don't mean a thing to my friends/parents, and I'm not able to find any support/compassion from them, but as a busy and careless 19 year old student, sometimes I think I should give photography a break in general.

04-25-2012, 07:17 AM   #2
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That sucks man. Unfortunately sh!t happens as we say over here. I'd just use whatever else you have and keep on shooting, buy another tak when you get the chance to.

Back in september I fell off a bike with my brand new K-r (just back from Pentax after warranty issues) and a brand new DA15, both obliterated on the concrete, it sucked bad, and cost a lot to replace.

I now have a K-5 which I love, it totally sucks that it happened but best thing is to pickup what you have and just keep on truckin' until you can get another tak
04-25-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
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R.I.P. ST 50/1.4

Fortunately you still have the Helios 44M. I am completely sympathetic regarding current prices, though a ST 55/1.8 is still fairly affordable. That might be a good option.


Steve
04-25-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
R.I.P. ST 50/1.4

Fortunately you still have the Helios 44M. I am completely sympathetic regarding current prices, though a ST 55/1.8 is still fairly affordable. That might be a good option.


Steve
I think the issue is twofold - the expense replacing that lens exactly, but more importantly, that particular lens can never be replaced exactly. Sure, it's a "thing," an inanimate object, but it sounds like they sure had some history together, particularly with the barbaric ex gf swinging the bag like a mace or a battle ax. I feel your pain, sir, I feel your pain. If I had a super tak SMC 50 1.4, I'd send it your way in condolences.

PEz

04-25-2012, 07:56 AM   #5
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The death of a Takumar is no little thing. (The sound of TAPS plays gently in the background.) My sincerest condolences, sir. (MK salutes, sadly....)
04-25-2012, 08:03 AM   #6
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It is not the cost, but the value of the item that matters. In this case, you valued the lens a lot, and so the loss is as large. I agree that finding one on ebay is almost futile. Better to look for more local listings. Not sure what that might entail, but I've been finding "fair" prices on two local ad services for my area - craigslist and kijiji. You may have something similar or European wide.
04-25-2012, 10:22 AM   #7
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Truly sorry to hear that.

Some of my Taks have traveled thousands of miles with me, and losing them for any reason would hurt my heart. As has been said, it's not the cost of replacing them, it's the personal attachment you get to THAT lens.
04-25-2012, 10:25 AM   #8
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I grieve over your loss. But now you have an excuse to break free and get a K50/1.2.

04-25-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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Thanks for the support. On a more pragmatic note, I inspected my lens more closely, and it has cosmetic damage only on the auto/manual switch. Functionally, I couldn't get the aperture ring to turn, it's stuck between f/1.4 and f/2. I then thought: would it be practical to move the glass into another barrel? Briefly opening ebay, I found item number 320893707967 to be a nice host. However I'm concerned that the price will boom on this lens too.
04-25-2012, 01:41 PM   #10
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Here are some pictures to go along.
There's nail polish on the lens, because the metal was bare and the base became conductive, which in turn made my K-x believe there's a K-mount lens attached and try to close the aperture every time I pressed the green button, making an annoying and useless sound.
Also, that's dust on the lenses.






Last edited by kcobain1992; 09-20-2012 at 03:17 PM.
04-25-2012, 02:54 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear about the damage, but it happens. You should learn what you can from the event and move on; there's nothing better you can do. As for the damage, maybe you can open up the lens and see if you can fix the aperture - I doubt there is something irreparable there.

Good writeup of your experience, btw.
04-27-2012, 05:54 AM   #12
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I'm decided to bid on this broken lens for its barrel, already talked to the seller. What would be the best strategy to have it for the least money possible? Bid early, snipe it, burn the fields?
04-27-2012, 07:31 AM   #13
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Follow RioRico's Ebaying advice, I think. Bid early, bid to what your true limit is, and wait and see. If someone else wants it more, they're going to snipe it last second anyway. If you wait to snipe, you might not be fast enough, your high enough might still not be high enough. THe only thing sniping seems to do to me is cause me to go incrementally higher than I would have otherwise, thinking "maybe just $3 more, maybe just $2.50 more," next thing you know i've bid $35.79 more than I originally set as my limit, and either still don't get it anyway, or suddnely find myself paying more for something than I intended to, leaving me with a case of buyer's remorse.

If this one goes more than you're willing to pay, then another one damaged will come up. As RioRico says (implies? not sure if he's literally said it), patience and persistence are the keys.
04-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #14
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Well, that's my dilemma here. I'm willing to pay up to $40-$50, but on the other hand I wouldn't like to raise my own price. So maybe bid early a small amount, just so some buyers will be discouraged to watch the auction and snipe it? I'm currently reading discussions regarding the proper strategy, but I can't seem to find a consensus.
And I think RioRico's advice would be to bid LATE. But I'm curious what would he have to say in this situation.
04-27-2012, 09:10 AM   #15
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The thing is, you're not raising your own price. If you bid 50 now or later, you're only bidding 50 total, and it's only showing whatever the next bid is. It's really false logic to think that people bidding to what they'll actually bid now, or later, will raise the price more than it would be in either case. In other words, it's 11 now (I think), if you bid 50, it'll be 12.50 or whatever the current bidder's top bid is. In the end, if someone wants it more than you, they're going to get it. If someone already bidding has bid 35, you're not going to get it less than 35 whether you snipe it or bid now.

I used to think like the snipers, but the more I thought about RioRico's method and logic, and the more I realized I was overbidding on things sniping them, the more I realized it wasn't worth it to me.
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