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10-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #1
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Differences in Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 7 element version

I was researching which one of 50mm 1.4 to get - finally I found a good copy of SMC-A and got it. But still willing to get a Super Takumar version since I like the bokeh it produced for my friend. so this is getting very interesting ..

I am aware that there are two versions of Super Takumar - one 7-element and 8- element , but I wasn't aware of that among 7-element ones there are differences in their physical appearance and coating applied.

I did talk to my friends and ..It turned that two of my friends has got a super takumar 50mm 1.7 7-element version ( no protruding rear element ) , and I had a chance to see them both - so I was little bit puzzled that they both had slightly different physical appearance. Most evident difference is in the coating of rear elements - for comparison below there is a photo of them both side by side - you can clearly see that one has got more purplish and other one more bluish coating applied to the rear element. Front elements both are having goldish coating with no apparent differences.



The serial numbers are both different , with bluish one starting at 196 XXXX, and purplish one at 306 XXXX.

Also the one with bluish coating has got different auto manual switch scale - described only by A M - unlike the regular 7-element one : AUTO MAN. ( sadly the bluish one has auto manual switch missing so he has glued the pin as you could see in the photo above.

So my question is - does the color of the coating applied has any particular implications whatsoever or is rather unimportant cosmetic fact ?

I am asking as the one with bluish coating can be mine - he is going to part with it and I would like to know what am I going to buy before I shell out a hard cash on it.
Thanks --manntax

10-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by manntax Quote
I would like to know what am I going to buy before I shell out a hard cash on it.
You are going to buy the lens pictured, though I would advise against it. The A/M switch is very useful for stop-down after focus. You generally do a lot more focusing than changing of aperture and the A/M switch allows you to treat the lens as having a preset rather than automatic aperture.

As for the difference in appearance, I would not get to obsessed. It is not unusual for the physical details to change over time. There are at least two variants of the 7-element ST 50/1.4 and perhaps more. I found photos online of no dot for f/2 with both A/M and Auto/Man, so I guess that ups the count to three. The same is true for coatings. A different color blush may indicate nothing more than a change in coating methodology.

If you do buy the damaged lens, I would suggest not paying a premium price. It would not be worth more than $15 to $25 USD for my money.


Steve
10-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #3
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The 7 element 50mm 1.4 SMC Takumars offer better flare resistance and contrast, but if it's bokeh you're after the 8 element Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 has a slight edge over the 7 element versions. Also some of the 7 element versions (mainly the Super Takumar variants) use radioactive thorium in the rear element to improve the refractive index. If the idea of putting something radioactive near your eye makes you a little nervous, that's another reason to go for the 8 element version.
10-26-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You are going to buy the lens pictured, though I would advise against it. The A/M switch is very useful for stop-down after focus. You generally do a lot more focusing than changing of aperture and the A/M switch allows you to treat the lens as having a preset rather than automatic aperture.

As for the difference in appearance, I would not get to obsessed. It is not unusual for the physical details to change over time. There are at least two variants of the 7-element ST 50/1.4 and perhaps more. I found photos online of no dot for f/2 with both A/M and Auto/Man, so I guess that ups the count to three. The same is true for coatings. A different color blush may indicate nothing more than a change in coating methodology.

If you do buy the damaged lens, I would suggest not paying a premium price. It would not be worth more than $15 to $25 USD for my money.


Steve
Thanks - these a valid points - although I was going to use that lens mainly in 1.4 anyway - I can see the benefit of that A/M switch. I will try to borrow that lens and see how it performs vs. my SMC A version . Perhaps I can make with another friend a small test between blue and purple coated Super Takumars - quite intriguing and I guess if the coating method has changed - that would impact the end results - wouldn't it ?
Also about the price - yea it would be cheaper but not at the level you've mentioned - that is highly unlikely he would part with his cherished gem ( optics are in pristine condition ) even if we put before that figure instead of $ hehe.



QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
The 7 element 50mm 1.4 SMC Takumars offer better flare resistance and contrast, but if it's bokeh you're after the 8 element Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 has a slight edge over the 7 element versions. Also some of the 7 element versions (mainly the Super Takumar variants) use radioactive thorium in the rear element to improve the refractive index. If the idea of putting something radioactive near your eye makes you a little nervous, that's another reason to go for the 8 element version.
Thanks - yeah I knew about that radioactivity but am ok with that - the level of it wont make much of a difference if compared with other situations we are being exposed to it on daily basis.
I am a bit intrigued by possible bokeh differences - but still the price tag that goes with 8-element is really holding me back.

--manntax

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