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01-14-2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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What did I buy? super takumar 50mm 1.4

I just bought this lens from ebay:

Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 HYBRID Rarity Tested TOP condition M42! | eBay

It is noted that it is a hybrid and I have been searching for proof around the internet but I can't find the definite one.

So, can somebody tell me, do these 50mm 1.4 hybrid super takumars exist? Are they 7 or 8 elements? and are they radioactive? (not that I mind that, I can find somebody with a geiger counter and test it for myself)

01-14-2016, 04:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by zvon Quote
I just bought this lens from ebay:

Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 HYBRID Rarity Tested TOP condition M42! | eBay

It is noted that it is a hybrid and I have been searching for proof around the internet but I can't find the definite one.

So, can somebody tell me, do these 50mm 1.4 hybrid super takumars exist? Are they 7 or 8 elements? and are they radioactive? (not that I mind that, I can find somebody with a geiger counter and test it for myself)
I don't know about the hybrid part but my copy of this lens was stolen and I sure do miss it. You're in for a good time if that is half as much fun to play with as mine was.
01-14-2016, 04:32 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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There is nothing "hybrid" about it. It is a 7-element. It is simply an early production 7-element. If the IR mark is to the left of the f4 mark, it is 7-element.

You can see in the pictures of the "protruding" rear element that it is not "protruding"

7-element on left, 8-element on right.

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My copy of the 8-element has the highest serial number I've seen on an 8-element.

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Last edited by boriscleto; 01-14-2016 at 04:58 PM.
01-14-2016, 04:43 PM   #4
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It looks the 7-element Tak with the aperture ring of the 8-element model.

01-14-2016, 04:57 PM   #5
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Search around for the old discussion about the 8 element variant. I don't remember the details anymore, but the "typical" 8 element version lens body had a certain set of differences compared to the regular 7 element lens body. However, some people had copies that are 8 element - but the lens body was more like the 7 element version. I guess these are refered as "hybrid".

The rear element on this one looks like the the 8 element version, but the glass itself looks yellowed and as far as I remember the 8 element versions were not radioactive so I can't tell for sure.
01-14-2016, 05:15 PM   #6
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I agree that "hybrid" is an overstatement. There are a couple of variants of the ST 50/1.4* and you have one that fits the description on the auction. As noted by boriscleto, it is a 7-element lens and typical for an earlier example of such. The more desirable 8-element version would have the red IR mark to the right of the "4" on DOF scale and the rear element would protrude slightly from its guard. It is the location of the red IR mark that is diagnostic.** The description on this site for the 8-element lens is not correct in regards to the A/M switch.


Steve

* The style of lens barrel often reflects the status of parts bins on the line during assembly. Many of the parts are interchangeable and various combinations of rings and markings are not uncommon. I have owned three examples of the ST 55/1.8, none of which were completely alike. One was rather unusual in that the aperture ring direction is opposite the later Pentax direction in same manner as the Auto-Takumar 55/1.8 that came before. That lens is not in the variants noted in the review article on this site. Go figure...

** The IR refractive qualities of the 8-element design were different than the 7-element, hence the difference in the IR index.

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-14-2016 at 05:21 PM.
01-14-2016, 05:18 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
It looks the 7-element Tak with the aperture ring of the 8-element model.
No, the aperture ring is not atypical for an early 7-element lens. The photo below is from the review for the 7-element lens on this site:



Note the A/M switch markings, the "2" on the aperture ring, and the IR index mark. All are the same as the OP's lens.


Steve
01-14-2016, 05:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The more desirable 8-element version
I understand. I guess, sort of. I haven't done much research because I didn't think it can get that complicated. I wanted a manual lens since I stupidly sold my Pentax-A 50mm 1.7 few years ago and I saw how great ST 50mm 1.4 can be. Usually when buying old manual lenses I like to buy ones that are not used much, those that were in someones uncle cabinet in the attic for years. And this listing shows the lens that are in that kind of condition. So why is this "hybrid" (call it that for sake of identification) or 7-element ST worse than 8-element?

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
My copy of the 8-element has the highest serial number I've seen on an 8-element.
So you have an 8-element with serial 2293854 and soon-to-be-mine 7-element has 2066114. How could they produce a 7-element with 2066114 and then later go back to 8-element? Or am I saying something that doesn't matter? I really don't know how to read these specific serial numbers.

---------- Post added 01-15-16 at 02:01 AM ----------

Sorry for that, I messed up. I thought that lens on the left is 8-element.


Last edited by zvon; 01-14-2016 at 05:48 PM.
01-14-2016, 06:22 PM   #9
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Just for grins go to the serial number database, search out the ST 50/1.4 and the 8-element version. The serial number sequences and overlaps are very interesting.
01-14-2016, 07:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
No, the aperture ring is not atypical for an early 7-element lens. The photo below is from the review for the 7-element lens on this site:



Note the A/M switch markings, the "2" on the aperture ring, and the IR index mark. All are the same as the OP's lens.


Steve
Oh, OK. I just Googled for pics of the 7-element and 8-element editions, and noticed the aperture rings.
01-14-2016, 09:33 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I agree that "hybrid" is an overstatement. There are a couple of variants of the ST 50/1.4* and you have one that fits the description on the auction. As noted by boriscleto, it is a 7-element lens and typical for an earlier example of such. The more desirable 8-element version would have the red IR mark to the right of the "4" on DOF scale and the rear element would protrude slightly from its guard. It is the location of the red IR mark that is diagnostic.** The description on this site for the 8-element lens is not correct in regards to the A/M switch.


Steve

* The style of lens barrel often reflects the status of parts bins on the line during assembly. Many of the parts are interchangeable and various combinations of rings and markings are not uncommon. I have owned three examples of the ST 55/1.8, none of which were completely alike. One was rather unusual in that the aperture ring direction is opposite the later Pentax direction in same manner as the Auto-Takumar 55/1.8 that came before. That lens is not in the variants noted in the review article on this site. Go figure...

** The IR refractive qualities of the 8-element design were different than the 7-element, hence the difference in the IR index.
That's probably the best way to tell from pictures - regardless of other mechanics the IR mark will always be on the correct place depending on the optical formula
01-14-2016, 09:57 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zvon Quote
So why is this "hybrid" (call it that for sake of identification) or 7-element ST worse than 8-element?
Both are great lenses and were among the best f/1.4 lenses you could buy at the time and both are still top tier in the full array of available vintage glass. That being said, there is a mystique surrounding the 8-element lenses. It was very expensive to produce and was only made for a short time before it was replaced by the easier to make 7-element version. For collectors, the 8-element is a special prize that appears on market sort of randomly. The reason, of course, is because their is no external badging indicating it is special.

Is one better optically? I really can't say, having never seen comparative photos between good examples of both.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The serial number sequences and overlaps are very interesting.
I suspect that one assembly line was brought up as the other wound down.


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01-14-2016, 10:40 PM   #13
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I see quite a few "rare" lenses on Ebay,many were only made by the thousands.Here it appears they also added the word "Hybrid" along with rare to increase the value.I really laugh when i see the ones being held by the white glove,Granny only took photos at church on Sunday with those!
01-15-2016, 03:15 AM   #14
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So basically 8 element is praised by collectors, but from IQ standpoind 7 and 8 are practically the same? Only minor optical differences that are astronomically unsignificant. And of course radioactivity and yellowing from thorium dioxide that can be cured with UV.

QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
I see quite a few "rare" lenses on Ebay,many were only made by the thousands.Here it appears they also added the word "Hybrid" along with rare to increase the value.I really laugh when i see the ones being held by the white glove,Granny only took photos at church on Sunday with those!
I am aware that people try to emphasize the items that they are selling, but this eBay listing has the nicest looking lens and others were a bit more expensive (when I count in the shipping) and a bit more worn. And if I won't like it or use it as much as I think, old lenses have been proven from my expirience to be some sort of neutral investment. Like I was just lending them from people, I always managed to sell them for the same price or a little bit higher than I originally bought them for. For example I owned above mentioned Pentax-A that I paid locally around $60 and two years later I sold the lens for $65, same thing happened with Tair 300s, bought it for $55 from a guy that was getting married and he sold me the entire metal box that was incomplete, Zenit was broken but Tair 300s and Helios 44m-4 were fine. About a year ago I sold the Tair for that same exact ammount. I have given Helios away to a friend because I allready have the first edition one.

Last edited by zvon; 01-15-2016 at 04:20 AM.
01-15-2016, 01:34 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by zvon Quote
So basically 8 element is praised by collectors, but from IQ standpoind 7 and 8 are practically the same? Only minor optical differences that are astronomically unsignificant. And of course radioactivity and yellowing from thorium dioxide that can be cured with UV.
Of my copies my 7 element super-multi-coated takumar is little sharper than the 8-elemet I have when tested head-to-head ... but yes, for real pictures I cannot tell the difference.
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