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10-14-2016, 06:08 AM   #1
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The Angry Photographer reviews "hot" Takumar lenses.

Optically and build quality-wise he has nothing but the highest praise for them, particularly the 50/1.4.

Super and SMC Tak 50mm f/1.4

Super Tak 55mm f/2

Complete with the sweet sounds of Geiger counters going absolutely crazy.

10-14-2016, 07:10 AM   #2
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High praise indeed. I've never heard of this guy before.
10-14-2016, 07:47 AM   #3
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I have a non thoriated (?) 55mm SMC m42 f1.8 takumar. You can pry that lens from my cold dead hands. :P
10-14-2016, 08:17 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
I have a non thoriated (?) 55mm SMC m42 f1.8 takumar. You can pry that lens from my cold dead hands. :P
I have the f/2 versions in both SMC (late model) and Super, and I agree.

10-14-2016, 09:45 AM - 4 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I have the f/2 versions in both SMC (late model) and Super, and I agree.
Word.
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10-14-2016, 11:47 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Dude is wrong on several points:
Thank you dcshooter for the clarification on those points.

Don't you just love it when those youtube yahoos have those epiphany moments about the quality of Pentax products, both past (Takumar) and present. Something of which most of us here are already aware.
10-14-2016, 12:00 PM   #7
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Seems like a fun guy. But I want to hear some more opinions. I know these lenses are highly popular on these forums, but there are so many 50mm - 55mm primes. Are these ancient primes really so good? So much better than a DA 50mm f1.8, speaking purely about optics? Or a Rikenon 50mm f1.4 XR, Zeiss Planar? I'm sure there are differences in character, but it is difficult to say one is "best" by a large margin, no?
I'm genuinely wondering. I love old lenses, I use an M 50mm f1.7 and its pretty great. And I enjoy an Industar 50-2, Helios 44-2. But the guy in the video gives so much praise its almost like the lens morphs the very landscape in front of it!
10-14-2016, 12:20 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
But the guy in the video gives so much praise its almost like the lens morphs the very landscape in front of it!
If I wanted to be a real cynic, and also not completely serious, I'd say that he's been in Nikon so long that using a Takumar has opened his eyes to what a good lens is all about.

The original 8-element 50/1.4 was (according to its profile here) designed to topple the Planar as the best lens in existence, which it reportedly did, then they had to go to the 7-element version because of the horrendous cost (a loss on every lens sold), and I think the thorium doping might have been introduced to try to make the 7-element version perform as well as its predecessor.

I find the DA50/1.8 a competent lens, but there is something subjective about my Taks that beats it every time and also it doesn't have an aperture ring so I can't use it to full effect on my film cameras.

10-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Seems like a fun guy. But I want to hear some more opinions. I know these lenses are highly popular on these forums, but there are so many 50mm - 55mm primes. Are these ancient primes really so good? So much better than a DA 50mm f1.8, speaking purely about optics? Or a Rikenon 50mm f1.4 XR, Zeiss Planar? I'm sure there are differences in character, but it is difficult to say one is "best" by a large margin, no?
I'm genuinely wondering. I love old lenses, I use an M 50mm f1.7 and its pretty great. And I enjoy an Industar 50-2, Helios 44-2. But the guy in the video gives so much praise its almost like the lens morphs the very landscape in front of it!
I had the 55mm F1.8 SMC Tak and DA 50mm F1.8. I think the DA50 is a bit sharper wide open, stopped down they are similar. Flare control is better on the new one, and I think bokeh is a bit better on the old one. I still gave the old lens 9 or 10 in reviews, because the images that come out of it are very nice. When stopped down, I printed a 20x30 print, taken at dusk, which is sharp at close inspection. It's a very good lens for just 25 bucks.

---------- Post added 10-14-16 at 12:45 PM ----------

Regarding the youtube video, I found this guy to be often incorrect and sometimes a bit rude in his remarks. Dcshooter mentioned a few examples of the latter. Another one I remember was a video in which he argued that all the improvements in dynamic range and high iso performance are due to signal processing. He did so with a great conviction, while not mentioning hardware improvements, such as backlit sensor that increased the relative size of a photosensitive element.
10-14-2016, 01:09 PM   #10
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I have owned a pretty good number of 50's through the years. I currently have the DA *55 which is an amazing modern autofocus lens with beautiful rendering. But there IS JUST SOMETHING about the feel/experience/rendering of the taks (especially the 50s and 55s and even my SMC 135 f2.5) that is just unique. They feel so right in the hands and they take pictures unlike that of many modern lenses. I guess they just have a special quality about them in my opinion. I wouldn't ever let go of my collection of taks. They are a permanent fixture on my K-01.

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Seems like a fun guy. But I want to hear some more opinions. I know these lenses are highly popular on these forums, but there are so many 50mm - 55mm primes. Are these ancient primes really so good? So much better than a DA 50mm f1.8, speaking purely about optics? Or a Rikenon 50mm f1.4 XR, Zeiss Planar? I'm sure there are differences in character, but it is difficult to say one is "best" by a large margin, no?
I'm genuinely wondering. I love old lenses, I use an M 50mm f1.7 and its pretty great. And I enjoy an Industar 50-2, Helios 44-2. But the guy in the video gives so much praise its almost like the lens morphs the very landscape in front of it!
10-14-2016, 05:13 PM   #11
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I've accumulated quite a large number of normal Tak's over the last twenty years. Most came with a camera I wanted. Some were left in a box on my front porch by friends, like babies left in baskets on the steps of an orphanage. A few like the 8-element and the Auto-Tak Zebra I pursued.

My observation / contribution to the thread , , , there are plenty of Planar normals from the era that render fabulous images. Comparison is often a matter of taste, not quality of final image.

Honestly though - nothing feels like a grooved-ring Takumar in actual use. No other normal is such a sensual pleasure to use. I have had optically perfect Takumars CLA'ed simply to get 40 more years out of fresh helicoid grease. They're that good.

Last edited by monochrome; 10-14-2016 at 05:26 PM.
10-15-2016, 07:16 AM   #12
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I'm so thrilled that he instills fear in potential buyers of this lens. If you drop this in your house, you're totally screwed. It's one of the finest lenses ever made but.....

It keeps the prices down!

There are lots and lots of mildly radioactive products we use every day. Remember the good old days of television when we were bombarded with radiation from some of the tubes in our electronics? How did we survive? I suppose I could go live out in the woods somewhere but, OH NO! Those Coleman Lanterns are radioactive as hell too!
10-15-2016, 08:05 AM   #13
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Most of you have probably read this article by Mike Johnston in 2009: My Favorite Lens - Luminous Landscape

I just watched the video. That voice, that laugh, the misinformation. He should change his name to the Annoying Photographer.

Last edited by audiobomber; 10-15-2016 at 08:18 AM.
10-15-2016, 08:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
There are lots and lots of mildly radioactive products we use every day.

Radioactive consumer products:
http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer%20products/consumer.htm

Chris
10-16-2016, 06:00 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The list left out a lot of naturally radioactive food such as bananas, potatoes, carrots, or any food high in potassium. Many wells in Sartatoga County. NY are mildly radioactive due to radium deposits. The world famous springs of Saratoga are radioactive enough that there are warning signs not to drink more than a small amount every week. I'm not sure of the quantity off the top of my head but it isn't much. I don't worry because it tastes like crap but some people drink lots of it, bathe in it because they say it has "healing powers" and yes, some of the springs do glow in the dark.

I just mention all this because every so often the radioactive lens hysteria comes up. It's like they think Takumar lenses shoot out death rays or something every time you take a picture.
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