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06-15-2018, 08:58 AM   #1
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Takumar 55mm / 1.8 advice please

I'm looking at getting the (last model) SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8.

I already have modern AF 50mm f/1.8 lens but love the Takumar manual lenses.

Just wondering if that is a good choice instead of holding out for a SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 (8 element).
Obviously the price is much cheaper for the 55mm.
55mm is obviously tighter than 50mm and 1.8 is slower but I hear/see good things about the 55mm 1.8.

I have the SMC Takumar 35 f/3.5 and a Pentax M 100mm f/2.8 so the 55mm would fit in there before I can find me a Takumar 85mm f/1.8 at a thrift store for $5 lol

Also, what are the best hoods for the 55mm and are genuine Takumar ones easy to come by?

Thanks!

06-15-2018, 09:24 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I'd get the Super-Multi-Coated version, not the SMC (because I prefer the knurly focussing ring over de rubber of the later model). I prefer the 50 1.4 over the 55 because of it's beautiful rendering wide open and the amazing build quality. I have both.

I use the 100/105mm or the 135mm takumar hood with either. Both work well on aps-c, bot not on full frame. You could get one of those shopping for a 135mm F3.5 or a 105mm F2.8. Generic hoods aplenty on ebay though.
06-15-2018, 09:26 AM - 1 Like   #3
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IQis better with 55- 1,8, this is supported by ephotozine. I hve both m 42 and k versions of 1,4 - 1,8 and 2,0. The m42 versions i think is the better ones
06-15-2018, 09:47 AM   #4
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Thanks all.

I do like the look/feel of the earlier Taks, rather than the later Pentax style but do want the super multi coating.

I will be using on a full frame so I'll keep that in mind.

06-15-2018, 10:15 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by abw Quote
Just wondering if that is a good choice instead of holding out for a SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 (8 element).
I too would suggest the S-M-C version of the 55/1.8 over the SMC. The coatings and optics are the same. The only difference is the rubber focus ring (potentially degrades over time) and styling on the SMC variant.

As for the ST 50/1.4 (8 element)...finding one in acceptable condition and reasonable price might prove difficult and might take a long time. I would suggest that you get a nice S-M-C Takumar 55/1.8 now and if an 8-element ST 50/1.4 comes up, simply buy it with the intent of selling the SMC 55 for what you paid.

As for hoods for use on FF, age-appropriate Pentax-brand hoods do come up for sale, but none was packaged new with either the ST 50/1.4 (8-element) or the S-M-C/SMC 55/1.8. The Pentax-brand hoods are not dedicated in any sense and most photographers used and continue to use a generic product intended for "normal" lenses.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-15-2018 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Completeness
06-15-2018, 10:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I too would suggest the S-M-C version of the 55/1.8 over the SMC. The coatings and optics are the same. The only difference is the rubber focus ring (potentially degrades over time) and styling on the SMC variant.

As for the ST 50/1.4 (8 element)...finding one in acceptable condition and reasonable price might prove difficult and might take a long time. I would suggest that you get a nice S-M-C Takumar 55/1.8 now and if a an 8-element ST 50/1.4 comes up, simply buy it with the intent of selling the SMC 55 for what you paid.

As for hoods for use on FF, age-appropriate Pentax-brand hoods do come up for sale, but none was packaged new with either the ST 50/1.4 (8-element) or the S-M-C/SMC 55/1.8. The Pentax-brand hoods are not dedicated in any sense and most photographers used and continue to use a generic product intended for "normal" lenses.


Steve
thanks Steve - great info.
06-15-2018, 10:48 AM - 1 Like   #7
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The 8 element Taks are beautiful, and seem to go for under 200 on the auction sites, sometimes much less. I have both, and they have different rendering. The 55 is a great lens for very small amount of money. The 50 8 element is special. No wrong choice here.
06-15-2018, 12:09 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I donīt have an 8-elements 50mm f/1.4 Super Takumar (altough I would like to ), but I absolutely love my cheaper 7-elements one.
Regarding 55mm, I have the f/2 SMC and the f/2.2 and f/1.8 Auto Taks (completely different lens, the first one with the lever and the second with the diaphragm ring in the "wrong" direction), and I only can say good things about them all.
As was said before, buy a 55mm (cheap and widely available) and when you find a nice 8-elements 50mm compare them and eventually sell one at no loss.
Anyway we all know that you will end up keeping both.

06-15-2018, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #9
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I'm in the get the 55 and when you get the 8 element 50 decide if you still like the 55. It isn't like the 55 is going to set you back a substantial amount of money and I don't think they are really changing in value. Around where I am you can pick up a copy at retail for $50 in excellent condition.
06-15-2018, 12:19 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I love my copy of the SMC Tak 55/1.8. Great rendering, sharp, and no degradation of the rubber focus ring. I prefer it over my optically-identical K55/1.8, mainly for the smoother focusing. I have no need or desire for any of the 50mm Taks (yet).
06-15-2018, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by abw Quote
Just wondering if that is a good choice instead of holding out for a SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 (8 element).
Here, check out this thread I posted with comparison shots of the 7 and 8 element Takumar 50/1.4 and a modern DA 50/1.8

Takumar 1.4/50 8 and 7 element comparison pics with a DA 50/1.8 too - PentaxForums.com
06-15-2018, 02:27 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by abw Quote
...before I can find me a Takumar 85mm f/1.8 at a thrift store for $5 lol
If you dream, dream big!.
Why not a SMC A* 85mm f/1.4 for $10 instead?
06-16-2018, 05:35 AM   #13
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loved reading the replies everyone - thanks!
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