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11-10-2008, 07:03 AM   #16
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I'm in general agreement with everything said above. Optically and mechanically the Super Taks are top notch.

For the grain/pixel obsessed, there are differences in performance over time. Usually but not always the later lens performs better in some way than the older one: My SMC-A 28/2.8 resolves slightly better (not really noticeable in actual use) than the Super and SMC 28's, and does so with a faster maximum aperture. Otherwise, despite whatever construction differences exist, the three lenses definitely share a common character and excellence. I'd use any of them interchangeably (and do!)

What I'm saying is this: Pentax has kept to a very high standard with their primes. A prime from any era is likely to perform well. The modern AF primes have a different construction standard, apart from the Limiteds, say, and may at times have a character that's different than the older lenses.

But the old glass has at least two huge advantages: they are at the bottom of the depreciation curve, and the construction is a rare thing to match these days.

Here's a site that you should look at to see the picky details:
RiceHigh's Pentax Blog

11-10-2008, 09:09 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Or offer the choice of open-aperture M42 mount or an "A" series capable K-mount.

If they're going to drive a certain segment of their fans nuts with their lens production/quality/availability issues, they may as well throw a bone to those of us who happily use the pre-existing lenses.
The problem with this is that the location within the mirror box of the appature activation is different,.

Take a K lens and an M42 lens. the Apature activation lever for the K lens is on the side, and the activation pin for the M42 (when oriented as it would mount) is on the bottom. Therefore it is completely different mechanically. If this was to be a compatible idea, I think Pentax would have offered it a long time ago, like on the K series bodies.

It is sad but true.
11-10-2008, 09:32 AM   #18
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Regarding my super takumar 50/1.4, besides the yellowing, I think it may be developing fungus...but I'm not 100% sure about this.

I can't see it with the naked I if I look through the lens from the front, close-up (held to the light, off the camera), but if I look through the rear of the lens, I notice that there are two parallel lines next to each other. I thought they were scratches on the outer element, but the surface appears flawless. So, I'm not sure what else it could be.

I was given a spotmatic kit by my uncle, who bought in Japan while he was in the military. I think he shot maybe 3 rolls of film with the camera. All the lenses and camera are in pretty much perfect shape except these issues with the 50/1.4. I had the spottie CLA'd back in 2001 just for good measure.

Thoughts?
11-10-2008, 09:40 AM   #19
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JSherman has a yellowed fungus-ridden (and I mean really fungus-ridden) Super Tak 50mm f/1.4 ... and it still takes really great images.

Look in the Dead Lens Club thread for his images ... I was blown away at the images quality for that amount of fungus.

11-10-2008, 09:58 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by dwhopson Quote
Regarding my super takumar 50/1.4, besides the yellowing, I think it may be developing fungus...but I'm not 100% sure about this.

I can't see it with the naked I if I look through the lens from the front, close-up (held to the light, off the camera), but if I look through the rear of the lens, I notice that there are two parallel lines next to each other. I thought they were scratches on the outer element, but the surface appears flawless. So, I'm not sure what else it could be.

I was given a spotmatic kit by my uncle, who bought in Japan while he was in the military. I think he shot maybe 3 rolls of film with the camera. All the lenses and camera are in pretty much perfect shape except these issues with the 50/1.4. I had the spottie CLA'd back in 2001 just for good measure.

Thoughts?

If its concerning to you, you could always take it apart and clean it to be sure

Disassembly and Cleaning of the F1.4 50mm Super Takumar Lens

I wouldn't normally recommend this without experience, but I just did something similar myself without experience or the instructions I later found, lol. In the case of the Porst 55/1.2 involved in my case, its better for my efforts and I've learned a lot in the meantime. Being that most Taks can be replaced readily and cheaply these days - its an option.

Kelly.
11-10-2008, 10:37 AM   #21
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My biggest fear is IF it is fungus and it spreads, I don't want it infecting other lenses or my camera. Fungus means spores and spores can become airborne.

If it is fungus, it probably started before I got the lens. I've always kept my camera gear in dry, well ventilated places.

I guess I need to keep an eye on the lens and see what develops (no pun intended).
11-10-2008, 03:03 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The problem with this is that the location within the mirror box of the appature activation is different,.

Take a K lens and an M42 lens. the Apature activation lever for the K lens is on the side, and the activation pin for the M42 (when oriented as it would mount) is on the bottom. Therefore it is completely different mechanically. If this was to be a compatible idea, I think Pentax would have offered it a long time ago, like on the K series bodies.

It is sad but true.
However, not as sad and true in these days of electrically run cameras and micro motors.

Consider: instead of using motors for AF, the camera could have two motors, one for each mechanical activation point, in the mount. Or, keep the current K lever as is but make the M42 lever a motor.

Of course they'd have to make it ultra retro-cool looking as well, to get the fashionistas...
11-10-2008, 07:24 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
...
Of course they'd have to make it ultra retro-cool looking as well, to get the fashionistas...

Guilty!

For the record, I'd be all over this like a fat kid on donuts even if it were flourescent pink, but I'd rather you were correct.

I wonder if a lot of new casual shooters wouldn't appreciate the relaxing joys of manually operating a camera on a pleasant stroll if given the opportunity by such a product. On the other hand, with '24 million' lenses out there, distributed in the closets and cupboards of many a lapsed shooter, there also lies a large untargeted resource that trusted the brand in the past.

I think a lot of people may be inclined to visit the idea actually... I can dream anyways.

11-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #24
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I spent some time with a bunch of M42 Takumars, and while they're quite decent, I think that stems from the fact that most are primes. Newer primes work just as well, and it is maybe the mechanical build which sets them apart (at least for most AF lenses).

I do prefer K and M lenses; I don't think any lens focuses more smoothly than a good M50/1.4.
11-11-2008, 01:59 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The problem with this is that the location within the mirror box of the appature activation is different,.
I know they're different. That's why I said "offer a choice" of one or the other.
11-11-2008, 05:23 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I know they're different. That's why I said "offer a choice" of one or the other.
Mike I don't disagree, and it would be a simple actuator to put in, much less complicated than the K mount, ASSUMING that you can get correct registration of the pin with the screw mount.

It would be very nice in a way, BUT and this is a really big but. Given the issues today with the metering on the K10D for example, to have a camera that works like the latest and greatest M42 body would need to have metering that worked reliably, and this also means probably a viewing screen that is not as bright.

You could also consider adding a split image finder, after all you are talking about an MF body.

If this is the case, then I think there are other things to add also, so let's list them.

TTL flash, not P-TTL
Add full K mount support also.
Drop the KAF2 mount (I think KA is sufficient) and get rid of the power contacts.

but dont hold your breath, It'll never happen
11-11-2008, 06:19 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by dwhopson Quote
My biggest fear is IF it is fungus and it spreads, I don't want it infecting other lenses or my camera. Fungus means spores and spores can become airborne.
They are everywhere anyway. It is not the case that the lens has been put in a special place that has special fungus spores. Remember that most fungus is between lens elements and in most cases the last time those elements were separated was in the Asahi manufacturing plant, which will have been careful about clean conditions. What has happened is that the lens has been put in an environment where the spores can germinate. The spores need water, and water can permeate into the lens far better than a spore could.

For example, I have a near mint Super Takumar 28/3.5 which was sold to me with "a mark on the front element". It turned up in its original leather case and had hardly a scratch anywhere. But both were the cause of its demise. Since it had been stored (probably for 30 or more years) in the case without being used the small amount of moisture in the lens allowed the spores to grow. If the lens had been used regularly, it would have been taken out of the case and this would have allowed the moisture to dissipate.

I've managed to take my Super Tak apart and clean off the fungus (all except for one small bit, which I think is between two cemented elements and hence inaccessible).

QuoteQuote:
If it is fungus, it probably started before I got the lens. I've always kept my camera gear in dry, well ventilated places.

I guess I need to keep an eye on the lens and see what develops (no pun intended).
Do you have a long time to wait? The fungus will take a long time to noticeably grow. If the fungus does not worry you, then forget it.

I have two Super Takumar (28/3.5 and 55/1.8) and two S-M-C Takumar (135/3.5 and 200/4). I really do like them and the results from them. I prefer not to open them if I can. I have taken other lenses apart before, so I know that it is so easy to lose a screw or detent ball bearing, or damage the lens as you take the it apart (for a wide-angle lens the edges of the elements are painted black and it is easy to scratch that paint - a Sharpie will help restore those scratches, but not perfectly). So I am cautious. But I am glad I took apart my Super Tak 28/3.5 and removed the fungus.

Richard
11-11-2008, 05:14 PM   #28
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Richard,

This is good to know. Thanks for the information. I've not really had any vintage photo equipment before so this is all a bit new to me. I've only had the spottie kit since January 2001. Like I said, I had the Spotmatic SP CLA'd at CRJ in Atlanta (for only $100). I didn't have anything done to any of the lenses.

I have m42 takumars of some description that came with the kit in 35, 50, and 200mm. I later acquired taks in 55 and 135mm, as well as a 50mm mamiya thanks to ebay. All are in pristine shape except the 55/1.8 (coating surface nicked, focus mechanism tension uneven when turned), the mamiya (optically ok, major filter ding but still usable), and the issue of possible developing fungus on the 50/1.4.

So, it's good to know that even if my 50/1.4 is going moldy it is still usable without harm to my other gear. I may still look for another 50/1.4 takumar of some description to see if I can find one without (or at least less) radioactive yellowing. I thought I had read some where that Pentax later changed the cement that was used to cement the elements together and this stopped the yellowing problem.
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