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03-12-2007, 05:11 AM   #1
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Thrilled with New Old Lens (S-M-C Takumar 105/2.8)

On Saturday the S-M-C Takumar 105/2.8 that I got off of Yahoo Japan Auctions for about $60 arrived. It has been firmly attached to my K100D for three days now. Normally I do good to keep a lens mounted for three hours without changing.

Saturday and Sunday were spent turning out what I think are some absolutely superb portraits of my daughter, even allowing for the natural paternal bias.

I do 90%+ of my photography while at work, so the lens stayed mounted all through the day Monday so I could see how it would perform as a "truck lens" (my version of a "walk-around lens"). Though not every shot was stellar, most of them turned out much better at home on the monitor than I had reason to believe they would based on the in-camera review. I tell you, I'm about halfway tempted to load up my bag with vintage Takumar primes and sell all my other stuff on eBay.

03-15-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
.... that I got off of Yahoo Japan Auctions ......
How did you get to use Yahoo Japan Auctions? Do you speak Japanese or is there some trick I don't know about?

I'm keen to try and find some bargains on there.

Troy
03-16-2007, 12:18 AM   #3
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I've been here in Japan for quite a long while and have sufficient command of Japanese to be able to navigate my way around.

The problem you will have with being located in Australia is that practically none of the sellers in Japan will ship outside Japan. Here there exists the "Japanese internet" and the "rest of the world internet". I sometimes envision the entire population of Japan lined up along the shore, holding hands and facing inland.
03-16-2007, 04:38 AM   #4
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Hi Mike, is that Takumar a "K" mount lens or a screw mount? I know very little about the Takumar, but with your glowing report I'll keep my eye out for one. One other question, my sister travels to Japan frequently on business (and is very fluent in Japanese) Are new Pentax lenses readily available over there? Here in the US much of the time the selection is limited to say the least.

NaCl(I'll feed my LBA one way or another)H2O

03-16-2007, 10:21 AM   #5
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Just wanted to add in, I bought a 'New Old (f 2.8 135 mm Venus) Lens on eBay for K10D. works great for real low budget ...
03-16-2007, 10:58 AM   #6
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The 105/2.8 is an old M42 mount. I have no idea what the availability of new lenses is here. I can't afford them have never even bothered looking other than online.
03-16-2007, 04:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Hi Mike, is that Takumar a "K" mount lens or a screw mount? I know very little about the Takumar, but with your glowing report I'll keep my eye out for one. One other question, my sister travels to Japan frequently on business (and is very fluent in Japanese) Are new Pentax lenses readily available over there? Here in the US much of the time the selection is limited to say the least.

NaCl(I'll feed my LBA one way or another)H2O
Salty,
Don't you live right next to Adorama? They've got new stuff.

And if you ever want to know about the screw-mount (M42) Takumars, feel free to check out:
m42.povlab.org (all M42 lenses)
JensR's site - especially the M42 section
My Equipment Gallery on Pbase - starting to get too many lenses to keep up!
03-16-2007, 04:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
On Saturday the S-M-C Takumar 105/2.8 that I got off of Yahoo Japan Auctions for about $60 arrived. It has been firmly attached to my K100D for three days now. Normally I do good to keep a lens mounted for three hours without changing.

Saturday and Sunday were spent turning out what I think are some absolutely superb portraits of my daughter, even allowing for the natural paternal bias.

I do 90%+ of my photography while at work, so the lens stayed mounted all through the day Monday so I could see how it would perform as a "truck lens" (my version of a "walk-around lens"). Though not every shot was stellar, most of them turned out much better at home on the monitor than I had reason to believe they would based on the in-camera review. I tell you, I'm about halfway tempted to load up my bag with vintage Takumar primes and sell all my other stuff on eBay.
Welcome to the club. You started off with a nice one!

03-16-2007, 07:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by troywhite Quote
How did you get to use Yahoo Japan Auctions? Do you speak Japanese or is there some trick I don't know about?
There's a company called Rinkya.com that helps foreign folks buy off of Yahoo Japan. A friend of mine collects Sony Aibo robot dogs and he uses Rinkya a lot. It's expensive, but its the only way for US people to buy from Japanese Yahoo.

Rinkya - Japan Auction & Shopping Service

My friend's Aibo collection:

03-17-2007, 03:55 AM   #10
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Since it does look possible to use that service to seek out equipment from Yahoo Japan Auctions, I feel I must add a caveat for those who may wish to try it:

Much of Japan tends to have quite humid summers, and central air conditioning in homes is almost entirely non-existant. People have room air conditioners usually in one or two rooms. The upshot of that is that many of the lenses one sees listed have fungus problems. My impression from careful observation of the listings is that probably 50-70% of the M42 lenses listed include mention of the presence of fungus to one degree or another.

Also, many items are listed as "junk". This sometimes means exactly what you would think it means, that the item is broken and only useful for parts or has reduced functionality or significant cosmetic damage. However, it also often means nothing more than that the seller doesn't know much about camera/lenses and is listing the item as "junk" in order to forestall complaints about an item should it turn out that the buyer discovers a problem that the uninformed seller was not aware of. Bargains can be had among those, but it is strictly a gamble.

There are web-based tools which will kinda-sorta translate Japanese text to English. I'd tell you what they are, but since I can read it on my own I've never used one and don't know off the top of my head what and where they are. If anyone wants me to take a look at a particular listing and tell them what problems (if any) are listed, I would be glad to do so.

The more highly-sought after items tend to end up going for about the same prices as on eBay, and like eBay the bids on them tend to cluster in the last moments of the auction. A couple of factors do give it a slight advantage over eBay, at least in some cases:

1. There are fewer people competing for items, practically all of them in Japan. A few knowledgeable hardcore folks who know the reputation and value of certain lenses (e.g. 50/1.4) and they go for the same as on eBay...but other more commonplace lenses will end up going for a bit less, as the hardcore folks already have them or don't want them and the casual lens buyer will tend more toward newer lenses, zooms, and auto-focus.

2. There is no way to "snipe" an auction. If you get outbid in the final moments of an auction, they automatically add 5 minutes to the closing time. So if you're right there online and actively watching, you still have a chance to outbid the other fellow. I got my Super Takumar 200/4 for about $25 in triple overtime.
03-17-2007, 07:40 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
Salty,
Don't you live right next to Adorama? They've got new stuff.

And if you ever want to know about the screw-mount (M42) Takumars, feel free to check out:
m42.povlab.org (all M42 lenses)
JensR's site - especially the M42 section
My Equipment Gallery on Pbase - starting to get too many lenses to keep up!
Thanks for the links Sean. As far as new glass and Adorama (or B&H for that matter) there is precious little to choose from. I haven't done a real count, but it seems like 75% of all the pentax and 3rd party pentax mount lenses are out of stock. My sister is going over to Japan next week and I thought maybe she could pick me up a 12-24.

NaCl(stock has been low for months)H2O
03-20-2007, 09:37 PM   #12
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Here's a shot I made with the lens last night. I think I could have done better had my subject not been so eager to go home and go to bed. I only had a chance to take one photo. Normally, that first one would be a "throwaway" shot, used to base exposure adjustments off of. Considering that my quickie "calibration" shot turned out to be the entire photo shoot, I don't think it came out half bad.

K100D
Super Takumar 105/2.8
ISO400, 1/45 @ 2.8
Considerably post-processed

Location: The break room at work

Last edited by Mike Cash; 03-21-2007 at 03:40 AM.
03-20-2007, 10:05 PM   #13
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I've definitely caught the Takumar bug, too. A buddy of mine called me up today and told me he found a box full of old Takumars and M42 bodies in the back of a closet, and did I want any of them. I haven't stopped salivating at the prospect...

Great images, btw.
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