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12-13-2008, 07:00 PM   #1
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Cheapest Takumar the Best takumar? :)


While digging through a box containing the remnants of unsold odds & ends, I
found a forgotten Spotmatic F wearing a very nice Super Takumar 55 f/2.

Now, I've bought & sold several of these lenses - they usually come pretty
cheaply in a lot or on a camera body. I never really considered keeping one,
because I have so many fast 50's from 1.4 to 1.8, why keep an f/2?

But I always noticed something when taking tests shots with these Super Tak
f/2's to prepare for a marketplace sale... they're just really damn good. Lot's of
throw, super fine focus action, very sharp even wide open, beautiful bokeh...

But it's the f/2. The cheapest of the Taks, right? Not worth keeping if you have
the 1.4, or 1.8, or the Multicoated version...

I decided to throw it on the K20D for some what-the-heck shots, using my usual,
mundane, middle-of-winter IQ test subjects. These are wide-open:

Even better than I remembered... Time to take the 55 f/2 on a little outing!
(which I did......)


12-13-2008, 07:10 PM   #2
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Super Takumat 55 f/2 at MOA


First, stop at Mall Of America to take some snaps in LegoLand (excuse -
"need to buy some pants for little guy".)

12-13-2008, 07:26 PM   #3
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The Conservatory


Next, to the local Conservatory to pretend I'm in the Southern Hemisphere for
a little while:

12-13-2008, 07:33 PM   #4
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And here's the lens (take with K-M). Sometimes you get lucky - and fail to
sell something!

Suffice to say I'm keeping this copy.


12-13-2008, 07:54 PM   #5
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Nice test Jay, I guess people think for a few dollars more they can get the 1.4 or the 55 1.8 which are obviosly faster, but i'm sure if I found one cheap or had one stored away, I'd probably use it too.
12-13-2008, 09:27 PM   #6
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Very nice shots. I'm going to dig mine out and play a little too!
12-13-2008, 09:32 PM   #7
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Ever since Pentax put a 55/1.4 on its roadmap, I have been interested in trying that focal length. I have the Pentax-K 55/1.8, plus a Mamiya and Rikenon 55mm f1.4 (possibly the same lens under different names). I'm probably too cheap to get the DA when it comes out.

The Super-Takumar is compact compared to other 50s and 55s. The Pentax-K seems a lot bulkier because of the 52mm filter ring. I have read that the f2 versions are optically identical to the f1.8s, except for a metal ring that restricts the aperture to f2 and no f1.8 setting on the aperture ring. With both versions side by side, this appears to be true, but never made any sense to me. However, some Spotmatic versions are only marked with shutter speeds up to 1/500s, yet turning the dial one more click allows a 1/1000s speed. So why not.
12-13-2008, 11:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote

Bokeh looks great. I think its squeezing that last 10% of performance out of most things that costs the extra 90%. We're rather fortunate with Taks, so plentiful and yet so good, thanks for showing it.

12-15-2008, 07:30 AM   #9
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Jay ... the thing here is ... that you take amazing shots with any lens ... I reckon you could sell ice to the eskimos.

Actually ... I hazard a guess you'd take amazing images through the bottom of a coke bottle really.

But really ... you can't got wrong with any Takumar (even your fungus ridden one) ... I can't say I have come across a bad one at all.
12-15-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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A nice series of beautiful shots. The 55/2 is a very good lens. I think because it is slightly slower and was sold for a much lower price many toss it off as a "cheapo". It was my only lens for a few years and I have boxes of wonderful slides and pictures taken with that lens. As Mark2100 just mentioned, I'm going to get mine out and start shooting a little also. I haven't used it as my eyesight has become a little crappy and I have been spoiled by auto focus. I just ordered a M42 adapter from Pentax. All the beautiful shots on these Takumar threads have got me wanting to try these great lenses on my K10.

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