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01-28-2009, 09:58 AM   #1
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Super Takumar vs SMC Takumar Coatings

Hey everyone. This might have been done to death already. I already understand the difference between the Takumar series lenses, as follows:

Takumar: manual aperture, single coating
Super-Takumar: automatic aperture, single coating
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar: Multi-coated Super
SMC Takumar: has a rubber focusing ring

I just picked up a Super-Tak 28/3.5 and was wondering exactly how inferior the coatings on this early lens are when compared to the SMC range. Mine was built '62-'64, because of the "22" on the aperture ring.

I did some street-shooting with it right out of the store, and the stop-down metering wasn't hard to get used to. I thought it worked really well. However, should I put a filter on it to minimize flare? Let me know your experiences.

01-28-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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[quote=drewdlephone;468582

I did some street-shooting with it right out of the store, and the stop-down metering wasn't hard to get used to. I thought it worked really well. However, should I put a filter on it to minimize flare? Let me know your experiences. [/quote]

one, how exactly are you stop down metering an M42 lens, just keep it in AV mode.

two, you want to minimize flare, are you saying then that you are getting flare?

before resorting to filters i would a) get a hood b) think about your chooting patterns/habbits

in some cases flare is unavoidable


as for the differences in coatings, the above 2 suggestions will overshadow any minute differences in the coatings.
01-28-2009, 10:45 AM   #3
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somewhere in the past month, and it might be popular photography, there was a quote about the change from MC to SMC coatings made by pentax at the time.

it was along these lines

SMC coatings have increased the light transmission of the lens from 98% to 99.9%

If I find it again I will edit this and put the reference source
01-28-2009, 11:14 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
one, how exactly are you stop down metering an M42 lens, just keep it in AV mode.

two, you want to minimize flare, are you saying then that you are getting flare?

before resorting to filters i would a) get a hood b) think about your chooting patterns/habbits

in some cases flare is unavoidable


as for the differences in coatings, the above 2 suggestions will overshadow any minute differences in the coatings.
I suppose I could have been a bit more clear. I'm shooting on a Spotmatic F right now, so there's no way to check whether or not I am, in fact, getting flare until I get my rolls processed. A hood is a good idea, though.

01-28-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
somewhere in the past month, and it might be popular photography, there was a quote about the change from MC to SMC coatings made by pentax at the time.

it was along these lines

SMC coatings have increased the light transmission of the lens from 98% to 99.9%

If I find it again I will edit this and put the reference source
That might have been in or quoted in The Pentax Way book by Herb Kepler.

If I was faced with a purchasing decision, Super-Takumar vs. Super-Multi-Coated or SMC, I would certainly consider paying extra for better coatings. But Super-Takumar coatings don't suck either, and it's the lens you own, so I suggest using it and discovering its limitations if it has any. When a lens with better coatings becomes available, you'll know a lot more about what they would be worth to you. And you'll learn something about controlling flare yourself. Even the best coatings today don't eliminate flare, so your skill development is important.
01-28-2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
Hey everyone. This might have been done to death already. I already understand the difference between the Takumar series lenses, as follows:

Takumar: manual aperture, single coating
Super-Takumar: automatic aperture, single coating
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar: Multi-coated Super
SMC Takumar: has a rubber focusing ring

I just picked up a Super-Tak 28/3.5 and was wondering exactly how inferior the coatings on this early lens are when compared to the SMC range. Mine was built '62-'64, because of the "22" on the aperture ring.

I did some street-shooting with it right out of the store, and the stop-down metering wasn't hard to get used to. I thought it worked really well. However, should I put a filter on it to minimize flare? Let me know your experiences.
I found a 28/3.5 at a camera show that I believe is similar to yours (big filter diameter, 58mm I think?, correct me if I'm wrong). I like it quite a bit but I've found the color cast of images I take with it to be cooler than those I take with my K24/2.8. I don't know for a fact this is because of the coatings - I'm still experimenting with it. Maybe it's just my lens. It's easy to fix in PS though and a filter would easily bring the colors up to snuff for film.

I found an original rectangular hood for mine and it provides more options for shots while avoiding flare. I don't believe SMC really helps that much in controlling flare but rather it helps produce more accurate colors. My SMC K-mount lenses can all go wonky with flare under certain conditions, especially veiling flare.
01-28-2009, 12:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
I found a 28/3.5 at a camera show that I believe is similar to yours (big filter diameter, 58mm I think?, correct me if I'm wrong). I like it quite a bit but I've found the color cast of images I take with it to be cooler than those I take with my K24/2.8. I don't know for a fact this is because of the coatings - I'm still experimenting with it. Maybe it's just my lens. It's easy to fix in PS though and a filter would easily bring the colors up to snuff for film.

I found an original rectangular hood for mine and it provides more options for shots while avoiding flare. I don't believe SMC really helps that much in controlling flare but rather it helps produce more accurate colors. My SMC K-mount lenses can all go wonky with flare under certain conditions, especially veiling flare.
Yeah, I'd have to agree - flare can happen with SMC pretty easily also - you need a hood to realy reduce flare, but the coatings can really help with color vibrancy and contrast.

Also, I'm convinced that the coatings in the later telephoto Super Takumars are almost as good if not as good as the S-M-C branded later lenses - I think they may have been using an early formulation of the SMC coatings, an just didn't think to market it until later.

.
01-28-2009, 12:21 PM   #8
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I have used both a Super Tak and an SMC on my Spotmatic F.

To be honest, I think I prefer the look from the Super Tak, but their both fantastic. The Super Tak will flare from a direct hit to the lens, but it's pretty obvious. Just use your hand as a french flag!

I swapped the Super Tak for the SMC to gain open-apterture metering. Before I learned more about Pentax history, I always thought there was something wrong with either the lens or camera. Once I realized that the revolution of open aperture metering needed both a Spotmatic F and an SMC lens, I made the switch. Now my F is more usable than ever!

01-28-2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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Here's the article:
Flare control

Note that many Supers were actually multi coated towards the end - the S-M-C and SMC capitalized on the coating and also indicated the lens is for SP-F and ES/ES II open aperture metering.

I don't think I have noted a difference between my Super and SMC 50/1.4's, coating wise.

I do note a difference between my AUTO Takumar 55/1.8 and its SMC sister. The AUTO clearly is not multi coated.

Any lens will flare or ghost to some degree when a bright light source is in the frame. Multi coated ones often have green ghosts for example.

More to the point, the multi coating is good to control haze flare, ie. the thing that robs a photo of contrast, when the light is to the side. Lens hoods are the best way to control this.

Multi coating vs. single or simpler coating can also affect what some call light bloom. That is, a localized halo or area of lowered contrast surrounding a light source. Many Leicaphiles pay good money to get good light bloom so here taste and having a choice of tool (lens) can be a good thing.

I'd posted this before, a comparison of the two 55's that shows the external effect of multi coating.



I thought I had one of the Super vs SMC 28/3.5 as well but don't seem to.


P.s. adding a filter will add to flare, even if the filter is multi coated: there's another set of glass surfaces added to the lens. Any benefit comes from the minor amount of shade the filter frame gives...

Last edited by Nesster; 01-28-2009 at 01:33 PM.
01-29-2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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Glad to hear that things can be controlled. All my developed film is scanned into the computer, so corrections for color cast/contrast can be made if necessary, but I prefer to take a "hands-off" approach whenever possible.

I guess I'll have to post the answer. I've got shots from an SMC Tak 55/1.8, an SMC Tak 135/2.5, and the Super Tak 28/3.5 on one roll of Ektar 100, so we'll see how it goes.

Now about the lens itself... after two days of using it, I love the things I can do with it that I couldn't accomplish with my 55. This is totally what my kit was missing.
01-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #11
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.


Of interest:

QuoteQuote:
It is believed that nearly all major lens makers (including Canon, Nikon and Zeiss) paid royalties to Asahi to make use of some part of the industrial process for laying thin anti-reflective compounds on glass elements at acceptable costs. Leica obviously distinguished itself by stating that multicoating was of little help and reducing the number of elements was better for flare control. Of course, when Asahi patents on multicoating expired many years later, they suddenly changed their minds and started using multicoating like all other manufacturers.

And this is exactly what I suspected:

QuoteQuote:
In fact what was my suspicion when I wrote the above mentioned article had already been officially confirmed by Asahi Opt. Co (but I wasn’t aware of that at the time): late production Super-Takumars were already multi-coated. It was probably just an experimental coating, maybe less than 7-layers, or maybe it was not on all air-to-glass surfaces, so that it didn’t perform as well as the definitive Super-Multi-Coating.


.
01-29-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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Maybe I'm missing something but why can't you see flare when shooting a spotmatic? Should be visible in the viewfinder as much as it probably would be on a review LCD.
01-29-2009, 06:29 PM   #13
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There is an odd pair of sites called something like "3rd party lens megasite" and "medium format megasite" with tons of info, but it's design appears to be from the child hood of www and many pages are only available occasionally for some reason. Anyway, with the usual reservation for the accurasy of something you find on the web, there is a list there of lenses tested for flare by a photomagazine in the 70's:


"Flare Results sorted by % flare (hi to lo), f/l, f/stop

Lens f/l f/stop flare %

71) Zuiko 70 2 4.5
70) Miranda 135 2.8 4
69) Nikkor 135 2.8 4
68) Summar RF 50 2 3
67) Topcor 25 3.5 2.9
66) Nikkor 105 2.5 2.9
65) Miranda 105 2.8 2.9
64) Elmar 90 4 2.8
63) Miranda 35 2.8 2.5
62) Nikkor 35 2.8 2.5
61) Canon FD 300 5.6 2.24
60) Topcor 200 5.6 2.1
59) Elmarit 90 2.8 2
58) Rokkor 21 2.8 1.9
57) Takumar SMC 150 4 1.9
56) Canon FD 100 2.8 1.89
55) Zeiss Distagon 40 4 1.86
54) Miranda 28 2.8 1.85
53) Leitz S. Angulon 21 3.4 1.8
52) Elmar RF 50 3.5 1.8
51) Zeiss Sonnar 250 5.6 1.7
50) Summicron RF 35 2 1.67
49) Summicron RF 50 2 1.67
48) Mamiya Sekor ES 55 1.8 1.66
47) Takumar SMC 135 3.5 1.63
46) Takumar 28 3.5 1.55
45) Zeiss Sonnar 150 4 1.54
44) Rokkor 100 2.5 1.52
43) Zuiko 20 3.5 1.5
42) Mamiya Sekor 100 3.5 1.48
41) Canon FD 24 2.8 1.42
40) Zuiko 40 1.4 1.42
39) Summicron R 35 2 1.4
38) Zuiko 38 2.8 1.4
37) Zuiko G Auto-S (OM-1) 50 1.4 1.39
36) Zeiss Distagon 50 4 1.37
35) Canon FD 35 2 1.29
34) Takumar 55 1.8 1.28
33) Takumar SMC 105 2.8 1.25
32) Zuiko 42 1.2 1.1
31) Summicron M 90 2 1.1
30) EBC Fujinon 50 1.4 1.04
29) Elmarit 28 2.8 1
28) Miranda 50 1.8 1
27) Nikkor 50 1.8 1
26) Takumar SMC 85 1.9 1
25) Nikkor 24 2.8 0.98
24) Hexanon 85 1.8 0.98
23) Zeiss Planar 80 2.8 0.96
22) Takumar SMC 135 2.5 0.92
21) Takumar SMC 28 3.5 0.9
20) Summilux 50 1.4 0.9
19) Takumar 50 1.4 0.9
18) Summicron R 90 2 0.9
17) Topcor 100 2.8 0.9
16) Canon FD 50 1.4 0.88
15) Hexanon 135 3.2 0.88
14) Hexanon 52 1.8 0.85
13) Rokkor 35 1.8 0.81
12) Zuiko G FTL 50 1.4 0.8
11) Meyer Oreston 50 1.8 0.8
10) Takumar 35 3.5 0.73
9) Canon FD 50 1.8 0.73
8) Summicron R 50 2 0.7
7) Hexanon 57 1.2 0.625
6) Takumar SMC 35 3.5 0.62
5) Topcor 35 2.8 0.6
4) Singlet, Pl, Cnvx in Barrel 100 4 0.6
3) Takumar SMC 55 1.8 0.58
2) Noctilux 50 1.2 0.56
1) Takumar SMC 50 1.4 0.47

Source: Popular Photography December 1973 p.240
Flare tested on-axis, without lens hood, and
wide open unless otherwise state…

End of Page"

Here is the link http://medfmt.8k.com/mf/flare2.txt, though at this moment it does not work.

It is worth noticing that among the ten lenses with least flare there are four Takumar lenses, three with SMC (50/1.4 being the best of all, plus the 55/1.8 and 35/3.5), the forth is the 35/3.5 without mulitcoating (or at least without the "smc")! A total dominance over other brands in this test.

So for the 35/3.5 the flare decreased from 0.73 to 0.62%. Not a hugh difference! Perhaps this non-SMC was a late super-takumar with some (S)MC on it, as you speculate?

Other pairs of SMC non-SMC Takumars in the list are

lens - non-SMC flare - SMC flare

50/1.4 - 0.9% - 0.47%
55/1.8 - 1.28% -0.58%
35/3.5 - 0.73% - 0.62%
28/3.5 - 1.55% % - 0.9%

So there were quite some redcution in the flare between non-SMC and SMC versions of the 28, 50 and 55mm lenses.

You notice of course that Canon has only one lens among the 10 best (nr 9 a 50mm) and Nikon not one (their best is a 50mm at the 25th position).

This list kind of support what you here that SMC did a difference and that Pentax was the leading lens manufacturer at this time...

Would be interresting to read the whole paper and see how they commented it back then.

01-29-2009, 11:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by AndrewG NY Quote
Maybe I'm missing something but why can't you see flare when shooting a spotmatic? Should be visible in the viewfinder as much as it probably would be on a review LCD.
You know, this I had thought of, but never enough to mention. Will you get lens flare in your pictures if you don't see lens flare in the viewfinder when you're taking the picture? Sorry if that's a real noob question, but I thought perhaps that with the closing of the aperture blades the path of the light changes and could possibly introduce flare where there wasn't any to begin with.

If that isn't the case, and you can see lens flare when it's happening, then it's not an issue; I'll just make sure I don't have flare in the viewfinder.

PS: Thanks Douglas for the information. Glad to see my 55/1.8 in third place! No, that isn't much difference between the SMC and non SMC lenses. I speculate, however, that my lens is an early copy before any SMC experimentation, as it has a 22 position on the aperture ring. That is, unless Asahi was experimenting as early as '64?
12-09-2009, 11:49 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
Hey everyone. This might have been done to death already. I already understand the difference between the Takumar series lenses, as follows:

Takumar: manual aperture, single coating
Super-Takumar: automatic aperture, single coating
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar: Multi-coated Super
SMC Takumar: has a rubber focusing ring

I just picked up a Super-Tak 28/3.5 and was wondering exactly how inferior the coatings on this early lens are when compared to the SMC range. Mine was built '62-'64, because of the "22" on the aperture ring.

I did some street-shooting with it right out of the store, and the stop-down metering wasn't hard to get used to. I thought it worked really well. However, should I put a filter on it to minimize flare? Let me know your experiences.
Hi Just a suggestion here . Get a good quality HAZE or POLARIZING Filter and a couple of lens hoods, one collapsible and one petal and stop getting paranoid about lens flare, it happens, use YOUR FLAIR.
Maybe try a comparison with some black and white old stock film , be wasteful. POST some photos.
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