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02-24-2009, 07:51 AM   #1
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Takumar Lenses

Hello all, I have a chance to pick up locally two Takumar lenses. One is SMC Takumar 1:1.8/55 and the other is SMC Takumar 1:3.5/135 zoom. The seller wants $50 for the pair. I looked at the lens reviews and it seems like a good deal. I'm new to most of this so I thought I would ask the experts.

02-24-2009, 09:11 AM   #2
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If they are in good physical condition - focus/aperture rings move smoothly, no dings, bumps or major scars; glass clean and scratch-free with no furry things growing inside - yeah, go for it!

$50 for the pair would be decent.
02-24-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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These lenses are definitely worth that price if they're in good shape. They are both readily available from other sources so don't worry about bypassing them if they have problems. A lot of people skip over the 55/1.8 to pursue the 50/1.4, but the 55/1.8 is a very good lens. The focal length and lens characteristics are great for portraits. The newest versions of this lens are labeled "SMC Takumar" and have a rubber focus grip. I've found a few that have an annoying scraping/grating feel when they are focused. It feels just like the focus mechanism is irrepairably ruined. It's not. The distance scale is coming unglued from the focus ring, and the ends are scraping against the outer lens body. You can ignore this condition for a while but the glue will continue to fail. You'll need the filter threads to be straight and undamaged to repair this. Older lenses with metal focus grips don't have this problem.

The 135mm is a very good lens. There are some faster alternatives but just one extra stop can be very expensive.

Versions of both lenses can appear to have a problem when you inspect them off the camera. These versions were built to allow open-aperture metering on some screw-mount cameras. They have a tiny button on the lens mount that is pushed in by an older M42 mount, an adapter or a lens cap. When the button isn't held in, if the auto/manual switch was in auto, it can't be moved to manual. It it's in manual it can be switched to auto but it will lock there. Holding the button in with a fingernail fixes the switch problem.

Other things to check are smooth focus through the entire range, clicks at all stops on the aperture ring, clear glass with no fungus or scratches, and a properly working aperture.
02-24-2009, 04:13 PM   #4
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Thanks all for the advice. I was going hold off until I could justify the purchase for the FA50mm f1.4 but saw these two lens and thought it would be an inexpensive way to get a 50mm prime. I was told that the two lens were in excellent condition and if so, at least I can add them to my limited collection. I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of a Takumar 135mm 3.5 zoom when I have a FA 70-210 in my bag.

Tom

02-25-2009, 05:00 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RielTime Quote
I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of a Takumar 135mm 3.5 zoom when I have a FA 70-210 in my bag.
I don't wish to be overly pedantic, but the 135/3.5 is not a zoom lens. It is a telephoto lens. Zoom lenses have a range of focal lengths (such as your 70-210). The 135/3.5 is a prime lens, having only a single focal length (135mm).

People tend to call any long(ish) focal length a "zoom" lens. In actuality, even very short (wide angle) lenses can be zoom lenses.
02-25-2009, 10:21 AM   #6
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The quality images the 135/3.5 puts out is amazing indeed ... better than any zoom.

I have a few quick pics that I have taken with this lens listed in the link below:

Zenfolio | Simon Bauer | Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

Oh ... $50 is a pretty damn good deal for the both of them together. Try getting equivalent newer AF lenses at this price.
02-25-2009, 10:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I don't wish to be overly pedantic...
You cracked first! I win!
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