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04-17-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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Takumar-F/SMC Pentax-F 28-80 f3.5-4.5 Macro

Hello all. I'm into older bargain lenses and that often leads me down some strange paths...

Recently, after looking at some MTF data at photodo on the SMC Pentax-F 28-80 f3.5-4.5 Macro, I decided it was a decent "sleeper" beating the snot out of almost all of the other Pentax offerings in similar focal lengths and speeds.

However, I've found the SMC Pentax-F version isn't found very often and the prices when found aren't particularly compelling.

These factors led me to the Takumar-F version of the same focal length and speed. The lenses appear virtually identical. Of course the Takumar-F version supposedly does not have SMC.

Now, I've always found dubious the idea that Pentax, while manufacturing the 2 different versions of these lenses side by side I presume, actually farmed out or produced non-SMC elements in a separate production run to use in the Takumar-F versions. That never made sense to me from a production/manufacturing standpoint.

So, I do a little research on the Takumar-F version and find a lot of suspect or flat out inaccurate data. For instance, I believe the dimitrov data on the Takumar-F is actually data on the Takumar-A variant and incorrectly attributed to the F version. Why would I say that? Well, for one thing the number of aperture blades is said to be 6. Well, I'm looking at one right now, and I assure you all there are in fact 8 aperture blades.

Confused yet? Now, the SMC Pentax-F version is said to have 5 aperture blades. Please, is there anyone here who owns the SMC Pentax-F 28-80 f3.5-4.5 and can look and tell me the number of aperture blades? Please, check and don't just parrot 5 because that's what the internets say.

Regards,
Mike

04-17-2009, 02:09 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by X Man Quote
...These factors led me to the Takumar-F version of the same focal length and speed. The lenses appear virtually identical. Of course the Takumar-F version supposedly does not have SMC.

Now, I've always found dubious the idea that Pentax, while manufacturing the 2 different versions of these lenses side by side I presume, actually farmed out or produced non-SMC elements in a separate production run to use in the Takumar-F versions. That never made sense to me from a production/manufacturing standpoint...
Most of the Takumar Bayonet/A/F line doesn't make sense. But the lens coating is readily recognizeable as either SMC or not. Although SMC varies a bit over time and appears to be somewhat different on the M or A 50/2, it always looks substantially different than the Takumar Bayonet/A/F coating.

The other parts of the lens often have features of the higher-end SMC lines, like 9 blade apertures or later optical versions, so I think you are right there. The Takumar Bayonet/A 28mm f2.8 has the later optical design used in the SMC Pentax A and F, not the older design of the Pentax-M.

Sorry I don't have any lenses that might give you a more complete answer.
04-17-2009, 06:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Most of the Takumar Bayonet/A/F line doesn't make sense.
True 'Dat!
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
But the lens coating is readily recognizeable as either SMC or not. Although SMC varies a bit over time and appears to be somewhat different on the M or A 50/2, it always looks substantially different than the Takumar Bayonet/A/F coating.
I'm still not certain I'd agree with all of that. Lens coatings in general are, I think poorly understood by us "normal" people. I know that these subtitles in SMC and non-SMC Pentax lenses cause confusion for me. Why that is, is because there are many great Pentax lenses like the M42 Takumars that while not SMC are optically excellent. On the other hand there are more modern SMC Pentax lenses that are quite frankly poor performers. There are other things that only add to the confusion. I think most of us who've had numerous M42 Takumars may have noticed that several Super Takumar lenses just before the Super-Multi-Coated versions came out certainly appear to be SMC.

Now, back to my Takumar-F 28-80. I'd agree that it appears when compared to an SMC Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 I have here, that the Tak-F coating is different. More blues and Purple, less oranges/yellows. Like you say though the SMC has evolved and changed over time. So, perhaps the Tak-F isn't SMC but I do belive it to be Multi Coated. There's really only one lens I've ever owned that seemed to have nearly ZERO coatings and that was an M42 Auto Vivitar 35mm f2.8.

I'd certainly like to know the exact differences in the SMC and non-SMC F series. I doubt that that hard data is available outside of Pentax Headquarters though.
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The other parts of the lens often have features of the higher-end SMC lines, like 9 blade apertures or later optical versions, so I think you are right there. The Takumar Bayonet/A 28mm f2.8 has the later optical design used in the SMC Pentax A and F, not the older design of the Pentax-M.

Sorry I don't have any lenses that might give you a more complete answer.
Thanks for your thoughtful response. I appreciate it.

Still, the confusion endures. Right down to respected data sites being incorrect about the number of aperture blades on my Tak-F 28-80.

Regards,
mike
04-18-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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No of Blades SMC-F 28-80

I checked my SMC-F 28-80 and i has indeed 5 Blades. The differences between the Takumar F and the SMC F Version have already been discussed in various other forums and the main difference is not the coating but the whole construction with the SMC-F being composed of quite a few more elements (12 elemts in 9 groups vs 8 elemts in 8 groups). I think the Data of the Bojidar Dimitrov Site are right in this respect.

The Takumar F was at its time considered a budget lens which was sold in the kit, while the SMC-F was rather at the higher end pricing and performancewise.

I agree with you that the SMC-F 28-80 is a quite underrated lens. I love the one I have and am always again impressed by the solid construction and especially the colour rendering.

04-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #5
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I had a copy of the Takumar-A 28-80 and sold it for 8 bucks. M42 Takumars are excellent; K-mount ones not so much, except for maybe the 28mm.

There was a pretty obvious difference in sharpness, and also in colour if I compared to other lenses, even the kit lens. In fact, the kit lens is probably a far better lens to be using unless you really need 55-80.
04-18-2009, 04:31 PM   #6
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I have a copy of the Takumar F 28-80. Not a bad lens, not GREAT either I would guess. Here are a few, all shot with this lens on my K110D. Please ignore the few hairs on the sensor









04-18-2009, 04:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by memira Quote
I checked my SMC-F 28-80 and i has indeed 5 Blades.
Awesome, thanks for checking.
QuoteOriginally posted by memira Quote
The differences between the Takumar F and the SMC F Version have already been discussed in various other forums and the main difference is not the coating but the whole construction with the SMC-F being composed of quite a few more elements (12 elemts in 9 groups vs 8 elemts in 8 groups). I think the Data of the Bojidar Dimitrov Site are right in this respect.
I believe you, honest I do, but my googling turned up useless crap with no discussion of #s of elements or aperture blades. Dimitrov's site is amazing and I hope nobody thinks I'm disparaging the massive amount of work that went into it. Still, the data for the number of aperture blades on my Tak-F 28-80 was wrong. Because of that, I began to doubt his data for the # of elements vs. the SMC Pen-F version. Still not 100% over that. I'm not willing to tear it down to find out for myself though.
QuoteOriginally posted by memira Quote
The Takumar F was at its time considered a budget lens which was sold in the kit, while the SMC-F was rather at the higher end pricing and performancewise.

I agree with you that the SMC-F 28-80 is a quite underrated lens. I love the one I have and am always again impressed by the solid construction and especially the colour rendering.
What I did find googling were opinions on the Takumar-F lens that were on such opposite ends of the spectrum that it's really mind boggling, for me anyway. From high accolades to complete disgust.

I suppose the truth lies smack dab in the middle with the Tak-F version being a middle of the road, decent but not great lens. For what I just paid for it I'm pretty happy.

Thanks for your information!

Regards,
Mike
04-19-2009, 06:00 AM   #8
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Takumar F / SMC F 28-80

I guess much of the controversities over these Lenses come from the fact that many mix them up. As a matter of fact the non SMC Version was also sold under two different designations (Takumar F in the USA and Pentax F in Europe).

The Takumar F / Pentax F version was sold as Kit lens for the SF7 (and maybe as well SFX but not sure about this).

With budget lens I didn't mean bad lens! I was just refering to the price as Pentax seems to have a long tradition for even the cheap lenses being pretty decent performers (as is still the case with the 18-55 kit - exception being the FAJ line which I would avoid from what I heared about them).

On a German forum somebody said that the SMC-F version had a price tag of over DM 700 which was at that time (late 80ies) pretty much money and would putt it into a completely different league than the Takumar F / Pentax F.

I cant comment on the performance of the Takumar F / Pentax F version other than quoting others experience as I never owned one myself. But as i said I can absolutely recommend the SMC-F version and think its worth the few more bucks it costs.

05-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #9
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smc 28-80

I bought a pentax sf7 in europe that came with this kit lens back in 90. Except for some hunting by AF in poor light, the results have been fabulous. I am hoping to finally upgrade to K5 and planning to use this lens on it. Hope it works as well. If anybody here has done this, please share your experiences. And what does it mean on the K5 with its aps-c sensor? Is that the equivalent of 18-55 approximately? Thanks.
06-07-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vinny4k5 Quote
I bought a pentax sf7 in europe that came with this kit lens back in 90. Except for some hunting by AF in poor light, the results have been fabulous. I am hoping to finally upgrade to K5 and planning to use this lens on it. Hope it works as well. If anybody here has done this, please share your experiences.
Sorry, I have not done this, so I cannot comment on it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vinny4k5 Quote
And what does it mean on the K5 with its aps-c sensor?
A 28-80 lens on a K5 will have a field of view of 42-120mm, when compared to your Pentax SF7 film camera. APS-C sensors have a 1.5x crop factor, so you multiply the focal lengths by that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vinny4k5 Quote
Is that the equivalent of 18-55 approximately? Thanks.
I'm not entirely sure what you are asking, but: The DA 18-55 was designed to have a "film camera equivalent" of 27-83mm. So, if you're asking if the 18-55 on the K-5 is roughly equivalent to the 28-80 on the SF7, then yes, it is.

Hope that helped.

--Greg
06-07-2011, 12:41 PM   #11
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Sorry, I did not see that Vinny's question was re-posted (and answered) in this link:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/140547-f-lenses-use-k-5-a.html#post1514659

Forum moderators: Feel free to delete this and my previous post.
07-05-2011, 03:48 PM   #12
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I have (non SMC) F28-80/3.5-4.5 and it has 8 aperture blades

btw Pentax Lens Comparison - SMC vs "kit lens" F 28-80 page 1 - BDC Computerwyse
07-13-2011, 04:07 AM   #13
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Confusing. I have the Pentax-F version (no mention of SMC or Takumar) and it has 8 blades. Hard to fault, excellent results except wide open at the long end, and I love using it. 42~120 is a useful range.
10-25-2011, 11:51 AM   #14
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Apologies for digging out an old thread - but for the record :

I've just disassembled a fungus infested SMC Pentax-F 28-80mm eBay bargain. This one has the 'Pentax F Zoom' in white above the distance window and an eight blade aperture. There are eight glass elements and they are as per Dimitrov's diagram for the FA 28-80. There a coating on some of the elements, but most of the surfaces are uncoated. The construction is a mix of precision plastic and metal parts. The aperture diaphragm is an all plastic assembly.

If anyone ever tries to take one of these apart, then the way to go is to take out the three small JIS screws just under the mount flange first - do not touch the fourth one by the end of the aperture lever slot. This releases the back light shield. The back group of elements then unscrews out and can be broken up, cleaned and reassembled. To take out the front group unscrew the thin ring in the filter thread. Make sure that you mark the position of the front group relative to the main tube - this sets the infinity focus and will be handy to have on re-assembly. The front group unscrews counter-clockwise from the coarse zoom/focus thread.

Dismantling the front group was hard, the threads were glued together with some oriental gunk which required an overnight soaking in some solvent to release.

As always, re-assembly is the reverse of the dis-assembly

Infinity focus is set by the position of the front group within the barrel, this is then locked by the thin ring. Easy, if you'd marked the original positions. Otherwise a bit of trial and error may be needed.

I'm quite impressed by the sharpness of this lens on a K-7. It lacks in contrast though, which is probably due to the absence of SMC (or any other) coating.

Test shots are at: Collection: Pentax F 28-80mm f3.5-4.5

Last edited by kh1234567890; 10-27-2011 at 07:35 AM.
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