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04-21-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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135mm Takumar Bayonet Ain't So Bad

Hi folks. I was about to offer my lens on eBay because I have more 135s than I need. As my brief experience with mine has been favorable, I thought I'd share some decent size and resolution pics to make my case.

Sure it lacks the SMC coatings, but like with the earlier Takumars, one adapts to make use of its talents. Purple fringing is a reality until you stop down a bit. Sure there are sharper wide open lenses, but even at full size you'll see these pics are passable -- even the bokeh wide open is better than many. And the field of view is pretty darn close to that of my smc-k 135 at the same distance to subject.

I've come to believe that its focus is a little more sensitive than its manual brethren, and my Katzeye makes a world of difference in getting it right.

The following were taken handheld with my K20D on a partly cloudy day. Shake reduction was on and the wind was a nuisance. So slower than f11 would have required a weighted tripod. In light of these limitations, the lens performed better than one might expect.

Three different mundane images at each stop, with one bokeh shot at f2.5 of leaves on a heavily buffeted bush. Taken at default jpeg settings at 1 megabyte and lowest quality to keep the original size within reason. Also dropped to about 500,000 kbs each to help with loading. No post-processing other than a slight correction for exposure. The lens tends to over-expose by about a stop.

enjoy........Paul

http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f2.5.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f4.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f5.6.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f8.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f11.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f2.5c.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f2.5a.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f4a.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f5.6a.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f8a.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f11a.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f2.5b.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f4b.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f5.6b.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f8b.jpg
http://home.centurytel.net/warpwoof/f11b.jpg


Last edited by warpedwoof; 04-21-2009 at 04:59 PM.
04-21-2009, 09:34 PM   #2
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The quality looks fine in most of these photos. Maybe people's gripe with the lens is that it's not a "real" Takumar unless it's m42.
04-21-2009, 10:51 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by figmental1978 Quote
The quality looks fine in most of these photos. Maybe people's gripe with the lens is that it's not a "real" Takumar unless it's m42.
Well it isnt.
04-21-2009, 10:59 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
Well it isnt.
haha...spoken like a true Takumar elitist!

04-22-2009, 12:19 AM   #5
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Seems to be ok quality.

What I would like to see is a straight comparison of the smc 135 and the tak 135. Now THAT would be interesting. You think you could do that for me? Nothing too special, just a well chosen scene at wide open and stopped down a couple of stops.
04-22-2009, 01:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by figmental1978 Quote
haha...spoken like a true Takumar elitist!
Well. It is true. The quality might be good. But the "Takumar" trademark was at the bayonet time a plot to sell lenses on a name. The Takumar lenses from the M42 era was top of the line on 35mm but also on the mediumformat. The name was known and had a good reputation. When the bayonet came, the top of the line lenses was named SMC Pentax instead. And the cheaper lower quality lenses was branded Takumar. Now, just because they were of lower quality then the SMC line, does not mean that they are bad per say. Just that the focus on HQ lenses was moved over to the SMC-K lenses. Just look at them as the kit lenses of the time and the SMC as the higher quality lenses.
04-22-2009, 04:13 PM   #7
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I own the Takumar Bayonet 135 mm f2,8, nd frankly I cannot understand why people complain about it so much. It's very well built, better than many other lenses I've seen, its optical quality is fine if not amazing. It certainly is better than its reputation.

Like others have said, sharpness and Ca are not very good wide open, but even my SMC-A 50 mm f1,4 is distinctively soft wide open.

I really enjoy this lens, even though I don't really use it often. It's certainly worth more than the price it would fetch on the marketplace.
04-22-2009, 07:05 PM   #8
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Looks a little weak wide open, but by F4 it's already performing respectable. Typical of many lenses to be a little off wide open, so not like it's any surprise. I have the lens also, and it performs fine. Also, being a lens commonly used for portraits, not being razor sharp wide open isn't as big of a nuisance as some other focal lengths. I do really like the build of the lens, it has a great focusing ring and built-in hood, it's just about as nice as any lens I have in that regard.

04-22-2009, 11:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I own the Takumar Bayonet 135 mm f2,8, nd frankly I cannot understand why people complain about it so much. It's very well built, better than many other lenses I've seen, its optical quality is fine if not amazing. It certainly is better than its reputation.
I dont think people complain about it. I just hear people recommend the M42 version over it. Because, it is simply better. But if you have one, by all means use it. It does not mean it is bad, just that if you have a choice, choose the better.
04-23-2009, 01:28 AM   #10
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Hi,

Yesterday I sold my Takumar Bayonet 135 F2,5. Not because it's bad, but because I don't use it anymore. A lovely lens with a nice bokeh. Nothing special, but not bad either. In every day use it had become too cumbersome for me (yeah, I know the drill with the green button, etc). My Tamron 70-200 2,8 has better IQ, the option of zooming, although is a lot bigger and heavier.

But still, I would recommend the Takumar as a (relatively) cheap prime with decent IQ.
04-23-2009, 06:50 AM   #11
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I picked one up in the Marketplace a while back for a song. I think it's great for portraits when you don't want to show every eyelash, earhair, wrinkle, etc. I have heard some complaints from subjects on this matter when they see the unprocessed shots from one of my other lenses. I also like that this lens seems to make slightly cooler looking shots. That may just be my perception, though. Besides, a full manual lens is just fun to use on a new over automated DSLR these days. I think I just enjoy the irony of using something so old and simple with something so new and technologically advanced.
04-23-2009, 10:20 AM   #12
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I have a 2.5, which I actually kind of like. I bought it out of curiosity that the (single?) coating might yield a nice nostalgic look in monochrome, which I think it does. It's fun, being little and fast and a good deal longer, effectively, than I usually tend to shoot these days. The metering's kind of a pain, but it's well worth what I paid. I'd really like to put a longer hood on there than the built-in one, though, which I just haven't gotten around to.
04-23-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I have a 2.5, which I actually kind of like. I bought it out of curiosity that the (single?) coating might yield a nice nostalgic look in monochrome, which I think it does. It's fun, being little and fast and a good deal longer, effectively, than I usually tend to shoot these days. The metering's kind of a pain, but it's well worth what I paid. I'd really like to put a longer hood on there than the built-in one, though, which I just haven't gotten around to.
You can easily remove the built-in hood. Focus so the lens is fully extended. Slide the hood out and grab the barrel exposed behind it. Then you can unscrew the front part of the lens, slide the hood off and screw it back together. This also provides convenient access to the aperture blades for cleaning, if/when they gum up.

The main thing with this lens is not performance but purchase price. You can find them from $10 to $100. Kind of like stocks, the best way to be happy with its performance/price ratio is to buy a really cheap one. Digital post-processing can easily fix most of the flaws. Corner performance, even on cropped sensors, is noticeably worse than the expensive 135s.
04-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
I dont think people complain about it. I just hear people recommend the M42 version over it. Because, it is simply better. But if you have one, by all means use it. It does not mean it is bad, just that if you have a choice, choose the better.
I've seen people say the lens should be used as a doorstop...

Those who own it know it's slightly better than that
04-23-2009, 10:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I've seen people say the lens should be used as a doorstop...

Those who own it know it's slightly better than that
People say the darndest things. Some even call a K10D a doorstop.
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