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06-06-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Takumar 55/1.8

Hi everybody,
for some time now I was pondering joinig the M42 crew. I saw Jupiter 9 (it's still in the shop and I still haven't decided to buy it [£49]) and last week I saw Takumar 55/1.8 for £29.
The problem is I own F50/1,7 in mint condition and I love it...
Has anybody directly compared F50 to the Tak55/1.8
BR

Peter

06-06-2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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I don't have any side-by-side comparisons but I do own a Tak 55/1.8 plus an m50/1.7. I'm not all that fond of the 55 and my gut feeling tells me the m50 is much sharper. I'm wondering if my 55 is a soft copy, but from other shots I've seen around here it seems pretty par-for-the-course.

- Andrew
06-07-2009, 06:21 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Hi everybody,
for some time now I was pondering joinig the M42 crew. I saw Jupiter 9 (it's still in the shop and I still haven't decided to buy it [£49]) and last week I saw Takumar 55/1.8 for £29.
The problem is I own F50/1,7 in mint condition and I love it...
Has anybody directly compared F50 to the Tak55/1.8
BR

Peter
I don't have the Takumar 55mm but the K 55mm/1.8, which is the same optical solution, and I have the A50/1.7, which is the same optical solution as the F50/1.7. As far as my experience with these lenses, the 50/1.7 is sharper and has colder colors, while the 55/1.8 is softer and warmer. For some portrait work the softness and warm skinn color is an advantage. So it is usefull to have both in your camera bag.
06-07-2009, 06:30 AM   #4
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seems a bit high for a 55 but I say if you have the money go ahead. the 55 is completely different from the 50. the only thing they share is a similar FL. you wont be disappointed by the 55 at all and can be an excellent portrait lens. it truly shows it uniqueness wide open. most people actually enjoy using the 55 more than the 50. the Jupiter is well known for its bokeh, but the cheaper 55 is probably the best choice for entering the world of Takumars and m42's in general. I have 5 55's if that says anything about my love for that lens.

06-07-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
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Here are some shots with my Super Tak 55 1.8. Not much PP done with these ( my PP skills are limited ) other than maybe a little sharpening and resizing.

Super Takumar 55 MM F1.8 - a set on Flickr

Last edited by Stratman; 06-07-2009 at 06:27 PM.
06-07-2009, 10:36 AM   #6
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Just my biased opinion...

but if you already have the F50 1.7 that you love... spend the extra 20 and get the Jupiter 9. It is a completely different lens with a very different 'look' from the pentax. Plus I bet if you are not in a hurry you will find a cheaper copy of the 55 1.8 if you really want it.

Peter, you are lucky to live in a place where there is a shop with the jupiter 9 and the 55 1.8 on the shelf. That would not happen here.
06-07-2009, 03:32 PM   #7
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thanks for opinions guys...
for UK £29 is actually good price I believe...
to put you into perspective used (in good conditon) M50/1.4 would go £99 as standard, so derive prices from there...
thanks anyway

BR
06-07-2009, 09:31 PM   #8
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I recently sold my Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 to a forum member but still have my Super Takumar 55mm f1.8.

Mine isn't exactly a side-by-side direct comparison, but looking back at some of the similar pictures taken using these lenses, I seem to like the Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 better in sharpness at wide open apertures, but find colors rendered by Super Tak more vibrant and rich. However, around f4 and f5.6, the Super Tak easily catches up to the Pentax-F 50mm f1.7 in sharpness.

The Super Takumar is a great value if you take AF out of the equation. However, I already miss my F and I hope to get another copy again soon.

06-08-2009, 12:23 AM   #9
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indeed, F50 renders rather cool tones
06-08-2009, 09:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Hi everybody,
for some time now I was pondering joinig the M42 crew. I saw Jupiter 9 (it's still in the shop and I still haven't decided to buy it [£49])
That seems quite a good price compared to prices on ebay.co.uk for Jupiter 9's.

QuoteQuote:
and last week I saw Takumar 55/1.8 for £29.
That seems par for the course. I paid about that for an SMC Tak 55/1.8 (the version with the rubber focus ring).

QuoteQuote:
Has anybody directly compared F50 to the Tak55/1.8
I have an A50/1.7 and a SMC Tak 55/1.8 (so not a direct comparison).

I would echo Douglas in that the A50 renders cooler than the Tak 55. I actually find the Tak to be as sharp as the A50 (see my post a few minutes ago in the Takumar club). Of course, with a Tak you have to focus manually and you have to mess around with bits of tin foil to get Av and focus trap to work (A lenses are manual focus but work with Av and F lenses are autofocus, of course). However, I have to admit that it has been months since I used my A50/1.7, and yet I use the Tak 55/1.8 just about every time I pick up my K100D.

Richard
06-08-2009, 03:15 PM   #11
axl
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thank you Richard.
I completely forgot about the tin foil issue...
well, we'll see, maybe I just save enought for DA*55 ... (stop dreaming, stop dreaming...daydream beliver...)
But I still haven't made my mind up on that Jupiter...
06-08-2009, 06:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
seems a bit high for a 55 but I say if you have the money go ahead. the 55 is completely different from the 50. the only thing they share is a similar FL.
I understand what you are saying here, and I agree. Totally different.

But still, a point of order is... well... in order...

The F and Fa 50mm F/1.7 seems to be a direct descendant of the 55mm f/1.8.

The 55mm f/1.8 has Six elements in five groups. So does the F/Fa 50mm.
The 55 has a minimum focusing distance of .45 meters. So does the F/FA 50.
55mm aperture blades 6, 50mm aperture blades 6
55mm filter diameter 49mm, 50mm filter diameter 49mm
55mm angle of view is 43 degrees, the 50mm 47 degrees (difference expected)

There are perhaps more comparisons but one of the most convincing is the formula in graphic format.

Please compare - on top the optical design for the F/FA 50mm f/1.7:





You'll see that they are actually very, very similar. This is actually not all that surprising because they have been doing a production model of this formula since the Zebra lens starting in '58. This was the first of the famous Gaussian design 6 elements in 5 groups that became a Pentax standard for the next 40 years for the 50-55mm focal length of that speed.

It is tempting to think that the F/FA 50mm f/1.7 would have more in common with the F/FA 50mm f/1.4 or perhaps going back to the Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4. The latter was a 7 elements in 6 groups as was the former. I believe that those lenses each have 8 aperture blades. I know the F/FA does.

Compare - again, on top, F/FA 50mm f/1.4:





So in the end it seems that the f/1.4s have a common lineage and that the 1.7/1.8s share a different common lineage. As i said... just a point of order. so... Séamuis... does that mean that to have a complete collection of 55's, you actually have to collect an F 50mm f/1.7 ???

Respectfully,

woof!

Last edited by woof; 06-09-2009 at 12:41 PM.
06-09-2009, 01:13 AM   #13
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thanks woof.
very informative. I for one have always thought that Pentax 50s - both 1.4 and 1.7 - share the same optical design.
Thanks again for your post.

BR
Peter
06-09-2009, 04:56 AM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
So in the end it seems that the f/1.4s have a common lineage and that the 1.7/1.8s share a different common lineage. As i said... just a point of order. so... Séamuis... does that mean that to have a complete collection of 55's, you actually have to collect an F 50mm f/1.7 ???
I certainly hope not. I dont think I will be counting lineage. if I do I fear my collection will spiral even further out of financial control. I just bought a fish-eye-takumar 1:11/18mm :ugh:
06-09-2009, 06:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by richard64 Quote
I would echo Douglas in that the A50 renders cooler than the Tak 55.
I take back what I said about the A50/1.7

I've just taken some pictures and found that it had far more "pop" than I thought it had:



I think I should use this lens some more.

Richard
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