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05-02-2007, 07:11 PM   #1
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Old M42 300mm lens -Better than new!

Is it just me? I purchase a used Penntax manual 300mm f/4 super Takumar lens on Ebay the other day for only $67.00. I also have a Sigma 75-200 f/2.8 $900.00 lens and the pictures taken with the old 300mm Pentax lens are clearly better. Of course I lost autofocus but I think that auto-everything makes us go too fast and not think about composition. The lens is solid aluminum and was hand assembled (I think). It is really smooth. The Bokeh is extraordinary. Should we keep this a secret so the prices don't keep climbing?:ugh:

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05-02-2007, 08:14 PM   #2
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I agree, the old Takumar lenses are a real pleasure to handle and use!
05-02-2007, 08:29 PM   #3
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The old screwmount lenses are indeed great (I also have the 300mm SMC Takumar), but nothing beats the fairly new FA* lineup

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05-02-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
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You got a steal at that price! Way to go!

I paid a little more for my SMC 300mm f/4.0. I have a hit or miss relationship with it. Some shots are among my best, but the next set can have really bad CA, worse than my cheapest no-name lenses. I like the way it handles on the K100D, but I have a hard time consistently getting sharp focus. I'll eventually get an autofocus lens in this length/speed, but I don't know if I'll keep this one also.

It's like a beautiful, yet temperatmental thoroughbred.

One of my winners:


One of my losers (the blob of dust didn't help matters):


05-02-2007, 09:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
The old screwmount lenses are indeed great (I also have the 300mm SMC Takumar), but nothing beats the fairly new FA* lineup
What a great stage shot of Sheryl Crow. One would have a hard time to argue the quality and clarity of that photoghraph. The more I use manual lenses, the better my pictures are gettiing. I guess I am back to my roots........Good ole SMC manual lenses.

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05-02-2007, 09:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by k10dbook Quote
Is it just me? I purchase a used Penntax manual 300mm f/4 super Takumar lens on Ebay the other day for only $67.00. I also have a Sigma 75-200 f/2.8 $900.00 lens and the pictures taken with the old 300mm Pentax lens are clearly better. Of course I lost autofocus but I think that auto-everything makes us go too fast and not think about composition. The lens is solid aluminum and was hand assembled (I think). It is really smooth. The Bokeh is extraordinary. Should we keep this a secret so the prices don't keep climbing?:ugh:

Yvon Bourque
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Well now that you see the takumar is clearly better than your sigma I'll give you my mailing address so you don't have to tolerate that inferior glass anymore ;-) I wouldn't mide picking up one of those takumar 300's some time.
05-03-2007, 07:15 AM   #7
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I have to agree with a lot of these posts. I get great shots from my older lenses, it just takes more time and care. My biggest issues is getting the focus right but that keeps improving with time. So the biggest issue for me is EBCF, Error Between Camera and Floor!
05-03-2007, 07:36 AM   #8
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Here is a shot I did with my 300mm Super Takumar screw mount on my istDL. It was wide open at 1/60th I believe, hand held.


Last edited by newtmaker; 06-25-2007 at 06:58 PM.
05-03-2007, 04:44 PM   #9
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I also have lost some great shots with this lens (300/4 SMC) but have also captured some of my better keepers. Bokeh is amazing...but this lens requires either skill or luck to get shots in focus. Shots from my Minolta 7D using this lens:

With extension tubes to cut down that min focus distance:


A tough / lucky MF job on this one:


Again...luck...


Good detail and texures:


Oh and one with the K10...since this is a pentax forum

Last edited by d.bradley; 05-03-2007 at 04:49 PM.
05-03-2007, 06:16 PM   #10
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These images are fantastic!

But yes, MF does seem to lead to some great keepers, don't they? Something about slowing down makes things seem better, easier..
05-03-2007, 07:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
I also have lost some great shots with this lens (300/4 SMC) but have also captured some of my better keepers. Bokeh is amazing...but this lens requires either skill or luck to get shots in focus.
Holy mackeral! Those are all nice shots, but the two BIF shots are amazing! I couldn't imagine getting a good shot like that.

All this talk makes me want to load up the SMC300 and go shoot some more!
05-04-2007, 09:22 AM   #12
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On top of that, try using a 12mm extension tube or even make one using an old tele-extender and remove the glass. Now your minimum focus distance becomes smaller and you can use the lens for macro photography while still shooting from a comfortable distance.

YB
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05-10-2007, 07:39 AM   #13
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Thanks for the kind words all! I was lucky that my dad had this lens which he used on his ESII about thirty years ago mostly for icebergs and land/seascape photos. It really is one of my favorites. I honestly wouldn't put it too far behind some of the higher end tele glass out there if you get to know it a little.

The extension tubes (as in my first shot) are a good addition if you can take the time to set it up for quasi-macro, or for back-yard nature photography...
05-10-2007, 08:14 AM   #14
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My camera bag currently contains only Takumar lenses.

I recently went to visit some online friends in Nagano over the Golden Week holiday. Took along a vintage 1956 Ricoh rangefinder I had just gotten the evening before and was eager to play with. Also took along the K100D and Takumars. I took out the 200mm to save weight (didn't figure I'd need that length, and was right). I did correctly figure that at some point I would be handing the camera off to someone else to use, so rather than have to explain how to shoot with a Takumar attached I took along a 28/2.8 "A" lens.

My favorite, and most used, Takumar served me well on the trip.

Super Takumar 135/3.5
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