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07-28-2009, 08:52 AM   #1
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Question on using older M42 SuperTakumar

Hello,

It is funny, but I'm advancing in photography by going backwards
I love the feel of older cameras like the Spotmatics and the SV. Of course, using my K1000 for over 20 years may have something to do with it.
I recently bought a gorgeous Pentax SV. It feels like fine jewelry!
The SuperTakumar 55mm f1.8 lens is in great shape.
The lens can be set to either M (manual) or A (Auto) where auto means the lens aperture stays wide open for bright easier focusing, closing with the shutter release. I believe this is one of the earliest forms of "automation". In manual mode, the aperture remains closed as set by the aperture ring.
When focusing in A mode (wide open) infinity seems to be only 20-30 feet away. It seems to match the scale in the lens, where infinity is just after 30ft. Anything over that shows out of focus in the viewfinder. If I close down the lens (M mode) it is obviously darker and harder to see but it seems to be in perfect focus.
My question is:Is that common or expected from such equipment?
I just finished a roll on the SV and sent it for develpment to my pro-lab. It will be a few days before I get it back. I feel the pics will come out nice.

Thanks,

07-28-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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with a 55mm lens infinity is definitely more than 30 feet away.

It sounds like the lens is not set correctly on focusing,

I had an SMC-M 100F4 macro that would not focus to infinity either. I suspect someone has had the lens apart, or the focusing helix has become misalligned with the focusing collar. Maybe it was dropped?

stopping the lens down increases depth of field making it appear things are in better focus, but the lens should focus to infinity.

As another point, and I just thought about this are you sure the lens is correctly installed.

On some later SMC takumars and super tak's there is a little pin, that sticks out to allign the lens to the body, because these lenses allowed for open aperture metering, with an aperture coupling, like on K mount lenses, and to get the metering accurate, the pin located the lens in the mount. it might just stop the lens from going on all the way if it is sticking out.

Also check that the lens is seated on the body, it could be that it is just not screwed on far enough.
07-28-2009, 09:51 AM   #3
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Thanks Lowell,

I'll check on those points.
The lens looks to be pristine, but who knows, it may have been taken apart during its life.

Looking at this pic I noticed the top scale on the lens is not pointing perfectly straight up.

Thanks,
07-28-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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in looking at my SMC Tak 35 again, the little pin I was referring to may only control the Auto Manual Switch, and not be used for alligment. My 35 does not screw on exactly streight into my adaptor either (no M42 body to check)

but if it is stuck, it would screw up infinity focus.

Also check that the lens is seated tight to the body

07-28-2009, 11:47 AM   #5
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I think it's unusual for a Takumar lens to not line up perfectly (orange diamond centered) on a screw-mount body, but I don't have one here, so what do I know. I did experiment with a Takumar 55mm, not fully screwed into an adapter. It still focuses pretty well even with the orange diamond 30 off-center. The target I used to set that lens is clouded over today but it still focuses on a building 5 miles away. So your lens may need to be adjusted for infinity focus.
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