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09-21-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Takumar 500/4.5

Hi everybody,
here goes another one of my cravings.
I've found Takumar 500/4.5 in very good condition but without front cup.
Asking price: 499.
Is it a fair price for this beast?
TIA
Peter

09-21-2009, 10:01 AM   #2
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I don't know what you mean by "front cup" but I had one of these and that sounds way too much, imho. Maybe $500 USD (complete) but only if you test it out and find it satisfactory. There's a lot of sample variation with lenses of a "certain age": however stellar they may have been when new, each copy has an extended life story now.
09-21-2009, 10:07 AM   #3
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There is one on ebay in the US on buy it now that you could have shipped to the UK and still have it under 300.
Pentax ES Takumar 500mm f/5 M42 screw mount lens on eBay (end time 20-Oct-09 20:50:57 BST)
09-21-2009, 03:20 PM   #4
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I bought the Super Multi Coated version a few months ago from KEH in EX condition with both caps. Payed $550-600, can't remember for sure. I've bidded on a few and watched many on ebay and they seem to go for $450-500.

The one in the ebay link above is the older f5 version and non SMC, so it brings a little less, but their price doesn't seem to be too far off.

I was willing to pay the extra hundred being able to trust KEH's rating. I don't think I'd pay any more though. The price you're looking at is on high end of what I've heard people paying for the lens. The full spread I saw was $300-$800 with that $500 middle ground being the norm.

09-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
I bought the Super Multi Coated version a few months ago from KEH in EX condition with both caps. Payed $550-600, can't remember for sure. I've bidded on a few and watched many on ebay and they seem to go for $450-500.

The one in the ebay link above is the older f5 version and non SMC, so it brings a little less, but their price doesn't seem to be too far off.

I was willing to pay the extra hundred being able to trust KEH's rating. I don't think I'd pay any more though. The price you're looking at is on high end of what I've heard people paying for the lens. The full spread I saw was $300-$800 with that $500 middle ground being the norm.
I think $550-600 is reasonable for a KEH EX. How's it doing for you? I paid $300 for a craigslist special but the resolution left a lot to be desired.
09-21-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I think $550-600 is reasonable for a KEH EX. How's it doing for you? I paid $300 for a craigslist special but the resolution left a lot to be desired.
I've been happy with it. At first, there was an infinity focus problem, but after tweaking it, that was fixed. See this link for some sample photos with 100% crops. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/69759-500mm-f4...-infinity.html

When shooting angled into the sun at dusk, 100% crops aren't very pretty, but under those circumstances, I guess I can't complain with the results. Example is this 100% crop of a buck 350yds away. This is straight from the RAW. With some PP I was able to clean it up some though. The photos in the link are much better.

Dadipentak, how does your lens compare? Just curious...
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09-21-2009, 07:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
I've been happy with it. At first, there was an infinity focus problem, but after tweaking it, that was fixed. See this link for some sample photos with 100% crops. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/69759-500mm-f4...-infinity.html

When shooting angled into the sun at dusk, 100% crops aren't very pretty, but under those circumstances, I guess I can't complain with the results. Example is this 100% crop of a buck 350yds away. This is straight from the RAW. With some PP I was able to clean it up some though. The photos in the link are much better.

Dadipentak, how does your lens compare? Just curious...
Yeah, I found the fringing pretty disturbing at first (partly because my pp skills were pretty primitive.) I mostly shoot these big ol' lenses (I've got a K-mount 1000mm f/8 now) from my porch with good morning sun at my back--especially if I'm shooting against the sky. Stopping down helps of course (but you need good light to do so): nailing the focus is the other key.

Here are a couple of my (processed) best taken last year with the 500mm f4.5 Tak. Actually, I think I might take another whack at processing that pileated woodpecker--I think I've upgraded my skills a fair bit in the past year.
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09-22-2009, 01:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Hi everybody,
here goes another one of my cravings.
I've found Takumar 500/4.5 in very good condition but without front cup.
Asking price: 499.
Is it a fair price for this beast?
TIA
Peter
Hi Peter, if the lens is like new, the price is acceptable, though a bit on the high side. I payed even a little bit more, when I bought mine from KEH in Excellent condition, after postage and EU VAT/Customs. If the lens cap is missing, you'll be hard pressed to find an original Pentax one. But you could use one of the Optech neoprene covers, which are more practical in use anyway.

Ben

09-22-2009, 06:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Hi Peter, if the lens is like new, the price is acceptable, though a bit on the high side. I payed even a little bit more, when I bought mine from KEH in Excellent condition, after postage and EU VAT/Customs. If the lens cap is missing, you'll be hard pressed to find an original Pentax one. But you could use one of the Optech neoprene covers, which are more practical in use anyway.

Ben
Ben,
how do you find that lens?

for others:
ccompare UK and US prices just by conversion of currency doesn't work. Lenses in UK (and EU) cost more than across the ocean. F.e. new 31ltd these days goes for 1100GBP (one of the cheaper if not cheapest). Compare it to US prices and you'll see what I mean.

Thanks to all

BR
Peter
09-22-2009, 07:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Ben,
how do you find that lens?
Peter, I like that lens very much. It can produce very sharp images, if used over moderate distances. Sometimes I add an extension tube to use it in the garden for birds. Over long distances the results are often disappointing, due to the unsharpness the usual atmospheric turbulences induce. This is not the fault of the Pentax - but needs to be obsereved when making the first test photos.

The lens is prone to CAs, if you shoot high contrast edges (i.e. dark branches in front of a bright sky). It gets much worse, when you add the highly praised Pentax 1.7x AF-adapter. If you can avoid the usual CA-producing scenes, colour abberations are not on a disturbing level.

Contrast is acceptable open (as is sharpness) and very good at f/8 and f/11. These smaller apertures seem to somewhat counterdict the comparatively fast max. aperture, but at medium distances, you need to step down anyway, to get any DOF at all.

The lens is big, but not so heavy. It needs to be used on a tripod - there is no way around it (perhaps one could use a beanbag resting on an open car window...). My images improved, when I bought a simple gimbal mount for that lens. The humble and cheap Manfrotto MA 393 serves the purpose and I dedicated my old MA 055 tripod to this head permanently. A good combo, which makes handling this lens much easier than any 3D-head or ball head.

Focusing is the one useability stumbling block of all these old MF lenses. It is really slower than we are used to with modern glass, sporting IF and/or AF. It needs some getting used too. If you ever used the old K 300/4, you will find the 500/4.5 quite similar in focusing action.

The manual aperture is fine with me, albeit slower (again) than an automatic diaphragm. Pentax got most of the lens right, including the peep sight on top (which is really helpful, especially with the smaller field of view of APS-C cameras!). But the one thing, that really annoys me is the rear section of the lens. On many lenses you can use a filter tray to insert filters in their behinds. Not so with the 500/4.5 (and the 1000/8). The 52mm filter is screwed into that said rear section of the lens and you need to take it off the lens to do that. Easy enough. Unfortunately fixing that rear section back to the lens is not so easy, as Pentax engineers never use filters and so simply forgot to add a noth opr pin to give a fixed and repeatable position to that rear section on the lens. It is a plain stupid oversight. I have read a lot of harsh comments about the way this rear section works and still have no real idea, how I can make a better solution for this...

All in all it is a capable lens, optically and build to last - with some quirks which make it slower to use, than modern lenses. Nevertheless more than a generation of landscape and nature photogs have used that lens with great success. You won't find any other 500mm lens with such a fast max. aperture for such a bargain price.

Ben
09-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
But the one thing, that really annoys me is the rear section of the lens. ... Unfortunately fixing that rear section back to the lens is not so easy, as Pentax engineers never use filters and so simply forgot to add a noth opr pin to give a fixed and repeatable position to that rear section on the lens. It is a plain stupid oversight. I have read a lot of harsh comments about the way this rear section works and still have no real idea, how I can make a better solution for this...

All in all it is a capable lens, optically and build to last - with some quirks which make it slower to use, than modern lenses. Nevertheless more than a generation of landscape and nature photogs have used that lens with great success. You won't find any other 500mm lens with such a fast max. aperture for such a bargain price.

Ben
I agree with Ben on all counts.
12-02-2009, 09:37 AM   #12
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my Tak 500mm

I have the 500mm f4.5 non-SMC. This was a little over $200 at a Photorama show, although it required some minor repair. A keeper, I and others have used it with Pentax bodies, a Nikon D100, and a Canon XSi with adapters. In broad daylight with a fast shutter speed I have been able to use this hand held (as have my friends). Not razor sharp like the best primes, but an excellent and well made lens.


...Larry
12-02-2009, 09:46 AM   #13
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I just won a Takumar 500mm f5 non SMC off Fleabay, I was wondering is there was any real difference in the 4.5, the 5. or the 5.6?
12-02-2009, 04:03 PM   #14
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The 500/5 is a very simple lens - just two elements - and dates back to the original Asahiflex. I have seen two varieties, one with a minimum aperture of f22 and a (presumably) later version with a min aperture of f45. The 500/4.5 is a bit more complex with four elements and was first available as a tele-takumar (non SMC), then Super-Multi-Coated Takumar, and finally as an SMC Pentax for K mount. Some were also modified for use on the 6x7 prior to the introduction of the 6x7 500/5.6.

Will there be a difference? Yes the 500/4,5 will be better corrected for aberations and less prone to lens flare.
12-02-2009, 05:28 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Peter, I like that lens very much. It can produce very sharp images, if used over moderate distances. Sometimes I add an extension tube to use it in the garden for birds. Over long distances the results are often disappointing, due to the unsharpness the usual atmospheric turbulences induce. This is not the fault of the Pentax - but needs to be obsereved when making the first test photos.

The lens is prone to CAs, if you shoot high contrast edges (i.e. dark branches in front of a bright sky). It gets much worse, when you add the highly praised Pentax 1.7x AF-adapter. If you can avoid the usual CA-producing scenes, colour abberations are not on a disturbing level.

Contrast is acceptable open (as is sharpness) and very good at f/8 and f/11. These smaller apertures seem to somewhat counterdict the comparatively fast max. aperture, but at medium distances, you need to step down anyway, to get any DOF at all.

The lens is big, but not so heavy. It needs to be used on a tripod - there is no way around it (perhaps one could use a beanbag resting on an open car window...). My images improved, when I bought a simple gimbal mount for that lens. The humble and cheap Manfrotto MA 393 serves the purpose and I dedicated my old MA 055 tripod to this head permanently. A good combo, which makes handling this lens much easier than any 3D-head or ball head.

Focusing is the one useability stumbling block of all these old MF lenses. It is really slower than we are used to with modern glass, sporting IF and/or AF. It needs some getting used too. If you ever used the old K 300/4, you will find the 500/4.5 quite similar in focusing action.

The manual aperture is fine with me, albeit slower (again) than an automatic diaphragm. Pentax got most of the lens right, including the peep sight on top (which is really helpful, especially with the smaller field of view of APS-C cameras!). But the one thing, that really annoys me is the rear section of the lens. On many lenses you can use a filter tray to insert filters in their behinds. Not so with the 500/4.5 (and the 1000/8). The 52mm filter is screwed into that said rear section of the lens and you need to take it off the lens to do that. Easy enough. Unfortunately fixing that rear section back to the lens is not so easy, as Pentax engineers never use filters and so simply forgot to add a noth opr pin to give a fixed and repeatable position to that rear section on the lens. It is a plain stupid oversight. I have read a lot of harsh comments about the way this rear section works and still have no real idea, how I can make a better solution for this...

All in all it is a capable lens, optically and build to last - with some quirks which make it slower to use, than modern lenses. Nevertheless more than a generation of landscape and nature photogs have used that lens with great success. You won't find any other 500mm lens with such a fast max. aperture for such a bargain price.

Ben
I had a shot at one of these many years ago and had to pass it up as my wife was too close for comfort.

What a great post Ben.

If you guys will excuse a digression this is typical of the in depth kind of response he has always provided to my questions. Ben is just one of the reasons I stay with this forum. The length and breadth of experience out there and the willingness to share makes this place special.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 12-02-2009 at 05:30 PM. Reason: typo
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