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11-11-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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Is there really any difference between the Tak 85mm f1.9 and f1.8?

Just curious. It seems the f1.8 version (lets assume both are either Super Taks or SMC versions) gets about $100 more much of the time. Speed clearly isn't much different. The Lens DB reviews are about the same.

Has anyone shot both and noticed any real world differences?

11-11-2009, 03:06 PM   #2
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you mean aside from the obvious 0.1

I am not sure but there may be differences in elements / groups, and also aperture blades, the super tau F1.9 I own has 6, i have heard others have 8
11-11-2009, 05:09 PM   #3
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The Auto Takumar 1.8 has 9 aperture blades. The Super-multicoated 1.8 has 8.
11-12-2009, 01:35 AM   #4
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Based on my own findings I can conclude that the f/1.8 versions are a little sharper and have less "glow" around contrast transitions (wide open), but the f/1.9 versions have a slightly nicer bokeh. Also, I find the S-M-C 85/1.8 a little harsh and clinical. It's sharp, that for sure, but it really lacks character - or better: a "soul".

I prefer my 50's Takumar 83mm f/1.9 above all later versions.


Last edited by Asahiflex; 11-12-2009 at 02:11 AM.
11-12-2009, 06:18 AM   #5
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Thank you, very much. Very usefull for who not have both lenses.

Rino.
11-12-2009, 08:07 AM   #6
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Interesting Asahiflex. Seems the 83mm is fairly rare. It was only produced for 2 years in the mid 1950's and a guess is around only 1000 built. Got any pictures to share? I'm guessing that it really needs a hood in bright conditions. I love those variable aperture lenses on a digital. So easy to meter and then stop down for shooting. Wish there were more of them around.

I also did a little hunting around and the SMC f1.8 version wasn't in production very long. 1972-1974 only although there are earlier versions of an f1.8, mostly uncoated Taks and Auto's from the late 1950's and early '60's.

The SMC f1.8 is a 6 element 6 group lens and the Super Tak (1964-71) or Super Multi Coated (1971-72) f1.9 is a 5 element 4 group version. Clearly the Super Multi coated f1.9 is going to be fairly rare and the SMC F1.8 would as well. This lens was replaced by the SMC K version (1975-77) which is the same optics.
11-12-2009, 08:24 AM   #7
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Sure, Peter.

The 83mm Takumar was a bit of an eye-opener for me because it was WAY sharper wide open than I expected. Yes, it's less contrasty than later SMC lenses, but actually this helps to preserve the tonal ranges.

I think you have seen them before, but here are some samples of the 83mm f/1.9 (which has 7 elements and mind you, I have the black+chrome Asahiflex version which was modified to M42 later in its life), all wide open:







11-12-2009, 08:37 AM   #8
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Nope I hadn't seen these before and they are sweet images. The first one in particular. I can see why you like this lens.

I understand the older M37 lens you have is actually the same lens optically as the 83mm. A Sonnar design 7 element 6 group and the only real differnces are cosmetic and mechanical. Do you see much difference in the images?

11-12-2009, 08:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Nope I hadn't seen these before and they are sweet images. The first one in particular. I can see why you like this lens.

I understand the older M37 lens you have is actually the same lens optically as the 83mm. A Sonnar design 7 element 6 group and the only real differnces are cosmetic and mechanical. Do you see much difference in the images?
Compared to what? I don't have both versions but as far as I know the M37 and M42 versions are optically 100% the same. Also you won't see much sample variation in lenses from that time, as QC was very strict back then.

Actually I think the 83mm design was dropped because it was too expensive to produce.
11-12-2009, 01:33 PM   #10
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Oh sorry I thought you had both the M42 83mm and the older M37 (modified to M42) version. I misread your post.

Regardless, these are sweet images. Not bad for a 60 year old lens!!
11-12-2009, 02:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asahiflex Quote
Based on my own findings I can conclude that the f/1.8 versions are a little sharper and have less "glow" around contrast transitions (wide open), but the f/1.9 versions have a slightly nicer bokeh.
I found my 85mmF1.9 super tak has this glow also, and posted a sample of it, because it is clearly not there on my vivitar 85mmF1.4 but I do like it

see below a 100% crop

11-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #12
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Peter I am gonna need you to send me that 83mm 1.9... ASAP please

WHAT A LENS!

Wonderful photographs...
11-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Oh sorry I thought you had both the M42 83mm and the older M37 (modified to M42) version. I misread your post.

Regardless, these are sweet images. Not bad for a 60 year old lens!!
I have the M42 83mm. I also have the SMCP 85/1.8, the SMCT 85/1.8 and the Auto-Tak 85/1.8. Damn these threads...now I have to go find a 1.9

Focusing on my 83 is a little stiff and Eric is unable to service them, so I tend to pull out the 85s more, but the 83 is my favorite... (I need to head out and take more pics soon)

The 83.....








The 85 AutoTak



The SMCT 85



The SMCP 85





Now I wish I had a 85/1.9....

.
11-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
I have the M42 83mm. I also have the SMCP 85/1.8, the SMCT 85/1.8 and the Auto-Tak 85/1.8. Damn these threads...now I have to go find a 1.9

Focusing on my 83 is a little stiff and Eric is unable to service them, so I tend to pull out the 85s more, but the 83 is my favorite... (I need to head out and take more pics soon)


Now I wish I had a 85/1.9....

.
if you ever plan to come to toronto, bring your collection of 85's and the 83. We can add my 85mmF1.4 vivitar (AKA Samyang) and my 85mmF1.9 Super tak and really do a comparison
11-12-2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
if you ever plan to come to toronto, bring your collection of 85's and the 83. We can add my 85mmF1.4 vivitar (AKA Samyang) and my 85mmF1.9 Super tak and really do a comparison
Will do...you never know with work these days. I had thought of throwing a body on a tripod and taking the same shot over and over using the different lenses (I have the 77 and 50-135 as well). I tried it with a different set of lenses almost a year ago but messed up the exposure. Just need the time to try it again.....

I wish I could get the clarity out of them that Asahiflex gets....he makes it look so easy!


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