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03-05-2010, 11:36 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I'll take your word on it for the normal and wide versions but I know there are 2 different optical groups/elements for 135F2.5s, one shared I believe between SMC Pentax and SMC takumar (or super multi coated Tak's) and one I believe between takumar bayonette and super tak's. Also a question of number of aperture blades SMC=8 super tak=6 I think)

same holds true for 85mm F1.8 and 1.9's the optical designs are different and are the aperture arrangements.

BUT, I am also no collector (yet?) and only have one of each focal length in my present M42 kit.
We are sort of saying the same thing. However, regarding the S-M-C 135mm f2.5, there are 2 optical versions, a 4/5 and a 6/6 and the Super Tak 135mm f2.5 is 4/5. As far as the 85mm f1.9 goes, they are all 4/5 but there are at least 2 versions of it in the Super Tak series. As far as the S-M-C 85mm f1.8 goes, it is different optically with 6/6. The # of aperture blades has more to do with the mount type, Tak, Auto Tak, Super Tak, S-M-C Tak more than anything but there are some variations within.

03-05-2010, 11:42 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Advertising material at the time claimed that there was an improvement from "Super-Multi-Coated" to "SMC". Advertising claims a lot of things. I think only the 50s and 55s were made in "SMC Takumar" versions.

As Blue said, Super-Takumar 55mm lenses have a lot of versions. I'm not enough of a collector to identify them all precisely. Here's one of the oldest versions with the last version. Kind of funny, take apart the newest Super-Takumar and they still use slotted screws, while the Super-Multi-Coated and SMC Taks had switched to phillips.

There was at least 2 more SMC lens, the SMC 15mm f3.5 and a SMC Zoom 45-125mm f4. That's all I know of for sure.
03-05-2010, 04:12 PM   #18
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While you can make generalizations, like "most" generalizations (hah!), they're going to wrong a good chunk fo the time. Instead of trying to figure out *in general* which series is best, it is far better to look at the *specific* lenses involved. Also important to realize there are tradeoffs - the K series version of a particular lens might be better in one respect, the A in a different respect.

See stans-photography.info for discussion of many specific K-mount lenses.
03-05-2010, 07:41 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
I will start this by saying I am an idiot.

Are SMC and Super Multi Coated not the same things?
Not in screw mount Takumar lenses. Super Multi Coated preceded Super-Multi-Coated, which in turn preceded S-M-C which was replaced by SMC. The coatings are slightly different in the progression.

03-06-2010, 02:31 AM   #20
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Marc, but let's say in the above example, if they 'figured out' the best coatings in say, the SMC Pentax, or even an A version of a lens...then why would I purchase a Super Takumar lens?
What is it that the Super Takumars, let's say, do for me that the newer one's do not?
Build quality? Focus ring smoothness?
03-06-2010, 05:03 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
I would agree that the K series is my favorite. I only have the 85mm f/1.8 though. I am in the market for the 55mm f/1.8 though....since I just sold my FA 50mm f/1.4.
on the other hand, I'd love to have that 85/1.8 too...
03-06-2010, 07:17 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winnie Quote
Marc, but let's say in the above example, if they 'figured out' the best coatings in say, the SMC Pentax, or even an A version of a lens...then why would I purchase a Super Takumar lens?
What is it that the Super Takumars, let's say, do for me that the newer one's do not?
Build quality? Focus ring smoothness?
As pointed out in detail earlier, there are in many cases more differences than just the coatings. There are differences in optical formulae etc. Plus, in some cases some of the latest Super Tak manufacturing runs may not be that different coating wise than the first runs of the S-M-C equivalents. In several cases the last version of a Super Tak would share the optical forumula with the newest version of a S-M-C Tak while early versions had different number and/or size of elements. See previous posts on this subject. Sometimes you have to evaluate a lens bast on its characteristics and not merely because it is in a certain class or another. Otherwise, a person will end up drawing simple conclusions that the S-M-C lenses are automatically better than a Super Tak which is better than a Auto Tak which is better than a Tak which is a fallacy. When used with a proper hood, many of these lens perform better than expected by many digital era film newbs. The reason I like the S-M-C and SMC lenses is because the allow open aperture metering with my Spot F and ES. The fact is, many if not most of the lenses are good and some are quite good. Go look through the Takumar Club Thread.
03-06-2010, 11:17 AM   #23
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I see what you're saying.
Basically, I wanted a faster 50, so I bought the first 1.4 that came along. The Super Tak. I really like that lens, but wonder if I might be getting, perhaps, better contrast with one of the other versions.
But basically, I should either love my lens, or buy another and see which I think better suits me?

03-06-2010, 11:35 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winnie Quote
Marc, but let's say in the above example, if they 'figured out' the best coatings in say, the SMC Pentax, or even an A version of a lens...then why would I purchase a Super Takumar lens?
What is it that the Super Takumars, let's say, do for me that the newer one's do not?
Build quality? Focus ring smoothness?
Besides the reasons Blue mentioned, I'll throw in price. I found a Super-Takumar 85mm f1.9 years ago, you don't want to know how much. It's an early model so I know it doesn't have any experimental multi-coating or updated optical formula. The f1.9 version is one of the least desireable designs. And this lens is no cosmetic winner either. But since this is an 85mm, anything to replace it is about $250 minimum. I don't know what the maximum is today. I really like my lens anyway, so I am not looking to replace it.
03-06-2010, 09:16 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winnie Quote
Marc, but let's say in the above example, if they 'figured out' the best coatings in say, the SMC Pentax, or even an A version of a lens...then why would I purchase a Super Takumar lens?
You'd buy it if *that specific Super Takumar* happens to be better than *that specific K or A". Buying it just because it's a Super Takumar really wouldn't make sense. Bu sure, the people make generalizations are usually talking about perceived build quality, and in particular, some see heavyier lenses as being "built like a tank". I actually see this differently, though: to me, heavy = poor mechanical design masked by using more metal than necessary. I've speculated before this attitude comes from the bicycling world, and might not really be relevant for lenses. But given that we're talking about lenses that are mostly 30 years old or more, it seems silly to compare build quality - obviously, they're all built pretty well.
03-06-2010, 09:25 PM   #26
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I wouldn't agree that A lenses are starting to lose in quality...I have a 35-105 A Macro Zoom and the thing is built like a tank. I bought it new in '84.

Yes...I have other lenses...Takumar, Pentax dating from '68 when I first got my first Pentax. with 50mm F2...Tak.
03-06-2010, 09:56 PM   #27
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Winnie,

One of the things I'm learning, as my photography goes on and on into the years, is that each and every lens has its particular 'sweet' traits and deficits.

The real trick is not really to "buy the right lens" or to "buy the 'best' lens." The real trick is to learn to exploit the characteristics of the lens you have.

Once-upon-a-time, all I wanted was sharpness, sharpness, sharpness. Oh and good contrast too.

But many years of photography and looking at others' photos has taught me that real photography -- rather than what some derisively call snap-shots -- takes an artistic bent. NO lens provides an exact reproduction of what the eye sees. But what does the mind see?

Look at photos in discussions about bokeh for awhile. Lots of pictures have been shown that are supposedly taken by "loser lenses" (one of my fav threads!) or somehow deficient lenses. And yet the photos just blow you away. There are some great people posting here.

That's what I mean about learning the characteristics of the lens and using those to achieve the effect you want. If you want pop, contrast, sharpness, then you need the best coatings, the best optical design, the strongest tripod and least vibrations from the mirror. (among other things, like shooting the 'right' direction with the light).

So, you grabbed a lens. In fact, compared to many of the lenses you could have grabbed. it is very likely one of the best you can use. Now you can chose to practice with it until you understand how the light affects it -- what angles of lighting result in more contrast and less, how the bokeh changes, how the sharpness changes when stopping down, etc -- or you can keep changing lenses.

The best lens? It's the one with you when you have to take the shot. Work with the shot, the light and lens and come up with your creative version of what the scene means to you.

I'm sorta known for answering questions people didn't ask. Hope that isn't annoying. I can't help it, other than not post.
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