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10-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #1
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Insight on Inherited Gear.

Hey everybody,


I recently found an assortment of items tucked away in a bag in a closet.

These include the following:
Praktica MTL 50
Super-Takumar f/1.4 50mm (Ashai Optic Co.)
Focal MC Auto 80-200m f/3.5
Focal MC Auto 28mm f/2.8
Kamero Auto 2x Converter
Hoya 62mm Skylight (1B) Filter
Tiffen 62mm Polarizer
Focal M500C-ZOOM Auto Electronic Flash
Honeywell Auto Strobolite 55



Anyone know more information about these items. I'm a Nikon D-SLR user first and foremost and recently brought this stuff home to start into film photography as well.


Any help would be greatly appreciated!

10-09-2011, 08:21 AM   #2
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Nice find. That focal 28/2.8 is probably a decent lens, people say they are. The Super-Takumar f/1.4 50mm is a very fine M42 mount lens, see the lens review sections. I'm sure there is probably an adapter to use it on your Nikon. If not you can probably sell it on ebay for $70+, depending on condition.
10-09-2011, 09:53 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure that if you adapt these to Nikon you won't get infinity focus.
10-09-2011, 10:53 AM   #4
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I can and do chop AI lenses for Pentax mount, but not the other way around. Without buying an optical adapter that acts as a short teleconverter and reduces imaage quality a bit, Pentax and M42 lenses can't be used on Nikon except for closeups. Oh no, not ANOTHER closeup lens! The Pentax-Asahi Super-Takumar 50/1.4 is indeed worth maybe US$75 on eBay; the Focal 28/2.8 is maybe worth US$20 maximum; the other items are worth less.

That's the monetary side. If you really want to start film photography, they aren't bad for learning. I'll guess that the Focal zoom says MADE IN KOREA in which case it's by Samyang | Phoenix and will be OK on film. The Super-Takumar really is a superlative lens. That kit can easily be expanded, and any more lenses for the Praktica body will also work on any Pentax dSLR you may get in the future.

NOTE: DO NOT PUT ANY OF THOSE FLASHES ON A DIGITAL CAMERA! THEY COULD FRY THE ELECTRONICS! If you can, google each flash with TRIGGER VOLTAGE to see just how much juice they deliver. Don't brick your Nikon!

10-09-2011, 08:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote

I'll guess that the Focal zoom says MADE IN KOREA in which case it's by Samyang | Phoenix and will be OK on film.

NOTE: DO NOT PUT ANY OF THOSE FLASHES ON A DIGITAL CAMERA! THEY COULD FRY THE ELECTRONICS! If you can, google each flash with TRIGGER VOLTAGE to see just how much juice they deliver. Don't brick your Nikon!
Thanks for the info! The Focal 80-200 Zoom does NOT say Made In Korea, but Made In Japan. How much of a difference does that make?
10-09-2011, 10:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SatinSilverStang Quote
Thanks for the info! The Focal 80-200 Zoom does NOT say Made In Korea, but Made In Japan. How much of a difference does that make?
I don't know for sure. Many of the off-brand zooms of the day weren't great. K-Mart (Focal) and Sears usually imported good-quality prime lenses, and I know that their Korean-made zooms were OK at least (I've had a few), but I haven't seen much love for off-brand Japanese zooms of that era, and I haven't tried a Japanese-made Focal zoom. (Off-brand doesn't include Vivitar, whose Series 1 zooms are legendary.)

Zoom technology has advanced tremendously since M42 time. Some off-brand zooms do have charm and character, like the Samyang-made 70-210's and 60-200's, and my favourite portrait zoom is an old M42 Sears-Tokina 55-135/3.5. But most modern zooms perform much better than most old-timers.

What is the serial number of your Focal? We might be able to identify the maker from that. If the serial starts with 22 (Kiron) or 37 (Tokina), it might be pretty decent. And of course the real test is: SHOOT WITH IT! See if you like it.
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