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12-26-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
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smc takumar & k7

Hello all,

I am very new to DSLR or photography for that matter. Got interested when my brother took some excellent photos of the niece and nephews on his D90, and was hooked on the precious memory snapshots. Anyway, just bought the k7 after 6 months of researching around and absolutely pleased with it.

Showed it off to the brother and dad, and dad from his many archived boxes pulls out a spotmatic 2 bought in the early 70s. Totally amazed by the bulit of these things, makes the D90 feel lightweight, not so much against the k7.

I have read through the articles and reviews on the forum and attached are some photos.

1) Can i use this lens on the k7? looks like the earlier version of super takumar smc lens as per lense review (m42 screw mount normal primes)? please confirm which lens this is?

2) If yes, then i would need adapter, which is going to be struggle to get in Perth western australia, so will find a way somehow. Would there be any warranty issues using a non OEM adaptor? Or it is just like usage of any third party accessory, e.g flashs, memory card etc. ( i am aware of the issue regarding ill fitting adaptors, flange/non flange etc. through the articles, so will be careful).

3) UV cleansing, the lens has a slight yellowish tone after 30 odd years sitting in the closets. As described in some of these articles, to cleanse this, is it just a case of opening up the blades and leaving it in the sun for an extended period of time to improve?

Wishing all a happy new year and a safe festive season. Thank you for your time and assistance.


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12-27-2009, 05:47 AM   #2
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Good Morning and welcome to the Forums!

I have the exact same camera, and a very similar lens - the 55mm f1.8, and yes it is usable on your new K7. The f1.4 is a very good lens.

However (there is always a catch), the lens has a mounting that is referred to as a M42 screw mount. Pentax has an adapter that is the current K adapter on one side (camera) with the M42 screw mounting on the other side (lens) and it sells for about $30. There are other adapters from third parties, but some are not designed or manufactured to the levels of Pentax's and at times get stuck on the camera. Also, the Pentax adapter is machined to the correct depth, so that the lens will focus at infinity correctly (a potential problem with other adapters). Pentax changed mountings in the mid 1970's. So this is a minor mechanical mounting issue. There are quite a few folks here that like using the old screw mount lenses. They are not fully automatic as the new ones, so you would need to focus manually and set the aperture manually. The M42 mounting is still used by a number of very fine lens manufacturers - Zeiss for one.

To use the lens, you will need to do 2 things. First, and you only need to do this step once, is to tell the camera that you will be using the aperture ring manually. And second, when mounting the lens, tell the camera that it is a 50mm lens. That way it will be able to apply the image stabilization (SR - shake reduction) correctly, since the older lens does not have the new electrical interface that communicates with the camera indicating its lens type. The instructions for these steps are listed below....

Also, here is a video on the overall process (another Pentax model and a different lens, but may be helpful)...
Information on the M42 lens adapter
Information on setting up the camera
... and here is some additional information that may be helpful.
hope that helps...
12-27-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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Hi interested observer,

Thank you very much for the quick reply, and yes it was very helpful. It confirms what i have read so far on this excellent forum.

For a time there, i was thinking did i make a wrong decision on the k7 as the prices for the primes like the DA*55 f1.4 is over AUD$1k here, as opposed to the much cheaper primes from Nikon. Luckily, i have dad's much touted Tak.

This will be a cheaper and great way to start on manual focusing as well. Btw, just checked with pentax australia, they do have the adapter part number 30120 available here.

Cheers and best regards,
12-31-2009, 11:10 AM   #4
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There's always great deals on the Marketplace here ... I have purchased many a Tak from overseas through this forum without hassle.

Enjoy the Taks ... I really do. For the price and quality ... you can't beat them.

Get the genuine adaptor ... trust me ... it's worth the extra few $$$$ for the ease of use.

The 50/1/4 you have there is one of the better ones (if you could really class them in ranges ... they are all good really).

With the yellowing/radioactive lenses ... you pretty much put them on a window sill in the sun ... although I have heard that it is best to wrap the outer barrel in foil though ... and take both front and rear caps off.

12-31-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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Gorgeous spottie.

Join us in the film forum!

Never use a non-Pentax m42 adapter. It's just not worth it. They can jamb, get stuck, mess with the focus, and rust your Karma.

Being able to use the old Takumars on your DSLR is one of the things that makes Pentax such a great system. Be careful though, soon you will be lusting over old Russian glass, SMC-M's and Vivitar series 1's. Look up LBA, and be careful.

There are some on this forum that shoot 90% with Tak's.

Great lenses.
01-01-2010, 07:20 PM   #6
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Happy New Year...

Well, just to keep everyone posted on my progress and what I have found so far. Hopefully, this can assist any beginners like me.

1) found exactly which lens this is, which is a Asahi part no# 37902, made for only a couple years 1971-1972, so this is really "limited" in those days. Very helpful website Asahi optical historical club. Cleared up alot of confusion as to which lens it is, chronology, super tak vs s-m-c vs smc, etc....

2) Ordered an OEM Pentax mount adaptor k through Cr Kennedy in Australia, approx $45. Waiting for it to arrive.

3) Bought a black light from the hardware store and after 2 days of exposing the rear element to it with the foils and a homemade foiled lined tissue box, some noticeable differences, the yellowing is clearing up.
Another thing i did noticed whilst trawlling thru the web, that i could unscrew the rear element (focus to infinity to bring the rear element out and gently grip the ring around the lens, unscrew counter clockwise), that's when i noticed the rear element was not yellowing or not that yellow compared to the second lens from the rear. So with all the discussions around it being the rear element, well at least with my s-m-c tak, it's the 2nd from the rear.

4) Dad's spotmatic 2, is in mint condition, and when i get confident in photography, i will give it a shot. Cannot get my head around not being able to veiw the immediate results of a shot like any modern camera can. ( note to oneself, why not carry both?? )

Cheers to all.

01-01-2010, 07:40 PM   #7
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

Your Dad's Spotmatic looks pretty sweet. Two things if you are thinking of using it for film:
  • Light seals
  • Mirror "bumper"
The foam material used for the light seals and mirror bumper disintegrates into a gummy mess with age. Most older film cameras require replacement of both. This is particularly important in regards to the mirror bumper. The mirror action during exposure can sling the gummy mess onto the focus screen where a professional's attention would be needed to get it clean again. You might also want to check the battery compartment. Many older cameras were stored with their battery installed. These tended to leak with time with resultant corrosion of the battery compartment and attached wiring.

In regards to your lens...Unless it has a mechanic issue or is filthy inside, it should not require disassembly. The yellowing is caused by an interaction between radiation from rare earth elements added to the glass and the balsam cement used to glue those elements into their groups. As a result, only those groups are affected. The UV bleaching is generally effective, but takes time.


P.S. Carrying both cameras is a viable option. I often have both film and digital bodies with me.

01-01-2010, 11:52 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve,

Looked into the body, from the lens end without the lens attached, saw the mirror staring at me at a 45 degree showing a mirror image of the focus screen. Saw the foam material that act as a bumper, and for a split second (without thinking ) ran my finger over it, it's dried and flaked all over the mirror. Thanks for the warning, will have to get it replaced, before i start using it. All ok for the battery compartment, no leaks and even replaced a new battery and works.

Speaking of the lens, whilst doing the UV thing, noticed a few (3-4) really black spots in the lens, not on the front or rear lens. Looks like it is on the intermediate lenses. This does not look like fungus as seen in some pictures, considering i have not shot with this lens before, i will wait and see what the results will be before considering sending it in for a professional clean. I will not DIY, albeit not much monetary value, i will still treat this lens with great sentimental value.

Best regards

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