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04-24-2010, 12:53 PM   #1
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Super/Auto Takumar lenses

I don't quite understand the significance of the "Auto" in Auto Takumar, nor the difference in the Auto Takumar and the Super Takumar, even after reviewing the Lens Review section of the forum. I see some of the Super Taks with a big "Auto" switch down on the side and can't find any description of its purpose.

Although I understand these are M42 screw mount lenses, does the "Auto" switch on the side allow them to function like later Pentax "A" lenses?

I see a lot of relatively inexpensive such lenses available in excellent condition and I am thinking of one for use with my ME Super (I have a Pentax K/M42 adapter) and occasionally with my K10D, albeit with limitations, on which I suppose it would function as a 202mm prime. Thanks.

04-24-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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auto takumars have a pin that allows for wide open focusing and auto stop down when shooting, BUT on a K mount camera (using the M42 adaptor) the aperture is always open. You need to lock the pin in the up (depressed) position to have the aperture follow the aperture ring.

Auper takumars have an autp manual switch,. this allows you to let the lens stop down when you turn the aperture ring.

the auto switch has nothing to do with the automatic aperture (controlled by the camera body) like on the KA mount lenses
04-24-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by NRV Shooter Quote
I don't quite understand the significance of the "Auto" in Auto Takumar, nor the difference in the Auto Takumar and the Super Takumar, even after reviewing the Lens Review section of the forum. I see some of the Super Taks with a big "Auto" switch down on the side and can't find any description of its purpose.

Although I understand these are M42 screw mount lenses, does the "Auto" switch on the side allow them to function like later Pentax "A" lenses?

I see a lot of relatively inexpensive such lenses available in excellent condition and I am thinking of one for use with my ME Super (I have a Pentax K/M42 adapter) and occasionally with my K10D, albeit with limitations, on which I suppose it would function as a 202mm prime. Thanks.

Auto-Takumars are actually semi-auto. what this means is that the 'cocking lever' (which is different from the A/M switch) allows you to 'reset' the aperture diaphragm to wide open for focusing and then when the shutter is tripped, the diaphragm closes down to the selected aperture and stays there. the name is misleading for sure. this in contrast to the next generation super-takumars, the aperture diaphragm is fully automatic. when the switch is set to auto or 'A' the aperture stays fully open regardless of fstop chosen, when the shutter is tripped, it stops down to the fstop and then opens back up for focusing again. it does this with a pin on the back of the lens that engages with a moving plate attached the the shutter assembly. if it were set to manual or 'M', it would be fully manual and the aperture would only operate when you adjust it. this is how a Takumar would behave when used with an adapter on a Kmount body. all of this is just advances in the mechanical operation of the aperture mechanism to allow for easier focusing and then to allow for metering with the spotmatic. it is in no way like the 'A' contacts on an 'A' series kmount lens. all Takumars from super through SMC have this auto/manual switch. all m42 lenses still being made (such as the new Zeiss ZS series) still use this method.

Last edited by séamuis; 04-24-2010 at 01:11 PM.
04-24-2010, 02:03 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
... all Takumars from super through SMC have this auto/manual switch. all m42 lenses still being made (such as the new Zeiss ZS series) still use this method.
Some exceptions to that are Russian-made lenses like the M42-mount Zenitars, which don't have an auto-manual switch. They are always "auto".

Another exception is a lens like this:



It's labeled "Auto-Takumar" but used like a Super-Takumar.

For use on a K-mount camera, these "auto" features are mostly irrelevant. With the typical M42 adapter, in "auto" mode the lens will always be wide open. You need to shoot in "manual" (on the lens, not the camera), so the aperture will stop down. So the lens needs "manual" mode to take photos. The "auto" modes are sometimes useful for focusing wide open. You can use the auto/manual switch in auto for focusing, then move it to manual for metering and taking the photo.

Written down, it sounds very complex. Using the lenses is not that tricky.

04-24-2010, 02:07 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Some exceptions to that are Russian-made lenses like the M42-mount Zenitars, which don't have an auto-manual switch. They are always "auto".

Another exception is a lens like this:


It's labeled "Auto-Takumar" but used like a Super-Takumar.

For use on a K-mount camera, these "auto" features are mostly irrelevant. With the typical M42 adapter, in "auto" mode the lens will always be wide open. You need to shoot in "manual" (on the lens, not the camera), so the aperture will stop down. So the lens needs "manual" mode to take photos. The "auto" modes are sometimes useful for focusing wide open. You can use the auto/manual switch in auto for focusing, then move it to manual for metering and taking the photo.

Written down, it sounds very complex. Using the lenses is not that tricky.
as I own nearly every example of the 55mm that Pentax ever made, I know full well of this particular variation, I just didnt think it was worth noting and making the definitions more confusing. the 'super' auto-takumar was just a transition model and functions exactly the same as a super-takumar.
04-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the clarifications!
04-24-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
as I own nearly every example of the 55mm that Pentax ever made, I know full well of this particular variation, I just didnt think it was worth noting and making the definitions more confusing. the 'super' auto-takumar was just a transition model and functions exactly the same as a super-takumar.
It's the internet; some bozo is bound to act like they know more than you.

Seriously, I only meant to add information to the thread.
04-24-2010, 03:27 PM   #8
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NRV--I don't understand half of the technical differences between these various manual lens types. I just know that shooting manual M42 lenses on the KX , they all work the same--whether they're preset lenses or not.

04-24-2010, 06:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
NRV--I don't understand half of the technical differences between these various manual lens types. I just know that shooting manual M42 lenses on the KX , they all work the same--whether they're preset lenses or not.
The differences are only really readily apparent when using them on various film bodies.

These were advances/innovations in the way the lens interacted with the camera's lens mount (and metering system, where applicable) and are best appreciated by experiencing them on the various bodies along the timeline.

Last edited by Mike Cash; 04-24-2010 at 06:10 PM.
04-25-2010, 05:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
It's the internet; some bozo is bound to act like they know more than you.

Seriously, I only meant to add information to the thread.
dont get me wrong, I and im sure the OP fully appreciate the added information.
04-25-2010, 07:24 PM   #11
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I absolutely do appreciate ALL of the feedback. I was considering a Takumar of 135 or 200mm, either Auto/Super/???, as an economical prime lens but on second thought, and after dismissing the nostalgia aspect, I will probably pass on one for now, even though I have an M42 adapter. Based on all of your information though, I will keep my eyes open for a bargain Takumar should one rear its beautiful head.

I have an ME Super and a K10D. Lenses are an M28mm-2.8, an M50mm-1.4, a Tamron 103A 80-200mm (and a PK-A adapter for use on the K10D), a DA18-55 kit lens, and a DA55-300. I am trying to figure out what type of macro lens I might best utilize, primarily on my K10D, and that will do me for awhile.

Thanks again for the feedback!
04-26-2010, 03:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NRV Shooter Quote
I absolutely do appreciate ALL of the feedback. I was considering a Takumar of 135 or 200mm, either Auto/Super/???, as an economical prime lens but on second thought, and after dismissing the nostalgia aspect, I will probably pass on one for now, even though I have an M42 adapter. Based on all of your information though, I will keep my eyes open for a bargain Takumar should one rear its beautiful head.

I have an ME Super and a K10D. Lenses are an M28mm-2.8, an M50mm-1.4, a Tamron 103A 80-200mm (and a PK-A adapter for use on the K10D), a DA18-55 kit lens, and a DA55-300. I am trying to figure out what type of macro lens I might best utilize, primarily on my K10D, and that will do me for awhile.

Thanks again for the feedback!
Get yourself a Tak Macro 50 F4 and you'll be hooked on Taks forever.
04-26-2010, 04:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Get yourself a Tak Macro 50 F4 and you'll be hooked on Taks forever.
this. or a 1.8 55, either one will hook you.
04-26-2010, 04:43 PM   #14
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Help on cleaning a lens element?

Hi everyone.
I'm new to the forums and I need a little help with my prized 50mm f4 Super Tak Macro. It seems to have a piece of dust on the interior of the rear element. It's smack dab in the middle. Any advice on cleaning it? I can't find instructions on how to disassemble the lens, so if you have any I would be really grateful.

Regards,
Brian

Last edited by btmccarthy; 04-27-2010 at 08:49 AM.
10-01-2010, 11:50 AM   #15
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So cutting thru all of the technical stuff, how will an Auto-Tak work on a K10D? Other than it being a manual lens, I won't have to do anything with the contacts will I?
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