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06-09-2015, 02:32 AM   #1
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Wanted: Advice for Takumar user upgrading

Like many others I love my Takumars and I have no intention of replacing them with something more modern. I love the simplicity of my k10d too, but I've decided that at long last it is time to upgrade my DSLR body.

All my shooting is done in aperture priority or manual and I have no interest in video or sports shooting.

I read the A7/K3 comparison with a variety of manual focus lenses with interest. Both cameras are showing edge softness for hardened corner pixel peepers with the takumars, but not enough for me to worry about. However the CA issues that I have seen elsewhere from the K3 are of more concern.

I'm thinking do I wait for the FF or pick up a K3 or a k5iiS? If the latest sensors are starting to finally show up the image limitations of the best vintage glass, I'd rather upgrade to the best body for my lenses.

I'd be interested in the experiences of other Takumar users with any of the above bodies or the A7. What is the best DSLR body for a Takumar addict?

06-09-2015, 03:55 AM   #2
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I have a large takumar collection and both the K5iis and K3. Firstly, I love the combinations, old glass and latest DSLR bodies. They work well, no doubt about it. But there are some pitfalls to be wary of.

CAs, or more specifically purple fringing, is evident is some of the finest Takumars. The SMC 135/2.5 V2 is perhaps the worst offender in this regard. Do not expect to avoid purple fringing with this gem, unless you shoot at 5.6 or above. That said, wide open performance is not the be all to end all as I often shoot at 5.6 to 8 anyway.

The SMC 35/2 and 300/4 also suffer colour fringing (cyan and purple) and is a little harder to correct in PPing. Again, stopping down dismisses these dramas (generally).

The SMC 85/1.8 and ST 85/1.9 are just marvellous on the digital body. Really marvellous. I can't fault these lenses, with each having their strengths and weaknesses. I don't recall seeing any CA issues with these lenses.

Macro 50 and 100mm lenses perform very well. Little to fault there on digital.

The SMC 24/3.5 is marvellous. Sharp sharp sharp and very contrasty. I rate this lens better than the K24/2.8 and only a peg below the FA20/2.8 on digital.

But, the best lenses are the ST 50/1.4 eight element and ST 55/1.8 zebra. These lenses are simply wonderful on the digital - wonderful!!!! The Takumar 35/2.3 is also quite good! It seems these older lenses do pretty well when you manage stray light well with hoods.

You probably won't see much difference between the K5iis and K3 in terms of IQ performance. However, the K3 does offer better ergonomics and slightly better functionality than the K5iis. Either camera will service you well.

Should you upgrade to the K3ii or future FF? I think the question is do you want maximise your lenses potential (i.e. FF) or not. It is said by some that Takumars tend to perform variously on digital FF cameras (i.e. A7r) but that measure is hard to rely on as the sensor setup is not necessarily ideal for Takumars (so I hear).

Personally, you will get great performance out of the K5iis with the K3 giving you a little more options for a little more money. Either way you won't be disappointed. FF is likely to cost heaps and the benefit is yet to be known - a little risky.

I would go for the K5iis/ K3 (which is what I did) and wait for the FF reviews to see if a future upgrade is worth it.
06-09-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamess Quote
Both cameras are showing edge softness for hardened corner pixel peepers with the takumars, but not enough for me to worry about.
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

Sorry for being terse, but here are a few short bullet points:
  • Digital cameras do not have edge sharpness problems as long as the sensor is flat.
  • Cameras do not have CA problems. That is a lens issue.
  • Digital sensors may have issues with purple fringing, but to the best of my knowledge and having owned both the K10D and K-3 I can confidently state that this issue is no more prominent on the K-3.
I might also add that my screw mount Takumars work fine on my K-3 and that the stop-down metering is somewhat better than on the K10D. You can upgrade in full confidence.


(...has no A7 experience...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-09-2015 at 10:35 AM.
06-09-2015, 11:19 PM   #4

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YMMV, but here is my experience.

5D with m42 lenses.
EEG precision focusing screen.
Got to be one of best setup for the money.
Cheap and FF.
Bare basics of a camera but it gets the job done.
Iso3200 max and it's usable IMO.

A7, very good with MF lenses in general.
Evf gives advantage of focus peaking and magnification, which is not the case for any mirror based camera.
Metering is good too.
Some minor irritations on how Sony implements their cameras, but still, I give it credit for being the best one yet for MF lenses.

Pentax, I'd say it's just few months to the FF.
So the best bet is wait for it.
Better, interface and handling, better features important to photography IMO.
If you have few AF lenses, then that seals the deal
I'm waiting for it for sure.

06-12-2015, 06:59 PM   #5
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I suggest you not buy until you've had a chance to test a camera with viewfinder focus peaking. Most of those cameras are Sony or Olympus. It is a revelation.

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