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03-24-2018, 09:34 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Pentax Takumar 50mm 1.4 Review

Hey guys! So I've been dabbling in vintage lenses for the past 18 months or so and Takumar's have quickly become my favourites. I compared the 100mm Macro F4 to a Modern Canon 100mm F2.8 awhile ago and wanted to do a review on my favourite 50mm lens.

I'm sure you guys know all about this, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on the lens in a video I did here.


Now keep in mind I'm 90% videographer/editor and have always done photography as a hobby so a big part of what I love about these lenses and this one in particular is how it performs when shooting video on my mirrorless camera.

A big part of why i make these videos is to reach a younger market who I see online complaining that they can't afford these fast prime lenses their photographic heroes are using. $1500 for a modern Canon 1.4 24mm vs $50 for a vintage Pentax Tak 50mm 1.4.

Anyway always a pleasure to be part of this like minded community. It's such a fantastic resource and place to share our love for these lenses/cameras.

03-24-2018, 05:58 PM   #2
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It looks like you shot with the newer 7 element version. The older 8 element version is reportedly much better.
03-24-2018, 06:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The older 8 element version is reportedly much better.
Rated by users at 0.13 better,not that much numerically...Add the fact that the later 7 element Super/Super Multi Coated/SMC have almost triple the reviewers,i'm not sure that there would be lots of difference.As far as being "much" better,copy variance can influence averages.I'd say both are rated highly.
03-24-2018, 10:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Asylum Quote
Hey guys! So I've been dabbling in vintage lenses for the past 18 months or so and Takumar's have quickly become my favourites. I compared the 100mm Macro F4 to a Modern Canon 100mm F2.8 awhile ago and wanted to do a review on my favourite 50mm lens.

I'm sure you guys know all about this, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on the lens in a video I did here.

VINTAGE LENS - PENTAX TAKUMAR 50mm 1.4 RADIOACTIVE Lens Review - YouTube

Now keep in mind I'm 90% videographer/editor and have always done photography as a hobby so a big part of what I love about these lenses and this one in particular is how it performs when shooting video on my mirrorless camera.

A big part of why i make these videos is to reach a younger market who I see online complaining that they can't afford these fast prime lenses their photographic heroes are using. $1500 for a modern Canon 1.4 24mm vs $50 for a vintage Pentax Tak 50mm 1.4.

Anyway always a pleasure to be part of this like minded community. It's such a fantastic resource and place to share our love for these lenses/cameras.


$50?


When I was looking for them about 5 years ago they typically sold on eBay auctions for more than $100, as high as $150. Has the bottom fallen from the market or are you exaggerating a bit, or have a source in a non-competitive market where the seller does not know what they would get in an international market?

03-25-2018, 12:39 AM   #5
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Over the last couple of years,Takumars K and M and A series have been in demand, prices have doubled for some variants.

K-1 users and mainly M/L adapters recognise that the old glass is reasonably good.
03-25-2018, 12:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
Rated by users at 0.13 better,not that much numerically...Add the fact that the later 7 element Super/Super Multi Coated/SMC have almost triple the reviewers,i'm not sure that there would be lots of difference.As far as being "much" better,copy variance can influence averages.I'd say both are rated highly.
It is probably time that a serious head to head be done between these two types. Both have their pros and cons. I prefer the 8 element but both are excellent. The advantage of smc is not as important on digital as it is relatively easy to compensate saturation and contrast - these being main pro for the later 7 element version. The eight element produces a slightly better bokeh but that is subjective.
03-25-2018, 06:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
It looks like you shot with the newer 7 element version. The older 8 element version is reportedly much better.
I thought the 8 element one was newer lol. Disinformation I read perhaps. I need to read more about the history of this lens.

---------- Post added 03-25-18 at 06:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
$50?


When I was looking for them about 5 years ago they typically sold on eBay auctions for more than $100, as high as $150. Has the bottom fallen from the market or are you exaggerating a bit, or have a source in a non-competitive market where the seller does not know what they would get in an international market?
It was at a Vintage Camera sale actually. It was near the end of the big sale and I suspect the vendors were just wanting to off their wares. I shot my experience at the event and in my broll i saw it was marked up at $80 earlier, but I bought them JUST as they were shutting down and picked up a 100mm Macro F4 (tak) and the leather carrying case.

---------- Post added 03-25-18 at 06:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wild Mark Quote
It is probably time that a serious head to head be done between these two types. Both have their pros and cons. I prefer the 8 element but both are excellent. The advantage of smc is not as important on digital as it is relatively easy to compensate saturation and contrast - these being main pro for the later 7 element version. The eight element produces a slightly better bokeh but that is subjective.
Agreed! I personally don't get too much into particulars...I either like the image results or I don't. It's almost never absolute either...even if there is a look i don't love there may be a way to exploit it creatively.

---------- Post added 03-25-18 at 06:40 PM ----------

Totally OT on my own thread, but any of you guys have experience with the 35mm F2 and 200mm F4? I'm looking to pick those two up to finish off the focal range. 35, 50, 100 and 200

03-25-2018, 07:51 PM   #8
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I also really like vintage lenses. What other Takumars have you played with? I really enjoy mine - have 7 and 8 element versions of the 1.4/50, the 1.8/55. and the 3.5/35 and actually waiting on the arrival of some eBay LBA as well - 4/17 fisheye, 3.5/24, and a couple 3.5/135s. Are you using a Pentax body for any stills, or just the Sony? I have an a6000 as my go-everywhere "pocket" camera, and picked up the adapter for my K mount lenses, and in turn my m42's. I haven't played much with video on it, but back of my mind is I should check it out with my Takumars to see what I think of this video thing on mirrorless with vintage lenses I keep hearing about.
03-25-2018, 08:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
I also really like vintage lenses. What other Takumars have you played with? I really enjoy mine - have 7 and 8 element versions of the 1.4/50...

And what do you think about the 7vs 8 element performance?
03-25-2018, 08:48 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
And what do you think about the 7vs 8 element performance?
The 8 element one I picked up awhile back was in need of internal cleaning (tiny fungus), and I've just got it back together for the 2nd time (snap below after first cleaning) and started shooting with it, so too soon to feel confident making any bold statements. I would say a hair sharper wide open would be my first response and maybe a little more color pop. They are both nice. I haven't done any direct back to back shots with them, and I think I just got my assignment for tomorrow. Now to find something other than the poor dog to be my model Nothing blooming yet, but sun's supposed to be out tomorrow, so perhaps a walk down to the river with a couple of 50's will be my mission after work. Two sample shots wide open at 1.4 of the dutiful dog taken at completely different times, but same part of the house, so while not controlled well, the lighting isn't completely inconsistent between the two. The first one is the 7 element version. These are OOC jpegs, but the 7 element is with my K3 and the 8 on my K1, so we've got a couple different things at play. Regardless, I think you can see what I mean by a little more sharpness and pop and perhaps some contrast too. All very unscientific though, so view with a grain of salt.
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03-25-2018, 09:02 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Asylum Quote


---------- Post added 03-25-18 at 06:40 PM ----------

Totally OT on my own thread, but any of you guys have experience with the 35mm F2 and 200mm F4? I'm looking to pick those two up to finish off the focal range. 35, 50, 100 and 200


I almost exclusively use the Tak series of lenses. I have most of the focal lengths and speeds but only one version for each fl/speed that I have from 20 to 300. There are some with distinctive characteristics but it is remarkable how many have very similar character, like that was a design objective, and I like using them.
03-26-2018, 05:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
I also really like vintage lenses. What other Takumars have you played with? I really enjoy mine - have 7 and 8 element versions of the 1.4/50, the 1.8/55. and the 3.5/35 and actually waiting on the arrival of some eBay LBA as well - 4/17 fisheye, 3.5/24, and a couple 3.5/135s. Are you using a Pentax body for any stills, or just the Sony? I have an a6000 as my go-everywhere "pocket" camera, and picked up the adapter for my K mount lenses, and in turn my m42's. I haven't played much with video on it, but back of my mind is I should check it out with my Takumars to see what I think of this video thing on mirrorless with vintage lenses I keep hearing about.
Just the 100mm macro F4 which I pitted against my modern canon 100 USM macro. I tested the 35 and 200 at the vintage camera sale but didnít have enough cash for all the Lenses so had to pick between the two. I love macro so the macro was a go for sure and the 50 was such a good price. I would have taken the 35 1.8 but it was the most expensive of the bunch. I would buy it now in a heart beat so looking forward to the next sale.

I have a Pentax SLR which was my dads. Going to use that to start shooting film. Iím mostly a video guy which is why I use Sony and canon...stills have always been a hobby. The vintage Pentax has got me appreciating the brand pretty heavily though.

---------- Post added 03-26-18 at 05:40 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
I almost exclusively use the Tak series of lenses. I have most of the focal lengths and speeds but only one version for each fl/speed that I have from 20 to 300. There are some with distinctive characteristics but it is remarkable how many have very similar character, like that was a design objective, and I like using them.
Amazing! What has been your prime source and what is a good price for 200F4 85 1.8 and 35 1.8?

---------- Post added 03-26-18 at 05:41 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
I almost exclusively use the Tak series of lenses. I have most of the focal lengths and speeds but only one version for each fl/speed that I have from 20 to 300. There are some with distinctive characteristics but it is remarkable how many have very similar character, like that was a design objective, and I like using them.
Amazing! What has been your prime source and what is a good price for 200F4 85 1.8 and 35 1.8?
03-26-2018, 08:24 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digital Asylum Quote



Amazing! What has been your prime source and what is a good price for 200F4 85 1.8 and 35 1.8?


I think the last one I bought was about 2014, so memory fades for prices.


Most I bought on eBay auctions, a few through the marketplace here. I took about 3 to 4 years to collect them. That smoothed the expense and also meant patiently avoiding paying much more than the average auction close price. I am not sure where my spreadsheet record of that is.


I recall I got the SMC Tak 200/4 quite early for about USD70.
I did not get the 85/1.8, but got the STak 85/1.9 on an eBay BIN, my last one, I was impatient then. About US250, or possibly less.
35/1.8 - never heard of it. I got SMC Tak 35/3.5 for about US50, and STak 35/2 for about US160.
03-26-2018, 03:58 PM   #14
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I got my smc tak 200 f4 for $20+shipping as i was the only bidder and its nice. Got the A 50 1.4 for $60 the third time after it didn't sell twice. I got my tak 150+28 f3.5+m42 adapter+mx for $70 on Craigslist. My smc 300f4 tak was $70. My tak 135 2.5v2 was bought here for like $75.
Good deals are around. I love them all. Wish i had more time to give my harem.
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