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10-22-2011, 01:06 PM   #16
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I didn't get into optics because you really have to look at it lens by lens. Some designs, like the 50mm f/1.4, are pretty much the same from the 2nd generation Super Takumar all the way through the FA 50mm except for coating changes with each generation.

Other lens designs with similar focal length and aperture settings changed repeatedly just through the different generations of Takumar lenses, so you need to decide which version you want to compare against a more modern lens. Even with different designs, both versions may be acceptable to you.

The Auto Takumar 35mm f/2.3, 4 versions of the Super and SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, the M, A and FA versions of the 35mm f/2 and the DA 35mm f/2.4 are all well regarded but the optical formula changed repeatedly. An SMC Takumar for $150 may or may not be a better buy than a DA for $200, an A for $300, or an FA for $325 but they are all quite capable and outside of a lab most people would have trouble telling photos from the different versions apart.

10-22-2011, 04:35 PM   #17
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John and Dave,
The ESII manual states this precisely. Keep in mind this is the only way aperture priority auto exposure can work with auto M42 lenses.
10-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
most people would have trouble telling photos from the different versions apart.
So if I was to compare the M 28/2.8 version 1 with the Super Takumar 28/3.5 and compare the M 35/2.8 with the Super Takumar 35/3.5, there would be little diference?
10-23-2011, 03:55 PM   #19
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I have done a direct comparison between an SMC-A 28/2.8 and a smc plus super tak 28/3.5
Visually there wasn't much to choose between the three. jpeg size wise, the SMC-A beat the super, which narrowly beat the SMC Tak, and it did so with the advantage of the faster max aperture.

I might guess similar results can be had at 35 and 50 mm... but the Takumars are more 'permanently' and classically made.

10-23-2011, 08:14 PM   #20
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If in doubt buy them all, test to your satisfaction, and keep the version of each focal length you like the most. It works for me (except when I can't make up my mind and re-buy copies of lenses that I've already sold, or when I end up keeping both because they are different enough to justify it).
10-23-2011, 08:33 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
John and Dave,
The ESII manual states this precisely. Keep in mind this is the only way aperture priority auto exposure can work with auto M42 lenses.
I think there is some confusion over how M42 lenses equipped for full aperture metering work on the ESII versus non-full aperture lenses.

Metering with SMC lenses- the ones with the linkage for full aperture metering- occurs at full aperture on the ESII. The linkage tells the meter what aperture is set, rather than the diaphragm being physically stopped down for metering. The shutter speed is actually set prior to the diaphragm stopping down during the exposure sequence.. Half depressing the shutter release turns on the meter but does not stop down the lens.

Lenses without that linkage must be stopped down for proper metering on the ESII. You can use the lever on the side of the mirror box, just like the Spotmatic. Or you can set the diaphragm to manual mode. Super Takumar lenses, for example, will meter properly on the ESII (and the Spotmatic F) only when stopped down. THe sequence is that the lens is stopped down one way or another, shutter speed is captured as the shutter release is depressed, then the shutter fires. Again, there is no half-depression/stop-down function.

The Chinon CEII is a can of worms of a different colour. Half depressing the shutter release both stops down the lens and turns on the meter. Pressing the shutter release the rest of the way captures the shutter speed setting, then fires the shutter. Metering is not truly full aperture, but the half-depression/stopdown/shutter speed setting sequence means that most auto diaphragm M42 lens can be used conveniently in aperture priority mode. You are able to focus at full aperture, then quickly and briefly transition to stopped down mode as you press the shutter release and take the picture.

Hope that begins to sort things out.

John
10-23-2011, 09:10 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
I didn't get into optics because you really have to look at it lens by lens. Some designs, like the 50mm f/1.4, are pretty much the same from the 2nd generation Super Takumar all the way through the FA 50mm except for coating changes with each generation.

Other lens designs with similar focal length and aperture settings changed repeatedly just through the different generations of Takumar lenses, so you need to decide which version you want to compare against a more modern lens. Even with different designs, both versions may be acceptable to you.

The Auto Takumar 35mm f/2.3, 4 versions of the Super and SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, the M, A and FA versions of the 35mm f/2 and the DA 35mm f/2.4 are all well regarded but the optical formula changed repeatedly. An SMC Takumar for $150 may or may not be a better buy than a DA for $200, an A for $300, or an FA for $325 but they are all quite capable and outside of a lab most people would have trouble telling photos from the different versions apart.
That sums things up nicely. In my experience Super Multicoating generally offers better performance in terms of flare and internal reflections than does the single coating on Super Takumar and earlier lenses. Otherwise even the earlier lenses are very respectable performers. Generally speaking, I'd say late Super Takumars and SMC Takumars can come close to, perhaps in some cases equal, high end modern lens. It is very unlikely that any are superior to the best modern primes. If you can get them for a very good price and can live with awkward metering and handling, they are worth considering. There is also the fun factor.

If you're patient it's still possible to find nice lenses for very reasonable prices. . In particular, I think the SMC 28/3.5, 35/3.5, 55/1.8, 135/3.5 and 200/4 are still good deals. You might want to check out KEH. In my view their prices are competitive with EBay, and I think they offer a good warranty.

Your idea of trying M42 lenses on an ME Super is sensible.

In my case, I was fortunate in acquiring a good set of vintage lenses when prices were very low. I started with screw mount gear in the 70s, sold it all by 1981, then went a a nostalgia trip in the late 90s. I still shoot a lot of film and enjoy the process of using beautifully made lenses on Spotmatics. However, when shooting digital I tend to stick to modern lenses for reasons of efficiency.
04-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #23
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reviving the thread a bit...I am revisiting the idea of the Takumars as an "investment"...hey why not...money is pretty risky stuff and maybe its better to put it in things made out of metal and glass. Anyway, anyone have any idea where I might have read that some Super-Taks actually have SMC coatings...I am trying to recall where I read this and cant for the life of me work it out. Am I best off going for SMC or Super-Taks, on my "investment" foray (this is how I am selling it to the wife, and I presented the spectrum of Zeiss, Leica and Takumar and probably costs, and the Takumars will be the economic starting point) ahem...at least this investment also does something useful.

04-01-2012, 04:27 PM   #24
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According to Early Pentax Takumar Lenses, "Super-Takumars, as a rule of thumb, are single-coated lenses, not multi-coated. There are few exceptions (late Super-Takumars build around 1971)."
04-01-2012, 11:06 PM   #25
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Thanks, I seem to remember the additional detail being that the multicoated lenses just marked as Super Takumars were tele lenses...I think it might have been a different source to Taunusreiter.

EDIT: here we are:
http://whitemetal.com/pentax/st_135_25_m/st_135_25_m_03.htm

comparison of Takumars with SMC and without, both labelled Super Tak

Last edited by whojammyflip; 04-02-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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