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10-17-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Super Takumars on ME Super

I am considering trying out some Takumars...a new level of LBA commences.

I am wondering what the benefit is of getting a Spotmatic over and above getting a K-M42 adapter for my ME Supers. Looking through the Spotmatic instruction manual on Pentaxmanuals.com, it appears that the lens has to be stopped down for metering anyway (I am looking at Super Taks as these seem cheap), as it would be on the ME Super.

I figure on a ME Super, I'd pick f8 and toggle the shutter speed until it stopped flashing. Does this seem reasonable? Anyone else using Super Takumars on a ME Super?

10-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #2
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I haven't used a ME super but I have used a Program Plus. Just put it in auto, the Tak in manual, and stop down to where you need & shoot away. Meters just fine, better in fact than the fancy K digitals.

The advantage of the native M42 camera: yes you have to stop down to meter... but once that's over with, the camera stops the lens down for you for shooting, and opens it up again for viewing. With the K adapter you need to do this yourself.
10-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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so, in effect, these Super Tak lenses on an old Spotmatic body meter in the same manner as a K mount lens on a Pentax Dslr? Instead of using a green button to meter, you've got the left hand button on the lens mount on the Spotmatic? Maybe its worth getting a body in that case, as thats pretty convenient, and will make re-focussing easier.
10-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
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The handling on a Spotmatic body will be more convenient since you don't have to open up the aperture manually to focus and then stop it down again to meter and shoot. As you've said, the metering process is very similar to using plain K mount lenses on a Pentax DSLR in that the metering switch stops the lens down automatically to take a reading and opens the lens up again when you turn the meter off.

10-17-2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
The handling on a Spotmatic body will be more convenient since you don't have to open up the aperture manually to focus and then stop it down again to meter and shoot. As you've said, the metering process is very similar to using plain K mount lenses on a Pentax DSLR in that the metering switch stops the lens down automatically to take a reading and opens the lens up again when you turn the meter off.
What he said...

I have two stop-down meter film SLRs and the general flow is to meter the scene, open the lens back up, focus, and shoot. You only re-meter when the subject or light changes. I also use my M42 lenses adapted to my K-mount bodies, but it is a lot more cumbersome.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 10-18-2011 at 07:33 AM.
10-17-2011, 08:56 PM   #6
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I use Super Taks on a ME Super. See over here. The ME Super has really nice handling and a great VF with split image. I don't find it unduly cumbersome, but I would say this: the ME Super is nice for use with the Taks indoors in low light, where (for me at least) doing Sunny 16 rule computations in my head is impractical and it's hard to see a meter needle in the dark. (The ME Super has lights instead.) Also indoors without flash, I tend to be shooting wide-open or near it anyway, so the fact that you can't do open-aperture metering becomes irrelevant. (Shooting aperture equals open aperture anyway!) Outdoors where I am shooting at smaller apertures more often, and can apply Sunny 16 so don't need a meter as badly, I reach less for the ME Super. (Actually, I reach less for 35 mm in fact, but that's a different story.)

I will say, you want as many of the genuine Pentax M42-to-K adapters as you can afford (about USD 30 each), ideally one per K-mount camera that you will mount Taks on if money were no object. I have just one adapter, so the problem is I'm always futzing around with removing it from the ME Super to put in the K20D or vice-versa, etc. ... or did I take it out of the K20D to put on the kit lens for my wife to use the camera ... where is that confounded thing?!?!

--Dave
10-18-2011, 06:59 PM   #7
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One variation not accounted for is using aperture priority auto exposure native M42 cameras like the ES & ESII. In automatic mode, you focus wide open at the preselected f stop and depressing the shutter half way will automatically stop down the auto equipped M42 lens. At this point, the camera will automatically determine the shutter speed given the selected aperture. These cameras are much more convenient then using M42 lenses on any aperture priority cameras.
10-19-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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Les,

Really?!?! The part I've highlighted blue below sounds like a cool feature. But I just tried it on my ES II and it does not work that way (with an SMC 55/1.8). That said, my ES II is now only semi-functional in other ways so it's not a good test now. But I don't remember it doing that when it was fully functional, either. The only way I knew to stop down was to use the stop-down slider on the left side. Also, the instructions do not mention such a half-way press feature. Does your example truly do this, and is it an ES or ES II? If true, this makes me even more want to either get another (working) example, or finally bite the bullet on the cost of having Eric repair this one.

--Dave

QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
One variation not accounted for is using aperture priority auto exposure native M42 cameras like the ES & ESII. In automatic mode, you focus wide open at the preselected f stop and depressing the shutter half way will automatically stop down the auto equipped M42 lens. At this point, the camera will automatically determine the shutter speed given the selected aperture. These cameras are much more convenient then using M42 lenses on any aperture priority cameras.


10-19-2011, 08:35 PM   #9
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Both ES & ESII work as I described and as written in the manuals. I also have another aperture priority M42 body - Chinon CEII Memotron, and it has a far longer shutter throw to also stop the lens down to determine shutter speed prior to firing. If you prefer the convenience of full aperture reading aperture priority auto exposure, then these native M42 bodies are better in that respect.
10-20-2011, 05:48 AM   #10
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Dave - I need to try this also, but perhaps your problem is the SMC lens - try it with an ordinary M42 mount lens and report back!
10-20-2011, 06:55 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Dave - I need to try this also, but perhaps your problem is the SMC lens - try it with an ordinary M42 mount lens and report back!
It doesn't work with a couple of Super Taks that I tried, either. Must be this particular camera; as I said, it has other problems so I wouldn't be surprised if this half-press stop-down function has snuffed it as well. Time to repair/replace...
--Dave
10-20-2011, 08:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Argenticien Quote
Les,

Really?!?! The part I've highlighted blue below sounds like a cool feature. But I just tried it on my ES II and it does not work that way (with an SMC 55/1.8). That said, my ES II is now only semi-functional in other ways so it's not a good test now. But I don't remember it doing that when it was fully functional, either. The only way I knew to stop down was to use the stop-down slider on the left side. Also, the instructions do not mention such a half-way press feature. Does your example truly do this, and is it an ES or ES II? If true, this makes me even more want to either get another (working) example, or finally bite the bullet on the cost of having Eric repair this one.

--Dave
I too am a bit puzzled by the "half-way press" feature. It's not mentioned in the manuals I've seen or in a detailed contemporary review. Neither of my current ESIIs,both of which are in good working order, have this function. Neither did the one I used in the 70s. The choices are full aperture metering with most SMC lenses, or stop-down metering with all other M42 lenses. Metering works only in automatic mode. With SMC lenses it happens with the lens wide open prior to the diaphragm being stopped down during exposure.

The M42 Chinon CE/CE2/CE3 Memotron bodies did have the half-way press feature, which resulted in quite convenient aperture priority operation with all auto diaphragm M42 lenses.

Cheers

Last edited by John Poirier; 10-20-2011 at 08:34 PM.
10-21-2011, 05:34 PM   #13
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Do you guys notice a significant difference in the quality of the Takumar lenses, over say the M series lenses...this is the motivation behind this potential foray into Takumar-land? I read the old marketing material which said the tolerances are so tight on the Taks that there are partial vacuums between elements when taking them apart. I am particularly interested in the 28, 35 and 50mm lenses.
10-21-2011, 06:46 PM   #14
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In terms of build quality the Takumar primes (I don't own any of the zooms) are far ahead of the M series lenses. I currently have the Super Tak 35mm f/2, Super Tak 50mm f/1.4, Super Tak 105mm f/2.8 and SMC 135mm f/3.5. The 105mm f/2.8 was heavily used in its life as a college photo program loaner lens and it still feels solid and smooth.

Generally the A series build quality is another step down from the M lenses. Depending on how you work the the K mount and A mount lenses are more convenient to use on DSLRs since you gain varying degrees of aperture control through the camera body.
10-22-2011, 05:03 AM   #15
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And what about the optical quality? I note the lens design of the 35/3.5 Tak is very similar to that of the 40/2.8 M, just with a curved surface in the doublet, and the extra glass over and above a Tessar being moved from the rear of the lens to the front of the lens. I also see that the 28mm Takumar looks very similar to the M 28/3.5...... difficult to ascertain whether this is LBA or a genuine potential upgrade in IQ.

I am thinking that although Pentax made a name for themselves with the Takumars, the introduction of computing power to lens design around the late 70's may mean that the M series lenses are better. I note that the Canon FD 28/2.8 and the Nikon 28/2.8 AIS lenses of that time had the same lens design as the version ii of the M 28/2.8.
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