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01-26-2015, 08:41 AM   #1
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Long Lens Questions

I am in the process of building a collection of lenses for my old Spotmatic. Currently I'm shopping around for a 300mm telephoto. There are evidently 2 options in original M 42 Super Takumar (I'll settle for nothing less!): One with an f4 max aperture and the other is an f5. The price differential between the two is pretty stark. The f4's seem to sell for around 100 bucks or so. The f5's maybe half or more less than that.

In a practical sense, is the more expensive of the two - the f4 - worth the added expense? How often would an average outdoor shooter like myself have need of a wide open telephoto? (I'm thinking films in the ISO 300-400 range) About the only situation I can think of is low light conditions (dawn/dusk).

Are there any inherent optical issues between the two lenses which should make me rule out an f5 lens as a worthy addition to my lens collection?

01-26-2015, 09:19 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flylooper Quote
There are evidently 2 options in original M 42 Super Takumar (I'll settle for nothing less!): One with an f4 max aperture and the other is an f5.
I do not recall an f/5 300mm do you have a link to it? There was a Tele-Tak f/6.3 which is a preset aperture lens but all the other 300mm ones should be f/4. The ST and S-M-C versions are the same AFAIK except the coatings and the S-M-C can meter with some cameras such as Spotmatic F and ES.
01-26-2015, 10:41 AM   #3
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When I look for a faster lens, there are basically two criteria that i look at.

1: Does this lens give me a reasonable increase in speed.

2: Does this lens give me a better aperture sweet spot.

In either case, a increase of 1/2 stop or even 1-stop, may not be enough of a increase in speed. there would have to be other factors that would sway my decision.

It is sometimes more expensive to buy several lenses that don't meet your needs, then to get one lens that you know will meet your needs.
Get the best lens that will fit your needs the first time. You won't regret it.
01-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #4
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According to the Asahi Optical Historical Club, which has a fairly comprehensive listing of early screwmount lenses there wasn't a Super-Takumar 300mm F5.

Tak Tele 2

As mentioned above there was a Super-Takumar 300mm F4, and a Tele-Takumar 300mm F5.6.

01-26-2015, 12:33 PM   #5
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The 300/4 suffers from severe purple fringing in high contrast scenes. I'm not sure if that's mostly on digital or if that will also will be as bad on film.
01-26-2015, 03:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by promacjoe Quote
When I look for a faster lens, there are basically two criteria that i look at.

1: Does this lens give me a reasonable increase in speed.

2: Does this lens give me a better aperture sweet spot.

In either case, a increase of 1/2 stop or even 1-stop, may not be enough of a increase in speed. there would have to be other factors that would sway my decision.

It is sometimes more expensive to buy several lenses that don't meet your needs, then to get one lens that you know will meet your needs.
Get the best lens that will fit your needs the first time. You won't regret it.
I think you make a very good point. "Penny wise and pound foolish," as they say.

As for the f5 business, I went back and started looking for the listing and clearly I misread it. I then consulted my 60's era manual, and it lists an f6.3 as the slower of the two offerings in the 300mm.

At any rate, I'm going to take your advice.

Last edited by Flylooper; 01-27-2015 at 08:55 AM.
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