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08-22-2008, 02:56 PM   #1
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To SMC or not

I'm going to get a few tak lenses for a small film kit and am wondering if I should get the SMC lenses or the super taks. Since It's just for fun, I'm leaning towards the cheaper super taks. It will probably be a 28mm, 55mm, and 135mm setup. I'm doing it for a little nostalgia, my first kit 15 years ago was a ME super with M series lenses 28, 50, and 135mm that I stole from my dad.
Thanks, Ryan

08-22-2008, 03:15 PM   #2
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I would go with the Super Takumars. The SMC lenses garner a premium price. The Super Takumars are coated, but do not have "super multi-coating" (though I have heard that some later Super Taks do). Some photographers actually prefer a single-coated lens for b&w photography. They hold that single-coated lenses offer better shadow detail in b&w. If I want to give my Super Taks a "super" treatment, I just put on a super multi-coated UV filter.

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08-22-2008, 03:31 PM   #3
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I've got mostly SMC Tak lenses, with a couple of Super Tak examples. Specifically a 28mm 3.5 that I bought off this forum from Finn. He raved about it and now, so do I. Really nice glass, maybe prone to a bit more flair than the SMCs but still really nice.

If you can find some really clean Super taks and are on a budget, go ahead, you're not losing much. Although I wouldn't run away from SMC taks, they are worth the premium they garner in flare control and maybe overall color.

Here's a nice image from Super Tak 28mm... note the boket and the nice resolution on the spider's strand on the upper leaf.

Germar
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08-22-2008, 05:09 PM   #4
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By careful shopping, the price difference is nil. By careful observation, the performance difference between my Auto, Super and SMC is nil, in most situations. My thought is: when the right lens shows up at the right price and condition, I don't really care what the qualifier is.

Now that could be different if I had a SPF or ES.

08-22-2008, 05:17 PM   #5
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When I had a chance to pick up an ESII (open-aperture metering) I was damned glad that I had picked up so many S-M-C and SMC Takumars. To me, they're worth a bit more just for that functionality.

For anyone contemplating using them only on DSLR or film bodies which don't support the screwmount open-aperture metering.....don't worry about it too much. Pay more attention to mechanical condition and absence of fungus/clouding/etc.
08-22-2008, 05:34 PM   #6
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Now that I have some experience with screwmount lenses adapted to K-mount bodies, I actually prefer being able to stop down before releasing the shutter. Yes, it is one extra step, but I am now in the habit of doing it. It should pay at least some type of performance dividend, as having the lens stopped down prior to shooting removes a source of vibration.
08-22-2008, 06:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
Now that I have some experience with screwmount lenses adapted to K-mount bodies, I actually prefer being able to stop down before releasing the shutter. Yes, it is one extra step, but I am now in the habit of doing it. It should pay at least some type of performance dividend, as having the lens stopped down prior to shooting removes a source of vibration.
It should be mentioned that those shooting with open-aperture capable bodies still have the option of using Super Takumar lenses stopped down, and can in fact do the same thing with the S-M-C/SMC versions as well. There are many times where I have gone into manual "override" and closed down the aperture prior to shooting for exactly the reason you mention.
08-23-2008, 08:28 AM   #8
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With regard to pricing, there is a price differential between S-M-C/SMC and Super Tak lenses. While this pricing difference can be rather negligible when buying from eBay (sometimes only $5 or $10), when buying from KEH, there is a more significant difference. For example, an EX grade 50/1.4 Super Tak is $62, but an EX grade 50/1.4 S-M-C is $109.

08-23-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the input. Since I got a spot II, I'm going to go with the super tak's. The camera came with a sad SMC 35mm that I might sell, and I have a little credit at KEH, so I'll start with a 55mm f1.8. In the future I'll get the 28 and 135mm.
Ryan
08-23-2008, 10:54 AM   #10
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Just my own observation: the 35/3.5 is one of the better Taks out there. I like it more (FOV apart) than either 28 I have. How sad is it?
08-23-2008, 11:18 AM   #11
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I guess I'm not sure what dinged up means with lenses this old, but on all the sharp edges, you can see silver. The filter ring has a little dent, you can put filters on but it's a little tough. The focus and aperture work perfect, and I shot a quick roll to test the camera and everything was great.
I agree with the nice field of view on a 35mm. But I already have the 31mm for my AF kit, and a M 35mm f2 for the ME super. I want to do something a little different for this set up.
Ryan
08-23-2008, 11:19 AM   #12
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I, too, prefer the 35/3.5 to any 28 I have.
08-23-2008, 03:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
I, too, prefer the 35/3.5 to any 28 I have.
I have been looking for one of these..
08-23-2008, 04:09 PM   #14
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One shouldn't get too terribly hung up on the cosmetic appearance of these lenses. The scratches, dings, and dents just show they've been put to use instead of sitting on shelves. So long as the optics and moving parts are alright, I don't mind cosmetic troubles the least little bit.

And the 35/3.5 is indeed no slouch of a lens:




Pentax K20D
S-M-C Takumar 35/3.5
ISO800 1/15 @ f5.6

08-23-2008, 04:29 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryno Quote
I'm going to get a few tak lenses for a small film kit and am wondering if I should get the SMC lenses or the super taks. Since It's just for fun, I'm leaning towards the cheaper super taks. It will probably be a 28mm, 55mm, and 135mm setup. I'm doing it for a little nostalgia, my first kit 15 years ago was a ME super with M series lenses 28, 50, and 135mm that I stole from my dad.
Thanks, Ryan
My take is a little different. I'd go with period correct.

If the film body is a Spotmatic, use Super Takumars... if it is a Spotmatic F or ES, etc, use SMC.

The 35mm f/3.5... and the 35 f/2.0 are both superb lenses BTW.

woof!

Last edited by woof; 08-23-2008 at 04:37 PM.
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