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03-20-2019, 07:51 PM   #1
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Super-Takumar 50/1.4 on Pre-Spotmatic bodies

Even though I own a Pentax SV, I have a small uncertainty regarding compatibility with the Super-Takumar 50/1.4. My memory is that the only compatibility issue is the 8-element ST 50/1.4 with later production SVs having an orange "R" on the rewind knob able to accept that lens and all other variants; early production SV with an orange "R" being compatible with the 7-element variants only.

That being said, notes for the SV and several other pre-Spotmatic bodies in the Pentax Forums camera reviews indicate a general incompatibility with both the 7-element and 8-element lenses for bodies having the green "R". Am I in need of correction or has someone in this group actually used a 7-element lens on an early SV? By extension, can anyone say the same regarding the S1, S2, S3, or S1a?

Addendum: Information regarding use with the K, S, and AP models would also be appreciated.


Steve

P.S. The manual for the SV lists the ST 50/1.4 with no notation regarding compatibility.


Last edited by stevebrot; 03-21-2019 at 08:56 AM.
03-20-2019, 09:07 PM   #2
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Well that's peculiar timing, I stumbled across this 2013 thread this morning...

My understanding is that 'Marvin' measured a 7-element on a green R SV and it fit.

Asahi SV and Super Takumar 1:1.4 / 50mm - PentaxForums.com
03-20-2019, 09:25 PM   #3
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The seven element 50/1.4 is fine on all the SV models. I have used it often. Here is one with the green R. 50/1.4
03-20-2019, 09:45 PM   #4
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Wow! I knew I would get responses, but did not expect they would come so soon on such an esoteric topic. The reason for my question was in regards to the recent home page article on M42 mount history. Due to a series of unfortunate events, I was away from consistent Internet access and my better computer tools for most of the last few months, such that the last few sections were done by people on the PF staff. Unfortunately, the incompatibility matrix has an error, the full scope of which I needed to confirm before crafting replacement text.

With any luck, a few more folk might check in with experience with the other S#-series bodies.


Thanks...Steve

03-20-2019, 10:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Well that's peculiar timing, I stumbled across this 2013 thread this morning...

My understanding is that 'Marvin' measured a 7-element on a green R SV and it fit.

Asahi SV and Super Takumar 1:1.4 / 50mm - PentaxForums.com
Now that is funny. I responded to that thread and thought at that time that there was a general incompatibility of the ST 50/1.4 with the green "R" bodies. It may have been that thread that added to my knowledge.


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03-21-2019, 11:29 AM   #6
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My understanding is that when the very first Takumar 50/1.4 came out (the early 8 element version), because of the protruding rear element the mirror had to be slightly modified to clear. That lens was introduced in 1964, so I would think it would cause problems with any Pentax made prior to 1964.
The only pre-Spotmatic cameras that were being made at that time were the SV/H3v, S1a/H1a, and S2 Super. The rule with the SV is that if it has a green R then it's not compatible with the 8 element version. I'm curious if the S1a/H1a and S2 Super follow this rule as well?
03-21-2019, 11:35 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm curious if the S1a/H1a and S2 Super follow this rule as well?
I have two S1a bodies - one has an orange R the other a green R, so it's likely they denote something different.
03-21-2019, 12:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
My understanding is that when the very first Takumar 50/1.4 came out (the early 8 element version), because of the protruding rear element the mirror had to be slightly modified to clear. That lens was introduced in 1964, so I would think it would cause problems with any Pentax made prior to 1964.
I agree. That was my understanding as well.

QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm curious if the S1a/H1a and S2 Super follow this rule as well?
For the S1a/H1a, that is definitely the case. I would expect the Super S2 might follow a similar rule given there are photos on the Web showing both red* "R" and green "R" bodies.


Do you know if the 7-element ST 50/1.4 is broadly compatible with these pre-1964 models?


Steve

* The "red" color used is somewhat variable and is more "orange" on some cameras.

03-21-2019, 12:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote

Do you know if the 7-element ST 50/1.4 is broadly compatible with these pre-1964 models?
This I don't know. I would assume that the mirror box design probably didn't change much from the 2nd gen Pentax bodies (single shutter speed dial but manually set frame counter) to the early type SV, but you know what they say about assumptions
03-21-2019, 02:15 PM   #10
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Slightly off topic,but am I correct in thinking that by the Spotmatic era the colour had became meaningless and they settled on green R's?
03-21-2019, 02:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
Slightly off topic,but am I correct in thinking that by the Spotmatic era the colour had became meaningless and they settled on green R's?
Unless you find one with other than a green "R", that is a safe conclusion.


Steve
03-21-2019, 02:40 PM - 1 Like   #12
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A little background on the red/green "R" rule. The story I heard was that incompatibility for the new ST 50/1.4 (original 8-element version) with SV, H1a, and Super S2 was known prior to the new lens' introduction in 1964. Revised versions of those cameras compatible with the new lens entered into the sales stream at around that time. Whether existing owners were offered allowance for trade-in or free factory modification is not known. What is known is that new stock of those bodies were delivered with a red "R" on the rewind knob rather than the green "R" present on earlier cameras; presumably this was done to allow easy differentiation for both warehouse and retail stock and to allow sales staff to guide potential buyers of the new lens. To the best of my knowledge, there are no records of any kind of official sales bulletin or user documentation.

From all indication, the color scheme was a special solution for a particular issue and never applied to other than the effected models.* Its existence is part of the folklore associated with the 8-element Super-Takumar 50/1.4 as well as that of the SV, S1a, and Super S2. Early versions of the SV user guide make no mention of a 50mm f/1.4 lens; such did not exist. Later guide versions include an ST 50/1.4 in the supported lens list, but make no note of any issues of compatibility, perhaps because any camera packaged with the guide was fully compatible.

So that's the story as I heard it and I'm sticking to it.


Steve

* There may be other "sold in Japan only" models that also might be included in the rule.
03-21-2019, 06:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
A little background on the red/green "R" rule. The story I heard was that incompatibility for the new ST 50/1.4 (original 8-element version) with SV, H1a, and Super S2 was known prior to the new lens' introduction in 1964. Revised versions of those cameras compatible with the new lens entered into the sales stream at around that time. Whether existing owners were offered allowance for trade-in or free factory modification is not known. What is known is that new stock of those bodies were delivered with a red "R" on the rewind knob rather than the green "R" present on earlier cameras; presumably this was done to allow easy differentiation for both warehouse and retail stock and to allow sales staff to guide potential buyers of the new lens. To the best of my knowledge, there are no records of any kind of official sales bulletin or user documentation.

From all indication, the color scheme was a special solution for a particular issue and never applied to other than the effected models.* Its existence is part of the folklore associated with the 8-element Super-Takumar 50/1.4 as well as that of the SV, S1a, and Super S2. Early versions of the SV user guide make no mention of a 50mm f/1.4 lens; such did not exist. Later guide versions include an ST 50/1.4 in the supported lens list, but make no note of any issues of compatibility, perhaps because any camera packaged with the guide was fully compatible.

So that's the story as I heard it and I'm sticking to it.


Steve

* There may be other "sold in Japan only" models that also might be included in the rule.
That’s the way I have always heard the story and never had a doubt it is an accurate understanding, but this thread has made me curious about the accuracy of the ‘rule’. I have both SV’s and both ST50/1.4’s.

In case you missed this, here’s some further esoterica RE: the ST50/1.4’s

1 : 1.4 / 50 358 (8 element) - Takumar Field Guide

I could easily spend a weekend browsing the archived blog posts (links in the right frame from the homepage).
03-21-2019, 08:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I have both SV’s and both ST50/1.4’s.
Well then, you can confirm that the 7-element lens is compatible with both version SV! Your report along with arnold's above is good enough for me. Do you have any of the below to doi a visual check against the 7-element 50/1.4?

S3/H3
S2/H2
S1/H1
K
S


Steve
03-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Well then, you can confirm that the 7-element lens is compatible with both version SV! Your report along with arnold's above is good enough for me. Do you have any of the below to doi a visual check against the 7-element 50/1.4?

S3/H3
S2/H2
S1/H1
K
S


Steve
I have all but maybe the S1 - but the question I’ve always had is - how do you do a visual check of the mirror swing if the lens is mounted? I’m sure there is an obvious answer but I can’t picture it.* Also I can check if there is any information in van Oosten but I don’t remember off the top of my head.I’m away from home until Saturday.

* I’ve never thought to use the 7-element ST on a late 50’s camera.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-21-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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