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S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4 Review RSS Feed

S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4

Sharpness 
 8.7
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 4.7
Handling 
 8.9
Value 
 9.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
12 74,317 Sat March 9, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $245.00 8.82
S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4

S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4
supersize
S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4
supersize
S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4

Description:
This fast fish-eye lens has an image circle that completely covers the 24x36mm full frame format. It features a 180-degree angle of view diagonally.

It came in two variants with these engraved names (each pictured above):
1: Fish-Eye-Takumar 1:4/17
2: Super-Multi-Coated FISH-EYE-TAKUMAR 1:4/17

The first variant is referred to as Super-Takumar in Pentax brochures from the time even though the engraved name does not have the word "Super" in it. Many other resources also refer to this lens as Super-Takumar. One might think that there are three variants: Takumar, Super-, amd Super-Multi-Coated, but that is not the case per our research. There are only the above mentioned two variants with the first being referred to under two names.

The first variant is worthy of the Super designation, though, since it has the auto-aperture feature.

The Super-Multi-Coated version supports open aperture metering with the Spotmatic F, ES and ES II, and therefore might as well have been labeled SMC Takumar.

Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
11 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

Full frame: 180 °
Hood
Not possible
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Built-in Filters,Rear Filter Mount,Fisheye
Diam x Length
66.5 x 30 mm
Weight
228 g
Production Years
1967 to 1972
Engraved Name
Fish-Eye-Takumar 1:4/17
Product Code
43841
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Also referred to as Super-Takumar.
Built-in filters: UV, Y2, O2.
Holder for rear-mounted gelatin filters.
Variants

1: Takumar Fish-Eye 1:4/17 (this lens)
2: Super-Multi-Coated FISH-EYE-TAKUMAR 1:4/17



Super-Multi-Coated Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
11 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Open-aperture Metering
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

Full frame: 180 °
Hood
Not possible
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Built-in Filters,Rear Filter Mount,Fisheye
Diam x Length
66.5 x 30 mm
Weight
228 g
Production Years
1973 to 1976
Engraved Name
Super-Multi-Coated FISH-EYE-TAKUMAR 1:4/17
Product Code
43842
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Built-in filters: UV, Y2, O2.
Holder for rear-mounted gelatin filters.
Open aperture metering with Spotmatic F, ES and ES II.
Variants

1: Takumar Fish-Eye 1:4/17
2: Super-Multi-Coated FISH-EYE-TAKUMAR 1:4/17 (this lens)

Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingFull-Frame SupportAdapter needed for DSLRsDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-12 of 12
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Location: The Hague
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide FOV
Cons: flimsy focus ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 1    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Fujifilm X-T1 + ZhongYi Turbo II   

This kind of lens is definitely not for bokehlicious appetizers, for me of course no problem at all.

The front focus ring appeared very flimsy and got loose on one side and it slips through the focus rotation. This is really a big neg for me. I need to push it back in place while turning the focuser.

I use a kinda FF simulation with a ZhongYi Turbo II focal reducer which is actually a FOV converger because it converges the FF image circle onto a smaller APS-C surface, as to have an approximate FF experience. It projects about 95% FOV.

So in simulated FF modus, this fisheye yet does not exaggerate the fisheyishness as I would expect. To me it seems a rather modest distortion, and merely near the sides than in the middle. Indeed the close focus is around 20cm and when I hyperfocus at 1/3 infinity between f/8-f/11 then everything is in sharp focus. This makes absolutely great close-ups with nearly equally sharp backgrounds.

Diffraction kicks in already at f/11 which I regret, because the hyperfocal sharpness lacks slightly across the entire DOF range where a smaller aperture would be indispensable. Well, anyway, at f/8 it seems to have the sweet spot, sort of.



This photo was shot JPEG on APS-C with FF converter at FOV of approx 170 degs with this 17mm lens. It was one of my very first shots with this lovely piece of vintage glass. Later on with other shots I got a sharper image. I never use any post-processing, just like in the old analog days.

I needed to set the in-camera saturation, contrast, picture style, sharpness, Ktemp WB, and exposure correction quite different compared to other vintage analog lenses that I am using. Weird glass in a way. If I do not, then the rendering is a bit bland.

Overall operation is very easy, as I am used to manual lenses for decades in the rollfilm era. Too bad the build as regards the focuser is flimsy. The aperture ring, however, feels solid.

I will never part from this lens and do all to keep it in one piece for the times to come. It has become my walk-around lens whenever I decide to carry only one body with one lens and nothing else.

Neg point: cannot mount a filter. But ... it has built-in filters that can be rotated. Especially the yellow filter combined with low (about 4800) WB Ktemp and high blue & high red gives a real warm overall pic. Not tried on this pic, but later on other shots, real nice results!

All in all a versatile fun lens. And again, it is not too fishy!

PS: Here another shot, this time very close range swan buddy. I feed him every now and then with special waterbirds food (they must not eat bread making them sick) and he eats from my hand while I caress his neck, so cute. So this pic shows the distortion in the middle.

Here I did not do all the special in-camera settings so the overall rendering is a bit bland.

   
New Member

Registered: November, 2018
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: November 14, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Coverage, image quality, size
Cons: front lens protection
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Spotmatic   

The moment I looked through an early adopter's 18mm f11 fixed focus version in 1968 I knew it was the lens I'd been looking for, almost. It was another year before the present 17mm variable focus SMC f4 became available to me, and it became my favorite 35mm lens for 30 years, through two Pentax bodies (my favorite black body Spotmatic stolen in the '70s) and several different camera formats including a lens adapter for my 8x10 that could replicate the visual angle. Its great to hear that I might be able to have a K3 to put it to use again.

Examples of a 1969 series from Mexico, where it proved ideal for the heavily crowded streets of Mexico City, and the ability to respond nearly instantaneously without calling attention to myself, are in a Facebook album at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1526965780608&type=3
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2017
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 622
Lens Review Date: August 29, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: wide
Cons: sometimes too wide

I got this lens about 3.5 years ago because I wanted something wider than my 28mm SMC takumar. This was before I got a digital and was still using my Spotmatic F exclusively. I found the distortion to be fun but more often than not I found the wideness to be overwhelming. So after using it a bunch getting to know it I found I rarely used it.

Go forward a few years and I now have a crop sensor digital and I love using this lens. On full frame I loved the 28mm but on a crop sensor camera I quickly found that when I wanted wide I wanted wide like I had in film. So I got out this guy and now love using it on APS-C.

As others have said most of the major distortion is cropped out when used on APS-C. The built in filters are for B&W shooting so I should probably explore that more. It is fairly slow by today's standards but is still a worthy lens. Wide open it is pretty soft but get it up near f/8 and it gets nice. The slowness and softness wide open aren't really a problem for me as I do a lot of shooting off a tripod.

Also on a K-3 it looks like it belongs there unlike so many of the old screw mount lenses as it covers the flange.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,420

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great up-close, brilliant on ASP-C, small, easily handled, light, nice image rendition
Cons: Replacement lens caps are hard to find, difficult to meter, not ideal much past three feet from the subject, front element easily scratched
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: S2 Super, Asahi Pentax, Spotmatic F, K-3   

The lens info right now lists only the diagonal FF field of Here is some other info:


Horizontal FOV: 126.45
Vertical FOV: 80.3

That should roughly translate into APS-C FOVs of:
Diagonal -- 122.6
Horizontal -- 86.15
Vertical -- 54.71

I've had a chance to use this on some film cameras as well as my K-3. With my K-3, I've used it for video and still. For video, this is a mixed lens. It is exceedingly hard to use because focusing on the DSLR screens is hard. However, when it is in focus the results are great. The lens lends itself to having slightly uncontrollable video results.

If you have a high-contrast setting, avoid this lens. It picks up so much of the world that it amplifies the effects of high-contrast scenes. That's a pretty significant limitation -- this lens thrives in flat-toned settings and limps in contrasty ones.

If you want to do u-close imagery with a wide field of view, this is the ideal lens. It's about the cheapest fisheye you can get and up-close it is stupidly sharp. In my post opening up a sample image thread for the non-SMC version of this lens, I have some up-close samples and the results are stunning.

Here are some sample images from this lens:







   
Loyal Site Supportaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 486

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small size, easy focus, built in filters for B/W, great for general crop sensor shooting.
Cons: unprotected front element, Accidental filter switching, slow.
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: Canon EOS (20d,500d,60d,5DmkII)   

Subject of review. S-M-C version.

Review:
I originally bought this for collection/investment, and didn't really intend to shoot much with it. Much to my surprise, I found it to be quite useful for shooting wide angle, including demonstration videos, on crop sensor cameras. Most of the severe distortion is already cropped out of the frame on APS-C, and it's not hard to flatten the images in PP. It's quite handy if you're sitting at a table with a crowd. This lens has become part of my standard kit when I carry 4+ lenses in the bag. I really do use it that much. It's a bit slow for low light. Performs best from f5.6 - f8. Aperture priority metering is way off and varies by stop on canon(60d, 5dMkII, 6d) so you'll want to verify exposure if you use canon bodies. Flare isn't really an issue, but you will experience significant contrast loss and some color shift when the sun is shining directly on the front element. Which leads us to a tip...

If you use a crop sensor body, there IS a lens hood that works like a champ, and it doesn't vignette- the round (not rectangular) clamp-on hood for the Super Takumar 28mm f3.5 Version I (the larger early version). Without any modification, It will clamp to the front-most ring that controls the filter selection. It stays on very firmly, and you can then twist the hood to change filters, which is either good or bad, depending on your needs. In any case, it's a super add-on that offers physical protection and flare reduction for any crop sensor user. I can't recommend this enough.

Overall: I didn't expect to like this lens very much. I was wrong, I have come to really enjoy it and often use.

Update Dec 11, 2013: I acquired a second one of these and the optical performance very similar. Mechanically, the filter ring on the second one is firmer and it locks into the detents more positively. (Judging be the other reviews, it appears that a loose filter wheel ring is a issue that affects some, but not all of these.) An interesting thing is that my second one has a better multi-coating on the elements. (It's not a huge difference, but there is definitely a difference. Looks like a 1/2 stop less reflected light, and the color of the reflection has less green and blue. The second one also has the higher serial number. It appears that it may be a plus to seek out the later specimens.

Update June 2014: Prone to nighttime 6-pointed 'sun-stars'. I've had customers comment that they really like them in the available light night shots. I'm not so fond of them, but according to customers they are attractive.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2010
Posts: 425
Lens Review Date: October 8, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: colors, filters
Cons: hard to focus on closed objects at wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Today I got this lens.
I did not mention the price of the lens because I bought it together with Super Takumar 28mm F/3.5 for $125 US.

It was love from the first sight.

Filter element issues described above?
I did not face with such issue. The element is not so easy to rotate, but if you even rotate it you see which element is there. There are 3 filters UV, Yellow and Orange 56.
This lens allows you to shoot even between the filters in this case it works as some sort of a circular polarizer, you can easily darken either top or bottom of the picture.
Definitely this lens is not for close shooting, it's hard to focus...tried a couple of shots wide open - did not like what I had got.
Here it is a couple of pictures:
B/W PPed


Sorry for the dust:




This shot was taken in between the filters (from orange to UV, I believe)







Wide open:


   
Giveaway winner!

Registered: December, 2007
Location: beantown
Posts: 944
Lens Review Date: June 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: The round look is also sharp
Cons: can never protect the front enough
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 2    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: S1a, SV, MX, LX   

I did think I would enjoy a fish-eye, but I did.

They are hard to use in any sort of planned sense. I originally want to do a little bit of the get more in side of things, but instead I found myself doing those extreme angle and points of view. Plenty of shot with my shoes or arm inside the shot while I dangle the cameras here and there. The result are that I get more ways to look at a shot and it is quite a joy to have a few that are from left field in composition.

The lens itself was very easy to control for its age. The focus is a little rough near infinity, but overall the focus was easy enough to work and the built in filters were not ignored. I was able to designate one body for the F-E work and so was able to rubberband the cap on to keep track of that vulnerable front glass. This also freed me from having to swap lenses as it was either mounted on a M42 to K or otherwise needed to spin between some of its fellow M42 lenses. I would figure that the 58mm standard lens cap was not the correct issue cap as it was not tightly perched on the front. If one where to acquire this lens, it would be very much worth make sure the felt in the cap is in good shape or the cap will simply fall off with ever bump.

So far the image quality is very nice.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: May 28, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp when stopped down, Very small, Fun to use
Cons: Corners a bit soft on full frame, Hate those built-in filters

If you are bored with a normal lens, there is nothing better than putting on a fisheye lens and shoot. The ultrawide angle makes every boring scene into something strange and fun.

Very sharp after f5.6, but he corners are a bit soft even stopped down, on full frame. Nice colours. Just one fun lens to have.

My complain with this lens is that the build-in filters do not lock in place very well. A small touch will change the position. Also, no built-in hood. It's very easy to scratch the exposed front element.

Canon 1Ds & SMC 17mm f4:


Canon 5D & SMC 17mm f4:
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,105
Lens Review Date: January 12, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Perspective... baby!
Cons: Filter ring too easy to turn
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This lens is a real gem!
The perspective (and distortion of it) are really fun to use

Optically it is very good, specially stopped down to f/8
Mechanically it is excellent with he exception of the built-in filter ring which is too easy to turn.

As most Fisheyes DoF is almost infinity so do not expect much Bokeh or OOF areas. And it takes time and effort to use this lens!!!

However it is well worth every drop of sweat!




PS. It also works great on the DSLRS
PS2 (2015/09) In the APSC sensors most of the corner effect is cut, and while the lens is great a lot of the extreme perspective is lost.
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Bondi, Australia
Posts: 206
Lens Review Date: January 29, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: compact, solidly made, sharp f/8 to f/16 distortion acceptable when kept level
Cons: slow

Like almost all Pentax lenses, it is mediocre wide open, rapidly hitting near peak performance at f/8. Starts copping diffraction at f/16 bad at f/22. Almost all of my Pentax /Takumar lenses have poor performance when stopped right down.I love the huge depth of field, rarely needing to focus . Super wide field for landscapes and those tight interior shots. Can be used withadaptors to work with almost any other camera. Who needs autofucus and auto stopdown!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 630
Lens Review Date: April 13, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: compact size, overall image quality, fisheye!
Cons: flare, soft @ f4

This lens is a treat. A 17mm Fisheye is a little wider than a 17mm rectilinear, so this really is a wide angle lens. I personally love the fisheye distortion, because you can shoot to minimize the visual impact of the curved lines, or maximize the effect.

The lens is very small and easy to carry around. Build is almost up to the takumars of that era, but mine is a little 'loose' after 30 yeas. It's still worlds better than anything plastic! You also have to be careful that the filter wheel stays where it's supposed to. It's easy to bump with gloves on, for example.

Sharpness is quite good. It's a little soft at f4, but sharpens up quickly by f5.6 and on. Beyond that it's tack sharp. Flare is an issue for the Fisheye-Takumar version that I have (non-SMC) but I don't find it a problem so much as a characteristic to be aware of.

Long exposures with this lens are a joy. I can do 1-1.3 second exposures hand-held with the k10D and SR (set to 18mm).

I can only compare this lens to a Sigma 15/2.8 EX DG fisheye that I had for my minolta. Honestly the sharpness of the Sigma blows this one out of the water until past f5.6 where they start to even out, and I do miss the larger aperture. I also had constant focus problems with the sigma, and frankly, if I had the choice between these two lenses would pick the takumar.

Great little lens. Fun, economical, high quality build and images. Go find one!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 1,420
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, compact size/weight, close-focus capabilities, overall image quality, fish-eye effect
Cons: Slow f/4 widest aperture, no filter threads (or lens hood), fish-eye effect

This lens is unbelievably fun to use, and is small/light enough as to always have room in your bag. It is obviously a fish-eye lens, so distortion is terrible. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It is sharp at all apertures and focuses to just a few inches, allowing some fun creative shots with it.

It is slow at f/4, especially when you compare side-by-side with a 16/2.8 FE lens.

It does exhibit some flare even in the Super-Multi-Coated version. It doesn't have filter threads, so you can't attach filters or a hood to the front of the lens.
Add Review of S-M-C/Super Fish-Eye-Takumar 17mm F4



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