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S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4 Review RSS Feed

S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.6
Bokeh 
 8.7
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
35 215,391 Mon March 15, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $111.79 9.63
S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4

S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
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S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
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S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
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S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
supersize
S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
supersize
S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4

Description:
This macro lens existed in both Macro-, Super- and Super-Multi-Coated variants. The Macro-Takumar was differently constructed compared to the later variants and went out to 1x magnification rather than the 0.5x of the later lenses. The optics are the same for all three variants.

Variants:
Macro-Takumar (second photo)
Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Preset, 8 blades
Optics
4 elements, 3 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Plain
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
21 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32 ° / 27 °
Full frame: 47 ° / 40 °
Hood
Not needed
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
60 x 55 mm
Weight
265 g
Production Years
1964 to 1966
Engraved Name
Macro-Takumar 1:4/50
Product Code
367, 43670
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

1: Macro-Takumar 1:4/50, up to 1x magification (this lens)
2: Super-Macro-Takumar 1:4/50, up to 0.5x magnification
3: Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR 1:4/50, up to 0.5x magnification



Super-Macro-Takumar (first photo):
Super-Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 5 blades
Optics
4 elements, 3 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
23 cm
Max. Magnification
0.5x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32 ° / 27 °
Full frame: 47 ° / 40 °
Hood
Not needed
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
58 x 54 mm
Weight
248 g
Production Years
1966 to 1971
Engraved Name
Super-Macro-Takumar 1:4/50
Product Code
910, 43910, 43911
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
The latest production run, product number 43912, supports open aperture meeting with the Spotmatic F, ES and ESII
Variants
1: Macro-Takumar 1:4/50, up to 1x magification
2: Super-Macro-Takumar 1:4/50, up to 0.5x magnification (this lens)
3: Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR 1:4/50, up to 0.5x magnification


Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR (third, fourth and fifth photo)
Super-Multi-Coated Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 5 blades
Optics
4 elements, 3 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Open-aperture Metering
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
23 cm
Max. Magnification
0.5x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 32 ° / 27 °
Full frame: 47 ° / 40 °
Hood
Not needed
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
57 x 54 mm
Weight
248 g
Production Years
1971 (start of production)
Engraved Name
Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR 1:4/50
Product Code
43912
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Open aperture metering with Spotmatic F, ES and ESII
Variants

1: Macro-Takumar 1:4/50, up to 1x magification
2: Super-Macro-Takumar 1:4/50, up to 0.5x magnification
3: Super-Multi-Coated MACRO-TAKUMAR 1:4/50, up to 0.5x magnification (this lens)

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



Add Review of S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-30 of 35
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 928

10 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 11, 2014 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, colourful, exquisitely engineered
Cons: f4, more fragile than S-M-C's
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3, K-01   

The Macro Takumar 50/4 celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

Recently, I used the early 1:1 preset version every day for a month on the Single in Challenge, and all I can say is ‘wow’. What a great lens Takumar made back in 1964. Physically the lens is a small gem, and it’s a joy to use. The end results are beautiful, even by the standards of today’s macros.

It’s not the easiest lens to master, and that’s part of the fun. First of all, f4 is a bit slow for some kinds of macro work with only natural light. With live view/zoom it’s really not a problem seeing/focusing. But I’d have liked a faster lens to combat very slight movements in small objects. Secondly, my K-3 and K-01 simply can’t meter the very deep-set glass accurately for up-close shots outside, and tends to over exposure across the frame, resulting in blow-outs. However, that's not a con worth dwelling on for me, as macro is much better manually metered.

After some trial and error on subjects and settings, you’ll find the lens produces stunning images. Very sharp and very colourful. At f4 the 50mm it can deliver very artistic images with surprisingly narrow DoF and super-smooth bokeh (see photo below). 10 for bokeh wide open, but closed down the blades become much more noticeable in the background and maybe not to everyone's taste.

The quality of build and engineering is outstanding. Having said this, there is one downside to the preset version, given its age. It has more moving parts, and is undoubtedly more fragile than later, and to me less desirable, S-M-C Takumars (not 1:1). So you have to be careful buying one unseen off the web.

I highly recommend the lens to anyone who wants a cheapish entry into macro photography, and a piece of history. It cost me around US$100. It’s worth every cent IMO. It’s one of those lenses you’ll want to return to again and again. It is also a more than adequate walk around lens. Not quite in the same league as the Takumar 50/1.4, but close enough.

Here are a few photos of and by the lens, and if you're interested, a link to my Mac Tak 50/4 photos on Flickr. www.flickr.com/photos/95859572@N06/sets/72157644855700903/














   
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 6
Review Date: April 23, 2014 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very compact and razor sharp even at F4
Cons: F4 is a bit slow, makes focusing a bit tricky soemetimes
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon D2Xs   

Looking for a good macro lens on a tight budget, I stumbled on a very old version of this lens. It turned out to be the M-42 Macro Takumar 50mm F4 1:1-version (full macro enlargement), with the aperture control up front of the lens. There is also a 1:2 (half maginification) version, and there are also SMC K and maybe even M-versions of this great lens.

It still is in mint working condition, the sharpness is incredible.
Handling is smooth and silky, all components are solid metal, this lens is a definite winner!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Storrs-Mansfield, Connecticut
Posts: 222

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 6, 2014 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Practically everything!! My favorite lens, period!
Cons: A bit slow for some things but there's always a trade off.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-x and K-01   

When I returned to photography after 35+ years, I began the search for that special combination that I once had with my K-1000 and the old Pentax 50mm (don't even remember which one it was now) that I simply wore out. I am embarrassed to admit how long I searched and how many 50 and 55 mm lenses I bought to find that magic. The SMC Macro Takumar 1:4/50 (with the Auto feature) has brought me home to that feeling of wonder and creativity that I'd lost in my photography. Where once I had eagle vision (think Ted Williams), I'm now over 70 and although I don't need glasses to drive, I find that I can't focus as well, as accurately as I once did.

Enter the K-01. The focus peaking feature is fantastic! Never mind that the K-01 is a brick and everybody loves to hate it. Focus peaking combined with a hood* and a stunning manual lens like the SMC Macro Takumar 1:4/50 is a combination that puts this old lady back in the game. Thank you Pentax and Takumar for fantastic engineering. I'm a very, very happy woman!

Clarification: By "hood", I meant an external hood on the LCD when it's very sunny. This lens doesn't really need a hood because it's recessed so deep.

*
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 166

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 22, 2013 Recommended | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, colorfull
Cons: Slow in some conditions
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-5   

I bought this lens as i came up on ebay for a ok price.
Had no expectations of what so ever, but now it´s one of my favourite lenses to create art from the "little world" or beautiful details.
Also it´s very sharp even for non close ups.

Sharpness, bokeh, Colors..
I let some pictures talk for it.






   
Inactive Account

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 15, 2013 Recommended | Price: $145.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: compact, sharp, natural colours
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20D   



I bought the lens from USA for $145 including continental shipment. The lens, being compact and relatively lightweight (with respect to 100mm f2.8 macros) is very handy for daily usage.
This macro is the detail of a red horse chestnut. It is a stack of 17 shots combined with zerene stacker software.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2
Review Date: January 28, 2013 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp , natural color rendering
Cons: None !
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon EOS 7D   

I had this lens only for 3 weeks from a "hardware snob" , and fell in love with it.
In color rendering, it out-perform my Macro EFL 100mm/f2.8

The lens just perform so great ... manual handling is just no big deal at all.

Paul
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 1
Review Date: December 1, 2012 Recommended | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness, contrast, color rendering
Cons: slow
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 550D   

I have the SMC version of this lens, one of the best 50 macro lens i've ever tried.

Recommended..!!

   
New Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: SGP
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 19, 2012 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent sharpness, great built and colour
Cons: None that worth mentioning till date
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K7   

This review is for the late production Super Multi Coated version. I got it as a new old stock and the lens is brand new. Cannot believe this at first as this lens is at least 40 years old and the condition is excellent, complete with all the documentation like the warranty, QC check cardbox, manual etc.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12556415@N02/6914062891/


Like all other Takumars, it is extremely well made and the focus is ultra-buttery and silky smooth! In fact, it felt so much smoother than the other Takumars I have. Although this lens is using an ‘old’ Tessar design, it is extremely sharp and the resolving power is superb. The front element of the lens is recessed which shield most of the stray light from the side which act like a hood. One down side is it is F4 and the viewfinder can get dark during focusing due to the aperture size. Other than this, I don’t really find anything negative about this lens maybe the macro is not 1:1.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12556415@N02/6914083617/
   
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 179
Review Date: June 4, 2011 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great unique Bokeh, built like a tank, great focus throw
Cons: wish mine had the auto switch

I was surprised to find out I actually like the super takumar version best.. The SMC one does not have the same kind of blades inside. So i like the bokeh of the super tak one most. ill post up a shot when I get one showing the unique bokeh.

(Non working link removed)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Posts: 759

8 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 19, 2010 Recommended | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IQ, rendering, build, value, compactness
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This review is for the Super-Multi-Coated version (I also have the 1:1 Macro-Takumar version, which I will briefly compare). At first glance, it may seem like a lens full of compromises: f4, 1:2 reproduction, 5 bladed aperture, but the designers chose to make no compromises in optical performance. You won’t find an optically better lens in my opinion. The sharpness of this lens is simply outstanding from f4 on—I do not have a sharper lens. With my K100D, I cannot tell if I am looking at a 100% crop or the full image—the sharpness is always there. With faster lenses, you inevitably get aberrations, but this lens is remarkably free of aberrations at all apertures.

The bokeh on the lens is surprisingly excellent. Perhaps because of the conservative optical design, the lens doesn’t have the usual spherical aberration over-correction, but it is extremely neutral. In close focusing range (2 feet and under), in particular, the bokeh is excellent--nearly as good as the Bokina (which I also have), very smooth and creamy. The only complaint with the bokeh is of course you can see hexagonal spectacular highlights when stopped down, but at least these are rounded hexagons that look a little better. I’d also point out that you get a fully circular aperture at f4 (wide open), something you won’t get with another Pentax 50mm lens—which actually can be quite the photographic advantage, as you can get those round highlights with more depth of field than with other lenses.

The colors and rendering of this lens are fantastic as always from the SMC Takumars, but I must say this is the best rendering lens I have. Contrast and micro-contrast are, in my opinion, ideal. Because of the tessar design, this lens has very few air-glass surfaces, and with the SMC it has ; contrast is excellent but it does not lose any subtlety of the tones. There is just something about the way it renders that keeps making me want to shoot with this lens. It also has fantastic light transmission (97.5% when Modern Photography tested it). I understand that this lens has an extremely flat field of focus, and I would think it ideal for copy work. This lens’ performance is optimized for closer range photography. As my style is more suited to close focus photography (and macro work), I find the lens ideal, and it really delivers in my usual shooting range of 3 feet and under. But I have also had great results in landscapes for it. I have no less than 5 other dedicated macro lenses, but this one not only holds its own, but seems to have that little extra bit of magic over the others. I have every fast 50mm (f1.2, f1.4, f1.7, f2) that Pentax ever made, but I find myself taking this lens for my general walk about photography. It is simply my favorite (and dare I say best) lens, and is on my camera more than anything else. It is also very compact and light, just a touch more than a regular 50mm prime, but you get a deeply recessed front element so you don’t need a hood. By the time you add a good hood to the others, they end up bigger and more awkward than this. Build quality is top-notch, as always for the Takumars, but again this lens just feels to have slightly tighter tolerances and be slightly more solid than my other Taks.

In short, this is the forgotten gem of the Takumar lineup (and indeed it’s K and M series siblings). There is no better macro lens for the money than this; it is an incredible value.

I also have the 1:1 Macro-Takumar version (basically, I loved this lens so much I wanted to go 1:1 natively with this tessar formula). I have not used it too extensively but it seems pretty close, although I still prefer the S-M-C version, which I think has a slight edge. Of interest, the aperture of this lens forms a star shape at the middle aperture values, which can make for some interesting effects.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2009

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 17, 2010 Recommended | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharpness, extremely low CA, even resolving power (APS-C), contrast, macro, build
Cons:

S-M-C Macro Takumar is one of the best 50mm lenses I have ever tried. It's based on Tessar optical formula, which is known for very high resolving power combined with extremely low (APO-like) CA. Like all slower Tessars, even S-M-C Takumar offers great macro performance, good contrast (very few inner air/glass surfaces) and compact dimensions.

At least on APS-C sensor, S-M-C Takumar 50/4 offers very even sharpness at f/4. Difference between center and corners is lower than e.g. S-M-C 50/1.4 (at f/4) demonstrates, so this lens is also very good for panos made by stitching techniques.

S-M-C Takumar 50/4 embodies very slight radioactivity (significantly lower than S-M-C 50/1.4). This level of radioactivity indicates optical element made of lanthanum glass or optical element with very low concentration of thorium (250 nSv/h compared to 1670 nSv/h of S-M-C 50/1.4 - measured by rear element; local background is 120-180 nSv/h)

The lens has no real weak points. Maybe 1:1 Macro would be fine (only the old pre-set single-coated model reaches it)... Some users poins at speed of f/4, but lower speed is a nature of Tessar optical formula. One shouldn't forget, that majority of optical formulas, which provides higher speed, suffers from significantly higher CA and/or less even resolution.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 33
Review Date: October 2, 2010 Recommended | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Sharp
Cons: Has to be used on manual with a K-Mount body

I have a late production (M42) SMC Takumar version.
I have used it with my Spotmatics, my Super ME SE and now on my K200 Digital body.
In all cases it has given me excellent results.
This is a brilliant lens and is worth having in your digital lens collection,.
   
New Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Oslo
Posts: 7
Review Date: June 17, 2010 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, bokeh, sharp.
Cons: Barrel extends when you focus

Very nice macro lens, I got this in mint condition and adapted it to several of my EOS cameras and did a bunch of test shots from 550d, 5d2 and 1d2n.

(Non working link removed)
   
Moderator
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Posts: 17,377

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 25, 2010 Recommended | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 1:1, build quality and lens size
Cons:

This is for the preset macro-Takumar. Some people are taken aback by the preset diaphragm. However, once I got the hang of using this type of diaphragm, its actually better on dSLR. The second ring allows the diaphragm to be opened up for focusing and easily stopped down for the image capture.

Note: I think there is enough differences that the macro-Takumar should be separate from the later designs.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,165
Review Date: May 5, 2010 Recommended | Price: $170.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, color rendering, sharpness
Cons: None save the limitations of a manual focus M42 lens

Had a Super Takumar version and sold it as not much different from the (excellent) M 50 macro I had at the time. Still own the Macro-Takumar preset version I picked up later, as 1:1 native magnification is very handy. It is a great lens; the only downside is the increasing dimness in the viewfinder with stopping down (on a K mount camera anyway) and the lack of auto-focus, if that is your thing. Note that the price I paid is inflated, as it includes the $100 I spent to get it repaired when it came almost in pieces from eBay.
Add Review of S-M-C/Super Macro-Takumar 50mm F4



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