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S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5

Sharpness 
 8.5
Aberrations 
 8.3
Bokeh 
 8.4
Handling 
 9.1
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
49 384,001 Sat August 28, 2021
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $46.28 8.53
S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5

S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5
supersize
S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5
supersize
S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5

Description:
This is the second set of 135 mm F3.5 lenses, consisting of two variants. This set has just four optical elements, whereas the first set had five elements (see the separate entry for the four variants of the first set).

Super-Takumar 1:3.5/135 (model 2) - coarse ribs on aperture ring (second photo):
Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5 (model 2)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
4 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
150 cm
Max. Magnification
0.11x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 12 ° / 10 °
Full frame: 18 ° / 15 °
Hood
Metal hood
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
59.5 x 87.5 mm
Weight
343 g
Production Years
1965 to 1971
Engraved Name
Super-Takumar 1:3.5/135
Product Code
43541
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Coarse knurls on aperture ring. Never has the numeral 4 marking f/4
Variants

1: Takumar 135mm F3.5, chrome and black, close focus 200 cm
2: Auto-Takumar 135mm F3.5
3: Takumar 135mm F3.5, all black, close focus 150 cm
4: Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5, model 1, same 5 element optics as the predecessors
5: Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5, model 2, 4 element optical design (this lens)
6: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm F3.5, same 4 element optical design as the latest Super-Takumar



Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 1:3.5/135 (first photo):
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm F3.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
4 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Open-aperture Metering
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F3.5
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
150 cm
Max. Magnification
0.11x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 12 ° / 10 °
Full frame: 18 ° / 15 °
Hood
Metal hood
Case
Dedicated hard case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
59.5 x 87.5 mm
Weight
331 g
Production Years
1971 (start of production)
Engraved Name
Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1:3.5/135
Product Code
43542
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Open aperture metering with Spotmatic F, ES and ESII
Variants

1: Takumar 135mm F3.5, chrome and black, close focus 200 cm
2: Auto-Takumar 135mm F3.5
3: Takumar 135mm F3.5, all black, close focus 150 cm
4: Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5, model 1, same 5 element optics as the predecessors
5: Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5, model 2, 4 element optical design
6: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm F3.5, same 4 element optical design as the latest Super-Takumar (this lens)

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



Add Review of S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 31-45 of 49
New Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: bangalore
Posts: 10
Review Date: November 7, 2010 Recommended | Price: $20.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: sharp, contrasty colours
Cons:

HI i just bought htis lens. I t seems sharp and good in producing colours with sturation. I do not have other pentax lenses to compare but seems like good to me for the price i paid.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Southern England
Posts: 623
Review Date: July 13, 2010 Not Recommended | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Beautifully made, a joy to focus
Cons: Mine's in no way sharp, probably my least sharp lens

I bought this along with a CZJ 135mm/3.5 Sonnar, and was thus able to make an instant comparison: the Zeiss was miles sharper, at all apertures, and had much better colour and contrast to boot. I was shocked!

(Actually, my CZJ is the only vintage lens I've seen which approaches modern-day Pentax colour/contrast, but that's another story.)

Incidentally, my lens is, I think, a Mk.1 Super-Takumar, which has 5 elements in 4 groups - as opposed to the later Super-Taks and S-M-C Taks (and Pentax-K) which are 4/4.

(Note that the Pentax-M has a 5-element, 5-group formula.)

I'd be interested to know if there appears to be a correlation between Mk.1/Mk.2 and IQ. I believe you can distinguish between the versions as follows:

Mk.1 has finer knurled aperture ring, which has a "4" marked between "5.6" and "3.5".

I'm sorry to have to give such a negative review. Maybe I've just got myself a bad copy - or possibly it's suffered from a bad "repair" some time in it's life. Anyway, if I ever come across a cheap S-M-C version, I shall buy it and hopefully be able to submit something more positive!
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 2,437
Review Date: April 26, 2010 Recommended | Price: $39.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good colour, great sharpness, really nice to use, build quality, bargain
Cons: M42
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I have had this lense 2 months now and its spent most of that time on my camera. Mine is the SMC version and came with original case, cap and hood. While it may not be particularly fast it is significantly faster than my kit lense at same focal length.

Its sharpness is very similar to the A50 1.7 I have - which is really good. The focal length is surprisingly useful (even on my K-x - equivalent to 207mm) and great for photos of the children at the park etc. I quite like not having to get really close to my subjects.

Some commented on contrast but mine seems pretty good. Probably not as good a modern prime lense but still respectable and any short fall here is easily fixed in PP. I also have a Super Tak 200 f4 but this lense has the better contrast and colour in my view.

As for the focus, it feels so good to use, its almost sensual!

For the money its a bargain!
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 11, 2009 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp
Cons: A little slow

I tested two of these lenses in my local photo shop. I do not know why the guy who rated it a 3 was not as sharp as the others. This is the best 135 I own and very sharp. Almost as sharp as my Pentax SMC 50mm f1.2 K-mount.

I still need to do more photography with the lens but it was worth the purchase and I am extremely happy.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 414

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 4, 2009 Recommended | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, sharpnes, build quality, 3d rendering
Cons: A little slow at f/3.5

This is one lovely lens. I am surprised at the low rating here. I like it much more than I expected.
I have the S-M-C version of this lens (well actually I have 2) and it produces excellent sharp images with nice realistic colors and a nice overall color balance. Images are not super contrasty but adding contrast is of course easily done in pp if necessary. The bokeh is nice but can get a bit busy at smaller apertures.

What I like most about this lens though is that at the right dof you can really get that beautiful 3d rendering effect.

   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 30

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 20, 2009 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Tiny & solid, sharp wide open, good flare resistance
Cons: Slow f/3.5

This is for a "minty" Super Takumar on 1.5X crop digital.
First, the bad news: f/3.5. It wasn't even a fast 135mm when new.
All the rest is good news. The cheap 135mm lens was probably the single most common additional lens purchased by new SLR buyers in the 1970s, so it was important that it be both cheap and "enticing" -- it was the sales pitch for buying more glass later. This 135mm lens is perfectly tuned to those goals.
I have two other M42 135mm lenses, a Vivitar and a Soligor, both f/2.8. This Tak makes consistently better images. In comparison, the Vivitar is a little soft wide open, although it is really quite a good lens too, and I like it for macro work on tubes. The Soligor is one of the funkiest lenses I've ever used; very "dreamy" wide open, but with strong colors -- stopped down, it switches to muted colors but fairly sharp. This Tak is just a no-nonsense get-it-done moderate telephoto lens: it isn't special or quirky in any way, it just does exactly what it should do with no surprises.
It's a 10 for doing what it is designed to do, which drops to 9 because it's f/3.5.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Posts: 409
Review Date: September 10, 2009 Recommended | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great image quality, build quality, contrast and color saturation, microcontrast and overall rendering.
Cons: Bokeh can be slightly busy at times, f/3.5 max aperture, minimum focus distance is quite far.

I've got 2 lenses that fit into this review. This review covers both the Auto Takumar 135mm f/3.5 and my Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5. From what I've read, they are the same optically (aside from the coating), and their overall look is the very nearly the same in all of the A/B tests I have done.

Both the Auto and Super Takumar versions are sharp enough for my uses wide open, with detail picking up steadily until f/11 on my Canon 40D (10mp, APS-C sized sensor). I normally use these for picking people out of a crowd, so I like being able to shoot wide-open and not think about IQ. Sometimes the extra stop of light would be nice when shooting near dusk or into the evening, but with LiveView and a tripod, it's easy to make dark lenses work.

My Super Takumar definitely has more inherit contrast, even giving it's hood to the Auto Takumar, so I use them appropriately. I have yet to see results on film, so I can't speak to their quality there.

Overall, a nice lightweight and compact telephoto that is easy to carry in a vest pocket and get some real reach on a crop sensor cam. Highly recommended if you can think about your shot before you take it, and don't expect the camera to do all the work for you.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: December, 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Posts: 1,852
Review Date: June 12, 2009 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: build, image quality
Cons: slow, chromatic aberration in DSLR
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Spotmatic - K5iis - K3-iii   

Great 135mm for M42.
I had the Super-Tak and was sharp and contrasty (until it rolled off a table and glass broke in the early 00s) but a Sekkor 135/2.8 replaced it in my Spotmatic.

For K-mount the M or A versions are way better

PS. I got a S-M-C in 2021 after many years for use with the SP and DSLR
It works great, images are sharp, colors are well transmitted and bokeh is neutral.
There is some color fringing in DSLRs (mostly green) especially wide open and in the outside of the central circle of the image but can be fixed.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 789
Review Date: April 14, 2009 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, cheap, great build quality
Cons: slow aperture, only for daylight

135 is about the longest I need in a lens and the Super version I have does a great job. I must admit I don't use this as often as my other Takumar lenses as I always wish I had the 2.5 version but in daylight, the extra stop doesn't really matter. I took this lens to a Safari Amusement Park in Japan and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I'll be shooting an outdoor music festival in a few months and I will definitely take this lens.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Posts: 429
Review Date: February 20, 2009 Recommended | Price: $62.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Tack sharp, smooth focusing
Cons: M42 screw mount

The version that I have is by Honeywell (from USA), not from Japan.

Min. focus point is 5 feet. Easy to focus
I recommend this lens to be used in bright daylight. Otherwise, shade or dim light will reveal its lack of contrast and softness.

I rate it at 8/10 as to me the closest it gets to match current lens is the Tamron SP 90mm (of which I would rate at 10/10 ).
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: hawaii
Posts: 62
Review Date: January 21, 2009 Recommended | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: crisp, sharp, natural colors, cheap and findable, long focus throw
Cons: heavy, if you're used to the DA's

yah, i know many of the above reviews have rated this an 8, but my copy really had the most beautiful renderings, crisp and contrasty, no CA, and edge to edge clarity. even in dim lighting, hand held, i usually get a fine shot.

not that i consider it a downside, but the colors are true to life - there aren't the special coatings that give newer pentax lenses that color pop. but for nature photography, or if you want normal colors before post porcessing, this lens is a real winner. one of my favorites, even if i do grumble about how long it takes to change to a normal k-mount from this lens's M42 threads.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Posts: 1,079
Review Date: October 11, 2008 Recommended | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good contrast, good flare resistance, low CA
Cons: M42, not automatic, could be faster
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I have the 6 blade SMC version. Bought it used off of eBay for $45 shipped, Buy It Now.

This is a fantastic lens, and I'm amazed that the average rating is so low. It's amazing how sharp it is. It blows the 18-250mm out of the water (my only telephoto reference). It's also much faster. I just used it at an indoor volleyball event, and the images are coming out with much better contrast and color, making ISO 1600 very bearable to use on my K10D.

It may be just a tad bit soft wide open with just a slight bit of CA, but not enough to really affect the IQ.

Though it is manual focus, the long throw makes it easy to make fine tune adjustments (compared to FA series) and it's easier to spot when things are in focus for some reason, with the regular focusing screen.

Highly recommend it, especially for the price. Now, the only thing I'm curious is whether the f/2.5 version is better.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,891
Review Date: May 22, 2008 Recommended | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, colour/contrast rendition, sharp, image quality, awesome value for money
Cons: LOOONG focus ring rotation

This is another wow lens ... Mine is the Super Takumar variant and it is beuatiful indeed.

The colours and sharpness this lens produces is amazing ... it is very sharp at f/3.5 ... and it just keeps getting sharper when stopping down. It has a nice weight to it ... and aperture ring snicks nicely through the entire range. Focus ring is nicely damped (although it does take quite a bit to focus from one end of the range to the other).

For the price I purchased this lens ... the image quality is amazing it is close to the quality of my Super Tak 85mm f/1.9 it is that good.

I highly recommend this lens ... another lens I will not part with.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 558
Review Date: May 4, 2008 Not Recommended | Price: $32.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Good color
Cons: Not sharp!!

My Takumar was purchased from ebay and is in very good condition for it's age.I already had a 135mm super albinar and was looking forward to the improved output this lens might provide.I was very surprised to find the CHEAP Albinar lens"made in korea" is much sharper than the Takumar.If i had it to do over again i'd be lookin for something else!!
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Thach, Alabama
Posts: 169
Review Date: November 17, 2007 Recommended | Price: $12.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Tack sharp and smooth well damped focus.
Cons: Lack of sharp contrast.

All in all a nice lens to play with. Very sharp focus but it is a little lacking in contrast and color saturation...I bump the saturation and contrast 2 stops when using this and then a little more in PP. Some photos using this lens.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/index.php?n=3849

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/index.php?n=3848

Dawg
Add Review of S-M-C/Super-Takumar 135mm F3.5



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