Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Lens Review Database » Pentax M42 Screwmount Lenses » M42 Screwmount Extreme Wide-Angle Primes
S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5 Review RSS Feed

S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5

Sharpness 
 8.5
Aberrations 
 7.8
Bokeh 
 7.5
Handling 
 9.8
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
10 64,338 Tue October 4, 2016
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $156.67 8.50
S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5

S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5
supersize
S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5
supersize
S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5

Description:
This super wide angle lens exists in both Super-Multi-Coated and Super variants (each pictured).

The filter size is 58mm, but Pentax at the time recommended 77mm filters with a step up ring so as to avoid vignetting. That's the reason that some sources claim the filter diameter of this lens to be 77mm.

Super-Takumar 20mm F4.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic
Optics
11 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4.5
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 72 ° / 62 °
Full frame: 94 ° / 84 °
Hood
Square clip-on type
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 45 mm
Weight
251 g
Production Years
1968 to 1971
Engraved Name
Super-Takumar 1:4.5/20
Product Code
43951
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

1: Super-Takumar 1:4.5/20 (this lens)
2: Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1:4.5/20



Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 20mm F4.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 5 blades
Optics
11 elements, 10 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4.5
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
20 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
58 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 72 ° / 62 °
Full frame: 94 ° / 84 °
Hood
Square clip-on type
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
63 x 45 mm
Weight
246 g
Production Years
1971 to 1975
Engraved Name
Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1:4.5/20
Product Code
43952
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

Super-Takumar 1:4.5/20
Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1:4.5/20 (this lens)

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



Add Review of S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-10 of 10
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 479
Lens Review Date: October 4, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $230.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: high resolution, good contrast and tonal range, nice color palette, close focusing ability
Cons: vignettes a bit in the corners



I have the SMC version of the lens, and I'm very happy with it. It's my favorite lens, and I have two dozen or so M42 lenses, eighteen of which are Takumars.
It's a fun lens that challenges me to see things differently, and it's a lens that I can set at f9 and zone focus, with everything from about two feet (maybe less) to infinity in sharp focus. I can hand-hold the camera to 1/15 second (reciprocal of the focal length) and get a sharp photo. Image quality, resolution, contrast and color, are classic Takumar.
The first sample ("Pooh Bear") was taken at minimum focus distance and maximum aperture, hand-held.
The second, a view of Bangkok, was taken at infinity and f9 with a 58mm to 77mm step-up ring and a thin 77mm polarizer. (You'll notice a little bit of vignetting in the corners, more pronounced on the left side. That's the only fault I can find with the lens, and it's minor. The lens renders colors and contrast very well without a filter. Moreover, to my eyes the lens seems sharp across the frame.)
Kudos to the engineers and technicians that produced the wonderful, world-class optics that are Takumars!
   
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2014
Location: Nissedal (Goblin Valley)
Posts: 38
Lens Review Date: October 25, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, Center sharpness
Cons: Edges unsharp
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D   

As a landscape lens this lens is not good. It is extremley sharp with high micro contrast in the center, but edges are unsharp, even stopped down. The unsharpnes is very smooth, almost like a soft focus lens. The lens reminds me of the Leica Summicron R 35mm. Leica called it a "journalist" or "reportage"-lens. Same philosophy. Insanely sharp center with high degree of micro contrast, just amazing. My version is the Super Takumar, with original lens shade. (I compared it to the 18mm, 24mm,18-55 modern kit zoom, a 24-50mm A zoom, 28mm f3.5, all adjusted for distance, and center sharpnes of this lens is better than all of them. Edge sharpness is the worst of them). I have tested well over a hundred lenses from Canon, Nikon, Leica R, and Pentax, and this lens is on of the strangest I have stumbled across regarding sharp/ unsharp levels. CA is very bad, but easily corrected in PP.
Knowing this I took images of some more isolated subject matter, like portraits, leaves on trees, a fence-post, etc. Out of focus blur is nice and smooth, colors are deep, saturated and a bit cold, sharpness of main subject; to die for
A lot of people will dislike this lens. Those who understand the strengths and weaknesses will love it. What a strange thing to have... Never gona sell it
   
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2015
Posts: 28

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 22, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: color-tonalities-balanced characteristics
Cons: no major detractions-look at the pictures that people post with their criticisms-they always look good

I'm giving this underrated lens a boost in the ratings. The images it produces are exceptionally appealing. Folks compared
this lens to pixel peeping specimens some years ago and the lens got an unjust reputation as inferior at the forum and around parts of
the web. It is a sharp lens, has no major problems with ca, and the distortion isn't that great a detractor. It's image characteristics
make some, maybe most modern WA lenses appear dull, sterile, or unartistic in comparison.



Note: Having seen the above review regarding insane sharpness of subject, I also have observed that this lens makes a good pseudo macro lens because it focuses so close and the subject sharpness is truly, insanely acute. You can just crop way way in and still get a fantastically sharp, beautiful shot.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Skåne, Sweden
Posts: 451
Lens Review Date: January 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, haptics, fun to use
Cons: Slow, not so special on APS-C
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 7    Camera Used: K-01, K-5   

This review is for a mint condition S-M-C 20/4.5 bought second-hand in Sweden.

PROS
  • Great build quality
  • Fun to use
  • Proper feel in manual focus ring
  • Sharp in center wide open

CONS
  • Not that special focal lenght on APS-C
  • A bit slow
  • Soft in corners and does not benefit much from being stopped down
  • Distortion and vignetting even on APS-C (not a major drawback for me)

I USE IT FOR
  • General wide angle on APS-C
  • Close up fun

I have a collection of S-M-C TAKUMARS and this is the widest to date. I had used the 24/3.5 earlier and got a hand of a mint 20/4.5 for a fair price. My experience with the 24/3.5 was positive and on APS-C the 20mm would be very useful as a general wide angle. The lens is pretty much the same size as the 24/3.5 (a tad smaller actually). I understand that when the lens was released it was an impressive wide angle, but for use today on Pentax APS-C it has mostly build quality and manual feel speaking for it. It is relatively slow, distorts, vignettes etc pretty bad compared to newer lenses. It is sharp in center but soft in corners at F4.5, but doesn't seem to benefit that much from stopping down either. Bokeh and transitions are surprisingly smooth. It makes a good lens for close up fun. I found the scale focusing a bit harder to use on this than the S-M-C 24/3.5, but it could be my copy that is a bit of on the scale (it is mint condition otherwise).







My pictures on flickr with this lens
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Posts: 4,530
Lens Review Date: October 28, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Beautiful build, close minimum focus
Cons: some barrel distortion, f4.5 - more difficult to focus with split image
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K100DS   

I am very impressed with this lens which dates from when 20mm (FF) was cutting edge of the possible. The STak version seems to perform better than the STak 24 and STak 28 with the sun in the frame.

This is an exicitng lens, significantly wide, even on APS-C. Barrel distortion is obvious when taking pictures of frames (such as door frames). But that is part of the aesthetic one would use it for. It is not distracting if the object does not have prominent straightlines to be bent.

The minimum focus distance is so close that it opens exciting possibilities for near macro work with such a wide lens. The reproduction ratio is about 1:5 which enables a differnet perspective with very close focus. It will actually focus to about 12-15cm despite the specs. This makes for a different perspective for close work.

The lens body has a 58mm filter mount. The original hood base screws into this, but has the hood screw mounted into a larger thread on a part of the hood kit which is, effectively, a filter adapter. This is probably a way to avoid vignetting when using the hood, whilst enabling a compact lens. This could be inconvenient if you choose to use the lens on a FF body because then the filter would be too big for the lens cap, masking for a clumsy collection of pieces to handle.

The eBay average prices from April 2011 to October 2012 for auctions (including 'no bid'/'no sale' results: STak AUD223.76 (approx USD215); SMC Tak AUD263.03 (approx USD250). (The total number of lenses offered was 42.) It was worth the wait to be able to get a nice one, and I would recommend to anyone who is happy to accept the aesthetic of noticeable barrel distortion in a quite wide lens.

The handling feel is very good, just like the other STaks, and it is nice to look at.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Chicago IL USA
Posts: 19
Lens Review Date: March 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: picture quality, compact size, depth of field
Cons: small max aperture
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Spotmatic IIa   

I have the SMC version. I bought mine new in 1977 (I think I paid $250 at the time?) and since then I have used it more than all the other lenses I have - combined. If I only go out with one lens, this is the one I take.

Slow, but tremendous depth of field. Can be used as a fixed focus lens around f8. Takes only a small fraction of a turn to go from minimum distance to infinity. Built super solid, mine is still nice and tight after 30 years of use. Focus to the corners is excellent although with some vignetting.

I just recently treated myself to a Zeiss Flektogon 20mm f2.8 M42 lens, and the only reason I did so was to get the extra speed. I did some very careful comparisons between identical shots taken with the Takumar and the Zeiss and differences were surprisingly minor. Under very severe conditions the Takumar had slightly more abberration than the Zeiss.

The 20mm f4.5 SMC Takumar is a great lens. If you're into wide-angle photography and don't have a problem with the slow speed, this is an outstanding choice.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2006
Location: Aotearoa
Posts: 559
Lens Review Date: October 17, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Very sharp, well buit
Cons: Some chromatic aberrations, distortion

I have the non SMC version of this lens. It's a good lens, especially when compared to other superwides of its age. It is very sharp even wide open (especially on a crop sensor because the corners are a bit mushy on full frame) and has nice colors. On the downside, distortion is present (although easy to correct) and there are some chromatic aberrations in the corners. The lens flares when directed towards the sun but this behavior has to be expected from a non-smc lens.

Regarding the filter diameter, it is true that there is a 58mm threaded mount on the lens, but a filter mounted directly on it would cause severe vignetting on a full frame camera (film). Therefore, there is an optional Pentax lenshood which comes in two parts, the rear one being used alone to increase the filter thread diameter from 58 to 77mm, in order to prevent vignetting.

Cheers!

Abbazz
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 509
Lens Review Date: September 21, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Built, contrast, color
Cons: resolution, dark view finder, CA

This lens shows how hard it is to design a ultra wide angle lens without a high speed computer and AL elements. It pushes the boundary quite a bit.

Image quality wise, it is no competition with the contemporary counterparts such as DA21 or FA20. But it is indeed a landmark for lens design. For that purpose, it is a keeper.

Mine is the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar version, which is supposed to be better against flare and better with color rendition. I would agree with the assessment. However, CA is apparent at f4.5.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 70
Lens Review Date: February 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Build qualty, excellent contrast
Cons: distortion

Excellent lens for wide angel shooting; great contrast and colors. Some distortion, though if you are shooting landscapes it is not an issue
   
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 262
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, close focus ability and overall sharpness
Cons: Barrel distortion and F4.5

I have the Super-Tak version of this lens. It is nearly in ”as new” condition with matching metal hood. Build quality is of the typical high Takumar standard, and focusing is super smooth – 90 degrees throw from infinity to 20 cm/ 0.65 ft. Sharpness is good even wide open. In fact, I get better overall results with this lens than the DA 16-45 at about the same focal length when the subject has a flat surface like in architectural shots (the DA’s de-centering problem with soft corners shows itself then).
I don’t find chromatic aberration to be a problem with my lens, but it can sometimes appear as yellow/cyan fringing. However, the lens does display rather severe barrel distortion. That is rarely an issue in landscape shots, but can be irritating in shots of architecture and the like. It is easily corrected in post-processing though.
With F4.5 it cannot be called a fast lens, but with a focal length of just 20mm F4.5 is totally acceptable, except maybe for in-door shots.

One major plus is the close focus distance of less than 20 cm/0.65 ft, but I have to detract from its total score because of the rather small aperture fully open and rather strong barrel distortion.

Shot showing barrel distortion (yes, the door was crooked, but beams, posts and windows were straight):


Landscape shot:


Both with the K10D and straight from Pentax Photo Lab 3.51 - no extra sharpening applied.
Add Review of S-M-C/Super Takumar 20mm F4.5



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:40 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top