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S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4 Review RSS Feed

S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4

Sharpness 
 8.5
Aberrations 
 5.5
Bokeh 
 8.0
Handling 
 7.8
Value 
 8.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
13 92,882 Mon October 5, 2015
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $177.33 8.15
S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4

S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4
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S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4
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S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4
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Description:
The final design of 300mm F4 Takumar lenses had automatic diaphragm. They came in two production series, a Super and a Super-Multi-Coated variant. The latter has open-aperture metering with the Spotmatic F, ES and ESII cameras.

See the separate entries for the older 300mm F4 Takumar lenses.

The Super-Takumar version:
Super-Takumar 300mm F4
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
5 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
550 cm
Max. Magnification
0.06x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 5.5 ° / 4.6 °
Full frame: 8.2 ° / 6.9 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
85 x 186.5 mm
Weight
946 g
Production Years
1965 to 1971
Engraved Name
Super-Takumar 1:4/300
Product Code
43891, 43894
Variants

0: Takumar 300mm F4, weighing only 960 g: Existence of this variant (shown in the AP manual from 1958) is unconfirmed
1: Takumar 300mm F4, 3 opical elements, aperture ring near the middle of the lens barrel
2: Takumar 300mm F4, 4 optical elements, aperture ring towards the front of the lens ajacent to the lens hood
3: Super Takumar 300mm F4, 5 optical elements (this lens)
4: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 300mm F4, same optics as the Super-Takumar



The Super-Multi-Coated version:
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 300mm F4
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
5 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Open-aperture Metering
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
550 cm
Max. Magnification
0.06x
Filter Size
77 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 5.5 ° / 4.6 °
Full frame: 8.2 ° / 6.9 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
85 x 186.5 mm
Weight
946 g
Production Years
1971 (start of production)
Engraved Name
Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1:4/300
Product Code
43892
Notes
Open aperture metering on Spotmatic F, ES and ESII
Variants

0: Takumar 300mm F4, weighing only 960 g: Existence of this variant (shown in the AP manual from 1958) is unconfirmed
1: Takumar 300mm F4, 3 opical elements, aperture ring near the middle of the lens barrel
2: Takumar 300mm F4, 4 optical elements, aperture ring towards the front of the lens ajacent to the lens hood
3: Super Takumar 300mm F4, 5 optical elements
4: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 300mm F4, same optics as the Super-Takumar (this lens)

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



Add Review of S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-13 of 13
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Bern
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 5, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, Luminosity, Price
Cons: CA (with current software .. no problem)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Canon 5D Mk1 (13MP)   

Picture sample: 2500 x 1600 Pixel (Windows: right click for higher resolution)

   
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Prince Edward Island
Posts: 193

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 17, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cost, Construction, Sharpness, tripod collar, F4
Cons: Manual , M42,

Bought this off a forum member. SMC Super TAK 300 F4. Can't afford a new 300mm prime so......

Pros - $$$, did I mention $$$. Full Metal Construction, Very Sharp, Built in Hood, Leather Case,

Cons - Fully Manual


I agree with much of what has been said about this lens already. With modern software though the purple fringing issues are almost irrelevant. If you take your time with this lens then you will get very good results.

This is a really nice looking and feeling lens. It forces you to slow down a little and thus think about what you are doing. This is a plus in my books. It looks awesome mounted on my K20D. There is no way I could justify spending $$$$$$$$$$$ on a new type version of this lens for my shooting needs. If you are on a budget and you don't mind manual mode or Av priority- you can't go wrong with this lens.

Picture Update:
Taken with the K20D, through my patio door to a feeder about 20' away. MINIMAL PP...no crop
   
Loyal Site Supportaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 422

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 14, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Not too heavy considering vintage 4/300
Cons: High CA and SA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 7    Camera Used: Crop Sensor Digital   

(Updated Oct 2014)

This is for the last S-M-C version.

Example Gallery that shows good and bad attributes, including some good examples of what looks like lack of sharpness that is really a case of DOF being too shallow for the given subject.
http://jbmedia.zenfolio.com/s-m-c_takumar_4_300

First the bad: Expect to see magenta and green in high contrast situations below F8.

Good: In the digital realm, with post processing this is a very sharp and fast lens given the price. It has only fair balance using on a tripod with the built in foot (but much better if you mount using a longer plate under the foot) and the foot can be conveniently rotated about the lens to quickly allow portrait/landscape orientation. The built in lens hood is very nice. It has the typical luxurious mechanical refinement and although focus is tedious due to the 270'ish degree rotation, it also makes it quite easy to achieve critical focus. The mechanical feel is absolutely fantastic and very satisfying. It's also slightly lighter and shorter than the K 300/4.

Overall: if you're on a budget and your subject is not moving quickly to follow focus...and you're willing to Post-Process the aberrations, this is a fine choice. If you have a bigger budget, there are better lenses.

Side note: Because this lens has a rectangular light baffle at the rear, if you're using an M42 adapter and it's not precisely machined, the baffle will be out of alignment with the film/sensor orientation. If you see any odd vignetting, check for this first.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,060

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $285.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great IQ, sharp, easy to use, great color and all what they said above
Cons: A bit heavy, but not as much as my 300mm f2.8, so I use it more often

I bought this lens after reading a lot of reviews, it is the Super-Takumar 300mm f4 M42 screw lens, apparently this is the one that comes one coating, but it may have been an SMC without being disclosed by Pentax due to experimentation. THe lens is a beauty, built like a tank, I have no problem shooting birds if I pre-focus. The tripod collar is a must and it works perfectly. It came with the original leather case. The retractable hood is a beauty and protects from sun hitting inside (being a fast lens, you know!). I just put it on my Kx and started shooting and all came great.

-----------------
THe shooting with this lens is interesting. You have to put the toggle button MANUAL and move the aperture ring to the desired aperture (e.g., f5.6). You can shoot in AV priority. No need to stop down or green button. So simple!! It seems complicated, but it is actually easier than the stopping down with the green button. It is very fast, and nice to use. I will be posting pics soon. I only gave 9 because it is M42 (screw lens) and gave me a hard time initially with the $8 adapter I bought on Ebay (no focus to infinite). You have to use the authentic Pentax adapter to M42 to be able to focus to infinite and avoid getting the adapter stuck in the camera.
CAUTION: Beware that if you use a non-authentic Pentax adapter, the adapter(or lens) will get stuck in the camera. Even with the adapter recommended by this forum (sold by B&H, made by Bower) you get in trouble. The adapter from B&H cost about $28 and comes with a key to unscrew the adapter from the camera. This is no good. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A REAL GENUINE PENTAX ADAPTER. Since I got the authentic Pentax adapter, I attach and remove the lens to the camera without any problem. I am selling the adapter I bought form B&H and five I got from Ebay. One penny each. I paid $65 for the authentic Pentax adapter.
===================
Update:
This adapter is the best thing since sliced bread. There are some cheap Chinese copies that can work, but no infinite. The Bower is well done and works fine. I had many problems trying to use M42 lenses and the adapters because I did not have instructions. However, when I bought the genuine Pentax / M42 adapter, it came with instructions and it works MARVELOUSLY. The truth is that I was then able to use my Bower adapter and found that it also works just fine. The main mistake: I WAS ATTACHING THE ADAPTER TO THE LENS, AND THAT IS WRONG. THE ADAPTER HAS TO BE ATTACHED TO THE CAMERA, then the lens is screwed in and voila'. To remove the genuine adapter, REMOVE THE LENS FIRST, THEN you pinch the spring with a ballpoint pen and rotate and done. The Bower brings a tool to losen the spring and rotate at the same time, so it is indeed easier to use THAN THE ORIGINAL PENTAX. Go and enjoy the M42 legacy lens. Here is a transcript of the instructions to install and remove the adapter:

1) Fit the adapter, matching the red dot of the adapter with the red dot of the body mount.
2) Turn the adapter clockwise until it stops (65 degrees) by using a ball-point pen or the like to lock it. Then screw-mount lenses can be used.
3) TO remove the adapter, push the spring with a ball-point pen and turn the adapter counter-clockwise until it stops.


SuperTak300mmf4-rosa1 by Palenquero, on Flickr




SuperTak300mmf4-Uni3 by Palenquero, on Flickr


Update: I have ranked this lens 10, since I now I do really enjoy shooting it. Here are other pics:



Dragonfly by Palenquero, on Flickr


(Non working links removed)


Dragonfly by Palenquero, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 29

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 11, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $185.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid, fast, 300mm with good IQ, tripod mount
Cons: Awkward to hold & focus, poor close focus, CA & bokeh CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: Sony A350, NEX-7, A7II   

Update: as of May 2015, I've been trying to use this on my A7II 24MP FF body. It's very good -- quite sharp from wide open, but with a nice, soft, bokeh. The catch is that the CA is still quite bad -- including bokeh CA. Add the lack of close focus to that makes this a hard lens to love, although it does balance better on my A7II than on my other bodies. The rest of my review remains as it was....

This is for a nice S-M-C copy, complete with tripod mount, used on a 14MP APS-C body.

First impressions are that this is a very serious lens; f/4 is pretty fast for a 300mm, and this is a correspondingly big and heavy piece of glass. Build quality is up to the usual Takumar standards, except perhaps in that the sliding hood can slide a little crooked on mine. The lens tripod mount is nice and absolutely necessary. Even moreso than my cheap (and relatively light) 400mm f/6.3 lenses, this is a lens you attach a camera to, not the reverse.

Unfortunately, this lens is not a pleasure to use handheld, but not directly because of the weight. Focus infinity to near takes a lot of turning the focus collar, yet near isn't very near at all. Handheld, I find myself supporting the lens by cradling the tripod mount in my left hand while my right holds the camera body... which leaves me tweaking focus by "walking" my fingers along the focus collar, which isn't fast. I expected to support the lens by my grip on the focus collar, but that seems to be putting a disturbing level of torque on the lens mount. Like I said, that tripod mount is necessary -- even if you are not using a tripod, it's what you want supporting the lens (and thus also the camera). Fortunately, the tripod mount has a big enough base to brace against any flat-ish object, and it can lock in any rotational position so you can use it to brace against things that are not even close to horizontal.

The sharpness and color are both pretty good, and IQ overall is more than competitive with my Minolta 75-300 zoom wide open (which is f/5.6 vs. f/4 for this lens). Bokeh are about what you'd expect for an f/4 300mm. However, CA on this lens is as bad as the other reviewers say. It also seems to have that unfortunate S-M-C Takumar tendency that when it flares, it often completely floods the image. Frankly, the CA and flare issues are really disappointing, and more what you'd expect in a lens rated 6/10. What brings it up to an 8/10 is the fact that colors don't look anywhere near as flat as they do with most 300mm+ lenses. Incidentally, stopping down even just one click (f/5.6?) helps IQ in every way; there, IQ looks more like a solid 9+/10.

Here's a simple example of how nice and crisp this lens can be. This wasn't the most colorful scene, but colors with this lens are very accurate, well saturated, and generally quite typical of high-end Takumar lenses:



And here's a full resolution crop showing how bad the CA can be:



Ah, but there is good news.... Here's the same thing with the CA fixed by using free editing software to enlarge the Red channel by a few pixels (GIMP's Chromatic Aberration tool with a simple Lateral Red shift of +3.3):



That was really easy; significantly easier than it is for many lenses because the CA pattern here seems to perfectly match the standard correction model. The fact that the fix is so easy and effective almost makes me change the rating to 9, because the corrected image is easily of that IQ. This is true even if the correction is done on a JPEG rather than raw, as this example was corrected as a JPEG.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Henry, TN
Posts: 2,910

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 14, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $135.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality and classic Takumar imagery
Cons: Heavy, 77mm filter ring

The reason for this review is to note that there is also a Super Takumar version that has the same build configuration as the Super Multi-Coated version; e.g., rear aperture ring configuration. (SN range around 4395xxx.) Seems to be identical to the SMC version otherwise.

I'm in agreement with everything stated above regarding the SMC version. Flare, blossoming and PF are noticeable in strong highlights below F8 but commensurate with this type of lens. Contrast degrades noticeably when flare or highlights are present.

Like all of the old Takumars, this lens is a pleasure to use and provides very good to excellent image quality when used with due consideration for lighting conditions.

H2
   
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2007
Location: quebec
Posts: 75

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 19, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: verry sharp, nice color, and contrast, built in hood.
Cons: lot of PF wide open, hard to focus, slow to work with.

The verry thin deep of field and the stiff foccussing ring make this lens slow and hard to use.

Capable of producing outstanding picture.

PF is almost gone by f4.5
With a little post processing f4 look as sharp as f8 shots.

A fun lens for lazying around.
   
Senior Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 127

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 17, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $270.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: quite sharp, nice bokeh, fantastic build quality
Cons: a bit soft wide open

Now this is a cool lens! I bought it from an online auction for almost $270, it's the latest SMC model. Seems to be a bit higher price than most of the others here paid for it, but it is in absolute mint condition.

It was my first "super tele", and I really like this one. It's not quite as sharp as the later *-models, but able to produce quite impressive images, especially if stopped down a bit. Even though it does not have a gazillion number of diaphragm blades it creates a nice smooth bokeh. I also love the styling of this lens. It's oh so cool and 70s.

On the downside it could have had a tripod mount, although it is quite nice to do handheld shooting with. As someone pointed out earlier in this thread it can sometimes feel like it takes forever to focus, but you'll have very precise control of it. The minimum focus distance can be a bit annoying.

All in all a good performer. A cool thing to put on you K20 if you want people to stare at you Even if I do cash out for a DA* 300, I don't think I would sell this one. It's just such a nice thing to have and to prove the wonderful craftsmanship that went into building lenses like this some 30 years ago.
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 123

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 26, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $143.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: SHARP, COLORS, extremely sharp even at f/4, tripod mount, built-in lens hood, fast
Cons: struggles with CA at wide apertures, somewhat heavy, min focus distance 18 ft

I love this lens, I will be using it with a Bower 2x teleconverter soon enough! I currently use it as my go-to telephoto lens. It is tack sharp at any aperture, and although I haven't done any exact tests, I'm sure it's extraordinary at f/8. And wow, colors are incredible!

The only reason it's not a 10? Chromatic aberrations and minimum focus distance. At f/4, CA and PF shows in 90% of situations. In very contrasty situations, even stopping down to f/22 doesn't eliminate the CA. Usually stopping down to f/8 will eliminate most of it though. Also, don't even think about going macro, unless you have extension tubes. Minimum focus distance 18 feet...

The verdict:
Go for it, but test it out before you buy it. If bad CA or 18-foot minimum focus distance bothers you, then this lens is not for you. If you want a tack sharp fast 300mm lens for wildlife or other purposes, go for it!
   
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 140

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 17, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent build quality, easily handholdable, very good resolution
Cons: Noticable cromatic aberation on wide open aperture (f/4)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

An excellent choice for wildlife photography. Very good resolution, relatively lightweight, easily handholdable. Retractable "built-in" metal lens hood is an absolute benefit as is a removable and adjustable tripod mount leg.
However, focusing does take some time, since You have to turn the focusing ring nearly 270 deg. from inf. to the closest possible focusing distance of 5.5 meters, but this is a minor issue, and easily solved with pre-focusing technique. Originally comes in a very nice hard, leather padded lens-case.
Recommended!
   


1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Typical excellent Pentax build quality, sharp, contrasty
Cons: some green and purple fringing under high contrast conditions

This is an excellent general-purpose telephoto lens, perhaps the best M42 300mm lens out there. The build quality is fantastic, as is typical with Pentax M42 Takumars.

The only drawback is the chromatic abberations on very contrasty edges... something that perhaps wouldn't show up on film anywhere near to the extent it does with modern digital cameras. Remember, this lens was built in the days before widespread ED glass. However, for most uses such as wildlife photography, you'll never notice it.

In short, much better performance than equivalent-cost mirror lenses, and a real bargain for under $200.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 630

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 13, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp, bokeh, colours, size, build
Cons: focus throw, highlight blooming, close focus distance

Another wonderful SMC Takumar. Like a number of lenses from this era, shooting wide open it resolves a lot of detail but tends to 'glow' around the highlights. Stopped down even one click (f4.5) pretty much resolves the issue.

The bokeh rivals any lens I've ever encountered, and while the 6-blade aperture isn't ideal it has rarely caused me any grief.

The focus throw is long so tracking focus can be a challenge if subject distance is changing rapidly. Min focus distance is something like 18ft, so you're not going to be doing any macros with this thing. Extension tubes help if you know you're going to be up close. I've never tried it with a TC so I couldn't say how that would work. It's a little short for smaller birds, but for a 300mm it performs.

All in all...amazing lens in a solid package that can product amazing images. It's a great lens all 'round!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 321

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 9, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Pretty fast at f4, Good color and flare not too bad
Cons: Slow to focus

I really like this lens and it is my "go to lens" when I do not want to use my great big Pentax 500mm f4.5 screw mount lens. It is used with a Pentax Ds camera using a M42 adapter. I use a monopod a lot with it. For the price you can not get a much better 300mm.
Add Review of S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4



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