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S-M-C Takumar 6x7 / Takumar 6x7 600mm F4

Sharpness 
 9.0
Aberrations 
 7.0
Handling 
 8.0
Value 
 9.0
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 27,893 Thu July 9, 2015
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $1,891.00 8.00
S-M-C Takumar 6x7 / Takumar 6x7 600mm F4
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Description:
This telephoto lens for the Pentax 6x7 system has the field of view of a 300mm lens on a 24x36mm camera. It weighs in at 6 kg and has a very respectable speed of f/4. The lens exists in two variants with the same optical formula:

Takumar 6x7 600mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution | Check camera compatibility
Image Format
6x7
Lens Mount
Pentax 6x7
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Manual, 12 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
Outer Bayonet
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F45
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
1200 cm
Max. Magnification
0x
Filter Size
77 mm (Rear)
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)
8.5 ° / 6.7 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
170 x 370 mm
Weight
6000 g
Production Years
1969 to 1971
Notes
Engraved name: TAKUMAR/6x7 1:4/600
User reviews
Variants

1969: TAKUMAR/6x7 1:4/600 (this lens)
1971: Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR/6x7 1:4/600


Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 6x7 600mm F4
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution | Check camera compatibility
Image Format
6x7
Lens Mount
Pentax 6x7
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Manual, 12 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
Outer Bayonet
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4
Min. Aperture
F45
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
1200 cm
Max. Magnification
0x
Filter Size
77 mm (Rear)
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)
8.5 ° / 6.7 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
170 x 370 mm
Weight
6000 g
Production Years
1971 (start of production)
Notes
Engraved name: Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR/6x7 1:4/600
User reviews
Optics unchanged from previous model
Variants

1969: TAKUMAR/6x7 1:4/600
1971: Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR/6x7 1:4/600 (this lens)

Features:
Manual FocusAperture RingMedium-Format SupportAdapter needed for DSLRsDiscontinued
Price History:



Add Review of S-M-C Takumar 6x7 / Takumar 6x7 600mm F4
Author:
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Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 6,513
Lens Review Date: July 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $1,482.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great reach for a 6x7 lens, good optics.
Cons: Heavy and difficult to use.
Camera Used: 6x7, 67 and 67II   

The 600/4 was one of the original lenses when Pentax introduced the 6x7 system in 1969. I have the second and last 1971 version (SMC Takumar 6x7 600/4) and it has the same optics as its predecessor and the full SMC coatings. The SMC Takumar 6x7 600/4 was never updated and was still in production in the early 1990’s. (I can’t find any info on the actual discontinued date)

Usage:
The 6x7 600/4 features include a tripod mount, a manual diaphragm, a rear filter holder, a minimum aperture of f/45 and the older outer bayonet lens mount. The 6x7 600/4 weighs in at 6000g, is 370mm long and has a whopping 170mm front diameter!

Focusing is also a bit different on the 6x7 600/4, instead of a focusing ring there is focus adjusting knobs on either side of the lens. You turn the knobs forwards or backwards to adjust focusing. There is also a sight on top of the lens to help in lining up your subject before you focus.

Support is your biggest issue with this lens, as the lens & camera body will be over 7.5kg.
I’m currently using a Manfrotto 028B Triman tripod, a Manfrotto 229 3D super pro head and a Manfrotto 359 long lens support for the camera end. Shooting faster 400 ISO film will help in keeping the shutter speeds higher and still give you lots of DOF. Lugging all this equipment on a shoot is not fun and I start to get sore arms after a couple hundred meters. Having someone assist in carrying some gear is always a big help, so if you have a spouse, kid, friend or mule things are much easier! I finally broke down and bought a folding cart to lug this lens around, much better on the old back.

Having a Pentax 67ii with interchangeable focusing screens is also a big plus, as a grid screen is great for leveling the horizon. Also if you are using a rear converter or extension tubes, one of the telephoto “bright” screens also makes it easier to focus.

CLOSE-UP WORK: These older 6x7 Takumar telephoto lenses all have a poor minimum focusing distance and the 6x7 600/4 is no exception (12.0 meters). If you want to get closer, you will need to use extension tubes. The 6x7 600/4 requires the use of the older “outer bayonet” extension tube set, which has only two tubes. This tube set is hard to find, but does work quite well. You can reduce the minimum focusing distance of the 6x7 600/4 down to 5.35 meters if you use both tubes.

REAR CONVERTERS: You can use the older T6-2X & 2X Outer Bayonet and the newer 1.4X & 2X rear converters with the 6x7 600/4. This will extend the focal length to 840mm or 1200mm and makes the 6x7 600/4 quite versatile. Pentax suggests when using the newer converters you stop down the aperture to f/8 or smaller, to avoid light fall off at the corners when shooting at or near fully open. I have used both the newer 1.4X & 2X converters with my 6x7 600/4 and the results are quite good, though you need to use faster shutter speeds to reduce vibrations.

FILTER: The 6x7 600/4 uses 77mm screw in filters, or Pentax 6x7 77mm bayonet filters. Filters are attached to a removable adapter ring, which screws into the rear of the lens.

CASE: The 6x7 600/4 comes with a dedicated metal trunk. The trunk has a hard plastic handle and is lockable.

HOOD: The 6x7 600/4 has a built-in hood that extends. The front of the lens is protected by a hard leather lens cover lined with fabric.

Summary:
The SMC Takumar 6x7 600/4 requires a lot of effort to carry around and setup, but the results can be very rewarding. If you don’t want to pay over $5K for a Pentax 6x7 800mm f/6.7 ED lens, then this is the way to go.

Price: I found my SMC Takumar 6x7 600/4 at KEH and it cost $1482.00USD. It was EXC condition and came with the metal trunk, front lens cover & rear lens cap. It turned out the lens is in EXC+ or better condition with no marks, but the trunk was closer to BGN condition. The trunk was missing three of the four metal feet and a couple rivets holding a side support piece in place, which eventually fell off. I had to take the trunk to a luggage repair shop and get the bottom four feet replaced with new rubber ones and some rivets redone to secure the trunks side supports. They also re-glued some of the red fabric interior that had come loose. So for $30.00 I now have an EXC+ metal trunk to go with the lens!

Sample shots taken with the SMC Takumar 6x7 600/4. Photos are medium resolution Lab scans from original slides or negatives.

Camera: 67II Film: Fuji Provia 400X ISO: 400





Camera: 67II Film: Kodak Tri-X 400 ISO: 400 (Using the 67 2X Rear Converter)

   
Pentaxian

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,140

8 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $2,300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp when used correctly
Cons: Chromatic aberration--weight
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

The 600 Takumar was a small production lens with few owners. My estimate at the number produced is 1000. I have owned this lens since 1996 and have used it quite a bit (for a large lens) and feel I am a pretty good judge of its capabilities.

This big and heavy lens takes some getting used to. It amplifies shutter vib enormously and makes shooting between 1/2 sec and 1/30 sec impossible, unless you use two tripods or a Wimberley+ long lens support. Caution, using 2 tripods for this lens and camera is a major pain! Any single tripod used should be at least 10 lbs and preferably 20 lbs. When using this lens on a fully extended tripod, even 1 second exposures will be soft due to shutter vib. This lens comes with a built-in lens hood and also has the ability to rotate the camera body within the lens mount for vertical shooting. It uses the outer bay mounting on the camera body. Longitudinal chromatic aberration is easily seen at f/4 but not in flat lighting conditions. By f/13 and beyond, color aberrations are not seen. One can see the reduction of the fringing in the finder as you stop down from f/4. This is strange to see! I use mine for sunsets, rainbows, lightning and birds (with tubes). It can be used for large mammals as well. It can be shot handheld but is a challenge. Forget packing this one in! I hauled mine 1/2 mile once and was exhausted. It is very sharp for big glass but not quite at the level of the 400mm Takumar. Its sharpest stop is f/16 and my estimate for lp/mm is 85-90. Part of the reason why this lens is sharp is due to it being so large in diameter. Physics tells us that diameter has a significant affect on resolution. One can get an accurate idea of this lens's sharpness when using a 35mm body on it because the shutter shake is so low that the image is not affected. The 600 has the 12 blade diaphragm like the 400. It can be set at 1/16 stop increments. Its huge front element is 150mm across and the optical cross section is made up of an APO triplet followed by a weak positive element and a negative achromat. It is corrected for red, blue and yellow because it fringes in violet and green (meaning that it is not corrected for violet and green ). I use mine sometimes with a 35mm body attached for birds; this gives a 12x magnification. It doesn't use helical focusing like the smaller lenses; it uses a geared system with knobs. It makes for very quick focusing.

Lenses shorter than 400mm can get away with the use of conventional glass, however, at 600mm, colors are so difficult to control that 5 colors would need to be corrected to eliminate fringing. This is called superapochromatic (Super APO) correction and sometimes involves the use of low dispersion glass. This is what was done with the 800 EDIF, except that it may not be corrected for 5 colors; it may only be 4 colors (superachromatic). Unfortunately, the 600 was never upgraded like the 800 f/4 was, to ED status. There is a huge difference in color correction between the 400 Takumar and the 600. The 400 rarely fringes, while the 600 is plagued by it. This comparison only applies from f/4 to f/13. The use of a 1.4x converter on the 400 Takumar (560mm) proves to have much less fringing than the 600mm at the wider stops. Pentax dropped the ball on the 600mm. When it was designed in the 70's, there was established technology to correct for 5 colors using conventional optical glass. This is what was needed to adequately correct colors for this lens. Why this was not done on a pro quality lens is a mystery. It is important to remember that this lens will have near zero fringing from f/16 to f/45.

This lens also uses a rear filter. It should be remembered that any filter placed in a converging light beam will cause aberrations to a small degree. In addition to this, one has to deal with the slight loss of contrast with rear filters. I rarely use rear filters on my 600. When I do, it is a multi-coated one. Rear filters also change the focus slightly. It should be noted that the optical design does not include the filter, so one is not necessary for this lens to perform well. One way you can tell that the filter is not a part of the design is to note the infinity focus as seen though the lens is not as seen on the lens barrel as infinity with a filter in place.

The 1.4X rear converter (gray) will fit this outer bay lens. The lens should be stopped down to at least f/8 to reduce the longitudinal chromatic when using the converter. The results when using the 1.4x are amazing. No image degradation is seen. The 600 + 1.4 is at least as sharp as the 45mm, maybe sharper. Also, when using the outer bay extension tubes, the 1.4x needs to be attached to the camera with an extension tube placed in front of the converter. Using the 2X gray converter on this lens just adds to the shutter induced vibration. The lens needs to be stopped down to at least f/11 so that the 2X converter does not make fringing visible. The use of the 1.4X on the 600 actually reduces the CA a bit. With the lens at f/8, there is slight CA but at f/8 with the 1.4X added, it is much less. The 2X converter reduces CA also and probably as much or more than the 1.4X. The reason why both converters reduce CA is because of the following: uncorrected colors leaving the rear element will expand in footprint, the further they are from that element. So, putting a well color corrected converter in place, intercepts the diverging color rays and prevents further separation.
Using to 2X converter on this lens is more of a problem than the 1.4X. More shutter vib influence, more distance between the shutter and tripod and more magnification add up to soft images unless high speed film is used to get the shutter speed up to at least 1/125 sec. When this is done, images nearly as sharp as the 1.4x are produced; still very sharp.
The close focus of this lens is 39 feet but Pentax makes a two piece extension tube set (as mentioned above) that reduces this to 13 feet. The tubes are essential for most bird shooting. These two piece outer bay tubes have become rare, so be advised.

Lots of effort needs to be taken to use this lens successfully. I have published several shots from this monster so it can be done. Overall I like mine and consider it a good lens.
Add Review of S-M-C Takumar 6x7 / Takumar 6x7 600mm F4



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