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SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8 Review RSS Feed

SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8

Sharpness 
 9.4
Aberrations 
 9.0
Bokeh 
 9.3
Handling 
 9.6
Value 
 9.9
Reviews Views Date of last review
79 383,735 Fri June 22, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $37.19 9.37
SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8

SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8
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SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8
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SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8
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SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8
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SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8 SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8
supersize

Description:
This fast 55mm screwmount lens existed in several versions all with the same optical diagram. From the 1965 version, at least one of the glass elements is made from radioactive glass which yellows over time. While the optical diagram remained unchanged, tweaks to the optics (surface curvature, distance between elements) can't be precluded when Pentax switched glass type.

Here is an overview of the variants that we're aware of:
1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm. The direction of the aperture ring was reversed as was the norm on early lenses
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm. The direction of the aperture ring was reversed as was the norm on early lenses. This lens which has the Super-Takumar "look" except for the missing IR index mark was soon re-released as a Super-Takumar
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and reversed direction of the aperture ring
6: Super-Takumar still with fine ribs on aperture ring, but the ring now turns the "right" way (has the F1.8 position to the right) as all later M42 lenses
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering

Click here for a collage of the lens variants.

1: Takumar, the original variant:
Takumar 55mm F1.8
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Preset, 10 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Plain
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
55 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
46 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
Weight
164 g
Production Years
1958 to 1958
Engraved Name
Takumar 1:1.8/55
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8 (this lens)
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



2: Auto-Takumar, first version (4th photo above):
Auto-Takumar 55mm F1.8 (ver. 1)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Semi-automatic, 10 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F22
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
55 cm
Max. Magnification
0.13x
Filter Size
46 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
Weight
174 g
Production Years
1958 to 1960
Engraved Name
Auto-Takumar 1:1.8 f=55mm
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm (this lens)
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



3: Auto-Takumar, early second version (3rd photo above). Despite the name Auto-Takumar this lens has a fully automatic diaphragm like the later Super-Takumar lenses. The aperture ring turns the opposite way compared to all later lenses:
Auto-Takumar 55mm F1.8 (ver. 2 early)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
Weight
215 g
Production Years
1960 to 1962
Engraved Name
Auto-Takumar 1:1.8/55
Product Code
345
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
This lens has an automatic diaphragm like the later Super-Takumar lenses. The physical design was also close to that of the Super-Takumar with the aperture ring next to the lens mount. The aperturering has the smallest F-stop to the right, not to the left.
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (this lens)
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



4: Auto-Takumar, late second version. Despite the name Auto-Takumar this lens has a fully automatic diaphragm and looks like the later Super-Takumar. The aperture ring turns the opposite way compared to all later lenses:
Auto-Takumar 55mm F1.8 (ver. 2 late)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes (no A setting)
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
Weight
215 g
Production Years
1962 to 1962
Engraved Name
Auto-Takumar 1:1.8/55
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
This lens has an automatic diaphragm like the later Super-Takumar lenses. The physical design was also close to that of the Super-Takumar with the aperture ring next to the lens mount. The aperturering has the smallest F-stop to the right, not to the left.
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3) (this lens)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



5: Super-Takumar, first version. This version can be recognized on its fine ribs on aperture ring and that the smallest F-stop (F16) is to the right on the ring:
Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 (early)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
Weight
215 g
Production Years
1962 (start of production)
Engraved Name
Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55
Product Code
345-2, 345-5, 33450, 34520
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Fine ribs on aperture ring.
The aperture ring has the smallest aperture to the right, i.e. the ring turns the opposite way of later models.
The lens has a dot rather than a diamond as the settings mark.
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right (this lens)
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



6: Super-Takumar, second version. This version can be recognized on its fine ribs on aperture ring and that the smallest F-stop (F16) is to the left on the ring:
Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 (ii)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
Weight
215 g
Production Years
to 1965
Engraved Name
Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55
Product Code
34520 (?)
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Fine ribs on aperture ring.
The aperture ring has the smallest aperture to the left as on later lenses.
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left (this lens)
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



7: Super-Takumar, latest version. This version has coarse ribs on aperture ring (last photo):
Super-Takumar 55mm F1.8 (late)
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
59 x 38 mm
Weight
215 g
Production Years
1965 to 1971
Engraved Name
Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55
Product Code
371, 37100, 37101
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Coarse ribs on aperture ring
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left (this lens)
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar (1st photo above):
Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm F1.8
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Stop-down Pin
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
Weight
239 g
Production Years
1971 to 1972
Engraved Name
Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1:1.8/55
Product Code
37104, also 37101 and 37106 have been reported
Reviews
User reviews
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar (this lens)
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering



9: SMC Takumar (2nd photo above). This final version has a rubberized focus ring and open aperture metering with the Spotmatic F, ES and ESII:
SMC Takumar 55mm F1.8
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Automatic, 6 blades
Optics
6 elements, 5 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Open-aperture Metering
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F1.8
Min. Aperture
F16
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
45 cm
Max. Magnification
0.17x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 29 ° / 25 °
Full frame: 43 ° / 36 °
Hood
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Diam x Length
59 x 38 mm
Weight
201 g
Production Years
1972 to 1975
Engraved Name
SMC TAKUMAR 1:1.8/55
Product Code
37108
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Rubberized focusing ring.
Open aperture metering on Spotmatic F, ES and ESII.
Variants

1: Takumar 55mm F1.8
2: Auto-Takumar with semi-automatic diaphragm
3: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm
4: Auto-Takumar with automatic diaphragm (different engravings than no. 3)
5: Super-Takumar with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the right
6: Super-Takumar† with fine ribs on the aperture ring and F16 to the left
7: Super-Takumar with coarse ribs on aperture ring and F16 to the left
8: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar
9: SMC Takumar with open aperture metering (this lens)

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



Add Review of SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 16-30 of 79
New Member

Registered: October, 2014
Location: Near Berlin
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: November 13, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharpness, contrast, colors, built quality and haptics (compact, heavy classic quality, smooth operator)
Cons: only 6 aperture blades
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: adapted APS-C   

Own definition of points - using the above scaling: 5 = still good, 7-8 = good to very good, 9-10 = excellent
(10 = "100%" for technical aspects: such a immaculate thing does not exist)


The 1971 S-M-C Takumar 1:1.8/55 is a wonderfully built optics, the mechanical quality needs not shy in compare to a Summilux for
example. Although the optical properties of these Japanese mass products do not quite reach - but also the more modern - Western
Zeiss or Leitz quality of complex, individual centering small and therefore expensive series (the measure of all my things are the
excellent Summilux-M(R) 1:1.4/50mm and the Planar 1.4/50mm. However, if you think of the price-performance ratio ...)

I have restored my copy, because it had some fungus behind the front lens and was dusty inside, and the lens capsulated unit had
come loose. For a more than 40-year-old and formerly often used lens this is not abnormal and you can get in this way a great piece
of optics for pocket money. The defects were easy to fix and the glasses are otherwise perfectly (the radioactive caused yellowing
of the rear lens group(s) is strangely not very pronounced, the glass mushroom was able to live well in any case ...)

This lens and the SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7/50mm are now my favorite - Pentax - normal focal lengths for close-ups, a comparison of the
two lenses could therefore be of interest. The following test shots were taken at f/3.5 (step between f/2.8 and f/4) on Canon APS-C
sensor, in this aperture both lenses have a desired better resolution than full aperture, and at the same time a certain ability to exempt
the object.

About Sharpness and Aberrations: this is a re-evaluation and the result of many new photos that have recently arisen with this copy
(a later purchased copy in a very good condition showed exactly the same optical properties).
Spherical and chromatic aberration defects have been corrected excellent at f/4 over the entire image field, also at the borders with
extremely high contrast there is surprisingly marginal flare visible. The for comparison used SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7/50mm features under
all conditions visible better sharpness resp. contrast, probably a result of more advanced types of glass and coatings - however, the
charm of the older lens is thus not diminished.


Near center overview / S-M-C Takumar 1:1.8/55 / f/3.5 / APS-C / Standart-OOC JPEG file, scaled down on 21% of 5184 x 3456 image size:


Near center / S-M-C Takumar 1:1.8/55 / f/3.5 / 100% crop of 5184 x 3456 image:


Near center / SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7/50mm / f/3.5 / 100% crop of 5184 x 3456 image:


Corner Overview / S-M-C Takumar 1:1.8/55 / f/3.5 / APS-C / Standart-OOC JPEG file, only scaled down on 21% of 5184 x 3456 image size:


Corner / S-M-C Takumar 1:1.8/55 / f/3.5 / 100% crop of 5184 x 3456 image:


Corner / SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7/50mm / f/3.5 / 100% crop of 5184 x 3456 image:


The cut-outs have all the same size, so you can also see the difference between the 55/50mm focal lenght.

The old lenses with modern adapters and common lens hood:

In reconditioning damages and scratches on the surface of the 1:1.8/55 were treated something cosmetically ...
(Right above the second copy of S-M-C Takumar 1:1.8/55)
   
Junior Member

Registered: October, 2014
Posts: 41

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: build quality, sharp, nice boheh, low aberations
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9   

In pursuit of the 1.4 models many photographers overlook this well designed and cheap Takumar. It is one of the most underrated Takumar lenses. On APS-C camera this lens is a good manual portrait prime lens which has a nice bokeh and a pretty fast aperture for that kind of genre.

My review of my copy of SMC 1:1.8/55 with shots at different apertures:

http://aflenses.net/reviews/a-subjective-look-at-asahi-smc-takumar-f18-55-m42-fujifilm-x-pro1

My review of SMC 1:2/55 which is mechanically and optically the same as SMC 1:1.8/55:

http://aflenses.net/reviews/a-subjective-look-at-asahi-smc-takumar-f2-55-m42-fujifilm-x-pro1
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: October 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: bokeh, build quality
Cons: soft at 1,8, some CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30, K10D   

Little soft at 1,8, razor sharp at f8. Nice lens, stunning bokeh.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 2,823

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: An old friend that still rocks after 40 years use
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: SP II, K5, K5-2s, etc.   

In April of 2012 I finally decided step up to a digital SLR. I was getting back into photography after a long hiatus and my favorite reversal films were no longer available. I struggled quite a bit and felt like a complete novice. Thanks to this site and some very helpful people I finally got somewhat proficient with my K5.

I only have one autofocus lens so I was using manual focus lenses that I accumulated over the last 40 years. Everything was okay but it just didn't feel the same. Until I decided to go retro, dig my screw mount adapters out of the bottom of the bag and try a few lenses.

When I put the 55mm f1.8 lens on, it suddenly felt good again. i really can't explain it. It was like I was still using my all time favorite SLR (Spotmatic II) again. And the photos were amazing. It was like some Pentax lens designers looked far into the future foresaw digital sensors sensors and wanted to be sure that their lens could still do the job.

To whomever worked on this lens design, thank you. This lens stands the test of time. This should be one of Pentax's classic lenses. I simply cannot say enough good things about this lens. On a scale of 1 to 10, this is one of those rare pieces of equipment that rates an 11.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 377

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, Fast, beautiful build, IQ, Bokeh, cheap(for some stupid reason) "Pixie Dust"
Cons: Is there one? Not found one. Oh hold on, a very slight CA in contrast areas, and I mean slight.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, Spot-F, K-01, MZ-6, MZ-5n, SV   

I will keep this very short. If you are a Pentax user, and it does not matter if you have an M42 body, a K-mount body or your a totally digital. You have GOT to get this lens. No if's no But's.
Why? Size, colour rendition, sharpness, almost lack of CA on digital, tactile delight, bokeh, 3D effect, contrast even wide open.
They say that the more pixels will show up old lenses, as the sensor out-resolves the lens. I will let you into a little secret. The Takumars are certainly not out resolved by newer sensors, and then some. This lens in particular is a case in point.
If you have doubts. Take a photo, look at it on your computer, and you think - It seems a little soft and lacking in detail? Well I suggest print said image A3, or at the very least A4 and be astounded at the detail that a 50 year old lens can produce with a digital body.
Really it is a must have lens for all pentaxians.
As it is so cheap out there, you have no excuse not to have one..

I really really love this lens, can you tell?
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: color
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: NEX 5   

good lens. It have more saturation than original sony lens. I love this color.
It is hard to catch motivation.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 1,125

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, even wide open; very sharp in the corners; good colors; light; fast; easy to focus; cheap
Cons: chromatic aberration in out of focus areas;
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30   

I got SMC Takumar. It is manual focus, so it will not be as convenient as an autofocus lens. However, optically, it stands the test of time. It is better than most new lenses and as good as top of the line new zooms. Stopped down, it is even sharper, although at the price of some chromatic aberration. It also won't handle flare nearly as well as the modern pentax lenses, so watch out.

For the price, you can't go wrong. It is an excellent choice for landscapes.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,340
Lens Review Date: August 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build Quality, Speed, Usability, Handling, and
Cons: None to speak of
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: H1A, H3, H3V, Spotmatic, SP 1000, SPII, SPIIA, Spotmatic F   

A good, fast, and reliable standard lens. It does very well on film, especially black and white, and digital.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2012
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: cheap, beautifully made, beautiful glass.
Cons: None, if you can handle a manual lens
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 5D mkiii   

It's awesome. It's as sharp as the more highly regarded 50/É1.4 and in most ways just as nice (the bokeh is a little less smooth, maybe because it has fewer aperture blades??). It's a whole heap cheaper too!

I have the SMC version and also an early Auto-Takumar version. I love the hazy low-contrast look of the Auto-Tak, while the SMC has amazing coatings, is contrasty and punchy. Both great lenses, highly recommended.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,234
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent IQ and build. Nice focus, amazing value
Cons: All manual
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-x   

Mine is a SMC. I found the overall rating quite hard to set because it all depends how much you take the value into consideration.
I took a middle line (full manual versus low cost) and ended up with a 9. I don't mind manual focus but the manual aperture is a negative - although with M42 lenses you can use Av mode for larger apertures (mine needs quite a bit of exposure compensation though).

I now have a SMC A 50 f1.4 which is more convenient to use and has proven itself to perform better at equivalent apertures (in fact, except for contrast, the A at f1.4 is only a tiny bit worse than the 55 at f1.8). But then the A 50s are getting harder to find in good condition and they cost quiet a bit more. Another disadvantage with these M42 lenses is you do not get to see what aperture you used in the photo meta information. That all said I'm very reluctant to let my 55 go - its build and feel are superb.

This lens is a value king and if you are on a tight budget it is highly recommended!

Examples:
1. Stopped down (f8 I think): http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiwi_jono/6237153306/sizes/l/
2. Wide open: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiwi_jono/6140055906/in/photostream/
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 869
Lens Review Date: April 16, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Value for money! Very, very sharp stopped down. Gorgeous colors and contrast
Cons: M42 screwmount, but its more jewel-like than the k-mount K55mm
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K20D   

Before seeing any on-line reviews/prices of the Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f1.8 I inherited, I thought it was my best lens, by some margin. A more attractive focal length for me than my Takumar/FA 50mm f1.4s. Easily fast enough for taking indoor (daylight) pictures without flash. And light-years better images than my Pentax and Canon zooms/point and shoots.

Then I read more on-line about the "legendary" Pentax lenses, and started collecting other old and new primes, some well over ten times as expensive as this one. But quite frankly I still think this lens, or more accurately my "new" SMC Takumar version, is my best lens considering its performance, size and cost.

Its good to read all the very positive reviews of Pentax's great 55mm lens legacy here and elsewhere. There's little I can add except to share my experiences of the 55mm versions I own. I find the SMC Takumar produces slightly higher resolution images than the S-M-C (starting from a very high level!) and Super Takumar. The K-series/k mount lens is larger and heavier than the Takumars, and doesn't quite have the wonderful jewel-like feel of the Takumars.

The perfect lens for experienced and budding photographers alike to develop their manual skills - and outrageous value for money. Rather than continue with a thesaurus of superlatives, I'd like to submit these two SMC + K20D images, one being a crop of the other - to show just how cleanly this lens can resolve images/lines/in and out of focus areas.



Plus two others, using a K-3:



   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,686

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, small size and great build.
Cons: No SMC coatings and minimum aperture of f16.
Camera Used: Spotmatic   

This review is for the 1965: Super-Takumar 1:1.8/55 (late version).

Iím basing my review of this lens against my 50+ Pentax K-mount lenses, specifically the K55/1.8.

My K55/1.8 shots seem to have a bit more ďimpactĒ than the ST55/1.8, which is more likely due to the SMC coatings than sharpness.

The K55/1.8 also has a better minimum aperture of f22.

Overall the K55/1.8 is a slightly better lens. I gave the K55/1.8 a score of 10 and the ST55/1.8 gets a 9.

Note: I got my ST55/1.8 as part of a camera kit, so I canít estimate the individual price for the lens.

Sample shots taken with the ST55/1.8. Photos are medium resolution scans from original negatives.

Camera: SP Film: Fuji Superia ISO: 200





Camera: SP Film: Kodak Gold ISO: 200

   
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 6, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Smooth feel, softness
Cons: Yellowing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: canon eos 100d   

I have had this lense for over 30 years. I used it with my spotmatic to make portraits of my children. It's been in storage for 20 years since I no longer had a darkroom or much time for film photography.

Enter 2013 I decided to get my first DSLR and an entry level camera to test the waters. I have been happy with the Canon kit lens for action and everyday snap shots but it just didn't do what I wanted for portraits.

I went to buy a portrait lens and happened to mention my old pentax lens as something I wanted to emulate. Sales guys eyes lit up and he told me I could get a converter for my Canon EOS. I am so glad I did! Converter cost a third of a new, low end, portrait lens.

I said softness was a positive in the boxes to fill out and the reason is that I actually enjoy that quality in this lense. I tested it against my kit lense which can be very sharp - and so can the old pentax with smaller aperture and a tripod - but I feel the softness I get with the pentax when it is handheld is flattering to the subject and very atmospheric especially with the exceptional bokeh in front and behind.

The slight yellowing is also good for atmosphere and can be corrected easily in post production.

I am an amateur but I am remembering why I loved this lens and so happy I can fit to my digital camera.
   
New Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 8

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 5, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Color, feel, contrast, bokeh
Cons: Focal length, screwmount
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-x   

I love this lens. It is probably my cheapest lens, yet it never fails to deliver satisfying images. I think itís mostly the way this lens renders color, rich and punchy across the spectrum. It sees colors I didnít even notice in the scene, like an artist drawing subliminal colors out of shadows and highlights.

I am pretty thrifty when it comes to lenses, I donít really spend more than $100 on a lens, so I look pretty hard for the bargains. I browse through the lens reviews here, looking for good rating/price ratios. This one popped out right away as being a great bargain. Of course itís the focal length, not very desirable I guess, or maybe thereís just too many of this length or similar. I can tell you that the feel of this lens is wonderful, nice throw on the focus, not touchy at all.

My approach with the focal length is to let the lens decide the relationship to the subject, and how it treats the visual context. To get a certain shot, you need the use the focal length that will get that shot, but you can also turn that around and explore what a specific lens will give you. Find what the lens does well and work with that.

This one is clearly good at getting close to the subject, but I like what it does with backgrounds and things around the subject. Some might not like the bokeh, I love it, I really like the splash of little hexagons, adding a kind of psychedelic quality at times. Itís great. I like the ability to turn off the auto-iris so you can see itís effect on the image, you can see exactly what the bokeh is going to do.

The lens is pretty darn sharp, not so much at wide apertures, but stop it down a notch or two and itís great, grabbing the subject and putting a good wash over the background. At f/8 itís stunning, but youíll need the background to be further away to keep it from distracting.

The color thing: I donít have enough experience as a photographer to say why itís so intense. It certainly has some fringing, but itís not your typical chromatic aberration, more like a color-enhanced edge. Some might find this objectionable, but I donít expect this lens to be highly accurate, itís not for that. You certainly wonít need to enhance the color in post-processing, so the depth of color and saturation feels natural, not artificially pumped-up.

It does tend to meter a little dark, but if youíre capturing raw format,youíll be able to compensate for that if you forget to set the compensation in the camera like I always do. It gets great contrast, so itís pretty forgiving on the exposure.

This one comes highly recommended: wonít cost you much of anything, but definitely get the Pentax adapter ring, which may cost more than the lens!

I have the Ď62 version on a K-x body.





Same shot cropped 100%
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 2, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp from the opening, good quality performance, beautiful bokeh.
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-x   

I have the SMC version of this lens. It is a beautiful buildings in sufficient
sharp is an open aperture. The lens is very well executed. Very good for portraits. IMHO the only one drawback - not very convenient aperture ring, otherwise it's an excellent lens.
Here examples from my copy. filmed on K-x
https://picasaweb.google.com/113830004396908134834/SMSTakumar5518?authuser=0&feat=directlink
Add Review of SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8



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