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Takumar 200mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

Takumar 200mm F3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
25 100,995 Tue October 30, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $87.23 9.52
Takumar 200mm F3.5

Takumar 200mm F3.5
Takumar 200mm F3.5

This is the fastest of the 200mm screwmount lenses. Consequently it weighed more (850g with tripod mount) than the slower versions and also had a larger filter diameter (67mm).

Takumar 200mm F3.5
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Aperture Ring
Preset, 18 blades
4 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Plain
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
270 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
67 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 8.2 ° / 6.9 °
Full frame: 12 ° / 10 °
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Tripod Mount
Diam x Length
925 g
w/ Hood: +75g
w/ Tripod Foot: +120g
Production Years
1958 to 1965
Engraved Name
Takumar 1:3.5/200
Product Code
338, 43380
User reviews

Two versions of different cosmetic design, otherwise identical

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

Add Review of Takumar 200mm F3.5
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Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 899

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautiful bokeh, sharp, colours
Cons: Weight/length, long MFD

The Takumar 200/3.5 is one of the most respected M42 lenses ever made. It’s highly rated by Pentaxians who own the lens, and has also been discovered by other camera groups. See for example, this from a Fuji fan:

I was keen to see what all the fuss was about, and used the lens every day for a month to try it out.

First of all, 200mm is not everyone’s favourite focal length for primes; too short for real tele-photos, too long for more intimate close ups. Zoom lenses are more useful. Being tied to a 200mm for a whole month looks like a tricky challenge.

However, this lens is constantly entertaining, and surprisingly versatile in terms of the range of potential compositions and different styles. I used it quite a lot as a surrogate fast fifty with narrow dof, but it works well at all focal lengths, for portraits and landscapes and beyond.

The lens produces sharp images with beautiful bokeh wide open, and is even sharper stopped down. The 18 blades, of course, help to produce gorgeously smooth bokeh/bokeh balls at all stops. Colour rendering and saturation is excellent, and the relatively simple 4 element design lets the light straight in!

After the initial shock of lugging round a heavy, long beast (see photo below), I got used to it, and appreciated how solidly the lens is built. I also got used to the 2.5 meters plus MFD – it didn’t turn out to be as big a limitation as I thought it would be.

And some other comments on the lens:
  • The preset mechanism is a joy to use. Some other preset lenses have fiddly little dials at the front. The Tak 200/3.5’s dials are huge in comparison and perfectly positioned.
  • It needs a deep hood, to improve contrast, and on the K-1 there are signs of limited vignetting on occasions. But it’s not really a problem.
  • The focus mechanism feels good, but it’s not an easy lens to try and track/focus on birds in flight, for instance – it’s a big and slow manual focus effort.
  • The colours are among the most accurate of all my M42 lenses – I didn’t need to do much colour adjustment.
  • There’s a reason why the lens was designed with a tripod collar. A tripod is not absolutely essential for closer-ups, but it definitely makes a difference for infinity shots. The lens gets progressively sharper stopped down to around f11, as I found taking moon shots. At slower speeds, any camera/lens movement really distracts from the sharpness, especially on a sensor as sensitive as the K-1.
  • The K-1 green button metering with this lens is erratic. With some other old lenses, the necessary +/- ev compensation is quite consistent. With this lens, the adjustments were less clear, so shot-by-shot manual trial and error metering is required.
  • The rendering of the lens is very good IMO. However, I did notice during pp’ing that the images showed signs of stress faster than some other old lenses, such as banding and extra noise. This reduced the amount of heavy handed pp’ing I could do to the images. With my Helios 44-2, to take one example, I can really push underexposed images before problems become obvious. So you need to try to get the exposures right first time.
  • I also own a Takumar 200/4, and although I haven’t done head-to-head shots, I feel the 200/3.5 is in a different class – better images and better to use.

In conclusion, an excellent, best-in-class M42 lens. It's not cheap, and prices have been rising recently, but it's worth it for the build quality, IQ and those fabulous 18 blades. You may not use it a great deal – it’s hardly an easy walk around lens – but when you do, I think you’ll be impressed.

You can see my photos from the lens in this album:

….and some special bokeh effects, including a spirograph....

Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 12

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 24, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build Quality, IQ, and ease of use
Cons: None,
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 5DSR   

Please be merciful but I think that I have to first state that I am a dreaded Canon shooter.

When I first got back into photography I found myself with a very small budget for lenses with an insatiable appetite for a fast lens. My search for a fast yet affordable portrait type prime lead me to the old Pentax legacy glass, the first piece I purchased was a SMC 50mm f/1.4 M. It was a beautiful and very functional lens but I kept reading about the older Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lenses, one of iteration of which was rumored to be the "Zeiss Killer". Well, before long I was able to acquire a Super Tak and have been in love with these lenses ever since, so much so that I own about 25 unique lenses from the 50's to the early 70's from the 17mm f/4 to the 300mm f/5.6. So, I guess that I must qualify this review with the fact that I am somewhat biased by my love for these lenses. I think it important also to understand that I write this review from the perspective that I am reviewing a lens that is almost 60 years old and not a new contemporary lens.

The build quality of these lenses is just amazing, the fact that it is a preset with 18 aperture blades will just blow your mind the first time that you ever see one. It also makes for excellent bokeh.

I find the image quality of this lens to be excellent given its age and the technology used at the time of its manufacture. This lens has only 4 elements in 4 groups but I have found the quality of the image to be consistently usable when shooting both near and far. I use this lens on Canon bodies which is also a reason that I began collecting the old Pentax legacy lenses as they are so easily adapted to the Canon EOS body with a simple adapter. I think it important that if you can get an adapter with focus confirm that you do so, also I suggest using live view focus peaking (live view enlargement) to insure the best manual focus.

There is a bit of fringing and CA but again, this is a lens that was produced prior to the advanced lens coating of today, I find these issues to not be a major concern when using this lens. I also find that when using these old lenses on at least Canon bodies and probably others that as you stop the lens down you will need to make EV adjustments as most adapters are telling your camera that you are shooting at an f/stop other than what you are actually shooting at, the good news is that you will learn a bit about the exposure triangle. I generally use these lenses in either the AV or M setting on my camera.

Below are some sample pics of the lens and a pic of my dog that I took for this review. The wider image of the dog is the full shot and has been downsized for posting to the web, the closeup is simply a 100% crop of the wider shot taken before the downsizing.

If you are considering the purchase of this lens then you must share in the affinity that many of us have with these old lenses, my suggestion to you is stop considering and go ahead and pull the trigger, you won't be disappointed.

Forum Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Moab, Utah
Posts: 90

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Bokeh, Colors, Sharpness in that order
Cons: weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a7ii, A7s, a7sii   

The most unique 200mm lens I know and One of if not the very best lenses from Pentax ever as far as image quality. As good or better bokeh than the M* 300mm f4 lens. Colors might be better. 18 aperture blades gives the most gorgeous bokeh, especially in combination with the huge 4 elements of glass. It's eye-catching by itself. This lens can't be compared to the 200mm f4 macro, or anything else that was not specifically designed for bokeh. It also can't be compared to the 200mm f2.5, which, in my opinion is inferior to this lens. They're different lenses. The 200mm f2.5 might be sharper, but the 200mm 3.5 offers a distinctly cleaner image. The A* 200mm 2.8 is a different lens. I have not tried it. This one does not focus as close and is not as fast, but offers fewer elements rendering, more aperture blades, and an ever so slightly lighter weight than the A*. Hence, why I chose this lens over the A*. For cinema use, the preset aperture is nice and smooth. I use it for stopping down to where I want to shoot at with stills too.

It's sharp wide open, like most moderately fast lenses, and gets razor sharp by f4.5 or so. Mine loses sharpness again about f13, but there's not much change throughout. Crisp and tons of fine contrast details.

There can be slight fringing on backlighting, and the M* is probably more flare resistant than this with a hood, but it's not an issue by any means. It has a single layer coating and I think it's the right amount. The amount of light that comes through this lens is brilliant.

It's big and even heavier than it looks from all the lead in the glass. Ironically, it's a little longer than the M* 300mm f4, but slightly smaller in diameter. They're roughly the same size, and they also seem to share similar rendering qualities. If this lens has a downside, it's the size and weight. Almost any 200mm is smaller. This is not your lightweight traveling lens, this is your model on a beach and going to blow her away with how awesome you make her look lens. It's not for Grandma's portrait though because it's way too sharp and you'll see every wrinkle and blemish - she won't like it. My copy is very scratched up with heavy brassing all over it and still focuses, f-stops, like any of the best Pentax lenses. The glass and coatings show no usage, but mine was cared for.

This lens is a bargain. You simply cannot find a modern equivalent. If they did it would cost a fortune. The phrase, "They don't make them like they used to" applies in every sense here. IF you are lucky enough to find one, buy it.

I use this lens along with the Takumar 500mm f4.5, which renders very similarly to this 200mm 3.5. They look to be a very similar optical design as well.
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 21
Lens Review Date: February 18, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp even at wide open, pre-selection aperture, bright, cheap
Cons: Heavy, long, some abberation visible, hard to catch sharpness, it's m42 so it's take a few minutes to change the lense, long minimum sharp distance
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax k-70   

Good lense for the difficult conditions. The fact its for m42 make it harder to quickly change for another lense.
It's heavy, it's long, it's preety big... but it's sharp, colorfull and bright. Fully useful even wide open!
So what do you need more from the lense?

So if you don't want to spend 2x more money for Sonnar 200mm f/2.8 ( and it's twice heavier ) Takumar will be best option.

25% of full image f/3.5:

Here's some tests ( 50% of jpg, no any post processing added )

f3.5 - if you crop image you'll see it's a little soft

f4 - it's sharper but hold on...

f5 - ...even sharper... but wait for it...

f5.6 - ta daaam! that's razor sharp!

f8 well... this going insane



f16 weird spots are my dirty sensor & long exposure

f22 weird spots are my dirty sensor & long exposure

Registered: December, 2016
Location: London
Posts: 478
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $24.73 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very good results even with a converter
Cons: Heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon D50   

I played with one of these in September, using it on a Nikon D50 with an adapter that includes a lens to allow it to focus to infinity. Results were pretty good, better than a real Nikon-fit zoom at 200mm. For some reason it worked with the converter much better than most lenses I've tried. I'm not 100% sure of the price because it was part of a job lot of a Spotmatic 1000 and four Takumar and SMC Takumar lenses (28, 50, 135 and 200mm) I bought very cheaply, and can't now remember how the individual lenses were costed. I think £20 but I'm not 100% sure. It was missing the tripod mount, which was one of the things that bought the price down.

Ivy, distance about 15 ft., 1/250th f8.

New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Bern
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 15, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, colors, built quality
Cons: nothing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 5D Mk1   

I was very surprised. The picture needs no comment , i think (-:
The sharpness is ... what can i say ...
Right click for full resolution: Weight 2500 Px.

Takumar 3.5 / 200mm @ f4.5

Loyal Site Supportaxian

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 486

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $85.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Glorious Bokeh, Character, '3-D' look, Value
Cons: weight, size, balance without foot.

Character, character, character! Just as many other reviewers have noted, the Glorious Bokeh is just right. Long and a bit heavy, with outstanding build quality, it can be a bit taxing to carry about. It has good transmittance despite the earlier type glass coatings due to the low number of elements. The foot is highly recommended, as it can be hard to balance on a tripod without.

Much recommended, and an excellent value despite its limitations.
New Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 22, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: mind bending Bokeh
Cons: wish they made it today
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: spotmatic , 5d mark 3   

I just which this lens would be made today the sharpness and image from it are not of this world the bokeh is just amazing the focus is very long travel 360 degrees both makes it precis , use it for films and blows my mind every time.....
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 195

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, colors, clear, clean images, build and handling
Cons: none of note

This lens rates a 10 because its one of the best Takumar lenses and a near perfect telephoto. It handles well, at portraits it's the best, and it is for general use just about the sharpest lens around. It gets more comments about sharpness than any other lens I have, all positive in that regard. The character of the images it produces are uniquely beautiful time and time again. Great color and bokeh. It's not a close focus lens, but, on tubes it remains very sharp and becomes a macro like tele of good quality, but, at the expense of some light. Other than the fact it's not close focus, it's really hard to find a fault. PF has never been a problem for me with this lens and I feel confident using it open and way stopped down for landscapes. An all around great 200!
New Member

Registered: July, 2013
Location: Ancona - Marche - Italy
Posts: 3

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 12, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Color rendition, sharp, unique bokeh, built quality, preset
Cons: A bit heavy, but for me it's an advantage because it gives stability
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

Here is another excellent lens. Build quality is typical of Takumar... solid like a tank (and heavy like a tank).
The optical quality is fantastic... very very sharp... and the bokeh - with 18 blades - are amazing at almost any aperture. Moreover the color rendering, typical of other time, produces marvelous images. Perfect for exclusive portraits.

Despite his age my copy is in excellent condition, looks brand new, almost unbelievable. I love this old Takumar lenses

PENTAX K-5 + Takumar 200 f3.5 @ f3.5

PENTAX K-5 + Takumar 200 f3.5 @ f3.5

The photos was resized to 600px... for more details see my Pentax Gellery:
New Member

Registered: November, 2010
Location: Copenhagen
Posts: 4

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh
Cons: Weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Olympus E-30   

I have the old version of this lens – the version that went out of production back in 1961, and what a great lens it is. It is great.

My conclusion of several years of using the lens is: I really like the lens. At a distance and stopped down, I find the sharpness to be very very good, the colours are excellent, the light handling to very good and the bokeh to be somewhat wonderful. The lens is big and heavy. But it is pleasant to operate - the balance is good. The lens has been in use for more than 50 years. Mine certainly has. It does show that with chips in the paint etc. but there are no problems at all inside: The glass is clear, clean and without any faults.

I have used the lens as traditional tele lens (with Olympus E-30) getting like 400 Full frame mm out of it, and I have used the lens for series to generate HDR’s from. It has never disappointed.

Wide open here is a little softness to the lens, but already at f/4 is lens deliver razor sharp images; just look at the HDR of the stag: The image is merged and tonemapped from five pictures spacing one EV-step.

The bokeh is nice and smooth leaving a wonderful depth in the picure:

There is sharpness on 100 meter – Olympus E-30. Giving like 400 Full frame mm.

In short: Buy the lens
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 7

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 15, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $135.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh
Cons: Heavy, Warm, some CA at 3.5
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Olympus OM-D E-M5   

I use this lens with an Olympus OM-D which has in camera image stabilization. I have the Pentax-M 200 f4, the Super Takumar 135mm f3.5, a Konica Hexanon 135mm f3.2, a Tokina 60-300 f4-5.6, and an Olympus 40-150 II, and recently compared these lense for sharpness, color accuracy, CA, bokeh and handling. Here's what I found. 1. The Takumar 200mm 3.5 had the best overall sharpness at f8. It was sharper at f.35 than the Pentax-M f4, the Tokina 60-300 @ 200mm @ f5.6. Colors are warm and unsaturated. CA is noticable at f3.5 but is fine thereafter. Its a beast to handle and without bright sunshine results are not so good. In low contast lighting the lens is too heavy for the Olympus IS to handle. Photos are often blurry and drab. But in good light, with shutter speeds above 1/400 this is a very nice lens. 2. For all practical purposes, there is no difference in sharpness between the Takumar 135, Konica 135, and teh Olympus 40-150 @ 135mm f8. My copy of the Super Tak is in Mint condition. Looks brand new and its a lovely instrument. But the Konica has a build in hood and is easier to handle. And the Olympus only weighs 115gr and has autofocus. Guess which one will get used? 3. The surprise of the day is the Tokina 60-300. At 135mm it keeps up with all the lenses above. At 200mm it is sharper at all aperatures than the Pentax-M, and is just a shade less sharp than the Takumar 200mm f3.5. It is heavier than all but the Tak 200mm f3.5, but it is easy to handle, has neutral colors, and well controlled CA. 4. The Pentax-M 200 f4 is a nice handling lens with good colors, but sharpness is just so-so in my copy and I would rather use either the Tak 3.5 when I need sharpness or one of the 135mm when I want portability. Overall, I'm impressed with the Takumar 200mm f3.5. It is a 50 year old lens that performs really well. I disagree with the reviewer who claims that in comparison to modern lenses the Tak is not keeping up. In the hands of a skilled modern photographer it more than keeps up.
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Near Basle
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Preset, easy to handle
Cons: loss of contrast at sidelight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Nex 6, EOS 5D Mark 3   

I use the lens on Sony Nex-6 and Canon EOS 5D Mark 2/3. The use of the preset aperture on both cameras is easy to handle and fun to work with.

The lens has less contrast than my 10yrs younger Nikkor-Q 200/4. the colors are natural and not so saturated like the Nikkor. My copy has even wide open a very good sharpness. Very little CA's are there (wide open) but not disturbing.

The lens has a good bokeh in front- and background. The mentioned 3D-effect is unique and more like a 2D-set in front of the background.

The lens doen't like sidelights.

Like an advertising slogan from the days of film: "Ideal for cloudy days and weddings".

Some photos are >here
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 118

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great IQ, Great build, Preset
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: D7000   

Hands down my favorite 200mm lens. This lens is always in my bag. I loved it so much that I three copies now. The metal build makes sure this thing will survive a fall. I found that this lens perform better during the mid ranges of it's focal lengths. Doing so also gives it a more 3D effect.

JAH_7957 by Jarrett_Hunt, on Flickr

JAH_7948 by Jarrett_Hunt, on Flickr
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 29, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Preset, great IQ, easy to manage
Cons: Nothing so far
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I got this lens after seeing CJ's photos. It is just like he makes you believe it is. However, once you have his experience, for sure you will be able to get photos like his. This lens is very good. I do recommend. I have the Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135/2.8 and found myself using this more and more. I think the preset has to do with the image. It gives the images an added three dimensionality (according to my eyes). Here are some photos.

Takumar200mmf3.5Preset-CaballoViejo-5 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Takumar200mmf3.5Preset-Broccoli-4 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Tak200mm3.5@5.6-Hawk1 by Palenquero, on Flickr

Union Station L.A. 2 by Palenquero, on Flickr
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