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Takumar/Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5

Sharpness 
 7.4
Aberrations 
 5.6
Bokeh 
 8.2
Handling 
 6.5
Value 
 7.4
Reviews Views Date of last review
15 65,508 Sat July 7, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
93% of reviewers $377.82 7.40
Takumar/Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5

Takumar/Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5
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Takumar/Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5
supersize
Takumar/Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5
supersize

Description:
The K-mount 500mm F4.5 lens is based off of this original design. It features a built-in lens hood and tripod collar.

49mm filters can be used with this lens, mounted at the rear.

Takumar 500mm F4.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Manual
Optics
4 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Plain
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4.5
Min. Aperture
F45
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
1000 cm
Max. Magnification
0.06x
Filter Size
49 mm (Rear drop-in)
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 3.3 ° / 2.7 °
Full frame: 5 ° / 4.1 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Rear Filter Mount
Diam x Length
126.5 x 440 mm
Weight
3500 g
Production Years
1966 to 1971
Engraved Name
Takumar 1:4.5/500
Product Code
366, 43660
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Non-removable mount collar.
The rear of the lens detaches (bayonet) to ease mounting on camera.
Variants

1: Takumar 500mm F4.5 (this lens)
2: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5



Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
M42
Aperture Ring
Yes
Diaphragm
Manual, 10 blades
Optics
4 elements, 4 groups
Mount Variant
M42 Plain
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F4.5
Min. Aperture
F45
Focusing
Manual
Min. Focus
1000 cm
Max. Magnification
0.06x
Filter Size
49 mm (Rear drop-in)
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 3.3 ° / 2.7 °
Full frame: 5 ° / 4.1 °
Hood
Built-in, slide out
Case
Lens Cap
Coating
SMC
Weather Sealing
No
Other Features
Rear Filter Mount
Diam x Length
126.5 x 440 mm
Weight
3500 g
Production Years
1971 to 1976
Engraved Name
Super-Multi-Coated TAKUMAR 1:4.5/500
Product Code
43661
Reviews
User reviews
Notes
Non-removable tripod mount.
The rear of the lens detaches (bayonet) to ease mounting on camera.
Variants

1: Takumar 500mm F4.5
2: Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5 (this lens)

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



Add Review of Takumar/Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 15
Forum Member

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

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 7, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $530.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed, 3d Pop, Bokeh, Build
Cons: Size, Weight
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a7sii, A7ii, A7s   

This lens should be higher rated like the K mount version is since they're optically identical if you have the S-M-C version. I have the older version Takumar, newer Takumar, as well as an S-M-C version of this lens. They are all three superb and I see little if any difference in almost any situation and my Takumars have a blue-ish coating while the S-M-C has more of a greenish color to it. Though not the highest resolution lens, this lens renders very sharply, especially between f5.6 and f9. The earlier Takumar (non-S-M-C) lens renders similarly to the Takumar 200mm f3.5 in my opinion; that is to say images have a dreamy look to them and leaning to the blueish in some conditions such as low light. This can be a problem or a cherished characteristic. The optical formula is also very similar to the 200mm 3.5 Takumar. Bokeh is excellently creamy, even when stopped down because of the multitude of aperture blades and optics. Images have a realistic, 3d look to them. The focusing ring makes handholding impossible for anyone but Popeye. It's a beast of a lens; heavy and awkward handling because of its size. Get it on a gimbal head though, and it's a dream lens. The rotating from horizontal to vertical is nice, though the mount is hard to trust until you get familiar with it. The earliest version I have only stops down to f22, but later version went to f45. I never use anything past f16.

These example backlit images are using between f5.6 and f8, minimally adjusted for exposure and contrast. No sharpening or other jiggery pokery enhancing.









This cottonatail rabbit was shot using Pentax Rear Converter 1.4x-S AND cropped in slightly more than 50% at f5ish:


Another one using Pentax Rear Converter 1.4x-S at f8:
   
Pentaxian

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,393

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $457.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: FAST, built well, pre-set aperture, makes other photographers jealous
Cons: Hard to use, forget quick focus, wide-open DoF measured in molecules, not well suited for DSLRs
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 5    Value: 5    Camera Used: Original K, K-3, K-1   

Firstly, this lens is very hard to use. For some applications, like astrophotography and solargraphy, it's great. For sports, it's a challenge.









Those are some of the solar and astro shots I've taken with this lens. It's good for some applications like those which allow for careful focus. As you can see from those shots, the lens is suitably sharp under the right conditions (read as: from f/8 to f/16.)

For action, this lens is very hard to use. The focusing ring, though nice and large, is not in a good position for quick focus adjustment. Also the balance is not well suited for hand-held use. But it can deliver very nice results.













I'm definitely happy with the action results, but they're hard to get, require predictive pre-focusing, and a lot of luck. Knowing some post-processing sharpening tricks helps, too.

Overall, this is a very good telephoto lens for image quality offset by difficult handling. If you can snag one for less than $500 (2016), then it's probably worth it.

Edited to add additional sample photos and thoughts as I've used the lens more. The sharpness is exceptional given the age. The color fringing is recoverable in post, but extreme, even given the lens' age. Focusing is very hard without using live view. Even then, a breeze can move a tree branch out of the focal plane and throw off your shot of a bird.


The lens is surprisingly good for landscapes, if you want a tight AoV with significant background compression.




This shot had severe magenta fringing but it was removable in post.

Here are three shots cropped to 1,000x1,000 pixels, so these should show at 100% on most monitors.






Lens sharpness, when properly focused and when the subject is in the paper-thin focal plane, is great.

If you can compose without needing to crop, this lens is more than suitably sharp for any use of which it's capable.


   
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Bern
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: --
Cons: --
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 5D Mk1   

I own this lens new (second hand, M42 SMC-Version) and I'm surprised. Sharp even at f4.5 and the CA is moderate and to correct easily. The sample pictures are corrected with RawTheaphie (CA).

And the mechanical quality - a Takumar ..

Takumar @ f5.6 / Width 2500px - right click for the full resolution



Takumar @ f4.5 / Width 2500px - right click for the full resolution

   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: 48599 Gronau
Posts: 26
Lens Review Date: April 30, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $680.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: fast glass, beautifull manufactured, well balanced
Cons: shows PF and lacks contrast wide open,
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

I received my lens from a seller in england. It was in a great shape, claen, whitout any dust inside or haze. The issue whith the lens barrel was fixed and focussing was smooth and precise. I think, this lens had been serviced. Wide open it shows purple fringing and lacks contrast, as it was expected. Stopped down, you can get very good results with this lens. At f8 or f11 the colours are naturall and the lens gets sharp to very sharp, if you are willing to work hard for your picture and if a sturdy setup is used. You have to improve your long lens technic for getting the best out of the lens. The lens works well with the 1.4 L converter, but using a Vivitar/Kenko 2x macro converter is possible. Avoid back lighting or high contrast scenes! The lens goes past infinity, so it is possible to use any M42 to K Adapter, not only the genuine pentax stuff. The petax 1.7 AF converter will only work, if a M42 adapter is used that covers the electric contacts. The genuine pentax adapter doesen' do so!
   
Moderator
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Posts: 17,250
Lens Review Date: February 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Fast for a long lens
Cons: Heavy requiring a tripod
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 6    Camera Used: K20d and Spot F   

This is a fast long glass. It is large and requires a tripod. It is excellent for black & white work, but its contrast can be a problem with color. I find I have to watch for situations that will aggravate chromatic aberrations with this lens. Interestingly, there is an optional Asahi eyepiece that allows this lens to be turned in to telescope/spotting scope.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: March 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast, Amazing Bokeh, Sturdy
Cons: Cromatic abberation, soft wide open as expected, not balanced
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: Canon 5D MKii   

Although the lens is a little soft wide open and a fair bit of CA this lens is still a steal of a deal for the price they sell for these days. Most people on a budget settle for a 500mm f8 mirror lens and for a little more can have this gem.
I compared 3 500mm's together and this one by far wins. The comparison was with a Tamron Adaptall 2 and Tou Five Star Mirror f8. The Five Star is the lens you see all over ebay with a million different names and was the worst of the 3 and crazy soft. If you could get the ebay one for $50 then sure...
Tamron was fairly good but as expected the bokeh is rough and a fair bit of CA as well. However still performed very well.

Pentax 500mm 4.5
The good:
Bokeh which is amazing to be honest. Variable aperture which is a amazing steal of a deal. Sharp at all apertures except wide open to a little past 5.6. Focus throw is large and very easy to get accurate focus unlike the f8 mirrors lenses which are finicky. Sturdy. Mount is removable to place on the camera and then bayonet breech mount to the lens which helps a ton. Alignment sights. Retractable lens hood. Color is good. Contrast is decent but not outrageous.

The bad:
The amount of Chromatic Aberration at larger apertures can make the image look soft when in fact its decently sharp but is clouded over with CA. MOTHER HEAVY. Huge as expected being 4.5. Not balanced well, even with a heavy full frame body with grip the lens is still front heavy so it would be nice if they moved the mount forward a bit. Large filter size.

Overall this lens is an amazing deal for a 4.5 variable aperture lens if you can find a good deal and don't mind the weight don't settle for a f8 mirror unless your going for size and unique circle bokeh.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: March 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Relatively light for its size, easy to focus
Cons: General image quality
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 6   

The main problem with the lens is what plagues a lot of lenses of this vintage, uncontrolled aberrations. The primary one is chromatic. Objects with light-dark interfaces (edges of things against a brighter background, etc) suffer from strong red fringing. Much like the old Pentax 300mm f/4.0 I tested. This of course is strongest when the lens is wide-open. This is the result of a fast lens speed coupled with the lack of high-grade ED (low dispersion) glass in the day when this lens was made.
Spherical aberration also manifests, but to a lesser degree. This degrades image sharpness wide open and stopped down one stop.
Unless lens speed is absolutely paramount, even the old 500mm f/8.0 "girl watcher" lenses that existed at the time are preferable from a sharpness standpoint.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: September 18, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $289.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, vivid colors and fast f4.5
Cons: Heavy, very sensative to correct focus.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 5    Value: 9    Camera Used: Canon 5D markII   

It's big and chunky, but what a lens. for the money... (Canon 500 f4= a fortune).
One remark thou: Use liveview and magnification to get the focus tack on otherwise you will get bad results.

Almost in focus: CA and of course blur
In focus: almost no CA and sharp.

I also have a Sigma 150-500/5-6,3 HSM DG APO OS, the old Takumar is nearly as sharp and have better colors.

And you need the bigest and heaviest tripod you can get your hands on.
Forget about the usual lightweight ones, think "concreate and metal" and a head that can take it.
3500grams!

Taken from a distance of 435m, then cropped. Link to full size image bellow.
I think it's sharp enough...



Full size image: http://i.imgur.com/sXWfc.jpg

Leave a comment of the review here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/welcomes-introductions/199385-hello-all.html#post2104463


Br alvess
   
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus

Registered: May, 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Posts: 10,644
Lens Review Date: May 14, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Magnification
Cons: Contrast, CA, lacklustre colour etc. Not terribly sharp
Sharpness: 4    Aberrations: 2    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 3    Camera Used: K20D   

I'm surprised with the comments on this lens and the Pentax branded version. Compared to my other longer lens (FA*300mm f4.5) or actually almost any other lens I've ever used. This isn't a lens I would recommend to anyone.
Poor contrast, flat colours, Lots of lateral CA (both green and some purple). Unable to capture fine detail.

I had the lens checked to be sure that there wasn't something wrong with mine and everything was to spec. If the subject is close, then it does a better job, but at any distance, I find it a fairly poor performer. Fortunately it's cheap. If you are serious about a long lens, look elsewhere.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: 14er Country
Posts: 323
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Cheap Super-Telephoto
Cons: It's a MONSTER!
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 3    Value: 9   

This. Lens. Is. A. Monster. It's a fantastically heavy beast and doesn't handle especially well. You're going to want a gimbal tripod mount for this beast. Another handling problem is that there's no internal focusing, so the manual focus is difficult (though smooth).

The lens does better than I thought it would. Without any exotic glass, it's not the sharpest lens ever, but it's not bad. Contrast is markedly low compared to modern super-telephotos, but that's not too hard to punch up in post-processing. Oddly enough, I found that C-A wasn't that bad, especially compared to the SMC Takumar 300mm f4 that I owned at the same time. The 500mm did worlds better than the 300mm did. Odd, that.

Personally, I found the lens to be too much of a hassle to use. Still, if you want a taste of what a super-telephoto can do on the cheap, and are willing to sacrifice your back to the proposition, there isn't another lens out there that will offer the price/performance of the SMC Tak 500mm f4.5.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: Clermont-Ferrand, France
Posts: 221

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $430.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness, pointer
Cons: CA

I've used it for sports and sunsets, some birds, and it is sharp even at f/4.5 (stopping it down is not a bad idea), more than the 400/5.6. It shows some CA, and bokeh, despite being good, can't beat the 400/4 (6x7), that's why I don't use my 500/4.5 anymore for sports since I have the 400/4. I recommend it because you won't find a 500mm lens with a better quality/price ratio
Samples : http://kajiwara.weebly.com/takumar-50045.html
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 653

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness; Good Color; Smooth manual focus ring; Slide out hood; Built solid
Cons: Weight; CA (magenta and green fringe)

Have just started using this lens, and it seems to be much sharper than my Sigma 170-500 which is my only reference.

Have been less than satisfied with my Sigma 170-500 at the long end. A few days ago saw this lens on sale with other odds and ends. Bought the lots. This is the Takumar SMC model, and apart from weight of lens, it seems to be a big improvement.

Here is comparison of sharpness between 500 f4.5 and Sigma 170-500. Small crop from the full image.

   
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Trois-Rivières, Québec, CA
Posts: 74
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Very sharp, built like a tank, a cheap 500/4.5
Cons: a lot of CA, stiff focus ring, minimum focus distance of 10 meters

I have the non-SMC version of this lens. I use it mainly use it for birding. You need some support to use this lens (it is heavy !). I often use a tripod but sometimes use it with a monopod and get good results.

I really like the reach of this lens. It is quite sharp and I got good results even wide open. However, I get a lot of CA with this lens (cyan, red, green, purple.... I even see it in the viewfinder !!!) but from now, I have managed to remove it during post-processing. I feel that the focus ring is too stiff, but it is very precise. However, I do not like the fact that the minimum focussing distance is 10 meters... I also feel that this lens lacks of contrast, but it can also be adjusted during post-processing.

If you are ready to use a fully manual lens, this may be a good alternative to the very expensive autofocus telephoto lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 344
Lens Review Date: August 16, 2007 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: The lens is a f4.5, built like a tank, and respectable at wide open but really good at f8 or better.
Cons: Being a tank it is very heavy. I have found a little purple fringing sometimes but this is easily corrected in post prossessing.

I used this lens a lot mounted on my tripod in early morning and late evening at f4.5 The only draw backs are weight, some purple fringing( very little), and focusing ( it is not very fast). Other than these minor problems it is a very good lens for the money.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: September, 2006
Location: D/FW area, Tx.
Posts: 1,712

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

 
Pros: reach out and touch someone
Cons: no AF which does hamper you doing action.

This is a very sharp, fast lens. contrast is also very good. it's real nice shooting at f4.5 but stop it down to f8-16 and it's superb.. it's definately a tripod only lens at 8+pounds and 20'' long.

This review is based on use of the lens with the K-mount adapter.
Add Review of Takumar/Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 500mm F4.5



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