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Best pentax glass?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Pili, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Pili

    Pili Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Boulder, CO
    Hi all,

    I might have the opportunity to purchase some older Pentax glass locally (circa late 50s/60s) but I'm generally unfamiliar with specific lenses, besides the great super takumar 50 1.4 (which is what I was looking for in the first place). Are there any other special lenses I should be on the lookout for? I don't have a full list yet but the seller has at least half a dozen to choose from potentially.

  2. billy_pilgrim

    billy_pilgrim Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
  3. fspeur

    fspeur Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 23, 2012
    Edmonton AB, Canada
  4. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    There is a lot of good info here:

    Early Asahi Pentax Cameras and Takumar lenses: Main Page

    I've been using my Auto-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (despite its labeling it is functionally the same as the Super-Takumar series) and have found that it compares very very well with my Leitz Summicron-DR 5cm f/2. It, like the Super-Takumars, handle better than the purely manoual lenses adapted from my RF cameras. The A/M switch makes the Takumars function as pre-set lenses (you pre-set the aperture and use the switch to quickly open to max and close to the pre-set aperture) and are thus quicker to use.

    The DR is in the center and the Auto-Takumar is on the right (I've not done enough with the Jupiter-8 to comment on it):

    Attached Files:

  5. Pili

    Pili Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Boulder, CO
    Thanks for the info everyone, doing some research now. Looks like they have half takumar lenses and half k-mount lenses but I wont know more than that until I arrange to see them.
  6. melvin.richard@gmail.com

    melvin.richard@gmail.com New to Mu-43

    Sep 23, 2012
    super takumar 55mm f1.8

    I recently re-acquired my Pentax Spotmatic purchased in 1966. I have now compared the 55mm f1.8 super takumar with both the Panasonic 45-175 and the olympus four thirds 40-150. I can report that both of the new lenses are far superior to the takumar. At least when mounted on my Olympus Pen. Maybe the takumar would fare better if I actually bought some film and used the old lens on the Spotmatic.
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    AOHC website

    I use that site more as a reference. I collect Takumars and Pentax.

    Adaptation of the screwmount Takumars to Micro 4/3 has far better handling since they are equipped with A-M switches for easy preset aperture. Since M42/ - M4/3 adapters are very simple, I see no real benefit to buying the more expensively made adapters. If you are going to carry several lenses, I highly recommend buying several screw mount adapters and leave them attached to the lens rather than leaving the adapter attached to the camera. Its faster to remove the lens by the bayonet Micro 4/3 mount than the screwmount side AND you'll have less of a chance of accidentally cross threading.

    If you go the K-mount route, there is one adapter maker out there that makes an adapter that has the ability to open/close the aperture diaphragm. I highly recommend using that adapter.

    Early Asahiflex lenses are M37 which are different.

    SMC lenses have better coatings. Start with the 50mm f/1.4 SMC Takumar... even if its a little "yellow" (can be corrected in post). Sharp lens. 85mm SMC are also great but a bit more expensive. I also like the K-mount 100mm macro.

    Pentax forums has some user written reviews on lenses:

  8. Pili

    Pili Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Boulder, CO
    I have no doubt that both lenses are technically superior to these older primes, but neither zoom provides the subject isolation I'm looking for, especially on a budget. Plus, they are just fun to shoot with and see what you can get with 50 year old lenses!
  9. Pili

    Pili Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Boulder, CO
    Thanks all the info usayit, very useful!
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

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    SMC Takumar 135mm f/3.5

    There are a few more from my initial thoughts on the micro 4/3 system (Panny G1) here:

    My thoughts on the Panasonic G1 w/ manual glass

    Single coated lenses (non-SMC) will give you a more vintage look...
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

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    SMC Takumar 100mm Macro on an E-PL1.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    I have almost all off the smc tak's and all of them are very good.

    The must have list for m43:
    1. Takumar 1.4/50 and macro-takumar 4/50
    If one could merge this two into one lens it would be the greatest lens ever.
    1.4/50 for low light and the 4/50 for extreme sharpness, contrast and saturation.

    2. Takumar 3.5/24
    It renders lovely images. This is a lens that is good in every department. Good colors, good sharpness, good micro-contrast, nice textures and very easy to focus. Note: On full frame it is not so good because corners are soft and you will get a lot of distortion.

    3. Takumar 4/200
    This is my zoo lens, for just 70eur I bought a lens that turned my already gone panasonic 45-200 into garbage. Sharp, nice colors and nice bokeh.

    4. Takumar 3.5/135 and takumar 2.8/120(same design of the 2.8/105)
    Both are very good, the 120 is very small and nice for m43 but the 135 is sharper.

    Lens that are good but not takumar good:
    - Takumar 2.5/135, unless it is the last version, it will be soft wide open;
    - Takumar 4/300, very sharp but with C.A. - I also don't like the colors.
    - Takumar 4.5/20, I don't have this one but some say it is soft.

    What about the smc 1.8/85??
    - This is a must have lens for a full-frame camera and my favorite lens on the spotmatic because it is bright and sharp wide open and therefore easy to focus. The 1.9/85 open wide is softer but other than that, very similar. For some reason, I don't find it very nice for m43 maybe because of the weird 170mm focal equiv.

    And the 1.8/55??
    This is one of the best tak's but because I have the 1.4/50, it doesn´t get much use. Anyway, for the price they go it is a steal.

    3.5/28 or 3.5/35?
    Very similar this two. Extreme sharpness, nice colors and the best for textures. Also very small, the 3.5/35 is almost a pankake design.

    Also I love the 4/17mm fish-eye, but on a m43 camera it is a regular 35mm lens with huge distortion.
    • Like Like x 4
  13. magkelly

    magkelly Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 11, 2012
    Newer lenses may be technically more sophisticated but I would match my Taks up against any digital lens I own. They'd hold their own and then some. My favorite is the Tak 55 and I also like the 105 which is one of the most excellent portrait lenses I've ever owned. (I like my 50 too, but I think I like the 55 better actually.) Those old Taks can be amazingly sharp and the color rendition of my Taks totally trounces my digital Tamrons and my Sigma. I don't have an Oly M4/3 lens to compare them to yet but I have compared them against the digital lenses I own for my K-x and I can't say that my digital lenses are better just a bit more convenient because they have AF which comes in handy when my eyes are gritty.

    I've gotten some amazing shots from my Taks, and I just love them. They're a lot more work, MF always is, but I really think they're gems, the Taks. I have a set of MF Viv's too and they're very nice but in most cases my Taks are just better. I just got a new kit of them actually. It's on route as I type and I can't wait till they're here. I'm very much looking forward to trying out the ones I don't have on both of my cameras.

    Currently I use the the 55 Tak on the Oly and I also use the A series and M series 50 1:1.7 a lot. The A series one in particular is just stellar on my Oly. It's almost but not quite a pancake and it's very sharp and has lovely color rendition and bokeh. My Tak 105 seems to suit the Oly very well too for longer lengths. I'm finally getting a Tak 28mm with this set and I'm very much thinking I'll use that for my Oly too.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    I'm interested in this myself,

    I shall be picking up a Pentax Super A with 3 lens SMC 200/4.0 tak, sigma 28-70 and a centon door stop, I mean 70-210. I'll be looking for a wide, 50/55, long and short portraits. Any recommendations/prices would prefer good value lenses.

    This will be my first forray into Pentax glass, mostly for the 35mm but also for m43. Be interesting to compare them against my hexanons, but I doubt I'll get the best results for comparisons.
  15. magkelly

    magkelly Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 11, 2012
    So far I've found any lens under 100mm seems to work well on my Oly but my Viv 28mm and 35mm seem to be the ideal focal length for running around. The other 50mm lens I particularly like besides the A series 50mm Pentax is the E series Nikon 50mm. It's not quite as sharp as my Taks, but it is about the same as the Viv's and the small size, it's nearly a pancake, makes for a very small kit. I've never had much use for wide angles before with with the Oly I'm finding them useful and I'm even thinking about getting a more extreme wide angle at some point. But you really can't go wrong with any M42 Tak, IMHO and most A series Pentax lenses and M series Pentax lenses are great. Pentax glass, particularly the legacy glass is why I'm such an admitted Pentax geek. First time I put an M42 Tak on a camera I just fell in love....
    • Like Like x 1
  16. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2011
  17. Pili

    Pili Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2012
    Boulder, CO
    Thanks for all the info everyone! I ended up going home with what I think is an early version of the 7 element 1.4. The glass has the yellow tint but the aperture switch is marked A/M instead of auto/manual like i've seen on other later versions. I almost walked away with the 135/3.5 but it wasn't a great deal so I passed.

    The build on these lenses is incredible though, I can see myself getting addicted pretty easily! The adapter should be arriving today, can't wait to get shooting.
  18. Papadoc

    Papadoc Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 12, 2012
    Whoa! I just checked out the prices on that site. I have the 17 mm f/4, but don't see much use for it as on the micro 4/3 cameras all it is is a 34 mm lens with fish eye distortion. But it sells for over $300! Who knew?
  19. MiguelATF

    MiguelATF Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Somewhere in Southern Oregon
    Miguel Tejada-Flores
    50mm f/1.7 Pentax SMC Lens

    As a former Pentax owner and user and addict, I still miss my old Takumar and Pentax lenses. Recently (some months ago) I discovered - or finally realized - that I could use 'legacy' Pentax glass on my micro 4/3 Olympus Pen bodies --- Oh, Joy! So I went out and purchased, for a reasonable price, one of the classic Pentax 50mm lenses - the SMC Manual focus 50mm f/1.7 ....

    So far, the results have been quite pleasing.

    Here's a portrait I took with it -

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    Coffee puts the world in perspective by La Chachalaca Fotografía, on Flickr

    And here, one more -

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    Colton at the Grotto by La Chachalaca Fotografía, on Flickr

    All in all, a remarkable addition to the 'quiver' - and a phenomenal portrait lens.
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