Panasonic vs Takumar vs Hexanon

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Boatman, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. I ran some tests comparing my Panasonic 12-35 zoom to a Takumar f1.4/50mm and a Hexanon f1.8/40. I know that the Panasonic is quite a bit shorter than the other two, but I wanted to see if there was any significant low light advantage to the two faster, manual lenses.

    The results are pretty much as you would expect: The Panasonic is tack sharp, wide open at f2.8. The Hexanon f1.8/40 wide open is quite soft but it sharpens up nicely at f2.8. Likewise, the Takumar f1.4/50 is soft wide open but is quite sharp at f2.0. This give it a one stop advantage for roughly equivalent sharpness. Of course, the Panasonic lens has stabilization, so it probably can out perform the other two if mounted on a Panasonic body with no IBS.

    The attached photos were taken on a tripod with manual focus on the oak trunk in the center. The images were shot in RAW with no sharpening or contrast enhancement added.

    Attached Files:

  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Nice comparison. Thanks.
  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Even without stabilization, the Taks are longer and need longer shutter speeds, all else being equal. I love my legacy glass, but good native stuff still beats it.
  4. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    As far as I can tell from my experience, the legacy glass (Canon FD, Konica Hexanon, Olympus OM) is good and fun to use, but the native stuff is invariably sharper. However, the IQ of some of the old lenses is quite nice and the bokeh of the 50mm f1.4 Canon is really nice.
  5. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Takumars were never really considered precision sharp lenses. They were very good. I love my Spotmatic and it's screw-mount takumar 50/1.4. I'd hazard a guess that the older Olympus glass is probably sharper though.

    I have to UV-light-treat my Takumar 50mm every 10 or so years. It's a version that used thorium doped glass and it yellows quite severely over time.
    Taking UV light to it removes the yellow and it stays away for a while. Strangely, my 35mm and my 105mm taks don't exhibit the same problem.
  6. simonz

    simonz Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    New England
    For my eyes, the Hexanon 40 f2.8 is the best image. The foreground seems the most natural and the background is soft and easy to look at. Of the three lenses I only own the Hexanon, so maybe I'm biased.
  7. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    That's very honest of you Simonz ! I'd probably say the same about my Pentax legacies.

  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Thanks for doing this. I figured out which shots were which, but if you label them it might be easier for us! :)

    I own a few copies of the 40/1.8 and I don't like it anywhere below f4. I have the Takumar 50/1.4 on the way and will play with the bokeh. However, from what I hear I think the canon is the one to get :(
  9. If you hold your pointer over the image for a couple of seconds a text box will pop up that states the lens and f-stop used.

    My take on this is that I need to find a nice used Olympus-Zuiko f1.8/38 and dump both the Takumar and Hexanon. I'd keep the Tak for sentimental reasons, though; I got that lens with my first good camera back in 1971! Also, the Tak, with its very long focus throw, is much easier to focus than any other adapted lens I have worked with and it is silky smooth.
  10. broadway

    broadway Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    The straight M42 Takumars and auto-Takumars were earlier single-coated lenses from before 1972 when the Olympus OM-1 was introduced with multi-coated lenses, so a comparison with the generally Olympus multi-coated lenses is not valid. At the time I doubt they were much different from other similar lenses.
  11. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    I'd say the Panasonic is has the best IQ especially in the corners. :eek:fftopic:At 35mm I wonder how the 12-40mm will compare because apart from sample images i haven't seen a direct comparison in resolution on the same body, I can only assume by looking at charts that it is really close.
  12. Screamin Scott

    Screamin Scott Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2014
    Atlanta Ga. Metro
    I have the 40mm F1.8 Hexanon & on my Pen E-P3, wide open it very soft. Could partially be that focus is hard to nail though too... I can get very sharp photos on all of my older legacy glass though stopped down. I just used my 60+ year old Leitz Elmar F3.5 5cm on my Pen E-P3 @ F8 of my dog & it is tack sharp...How often do you shoot wide open though ?. It's only if you shoot a lot of low light images do the OEM lenses come out on top.... Most any lens is going to be better stopped down
  13. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    The takumars are mechanical jewels and are hardly touched even today. Optically wise they are vintage design and its a good think in my book they have a lovely drawing quality to them. The 50mm f1.4 is one of the best in that regard