Super Takumar with Glasses - A test of rivals


Nikkornos

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Oct 31, 2008
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#1
For the 50mm range M42 lenses, I have a good collection of old Super Takumar (super and super H M C are different), Sears and Tomioka. I use these on Spotmatic bodies. I have yet ventured into Pentax DSLR.

I already have a fairly complete Nikon system. However, Nikon system means having to buy new lenses for new DSLR. Using AIS/ Non AI lenses are not possible normally. I can only get around using the D40x, and then the D60. Having wasted my life on old M42 and AIS lenses, buying new AFS-DX-VR-etc-etc-etc-etc is hard to get pass the in house Finance Minister.

New lenses do not have the character like old lenses and is not cheap. And their product life cycle is much shorter than old lenses.

To use M42 Pentax on Nikon DSLR, the adapter need a lens to focus to infinity (inherent in design). This means all the M42 lenses need to wear glasses to be used on Nikon DSLR. Hence, 超级大姑妈要戴眼镜, if you know what I mean.

Because of the damn bloody poisonous postings here in Pentax forum, I like to know how does the Super Takumar 50mm F1.4 compares to a Nikkor 50mm F1.4 non AI. They are sharp on film bodies. But I need to find a reason to buy a new Pentax DSLR.

Test aim:
1. Compare Nikkor 50mm F1.4 non AI with Super Takumar 50mm F1.4 (+adapter)
2. Compare color, saturation, texture and feel of the lens
3. Investigate flash options if using M42 lenses (no CPU)
(Is Pentax DSLR flash function more flexible than Nikon when in comes to DSLR?)

Method:
1. Using the same D60 body on a tripot
2. Using a fixed simple flash and cycle from F2-F8
Note: over and under exposure may yield wrong results due to characteristics of sensors.


First step. Verify Takumar on D60. Simple compact flash (integral flash cannot work with M42)
Exposure recommendation F4 1/125 ASA100

F2 1/125


F2.8 1/125


F4 1/125


F5.6 1/125


Exposure appear to match that recommended by the flash.

Picture quality is very pleasing on the Takumar, despite the additional glass on the adapter.

Flash wide open at F1.4 was horrible due to over exposure. Need a flash gun like Metz hammer head to control output. (who uses that these days?)

Step two:

Fix camera on tripod, and cycle thru the F stops for Nikkor and Takumar. Choose the correct sets samples after 5 trails.
 

Nikkornos

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Oct 31, 2008
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#2
Comparing results. Due to the adaptor, even though both lenses are at 50mm focal length by themselves, the results are different on the D60 (same body)

Nikkor F2


Takumar F2


I had horrible results on both lenses for F1.4. Over exposures. So not counted.
 

Nikkornos

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#3
F2.8 situation gets better, with the best results at F4

Nikkor F2.8


Takumar F2.8


Nikkor F4


Takumar F4
 

Nikkornos

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Oct 31, 2008
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#4
As aperture gets smaller, under exposure but the sharpness from F4 are already good.

Nikkor F5.6


Takumar F5.6


Nikkor F8


Takumar F8


What do you think?
(Well, the Nikon lens cap on the Takumar SMC is because I use a 52mm filter.)
 

Nikkornos

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Oct 31, 2008
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#5
Despite the adapter glass, I find the results from the Takumar very good. This is a very old lens and has yellowed over time. It is also radioactive somewhat.

If the Pentax DSLR can take the M42 and provide flash flexibility on M42 lens, I will have a good reason to find the Takumars a modern partner.

Please kindly comment. :)

At F1.4 1/15 low light, which is what this lens is meant for

 

Last edited:
May 7, 2010
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#6
great comparisons..
by the way, how do u know that it's radioactive?
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
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#8
A suggestion for you on the flash.
I assume you don't have an off camera flash.
To control the flash power, if your flash is mounted on the hot shoe and cannot be adjusted in power, to lower power you can just loosely tape a white piece of A4 over it. That will drop the flash power for you to try the wide open shots. If that is not enough, use another piece. You could also use baking paper or wrap with a white cloth/tea towel.

What flash are you using btw? Is there manual mode power selection or auto mode power level settings?
 

#9
some people say the elements in the lens are coated with radioactive substances. But they give off so little radiation it is insignificant. Unless you sleep with your lens everyday.
mmmmm radioactive coating:think:, must search goggle. Anyway, i also feel that the Takumar perform better. :D
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
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#10
great comparisons..
by the way, how do u know that it's radioactive?
Many things in our house, esp. if they were dug from the ground (stones, metals) are radioactive . Some makes of the takumar had rare earth elements in them that causes a yellowing of the lenses (which does not affect the picture, and any yellowing is sorted out with the camera auto white balance). The yellowing is said to go away if the lens is left under sunlight for a few hours.
 

newuser

New Member
Mar 2, 2009
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#11
Actually, if you're looking to adapt old lenses, I would suggest the EF mount. Loads of adapters available, corrective optics not needed. Once you get the hang of the metering of your lenses on EOS you're set.

I use the S-M-C Tak 35mm f/2, 135mm f/3.5 and SMC Tak 55mm f/1.8. Works fine.
 

Nikkornos

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Oct 31, 2008
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#12
Thanks for the input :)

I was using a simple auto flash. This was different from the TTL facilities on the Nikon.
As mentioned I did use A4 white paper and bounce card to control the power somewhat.

At F1.4, perhaps due to the internal reflection from the surface of the sensor, the image becomes very funky, dream like. If controlled properly can shoot some really nice flower.

I like to find out from folks who use k-m, k-x or K7. What are your results using M42/original M42 mount from Pentax? Do you have issues shooting flash when wide open at F1.4?
 

Baracus

New Member
Mar 24, 2008
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The Far East
#13
I like to find out from folks who use k-m, k-x or K7. What are your results using M42/original M42 mount from Pentax? Do you have issues shooting flash when wide open at F1.4?
Since I'm using a K10D, it means I'm disqualified? :(:bsmilie:

I haven't tried shooting wide open with flash though...
 

Six-GHz

New Member
Nov 29, 2006
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#14
Recently I also posted a thread on the possibility of these m42 lenses marrying with today's Nikon digital bodies.
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=722137

Very gratefully, a brother in CS pointed out the works needed for such antique glasses to be coupled with Nikon due to its inherent flange distance. Sidestepping this, the choice of Canon or Pentax bodies would be a more straightforward fit.

To TS, your thread reminded me I did have a couple of Takumars stashed beside the CZ Jenas. Appreciate if you could advise me on what glass/adapter are you using now for your Nikon? Now I'm actually habouring the intention to crossover to Canon/Pentax (more towards Pentax than Canon though. No flames here, it's just me).

Thanks.
 

creampuff

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2006
5,116
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Dover
#15
TS, I don't know the relevance of your tests but I think you'll get better results using you M42 screw mount lenses directly on a Pentax DSLR body with an M42 adapter ring mounted. Unlike using it on a Nikon camera, there is no additional lens elements required that will degrade image quality. If you use a camera like the new K-x with very good high ISO capability, you may not even need to use flash. You'll definitely get better and more consistent exposure with a Pentax body.
 

Nikkornos

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Oct 31, 2008
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#16
Hello Six-GHz, I too have the D90 but I was busy using the Non AI and AIS on the D60. I have 2 D60 bought in Boston for this purpose. Nikon flange distance does not allow easy cross over of M42 or other lenses.

There are a good number of M42 adapters from Bower, Adorama, China or Japan. I bought one from Alex and one from Adorama. The ones from Alex Photo works very well (about $60). There is an article on Nikon M42 mount that shows that with or without the corrective lens do not have much impact on DSLR DX format. Here is a link.

http://forum.mflenses.com/m42-to-nikon-adapter-t11704.html

May I loosely classify the three schools of M42 lenses

1. German optiks from East (Jena) or west Germany. I have given up on them because of the price and good samples are hard to find. The Icarex 50mm F2.8 price is sky high. The west German ones are considered much better than the east german made.

2. Russian lens which are copies of German optiks. The famous ones are MIR 20mm F3.5, Jupiter 85mm F2 and also Industar which many gentlemen here already own. I use the MIR and Jupiter as well. The prices on the net are ridiculous. A few years ago I can easily buy the Jupiter in China, brand new, for less than S$100. Now, everyone raised the price to above US$100. If you go Shanghai you may be able to find brand new ones at good prices.

3. Japanese M42 which consists of Takumar/Pentax, Cosina/Tomioka variant and also Mamiya Sekor. In US I can find a lot of Prost, Sears and also Rikenon lenses. The Takumar can be bought at reasonable prices, and good samples are not too hard to find.

I am reluctant to fork out over S$500 for lenses like 58mm F1.4 or CZ. Many are made by Cosina.

I stopped buying Nikon DSLR and would give them a miss because of the need to buy new D lenses at cut throat prices.
I am the same as you, (please don't flame me too ) and I am looking at the Pentax DSLR.... :)

I also have a very bad habit of ONE CAMERA ONE LENS because I hate zooms. Usually have 3 bodies to mount a 17 or 20mm, 35mm F2 and 50mm F1.4. This translate into a 28mm, 50mm and 75mm in DX format.

I hope the Pentax gurus here can help us build a M42 Pentax system. I am looking at the K-x now.
 

Last edited:

Nikkornos

Senior Member
Oct 31, 2008
3,428
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#17
TS, I don't know the relevance of your tests but I think you'll get better results using you M42 screw mount lenses directly on a Pentax DSLR body with an M42 adapter ring mounted. Unlike using it on a Nikon camera, there is no additional lens elements required that will degrade image quality. If you use a camera like the new K-x with very good high ISO capability, you may not even need to use flash. You'll definitely get better and more consistent exposure with a Pentax body.
Exactly, I was comparing the picture quality of the two lenses (Nik and Tak) before committing to buy the Pentax DSLR. I already have a few Nikon DSLR and now I am crossing over. ;)
 

May 7, 2010
1,028
0
0
#18
Hello Six-GHz, I too have the D90 but I was busy using the Non AI and AIS on the D60. I have 2 D60 bought in Boston for this purpose. Nikon flange distance does not allow easy cross over of M42 or other lenses.

There are a good number of M42 adapters from Bower, Adorama, China or Japan. I bought one from Alex and one from Adorama. The ones from Alex Photo works very well (about $60). There is an article on Nikon M42 mount that shows that with or without the corrective lens do not have much impact on DSLR DX format. Here is a link.

http://forum.mflenses.com/m42-to-nikon-adapter-t11704.html

May I loosely classify the three schools of M42 lenses

1. German optiks from East (Jena) or west Germany. I have given up on them because of the price and good samples are hard to find. The Icarex 50mm F2.8 price is sky high. The west German ones are considered much better than the east german made.

2. Russian lens which are copies of German optiks. The famous ones are MIR 20mm F3.5, Jupiter 85mm F2 and also Industar which many gentlemen here already own. I use the MIR and Jupiter as well. The prices on the net are ridiculous. A few years ago I can easily buy the Jupiter in China, brand new, for less than S$100. Now, everyone raised the price to above US$100. If you go Shanghai you may be able to find brand new ones at good prices.

3. Japanese M42 which consists of Takumar/Pentax, Cosina/Tomioka variant and also Mamiya Sekor. In US I can find a lot of Prost, Sears and also Rikenon lenses. The Takumar can be bought at reasonable prices, and good samples are not too hard to find.

I am reluctant to fork out over S$500 for lenses like 58mm F1.4 or CZ. Many are made by Cosina.

I stopped buying Nikon DSLR and would give them a miss because of the need to buy new D lenses at cut throat prices.
I am the same as you, (please don't flame me too ) and I am looking at the Pentax DSLR.... :)

I also have a very bad habit of ONE CAMERA ONE LENS because I hate zooms. Usually have 3 bodies to mount a 17 or 20mm, 35mm F2 and 50mm F1.4. This translate into a 28mm, 50mm and 75mm in DX format.

I hope the Pentax gurus here can help us build a M42 Pentax system. I am looking at the K-x now.
may i know where to get brand new russian lenses in shanghai?
i'm heading for the expo and maybe can spare some time hunting them down
 

Nikkornos

Senior Member
Oct 31, 2008
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Singapore/Asia
#19
This is the big building right outside the Shanghai train station. 火车站南广场.环龙商场

Just a word of caution, buying anything in Shanghai needs a lot of care.

Know the price, and don't show immediate interest. Come back later.
Prefer to go with a local who is street smart.

You can find anything from P&S to large format lenses.

For good Russians lens, I recommend

www.sy916.com and their associates.


总店地址:
上海市梅园路360号(火车站南广场.环龙商场) 上海照材婚纱城3楼3059室.

分店:鲁班路288号4楼21号.分店:天山路1111号3楼95号.
电话:021-51810948 13162648175 QQ:806055808
 

#20
This thread making me regret selling my smc tak 50mm f1.4 :embrass:

Anyway when i had it , i had no problems in using it on my k-7.
Only thing is that must use the adapter which is abit troublesome ...

Other than that IQ was fine and no problems focusing to infinity
 

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