A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > photo.net > Pentax > Takumar lens

Takumar lens

Tuan Nguyen Ho , Apr 24, 2000; 06:44 a.m.

I have a 135 f/ 2.5 Takumar lens. I will use it with my ME super and hope for the good portraits. Could anyone tell me about the difference between Takumar and Pentax lens. Will I have a similar quality as Pentax lens ? Any reputation on Takumar lens


    1   |   2     Next    Last

Kristian Elof Sxrensen , Apr 24, 2000; 07:47 a.m.

Takumar and Pentax are both brand names for the Asahi Optical Corporation.
At some point in time the company decided to sell it's lenses under the Pentax name instead of under the Takumar name so SLR's and lenses had the same brand name.

Michael Moon , Apr 24, 2000; 10:59 a.m.

This vintage of Takumar lens belongs to a group of lenses made by Pentax for its earlier K-mount bodies. They have multi-coatings but not super multi-coatings and may be made to lower tolerances. Accordingly this lens is not as good as SMC lenses. I note a huge difference between my 135 Takumar and my 135 f/2.8 SMC-A.

Michael Moon , Apr 24, 2000; 11:43 a.m.

My answer above is too short to do justice to the full question.

Pentax used the name Takumar on many lenses for its screw-mount SLRs. It continued to use the name when it switched to K-mount. I have a 28 mm f/2.8 engraved 'Takumar Bayonet' that is representative of this earlier phase. In its 35 mm lens line, Pentax then phased out the Takumar label and it appeared only on some budget lenses, made, as I pointed out in the above post, to lower specs and with MC instead of SMC. Just to confuse things, Pentax did make some lenses with the Takumar label that were SMC, and they are labeled 'Takumar SMC'. They are every bit as good as Pentax SMC-labeled lenses as far as I'm aware. Generally, Takumars are non-A, but there are some A-series budget zooms, notably the 28-70 and 70-210 variable-aperture models that are still on the market, and I believe these are SMC.

Some non-SMC Takumars are pretty good: for instance, I like that 28 f/2.8 just fine. The 135 f/2.5 however does not have a good reputation when compared with its SMC 135 mm cousins.

Pentax labels its lenses 'SMC' when they are SMC. If they are only MC, they don't. I don't have any Pentax AF lenses, so I don't know off the top of my head whether they are labeled 'SMC' or not, but in their product brochures and web site they do say that all current production lenses are SMC.

Pentax continued to use the Takumar name for its 67 lens series; but not for all of them. But that's another topic.

I have not gotten good portraits with my 135 f/2.5 Takumar. However, they are cheap, so by all means try yours, YMMV. A center-ND grad filter might help.

There is a non-corporate web site that catalogs Pentax lenses, but I regret that in a recently overzealous spring-cleaning I deleted it from my bookmarks. Anybody care to post it please?

Robert Hohlfelder , Apr 24, 2000; 01:19 p.m.

Michael may be thinking of Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount equipment page at http://www.phred.org/pentax/k/.

It's the best comprehensive source I've seen for Pentax K-mount information.

Michael Moon , Apr 24, 2000; 01:34 p.m.

Thank you Robert, that's precisely the site I was thinking of.

Hal Mothershed , Apr 24, 2000; 02:57 p.m.

I just wanted to comment that, while the 135/2.5 Tak's weak reputation is, for the most part, justified, particularly in terms of contrast and sharpness, like most anything else it is still capable of nice results in the hands of a competant photographer. My wife has produced many lovely B&W portraits with this lens. In fact, when her old one finally threw in the towel (diaphram seized up), we replaced it for about $30. That's a lot less than a softar! ;)

I'd say its worst problem is flare (the built-in hood is too shallow to be effective). As for build quality, it's all metal and feels very sturdy to me -- at least compared to most of my more modern lenses. All equipment has limitations, some more than others. Learn what they are and, if possible, use them to your advantage!

Lots of luck!

Hal Mothershed , Apr 24, 2000; 03:01 p.m.

Sorry Michael, didn't mean to knock you with that comment about 'competant photographers'. I can't get results that I like with this lens, either, but my objectives are different from my wife's.

Tuan Nguyen Ho , Apr 25, 2000; 05:39 a.m.

Thank you very much for your helpful advice. So I'd like to exchange the 135 f2.5 Takumar lens for 60-300 f/4-5.6 Tokina SZX for Pentax. Is it OK ? Is this lens qualified for portrait and action shot?

Thnk you very much in advance.

jason gold , Apr 27, 2000; 09:54 a.m.

Keep the Takumar !It will be around for a lot longer than a zoom.I have the screw mount version.It is a great lens.Not my sharpest.That goes to my 85mmf1.9 Super-Takumar.Once thought of getting a 90 Summicron for my Leica to match the 85.I could hardly see out of my viewfinder because of the lens`s intrusion.Used 85 and the 135 for model portfolios.8 x 10 were perfect.

    1   |   2     Next    Last

Back to top

Notify me of Responses