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Yellow tinted Super Takumar elements

Roger R. , Nov 20, 2008; 02:55 p.m.

Hi guys

I've got a 50mm f/1.4 Super Takumar M42 that I picked up as part of a garage sale score last week with a bunch of other gear. This is the one with the radio active elements that can something get a yellow tint. It's been stored for YEARS and YEARS in someone's closet and is mint (other than the element yellowing :-( The standard answer for clearing the tint up is to put the lens in the sunlight and leave it. Which is supposed to reduce / remove the yellow tint. It's been on my kitchen window seal with a piece of shiny tin foil under the back element and the front element pointed toward the light for about a week now and I can't see a change in the yellow tint. Has this actually worked for anyone on here? Any idea how long it's supposed to take?

Thanks /Roger


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Leo Papandreou , Nov 20, 2008; 03:23 p.m.

Stupid question but does a white wall (say) look yellow when you look at it through the lens?

Bob Tilden , Nov 20, 2008; 03:44 p.m.

If it's the UV in sunlight that fades the color cast then the window glass is probably filtering out a lot of it. Short of putting it outside or in a tanning booth I don't know what to suggest...

Rose Duclos , Nov 20, 2008; 05:22 p.m.

Roger, I read about it originally on the classic camera forum here : http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00E6Pq

and then there was this: http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00ATf1

both of these discuss the process of clearing the yellow ... from the same sup tak lens.

Orlando Andico , Nov 20, 2008; 09:56 p.m.

I used a UV fluorescent bulb from a money detector with reasonable success:


Roger R. , Nov 20, 2008; 11:28 p.m.

Thank for the links Rose and Orlando thank you very much for the link to your detailed experience. It seems the clearing process can take weeks or longer and that it is the UV rays that "bleach" out the color. I may go the track of others and find a UV florescent bulb and setup a box so the lens catches most of the light. Seems more efficient than sunlight in a window (and less dusty). A common thing I read is some people confuse a "gold" coating with the yellow discoloring. I don't think that's what I'm dealing with as the yellow seems to be on an inside element and deepens in color more to the center. Here are a few shots of the lens.

Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 with yellow tint

Roger R. , Nov 20, 2008; 11:30 p.m.

Second shot trying to catch the surface of the lens. White balance is custom on the notebook paper behind the lens.

Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 with yellow tint - Surface

Roger R. , Nov 20, 2008; 11:32 p.m.

And for comparison here is a shot of an SMC Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 that I bought a couple of years ago.

Newer SMC Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 - compare

Dave Richhart , Nov 21, 2008; 12:20 p.m.

Placing a lens on foil in direct sunlight seems like a lot of light/heat buildup... Would I be correct if suggest that you might be risking warped shutter blades, or problems with oil causing the shutter blades to become sticky???

ray chiasson , Nov 21, 2008; 07:38 p.m.

hey roger i own two of these lenses and i performed the treatment mentioned to both,i found that an average of two weeks was more than enough to make them clear with no side effects other than the joy of a great lens! good luck!

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