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S-M-C Takumar 55mm f/1.8

Reviews
Posted by Bengt Köhler Sandberg 2014-11-02

S-M-C Takumar 55mm f/1.8

The M42 Takumar 55mm f/1.8 have a long history and was first introduced in 1958.
Several versions was made during its construction and the last model came out in 1972.
All these have the same optical design and the changes was to more or less everything else.

The full name of the ver I have tested here is Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/1.8.
Made by the Asahi Optical Co. Ltd in Japan, later known as Pentax Corporation.


Specs:

Focal length:
55mm
Weight:
205g
Optical design:
6 elements in 5 groups
Mount:
M42
Aperture:
f/1.8 to f/16
6 bladed aperure
Auto or Manual
Covers:
Standard 35mm film size
(24×36 mm negative)
Closest Focus:
0.45m (1.5ft)
Filter Size:
49mm (non-rotating)


Image quality


Analogue B&W film
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8


Bokeh
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8
S-M-C Takumar
                                                      55mm f/1.8








Digital
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
Download full size image. Here
f/1.8f/2.8 - f/4 - f/5.6 - f/8 - f/11 - f/16


Bokeh
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8



Flare / Backlight
S-M-C Takumar 55mm
                                              f/1.8



Extra Sample
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8
S-M-C
                                                          Takumar 55mm
                                                          f/1.8



More sample images can be found at:
http://www.sample-image.com/smc-takumar-55mm-f1-8/




Filming
S-M-C Takumar 55mm
                                            f/1.8



Build quality

It's all metal, very solid and well built.
The feel of the lens is also very good and in my book one of the best.


Conclusion

This is a personal favorite and I just love it.
However like most lenses it's not perfect.

Wide open has some noticeable glow and sharpness is okay but not the best.
Fairly well corrected for a flat focal plane so not that much corner softness at infinity.
Stop it down a little and it is however very nice and sharp.
Bokeh looks really good and it handles flares and backlight quite well.
Also renders well with good contrast etc.

Its looks and feel is another point where I find this to be more or less spotless.
My copy of this lens is a nice one and it's not only looks great it also has a amazing feel to it.
There are however many models of this lens and not all of them are as good looking.
Also likely that the nice feel varid some between these as well.

This is also one of those lenses where a radioactive material was used on some of its lens element.
These admits a very low level radiation so it's not like you are going to get sick after using it.
But this type of coatings do yellows over time and it was used from 1965 onwards.
Nothing I have seen on my copy yet and its one of the later models which first came out in 1971.


Thumbs up:
Image quality
Bokeh
Contrast
Build quality and Feel

Thumbs down:
Glow wide open
Radioactive lens element which yellows over time (earlier model do not have this)


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Technical Info

Analogue
Camera: Chinon CEII Memotron
Scanner: Plustek OpticFilm 7600i
Film: AGFA CINEREX (X-ray film)
Developer: Kodak Xtol

Digital
Canon 500D with lens mount adapter

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