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LENS PORN: Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)
Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)



Published: 10 February 2017


A friend was kind enough to lend me his lens for a day, and I shot these photos of the Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 back in 28 August 2016 with a Nikon D5200 and a Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/3.5 (Pre-AI, 1977). I forgot about it and it was buried in my files, only to re-discover it today as I was deleting hundreds of files to cleanup my pc.

What I can provide for now are first impressions, no samples. At that time, I did not have any adapter to use with this lens. I will update this post in the future if I do get my hands on this lens again.

M42 was the mount that Pentax cameras used, until they abandoned it in 1975 for a new 'Pentax K' bayonet mount. M42 mount is universal and was easy to adapt to other cameras because of its screw-mount design. However, I do find that they do easily unscrew, so a bayonet mount does provide a more secure mounting.

Build Quality. This lens is so tiny! Unlike my Nikkor 50mm's, that look mammoth-sized compared to this. Like many old manual lenses, it is made of metal and glass. It can withstand heavy beating compared to plastic lenses today that are hypersensitive to the slightest bump. The aperture ring produces very snappy clicks and it sounds like music to my ears. The focus ring is easy to turn, not too much damped, but smoother than the focus rings from today's lenses.

Image Quality. I cannot provide any samples at all since I haven't taken it out for a test. But my initial shots did show excellent sharpness, vivid saturated colors, a bit warm color shift, and nice contrast that this lens was legendary for.

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SPECS

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8

Focal Length:
FX = 55mm
DX = 85mm

Filter Thread Size: 49mm

Aperture Run: f/1.8 - f/16

# Aperture Blades: 6

It has a switch that allows to toggle
between Manual and Auto diaphragm.

The glass is multi-coated.
In later versions, they would simply mark it as 'SMC'.
(SMC = Super Multi Coated)

Made in Japan

(There are several versions of this lens!)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)



M42 and Pentax K have the same flange distance, so they can be easily adapted without needing an additional glass element to have the ability to focus to infinity. For Nikon film/digital SLR users, an adapter WITH optical glass (like the one below) is required so that you'll be able to focus to infinity. Fortunately, the optical glass seems to be multicoated. I've had other adapters with multicoated optical glass, and the image quality were fine. The reason I bought this M42 to Nikon Adapter was because I'm expecting a Helios 44-2 55mm f/2. =)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)

Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 (M42)


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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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