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Old Aug 1, 2005, 3:59 PM   #1
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I guess this is for any of you who have been into Pentax long enough to know quite a bit about the F-series film lenses, or can point me toward a good website that explains them well. I've fallen in love with several of them, in use on my DS.

I recently bought a 70-210mm f4-5.6 SMC Pentax-F on ebay, basically because of the raves it has apparently gotten over the years - and mine seems to be living up to them. More recently, I got a Takumar-F 70-210mm f4-5.6 on ebay, for about one-third the price of the SMC. As far as I can see, these lense are identical (size, weight, zoom & focus rings, everything), except for that they are called. Both appear to have multi-coating, as well. (I seem to vaguely recall that "Takumar" indicated multi-coating on Pentax medium format lenses decades back, but maybe I've not gotten that right.)

(Note: I guess there were similarly named K-mount manual focus lenses. The two I'm asking about are both auto-focus lenses.)

In side-by-side comparisons of actual images (at 200% in Elements 2.0), I can't tell them apart, at any zoom length or aperture.

So... were these lenses made the same, with different names for marketing purposes, or whatever, or are they in some way (that I can't detect) different?

Thanks in advance for any/all info.

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Old Aug 2, 2005, 5:54 PM   #2
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The Takumar are generally older lenses. The difference ,as you have mentioned, is in the lens coating - The SMC(super multi-coating)is the newer one. Try looking here:

http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/

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Old Aug 4, 2005, 9:40 AM   #3
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Takumar was the name Asahi optical (Pentax) used for their premium lenses back in the screw mount days. With the K mount the name slipped down to the budget lenses, therefore any recent AF lens labelled Takumar does not have the Super Multi Coating (SMC) of the higher end lenses (which are now labelled SMC Pentax).

I have owned both lens types, generally the Takumar are very good lenses but will display more flare and less contrast then the SMC lenses, comparable to the performance of the budget line from most camera manufacturers, and probably better then the budget priced third party lenses. This may not show up in most images because the sharpness and resolution of the lenses may be practically identical.

Want to sell the Takumar:-)

Ira

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Old Aug 8, 2005, 7:43 PM   #4
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Ira -

Thanks for the info! Did the Taks you had look like they were coated? That is, do SMC and non-SMC lenses all have the same "purple" cast to them? These both do. Unless I can actually get the Tak to display some flare, I'm inclined to keep it, and sell the SMC!
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Old Aug 24, 2005, 9:49 AM   #5
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Sorry for the late reply, the Takumar lens has a coating but not the SMC treatment, it would be difficult to tell the difference just by looking at them. Note that any Pentax lens, even if it carries the Pentax name, does not have the best coating unless it actually says SMC on the lens. Some Pentax lenses in the 1980s and early 1990s were not SMC, just check the lens labelling.

Ira

BTW: The SMC lenses have excellent flare resistance but the others are still quite good, even the worst of the Pentax Takumar lenses will be very good picture takers.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 8:43 PM   #6
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i've got a takumar 70-210mm af lens, like new condition for sale. anyone interested, email me @ [email protected]

-paul-
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 9:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monza76 View Post
Sorry for the late reply, the Takumar lens has a coating but not the SMC treatment, it would be difficult to tell the difference just by looking at them. Note that any Pentax lens, even if it carries the Pentax name, does not have the best coating unless it actually says SMC on the lens. Some Pentax lenses in the 1980s and early 1990s were not SMC, just check the lens labelling.

Ira

BTW: The SMC lenses have excellent flare resistance but the others are still quite good, even the worst of the Pentax Takumar lenses will be very good picture takers.
I just bought this Takumar lens on eBay. Sure looks like it's SMC to me (note the manual)!
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Old Aug 12, 2011, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanMaxwellSchmidt View Post
I just bought this Takumar lens on eBay. Sure looks like it's SMC to me (note the manual)!
Hi Susan, welcome to the forum !

I'm not so sure that is SMC as I have the later version of this lense that looks almost identical but mine actually has SMC written on it.

Though to be sure if you look up the thread and check out the excellent Dimitrov link you might find some info ..... or if Ira notices this thread !
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Old Aug 13, 2011, 10:02 AM   #9
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I'm pretty sure some of my screw mounted Takumars from the 1970's have the letters SMC engraved on the lens, which means if I recall super multi coated.

I had a 50 mm standard lens...F 1.8 and a 135 mm F 3.5 both Takumars. In the late 60's and early 70's. Screw mount Takumars were the only lens Pentax made to my knowledge, for their screw mount cameras during this era.

They were very highly regarded by many photographers and generally tested well. I recall doing my own little, non scientific test, where I took the same pix, same lighting, etc.with my 135mm Tak (Pentax ES 11) and a 90 mm Leitz lens (Leica M4 Rangefinder) and blew both pix up to an 8 X 10.

I couldn't tell the difference , although I recall feeling that perhaps the Tak was a bit better in pix quality, IMO at that time !!

BTW, besides being a Pentax fan, I'm also a Leica fan and have had a Leica Rangefinder since around 1981. As a result I like to think I'm pretty objective about both manufacturer's products.

I also have some Takumars from the 1980's which are K mounts. They were definitely less in price than the Pentax lenses of similar focal length and F stop.

But they (K mount Taks) were very good performers and the build quality was similar, if I recall to my Pentax lenses from the era. I could be wrong, but I recall the difference between the K mount Taks and Pentax lenses had something to do with the lens coatings.

What exactly I don't know. But I had two K mount Taks from the 1980's...a 28 mm W/A...either F 2.8 or F 3.5....and a 50 mm Macro ...think it was an F 4.

One of the problems with older lenses is that they are heavy, mostly due to the very robust lens construction.

I have used my Pentax 35-105 Macro ' A' and I find it very heavy compared to my modern digital Pentax lenses.

It's an excellent lens....easily the match of modern digital lenses....but the weight mostly confines it to my lens bag.

Maybe it's more that I'm a older now that I notice extra weight, but carrying around my KM (K2000) body with my 35-105 A Pentax lens is really noticeable to me.

Something to think about, when using older lenses from the film days....either the old screw mount or the more modern K mount.

Last edited by lesmore49; Aug 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM.
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Old Aug 13, 2011, 8:02 PM   #10
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Lesmore, the old screw mount lenses were called Takumar or Super Takumar (with the SMC coating). They were premium lenses. With the K-mount the Takumar label was replaced by SMC Pentax. Later (in the 1980s and 1990s) Takumar and non-SMC Pentax lenses started to show up as the budget line for Pentax (I have seen a 28-80mm A-series Talumar and a similar Pentax which were not SMC). There were at least three different F 70-200mm and 70-210mm lenses, I have seen (and owned) a Takumar-F 70-200mm, a Pentax-F 70-200mm and an SMC Pentax-F 70-210 F-series lens, and I have heard mention of a 70-210mm Takumar-F as well. They all look very similar but have differences in optics and coatings. See here http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/z...SMC/index.html for details.
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