S-M-C Takumar 28/3.5

I’ve got this lens a while ago, but was able to shoot it on a full-frame camera just recently. What can I say? It’s certainly one of the best wide-angle primes in M42 mount. Renders very nice colors, gives excellent contrast and very nice resolution straight from wide open (extreme corners are not that great, yet they are well on-par with Canon’s 24-70L at 28mm). By f/8 it’s pixel-sharp across the frame on a 21 MP body.

It’s a great lens when it comes to shooting in contra light; flare is very minimal. I was unable to produce any purple fringing, which is very nice; some CA are present in the corners, but those are easy to correct in the RAW processor.

Vignetting is stonger than I would like on a wide-angle lens though. I don’t mind vignetting for portraits, but not in landscape shots. Keeping the lens at 49mm filter size may had seemed a good idea at the time, but this design has its drawbacks. Nevertheless, this is a minor headache.

Below are a few pics I shot around my place just before the dusk and in the twilight (the colors are accurate).

#1: Contra Light




#5: The Bokeh Shot


#7: Geometric Distortion close to Zero

UPDATE: I discovered the reason causing vignetting in my previous shots: the aftermarket hood was slightly too narrow; without the hood, the lens still vignettes at 3.5-4, but not at 5.6 and on.






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  • gerades says:

    Hi, nice article and pictures. I am just wondering. Is there any difference between versions of this lens? What version do you own?

  • admin says:

    There are three versions of this lens; Super-Takumar 28/3.5 I and II (v.I had a large front element and a 58mm filter ring, v.II is 49mm), and S-M-C Takumar 28/3.5 (reviewed here). Personally, if taking the hassle of adapting an old lens, I’d take the latest version with SMC coatings.

    Here’s the link describing the differences between versions: http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/showproduct.php?product=261&cat=20

  • rsm3745 says:

    Wow! Your pictures are delicious! Great depth of field and infinity focus. I also have the s-m-c tak 3.5/28 but I have softness problems in the foreground whenever I set it to hyperfocal. Is mine a bad copy or is my adapter too thin? I find it useful for landscapes though not very sharp, other than that, like group photo, it’s very soft and difficult to focus.

  • admin says:

    Don’t trust the hyperfocal mark on the lens. Focus manually wide open with live view, then stop down to f/8 (on full frame bodies) or f/5.6 (on cropped cameras) for optimum sharpness. It’s very difficult to focus with stock focusing screens found in today’s digital SLRs; that’s why I recommend focusing with live view.

  • rsm3745 says:

    Thanks for the reply. However, the sun is too strong in our place. When wide open, it’s all glaring white that it’s impossible to focus. I set it to f/8 to f/11 immediately when focussing. Sharpest at f/5.6? I’ll check that out. thanks.


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