Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 + Fujifilm X-T30

Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

The Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is a wide-angle prime lens that was made by Pentax in the early-1960’s through mid-1970’s for their M42-mount cameras. If you are a regular reader of the Fuji X Weekly blog, you will know that I love to pair my Fujifilm X-T30 with vintage lenses like this one. It’s incredibly fun for me, as I learned photography in the film era with manual-only cameras and lenses. Besides, many of these old lenses have tons of character that can add a little extra interest to my pictures. Super-Takumar lenses tend to be especially great, so I was excited to give this one a try.

There are actually four variations of the 28mm f/3.5 Takumar lens. The first two are very similar to each other. The main difference is that the original model has a minimum aperture of f/22 while the second model has a minimum aperture of f/16. The third and fourth models have a completely different design inside and out from the first two, and aside from sharing the same focal-length and maximum aperture, they don’t have all that much in common with the earlier models. My copy is the original version, which dates back to somewhere between 1962 and 1965.

Because of the crop factor, when mounted to my Fujifilm X-T30, the Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens has a focal-length equivalence of 42mm, which is barely wide-angle. It’s very close to being a “standard” prime. It’s actually a great all-around focal-length, which makes it especially appealing for many different genres of photography. The minimum focus distance is about 15″, so it’s not a macro lens and you can’t focus particularly close to your subject. The f/3.5 maximum aperture isn’t all that impressive, which means that this lens isn’t the best option for achieving a shallow depth-of-field or for low-light situations. Since it’s an M42-mount lens, you’ll need an adapter to use it on your Fujifilm X camera.

This lens has some obvious flaws. At f/3.5 there’s significant corner softness and vignetting, both of which don’t completely disappear until f/8. Center sharpness is good-but-not-great when wide open, and I noticed some chromatic aberrations, too, but both improve significantly as you stop down. This lens has noticeable barrel distortion, which is obvious if you photograph brick walls and not especially obvious otherwise. Flare isn’t controlled especially well (I’m sure the Super-Multi-Coated version is much better at controlling flare), but I like the way the lens renders flare, so at least there’s that. Bokeh is rather mediocre.

What I love about the Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens is that it’s super sharp (“tack as a Tak”), especially between f/5.6 and f/16. The sweet-spot for this lens is between f/8 and f/11, which means if you are an “f/8 and be there” type of photographer, this lens will suit you well! Below f/5.6 there’s noticeable corner softness and even the center isn’t quite as crisp, becoming worse as the aperture increases, although it is still sharp even when wide open. Diffraction sets in when the aperture is smaller than f/11, but really isn’t a problem until beyond f/16. This lens has great contrast and renders pictures very nice overall. It’s built solidly, and my copy functions smoothly and flawlessly, like it’s new and not over 55 years old.

The Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens certainly has some shortcomings, but it also has some great strengths. Whether or not those strengths outweigh the weaknesses depends on how you use it. It’s a great lens within a somewhat small envelope, and a so-so lens outside of that. I personally love it, but part of that might be because I’ve learned when to use it to best take advantage of its strengths, and when it’s better to put it on the shelf. The Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is not a lens that I will use all of the time, but it’s definitely a great one to use when the time is right.

49267270643_9d2dc0bb1b_c

American Christmas – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49236206007_b41fa751fb_c

Roof Curve – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49235138143_954b6950b3_c

Ice Cold City – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49275269396_cf9c87154d_c

Iowa Pump – Centerville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49235390748_1054c6a36f_c

House Blend – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49235473071_6478951909_c

Style – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49270105412_921a872bdd_c

Sisters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49235115683_eb014ca08e_c

Jo at a Museum – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49236208642_ebe25f0159_c

Amanda Waiting – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

49235980886_04eab00e17_c

Criddle’s Cafe – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5

See also:
Downtown SLC w/Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Lenses
Asahi Super-Takumar 135mm
Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4
Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

9 comments

  1. Khürt Williams · December 26

    I love this lens on my Fujifilm X-T2, especially at f/5.6 and f/8, which is perfect for street photography in Philadelphia. It’s my favourite lens.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khürt Williams · December 26

      Forgot to mention I have the SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 variant.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · December 26

        I’d be very curious how the two lenses perform side by side. I’ve heard that your version is better.

        Like

  2. tim matson · December 26

    Cool pix, and colors! What film simulation used? I’ve gotten spoiled by the fuji
    16mm 2.8 on xt30 run on auto cause so easy to use… have to get back to my 24 3.5 takumar
    super/coated.. have you ever shot with a 24/3.5? Enjoy your site!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 26

      “American Christmas” is my XT30 Velvia recipe except I substituted Astia, the rest are Kodachrome 64 except “Iowa Pump” which is Eterna Low Contrast. I believe all of the B&W are my original Acros recipe.
      I’ve never used the 24mm f/3.5. I assume that it’s a good lens. What’s your experience with it?

      Like

  3. Marc Beebe · December 26

    I have one of these also, which I use on my Canon T100. It is much sharper and crisper than the kit lens, and is a spectacular performer compared to many other lenses. Some people might complain about having to use manual focus (I prefer it) and exposure control, but the end result is often worth it! Never underestimate the quality of “old glass”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · December 26

      I prefer manual focus oftentimes, but I have so little to complain about regarding autofocus on my X-T30 with Fujinon lenses; however, there’s a therapeutic aspect of manual focus that my soul appreciates, and keeps me coming back to it. Old glass is oftentimes wonderful. I appreciate the input!

      Like

  4. Pingback: My Fujifilm X-T30 Monochrome Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe | Fuji X Weekly
  5. Pingback: 36 Exposures of Portra 160 | Fuji X Weekly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s