Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 + Fujifilm X-T30

Asahi Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 Fujifilm X-T30 Blog

The Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 is a legendary M42-mount lens made by Pentax in the mid-1960’s through the mid-1970’s. There are four different versions of the Takumar 50mm f/1.4 that were manufactured. The first version is optically different from the three that followed. Versions three and four are Super-Multi-Coated and are slightly radioactive (version two might also be radioactive, but the first version is for certain not). My copy is the fourth version. Some say that the original version is better, while some say that versions three and four are better. There are endless debates, but, regardless of which Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens you have, you can be assured it’s a great lens!

The Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 is super sharp in the center at all apertures. Even at f/16, which is subject to diffraction, the lens is pretty sharp. Below f/4 there’s some noticeable corner softness, which is quite pronounced at f/1.4. There’s vignetting when wide open, but that disappears completely by f/4. From f/4 to f/11, this lens is “tack as a Tak” (as the kids used to say), and that’s where it optimally performs. I noticed some chromatic aberrations when wide open and focused close to the end of the lens. There’s a little distortion that you’ll only notice when photographing brick walls, and even then you’ll only barely notice. It’s a tremendous lens, no doubt about it!

A lot of people talk about bokeh, and it’s a misunderstood term. People get it confused with depth-of-field. The Takumar 50mm f/1.4, which when mounted to my Fujifilm X-T30 is equivalent to 75mm, has an excellent close focus distance of about 18 inches. That’s not quite macro territory, but when you combine the focal length with the close focus capabilities and the very small maximum aperture, it’s possible to get a super thin depth-of-field. This means that you can get a whole lot of the frame out-of-focus, which some people call bokeh by mistake. Depth-of-field is the amount of blur, while Bokeh is the quality of the blur, and it is subjective. Bokeh is pretty darn good on this lens, although in my opinion the Fujinon 90mm f/2 actually has better bokeh, if you want something to compare it to. Still, you won’t be disappointed by the blur, whether the amount or quality, especially at the larger apertures.

Asahi Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4

The coating on this lens, which controls flare only moderately well, has a yellowish tint that shows up in pictures. It’s easy to correct with white balance if you don’t like it, or perhaps it adds to the charm of the lens if you do like it. I personally like it. The lens has pretty good contrast. It feels solid and well built. It’s about average size and weight for a vintage “nifty-fifty” lens. You’ll need an M42 to Fuji X adapter to mount it to your Fujifilm camera.

The Takumar 50mm f/1.4 is an all manual lens, which means that you’ll have to adjust the aperture and focus yourself. The aperture ring and focus ring work very well on my copy. It may take some practice to get the hang of using it if you don’t have much experience with manual lenses. I used full-manual cameras for many years when I shot film, so I actually enjoy it, as it’s a bit therapeutic for me.

The Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 is an excellent vintage lens! It really is something special. It’s not perfect from a technical standpoint, but it’s those flaws that make it special. It’s super sharp and will produce lovely pictures. This is one of those must-have lenses if you enjoy manual photography. Below are some pictures that I captured using this lens with a Fujifilm X-T30. Enjoy!

49197437857_30ed08f9ce_c

December Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49190332561_06f112b3f7_c

December Leaf – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49185608301_16e0e55d0c_c

Morning Tower – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.2

49185165308_66fde8ac74_c

Jon In The Kitchen – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49190253356_0cf4db66bb_c

Shoe Zipper – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49190526977_f1514e6bbd_c

Gather For Christmas – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49196654918_98960906fc_c

Holiday Dreaming – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49194220573_0ae6c6ec24_c

Christmas Light – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49194678286_90e33ec875_c

Beautiful Blur – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49194926422_a4bb613845_c

Monochrome Christmas Scene – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49194222113_24a612d15f_c

Angel Choir – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49194927142_7b4cc6e615_c

Artificial Santa – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

49197354477_c813a12b25_c

Christmas Wonder – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi SMC-Takumar 50mm f/1.4

See also:
Asahi Super-Takumar 135mm
Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 + Fujifilm X-T30

Asahi Pentax Macro Takumar 50mm f4 Fujifilm XT30

Asahi Pentax Macro Takumar 50mm f4 Fujifilm XT30

I recently purchased an Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 lens from Fuji X Weekly reader Tony Reidsma. I love Takumar lenses! Generally speaking, they are super sharp and have great character. There’s something special about them. They are often quite affordable, so you can add a bunch of Takumar lenses to your collection without going broke.

Asahi was the original name of Pentax. Up until the mid-1970’s when they switched from M42 screw-mount to K-Mount, Pentax used the Asahi brand name for their lenses. Asahi called their lenses Takumar in honor of the founder’s brother, Takuma Kajiwara, who was a famous photographer and painter. Asahi Takumar lenses require an M42 to Fuji X adapter, which can be found for cheap, to attach them to your Fujifilm camera.

The Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 is, no surprise, a macro lens. It has a 1:2 magnification ratio, which is not as close up as some macro lenses. An earlier version of the lens (without SMC) does, in fact, have a 1:1 magnification ratio. This SMC Macro-Takumar has a similar close-focus capability as the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro, which is good-but-not-great.

49159532276_e5aa491845_c

49159761602_5eeacc9599_c

What I love about the Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 lens is that it’s very crisp. There’s some corner softness at f/4, but the lens is edge-to-edge super sharp at f/5.6 through f/11 (diffraction begins after f/11). I haven’t noticed much distortion, vignetting or chromatic aberrations. This lens has excellent contrast and controls flare very well. Bokeh is pretty nice, too. The lens is made of metal and feels very solid. It was a quality lens when it was new, and all of these decades later it is still a quality lens.

The Macro-Takumar is an all-manual lens. You’ll have to manually set the aperture and manually focus. The aperture ring on my lens is a little stiff, but otherwise works as it should. The focus ring is super smooth and accurate. Because it’s a macro lens, it takes a little effort to get from the close end to infinity, and the lens will actually focus just past infinity, which isn’t entirely unusual.

On the Fujifilm X-T30, because of the APS-C crop factor, the 50mm focal length is equivalent to 75mm. Essentially the Asahi SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 is a mid-telephoto prime that’s very sharp but with a maximum aperture of only f/4, which isn’t especially fast. It doubles as a macro lens, and it’s quite good at that, just as long as you’re not trying to get really close, as the magnification ratio isn’t particularly impressive. There are certainly shortcomings with this lens, but it has the “it factor” when it comes to image quality, producing especially lovely pictures. If you find this lens for a good price, be sure to buy it, because it’s worth having around. The technical specs of this Macro-Takumar lens won’t knock your socks off, but the images that it produces very well could.

49159137792_0b4252bb65_c

Micro Christmas Lights – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49158914476_b16739730c_c

Christmas Berries – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49161526092_de671f53f4_c

Amanda’s Eyes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49155689072_d3709c266d_c

Citrus Ladder (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49154964963_2d70638b71_c

Country Barn (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49166457376_033c9f1efd_c

Highway Sunset – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49161526052_878b35f46d_c

Sierra Snow – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49155709932_81f09d7ea8_c

Old Truck & Old House (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49155461856_6a1d6cb846_c

Two Horses Monochrome (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

49155676657_b7869e6756_c

Speedy Super Chief (N Scale Model) – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4

See also:
Industar 69
Asahi Super-Takumar 135mm

Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 + Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm XT30 Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 Lens & Fujifilm X-T30.

The Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens was made by the Asahi Optical Company in Japan in the 1960’s and 1970’s for Pentax M42 screw mount cameras. There were a few nearly identical versions of the Asahi Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens manufactured, each with a different coating applied to the glass, but otherwise identical. I love pairing my Fujifilm X-T30 with vintage lenses, such as this one. You will need an M42 to Fuji-X adapter to attach it to your Fujifilm X camera. The Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens is a long telephoto prime that won’t break the bank, but is it any good?

This lens, unsurprisingly, is all manual (don’t let the “A” and “M” switch on the side fool you). You will have to manually focus it and manually adjust the aperture. There’s nothing automatic about it. If you are not used to lenses like this, it might take some practice to get comfortable using it. Also, being a longer lens without image stabilization, you’ll need to use faster shutter speeds or tripod to avoid blur.

As I stated in my Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens review, the 135mm focal length used to be very common. It was one of the first primes you’d add to your bag. It’s much less common nowadays. Because of the APS-C crop factor, this lens has a full-frame focal-length equivalency of about 202mm, which makes it a long telephoto option. Fujifilm only makes one prime lens this long, in fact, but it costs a heck-of-a-lot, so if you want a long telephoto prime, you have to look elsewhere, such as vintage glass like this one, or buy a telephoto zoom.

Fujifilm XT30 blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

Fujifilm XT30 Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

The Asahi Takumar 135mm lens is fairly small and lightweight for how long it is. At 0.75 pounds, it weighs noticeably less than the previously mentioned Fujinon 90mm lens. It’s made of metal and feels pretty sturdy. Asahi made quality lenses, so this is not surprising. Even though this lens is quite old, it seems like it has a lot of life left.

Sharpness is a tale of two lenses, with the focus distance being the key factor. At near and medium distances, the Asahi Takumar 135mm is quite sharp. There is perhaps some softness, particularly in the corners, at f/3.5 (the maximum aperture), but by f/5.6 it’s pretty sharp across the entire frame. Peak sharpness is around f/8 or f/11, with diffraction setting in at f/16, and f/22 (the minimum aperture) being only marginally usable. Beyond medium focus distances, the lens becomes less sharp as you move towards infinity, and has only mediocre sharpness when focused at infinity, about what one would expect from a cheap zoom and not a prime.

There’s quite a bit of chromatic aberrations in the corners no matter the aperture, but the smaller the aperture the worse it seems to get; there’s very little in the middle at all apertures. I haven’t noticed any vignetting. There’s a tiny amount of pincushion distortion that will only be noticed when photographing brick walls. This lens does not control flare well at all, producing a hazy-type flare that significantly reduces contrast. Sunstars are medicore. Bokeh is not especially good looking.

Fujifilm Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

Fujifilm Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

The lens functions well. The focus ring is smooth. The aperture clicks at the f-stops. I have had no problems pairing it with my Fujifilm X-T30. There are good and bad points to the image quality that the Asahi Takumar 135mm lens produces. In fact, I would say that this is the worst Takumar lens I’ve used, but it is still capable of capturing good images. You have to understand its strengths and weaknesses, and use it accordingly.

Despite the negative points, this lens can usually be found for less than $50, and sometimes for less than $25, which makes it a great bargain! You can find cheap M42 to Fuji-X adapters that will allow you to attach the lens to your camera; mine was about $10. Considering the price, if you want a 200mm equivalent focal-length lens, it’s worth taking a chance on this one.

Sample photographs, all captured using this Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens attached to my Fujifilm X-T30:

48927762992_bb80937f2a_c

Flowing Fall – Bountiful, UT

48942211727_459c5f3cff_c

Apple, Hangin’ On – South Weber, UT

48940261151_400f533b55_c

Young Smile – South Weber, UT

48939709928_af1e09edd0_c

White Stars – Roy, UT

48939729948_d8bfce8087_c

I See Red – Riverdale, UT

48927789852_b5b000f972_c

Plant Leaves – South Weber, UT

48944960893_7286633f5f_c

Becoming Autumn Yellow – South Weber, UT

48939709903_ddb44a99d7_c

Cold On Top – South Weber, UT

48927790522_8cb9ef1137_c

Peaks & Ridges – South Weber, UT

48939452528_a194a13cbb_c

Last Light on the Clearing Mountain – South Weber, UT

48939451848_d3b5e2f531_c

Sunset Red Peak – South Weber, UT

48941473183_8f936ac08f_c

White Cloud Over Black Mountain – South Weber, UT

48940192597_b3afbb723a_c

Mount Ogden #1 – Riverdale, UT

48940261086_dd365cae8c_c

Mount Ogden #2 – Riverdale, UT

48945009108_a4882f2a9e_c

Coffee & Cameras – South Weber, UT

See also:
Industar 69 + Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm Gear