36 Exposures of Portra 160

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Last month I loaded a 36 exposure roll of Portra 160 film into my Asahi Pentax S1 SLR, and attached a Super-Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens to it. I walked along a trail that borders a ranch and leads to Farmington Bay, which is a wetland near the shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and I snapped a bunch of pictures. I hadn’t shot Portra for a number of years, so I was excited to get the film back from the lab.

Portra is a line of films that Kodak introduced in 1998. As the name implies, it was designed for portrait photography, although it has been used for many different genres, as it’s good for more than just portraits. Kodak made Portra in three different ISOs: 160, 400 and 800. The ISO 160 and 400 versions originally had two options: Neutral Color (NC) and Vivid Color (VC). In 2011 Kodak redesigned Portra, and they did away with the Neutral and Vivid versions, making instead only one option in each ISO. Portra has been a popular film since its introduction.

My 36 exposures of Portra came back from the lab yesterday. I was excited to see the results! As I viewed the scans on my computer, I couldn’t help but recall my great appreciation for this film and film photography. Portra 160 is wonderful! It makes me want to ditch digital and go back to my analog roots, as there’s something special about film that you just can’t replicate with modern cameras. Below are some of those 36 exposures of Portra 160 that I shot last month. Enjoy!

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You might notice that the date of this article is April 1st, which is April Fools Day. I did not, in fact, shoot these pictures on Portra film. They were captured on my iPhone. Just kidding! Yesterday I shot 36 exposures of a new film simulation recipe that will be called “Portra 160” on my Fujifilm X-T30. I did, in fact, use the 28mm Super-Takumar lens. This new film simulation recipe, which is what I used for these pictures, is compatible with all X-Trans III & IV cameras. I hope to publish the recipe later this week, so stay tuned!

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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-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:

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Flowing Fall – Bountiful, UT

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Apple, Hangin’ On – South Weber, UT

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Young Smile – South Weber, UT

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White Stars – Roy, UT

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I See Red – Riverdale, UT

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Plant Leaves – South Weber, UT

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Becoming Autumn Yellow – South Weber, UT

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Cold On Top – South Weber, UT

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Peaks & Ridges – South Weber, UT

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Last Light on the Clearing Mountain – South Weber, UT

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Sunset Red Peak – South Weber, UT

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White Cloud Over Black Mountain – South Weber, UT

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Mount Ogden #1 – Riverdale, UT

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Mount Ogden #2 – Riverdale, UT

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Coffee & Cameras – South Weber, UT

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