World’s Smallest SLR: Pentax Auto 110 + Adapting Tiny Lenses to Fujifilm X Cameras

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The Pentax Auto 110 is the smallest interchangeable-lens single-lens-reflex camera ever produced. Never heard of it? That’s OK, I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. This little camera was introduced in 1978, and the Pentax Auto 110 system was manufactured until the mid-1980’s. In all, there were two SLRs and six lenses made by Pentax, plus several accessories, so this was indeed a complete camera system.

The Pentax Auto 110 camera is extraordinarily tiny! It fits into the palm of my hand, and looks more like a toy than a real camera. You might think that it was intended for kids, but it wasn’t. What allows this camera to be so small is that it uses 110 film, which is quite a bit smaller than 35mm film. In fact, the frame is similar in size to a Micro 4/3 sensor. If you aren’t familiar, 110 film comes in a cartridge that’s easy to load and unload, designed for the novice. The tiny film allowed Pentax to design an extraordinarily small camera system.

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Kodak introduced 110 film in the early 1970’s. They didn’t intend for it to be for serious photographers, and only made cheap entry-level point-and-shoot cameras for it. Kodak never figured that anyone who had more than a basic understanding of photography would ever be interested in using 110 film. It was great for those who knew very little about photography, those who valued simplicity over quality. Pentax, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to create a miniature interchangeable-lens camera aimed at a more advanced user. Perhaps the compact size of the gear would be enough for photographers to overlook the inferior film format.

The Pentax Auto 110 was only moderately successful. It sold enough copies for Pentax to continue to market the system for seven or eight years. The first camera, the Auto 110, was replaced by the slightly improved Auto 110 Super in 1982. Initially Pentax made three lenses for the camera, all very tiny, and in the early 1980’s they introduced three additional small lenses. As the name implies, the camera was fully automatic, except for focus, which was manual. Around 1985 the system was discontinued, and not long afterwards forgotten.

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Two things gave the Pentax Auto 110 camera new life in recent years: the lomography movement and the ability to use old lenses on new cameras via adapters. As 110 film became less and less popular, it was discontinued altogether by major manufacturers. Around 10 years ago Lomography stepped in and began selling it, making 110 film somewhat trendy, which increased the popularity of cameras like the Pentax Auto 110. Because 110 film is similar in size to Micro 4/3 sensors, the Asahi lenses made for the Pentax 110 Auto became in-demand for use with Olympus and Panasonic MFT cameras.

When I saw the little lenses, I wondered if they could be adapted to Fujifilm X cameras. Could I even mount these tiny lenses to my X-T30 and X-T1? A quick search revealed that Fotasy makes an inexpensive Pentax 110 to Fujifilm X adapter. But would it work? Would the lenses cover the frame? After all, APS-C sensors are larger than a 110 film frame. Are the lenses any good? I wasn’t sure the answer to these questions, but I gave it a shot and purchased an adapter and a Pentax Auto 110 camera with three lenses.

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These three lenses, which are 18mm, 24mm and 50mm, all have an aperture fixed at f/2.8. You cannot stop down. It’s f/2.8 and be there! They are manual focus only. They’re pretty darn small, much smaller than any APS-C or full-frame lens that I’ve ever used! If you want something small and lightweight, these are the lenses for you! They’re absurdly and almost comically small when mounted to a Fujifilm X camera. The smallest of the three is the 24mm, which is likely the littlest lens in the world that you can attach to a Fujifilm camera.

I gave these lenses a chance. I attached them to my Fujifilm camera and went out to shoot. I wanted to put them to the test. One thing that stood out to me is that these lenses make the camera feel lighter and smaller, because it is! Even the largest, the 50mm, is smaller than other lenses I’ve used before. You can have one lens on the camera, plus two in a snack-size ziplock bag in your pocket, and you’ve got a three-lens kit. This setup is good for travel because it is out of the way, with the two spare lenses taking up almost no space in your pocket.

18mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 18mm f/2.8 was the lens that I was most excited about. I thought, of them all, this one has the most potential to be useful. Because of the fixed aperture, I knew that depth-of-field would be narrow on all of the lenses, but it would be largest on this lens because of its wide focal-length, which is full-frame equivalent to 27mm on Fujifilm X cameras. The further towards infinity that you focus, the larger the depth-of-field becomes. When focused at the close end, depth-of-field is indeed small, and I was shocked by just how good bokeh (the quality of the out-of-focus portion of the image) is on this lens.

Surprisingly, this 18mm has good coverage on the APS-C sensor. There’s some pronounced vignetting and corner softness, which you can easily crop out or leave for artistic effect. Sharpness is good at the center, but the lens becomes less sharp as you move away from the center. There’s some obvious chromatic aberrations and highlights tend to have an Orton-ish glow. This lens might be good for “dreamy” pictures. Overall, I didn’t like the 18mm nearly as much as I thought I might, and I didn’t use it as often as the other two lenses.

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Trees by a Lake – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Seed Pods – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Blooms on a Branch – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Tree Branch Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Countryside – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Mountain, Trees & Meadow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Trail & Tall Trees – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Boys on Scooters – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

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Big Leaf – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 18mm f/2.8

24mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 24mm f/2.8 is the smallest of the three lenses, and the smallest interchangeable lens that I’ve ever used. It’s unbelievably tiny! I doubt that you’ll find a smaller lens that can be attached to your Fujifilm camera. Because of the focal length, which is full-frame equivalent to 36mm, this lens has a narrow depth-of-field, especially when focused at the near end. Bokeh is great!

Like the 18mm, this lens covers the frame, but there’s some obvious vignetting and corner softness. Center sharpness is good, but the lens becomes less sharp as you move away from the center of the frame. There are some chromatic aberrations and highlights tend to glow, but neither are as pronounced as the 18mm. Overall I liked the 24mm lens more than the 18mm, but it didn’t impress me enough to want to use it all of the time.

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Rural Roofline – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Coca-Cola Machine – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Mini Mart – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Corner Building – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Trail Parking – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Barbed Wire Red – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Country Thistle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Ball Flower in a Garden – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f/2.8

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Lit Leaf – Sunset, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 24mm f.2.8

50mm

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The Asahi Pentax 110 50mm f/2.8 is the lens that I thought I’d like the least. Why? Because I already have several great 50mm (or near 50mm) lenses that I really like. Because of the focal length, which is full-frame equivalent to 75mm on Fujifilm X cameras, this lens has the most narrow depth-of-field of the three, especially when focused towards the near end, where it’s very thin. Once again, bokeh is great. Lens flare, if you like lens flare, can be downright amazing!

While there is some light falloff near the corners, this lens definitely has 100% coverage on APS-C sensors. It’s sharp in the center, and becomes less sharp towards the corners, although not quite as bad as the other two lenses. I did find some chromatic aberrations, but it’s pretty minor, especially when compared to the others. The 50mm lens was the most difficult of the three to use, but the results were the most rewarding. This was my favorite, and the one that I used most often. Of the three, this lens is the one that I can see using again and again. There’s something special about it.

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Ray – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Girl in Yellow – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Boy & Lens Flare – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 100 50mm f/2.8

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Rainbow Flare & Kids – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Rainbow in the Woods – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Tree Flowers in a Forest – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Reeds by the Woods – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Large Rocks & Yellow Flowers – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

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Rushing Waterfall – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T1 & Asahi 110 50mm f/2.8

Conclusion

The lens that I thought I’d like the most is the one that I liked the least, and the one that I thought I’d like the least is the one that I liked the most. The 18mm and 24mm lenses are certainly usable, but they have some serious flaws, and you’ll have to consider how to artistically use those flaws to your advantage. Because of the narrow depth-of-field, the 50mm lens was the most difficult to use, but it produced my favorite pictures.

While using these tiny lenses on my Fujifilm cameras was a bit strange, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I’ll definitely do this again sometime. I also plan to use the Pentax Auto 110, as I purchased three 110 film cartridges to use in it, and I’ll share the results when I do. I’m not afraid to do unusual things sometimes, like sandpapering a camera or taping cardboard to the front of a lens, and using little lenses intended for another camera is certainly unusual. If you’re looking to try something different, attaching Asahi Pentax 110 lenses to your Fujifilm camera is just that. For me it was a great experience, and these little lenses provided me with big fun!

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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 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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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:

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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

Industar 69 Lens + Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm Blog

Fujifilm X-T30 with an Industar 69 lens.

The Industar 69 is a terribly great lens! What I mean is that it is a terrible lens and a great lens at the same time. If you judge it simply on charts and technical qualities, it’s clearly a dud, not worthy of attaching to your camera. If you judge it on the It-Factor, the Industar 69 transcends common rationality and produces a difficult-to-define yet highly appealing quality. This lens is full of flaws, but it’s the flaws that make it especially interesting.

The Industar 69 f/2.8 is a Soviet Union 28mm pancake lens designed for Russian Chaika half-frame cameras. It was produced from the mid-1960’s through the mid-1970’s. It’s an M39 screw-mount lens, and is a Zeiss Tessar copycat. To attach it to my Fujifilm X-T30, I used a cheap M39-to-Fuji-X adapter that I’ve had for several years and paid about $10 for. This particular Industar 69 lens was loaned to me from a friend, but my copy is already ordered and currently en route, costing me only $35, including shipping.

One peculiarity of the Industar 69 is that it can’t focus to infinity (or even all that close to it), because it sits too far from the sensor. It can be modified to focus to infinity, and I plan to make that modification with my lens when it arrives, but unmodified it has a limited window of focus. The aperture is controlled by a thin ring around the glass that doesn’t click at f-stops. The focus ring is smooth. The lens is made of metal and feels solid. The Industar 69 is small and lightweight and might seem like a budget alternative to the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens.

Industar 69 Lens Fujifilm X-T30 Camera

Those who judge lenses based on corner softness and vignetting will not like this lens, as there is noticeable softness in the corners and pronounced vignetting, especially when wide-open, but also when stopped down. There’s also some obvious distortion. Lens flare is not controlled particularly well. The Industar 69 is pretty much the opposite of perfect from a technical point-of-view.

What I love about this lens is how it renders pictures. It produces glowing highlights, similar to (but not exactly like) an Orton effect. While the corners are soft, the center is quite sharp. The Industar 69 has nice bokeh; specifically it has swirly bokeh when wide open. It infuses an analog character into the images captured through its glass, made possible by its flaws, which is not achievable from finely-engineered modern lenses.

The Industar 69 is an interesting vintage pancake option for your Fujifilm camera. It could be considered a low-budget alternative to the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8, but I see them as different lenses for particular purposes. They will render pictures much differently, and you’ll likely use them much differently. But if you simply cannot afford the Fujinon lens and want a pancake option, this Russian lens might be your best bet. With that said, the reason to get the Industar 69 is for how it makes pictures look, because there aren’t too many lenses that will do what this one does, which is something you’ll either really appreciate or you won’t. This lens is incredibly inexpensive, so it might be worth trying out for yourself to see whether or not you find it to be terrible or great.

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Glowing Cross – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Backyard Afternoon – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Weber Canyon Morning – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Early Autumn Sycamore – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Josh Throwing Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Smilin’ Jon – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Refill Please – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Sitting Joy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Glass Window Bottles – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Light Stripes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Corner Seat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Jo Cool In Her Carseat – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

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Sunlit Tree Monochrome – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Industar 69

See also:
Using M42 Lenses on Fujifilm X Cameras
Fujifilm X-T30 vs. Sony A6000 – A Showdown With Vintage Glass
Fujifilm Gear