Hack a Takumar 50mm to Nikon F3?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by declark, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    I hear a lot of good about Pentax 50 / 55 mm lenses in regards to bokeh. Never been too crazy about Nikon's 50's. Currently have an Ai 50 f2 that is good, but still am intrigued by something faster and smoother. The 50 Ais f1.2 is an obvious but expensive option. I have machine shop access and for about $100 I could make a run at adapting a Takumar. I know that there is about a 1mm diff in flange to film so I would have to try removing about this much material to get infinity focus, just wondering if anyone else has tried a similar mod. I would like to use this with my F3 so not interested in getting another body to carry and it sounds like a fun project. Any suggestions...? Thanks.
     
  2. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Yeah - get a Nikkor 1.4.

    It's not clear what you dislike about Nikkors (which is totally fine BTW) and why Takumars are better. Old AIS 1.2's can be had for under 4 or 5 hundred -- hard to beat that bokeh and quality I reckon?
     
  3. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    Yeah the 50mm f1.2 would be my first choice but don't want to drop 5 Benjamins for one. i have had a long nose 50mm f1.8 and it's bokeh was horrible. Hated the backgrounds. I have the 105 2.5 so I know a nice background when I see it. The f2 is a bit better than the 1.8, but I have just read so much good about Takumar f1.4 it's got me curious and I kind of like a challenge. Not that it matters but the older Tak is such a cool looking lens to boot.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    What body are you going to use?
    I adapt many different lenses to my EOS system via cheap adapters.
     
  5. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    The Takumar 50mm 1.4 is as good as it's reputation. The build quality and wide aperture performance is really good, better than most. I actually prefer the older non MC version, but they are all fine, and the prices are usully low due to them being so common and not having the street cred of some others.
    Adapting one to your Nikon would probably be easy but it will compromise the excellent metering on that camera. What you should do is buy a good clean Spotmatic to go with the lens, hard to go wrong with that!
     
  6. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    Bruce I intend to use a Nikon F3. Any adapter would require a lens to deal with the longer flange to film distance of the Nikon body which I would like to avoid since it will degrade image somewhat.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Sure you can adapt it. Why not? There is so much distinct character in some of these off-brand lenses.

    If you want to make a ghetto adapter for close focus only, just take a body cap and a rear lens cap, glue them together back to back, drill a hole in the middle and off you go :wink:

    I would ask myself how far out you can focus without making major / irreversible mods. it might actually be fine for portraiture and closeups to use a very simple kludge.
     
  8. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    Thanks Tony that's what I've read about the Takumars and they are a bargain. Having had back surgery recently I want to keep weight I carry around to a minimum and adding a body isn't going in the right direction since all my other lenses are Nikon.
     
  9. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Nothing at all wrong with liking a lens because it looks cool...lord knows I have more than a few items in my kit based on not much more!
     
  10. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    Keith I can do better than ghetto adapter but I like your thinking. BTW I only shoot b&w in the F3 so maybe character of older radioactive glass Takumar might be what I'm looking for. For adapting I plan to get a beater Nikkor and remove the flange and mill down if need be. I don't care about it being reversible.
     
  11. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Yea , I realize the Nikon film to flange distance can cause issues.
    If you want to use it on your Nikon body I say go for it especially considering you access to a machine shop.
     
  12. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    What's the point?. You're still stuck with a body just for the Takumar. Might as well get a Spotmatic or Fujica or Yashica or Ricoh, etc.
     
  13. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    I currently use two Asahi SMC Takumars, the 50mm 1.4 and the 135mm 3.5. When it came time to upgrade from manual bodies, I purchased the 630 as it would accept the adapter shown. I simply set the camera to shutter-priority and leave the camera aperture set to 1.0.The camera meters as I set the aperture and it adjusts the shutter speed accordingly. I found the adapter on eBay for about $7-$9. It's chrome-plated brass. The adapter allows for infinity focusing on the canon. The adapter also has a lip that pushes the aperture pin on the lens. I had to offset the locking pin hole (green finger pointer) otherwise it prevented the mirror from returning. Also put a layer of electrical tape on the back of the adapter, just in case it decided to touch the camera-lens contact pins.
     

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  15. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    The F3 would remain unchanged and still would be used with my 24 and 105 lenses. Only the lens would be modded to fit the F mount.
     
  16. zk-cessnaguy

    zk-cessnaguy Member

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    I'll chime in with my 2c worth. Modding lenses and adapting to off-brand mounts is something that particularly interests me. As I see it, you will run into some issues adapting a Takumar 50/1.4 to F mount.

    The design of the Takumar is such that it does not have a separate, removable lens-mount flange like a Nikkor does.
    The rear part of the Takumar lens incorporates the aperture stop down mechanism and the aperture auto/manual switch. To fit an F mount flange would require modifications to the aperture mechanism of the Takumar and the removal of n+1.03mm (where n=the thickness of the new mount and 1.03mm is the difference between the Nikon and M42 register difference) material from the rear of the lens body. An engineering challenge, but if you have access to a machine shop, I can't see it being impossible. On the plus side, the Takumar is a reasonably simple lens to tear down.

    The second, and potentially insurmountable problem its the distance the rear element of the lens protrudes into the mirror box at infinity focus. A standard Takumar protrudes 8.3mm from the flange at infinity. This compares with the distance the rear of an AI lens at the same focus setting; however, once the mount has been changed, and the lens's infinity focus has been restored, this moves the rear element further into the mirror box, with the potential to foul the mirror when it flips up. (As an aside, this is the problem that's so far prevented me from converting the Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm f/1.4 to F-mount, something I'm very keen to do.)

    So that's how I see it. A challenge for sure, but you may just be able to pull it off. Good luck :smile:
     
  17. lesm

    lesm Member

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    Does it have to be a Takumar? You might have more luck adapting something like a Pentax M50 1.4, which has wonderful bokeh and there are plenty around for next to nothing. Being a bayonet rather than M42 fitting it might be easier to modify. On the Pentax forum I've read that some Nikon lenses can be fitted directly to a Pentax K mount body by turning it upside down. Apparently it's a bit of a loose fit but it works OK. I've never had a Nikon but perhaps this might work in reverse?
     
  18. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    You can always get a screw mount tak, and buy an M42 to Nikkor Adapter for like $5. Screw it on, and you can take the adapter and lens off as one unit.
     
  19. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    That is exactly the info I am looking for. I thought the M42 would be simpler to mod and cheaper but maybe the bayonet version is the one to try provided it has a removable flange. Hadn't thought about the rear lens protrusion issue, thanks for the heads up.
     
  20. lesm

    lesm Member

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    Just be aware that the bayonet series Takumars don't have the same reputation as the screw mounts. May I suggest you visit the Pentax forum and check out their comprehensive lens reviews. Especially look at the K and M series lenses, which I think would suit your purpose as well as a Tak.
     
  21. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Just for giggles, Are you gonna have auto aperture? The screw mounts use a push pin actuator but the bayonet uses a linkage similar to Nikon's.
    Probably wrong side of the camera or upside down and backwards. Ah, nothing like a challenge. :smile:
     
  22. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Why oh why? I have never understood the desire to modify something like a lens when bodies are so cheap and plentiful. I have a Chinon DSL in M42 screw mount and I would be more than happy to let you have it. It probably needs a CLA but you do that yourself. It also needs the little rewind arm but the rest of it is still there and if you just have to modify something why not that?
     
  23. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    If it looks reasonably doable, otherwise I just plan on picking an aperture and a shutter speed manually.
     
  24. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    Thanks for the generous offer but I love the F3 and would like to keep my kit small, so no extra bodies. Being somewhat of a purist myself I can understand someone's concern with altering one of a finite supply of older lenses, and I can respect that position.
     
  25. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I need some new glasses, seriously. I looked again and saw that you said "Nikkor" not Nikon.

    I still think it's better to just get another body- an MX or ME Super is very small and light. If you're worried about your back put it in a waist pack. A fanny pack will hold the combo.

    The ME Super weighs less than a pound. The MX weighs barely more than a pound. Both are tiny. Both have big, beautiful viewfinders. As for lenses, the SMC Pentax is the SMC Takumar, just in K-mount. It costs about the same. The SMC Pentax-M is lighter and smaller, and still gives nice bokeh. Either will give full functionality, including AE on the ME Super if you want that. You can put a screw-mount Takumar onto any K-mount camera with an adapter, though you lose auto diaphragm, no worse than with the Nikon.

    With all the options, why go to the trouble to hack a Pentax onto a Nikon? To save a pound of weight? Come on.

    BTW, I've got an F3, and while its viewfinder is great, the Pentaxes are just as nice.
     
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  26. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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