Takumar Bayonet lenses

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Over the years I have handled a few "Takumar Bayonet" lenses for the pentax K mount.

    They all seemed to have terrible build quality, with a scraping sound as they focused or even disconnected mechanisms.
    I remember one lens (a 200mm zoom i think) was new in box, but still did not seem to work correctly.
    The box was labeled Takumar Bayonet and I think it was labeled Korea.
    I dont think it said pentax on it at all.

    Whats the story behind these lenses?
    Were these cheap knock-offs meant to mislead people into thinking they were pentax?
    Or just a 'first version' of pentax K mount lenses that were updated with better design in later years?
     
  2. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    Darin, I believe those are from the 80'2 or 90's when Pentax brought the takamur name back for a budget line of lenses. I think SMC Takamurs was the first k-mount followed by m then K. Build quality on those should be higher than the takamurs from the 80's.
     
  3. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I don't think there were those lenses from Pentax. May be they are knock-offs? I think all Pentax K mount lenses are SMC Pentax only the M42 are Takumars and they are both of very high quality.
     
  4. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    No there were K mount Takumars and they were indeed budget lenses. Think they were all zooms . They were not the first K mount lenses which are considered K lenses and those were followed with the M series

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takumar
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Thank you very much. I have some of the oldest K mount Pentax body (KX's) and they didn't come with Takumar lens.
     
  6. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    The K-mount Takumars were also available in a 135mm focal length. Nothing to write home about, unlike the old Taks from the M42 years. The SMC Pentax lenses (original K mount lenses) were mostly based on the M42 mount Takumars. I'm not sure if the original SMC Pentax 50/1.4 had thorium in it, like the Super-Tak and SMC Tak versions that preceeded it, though.

    -J
     
  7. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    As I said in another thread recently, the Takumar (Bayonet) lenses were a disgrace to the Takumar name. I had one come apart in my hand when the tape holding it together failed. I've long been saddened that Pentax, renown for their optics, chose to put their name on numerous cheesy third-party lenses.
    I cannot understand why they resurrected Takumar for some of them either. Anyone who knew the real Takumar lenses would be offended, and to others the name would hold no meaning. They should have just called them K-raptastic and left Takumar alone.
     
  8. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    There was also a 28. I have the 135/2.5. No one seeme to like it. When it's stopped down a little it looks fine. I would like to find a 135/2.5 SMC Pentax. There probably weren't very many made before the change to the M lenses. Luckily I have a 135/3.5 M lens and that seems sharp at all apertures. I can also use an older 135/2.5 Super Takumar with an adapter. Nikon had the E lenses, Konica had the Hexars, Yashica had the Yashikors, Minolta had the Celtics and Asahi had the Takumar Bayonets. They were trying to compete with Vivitar, Soligor, Sigma etc. Some of these less expensive lenses were identical optically to their more expensive counterparts and some were not. Not long ago many people wouldn't consider the less expensive models but the Pentax DSLRs and the MILC cameras gave sparked interest in the more exensive lenses and both kinds have gone up in price.
     
  9. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    In the realm of 'consumer' lenses from top-tier companies, the Takumar Bayonets have got to be the worst.
    The Nikon Series E lenses are great lenses except perhaps the 28mm, which is still ok.
    I'm not a minolta user, but the Celtic lenses I've handled seemed well-built.
     
  10. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    I have the 135/2.5 Takumar Bayonet as well. I've found it OK for some things, but my big complaint is its tendency to flare in strong light.
     
  11. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

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    I also have the 135 f2.5 Takumar. Its build quality is fine, and since it doesn't seem to be multicoated flare can be a problem, but with SLRs we can see that and change framing. Also it does have a telescoping lens hood. For the curren cost of examples in good shape who can complain? Just wish it had an "A" stop on the diaphragm to ease use on my K5. But on my manual Pentaxes it is happy.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Were they actually sold by Pentax or the US importer ?

    I know there's issues in the US with Trade names, sometimes original ipmporters registered the trade names and that makes it very difficult when both sides part company.

    It's very strange but I never heward of Takumar (Bayonet) lenses in the UK when they were made although a few turn up on Ebay, but then a lot of Americans are resident here for sort spells as well.

    Ian
     
  13. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    As I understand it they were made and sold by Pentax as a budget range. I know two of the zooms also turned up with Pentax branding (no other difference) as cheap kit lenses.

    The 28mm is the same as the late Pentax-M 28mm f2.8 but with different coatings, I have one and it isn't bad around f8. Colours aren't as good as the SMC Pentax 28mm f3.5 (and the Pentax-M 28/3.5) I also own though.

    I'm also told that the 135mm f2.8 is a surprisingly decent lens, although the f2.5 doesn't seem hugely popular in reviews. It does seem to be part of what I can only just avoid calling ebay scams though - frequently listed with a high BIN price (as in twice what you'd pay for a good M 135mm f3.5) in the hope that people will mistake it for the SMC Pentax 135mm f2.5 (which is a completely different lens).

    I have the Pentax-A 28-80 (and the F version) which were also sold as Takumar-A and -F. Avoid. They're horrible to use and the images are even worse! Mine turned up with a P30n (which I wanted) and is now mostly used as a stand for small items. Covered with a cloth it does a fine job of supporting photographic subjects! There are SMC Pentax 28-80s in both the A and F series which are much better.
     
  14. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Early Takumars were uninspiring, though there were isolated shining stars that are still sought out today. The modern Pentax SMC optics are worlds away from Takumars, though oddities of optical pedigree do exist e.g. Distogon, Biogon heritage designs to account for the limited mirror box real estate.

    Dirt making its way into the focusing barrel can be the cause of the scratchy focus. I have handled a Takumar 105mm with this problem very recently.

    But if it is labelled Korea, it is certainly not a Takumar: the lenses have always been of Japanese origin.
     
  15. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    These aren't the famous Takumars though. The best of the M42 mount Takumars can still hold their own today, the 55mm in its various forms is a particularly popular one.

    In the 1980s Pentax brought the name back and used it on a range of cheap K mount lenses as "Takumar Bayonet". These had simplified coatings compared to the full SMC and in some cases were evidently designed to a price rather than a quality. These lenses have nothing in common with the M42 Takumars other than the name.

    Gritty focus is usually just that - sand or grit in the helicoil. If it's stiff but smooth you can often improve matters by adding a few drops of light oil and working the focus ring a bit, this should soften the grease again without the hassle of a complete stripdown, clean, and re-greasing (which is a pain as you need to reset infinity focus).