Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 Asahi. This review is of the 50mm f/1.4 with the product number 37800 stamped on the A/M switch. These lenses elements can turn an amber color from the radioactive material affecting the glue in the elements which is a simple treatment to fix. I have given a little info below on how to fix it. Just don’t lick or snuggle with your lens and you will not glow from the radioactivity. I know it’s hard not to.
If you’re looking to purchase this lens I always check Adorama and Ebay for good deals. It helps me if you purchase it through one of these links here in this review. When you purchase through these links it financially enables me to devote time to develop this site further. Thanks for the help! -Todd
8.2 oz (232g)
1.5 feet (0.45 meters).
6 blades stopping down to f/16.
M42 Metal Mount.
f/1.4: Decently sharp wide open however has very low contrast due to heavy spherical aberration and chromatic aberration with plenty of coma.
f/1.8: Pretty sharp with better contrast but still has a lot of chromatic aberration.
f/2: Very sharp with better contrast but still a bit of chromatic aberration.
f/2.8: Very sharp with great color and contrast and very little chromatic aberration.
f/3.5: Very sharp with good contrast and very little chromatic aberration.
f/4: Very sharp with a hint of chromatic aberration.
f/8: Super sharp with no signs of diffusion until f/11.
There is a heavy amount of vignetting at f/1.4 which immediately begins to clear nicely at f/1.8 and continues through f/2 and almost gone at f/2.8 and f/3.5.
The bokeh is fairly nice and not too distracting.
Flare and Ghosting
Very evident amounts of uneven flare which is not good at all. Ghosting is quite evident everywhere but has some nice shape.
A fair bit of Barrel Distortion..
On AF Camera
Optics: ★ ★ ★ ★
Mechanics: ★ ★ ★
Ergonomics: ★ ★ ★
Usefulness: ★ ★ ★ ★
Availability: ★ ★ ★
Overall: ★ ★ ★
On MF Camera
Ergonomics: ★ ★ ★ ★
Overall: ★ ★ ★ ★
Out of 5
This is a great lens, easy to find, easy to use, built like a tank, tiny, light, has really good bokeh, and has fantastic optics stopped down just a little bit. The best part is that they sell for next to nothing which is a bit sad. People who know about these grab them up quickly when they find a deal because they are such a great lens.
Be aware that over time some of these lenses optics will take on a amber color which will throw off your white balance. However it is very easy to correct on a digital body in post processing or by treating the lens to get rid of this. All you need to do is buy a UV light and put it under that for a few days and the glass will turn back to clear again.
If you find one of these lenses for cheap you will love it and for the price these days they are worth looking for. If you are shooting it on a digital camera I would check Ebay to see if your camera can take a split focus screen which makes focusing a lot easier.
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My hopes are to take the time to continue developing this website with more test photo based reviews. If you are ever interested in purchasing this lens or other photography equipment please do so through these links here in this review. I always check Adorama and Ebay for good deals. This helps support my family and allows me to take more time for the site. The best part is this site is free for you and I link good deals I find!
Sometimes these links will actually give you better deals then typical retail prices! I personally buy from the links I have listed whether looking for new gear or fun old stuff. I can personally attest to their good & safe service from years of experience. Thanks again to you, our readers, for supporting us! -Todd