Super Takumar 55mm F1.8

Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 – Vintage Lens Review

Oh the Super Takumar 55mm F1.8, how I love thee. Seriously, I purchased this lens because of its legendary sharpness and the wonderful colors it renders. The Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 produces some amazing images. Even wide open you’ll not only get a usable image but a pretty one as well.

Using this on a crop sensor and you’ll get an 82.5mm, which is still very nice. The lens was originally produced for the Pentax Spotmatic and is by far the most affordable lens in the Super Takumar 55mm line of lenses. Let’s get into the particulars.

EXPOSURE

Many vintage lenses have an issue shooting wide open but not this one. When I shot wide open I was expecting a soft, dream-like image but nope it held up pretty well and the corners were sharp as well. Of course stopping down to F2.8/4 and you get a pin sharp image that is unheard of for the price.

CHARACTER

The Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 has very nice contrast, color, and sharpness. The bokeh isn’t that smooth, especially when stopped down. If you want jaw-dropping Bokeh I’d suggest the Helios 44 58mm F2.

MOUNT

The Super Takumar 55mm was originally manufactured with an M42 mount in 1965, then the Pentax-K in 1975.

FILTER

49mm for the M42 Mount and 52mm for the Pentax-K.

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FOCUS

Minimum focusing distance is 45cm and the focus ring rotates 270 degrees and has a very smooth clicked aperture.

PROS:

  • Insane bang for your buck
  • Very sharp, even wide
  • Built quality is top notch
  • Easy to find an adapter
  • Very common vintage lens to find

CONS:

  • Slow for a 55mm lens
  • Bokeh isn’t that good
  • Neutral image lacking character

Final Thoughts

Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 is by far the best bang for your buck in this focal range, maybe except for the Helios 44 58mm F2. It’s a bit hard to beat up such a good lens at this price point. Yes, the 6 blade aperture doesn’t give you the most beautiful bokeh but where this lens shines is with its sharpness. Either way, if you have the chance to buy one do it, you won’t be disappointed.

Alex Ferrari is the Founder of the popular filmmaking site IndieFilmHustle.com, Numb Robot Studiosand the host of the #1 Filmmaking Podcast on iTunes The Indie Film Hustle Podcast.  He's also a self-diagnosed lens addict and experimental cinematographer.


Friends of the show Matthew Duclos and Ryan Avery started an amazing new website called LensFinder. Lensfinder.com is an online marketplace for photographers and cinematographers to buy, sell and learn about used, vintage and boutique lenses. We want buying and selling quality glass to be easy and affordable. Great glass helps inspire great images and we look forward to serving this incredible community of creators by offering a place to get the tools for your next great project.

To find more vintage lenses go to Lensfinder.com