Oh the Super Takumar 55mm F1.8, how I love thee. Seriously, I purchased this lens because of reviews I read online said how sharp it was what wonderful colors it produced. Well, I agree wholeheartedly. The Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 produces some amazing image. Even wide open you’ll get not only a usable image but a pretty one as well. Oh did I mention you can pick one up dirt cheap?
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 Takumar line of lenses. Let’s get into the particulars.
Many vintage lenses have an issue shooting wide open but not this lens. When I shot wide open I was expecting a soft, dream-like image but nope it held pretty well. 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.
The Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 gives you a nice look. It 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.
It was originally manufactured with an M42 mount in 1965, then the Pentax-K in 1975.
49mm for the M42 Mount and 52mm for the Pentax-K. I use my with a basic M42 to EF mount adapter so I can take advance of the MetaBones Speed Booster I have on booth my BMPCC and Panasonic GH4.
Minimum focusing distance is 45cm and the focus ring rotates 270 degrees and has a very smooth clicked aperture.
◦ 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
This 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 a beautiful bokeh but it makes up with it in 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 Studios and 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.