Super Takumar 55mm Pentax lens

The Takumar is the name of a wonderful lens, that the previously Asahi Optical and now Pentax, gave to its lenses.

I bought one for 3000 yen ($33) in a shop in Akihabara (Techno district of Tokyo) that sells junk stuff. The glass is in perfect conditions and the big aperture plus the good ISO performance of the Pentax K-X makes a good combination for nocturne urban photography.


The lens started to be manufactured in 1962, based on the data in this database. It uses the old but popular M42 mount. Basically it’s just has a screw and you have to turn it until it got fixed into the camera body. In fact it’s not practical, it takes some time to change lenses. Actual Pentax K-X and other models don’t use that mount system anymore but there are adapters for them. I used an adapter that cost me the same as the lens!

super takumar

This is the lens mounted on the Pentax K-X

Super Takumar

I love the retro fashion of the lens :)

Super Takumar

It’s not so big. Anyway it’s a little bit odd to see that lens in a new camera. When I see it, remembers me to see an old lady dressed as a teenager…

I love the bokeh and quality of this lens. It has a finest and soft bokeh, much better than the 50mm 1.4F for example. The aperture is manual and it’s better to use it in manual, because the camera automatic settings will get confused with no aperture control. When you use it in manual, changing the aperture and the focus, reminds me of a time where all those automatic capabilities was just science fiction. Changing manually the aperture and the focus, for some reason makes me feel a Leica experience. I just have to worry about few settings and I need an understanding of those settings as if they was part of myself. Just set the aperture, speed, focus and shot.

super takumar bokeh

super takumar bokeh

Look at the soft bokeh in the leaves.

Pentax takumar lens bokeh

Don’t worry to buy old lenses. Just keep in mind that you maybe need to use only manual settings. It’s important to check carefully the lens, anyway. Scratches, malfunctioning or humidity could be there, hidden for an inexperienced eye, so if you still have no experience with this stuff, try to go to the shop with a friend that could advise you.
Soon I will publish a post about who to check the quality of used lenses.