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Old school macro lenses


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I was looking into old manual macro lenses to adapt to my X-T1 because I was less than enamored with the native Fuji options. The 60mm only did 1:2 and the Zeiss is pretty expensive. My original plan was to wait for the 120mm from Fuji but I found myself missing the macro capability and not liking the extension tube thing too much (too complicated figuring out which tube to use and too restrictive with composition once I picked one or both). 

 

So I stumbled across a Super Multi Coated Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 on the eBay in a condition I was willing to purchase at a price I was willing to pay. As a bonus it came bundled with a complete set of extension tubes, an extra "short" tube, and a bellows (all also in excellent condition - none of which I have used yet though). This lens seemed to be fairly well regarded even though it too was only a 1:2 lens (the first, uncoated version, was 1:1 but there were only 2 on eBay when I looked and both were much more expensive and in much worse condition).

 

I am super impressed with this lens. It is sharp. Contrasty. Has a nice smooth bokeh. Maybe I'm missing something but I just can't understand how a lens that appears to be this good can sell for this cheap (around 100USD - less if you are willing to accept one with less than near perfect condition).

 

Here are a couple of my test shots with it taken over the past week or so. Most (if not all) are handheld at f/4 because I'm stupid like that.

 

Grasshoppers:

20228185588_1b395b0b72_b.jpg

 

This one also used a focal reducer/ speed booster:

19825297443_f33dcf288f_b.jpg

 

Flowers:

20228121830_f04727d339_b.jpg

 

This one also used a focal reducer/ speed booster:

20452450391_6384edd09c_b.jpg

 

Portrait:

This one also used a focal reducer/ speed booster:

20419986036_bf78875c8c_b.jpg

 

The flicker album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskh47Y1y

 

I am interested to see other old macro adapted results.

 

Mike

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I was looking into old manual macro lenses to adapt to my X-T1 because I was less than enamored with the native Fuji options. The 60mm only did 1:2 and the Zeiss is pretty expensive. My original plan was to wait for the 120mm from Fuji but I found myself missing the macro capability and not liking the extension tube thing too much (too complicated figuring out which tube to use and too restrictive with composition once I picked one or both). 

 

So I stumbled across a Super Multi Coated Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4 on the eBay in a condition I was willing to purchase at a price I was willing to pay. As a bonus it came bundled with a complete set of extension tubes, an extra "short" tube, and a bellows (all also in excellent condition - none of which I have used yet though). This lens seemed to be fairly well regarded even though it too was only a 1:2 lens (the first, uncoated version, was 1:1 but there were only 2 on eBay when I looked and both were much more expensive and in much worse condition).

 

Seems like a fair price, with the stuff that was bundled. Purpose-built macro lenses tend to be very sharp, and highly corrected at short distances. Even though Pentax in the film era was regarded as entry-level/consumer-level without the CaNikon cachet, Takumar optics were respected. However, being Pentax would lower the price, and the fact that it is an f/4.0 would also have a negative impact upon pricing. 

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azmmount, I read your post, saw your pictures, and liked them so much that I bought the lens off eBay.  I live in New York so yesterday I went to B&H and bought an adapter.  One of the men behind the counter told me a lot about the lens, said it was excellent quality.  I took it home, shot a few, and all of you are right.  I love macro!  Thank you for your post. 

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@bigbadwolf - That second shot is quite striking. May I ask what it is? Mike

 

thanks - it`s part of a fountain sculpture in front of a church. on top of the sculpture is a bowl permanently refilled with water. the bowl has a plug hole creating a suck. inside the suck parts of the church and tower are mirrored. here another part of it with the same lens.

 

post-644-0-89762100-1440498147_thumb.jpg

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