Spotmatic SP Lenses - wide angle lens


Link Posted 10/04/2003 - 15:29
I have been using the Spotmatic SP for 7 months now, and am wanting to add a wide angled lense to my collection. But do not know which to go for, or for that matter, which lenses I can use with the screw mount fitting.

For starters, I am not to sure which length to go for (24/28/35mm)-is there a noticeable difference? Or does any body know if am I able to use a 28-80mm which will be far more versatile then a fixed focal length. Would they be hard to get hold of?



Link Posted 10/04/2003 - 23:15
Ideally, I would look out for Super Takumar, Super-Multi-Coated Takumar or SMC Takumar lenses in mint condition. I have used the 28mm and 35mm lenses from these ranges by pentax and they are excellent. The 24mm would have been my preferred choice, although it will be bulky compared to the later (bayonet) M series lenses.

These days we are so used to looking at wide angle pictures the 24mm no longer looks ultra-wide and is, I think, a superb wide angle. When Kevin MacDonnell was asked if he could only have two lenses what would they be he replied, as concise as ever, "24mm and 100mm" and I think I would agree with that. Of course, depending on your photographic interests, you might have a different point of view.

I personally would not choose a zoom as a replacement for the excellent Pentax lenses of the period - it will be slower, of lower quality and not as well corrected as regards distortion. Also, vaiable apertures will be a nuisance as every time you zoom it will change the aperture value and you will need to re-meter.

Finally, should you obtain any earlier bodies than the Spotmatic don't forget that you need to be careful about fitting the Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 lens to some of them, because of the protuding rear element.

Enjoy the camera!
Best regards, John


Link Posted 25/06/2003 - 22:23
I have a very nice Vivitar 28mm f2 wide angle lens. I have not tried the SMC Takumar (hard to find wide angle Takumars in the states), but I would wholeheartedly recommend the Vivitar. Very crisp, great DOF, apertures from f2-22, and a good contrasty look. It does not need a kit to attach to the M42 screw mount -- mine appears to have been manufactured specifically for this camera. I have seen several like it on eBay, so that might be a good place to start. Hope this helps!

Oh, and don't buy the 28-80 -- waste of money and you'll be disappointed with the image quality as compared to a prime lens.


Link Posted 26/06/2003 - 07:44
Like John I have used (and still do!) the Pentax 28mm and 35mm lenses with my Spotmatics. I found that the 35mm tends to be more of a replacement for the 50mm 'standard' lens and remains attached to the camera most of the time! - if you are looking for a significantly wider view than the 50mm I would recommend going for the 28mm lens.

I did buy both of my lenses via ebay which can be a great source for older kit - but do read the item descriptions carefully - as much for what is not said !!!

I would also wholeheartedly agree that avoiding the zoom is good advice

Good luck in your search - let us know what you decide.


Link Posted 02/12/2003 - 10:45
I just re-read your reply - 5 months after you posted it!!! Sorry. I did in the end get a 28mm Super Takumar from ebay, sent over from Canada, and for penny's really. So I spent the summer with my 28mm and little-else. A real good lens- and a must more anybody I reckon!

I have another question now I think about it. Is there that much of a noticeable difference between a Super-Takumar, and a Super-Multi-Coated Takumar? I am in love (too strong?) with my 28mm, but was wondering if an 'upgrade' was necessary.

Also, does anybody know a good M42 range wide angle which achieves an aperture size greater than 16? The more I use the 28mm, at F16, the more I think how much better the landscapes would be using F22. I tried one such lens (I forget the name) a while back, but it was far too much distortion and flare to be of any use.

Having said all that, the final question now is- can I hold out against the draw of the *istD?



Link Posted 02/12/2003 - 20:18
To answer the last question first, f22 will increase the depth of field but will reduce the resolution because of diffraction effects. Sharpness will suffer.

Some of the later Super Takumars actually were multicoated but not marked as such. See the "Screw Mount Guide" for details. Both ranges were substantially the same optically although some lenses were redesigned at various stages.

More important, use of a lens hood (preferably the dedicated one) will ensure the lowest levels of flare and improve pictures sometimes dramatically.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 02/12/2003 - 20:45
Hi Nick,

As John has already said the use of a dedicated lens hood is the best way to reduce flare. Having said that the performance of the SMC lenses is superior - as to an upgrade from your existing lens? I suppose it depends on the cost - if you can nab a bargin then its got to be worth it, but maybe a different focal length and expanding your kit would be a better bet.

Glad to hear that you have enjoyed your lens this summer - at the end if the day enjoyment is what it is all about !

Best wishes
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