Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 + Fujifilm X-T2

Posted on Sunday, 27th October 2019 10:35 AM EDT

I'm experimenting with some vintage Asahi lenses and Fotodiox adapters. I have my father’s non-working Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II which, after he passed earlier this year, became even more precious to me. My first film camera was a Pentax P3 which I still own. Earlier this year (2019), as a tribute to my dad, I bought my own Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II on eBay with an Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/2, and I have slowly started to re-learn film photography.

I also bought up a Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter Compatible with M42 Screw Mount SLR Lens on Fujifilm X-Mount cameras lens adapter that I can use these on my Fujifilm X-T2.

Many websites keep propagating the “story” that a 50mm focal length on a 35mm full-frame camera is roughly equivalent to the field-of-view (FOV) of the human eye. The statement always seemed odd to me given that when I look straight ahead, keeping my eyes from moving side-to-side, I see “wider” than 50mm FOV. The “50mm is standard” mantra also seemed strange, given what I had learned about FOV in graduate school during my “vision” classes. We were being taught about the human eye because designing displays and image processing algorithms requires an understanding of the human vision.

The focal length of the eye is 17 or 24mm however, only part of the retina processes the main image we see. This part of the retina is called the cone of visual attention which is about 55º wide. On a 35mm full-frame camera, a 43mm focal length provides an angle of view of approximately 55º. The 43mm focal length closely approximates the angle of view of the human eye.

43 is not roughly 50. That’s a round-up of nearly 14%. And then saying 52mm, when using a 35mm focal length on a crop factor camera, is close enough to 50 mm compounds the error (20%).

Maybe it’s the engineer in me, but these sort of “errors” get passed around and become “truth”, and then we get stuck with them1.

It was with the 43mm focal length in mind that I purchased an Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens. This 28mm lens, when mounted to a Fujifilm X camera, provides a 42.56mm (28×1.52) full-frame equivalent field of view which is near enough to the actual visible focal length of the human eye.

📷 Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 | Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM | f/4.0

My purchase came directly from Japan with the lens in a leather pouch along with the lens hood in another leather pouch.

On my Fujifilm X-T2, this lens has a 42.6mm full-frame equivalent field of view which is within the range of the visible focal length of the human eye, making this an excellent lens for travel and street photography. Between 1962 and 1975, Asahi Optical Co., which eventually become Pentax, manufactured a various version of the Takumar 28mm f/3.5 for its range of Spotmatic cameras. This version of the lens was produced with a multi-coated layer designed to reduce lens flare. The lens was sold from 1971 to 1975 and was given the Super-Multi-Coated label.

The first time I used this lens was during my trips into Philadelphia for daily radiation treatments for my Graves Eye Disease. After each treatment, while I waited for the valet to bring the car around, I would stand on the street and take photos. I have used the lens mostly for street photography ever since. Street photography was something I hadn’t done much with other cameras and lenses, but learning how to use this lens was a big help. Instead of pointing the lens at people, I practised by looking down at the flip screen to use focus-peaking, which I think made me seem less threating as perhaps some people thought I was using a film camera.

Like most Asahi Optical Co. lenses from the era, the [Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is all-metal and glass construction. It feels solid in the hand and compliments the look and feel of the Fujifilm X-T2. The focus ring is silky smooth, and the aperture ring gives noticeable clicks as it moves through the half-stops. The lens has a 49mm filter ring and comes with a plastic lens hood. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/3.5, and the minimum aperture is f/16, with intermediate stops at ½ increments. This lens is not a lens for bokehlicious photography. The Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/2 is a better choice for that. Most of my images were shot at f/5.6, which works well for street photography but also seems to be one of the sweet spots for sharpness in this lens. Because the lens is not able to communicate with the electronics in the Fujifilm X-T2, when I attach vintage lenses, I tend to shoot the glass at one aperture setting to make it easier for me to add that metadata to the image later.

I know not everyone will be as into vintage lenses, and losing access to auto-focus is a deal-breaker for some. Still, if you do have an interest in trying out older lense, the Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is highly recommended. The lens is inexpensive, and both the build quality and image quality are great. The Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 is my second Asahi prime lens after the Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/2 and probably won't be my last.

  • Name: Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5
  • Mount: M42
  • Tested on: Fujifilm X-T2 with FotodioX M42-FX adapter
  • Zoom/Prime: Prime
  • Focal Length: 28mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/3.5
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Diaphragm Blades: 8
  • Price Paid: US$94.95
  • Product Ratings (1=miserable, 5=excellent):
  • Construction Quality: 4
  • Image Quality: 4.5
  • Overall Value For Price: 4.5
  • Recommended: Yes

Lens Photos

Holly Hedge Estate | Fujifilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 | f/5.6 | ISO 1250
Fujifilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 | f/5.6 | ISO 1250
Sansom Street, Philadelphia | Fujifilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 | f/5.6 | ISO 320
26 August 2019 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 | f/5.6 | ISO 400
Fujifilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 | f/5.6 | ISO 400
Montgomery Friends Farmers' Market, Skillman, Montgomery Township, New Jersey | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 | f/5.6 | ISO200
Kiran | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5
New Hope, Pennsylvania. | 5 October 2019 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5
West College Street, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5
Aug 26, 2019, West College Street | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5

  1. For example, the also erroneous statements that we all, regardless of size or physical activity, need to drink eight glasses of water a day

3 thoughts on “Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5 + Fujifilm X-T2”

  1. I have often read that the 35mm (full-frame equivalent) is the perfect all-around focal length. On a 35mm camera, this focal length is wide enough for a scene to fill a frame, but long enough to isolate an individual subject. I had often also read that a 50mm prime lens, the ‘nifty fifty,’ is the most useful and complete all-round lens. Before the advent of zooms, most film cameras were fitted with 50mm lenses. It has been written that Henri Cartier-Bresson, whom many photographers hold in high esteem, used a 50mm lens for most of his photography.A 50mm lens is a great addition to any camera bag because it's a versatile piece of glass. The point is that it is a great walk around or travel lens because it can help you photograph almost anything from your dog to mountains to small objects and everything in between.Many photographers erroneously claim that the 50mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera has an angle of view that closely matches the field of view of the human eye1.I shoot mostly digital (APS-C), but I also own an Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II 35mm film camera. I went into the only local camera shop in Princeton to pick up a battery for the Spotmatic II and ended up buying a Soligor 35mm f/2.8 Wide-Auto M42 lens for $50.I now have a good set of manual primes - 28mm 35mm and 55mm for my Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II which I can also use on my Fujifilm X-T2 at ~42 mm FF FOV, ~53mm FF FOV and ~84mm FF FOV.FujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400As I have written a few times while writing about other old lenses, "it's all-metal, substantial, great construction, yadda yadda". Just about every old lens I've come across would get high marks for that.This lens has an A-M switch, a smooth and damped focus with a beautiful range of only over 180 degrees, reasonably compact build and nicely knurled focus and aperture rings. However, I noticed a tendency to move the A-M ring when changing aperture and mounting/unmounting.On a 35mm film camera, I would use this lens primarily for street photography work but it can be put to that purpose on an APS-C sensor camera as well. I used it at around f/5.6 to f/11, which helps with sharpness.But it's the pictures that matter. They were all shot at f/5.6 on my Fujifilm X-T2 with a Fotodiox M42-FX adapter.I do think the images are a bit soft but I am unsure if it’s the lens or just my poor manual focusing technique.Name: Soligor Wide-Auto 1:28 f=35mm
    Mount: M42
    Tested On: Fujifilm X-T2 with FotodioX M42-FX adapter
    Zoom/Prime: Prime
    Focal Length: 35mm
    Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
    Minimum Aperture: f/16
    Diaphragm Blades: 8
    Price Paid: US$50
    Product Ratings (1=miserable, 5=excellent):
    Construction Quality: 4
    Image Quality: 3
    Overall Value For Price: 4
    Recommended: MaybeFujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400Griggstown Delaware Canal Lock | FujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400Griggstown Delaware Canal Lock | FujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400Griggstown Delaware Canal Lock | FujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400Griggstown Delaware Canal Lock | FujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400Griggstown Delaware Canal Lock | FujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400Griggstown Delaware Canal Lock | FujiFilm X-T2 | Soligor Wide-Auto 35mm f/2.8 M42 | f/5.6 | ISO 400

    IT DOES NOT!!! ?

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  2. In the world of photography, there is a particular type of lens about which most photographers get excited, the pancake lens.A pancake lens is a colloquial term for a lens that's shorter than it is wide – hence looking like a 'pancake'. Due to their compacted dimensions, pancake lenses are always fixed focal length ('prime') lenses and much smaller and lighter than a regular lens.When Fujifilm first announced the Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 lens, many photographers were excited because it was the first pancake lens for the system. This lens has high image quality and excellent build quality.But it isn’t perfect. The Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 is a plastic lens and has no aperture ring. Additional there is no manual-focus override. There are no controls other than the focus control ring.I switched to the Fujifilm X system because the system offers camera and lenses that offer quick access to the triangle of camera settings, ISO, aperture and shutter speed. The Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 disappoints in that regard. While it’s easy enough to map the rear command dial to change aperture settings for this lens, the process breaks my current working style as it requires learning some new muscle memory.The Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 lens has no lens hood because a pancake lens with a lens hood defeats the purpose of a pancake lens.When used on the X-mount cameras with their 1.52x crop factor sensors, it has the same angle of view as a 41mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.
    Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF27mm F2.8 — Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 180mm | f/4.0 | ISO25600I have mixed feelings about the Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 lens. I appreciate the compact nature of the pancake lens and fast autofocus. The 27mm focal length (~ 41mm full-frame) is ideal for street photography; however, the lack of manual-focus override and no aperture ring limits it's overall usefulness to me. If Fuji were to release a lens at this focal length with an aperture ring, I would seriously consider purchasing. In the meantime, I make do with my manual focus Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28mm f/3.5.You have to move a switch on your camera to get to or from manual focus mode and move a dial on the camera to change the aperture.Tech SpecsName: Fujinon XF27mmF2.8
    Manufacturer Fujifilm
    Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
    Minimum Aperture: f/16
    Mount Type: Fuji-X
    Lens Type: Fixed Focal Length
    Circular Filter Size: 39mm
    Focus Type: Autofocus
    Recommended: Yes
    Roi's Cafe | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 @ 27 mm | 1?45 sec at f/5.6 | ISO 12800
    Rohan | Fujifilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 @ 27 mm | 1?500 sec at f/4.0 | ISO 8000
    Tap room at Referend Blendery | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 @ 27 mm | 1?125 sec at f/5.6 | ISO 2500FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 | 1?125 sec at f/5.6 | ISO 6400FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 | 1?125 sec at f/5.6 | ISO 8000
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