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.

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

Name: Jersey Cyclone Brewing
Location: 14 Worlds Fair Drive Unit J, Somerset, Somerset County, New Jersey
Beer to try: Imperial Storm Cloud and Red Skies At Night
Notes: Taproom provides flights and growler. Visitors can stop by for tastings and tours on Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m., where they can try beers such as the Eye of the Storm, A Quarter Of Kolsch, Snowtober Vanilla Coffee Porter and Franklin Double IPA.

It was our first time to Jersey Cyclone, which has been open for just under nine months. Having become accustomed to small breweries with small taprooms, spaces barely more significant than a two-car garage, when we walked in, we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the space. We walked past the tables and high chairs and sat at the bar but then remembered we needed to take a tour of the brewery. It's the law in New Jersey.

Sep 1, 2019, Jersey Cyclone Brewing, Someerset — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

This was not my first brewery tour, but I always have questions. The staff was friendly and patiently answered my questions about the brewing process, who the owners were and why they started brewing beer and why the name Jersey Cyclone.

Close friends, Jan Chwiedosiuk and Brian Teel, started home brewing their own beer about eight years ago. It was also around the time Hurricane Irene came through New Jersey and brought devastation to Chwiedosiuk's family business and disturbed Teel's attempt to sit his CPA exam.

For those who don't know, New Jersey gets cyclones; not a lot but at least one or two each year. We also get hurricanes, which technically, are a form of water cyclone. The names of the ales are a tribute to the whacky weather we get here in New Jersey.

Back at the tasting room, a 2,500 square-foot space which can easily accommodate about 80 people, we ordered two flights of four, one for Bhavna and one for me. We completed our first flight while conversing with a man at the bar. I love how the beer culture is so inviting.

Sep 1, 2019, Jersey Cyclone Brewing, Someerset — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

I enjoyed the Red Skies At Night, a Saison brewed with hibiscus, ginger and lemon peel. It smelled great.

Sep 1, 2019, Jersey Cyclone Brewing, Someerset — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

I ordered the second flight of four to complete my tasting of the eight beers on the tap list, including the Imperial Storm Cloud, which the brewery describes as:

Hot and hazy summer days bring dark clouds and strong storms just like our Imperial Storm Cloud. Once again, we used a large portion of flaked oats and wheat in the mash to provide a rich mouth feel. Subtle caramel malts were added to provide balance and sweetness to the massive dry hop additions. We selected a delicious blend of Idaho 7, Amarillo and Australian Ella hop to provide bold tropical and citrus forward flavors of Mango, Tangerine and Passion Fruit.

We both enjoyed Storm Clouds, and I like the Red Skies at Night, so we took home a growler of each.

Sep 1, 2019, Jersey Cyclone Brewing, Someerset — FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

The real Kodachrome film is dead but lives on as Fujifilm X camera film simulation recipes or as Adobe Lightroom Classic presets.

Ritchie Roesch has done a fine job of creating Film Simulation Recipes for Fujifilm cameras. Two of my favourites are his Kodachrome 64, Vintage Kodachrome, and Kodachrome II recipes for the Fujifilm X-Trans III or IV sensor cameras. These recipes create excellent straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) JPEG images, which I often use for social media. I recommend clicking the links to Ritchie's website and reviewing his recipes.

One of the downsides of SOOC JPEG images is that they are well, straight-out-of-camera. Sometimes I want to correct for perspective, vertical or horizontal alignment, a crop to remove distractions, etc. I can do this in Adobe Lightroom Classic, but of course, I lose the look from the film simulation recipe. I could edit the SOOC JPEGs, but I prefer to retain as much image quality as possible. With the Classic K14 Lightroom Presets, I get the best of both.

For most SOOC JPEGs, I have used Ritchie’s Kodachrome II film simulation recipe. I used these JPEGs when I am out in the field, and I want an image for direct upload to my blog or for use in social media and when I am sure the as-is image suits my purpose. More often, I prefer to post-process the Fujifilm RAW image files (RAF) in Adobe Lightroom Classic before uploading them to my website for a blog post. Sometimes I want to remove a distracting object from the frame, something that I could not remove by re-framing or change the shadow or highlights in a particular section of an image frame, etc. JEPGS are not the best option for doing that. Often, after making my edits, I will apply an Adobe Lightroom Classic preset before uploading. Several months ago, I purchased the Classic K14 Lightroom Presets package from The Classics Presets.

The Classic K14 Lightroom Presets are an easy way for me to create the fashionable Kodachrome film look in Adobe Lightroom Classic and Photoshop Camera RAW. With this Adobe Lightroom Classic preset the camera profile is included to ensure the preset will perform uniquely for each camera model. The Classic K14 bundle includes additional tools to adjust the contrast, white balance, grain, and correct for orange skin. For images processed with the Classic K14 Lightroom Preset, I typically adjust only the exposure or white balance.

What do you think? Which image do you prefer?

I can apply this preset in Adobe Lightroom Classic during import or later using the develop module. Examples are given below for some of the images I took on my Nikon D5100, a rented Sony α7 and my Fujifilm X-T2.

I can also apply the Kodachrome II film simulation recipe to an un-edited RAF file using the Fujifilm X RAW Studio app. I applied the K14 Kodachrome inspired presets from The Classics Presets to the images below.

Jul 1, 2015 | Classic K14 | Sony α7M2 | Sony FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS
Aug 26, 2019 | Classic K14 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5

For comparison, I have included an image shot on my Fujifilm with the SOOC JPEG using Ritchie’s Kodachrome II film simulation recipe, and the Classic K14 Lightroom Preset applied to the Fujifilm RAF.

Street, Building, Colonial, Brick
Aug 30, 2019 | Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
Street, Building, Colonial, Brick
Aug 30, 2019 | Classic K14 64 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR