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

While my wife drove, I had fun capturing images out of the windshield while experimenting with the focusing ring of the aperture of my Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/2 lens attached to my Fujifilm X-T2.

Bokeh – FujiFilm X-T2 + Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/2 @ ISO 400

I'm experimenting with some vintage lenses and Fotodiox adapters. In a fit of nostalgia, I recently bought an Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II on eBay. It came with an Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lenses. This lens has an M42 mount. X-photographers such as Jonas Rask and amateurs such as Ritchie Roesch are adept at using vintage lenses with a Fuji X camera. I wanted to give it a try. I bought a Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter Compatible with M42 Screw Mount SLR Lens on Fuji X-Mount Cameras and mounted the Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lens to my Fuji X-T2.

All shots were handheld, so any softness in the photos is probably because of my unsteady hand. Please keep in mind that this is more of a superficial look at the kinds of results I might expect from this lens and adapter combination. It is not a review. It is me just wanting to be curious and find a reason to go out and shot and have some fun. If attaching an old lens to my modern "digital photon capturing device" does that for me, it might do that for you. I'm just having fun. After all, one of the reasons why I switched to the Fuji X system was the retro experience.

The Fuji X-T2 has an APS-C sensor. The crop factor is 1.5. That means that the 55mm lens on this camera has the same FOV as an 82.5mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera. Jonas Rask recommended the Mitakon Zhongyi Lens Turbo Adapter V2 for Full-Frame M42 Mount Lens to Fujifilm X Mount APS-C adapter.

The Lens Turbo Adapter V2 for Full-Frame M42 Mount Lens to Fujifilm X Mount APS-C Camera from Mitakon Zhongyi allows a full-frame M42 mount lens to be mounted onto a Fujifilm X mount camera. While doing so, the adapter approximates the lens's angle of view as if it were placed directly on a camera with a full-frame sensor while providing a 1-stop increase over the lens's aperture range.Jonas Rask

With the Mitakon Zhongyi Lens Turbo Adapter V2 for Full-Frame M42 Mount Lens to Fujifilm X Mount APS-C adapter, I could use the Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lens like a 55mm lens. I am considering buying an Asahi SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5 lens. On the Fuji X-T2, the lens would offer a ~42mm FOV, which is a normal FOV. This lens and adapter combination would be perfect for street photography.

The focus peaking feature of the Fuji X-T2 is handy for manually focusing this lens. The lens adapter does not transmit aperture settings back to the camera body. My biggest challenge is remembering which aperture setting I used to take the shot. The following sample photos reflect my unscientific testing: namely, attach the Asahi SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 lens to the Fuji X-T2 and shoot stuff around the neighbourhood. I shot using a modified version of Ritchie Roesch's Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe. The following is the result. The following JPEG images are straight out of cameras (SOOC).

Lens

  • Name: Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2
  • Mount: M42
  • Tested On: Fujifilm X-T2 with FotodioX M42-FX adapter
  • Zoom/Prime: Prime
  • Focal Length: 55mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2
  • Minimum Aperture: f/16
  • Diaphragm Blades: 6
  • Price Paid: US$45
  • Product Ratings (1=miserable, 5=excellent):
  • Construction Quality: 4
  • Image Quality: 4.5
  • Overall Value For Price: 4.5
  • Recommended: Yes

Lens Photos

Straight Out of the Camera (SOOC) | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
Seiko 5 Automatic | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
Ikigai-SIPA | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/2.8 | ISO200
FujiFilm X-T2 | FAsahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6.0 | ISO200
Self Storage | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
Eno Terra, Kingston | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
Kingston Mill House at the D&R Canal | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO200
Kiran | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 &124; ISO800
Lunch at Aunt Chubby's, Hopewell Township, Mercer County | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO500
Bokeh | FujiFilm X-T2 | Asahi Optical Co. Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f/2 | f/5.6 | ISO 400