I’m experimenting with some vintage lenses and Fotodiox adapters. In a fit of nostalgia, I recently bought an Asahi 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).

My “Nostalgia” Film Simulation Recipe starts with Classic Chrome.

  • Dynamic Range: DR100
  • Highlight Tone: +2
  • Shadow Tone: +2
  • Colour: -2
  • Noise Reduction: 0
  • Sharpening: 0
  • Grain Effect: Off
  • White Balance: AUTO
  • ISO: Auto between 200 & 12800
  • Exposure Compensation: None.
Straight Out of the Camera (SOOC) — FujiFilm X-T2 + Asahi Optical Company SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Seiko 5 Automatic — FujiFilm X-T2 + Asahi Optical Company SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 @ mm @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Ikigai-SIPA — FujiFilm X-T2 + Asahi Optical Company SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 @ (55 mm, f/2.8, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
FujiFilm X-T2 + FAsahi Optical Company SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 @ (55 mm, f/5.6.0, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Self Storage — FujiFilm X-T2 + Asahi Optical Company SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), © Khürt L. Williams
Eno Terra, Kingston — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm Asahi Optical Company SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams
Kingston Mill House at the D&R Canal — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm Asahi Optical Company SMC Takumar 55mm f/2 @ (55 mm, f/5.6, ISO200), © Khurt-Williams
Kiran — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm 55 mm @ (55 mm, f/1.0, ISO800), © Khürt L. Williams
Lunch at Aunt Chubby’s, Hopewell Township, Mercer County — FujiFilm X-T2 + Fujifilm 55 mm @ (55 mm, f/1.0, ISO500), © Khürt L. Williams

Tomorrow I will attend a Meetup of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. The group plans to walk to a site to view some eagles that are nesting along the swamps near Bordentown. I rented a Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC USD super telephoto lens to help me capture images of the eagles. I have no experience using this kind of lens so I took it out on my walk on the D&R Canal near the border with Princeton, West Windsor and Lawrenceville.

The air was cool and the filled with the sounds of birds calling out to each other. I’m not experienced with this and didn’t know how to find the birds in the trees. But I hear a coo-coo noise and followed the sound. I thought the sound was an owl but I knew that most owls are nocturnal. It was pigeon. Focus was easy but keeping my hands still, especially with such a large lens, was difficult.

I didn’t walk too far. That’s typical for me on a photo walk. There is so much to see that I don’t walk more than a few metres without stopping to snap a picture with my camera.

What did I learn? I learned that using a super telephoto lenses requires a very steady hand or better yet a tripod. The Tamron 150-600 (35mm) is 225-900mm on my Nikon D5100 with an APS-C sensor. The slightest movement gives a blurred image. I found that it was necessary to hold my breath and stay as still as possible. I think cutting back on your caffeine also helps.

I learned that super telephoto lenses loses a lot of light even during bright daylight. Shooting as wide open as possible helps. I also had to shoot at ISO 400. ISO 100 was just too low to get a usable shutter speed.

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