Thoughts on Takumar Asahi 28-80 Macro


I have no more remorse over my impulse purchase of Takumar Asahi 28-80 Macro upon expiration notice from eBay for $37 through the buy-it-now option with J.D.Katz in eBay. And I wish the store owner can stock up on Pentax gear and he is a perfect score eBay vendor on Minota gear. And I for one have given him perfect rating over the purchase. Here are few positive thoughts on the inexpensive lens
  • Manual focusing is difficult but not as bad as I thought it would be.

  • Color and Contrast seems to be better than my impressions on DA 18-55 but I certainly miss the AF in the kit's lens over manual focusing.

  • Sharpness seems better with this zoom than DA 18-55.

  • The zoom range from 28-80 is much more usable for my causal walk around use with static objects such as flowers and scenery with buildings. I seldom use at 18mm in my kit's len as I don't have the opportunity in traveling landscape scenery and at wide open, I think the kit's len is soft. I find the zoom 28-80 much more versatile in casual street photography.

  • The lens is on the heavy side though. It is much heavier than the kit's len but better built in my initial impressions.

  • Focusing ring is wider than that in my DA lens. I find it acceptable in the manual focusing with focus trap technique in moving the focusing ring past the spot with red light for focusing lock. I usually find myself not locking focus the first time reaching the spot. It usually take me three trials in order to get the focus lock and shutter release enabled.

    Update: after further exploration with M42 lens such as Pentacon 50mm f/1.8, I find the Takumar focusing ring much harder to tune for focus as compared to older M42 lens. It is wider than the kit's lens but not wide enough for the fine tuning needed in manual focusing. I guess I get what I pay for. On the Takumar, the focusing ring is quite slippery to tune for a stable position.
    It would have been nice if the ring is wider and not as slippery.

  • At night time, the manual focusing part is way harder as the lens is slow wide open at f/3.5. But manual focusing is still manageable, not great though.

  • It is impossible for me to focus off center without using the navigation to shift focus point. I am used to center focus and recompose the shot. I have only managed to do center focus so far with manual focusing method.

  • Due to fine tunning required in manual focusing, it is much hard to do vertical oriented pictures than horizontal one.

  • Macro, the lens does macor at 80mm, it surprises me with the Macro in getting a close distance though I don't have the specific on how close I can get, perhaps somewhere less than a feet

  • Lens Flare: it does happen when I take a shot on purpurse and I have since purchased an inexpensive lens hood to add to my gear along with better front cap.

Picture of Takumar with added lens hood

Picture of Takumar in original purchase
Courtesy from store owner
J.D.Katz in eBay

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Taufik Eko Yudanto said...

About the LBA, I my self has also suffering from that. I have my K100D for only merely 4 month but I can not control my self from buying more and more lens (which is cheap). 6 month before having the K100D I purchased the SMC-Takumar 50mm/f1.4 from a friend. 1 month later, I bought Pentax-M 134mm/f3.5 (already sold). 2 weeks after purchacing the K100D I got a Fujinon 35mm/f1.9 and a M42 to K mount adapter so I can attach the takumar 50 and fujinon 35 to K100D.
Right now, I have a line up of pentax mount lenses:
- DA 18-55mm kit lens (hardly used)
- SMC Takumar 50mm/f1.4 (M42)
- Fujinon 35mm/f1.9 (M42)
- Vivitar 135mm/f2.8 (M42)
- Pentax-A 50mm/f2
- Pentax-M 35mm/f2.8
- Pentax 45-125/f4

Recently I won the Takumar-A 28-80mm from eBay but I have no single information about this lenses nor the sample picture from this lens, and I very thankful that I found your blogspot to see the the sample picture from the particular lens. I think we have a same problem, the LBA...

Hin Man said...

Taufik, thank you so much for your comment. I am overwhelmed with your warm comment. I am as excited as ever with my K100D especially after I get my M42 adapter over the long labor day weekend. I am sure I will join you for the 135mm and perhaps some 35mm would be nice. I would like to look into 85 and 105 for m42 also. Thanks for all the valuable pointers to your rich collection. I can really reread to gain LBA crush on the list.

Mark Sargeant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Sargeant said...

I also have this lens. I picked it up with a Pentax P30t film SLR. An excellent combination it is to. I also use it comfortably on my Samsung GX-1L. So pleased it works in a useable way on both film and digital bodies.

So using it with:
the 18-55mm kit lens
50 mm F1.7 Cosinon prime
and a 1x1.5 teleconverter I feel quite sorted for lens at the moment. Hardly take more than two lens out just using one at a time.

I've a M 80-200mm telephoto that I only use on a few occasions now on my DSLR as the 28-80mm feels alot better in use. Not an A lens versus a manual lens argument. I for myself like focusing manual because my GX-1L is poor performance for autofocus in low light and I like manual mode anyway ;)I find the focal range is more useful to my eye as a walk about lens. I find the 80-200mm the manual lens lends it self to landscapes very well as a medium telephoto in comparison for myself. Other peoples millage may vary but that makes life interting though I think as it's people who take images rather than cameras. Haven't used it on the film body yet though.

Picture of Pentax A 28-80mm macro on my P30t

image i've taken with it the use in macro mode and on P30t film SLR

I like the blog. Good to hear another persons experiences with a camera and taking photos.


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