Pentax 50mm f1.4 Super-Takumar M42 8-Element Screw Mount Lens on an NEX-7

Started Oct 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
Charlie Lab
Charlie Lab Regular Member • Posts: 383
Re: Pentax 50mm f1.4 Super-Takumar M42 8-Element Screw Mount Lens on an NEX-7

flaxx wrote:

I attached the 7-Element version of the Super-Tak (50mm, f/1.4) to my Nex-7 today. I still had it from my old spotmatic my dad gave to me when I was a teen. It is kind of weird shooting through a lens I used last time 20 years ago. It is a bit yellow, but I'll guess I be able to fix that with the UV light treatment.

I find it quite hard to focus manually, though. Focus peaking is not much help for portraits and I did not know how to get the MF assist (enlarged area) working. Is there any way to put this on a key ? Using the focus dial does not work

The other thing is the very shallow depth of field with this lens wide open. quite tricky. Would anybody know how this lens compares to the Sony 50 mm, f/1.8 ? I guess if most of my baby shots are out of focus, I need to go back to modern technology ...

The yellow is definitely treatable, it helps with the sharpness/contrast as well. It took a good week under a blacklight to fix mine.

You will find focus peaking works fairly well with the pupils. If you can get a glint of peaking in the pupil, shoot first and ask questions later. That being said, the depth of field at 1.4 is a couple mm deep, so it's pretty much impossible to nail that with a moving subject... and the focus area will never be razor sharp wide open. I would suggest stopping down to even 2 or 2.8 where these lenses are remarkably sharp, and it will give you a more practical depth of field.

I take almost all my family photos with wide aperture manual lenses, and I find it good practice just to take 3 or 4 shots in quick succession, moving my head slightly closer and farther as I do so. This moves the narrow focal range a little, which leads to more successful eye focus.  I'm still  learning, though.

No doubt the auto-focus is simpler, but I really enjoy the act of manual focus, and like the fact that I can take both all the blame for bad shots and all the credit for good shots with these old lenses.  I am pretty sure that one can get good at this with practice.

Just remembered I took some pics at a friend's son's birthday party with the 50/1.4... here are a few from that day... I do like the rendering of this lens, even for mundane things.

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