Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Started Mar 3, 2012 | Discussions
Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Anyone here owning one? This must be one of the rarest Takumars out there and also one of the most expensive. I have the price list from 1972 and only the 1000mm f/8 Takumar was more expensive. The 85mm f/4.5 Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar was 5 times the price of the 85mm f/1.8 Super-Multi-Coated Takumar.

I was lucky to find one in my country. It is in a less than desirable shape and well worn outside. But I had the chance to try it before purchasing, and despite its worn appearance it's still a Takumar in all aspects: thanks to the tight tolerances and high quality focusing grease the focusing is still buttery smooth without any play. The diaphragm works perfectly too.

Usually this lens comes complete with a box and several filters, but not this one.

What's so special about the 85mm f/4.5 Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar? It's a 5/5 design by Yasuo Takahashi which does not contain glass. The five elements are made of Quartz and Fluorite. The front element is concave (!) and it's completely uncoated (!), because coating blocks UV light.

It's not the fastest lens around, but it's very sharp and, thanks to its design, completely devoid of CA and PF even in the worst conditions. It easily outperforms APO (ED) glass because of that. And this also means that the focus does not shift in UV and IR light (the reason that many lenses have an IR marker is that the infrared focal plane differs from the focal plane for visible light).

Well, let me show a quick shot to show how sharp and contrasty it is...

viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,156
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Great shot! It would be really nice to have a lens without longitudinal CA Do you have a photo of the lens too?

Eric
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Jim King
Jim King Veteran Member • Posts: 8,585
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Ahh, Peter, you are always ahead and I'll never catch up...

Seriosly, congratulations on your acquisition of this unique Pentax lens, and thanks for sharing a photo with us. May we have some more, please? I'd also welcome some additional background on its history, and how it was used when it first came on the market.

Do Canon and Nikon have anything similar?

Here's a link to the manual for this lens: http://www.macrolenses.de/bilder/test/UA_Tak_OpManual.pdf
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OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

viking79 wrote:

Great shot! It would be really nice to have a lens without longitudinal CA Do you have a photo of the lens too?

Indeed, I hate CA in all its forms and shapes, so the UA Takumar saved the day

I will post a photo of my worn example soon, but in the meantime this probably will do also, made by the seller:

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Jim King wrote:

Ahh, Peter, you are always ahead and I'll never catch up...

Seriosly, congratulations on your acquisition of this unique Pentax lens, and thanks for sharing a photo with us. May we have some more, please? I'd also welcome some additional background on its history, and how it was used when it first came on the market.

Do Canon and Nikon have anything similar?

Here's a link to the manual for this lens: http://www.macrolenses.de/bilder/test/UA_Tak_OpManual.pdf

Jim, I am not really ahead but sometimes I have more luck...

I'm very happy with this one though because of its worn shape. I will certainly use it more than a minty one...

The lens will be on my K-5 for the coming weeks (spring is around the corner!) so I will definitely post more samples. At the moment I have nothing more than a few test samples to see how it performs in difficult conditions.

It does not have "bokeh-CA":

Marco Cavina has some excellently written articles on this lens (albeit in Italian):

http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_fotografici/UA-Takumar_vetri/00_pag.htm

http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_fotografici/articolo_obiettivi_uv.pdf

Stomie Veteran Member • Posts: 3,119
The complete kit...

I don't think that this is a good user lens for general photography.

Yes you could use it for portraiture or location macro etc, but why not use something that is almost as sharp, maybe even as sharp, has better bokeh, is faster & easier to use & is more suited to the task? No one notices mild CA and PF under normal real world circumstances.

Yes, it has a very nice quality of sharpness & depth & a very flat field which is sharp to the outermost edges, however ....it's bokeh is significantly nervous in most circumstances & to tame it one must tame contrast in the background lighting. It was designed for technical & scientific macro use in a lab where under controlled lighting it excels.

I think too many folks over-romanticize & become overly serious with their hardware experiences & acquisitions here.....Have fun & enjoy your new lens.

Jim King
Jim King Veteran Member • Posts: 8,585
Interesting - thanks, Peter (NT)
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Jim King - Retired Colormonger - Suburban Detroit, Michigan, USA; GMT -4h (EDT)
Pentaxian for over 50 years.

* * * * *
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  • Sir Winston Churchill

* * * * *
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leopold Forum Pro • Posts: 14,083
Re: The complete kit...

Wow !
I never thought i would see someone owning that lens!

Looking forward to seeing more shots.
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exdeejjjaaaa
exdeejjjaaaa Veteran Member • Posts: 8,263
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Jim King wrote:

Do Canon and Nikon have anything similar?

http://www.macrolenses.de/objektive_sl.php

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OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: The complete kit...

Stomie wrote:

I don't think that this is a good user lens for general photography.

Indeed, as this was never meant for general photography. But I don't care...

Yes you could use it for portraiture or location macro etc, but why not use something that is almost as sharp, maybe even as sharp, has better bokeh, is faster & easier to use & is more suited to the task? No one notices mild CA and PF under normal real world circumstances.

Well, for that I already have the FA* 85/1.4 and the 83mm f/1.9 Takumar. All of these lenses have their own virtues... So why not add a lens which is more technically perfect than the other two?

Yes, it has a very nice quality of sharpness & depth & a very flat field which is sharp to the outermost edges, however ....it's bokeh is significantly nervous in most circumstances & to tame it one must tame contrast in the background lighting. It was designed for technical & scientific macro use in a lab where under controlled lighting it excels.

I did notice the nervous bokeh also. But that does not mean it couldn't work

I think too many folks over-romanticize & become overly serious with their hardware experiences & acquisitions here.....Have fun & enjoy your new lens.

I 100% agree with your last sentence!

BTW: is that your UA Takumar kit? If so then congratulations also!

Raffwal
Raffwal Regular Member • Posts: 373
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Peter, always interesting to read about your photography adventures.

If these lenses were made for UV and IR photography, a technical use of some sort, do you know what is the history of this individual lens? What use has it been in?

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kuuan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,663
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

congratulations Peter for this very very rare lens!

I guess your collection must be almost complete, is there any of the whole Pentax lens line, or let's say of Takumars, that you still don't have?

and I am always amazed at the clarity and colors of your photos, once again these details of the blue eyes of your son! - like I never have achieved even once!
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dick eduard
dick eduard Senior Member • Posts: 1,470
Fantastic Peter

Hi Peter, I never has responded on your shots with all kind of special lenses. But I like you to know that I allways look and has become jalous on your skills. I simply like your style. Imo the framing around gives the quality of the picture more exposure. ( I don't know where you find it)
I'm looking forward to see your pics again

cheers

Dick

JL Salvignol
JL Salvignol Senior Member • Posts: 1,695
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Peter, you are an happy man!

Yasuo Takahashi : Is there a relationship with the Takahashi legendaries - and so expensives - apo refractors?
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OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

Raffwal wrote:

Peter, always interesting to read about your photography adventures.

If these lenses were made for UV and IR photography, a technical use of some s

Erkki, unfortunately that information is unknown. The previous owner bought a small undescribed lot of lenses on the Dutch Marktplaats (some sort of Craigslist) and one of these was the UA Tak with the original red filter attached. So I and the previous owner don't know.

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

kuuan wrote:

congratulations Peter for this very very rare lens!

I guess your collection must be almost complete, is there any of the whole Pentax lens line, or let's say of Takumars, that you still don't have?

Thanks Andreas! My collection changes on a weekly basis. Sometimes I have more, sometimes I have less. I now concentrate on the more desirable Takumars like the 100/2 and 100/3.5. As you know I already have the Tas "Sonnars" and "Heliars"

and I am always amazed at the clarity and colors of your photos, once again these details of the blue eyes of your son! - like I never have achieved even once!

It must be the clean Dutch winter air!

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Fantastic Peter

dick eduard wrote:

Hi Peter, I never has responded on your shots with all kind of special lenses. But I like you to know that I allways look and has become jalous on your skills. I simply like your style. Imo the framing around gives the quality of the picture more exposure. ( I don't know where you find it)
I'm looking forward to see your pics again

Dick, thank you! I want to stress again that I'm just an average photographer. I know how to make technical perfect shots, but that's not the same as taking shots which are artsy or otherwise pleasing on the eye. Just know how to properly expose the shots, how to develop them from RAW and you're almost there.

The frame is a Photoshop script I bought from http://www.absolutesharpening.com . Unfortunately it does not seem to exist anymore. I know that the owner is/was a Pentax user. Anyone know who he/she is?

OP Peter Jonkman Senior Member • Posts: 1,007
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

JL Salvignol wrote:

Peter, you are an happy man!

I am!

Yasuo Takahashi : Is there a relationship with the Takahashi legendaries - and so expensives - apo refractors?

Good question, I do not know. Maybe the name (in combination with the manufacture and use of fluorite) is a coincidence, maybe not. Hopefully there are some more knowledgeable people on this forum?

ogl
ogl Senior Member • Posts: 1,887
Re: Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85mm f/4.5

What's so special about the 85mm f/4.5 Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar? It's a 5/5 design by Yasuo Takahashi which does not contain glass. The five elements are made of Quartz and Fluorite. The front element is concave (!) and it's completely uncoated (!), because coating blocks UV light.

Superb!!!

By the way, transparent colourless Fluorite is VERY rare mineral and used for lenses before.

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dick eduard
dick eduard Senior Member • Posts: 1,470
Re: Fantastic Peter

Peter, to take perfect shots and work on them pp is imo an art too. For me your photo's has allways extra power and feeling

Cheers

Dick

Peter Jonkman wrote:

dick eduard wrote:

Hi Peter, I never has responded on your shots with all kind of special lenses. But I like you to know that I allways look and has become jalous on your skills. I simply like your style. Imo the framing around gives the quality of the picture more exposure. ( I don't know where you find it)
I'm looking forward to see your pics again

Dick, thank you! I want to stress again that I'm just an average photographer. I know how to make technical perfect shots, but that's not the same as taking shots which are artsy or otherwise pleasing on the eye. Just know how to properly expose the shots, how to develop them from RAW and you're almost there.

The frame is a Photoshop script I bought from http://www.absolutesharpening.com . Unfortunately it does not seem to exist anymore. I know that the owner is/was a Pentax user. Anyone know who he/she is?

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