Super-Takumar 35mm 3.5

Front view of a Super-Takumar 35mm f3.5 lens
Front view of a Super-Takumar 35mm f3.5 lens
Super-Takumar 35mm 3.5

Focal Lenght: 35mm
Max Apeture: 3.5 – 16
Lens Mount: M42
Min. Focus: 0.45 mm
Filter Size: 49mm
Weight: 150 g
Coated: Yes
A/M switch

LENS STORY

When I got my first camera and started reading up on technical details I gave too much importance things I did not understand. I read about sensor crop factor, how much better full frame is and all sorts of stuff that make me feel like I needed better or different gear. That’s the easy way isn’t it? Lack of knowledge or experience? Nah, you just don’t have the right lens.

I was shocked my 50mm lens was actually a 80mm. How would I use it now?! Everyone stresses the importance of a 50mm in your kit. This was at a time where I didn’t fully realize the benefits of different focals lenghts. Silly wasn’t I? 

The 35mm Super-Takumar was my first wider lens. I used it, when I didn’t understand it and I loved it. Years later I used it again, with a bit more learning behind me (and tons more to go) for this review and I still love it.

HANDLING

The condition of my copy is brilliant. Glass elements are near perfect, focus – my god, smooth as butter. There is some wear on the paint that I personally like. (What better way for an item to show it’s been loved, than slight signs of use?)

The focus, the focus, the focus! This is the most enjoyable lens I’ve used in regards to focus. The build quality is absolutely brilliant, from aperture ring to A/M switch.

The 49mm filter size makes it easy to use with a fairly common filter size. When I bought it I was very happy it took the same filter as my 50mm 1.8 Canon lens.

One thing I absolutely adore about this lens is how tiny it is – it feels like a little mechanical marvel. If I’m travelling light and need a 35mm I usually grab this one.

The minimum focusing distance is slightly annoying, but that’s most likely me being biased and a Carl Zeiss Flektogon whispering sweet close-ups in my ear.

My weeks of use for this review coinsided with a spark of interest in night urban photography. 

This lens has trouble with flaring during the day(if you’re not careful). Well – it’s the same at night, a park with a few lamps had light ricocheting all over the frame, bouncing and ghosting.

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

Decent enough wide open – as expected of a slower lens. It sharpens up nicely between 5.6 – 8, so no complaints there. It serves it’s purpose for shots that required more detail. 

Contrast was superb and I was really happy with it.

Nice and vivid colors, with some “punch” as annoying as that sounds.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

This lens isn’t that special on paper. Some might call it mediocre. But the combination of size, sharpness and handling, really gets me. It might be a sentimental thing, but I really like this lens. It’s a bang for buck lens, that likes landscapes and details and doesn’t weigh my bag down.

If I sat in a cardboard box that had “Time Machine” written in marker on it and went back, I’d buy it again in an instant