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SMC Takumar 50mm F/1.4

SMC Takumar 50mm F/1.4

I recently saw a good deal on the Takumar 50mm F/1.4 and I was thinking whether or not I should get it. So I did some research online and this is what I found.

The orange tint of the front element’s coating, as it can be seen  in the above photo, is an indicator of the lens’ properties and all other lenses sharing this dirty little secret will have it as well. Can you guess what it is?

The SMC Takumar 50mm F/1.4 lens is legendary for its sharpness but it hides a dirty little secret. It’s Radioactive! Yes that’s right, radioactive! It would seem that  the legendary sharpness comes with a price. Here’s a Flickr gallery of photos shot with the Takumar 50mm F/1.4 by some courageous fellow photographers.

2 videos below measuring the radioactivity levels of the SMC Takumar 50mm F/1.4 bring actual proof to this allegation. It remains one of the sharpest vintage lenses out there but only you can decide if it’s worth the trouble.

I for one wouldn’t bother.

Here’s a list of other radioactive lenses, courtesy of camerapedia, which I suggest you check out before you actually buy an old lens. You can also check out my Vintage lenses Buying Guide here.

Photo credit Jeff K

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