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Friday, 31 August 2007

Photographic journey #5 - Old on New: Takumar on a Pentax K10D

So i've been pretty busy learning and playing around with my K10D and I must admit i'm pretty happy with the results for only picking up a camera about 6 months ago. Enough self back patting, I still have a lot to learn and understand about photography and I feel that i'm being held back due to my limited lens arsenal. Problem is, I'm not a rich man, not even well off so I need lenses that can offer me quality at a reasonable price.

At the moment I have the Astron 35-70 mm (shit in low light and not enough zoom for a walk-around lens but decent enough in natural light and maybe a good portrait lens). I also have the Pentax kit lens, the 18-55 mm (again, not enough range). The two great things about these lenses though is that they're both 52mm wide and fit the macro filters I have.

I guess I'm looking for a lens that will take me to at least 135mm if not 200mm, just to get some decent zoom shots. Since I'm in Japan, I don't feel comfortable bidding on ebay, not sure why so don't ask but what we do have is Yahoo Auctions and Rakuten which is a new, used and auction shopping portal. Also, Japan is swamped with old and new photographic equipment and those two sites are great for finding some pretty good prices.

After doing some searches on Yahoo Auctions, I found some Takumar lenses from Asahi Pentax. They look like a 100 years old and obviously wouldn't fit on my K10D anyway, but they looked interesting so I did some reasearch. Rumour has it that with a nifty little converter from Pentax, these old school M42 screw mount lenses do actually work with my DSLR. Again, The K10D impresses.

After a few weeks of looking and bidding on Yahoo Auctions, I came across a set which consisted of the following;

Black Asahi Spotmatic - Not working
Silver Asahi Spotmatic - Working
Super Takumar 3.5/135mm - w/lens hood
Super Takumar 1.8/55mm - w/lens hood
SMC Takumar 3.5/28mm - w/lens hood

All lenses had no mold, very few dents & scratches and seemed be in working order. After placing a few bids, I came on top and the above set cost me about 10,000 yen ($85US, $105AUD). I also bought a screw mount converter through Rakuten for about 2,500 yen and a week later I had a whole new photographic world to experiment with.