This Old Lens: Zag instead of zig. An affordable vintage Takumar 50mm f/4 macro.

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There is little greater joy for me than to:

  1. Save money. Love a good deal.
  2. Breathe new life in to old gear.

Not the first time I found an affordable macro option. See my frankenmacro blog entry for Sony full frame.  I really like macro lenses, but at times they are difficult lenses to justify. Due to their sharpness they do tend to make great lenses for other uses, even portraiture, but owing to their long focus reach they can be a challenge to use with autofocus. Focus limiters do help, but quick focus at normal ranges is not usually their thing and macro shooting still usually favors manual focus.

Fujifilm does not yet have a true factory macro yet since the 60mm does not focus down to 1:1 (cough, not a macro), may not be expensive but is definitely not cheap considering it’s rare distinction of being a relatively unloved Fujifilm lens going on reviews. The Zeiss Touit  50mm native mount option is a well reviewed lens with actual 1:1 macro capabilities, but costs just under a grand and I have a host of excellent lenses around that focal length already. Plus as is usual most recommend using manual focus when shooting macro… So why not get a manual focus lens? Having recently acquired a fantastic Zhongyi adapter that allows native full frame viewing angles with M42 vintge lenses while also adding near a stop of light I zagged to the Takumar 50mm f/4.0 Macro lens. Already familiar with what Takumar lenses can do this was an easy decision. Reminding me of one of my favorite previous macro lenses from Pentax it has a snoot (highly technical I know) that juts out making it’s macro intentions clear.



Came with caps and original case from for around $100 I must say I am quite pleased. Here are some high points and sample photos below.

  • Another win teamed with the Zhongyi LensturboII and any of my FujiFilm digital cameras. Easy to focus with either focus peaking or split screen.
  • As an added bonus since it is an M42 mount it works wonderfully on my Pentax film bodies.
  • Like my other Takumars sharpness and color rendition are exceptional.
  • In no way impacts IQ, but built like a tank and it is quite the looker like other Takumar lenses as well.

Enough talk. Online gallery that will be updated as I use it more here. Sample shots below. Happy shooting.




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