I've had so much fun with my Micro-Nikkor lens that I decided to go looking for something similar to use on my Spotmatics. I am always surprised at how very affordable most of the old Pentax M42 lenses are in comparison to the images they are capable of. I paid next to nothing for my 50mm f/4 Super Macro Takumar. Pentax made three different versions of this lens, mine was crafted somewhere between 1966-1971. Like all of the Takumar lenses of this period, focus feel is sublime. I'm really addicted to the focus action on these lenses and love how determined the f/stops click into place. Just a pleasure to shoot!
I decided to give my new lens a try on a very windy Sunday hike on the Kortrum Trail near Goat Rock Park on the Sonoma Coast. In retrospect, navigating cliff-side trails on a day when gusts were over 40 mph probably wasn't the best way to test a macro lens. I had a difficult time getting flowers to sit still for portraits. And the winds blew the ball cap off my head more than once.
I knew that focusing a slower lens like this f/4 might be a challenge with the Spotmatic, so I grabbed my SP with the split image focus screen. I shot these images on Kodak's Portra 400 film and set the Pentax to half the box speed.
Before I buy any camera or lens, I read as much as I can online. Most photographers gushed about this lens, but the negative comment I read over and over again was how disappointing the Super Macro Takumar was at infinity. I had this in mind when I shot this photo near the end of my roll of Portra. When I got the scans back from the lab, I was surprised and pleased. This lens seems fine at infinity, at least to my eye. And it has that classic Pentax color signature as well.
This lens focuses down to about 9 and a half inches. One might be able to use this as an all around normal lens with the bonus of close-focus ability if you could live with its slower speed. With a little patience, you can find one of these on eBay for under fifty bucks.
Shooting on the California coast on a day when the wind about knocks you off your feet is not advised. Next time, I'll wait for a calmer day and perhaps take my tripod.