Two screwmount 50mm Pentax lenses…
We recently got some unique lenses in our Used Department — two screwmount Pentax lenses — both 50/1.4, but very different from each other. One has a high market value — even today! And the other will deliver a verrrrry unique look, whether you use it on film or digital.
The first lens is the Pentax Super Takumar. As it says on the Pentax Forums: “The first version of the Super Takumar 50mm F1.4 had 8 lens elements. Notice the cemented triplet with curved surfaces — very difficult and expensive to manufacture and it’s said Asahi lost money on every copy sold; hence it didn’t last very long.” This lens was exceptional then and it’s STILL a standout! This lens is selling for $350.
The other 50mm/1.4 Super Takumar we have is the “radioactive” glass version. As they say on PetaPixel, “some camera manufactures from decades ago chose to use the radioactive elements lanthanum and thorium in their camera lenses (and sometimes viewfinders) in order to increase the glass’ index of refraction.” While it IS a sharp lens, and a good performer, it’s not the eight-element, and its value is not nearly as high. The radioactive 50mm/1.4 is selling for only $60!
So, the outcome of the radioactive glass is a heavy yellowing inside the lens. Take a look at these sample pics…all shot on an Olympus E-M1iii…the 50/1.4 eight-element, the 50/1.4 radioactive, and an Olympus 45/1.8 — so they all had the same angle of view.