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Asahi Ultra Achromatic Takumar 85mm f4.5: New Arrival

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#1 JMC

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 10:18

Very excited, as this arrived today. I feel very privileged....
Attached Image: IMG_1551asmallcopy.JPGAttached Image: IMG_1553smallcopy.JPG
Note, serial number has been removed from the photos. I'm looking forward to having a play with it. Not...excited...at...all....

#2 nfoto

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:37

Andrea has one of these and apparently likes it. Looking forward to your observations.
Bjørn Birna Rørslett

#3 Andrea B.

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 12:34

Very cool lens!! Congratulations, Jonathan, on the acquisition of the Ultra-Achromatic-Takumar 85/4.5 lens ! Use it in good health, as they say. I am also very humbled and privleged to be able to have and use such a fine lens.

I think you will find the UAT to be very well made and easy to use. Mine all have very smoothly operating aperture and focusing rings, so they have held up very well over the years since manufacture. The lens - 5/5, quartz/fluoride, apochromatic - is parfocal between UV, Vis and IR in the range 254-862 nm. However, that does depend sometimes on distance from subject - or the 'bumping' factor. I have on occasion needed to make (very, very) small focus adjustments between wavelengths. As mentioned, the tiny readjustment might also have been needed because there is no focus lock on the lens, so little jostles or bumps could conceivably move the focus barrel. There are no-to-very-low chromatic aberrations and no ringing when used with a non-dichroic filter.

The lens did not originally come with a hood, so I am using, as needed, a generic 52mm metal hood which was part of my StraightEdgeU filter package from UVR Defense Tech (UVR Optics). Such items are easily found on Ebay also. The UAT does not have a propensity to flare, but I use a hood with it in outdoor field conditions anyway. Helps to protect the end of the lens when one's rig topples over into the dirt. :D (If this has never happened to anyone else, thank your Lucky Stars!)

Now, are you all set up with respect to flange focal distance to use the UAT on your camera choice? I'd have to search through your posts to find what camera gear you are using. For those folks curious about the UAT, this manual focus lens was prototyped in 1966 by Asahi Optical Co. (which became Pentax which became part of Ricoh). It was manufactured between 1973-1977. The UAT has an M42x1 screw mount and requires a 45.46 mm flange focal distance to attain infinity focus. Thus the UAT is easily adapted to short FFD mounts: Pentax, m4/3 (19.25 mm) or Sony E (18 mm). I'm not sure about the Canon EF/EFS mount with its 44 mm FFD, but I'm sure there are adapters out there somewhere for that 1.46 mm gap. The UAT is a no-go on a Nikon (46.5 mm) for infinity focus. Still useable for Nikon close-work though.

I've never used the filters in the boxed set. They were created for the film days. Also, with age, filters can get oxidized - as mine are. Our UVP member Cadmium recommends using a cerium oxide paste for polishing up old filters. Now that I have a sample to try, I will use it on the old UAT filters to try to preserve them.

Enjoy, enjoy !! B) B) B)
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#4 JMC

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 14:10

Thanks for the information Andrea. Yes, I am using this on my Eos and have an M42 adapter already. Mounting and use isn't a problem. So far I have taken a few test shots only, and it looks to be very sharp, and is very smooth to operate. I wasn't planning on using the original filters, but it is nice to have them. I hadn't thought about a hood, so will look into that. One thing which did surprise me was how small it looks on a modern SLR.