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Playing around with a stock 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 ...
Now, with an SMC Takumar 105 and a CZJ Flektogon 35 too ...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fixing the infinite focus on a Super Takumar 24mm ...

A few months ago i bought a Super Takumar 24 f/3.5 in minty conditions for a few bucks. The lens was really clean and i noticed no faults, but, since i hadn't my camera with me, i didn't test it immediately ... Little mistake, because, although it performed really well on close focus subjects, i noticed a lack of infinity focus on landscapes. So, after logging on one of my preferred forums, i asked for some help on fixing this, and got two replies really interesting from glasbak and Just1moreDave, i decided to try my second lens surgery (the first one was on a Carl Zeiss Tessar 50 f/2.8) ...

The intervention succeeded, so, just in case someone other would have a Takumar with the same symptoms, here are the detailed instructions.
But, be warned before you start:

I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOUR LENS BECOMES USELESS AFTER THAT

The surgical team: a basin cap (possibly brand new), a pair of tweezers, a precision flat screwdriver, some adhesive tape, a clean workbench and ... a camera for testing.

At first, the front name ring must be removed. I used a brand new basin cap, much more cheaper that the dedicated rubber tool. Be sure that the filter thread is clean before proceeding (eventually, you can use a toothpick and/or a droplet of WD40) ...
01 - IMGP4495

Applying the tool to unscrew the name ring ...
02 - IMGP4496

Name ring removed, time to remove the filter ring unscrewing the three screws inside (not shown, i would have needed a ring flash) ...
03 - IMGP4497

Putting a mark using adhesive tape, just in case it would be needed later ...
04 - IMGP4498

Filter ring removed, now starts the fun ...
05 - IMGP4499

Note the focus position, the lens MUST BE focused on infinite ...
06 - IMGP4500

After unscrewing a little (no need to remove) the three screws that bind the focusing barrel to the lens, the barrel becomes loosen, so i slightly turned clockwise - Be careful: my lens needed this, but your may need turning counter-clockwise ... Now the focus mark is on the "3" index - but this is not a rule of thumb: the amount of shift may be different, since this when you do "try-and-adjust-again" ...
07 - IMGP4501

Now, the real fun: just screw in only one of the three screws, mount the lens on a camera, take some pictures, and check crops for infinite focus. If you don't get it, just unscrew a little the screw you fixed, turn the barrel again, and do another check ...

After 3 hours spent on finding the right turn angle to get infinite focus, the filter ring is screwed in back ... Note that the marks no longer match: it's normal, since the barrel has been turned ...
08 - IMGP4549

Surgery finished, rings mounted back, lens as new ...
09 - IMGP4551

And the final result:
10 - IMGP4567

More shots with this great lens coming soon ...

All pictures taken with my K10D with kit 18-55 lens and a Metz 45 CL-4 Digital for lightning.

Note added the 12 October 2008: As kindly reported in the comments to this post, this technique works also with the Super Takumar 50/1.4. Moreover, i have been able to fix an SMC Takumar 50/1.4 this way, and another user from a manual lenses forum did the same with its Takumar 35/3.5.

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28 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

This worked great for me on a Super-Takumar 50mm 1.4. Thanks for the info and clear instructions.

TP

October 8, 2008 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hello, glad to see that this has been helpful to someone ... I, too, just fixed and SMC Tak 50/1.4 this way ...

Thanks for your comment.

October 11, 2008 at 12:54 AM  
Anonymous HT said...

I tried it on my 55/1.8 and got some improvement..no home run

November 14, 2008 at 5:41 PM  
Anonymous HT said...

Did wonder's for my takumar 50/1.4 Thanks better than the 55/1.8. I now have nice in-focus night pictures. God bless!

November 16, 2008 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hello HT,

Nice to ear that this worked for you too ...

Thanks for visiting and your comments.

November 19, 2008 at 1:31 AM  
Blogger orly_andico said...

This also worked for me on my 35/3.5 Super-Takumar.

January 27, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hello orly_andico,

Many thanks for sharing this useful info ... I think i will make another post listing all the Takumars that may be fixed this way ...

Thanks for commenting

January 31, 2009 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger caeidt said...

I don't understand why you're going to all the trouble of repairing these lenses. If you use the proper K mount adapter for M42 lenses that fits flush with the camera body you achieve infinity focus. I have a Super Takumar 55mm f1.8 and a Takumar 135mm f3.5 that work perfectly with this type of adapter:http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/97561-REG/General_Brand_ABPKS_Pentax_K_Body_to_Universal

March 14, 2009 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hello Caeidt,

Just replied in the other post ...
Fixing only the lenses that needed to, because someone adapted them to a camera with a different register distance (or simply because someone tried to clean them and failed to properly mount them back) ...

March 23, 2009 at 2:21 AM  
Blogger Toby said...

Just a note that I took the front name ring off a Super Tak 50 f/1.4 simply by using the eraser portion of a pencil. The eraser had enough grip to unscrew it.

October 3, 2009 at 2:00 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Toby, sorry for the late reply, but thanks for the hint ...

December 13, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you who have tried this on the SMC 1:1.4/50mm, what size screw driver did you use? When I get the name plate off I see three tiny phillips screws. I can't seem to get a grip on them with a #00 phillips driver.

thanks!

PK

July 21, 2010 at 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahh, Nevermind. Looks like whoever had the lens apart before had liberally applied some kind of thread locker. I've got it apart now!

July 21, 2010 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi,

Glad to see that you were able to fix it ...

Thanks for your interest here and for commenting ...

August 7, 2010 at 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES! finally set my Super Takumar 3.5/24! It only had focused to about 2 meter. Now it doesn't look as beautiful anymore, but I hope it focuses right, see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kuuan/4915791562/#/photos/kuuan/4915791562/lightbox/
Thank you so much for your instructions IndianaDinos!
kuuan - Andreas

August 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Andreas, glad to read that you have been able to fix your lens ...

Thanks for reading and commenting ...

August 29, 2010 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Dr. Faustus said...

Where I can buy the basin cap? do you know the online store which sells it?

March 6, 2011 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Dr Faustus,

The cap is manufactured by Wirquin. It is available on this page in the Drainage section at the bottom of the page, under the label "Universal plug".

Unluckily, i don't know if they sell it online, you should check if there is a distributor in your country.

Otherwise, if you get the principle of operations, you could try to find something equivalent ...

Hope this helps ...

March 7, 2011 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Followed your tutorial. I have a Mir-24H with similar infinity focus problems - not quite the same set up but has three screws that seem to be doing a similar job.

Will try tomorrow - too late to start tonight - might yet add a Russian lens type to your list.

Thanks for your patient explanations.

TC

June 14, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Tom, glad to see that it seems to work for other lenses too ... I would be really happy if i could add a new lens to the list ...

Let me know how it evolves and thanks to you for spending your time here and commenting ...

June 17, 2011 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger creosote said...

thanks for all the help - just fixed my 50 1.4. I can focus beyond 3 meters now.

July 18, 2011 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi creosote, glad to read it worked for you too ...

Thanks for leaving your feedback here ...

July 22, 2011 at 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude,

Thanks for the detailed instructions. I used it to readjust infinite focus on my ol' Tak 50 1.4. Got it just right and in 10 minutes.
On the old TAK, the three screws to undo are on the Brass colored ring.
Cheers

January 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi, thanks to you for spending your time here and for your feedback ...

Glad to see that these notes are useful to other people ...

February 29, 2012 at 1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! It worked very well for my Takumar 50mm 1.4...

June 13, 2014 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the guide! However I can't get my Takumar 55 1.8 to focus to infinity. Even if I remove the focusing grip and try turning the lens further towards infinity it just stops. It appears the helicoid's thread runs out so it stops. Is there a way to adjust the helicoid aswell?

February 22, 2016 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Hreidmar said...

Can this be done for Nikon F mount cameras too or just for Pentax? :)

January 30, 2017 at 5:18 AM  
Anonymous Kiwi Jono said...

Worked perfectly for a Pentax K 28 f3.5 too!
This is an excellent lens but annoyingly it never quite got to infinity - all sorted now.
Thanks for posting the fix!

September 13, 2017 at 10:38 AM  

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