The Pentax 6x7 Takumar 300mm f 4 i bought - dirt cheap back in 2017/18 - and today you can get it for prices for as low as $50 (!) - but I'll replace it with the Pentax 67 M* 300mm f 4 ED (IF) which is a super apochromatic lens.

I first thought, the older would do - but frankly... I don't think so.

There seem to be quite some people who do Astro photography with this lens - appreciating the high optical quality made by Pentax back in the days (together with its larger sibling, the Pentax 67 M* 400mm f 4 ED (IF) By the way, if i got it right - both lenses share the same or similar optical designs, with 9 elements including a low dispersion element.

I did look at the 400/4 ED (IF)... but felt it was a bit over the top for me, and my use. I think it is an ego thing, to own a white lens... almost like saying "look at my huge fat dick", kind of thing. I would likely not use the 400mm lens very often... I mean let's be honest here.

So, i decided to replace the 300 mm instead. A bit smaller, but optically at the top - and I believe easier to manage, too (size + weight).


Replacing the older Pentax 6x7 Takumar 300 mm f 4

This lens is one of the last optical designs made by Pentax for the Pentax 67 camera system. The lens was introduced in 1999 but lived only a short time - as the company ended the whole 6x7 camera system a couple years later.

When I bought the dirt cheap 6x7 Takumar 300mm f 4 lens - i liked the low price and thought, since i am only doing BW photography with the Pentax 67 II camera - i don't need the more expensive version of this lens. Well, things have changed quite a bit, since then... as I know use the Fujifilm GFX 50s II camera, together with the rotating Vertex adapter, creating 150 MP images... equivalent as if i shoot with a 65x65mm digital sensor !

So, the optical quality of a longer telephoto lens - does have a larger impact.


Going digital....
(Rotating Vertex method + Fuji GFX 50s II)

While the Takumar 300mm f 4 is quite sharp-ish, especially when stopped down, and you use Topaz software on top - finer details do come out very well - but you have to stop down this lens to at least ƒ8 or even ƒ11 - in order to see that the lens is very capable. And that is where the new lens comes in - because it is super achromatic corrected (for at least 4 colors), and renders a sharp images already at wide open aperture ƒ 4 - making it far more useful. The other thing is, that it has a flexible tripod mount, and it doesn't exhibit chromatic aberrations. And the min focus distance is only 2 meter (!) instead of 5 meter with the older Takumar 300mm f 4 lens.

So, there are the primary, very important aspects, in which i decided to buy the newer 300/4 ED (IF) version instead.



Pentax 67 SMC M* 300mm f 4 ED (IF)

I can use it at wide open aperture f 4 without fringing. Very nice for night cityscape photography using an f 4 aperture rather than f 11 (the older Takumar requires in order to get sharp)

It is much sharper - even wide open ! No question.

No chromatic aberration or fringing.

Has a tripod mount (the Takumar 300 does not)

• Can use 1.4x inner bay extender turning the lens into a 420 mm f 5.6 with barely any degradation!

Rotating tripod lens mount (horizontal vs vertical), which also can be mounted in a reverted position for the sake of better balance, dependent on what camera you use. Wow !

MIN focus distance: 2 meter (instead of 5 meter) making it highly flexible for close ups.

• Internal focus (lens does not extend)

Higher contrast and cleaner colors.

• Still a manageable lens compared to the longer lenses, such as M* 400/4 IF ED or longer.

• I can use the exceptional high optical quality of this lens - both with the rotating Vertex method, but also as a single-shot 300mm lens with the Fujifilm GFX 50s II, as well with the Vertex adapter for the Canon EOS R camera - making it a highly flexible 300mm lens. Of course, each method results into different narrow angles.

On a Pentax 67 camera, and the Vertex method - a 6x7 300mm lens is equal to around 165 mm telephoto. With the Canon R (vertex method) and the Fujifilm GFX 50s II directly mounted, the virw would correspond to what a 235 mm lens gives you on a fullframe camera.


The original price

via eBay was $565 included with shipping.

That is an excellent price, lower compared to the price of $750 back in 2017. Back then it would have cost me around 6500-7000 SEK. (Today nearly 9000 SEK). Talk about cheating people, like the usual game played for more than hundred years when it comes to currencies, inflation and paper money "value".

Also called "The Big Swindle".

Rewind - we talk about the end of 2023 - the considerably weaker Swedish Krona today makes this lens more expensive (in relative terms), not cheaper if it would have held its strength. In fact the lens is now more expensive than if i would have bought back in 2017-2018

Add 25% Swedish tax, with customs which are notoriously slow, and on top, 5% for the import of the second hand lens itself, and an additional 10 € fee for "administration and service". Talk about the irony here...

I mean "service". What service ?!?

So, i end up somewhere around 8900 SEK i would guess, which is a pretty sensitive large sum of money for an old, second hand lens. Albeit in euros, it sounds more reasonable with 670 €.

But, we don't do it in Euro up here in Sweden...


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