Asahi S.M.C. Takumar 35mm 1:3.5

This lens was put up for sale together with a Schneider Xenar 135/4.5 at a 5 minute ride from my home. So I bought this Takumar 35mm because I’ve always been curious how these slow 35mm lenses behave: were they just a budget option or do they compensate for their small maximum aperture by providing excellent image quality?

As always I’m primarily interested in landscape applications, meaning I want to see across-the-frame sharpness at apertures around f/8-11; preferably not smaller because diffraction starts to take its toll at f/16 and beyond. Testing is done on the Sony A7, my primary camera. The raw files are processed in Lightroom CC 2015 with automatic CA correction and my default sharpening.
Test scene, focus is on the trees in the background

Center crop at f/3.5

Center crop at f/5.6

At f/3.5 the details are a bit woolly, at f/5.6 they sharpen up nicely to stay that way until about f/11, at f/16 it gets noticeably softer and general image contrast decreases, the picture loses some punch.

Upper right corner crop at f/3.5

Upper right corner crop at f/5.6

Upper right corner crop at f/8

Upper right corner crop at f/11

Upper right corner crop at f/16

I’m showing crops at all apertures here because it shows that the corner sharpens up continously on stopping down, from unsharp wide-open to nicely sharp at f/16. I’d say this lens is useable for landscape work at f/11 where only the very extreme corners are somewhat unsharp and the general image quality is very good.
Full-resolution test shots can be found in this gallery.

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