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Help with 300mm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:38 pm    Post subject: Help with 300mm Reply with quote

Hi guys, I'm new to this forum and before anything I wanted to wish a happy new year.

I come here because I have a huge doubt that looking in the forum I can't solve. I want to buy a 300mm for APS-C, and I want something cheap, no more than 150€. I would like to have the Canon FD 300mm f4 L, which I read is a very good option. But for my budget I have to settle for other options.

The ones I'm thinking about are:

Zuiko 300mm f4.5
Canon FDn 300mm f4
Takumar 300mm f4

Any other options? Actually I'm not convinced because the sharpness is important to me and according to I read none of the 3 lenses have a great sharpness (I'm wrong?)

I have seen that in this forum people also recommend a Tair-3S, which I think is great (in all senses) but I think that by weight and especially the focus mode, I discard it.

Also I am considering zoom options type 100-300mm but here I think you will not recommend anything to me since I understand that they will be of worse quality


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Macaluan!

I wasn't happy with the S-M-C Takumar sharp, don't know about the others. If you want sharp, spend more money for L or muscle the Tair. Based only on what I've seen online, ymmv.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Macaluan, welcome.

What camera are you using ie does the mount matter?

I can suggest that many, or even most, of the lenses you might look at in that price bracket are kind of in the same ball park. Good examples are very capable of getting nice results, but your expectations should be realistic. There can be variations between particular examples, and in how well particular lenses work with a specific camera/sensor.
yeah good luck finding an F4 L for less than ~€300. And the non L isn't cheap either. I had an example of the 300mm f5.6 however, and even though it had a bit of a nasty fungus infection (difficult lens to disassemble to clean - I couldn't do it), I can suggest it is one of the sharpest f5.6 300's. I haven't tried the zuiko that could well be a good option. But +1 a good example of the Tair is one of the sharpest options.
I am familiar with the tamron adaptall 300mm f5.6's and can say they are all worth while, the SP 54B is the best with a particularly good close focus. Also consider the 60-300mm Sp 23A, actually slightly short of 300mm IME, but perhaps the best price/performance MF vintage zoom you can get IMO. And it does macro to 1:1.55!

Another possibility is an early sigma apo, in one of the obsolete mounts like MD or CFD, that could opportunistically be within your price bracket.


Last edited by marcusBMG on Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:43 pm; edited 4 times in total


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusBMG wrote:
Hi Macaluan, welcome.

What camera are you using ie does the mount matter?

I can suggest that many, or even most, of the lenses you might look at in that price bracket are kind of in the same ball park. Good examples are very capable of getting nice results, but your expectations should be realistic. There can be variations between particular examples, and in how well particular lenses work with a specific camera/sensor.
yeah good luck finding an F4 L for less than ~€300. And the non L isn't cheap either. I had an example of the 300mm f5.6 however, and even though it had a bit of a nasty fungus infection (difficult lens to disassemble to clean - I couldn't do it), I can suggest it is one of the sharpest f5.6 300's. I haven't tried the zuiko that couold well be a good option.
I am familiar with the tamron adaptall 300mm f5.6's and can say they are all worth while, the SP 54B is the best with a particularly good close focus. Also consider the 60-300mm Sp 23A, actually slightly short of 300mm IME, but perhaps the best price/performance MF vintage zoom you can get IMO. And it does macro to 1:1.55!


Thank you both of you guys.

The camera I'm using is the Sony A6000, thinking to change to A7RII in a few months (maybe a year or more...).

The tamron is another opción, i read good things about this lens. Speed is not the most important thing in this lens for me. I'm going to use it mostly in city taking details in long distance, and nature. Usually I'm using f5.6 or 8 so if the lens starts in f5.6 but is enough good in this aperture or in f8, would be fine for me.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe my little 300mm lens comparison on APS-C could give you some hints:
http://forum.mflenses.com/300mm-lens-comparison-leitz-minolta-pentax-t76838.html


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusBMG wrote:
your expectations should be realistic

+1

Lenses over 135mm with really good image quality usually don't come cheap. Top quality long lenses require special glass and therefore are expensive.

Cheap old telephoto lenses will typically suffer mainly from chromatic aberrations and their sharpness will be limited at wider apertures. Another drawback is the minimum focusing distance, which can be quite long, because a shorter minimum focus requires either a longer helicoid or internal focusing, which you won't find on cheap vintage lenses.

But, if you can get along with a minimum focus of 5.5m and a max aperture of F/6.3, the Tele-Takumar 300mm F6.3 for example is perfectly able to deliver superb results on an APC-C camera. And you will get top notch build quality for a very reasonable price. Check Greg's blog page here.

Cheers!

Abbazz


Last edited by Abbazz on Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:16 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
Maybe my little 300mm lens comparison on APS-C could give you some hints:
http://forum.mflenses.com/300mm-lens-comparison-leitz-minolta-pentax-t76838.html


+1

+1, also to Gerald's contribution.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I was looking to buy a lens in this focal length range, I'd first try to find a Tamron Adaptall-2 350mm f/5.6 mirror lens. I've had the 500mm for very many years, it's still a favourite. I had a bid in at the local auction house only yesterday for the 350mm, but it was in a job lot and went for rather more than I wanted to pay.

Being a mirror lens it's short and light, so less of a burden to carry around, also being a mirror lens it's fixed aperture, which some may consider a limitation.

Just my tuppence worth, for consideration ... good luck Smile


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like the Tamron 300 / 5.6, and I've got a few 300's to choose from. Some, like the Russian Tair, are a stop faster and almost certainly a bit sharper. But it's so heavy and cumbersome that extra speed is completely wasted if you're hand holding the lens on something like the A6000 ( which I use ) The Tamron is so much easier to use it beats the Tair every time, unless you use a rock steady tripod.

I also have a Chinon MC 300 / 5.6 that is also very good, it's light and plenty sharp. And possibly made by Tamron? although the style is very distinctive to Chinon's 1980's series of lenses with a rather nice taper to the lens body. Well worth looking out for as they are usually quite cheap.

Once you get into the 'other brands' that are generally cheap lenses re branded for a chain of photographic stores that's when the quality drops dramatically. I have an Optomax 300 / 5.5 that is in perfect condition, but its just not sharp enough. I've been trying to sell it for £10 but it's still in my for sale box!

( I have got a very good Tamron SP 670 AU 300 / 5.6 for sale as I now have two of them. )


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lens that has quality, speed and meets your price is the Meyer/pentacon 300mm f4 (typically goes for £60-100 ebay uk) - but that's a bit of a beast!

A lighter alternative is the pentax M* 300mm f4 but that goes for at least double the price.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second Marcus's recommendation of the Tamron SP 23A 60-300mm. It is somewhat of a sleeper lens, often going unnoticed when 300mm optics are discussed. I shot with one for years and currently own two. It really is a very good lens, even at 300mm.

Since you're new here, you won't have seen this shot before. Other members will have to put up with me again. It's just such a great shot that illustrates what is possible with the 60-300. Now, I can't swear I was zoomed all the way out to 300mm when I took this shot, but probably close enough. This is a dupe of a Fujichrome 100 slide. Taken with the Tamron and a Canon F-1.


Located at the same spot, just pointing the camera down the racetrack a bit:


The Tamron's macro mode is something special for a zoom lens. I wrote an article at my blog about a few popular macro lenses and tossed in my 60-300 Tamron as a "wild card." Check it out for yourself. It might be soft on the corners, but it is dead-nuts sharp in the center. To view the full image, for some reason I don't entirely understand, you have to click on the image twice.
http://michaelmcbroom.com/blogistan/?p=56

There is, however, one something-to-300 zoom that I like even more than the Tamron: the Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f/4. You can often find this lens priced below your max budget, so it is well worth considering. I haven't shot with the Tokina nearly as much as I have with the Tamron, mostly just because I've owned the Tamron much longer. Here area a couple of notable shots I've taken with the Tokina. Now, it its case, both of these shots were taken with a digital -- a NEX 7, at ISO 100, in this case:

Distant:


Close up:


Here are the differences between the Tamron and the Tokina in a nut shell:

Macro: Tamron's great 1:1.55; Tokina: none
Tripod Mount: Tamron: none; Tokina: yes, a nice big one
Weight: Tamron: moderate; Tokina: a bit on the heavy side
Front filter size: Tamron 62mm; Tokina 77mm
Special glass: Tamron nope; Tokina: yes, SD glass
Price: Tamron: often cheap to moderate on eBay; Tokina: typically moderate to expensive on eBay

So as you can see, each has its strong points. Either way, you'll be getting a great 300mm zoom.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered the Hexanon 300/4.5? It's comfortably within your price range and it's a very good lens.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wng555/sets/72157648767292214/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanleytung/sets/72157629664187787/


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto cooltouch on the Tamron 60-300
Its a do-everything lens.

It can serve nearly and long focal length function well enough for most purposes.
And the macro mode is probably better than any other for a general purpose zoom of the time.

It is a very handy lens in the field.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all of you guys for the information

I was taking a look of the tamron SP 300 f5.6 54B. I'm impressed, it's the most sharp 300m that I see during this days, its even better that the canon L? I'm right?

I was thinking to improve my budget and go for the canon 300mm L, but seeing this tamrom I have doubts. What would you do?

Another thing that I did not say, it is very important to have the tripod ring in the lens, because I will use it with the A6000.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with 300mm Reply with quote

Macaluan wrote:
Hi guys, I'm new to this forum and before anything I wanted to wish a happy new year.

I come here because I have a huge doubt that looking in the forum I can't solve. I want to buy a 300mm for APS-C, and I want something cheap, no more than 150€. I would like to have the Canon FD 300mm f4 L, which I read is a very good option. But for my budget I have to settle for other options.

The ones I'm thinking about are:

Zuiko 300mm f4.5
Canon FDn 300mm f4
Takumar 300mm f4

Any other options? Actually I'm not convinced because the sharpness is important to me and according to I read none of the 3 lenses have a great sharpness (I'm wrong?)

I have seen that in this forum people also recommend a Tair-3S, which I think is great (in all senses) but I think that by weight and especially the focus mode, I discard it.

Also I am considering zoom options type 100-300mm but here I think you will not recommend anything to me since I understand that they will be of worse quality


There are a few excellent and cheap 200mm lenses, but at 300mm one has more problems finding a good budget lens.
I know quite a few 300mm lenses from my own experience, among them Zuiko 4.5/300 and the Canon FD 4/300mm. I know also the FD 4/300L (2 ED), the FD 2.8/300L (Fluorite / ED) and the FD 5,6/300, and many others such as the different Minolta MC/MD/AF 300mm f5.6, f4.5, f4 APO and f2.8 APO lenses, as well as the Pentax * 4/300mm (with 3 ED lenses). I have no experience whatsoever with 300mm Nikkors, however.

1) Canon nFD 4/300mm L and nFD 2.8/300mm L, and Minolta AF 2.8/300mm APO and AF 4/300mm APO are the best. Very good resolution over the entire field, very little CAs.

2) Canon nFD 5.6/300 (the one with IF!) comes next; a bit less sharp in the corners, a bit more CAs, but very capable. And cheap!

3) next comes the Olympus Zuiko 4.5/300mm and the Minolta MD 4.5/300mm IF: more CAs again, which are - depending on the circumstances - "just visible" or "disturbing". The Minolta is is quite sharp in the central part of the image, and IF is really smooth; and it is lightweight. Might be an option on APS-C!

4) then the large field of "ordinary" 300m lenses, usually quite sharp, but with lots of CAs. Canon FD 4/300mm, Konica Hexanon 4.5/300mm, Zeiss Jena Sonnar 4/300mm (early version), Mamiya Sekor E 4/300mm, and many others

last but not least 5) If you're willing to adapt a heavy and slow lens, the Mamiya Sekor C 5.6/300mm (for Mamiya 645) is cheap, but with a perfect apochromatic correction. On 24MP FF is as good as the lenses mentioned unter 1), and that's quite remarkable.

Stephan


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusBMG wrote:

A lighter alternative is the pentax M* 300mm f4 but that goes for at least double the price.


Yesterday, I've compared the Pentax M* 300mm f4 with the - according to general opinion - quite weak (and cheap!) Minolta MD 4.5/300mm IF.

The Pentax has more CAs than the Minolta, even though the Pentax has three ED lenses ... obvioulsy miniaturisation was over-stressed, and as result Pentax couldn't control the CAs any more. While Marco Cavina raves about the Pentax M* 4/300mm and describes it as "apochromatic"(probably he has never used it), the lens is not apochromatic at all. Which is also confirmed by the related Pentax patents ... to be found in Marco's article as well:
http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_fotografici/Pentax_M_300mm_4_star/00_pag.htm
(scroll down to the lens performance curves, and look at the "chromatic aberration" curve of the production lens)

Stephan


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macaluan wrote:

I was taking a look of the tamron SP 300 f5.6 54B. I'm impressed, it's the most sharp 300m that I see during this days, its even better that the canon L? I'm right?

I was thinking to improve my budget and go for the canon 300mm L, but seeing this tamrom I have doubts. What would you do?

Another thing that I did not say, it is very important to have the tripod ring in the lens, because I will use it with the A6000.


I would eventually save a little bit more money and invest in the Minolta AF 300/4 APO G which might also be usable as AF lens with the appropriate adapter on your A6000. It is most probably even better than the Canon. I simply love this lens and it's tack sharp even wide open without any visible CA's whatsoever. Furthermore AF isn't bad at all if you want to use it without tripod as well.

With a little bit of luck it might only be slightly over the price of the Canon lens or even at the same price level.

My introduction of this lens where you can see also examples when used as a MF lens on APS-C:
http://forum.mflenses.com/minolta-af-300mm-f-4-apo-g-hs-t71048.html


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Tamron SP 23A 60-300mm

This is one lens results I really liked. However I sold it because, it's a long tube, more than 1 foot long, kind of unwieldy, and it didn't have a tripod mount. Handheld, sometimes the length helped with stability, more often not in my experience. Don't let that stop you, as there are aftermarket mounting brackets that fit. I'm sure somebody here has added one easilyan inexpensively. Best sharpness was 260-280mm.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject: 23A and tripod mounts. Reply with quote

While there is a tamron tripod mount from the era that can be used, I recommend a generic 66mm ID metal hinged tripod mounts from China, usually described/labelled for canon, these are more rigid. Top pic shows one unaltered used on the lens in macro mode - near exact fit. Note that this works because in macro mode the zoom/focus ring doesn't rotate. Second pic shows a modded one mounted just in front of the aperture ring (required ID is ~ 62mm). This works pretty well at the cost of restricting the zoom to ~120-300mm, but the set up remains a tad front heavy (depending on camera).




And heres a robin taken with 23A.



Tokina ATX 100-300mm f4 is a very good suggestion (the commonplace f5.6 tokinas are I think comfortably second best to the tamron), but I see one of those float by on auction about once a year (tho' now I have had a quick browse there is a Nik Ai mount one in ireland, and a Pk mount one from Japan at a very reasonable price)! 23A's are commonplace.


Last edited by marcusBMG on Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:01 pm; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with 300mm Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
Macaluan wrote:
Hi guys, I'm new to this forum and before anything I wanted to wish a happy new year.

I come here because I have a huge doubt that looking in the forum I can't solve. I want to buy a 300mm for APS-C, and I want something cheap, no more than 150€. I would like to have the Canon FD 300mm f4 L, which I read is a very good option. But for my budget I have to settle for other options.

The ones I'm thinking about are:

Zuiko 300mm f4.5
Canon FDn 300mm f4
Takumar 300mm f4

Any other options? Actually I'm not convinced because the sharpness is important to me and according to I read none of the 3 lenses have a great sharpness (I'm wrong?)

I have seen that in this forum people also recommend a Tair-3S, which I think is great (in all senses) but I think that by weight and especially the focus mode, I discard it.

Also I am considering zoom options type 100-300mm but here I think you will not recommend anything to me since I understand that they will be of worse quality


There are a few excellent and cheap 200mm lenses, but at 300mm one has more problems finding a good budget lens.
I know quite a few 300mm lenses from my own experience, among them Zuiko 4.5/300 and the Canon FD 4/300mm. I know also the FD 4/300L (2 ED), the FD 2.8/300L (Fluorite / ED) and the FD 5,6/300, and many others such as the different Minolta MC/MD/AF 300mm f5.6, f4.5, f4 APO and f2.8 APO lenses, as well as the Pentax * 4/300mm (with 3 ED lenses). I have no experience whatsoever with 300mm Nikkors, however.

1) Canon nFD 4/300mm L and nFD 2.8/300mm L, and Minolta AF 2.8/300mm APO and AF 4/300mm APO are the best. Very good resolution over the entire field, very little CAs.

2) Canon nFD 5.6/300 (the one with IF!) comes next; a bit less sharp in the corners, a bit more CAs, but very capable. And cheap!

3) next comes the Olympus Zuiko 4.5/300mm and the Minolta MD 4.5/300mm IF: more CAs again, which are - depending on the circumstances - "just visible" or "disturbing". The Minolta is is quite sharp in the central part of the image, and IF is really smooth; and it is lightweight. Might be an option on APS-C!

4) then the large field of "ordinary" 300m lenses, usually quite sharp, but with lots of CAs. Canon FD 4/300mm, Konica Hexanon 4.5/300mm, Zeiss Jena Sonnar 4/300mm (early version), Mamiya Sekor E 4/300mm, and many others

last but not least 5) If you're willing to adapt a heavy and slow lens, the Mamiya Sekor C 5.6/300mm (for Mamiya 645) is cheap, but with a perfect apochromatic correction. On 24MP FF is as good as the lenses mentioned unter 1), and that's quite remarkable.

Stephan


Excellent Stephan! thank you so much for the description.

One last question for you. In case to buy a 200mm, i would like to buy also a x2 adaptar, tu use as a 400mm, it probably would be a great opción to have a great 200mm, and also at 400 but slower because the adapter. What would be in this case your recomendation in 200mm?


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In case to buy a 200mm, i would like to buy also a x2 adaptar,


I have seen very good results from a fast 200mm + tc(s) - BUT that was an expensive modern f2.8. My own experience is that a 200mm + tc is inferior, often greatly so, to the equivalent vintage prime. And I more often find that cropping an image (which can be on the PC, or by using a camera with a smaller sensor) gives better results than using a tc with an older lens. Todays 20MPx and up sensors allow lots of cropping latitude.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 23A and tripod mounts. Reply with quote

marcusBMG wrote:
Tokina ATX 100-300mm f4 is a very good suggestion (the commonplace f5.6 tokinas are I think comfortably second best to the tamron), but I see one of those float by on auction about once a year


One that comes up a little more often Marcus, is the 'lesser' Tokina SZ-X 60-300, which by some accident is rather good at 300mm. And when I picked one up last year, were going for peanuts. I paid £10 I think.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcus, with the 62mm diameter you were using with your tripod mount -- what did you use as shim material? I have one of these tripod mounts and currently have it affixed to my 200mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor. To take up the slack for a quick and dirty shoot, I wrapped a paper towel around the lens, the clamped the tripod mount down tight. This sorta works, but there's still a lot of wobble.

I don't recall the Nikon's diameter, but 62mm sounds close.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Marcus, with the 62mm diameter you were using with your tripod mount -- what did you use as shim material? I have one of these tripod mounts and currently have it affixed to my 200mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor. To take up the slack for a quick and dirty shoot, I wrapped a paper towel around the lens, the clamped the tripod mount down tight. This sorta works, but there's still a lot of wobble.

I don't recall the Nikon's diameter, but 62mm sounds close.


Copper roof flashing or used for crafts is thin enough and cuts easily with sizzors.

EDIT: For bigger gaps, felt comes in various thickness, easy to cut with sizzors, compresses for tightness/ sloppiness.


Last edited by visualopsins on Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
what did you use as shim material?


Michael, I linked to a descriptive thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/114-maintenance-repair-articles/238879-modding-chinese-other-tripod-mounts-fit-eg-adaptall-lenses.html