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TAIR-3 300mm - an impressive performance
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:42 pm    Post subject: TAIR-3 300mm - an impressive performance Reply with quote

There have been a number of good results posted here with this lens, so I decided to try one myself. Results with DSLRs can vary due to the interaction with the difference sensors, but I am happy to report that I am very impressed with the performance with my Olympus E3.

First, I will post results with my test chart. The chart was 7.8 m from the camera. Below is the full picture. Focus is on the 48 line per inch markings. Live view was used for precise focusing and the lens was securely mounted on a very sturdy tripod. A remote release was used and 5 sec anti-shock enabled. The lenses own hood was fitted. The sun was strong and behind and to the left of the camera, shining on to the target



The 100% crops below are shown alongside the results taken at the same time with my Olympus Zuiko OM 300mm f4.5 lens.

The absence of colour fringing from the TAIR at all apertures is very impressive. Fringing is not really a problem with the Zuiko at f8 and smaller apertures, but I avoid using it at f4.5 and f5.6. It lloks like there should be no such restriction with the TAIR. The TAIR is also as sharp as the Zuiko (at least in the centre). An excellent lens!









PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some real world tests, I improvised a double hood system to minimise flaring issues, see below. The original hood is fitted on the end of a 72mm Sonia hood that is threaded on both ends and so makes a convenient hood extension.



The pictures below are a sample of the results I obtained on a very sunny day. I used f5.6 throughout and supported the lens with a monopod. Please note that the focusing is not always perfect - my eyesight is not too good and I relied on the AF confirm chip to tell when the focus was correct. These chips are very useful but not always dead accurate. The pictures were taken with my E3 again.




The small crop below shows how little colour fringing there is.





This crop shows green fringing in out of focus edges.



I've applied no post processing to any of these pictures and was amazed at the deep saturation of the colours.








The focus is not quite right on this last one but I do like the shot.



PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a good lens, especially for the money they go for. Good test, it shows exactly what it's capable of.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only negative words I've seen about this lens were about the weight Twisted Evil


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took a similar seagull picture yesterday with my 300mm Meyer Orestegor, but your seagull has sexier legs.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have experience with the Konica 300mm f/4.5?


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
Does anyone have experience with the Konica 300mm f/4.5?


I have it first class , search in forum I won't hijack this thread.

My impression was also excellent about Sniper version of Tair I did like image quality , but I didn't like how can I handle it so I did sold it. I bought a normal version of Tair 300 mm first class lens , still with me even if have too.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SXR_Mark wrote:
For some real world tests, I improvised a double hood system to minimise flaring issues, see below. The original hood is fitted on the end of a 72mm Sonia hood that is threaded on both ends and so makes a convenient hood extension.





i've found that the original hood is just enough not to have flare, and where i live we have really intense sunshine


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the test, you did an excellent job.

I haven't got a 72mm hood to fit mine, must get one!

However, I find the Tair's coatings excellent and the contrast excellent, even without a hood.

Handheld without a hood, first pic I ever shot with the Tair, I think this speaks for itself as to the sharpness of this lens, no sharpening here, exactly as it came out of my EOS 10D:




I think it also shows the lack of CA of the Tair which I also find very impressive, the other Japanese 300s I have all have lots of CA fringing, the Tair is head and shoulders above them all.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot I also have some shots of Swans taken with my Tair:









One other thing, I've yet to hear of a bad copy of the Tair, everyone seems to love theirs and get great results.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzywuzzy wrote:
The only negative words I've seen about this lens were about the weight Twisted Evil


That's the truth! you need a sherpa to carry it for you. It's not a hiking lens... Laughing


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
Took a similar seagull picture yesterday with my 300mm Meyer Orestegor, but your seagull has sexier legs.

You are so right!

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
Thanks for the test, you did an excellent job.

I haven't got a 72mm hood to fit mine, must get one!

However, I find the Tair's coatings excellent and the contrast excellent, even without a hood.

Handheld without a hood, first pic I ever shot with the Tair, I think this speaks for itself as to the sharpness of this lens, no sharpening here, exactly as it came out of my EOS 10D:.


Dammit your Tair makes me sick to have one.
And in my own attempt to achieve similar results.
I had an epiphany...

All we need is for you to send me your lens Very Happy


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only paid 35ukp inc shipping for mine and it's a beaten-up one with lots of scratches and all the screws are rusty because it sat in a shed for many years I'm told, but it has clear optics, no scratches, fungus etc.

They turn up on ebay all the time, usually for a bit more than I paid for mine, I think other bidders were put off by it's external condition, but let me tell you, these things were built to last, it feels more like a piece of military hardware than a piece of consumer camera equipment and mine even looks like military surplus in it's roughed-up looks.

It's one of my 3 favourite lenses and I use it all the time, I can live with the weight, it's the only bad point imho.





PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



This is the non photosniper version, with a built in sliding lens hood. You don't see so many about. The photosniper turns up at the local camera fair, I reckon there was about four on sale a few weeks ago, but I've never seen another one like mine on sale there.


Praktica & Tair. by Mudplugga, on Flickr


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LLoydy, that looks the absolute business!


I do like the focus mechanism on the photosniper version though. I find it so easy to use and accurate too.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
This is the non photosniper version, with a built in sliding lens hood. You don't see so many about. The photosniper turns up at the local camera fair, I reckon there was about four on sale a few weeks ago, but I've never seen another one like mine on sale there.

When I saw your setup I was moved by how clean it looked attached to your Pentax(sweet).
So I figured I'd give eBay a lookee and low and behold there she was!


I couldn't resist!
And so I'm happy to say, she's on the way! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Last edited by JohnBee on Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucky! - nice catch - I won't ask how much Rolling Eyes Laughing


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

martyn_bannister wrote:
Lucky! - nice catch - I won't ask how much Rolling Eyes Laughing


This one came at: $120 USD

Donno if that's good or bad, but given that I've been wanting a Tair-3 for over a year, I figured I might as well just accept to pay for a good copy.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:


.... it feels more like a piece of military hardware than a piece of consumer camera equipment and mine even looks like military surplus in it's roughed-up looks.




Ian, I see that yours is a non-export version as it has the name is Cyrillic characters. In Roman this is the 3-S and is (I assume) a later version than the 3-PhS as it has an electric link for the aperture setting.

I now also have a 3-S which I couldn't resist as it went for only 34.25 inc shipping with the original hood. It only arrived yesterday so I've not tested it yet. It had a little bit of fungus (not mentioned in the listing!) but it was easy to remove the entire front group and so clean all the air surfaces. The fungus hasn't left any damage on the coating, so it is now almost pristine optically. Visually, the coating looks to be the same as the 3-PhS, so I'm expecting it to be optically identical. The coating has a deep purple reflection, but I still think it is a single coating. I've seen other versions marked MC.

Because I didn't need to fully disassemble the lens to clean it so cannot say for sure what the optical formula is. It clearly has only two groups. The front group is probably an achromat doublet - very large and heavy. The rear group is highly concave on the final surface but I've no idea if it is a singlet or doublet.

With an overall length of approx. 280 mm from front element to image plane it only just a telephoto lens in the strictest sense. Incidentally, it is clearly a slightly shorter focal length than the Zuiko 300mm as the magnification is slightly less. This can be seen from the crops of the lens chart which are the same number of pixels wide but have a larger field of view with the TAIR. So it might not be a telephoto lens at all??

Of course, the important point is how it performs, which is very well indeed.

I intend to use this for motor sports photography and I will always use a monopod so I can keep the shutter speed low to get a sense of motion. On a monopod, the lens is well balanced and the rack and pinion focusing is really convenient. So the weight of the lens is no real drawback for me.

Mark


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
I think other bidders were put off by it's external condition, but let me tell you, these things were built to last, it feels more like a piece of military hardware than a piece of consumer camera equipment and mine even looks like military surplus in it's roughed-up looks.



that's nothing , wait till i get home and post photos how my tair looks like Laughing Laughing Laughing


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark

Thanks for that info, I didn't realise I had a non-export version nor did I realise it was actually a S model, not as C!

I don't know what that electrical link does, I have shot film with this cam on my Carena M42 SLR and used the lens as a preset.

Congrats on you new purchase, I really like the focussing wheel, makes focussing a lot faster imho and it makes a really good handhold, that is a part of why I find this lens shootable handheld with a 1/500 shutter speed - easy to hold it steady.

I really like the look of those non sniper versions and that sliding hood is a great idea.

I think the lens is a triplet but I might be wrong. Mine also has the purple coating, looks the same colour as my Jupiter-11A and Helios 44M-4 from the same factory. Whether this purple indicates a single or multi coating I don't know but it is certainly an effective coating.

I really want an original hood for my Tair, if anyone has one for sale anytime, please contact me!

In the meantime, I'll have to find a nice 72mm hood.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnBee wrote:
Lloydy wrote:
This is the non photosniper version, with a built in sliding lens hood. You don't see so many about. The photosniper turns up at the local camera fair, I reckon there was about four on sale a few weeks ago, but I've never seen another one like mine on sale there.

When I saw your setup I was moved by how clean it looked attached to your Pentax(sweet).
So I figured I'd give eBay a lookee and low and behold there she was!


I couldn't resist!
And so I'm happy to say, she's on the way! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


Congrats, heavy but so great ! Finally I did settle this one too.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WolverineX wrote:
that's nothing , wait till i get home and post photos how my tair looks like Laughing Laughing Laughing


Yes, but yours works just as good as mine, I remember your pics!

Just shows, the Tair is a lens built to last and take a lot of wear and tear. You almost get the feeling these things were designed for the military.

I suppose in a way the sniper version is a bit like a military surplus AK-47 and the non-sniper is like a civilian sporterised AK, they will both blow your head off but one is more agricultural in finish and features.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Congrats, heavy but so great ! Finally I did settle this one too.


This version is such a pretty lens, I will have to get one when I see one at a good price.

$120 is, I think a great price for this lens in that condition, looks very nice indeed.

You're sure to have a lot of fun with it, happy shooting!


PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some quick pictures of the two TAIR-3's that I have, 3-PhS and 3-S

The front trim ring would seem to be the way the infinity focus position is adjusted. This is why the writing on the trim ring is never positioned in the same way. Screwing it further down will limit how far the optical assembly can move toward the image plane. Its position is adjusted so that infinity focus is achieved with the barrel fully home. The rack drive is then fitted set at the infinity position. Due to play in the rack and pinion, a bit of drive beyond infinity is possible (on both my lenses at least).



3-S has (I assume) electric encoder for aperture position. Probably a simple potentiometer. What camera would this have been used with?


I could turn these into an impressive pair of binoculars. Laughing


Coatings seem to be identical
Laughing