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Smallest, Lightest, decent 300mm?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Smallest, Lightest, decent 300mm? Reply with quote

I'm looking for the smallest lightest decent 300ish prime I can find.

all the f/4s seem to run near 1000 grams (could go slower)

suggestions?

TY sirs


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not particularly small, but I've found the Soligor / Hanimex etc. Tokina made 300/5.5 preset to be very decent and light. It has very little CA which is important in an old prime in my opinion. Can usually be picked up for very little.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure. Enna 5.6/300mm.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Soligor f5.5 and a Tair f4.5, the Soligor is smaller and lighter, marginally, and a very good lens. The Tair is heavy, not a lens I put in a backpack very often! But it's a remarkable lens.
Both of these lenses however have one great advantage, they are cheap. Laughing


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Revuenon or Tokina 5.6/300. Very sharp from wide-open (sharper than Tair @f5.6) and very light. Unfortunately, no APO, so CAs. But no worse than Tamron SP 5.6/300 54B. Which, of course, is very small and light too, but significantly pricier.

Last edited by BRunner on Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:37 pm; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tamron SP 300mm f5.6
SMC Takumar 300mm f4
Nikon 300mm f4.5 with ED even better

To which camera body ?
To mirror less Canon FD and Konica , Minolta MD can be also a great choice.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it will work on your camera body the Minolta MD 300 4.5 is only 705 grams.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

walter g wrote:
If it will work on your camera body the Minolta MD 300 4.5 is only 705 grams.


Hi Walter

I can use any mount. WHile there is a rokkor MC 300/5.6 at 695 grams, the lens you suggest is at the top of my list right now.

They are cheaper than the other decent ones too,

I will look at the tokina mentioned above--do we have a weight one that?

the nikon is 900 grams at least, and not cheap.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uhoh7 wrote:
walter g wrote:
If it will work on your camera body the Minolta MD 300 4.5 is only 705 grams.


Hi Walter

I can use any mount. WHile there is a rokkor MC 300/5.6 at 695 grams, the lens you suggest is at the top of my list right now.

They are cheaper than the other decent ones too,

I will look at the tokina mentioned above--do we have a weight one that?

the nikon is 900 grams at least, and not cheap.


Tele-Takumar 1:6.3/300 without tripod mount is 620g(!), with 705g.


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:

Tele-Takumar 1:6.3/300 without tripod mount is 620g(!), with 705g.


good tip there, but I fear it may be to slow for me.

cannot find weight of enna.....grrrrr


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might like the Canon FD 300/5.6 version 3 (55mm filter), 685 gm.

Example shots:

1.





2.





3.





4.



Last edited by revers on Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another good suggestion---nFD version is 635 grams

fairly cheap.

another possiblity is the hexanon 300/6.3 which is 560 grams, but not easy to find Sad

still....the MD is looking like the best total package price/weight/speed/sharpness


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Olympus OM series 300mm F4.5 is not bad and relatively compact, I seem to recall B&H still had some new not long ago.

I've tried a lot of different 300s on both m4/3 cameras and Canon EOS cameras, if you can handle the weight the two best in terms of IQ (and CA correction) that won't break the bank are the Canon 300mm F4 L Fdn and the Leica Telyt 250mm F4 v2. YMMV.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nikkor ED IF 300/4.5 is probably the lightest and most usable 300mm lens in practical terms. It's well-corrected for CA and features internal focusing (very light, convenient and short MFD). My next best compact 300mm would be Olympus Zuiko 300/4.5 (make sure to get one of the later versions, "MC" or just "Zuiko" without a preceding letter).

In comparison, SMC Takumar 300/4 was soft and full of CA, Sonnar 300/4 is outright huge (but very good IQ), non-ED Nikkor 300/4.5 is bigger, heavier and softer than the ED version (and longer MFD). No-name 300/5.6 lenses are mostly crap with few exceptions (Tokina is one of the better ones for example), but you'll never know. Yashica ML 300/5.6 was a disappointment sharpness wise, also it has very high contrast levels and is quite a bit lighter than similar lenses int his FL.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Zuiko OM 300mm f4.5 is very sharp even wide open, but is not particularly light at ~1200g (with collar).

I use mine a lot with my Oly E3 for motor sports because it is the best 300mm I have tried. I use a monopod so the weight is not an issue. It does however suffer from colour fringing on high contrast edges in strong sunlight, for example bright reflections from metallic trim and around white identification numbers. At f11 this problem is effectively gone even in the strongest light (just a bit of purple tint to metallic reflections). In duller light, f8 is also trouble free. I don't tend to use it a faster apertures due to the limited depth of field as well as the risk of fringing.

The Tamron SP 300mm f5.6 is very light and compact and is also sharp, but suffers badly from colour fringing which is why I don't use it anymore. Contrast is also weak in bright conditions; it is unusable if you are facing the sun.

All other 300mm I have tried (Vivitar, Optomax, Promura) have been a waste of time and money.

I would stick to a "name" brand as cheap 300mm have always disappointed me. I would also like to try the Minolta you suggest; if you get one let us know how it performs. The Nikkor is another interesting suggestion, but Nikon lenses always sell for high prices in the UK. Revers' pictures with the FD 300mm look excellent. I couldn't use this on my E3, but for mirror-less it could be a good choice.

Whatever you get, let us know your thoughts as this is a subject that also interests me.

Mark


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Above mentioned Revuenon/Tokina 5.6/300 wights only 660g. You can get it usually ~30.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The back up what others have said, the Nikkor ED-IF is pretty good but I wasn't impressed with the Zuiko. Fringing was bad! The Tamron SP 300/5.6 is stunning when stopped down to f8 (it fringes badly at f5.6, but gone at fCool.

Some images with the Tamron SP:


Vulture running by ManualFocus-G, on Flickr


Vulture taking off by ManualFocus-G, on Flickr


Vulture up close by ManualFocus-G, on Flickr


Siberian eagle owl portrait by ManualFocus-G, on Flickr


Alaskan bald eagle portrait by ManualFocus-G, on Flickr


Alaskan bald eagle landing by ManualFocus-G, on Flickr


Alaskan bald eagle in flight - coming right for us! by ManualFocus-G, on Flickr


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ MaunualFocus-G

Amazing shots Graham! Simply stunning. How on earth did you manage to get the focus spot on in the last shot??

Mark


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Mark Smile The 5D has a big viewfinder, which makes it easier Wink

I really liked the Tamron, but I needed something which didn't fringe wide open, so I sold it Sad Ended up buying a Canon 300/4L which is incredible Shocked Soligor 300/5.5 stays in my cabinet as well.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:34 pm    Post subject: Nikon 300/4.5-H sleeper Reply with quote

The Nikon 300/4.5 Nikkor-H is the poor step-brother to the later ED, the more desired versions...you often see this 1kg 300 for under $100 on ebay...the top version is the "H" the bottom is the pre-ED AI version...I prefer the "H" because the focusing barrel is larger and closer to the aperture ring...this one was AI modified...




Here's a full frame shot with just some of the right side cropped to fit...


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject: Greetings from Park City, Utah, USA, Earth Reply with quote

I don't know if it's the smallest-lightest-cheapest etc, but my Chinon-made M42 Auto-Alpa MC 300/5.6 (610g, US$27) is pretty decent. It passed my PF test and doesn't show much CA as I recall, but I haven't shot it lately. (And I didn't bring it on this journey.) I'm more likely to carry my AF Pentax FA100-300/4.7-5.8 (380g, US$120). I'm even MORE likely to carry a T2 Sakar 500/8 (420g, US$13). Or, a bit shorter and faster, an M42 Enna Tele-Ennalyt 240/4.5 (300g, US$27). That Enna may be today's lens-of-the-day as I wander around the off-season ski ghetto I'm staying in this week.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any 300/4 or 300/4.5, I don't care who makes it, isn't gonna fit into your "smallest, lightest" requirement, so unless you have more wiggle room in that area than your requirement suggests, I'm thinking that any 300/4 -- or/4.5 -- will be too big.

I was gonna suggest the Tamron SP also, but I see a couple others already have. One thing to keep in mind about the Tamron is it includes a special spherical aberration compensation group so that its macro capabilities of 1:3.3 can be used without encountering this sort of optical problem. Any 300mm that can get down to a 1:3.3 ratio will have some other uses besides just long-distance stuff, IMO.

The Canon FD 300/5.6 is an excellent choice if it will fit your camera.

Here's something else to consider: a fast 200mm with a good quality 1.4x TC. Like the Canon 200mm f/2.8, for example. That would give you a 280mm f/4 and it would still be quite compact. Or if you're really into compact, the Canon New FD 200mm f/4 with a 1.4x will give you a very compact 280mm f/5.6.


PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The back up what others have said, the Nikkor ED-IF is pretty good but I wasn't impressed with the Zuiko. Fringing was bad! . . ..


. . .yep, thats why I sold mine. The Canon 300 f4L Fdn is vastly superior but of course the mount is problematic for EOS users.

A good quality 1.4x or 2x converter on a good 180 or 200 is an option (as someone else mentioned) but not all 180 and 200s have reliable IQ.


Last edited by hemisferico on Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:31 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hemisferico wrote:
The Canon 300 f4L Fdn is vastly superior but of course the mount is problematic for EOS users.

A good quality 1.4x or 2x converter on a good 180 or 200 is an option (as someone else mentioned) but not all 180 and 200s have reliable IQ.


I agree, the Canon 300/4 L is probably one of the best FD teles Canon made. It still goes for a pretty good chunk of change whenever one comes up on eBay, I've noticed. I can't really recommend Canon's non-L 300/4. I owned one and it fringed bad with green/magenta CA. And that was shooting film. But I'll tell ya, both of those lenses are pretty big. Not exactly back-packing material, which is what uhoh7 seems to be after.

BTW, uhoh has a NEX, so he doesn't have any sort of registration distances to worry about.

Just for grins, I did a search on eBay just now for "Canon FD 300mm f/5.6" and I found a few interesting results.

This one has what looks to be an aftermarket tripod mount. Never seen one of these before, but they'd be handy for the 300/5.6, as long as it is.

Click here to see on Ebay

This is an old FL lens, but it's an FL Fluorite. These are rare, and very good lenses. Plus, it has a tripod mount. Located in Japan.

Click here to see on Ebay

This one's an SSC:
Click here to see on Ebay

And finally, this one's a New FD mount, so it's probably more compact than the others. It's in Taiwan, though:
Click here to see on Ebay

If it were me, I'd be going for the FL Fluorite. But it is pricey.


PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:


Just for grins, I did a search on eBay just now for "Canon FD 300mm f/5.6" and I found a few interesting results.

This one has what looks to be an aftermarket tripod mount. Never seen one of these before, but they'd be handy for the 300/5.6, as long as it is.

Click here to see on Ebay

This is an old FL lens, but it's an FL Fluorite. These are rare, and very good lenses. Plus, it has a tripod mount. Located in Japan.

Click here to see on Ebay

This one's an SSC:
Click here to see on Ebay

And finally, this one's a New FD mount, so it's probably more compact than the others. It's in Taiwan, though:
Click here to see on Ebay

If it were me, I'd be going for the FL Fluorite. But it is pricey.



The SSC one is the same as mine I posted examples from.