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Advices on a MF long&quality zoom/tele

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by mrlrz, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. mrlrz

    mrlrz TalkEmount Regular

    65
    Nov 13, 2013
    Hi guys, I hope your 2015 is well begun
    I have a question for you

    After playing with a quite bad copy of the hexanon 300mm f4.5 I'm browsing eBay for a long tele or zoom: 200mm or more, over 300 is welcome.

    So, tell me in your experience is a good lens to chase.

    I'd love, in order of priority:
    - good IQ for money (I won't spend more than a couple hundred euros, hope to spend less than 100)
    - fast
    - compact/light, for easy packing
    - exotic ;-)

    TIA!
     
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    The only thing I have experience with is a Minolta MD 100-300mm 1:5.6. It's reasonably sharp for such a zoom. Exotic? Not sure. Fast? Not really. Compact and light? Relatively speaking, yes. Compact and light are not the first words I think of when you ask for a fast zoom going over 300mm :).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. mrlrz

    mrlrz TalkEmount Regular

    65
    Nov 13, 2013
    Of course every consideration is relative.

    I know it's going to be a huge lens, as the hex 300.
    My wishes are sequential: a long MF lens and possibly a sleeper, as everyone I like fast and compact ones and ... okok... :)

    About the 100-300, Minolta is often my first research on eBay, and this is one of my candidates, in your opinion what price range is fair (in Europe)?

    I remember you're very into Minolta, let me ask a couple more:
    I see a lot of vivitar and Cosina for MD mount, you know how's overall quality?
    Have you experience with Minolta long primes?

    Thank you again
     
  4. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    My favorite in this range is the Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f/4. Not compact, but quite fast, and can be sharp if you use the right technique.
     
  5. mrlrz

    mrlrz TalkEmount Regular

    65
    Nov 13, 2013
    As said, compactness is relative (and not a real priority)
    The Tokina is really interesting. Here's one from Japan, never bought from there, in Europe prices are a little over this-sunday-afternoon budget.
     
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I haven't followed prices on this one recently, but I'd say roughly around € 50 is reasonable for the Minolta 100-300/5.6. You may have to wait a while before an auction with a good starting price comes up, this lens isn't offered frequently.

    Yes, I have kind of a soft spot for Minolta lenses :D, but that doesn't make me blind for their shortcomings. I've never been overwhelmed by the 300mm lenses, the latest MD (Rokkor) 200/4 model with the shorter barrel is quite good and the MD (Rokkor) 200/2.8 is excellent. The zooms are OK, but the generally praised MD 70-210/4 has never really convinced me, it's barely acceptable in my book. I'd say the MD 100-300/5.6 is not bad in comparison. My longest lens is a Sigma 400/5.6 (not APO) which is alright if stopped down to f/8 or rather f/11 and if the purple fringing is eliminated in Lightroom. Since a few days I also have a Canon FDn 70-210/4 and I did a direct comparison between it and the MD 70-210/4. The Canon is slightly better, especially wide-open; I wouldn't use the MD at f/4 but the Canon is acceptable at f/4 in marginal light.

    That's about all I can say about telephoto lenses, I'm not very much into them. Maybe you're lucky enough to have someone else with more experience chime in.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. mrlrz

    mrlrz TalkEmount Regular

    65
    Nov 13, 2013
    Very kind as usual

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using TalkEmount mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I haver a slightly different take on the Minolta MD 70-210/4 than addieleman, of course it could very well be due to the fact that I only paid $30 for mine but I quite like the image quality and it's VERY light. I also like the fact that min focus distance is a good deal closer than most telephotos. I also like the Komine made Vivitar 70-210/2.8-4. Finally I have always had a soft spot of Olympus long telephotos like the 200/4 and 300/4.5
     
  10. mrlrz

    mrlrz TalkEmount Regular

    65
    Nov 13, 2013
    Thank you, I'll go for a **-2*0mm just in case of a bargain auction, but note taken.
    And that OM 300mm looks great.
     
  11. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I picked up several manual focus telephoto zooms and primes in recent months, my opinion on the following models:

    Kiron 70-210 f/4 Zoomlock. Similar to the Vivitar Series-1 f/3.5 ver. 1 mentioned above. And performs similarly for obvious reasons. Sharp and excellent color. The Zoomlock button is very handy. But the (Tokina) version 3 of the Vivitar is supposedly even better.
    (samples added to Showcase)

    Vivitar (Komine) 200mm f/3.5 prime. Excellent build quality, Optics are very good. Sharp and very good color rendition. Can be had for cheap. There is a Kiron version that some think is better performing.

    Olympus Zuiko MC Auto 200 f/4 prime. Small, light, and lovely performance. Color and contrast is a level better than the Vivitar above. Just as sharp. Couldn't detect CA or purple fringing with this one. I love it.
    (samples added to Showcase)

    Tokina AT-X 80-200mm f/2.8. A lot of hype and good reviews before I got mine, and it was a let down. Poor results at f/2.8. Surprising since it has ED glass. What's the point of fast glass if it isn't usable? Big and heavy. Perhaps I got a poor sample.

    Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f/4. A bit longer than the f/2.8 above. Same diameter. Just as heavy. But the imaging is very nice. At 300mm, you need to step it down to get good sharpness. My most recent buy, at $150 USD.

    Vivitar (Komine) 400mm f/5.6. Not the sharpest or contrasty 400mm, but one can achieve good results. Difficult to focus, and I assume it will be for anything 400+. Can be had for cheap on ebay. I paid $79 for a complete kit looking brand new. But the best version is claimed to be later Tokina-made models with higher element/groups. The last offering from Tokina was a shorter, lightweight hand-held version without a tripod mount. Sharpest and best contrast of the bunch.
    (samples added to Showcase)

    Just received a Tamron 300mm f/5.6 (CT300) 'portable' hand-held telephoto. It's not considered in the league of others, and it's Tamron's lower priced offering. They had an SP 300mm version that is rare and sought after. The CT300 is Adaptall or fixed mount version. I have a Minolta mount fixed version. I was pleasantly surprised by its performance, given the reviews. In bright light, sharpness, color, CA are all good. Given how small and light this lens is, it's very easy to bring along in a pocket!
    (samples added to Showcase)

    ----
    Another possible lens to try is the Vivitar (Tokina) 100-300mm f/5 Close Focusing portable zoom. It's small, internally focused, no tripod mount. Some reviewers claim it's a must have lens. But others didn't care for it. I missed a chance to buy one, and got the Tamron CT300.

    Addendum:

    I found a couple bargain-priced samples of this circa 1977, Tokina-made vintage zoom. I picked one up but it had serious issues. I addressed them and hoped for the best, and the preliminary tests looked promising. But test shots in full sunlight has proven it lacks sharpness and is inferior to the Tamron CT300 I have. It is possible the cause is a result of the repair.
    Will have some test photos uploaded to the showcase.
    EDIT:
    The 2nd sample revealed it isn't a very sharp lens and can't be used at f/5. Further investigation showed this one suffers the same affliction....a sealed rear element is etched. It doesn't look like stereotypical fungus contamination. I surmise it was a manufacturing defect started when it was still in the factory. Polishing both with cerium oxide removed the etching haze. But the lenses never yielded satisfactory results for sharpness.

    I can't recommend this lens, Time and money better spent elsewhere.
     
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  12. Dan Euritt

    Dan Euritt TalkEmount Regular

    191
    Jan 11, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  13. dannat

    dannat TalkEmount Regular

    86
    Jun 22, 2014
    VIC
    try this sigma 300/4
    for 200-300 not bad, reasonable good bokeh, close focus ok
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. LakeFX

    LakeFX TalkEmount Rookie

    20
    Dec 26, 2014
    Eugene, OR
    Not a zoom, but I've been loving the Canon FD 300/4 I picked up a couple weeks ago. It was about half the price of the Sigma dannat linked.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Zanner

    Zanner TalkEmount Veteran

    395
    Aug 19, 2013
    Wisconsin, USA
    Suzanne
    OH man. I wish I would have found this a week ago. Just ordered a Vivitar 400mm for $75 of Ebay. Hoping it's a good one. The No. 288 was supposed to be the nicer version of the lens I read somewhere, and that's what I have. But we'll see I guess! It's waiting for me on my doorstep at home.
    I'm obsessed lately with getting the best moon shot I can possibly get with cheap lenses (because there is no more budget for camera lenses at my house), and I jumped on this one. I just don't think my Rokinon 500mm is the sharpest.
    Or maybe I just need to stop looking at that moon every night and think "challenge accepted". I love that darn thing.
     
  16. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    STEVSH,

    That ser. # would make it a Komine-made lens. Same as mine. It's well-made like most of Komine's lenses. It's a simpler optical formula than the later Tokina versions. Tokina version is claimed to be more contrasty and less fringing. Also could be the multi-coating.

    I wasn't happy with the resolution of my copy for shooting the Moon. May yours be better. I sympathize because I too was becoming a "lunatic". ;)

    I ended up buying a Konica Hexanon AR 300mm f/4.5 from LakeFX. It's not as long, but much sharper.
    Later, I got advice from an old photog experienced in astrophotography, that I need at least 500mm to be satisfied with the results.

    So, I went another route when the opportunity to get a Tamron SP 500mm 55BB mirror kit showed up. Complete with Adaptall2 to NEX adapter. It was a decent price, but pricey compared to my other vintage lenses. It's bright and sharp. But takes finesse to focus. Mirrors lack contrast, and the Moon results seem to show that. I think the shorter Konica still did better resolution wise. Maybe it's my focusing.

    I included a Moon shot in the Adapted Lenses Showcase for the Tamron 55BB. I'll have the Konica 300 pics added to the showcase shortly.

    BTW, is your Rokinon a mirror or refractor 500mm tele?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  17. Zanner

    Zanner TalkEmount Veteran

    395
    Aug 19, 2013
    Wisconsin, USA
    Suzanne
    It's the 500mm tele. And I'm sure I'm just not handling it with the finesse I should be. I would bet a more experienced individual like yourself could get a nice shot out of it.

    This is the best I've done with it. I was impressed, until I saw the detail on some other Flickr pages of moon lovers taken with 300-400mm lenses. I just can't get the detail, which probably has a lot to do with my settings too.
    14863563222_895839987d_h. Moon8.08.14-7002 by Stevsh, on Flickr
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Well, one viewpoint is that you've imposed quite a number of constraints when looking for a good copy of a long tele and some of those may have to soften some.
    I can't speak to other lenses because I only use Canon FDn manual lenses on my NEX-7. This is an example of the IQ from a Canon FDn 400/4.5 on a subject that's a quarter million miles away, traveling at 2300 mph:



     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
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  19. Zanner

    Zanner TalkEmount Veteran

    395
    Aug 19, 2013
    Wisconsin, USA
    Suzanne
    Love it. When I hit the Powerball jackpot, a Canon lens is the first thing I'm buying (after a bodyguard and lawyer of course) ;)
     
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  20. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    LOL...you're still young and raising a family...kids are like money sponges.
    Ours are up and out now, married with their own...we're retired, coming up on our 48th...photography is my full time retirement hobby now