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Canon FDn 85-300mm / 4.5 Initial Arrival Test Shots

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by roundball, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Canon FDn 85-300 / 4.5 Zoom Lens, mint condition, huge 77mm front end.
    Very sturdy construction / very heavy, which I like to minimize movement.
    Initial arrival function & IQ test shots for color rendition, detail capture, and bokeh look very good.
    Everything functions as it should.
    Very impressed with this lens so far...seems to be in the same class as the Canon FDn 300/4.0-L and 400/4.5
    If nothing creeps out of the woodwork I think I just got one heck of a lens

    Will be wringing it out the next couple days, including testing it with the FD 2x-A Extender. Then weather permitting, plan to use it for the next Full Moon over the upcoming weekend in January...hoping the utility of the Zoom will help frame / get some moonscapes at a local lake.
    Anyhow...a few quick common backyard shots so far...the Cardinal is a bit soft but that's not the fault of the lens, LOL...I kept it as an example of another test of a different color.


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  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Not bad.
     
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  3. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    It is noticeably physically larger and heavier than the FDn 300 / 400 lenses so its probably not an all day "walking around lens".
    But for my intended purposes of moon / moonscape shots, wildlife shots, wildlife videos...from small birds to full size deer subjects...from 20' to 50 yards, I'm looking forward to a few features / benefits from this lens:

    1) the utility of its zoom range;

    2) reasonable max aperture / speed;

    3) apparently decent IQ;

    4) the separate zoom collar to eliminate interference with focus while zooming during a video;

    5) its weight to minimize vibrations on a tripod;


    Worst case, it'll be a nice 2015 project in and if itself...
     
  4. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    92
    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Vijay
    Unable to pin-point it, but, something is not clicking in these shots.
     
  5. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
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  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    I think 2 & 3 are a little soft...no tripod, shooting 300mm at very low shutter speeds, elbows simply braced on the kitchen window sill.
     
  7. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    • Like Like x 1
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Well, the initial test shots I made in early morning light yesterday produced some very promising results, but as I mentioned even some of those were a bit soft, which I put off to it being early fairly low light levels, low shutter speeds, no tripod, etc.
    But the clouds finally cleared out midday and I really got into testing with much better light, shutter speeds, and rock solid rests. To my surprise the lens really didn’t do any better…captured no more precise detail than the borderline results in the initial early morning tests, and I had way, way too many culls to even get an occasional keeper.
    Unfortunately something is just not quite right with this lens and I'm packing it back up / returning it.
     
  9. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    That's a shame, its always a gamble with adapted legacy gear.
     
  10. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Well, I had quite a few Canon FDn legacy lenses when I got into the NEX-7 world, and will admit to picking up several more since, LOL...and they are normally just excellent in spite of being 30-35 years old. This 85-300 was absolutely immaculate...looked like it just came out of it's box...but something was just not right about it.

    Seemed like there might have been some sort of lens element alignment problem that came and went...maybe the focusing mechanism had an issue...where I could just not repeatedly get razor sharp images. But I could turn right around, mount a Canon FDn 200, 300, or 400 and get images that I could count the whisker hairs under the beak of a bird at 50 feet so it wasn't me or my NEX-7 camera bodies.

    That's 2 big zoom lenses in a month that have turned out to have soft image issues...the 100-300 and this 85-300...and both were brand spanking new looking...may be some truth to the saying: "if a 30-35 years old lens still looks new and unused today, its probably because it was set aside due to some problem and in fact not used".

    At any rate, after seeing / handling / operating the 85-300, I still want one for sure.....but am now also wondering if that degree of IQ is typical of all of that particular model zoom lens...don't know...guess I'll keep my eye open for another one from a place where I have 2 weeks to return it so my worst exposure is having to pay return shipping...if a second one is the same way, then I'll return it and be done with it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    Legacy lens hunting sure can be fun :)
     
  12. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    ... and just the slightest bit addictive. :eek:
     
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  13. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    92
    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Vijay
    True, true, very much true.
    not searching in the bay, Holding back the urge, not to give in etc are all extremely painful. Best is to buy one from time-to-time and quench thirst.
     
  14. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    OK, I'm done experimenting.....completely spoiled by the outstanding IQ from my Canon FDn 80-200/4.0-L, 300/4.0-L, and 400/4.5 lenses…color, sharpness, all of it. Just finished testing the FD 85-300/4.5 S.S.C. that arrived today and will pack it up / return it tomorrow…simply not in the same league with the above lenses…done experimenting…I’ll just carry and change a lens occasionally like I always have.
     
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