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11-16-2011, 10:38 PM   #1
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Adaptall fans. Which? 200-500 5.6 or 300 2.8 with 140 tc

Which would you do? I have a 140 tc, and a 200-500 6.9. I assume the 5.6 is similar in size and handling.

I shoot birds mostly. 300 is a bit too short. Price is not too different, but the 5.6 is a bit cheaper. I own a pka already. I use a monopod almost all the time with my 300's. And use a K-5.

How does the 200-500 5.6 react to a 1.4 tc? That is getting quite long and I would assume needs a tripod.

What do you use for focus screen?

11-17-2011, 01:30 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Which would you do? I have a 140 tc, and a 200-500 6.9. I assume the 5.6 is similar in size and handling.

I shoot birds mostly. 300 is a bit too short. Price is not too different, but the 5.6 is a bit cheaper. I own a pka already. I use a monopod almost all the time with my 300's. And use a K-5.

How does the 200-500 5.6 react to a 1.4 tc? That is getting quite long and I would assume needs a tripod.

What do you use for focus screen?
There are those two Adaptall-2 lenses for sale in Nelson? Lucky you! If you could shoot 06A(?) with your monopod without problems you should be able to do the same with the 31A. Try asking in the Adaptall-2 club, I believe Lowell Goudge has the 31A and he can answer your questions better than I can.
11-17-2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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Heh. I don't think I can buy anything locally except SD cards and few accessories. Thanks.
11-17-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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I have shot with SP60B, 300/2.8 lens plus F1.7x AFA mounted on a Manfrotto monopod with a 222 Joystick head. I plant the monopod about 2 feet in front of me at about 1 o'clock position and using the joystick to straighten and level the camera, shooting at below 1/100 sec was no problem. It's very steady but I can't say the same about the z-500 200-500/6.9 but I think that's because the tripod mount is not located at the centre of balance and is quite front heavy.

11-17-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
. . . because the tripod mount is not located at the centre of balance and is quite front heavy.
I have that combination of gear and would certainly choose to shoot the 360B + 1.4X TC before the CZ500 @ 500mm under nearly all conditions except perhaps with a sand bag rest in good light. I wouldn't consider hand holding the CZ with a TC of any type to be practical for serious photography.

The compact 300/2.8 is hand-holdable in the field. I find the CZ500 awkward to hand hold because of length, balance and, perhaps more important IME, the focus ring is so far forward it's nearly impossible to support the lens and focus simultaneously. (see #2388 )

I also have three split focus screens on four bodies and find that the split prism offers no practical advantage with slower lenses and especially at long telephoto ranges where the SP covers a large area of the scene. Focus screen calibration and VF brightness is by far more useful to me.

H2
11-17-2011, 06:10 PM   #6
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I have owned and used both of these lenses. I sold the 200-500/5.6 for several reasons. First, the purple fringing can be intense, the worst of any lens I've used. Second, the ergonomics are poor. It is extremely difficult to hold because of the weight, position/size of the focus and zoom rings, and the position of the tripod mount (way too close to the camera). Third, it's overall image quality is simply not the equal of the 300/2.8's. I found the 300 to be sharper at F/4 than the 200-500 was at any aperture. I think the 300/2.8 + 1.4x TC would easily perform as well as the 200-500 without a TC, plus you gain a full stop of light for manually focusing. I haven't tried the 200-500 with the 1.4x, but I've tried it with a 2x and it was nearly impossible because of the dim viewfinder and huge focal length. The 300/2.8 is also easily hand-holdable with nice ergonomics.

Now I'll break my own rule about bringing up a lens you didn't ask about. Sticking with the Adaptall-2 mount, there's also the 400/4, which IMHO is a better performer than either the 300/2.8 or 200-500/5.6. There was one in nice shape for sale in the marketplace for something like $750, which isn't much more than the 300/2.8 goes for. It seems to me the prices have been falling a bit on these big Adaptalls.

Oh, and I use a Katz-Eye split-prism focusing screen. It rules!

- Mike
11-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Which would you do? I have a 140 tc, and a 200-500 6.9. I assume the 5.6 is similar in size and handling.

I shoot birds mostly. 300 is a bit too short. Price is not too different, but the 5.6 is a bit cheaper. I own a pka already. I use a monopod almost all the time with my 300's. And use a K-5.

How does the 200-500 5.6 react to a 1.4 tc? That is getting quite long and I would assume needs a tripod.

What do you use for focus screen?
The 200-500 is a tank of a lens. Definitely a mono pod affair IMO. I would go with the 300 just for size reasons alone. Add a Pentax AF 1.7x adapter and you should be ready to go. I don't have any experience with the 1.4x.

11-17-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
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Just a few points here from a 200-500/5.6 owner

Check the sample image forum, I have posted a few from my 200-500/5.6

In my. Opinion it is no worse t.than the 300/2.8 model 60B. The 360B is better but rarer

The 200-500/5.6 is much heavier than the F6.9 version, more than 1 kilo more, weighing in at about 2.5 kilos.

As for balance, the correct plate and a gimbal head are a necessity like any big lens, at 2.5kilos is is out of the hand hold or ball head arrangement, with a gimbal head you can leave the head loose and the lens stays put when balanced. Any other head except when level is unstable with a lens of this weight.

As for PF the issue is with bright backgrounds, but shooting into foliage it is not that bad

Any TC would make a split image unusable, but at 500 mm do you need a TC, me, I practice getting close, the shots are much better,

11-17-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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Thanks so much everyone.

Lowell, so the 5.6 is heavier? The 6.9 is a brute to pack around. I agree about getting closer, and in most cases it is possible. I was shooting a horned grebe the other day with my 300 f4 Takumar SMC m42. It was off shore a ways, and with cropping got some reasonable shots. Unfortunately that lens has CA unless stopped down, so unless the light is good I tread a fine line between noise and movement blur. I'm thinking something a bit faster at 300mm would be better, with the possibility of having something long. I tried using the 140 on the 23A, too slow and not particularly good iq, but I liked the length.

The f4 has shown me that for focusing at least, fast is better. I was having difficulty getting focus using the stock K5 screen with the slower lenses.

I've never seen anyone complain about the 300 f2.8 having pf or ca issues. Is that your experience?
11-18-2011, 01:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The 200-500/5.6 is much heavier than the F6.9 version, more than 1 kilo more, weighing in at about 2.5 kilos.
Actually, your 31A is the lightest of the four 200-500 zoom lenses in the Adaptall lens line up @ 2,724g and the heaviest being the CZ-500 @ 2,796g (according to adaptall-2.org). No matter, they are all brute of a lens to handhold for any length of time.
11-18-2011, 03:31 AM   #11
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I thought I read somewhere that the 200-500/6.9 was in the range of 3 pounds, however I agree they are all too heavy for other than a gimbal head, the weight over center is just too much in my opinion, that was really the point.

As for PF on the 300/2.8. I had a chance to try one and found it to be really bad, and in fact so bad compared to my K300/4 that I simply did not buy it. As I said I believe the later 360 version is probably better, but any way that is a different issue. I use the K300/5 with the 1.7x AF TC frequently and although there is some CA specifically lateral in the Out of Focus regions it is not that bad. What I liked about my 200-500 is it came with a KA mount so I can use flash easily on my newer bodies. With the K300 I can only use flash on my *istD
11-18-2011, 09:58 AM   #12
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You'll find a CZ500 200-500/6.9 review with images here (it's in the 06A) section lacking a CZ review group of its own.

Tamron Adaptall-2 200-500mm F6.9 (06A) Lens Reviews - Tamron Adaptall Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

It's not a bad lens -- in fact, it's actually pretty good for the price and the technology of its era -- but its size and ergonomics can be inconvenient. It's not a bad set of training wheels for someone considering spending $1000+ on a modern long telephoto lens and it'll make you appreciate the newer designs. You should be able to recover your investment upon resale later -- it's like an old pickup truck, it'll never be worth less so long as it runs.

H2
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