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01-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Help me choose which lens

Hi, first post
I have a kr and I'm interested in wildlife photography but I'm only 15 so haven't got much money but I'm in need of a lens so I have been looking at manual lenses but I don't know too much about the technicalities so I wondered if you pros could help me choose which lens is better of the two:
PrinzGalaxy 400mm 1:6.3 Preset Telephoto lens | eBay

Photax 400mm 6.3 Preset telephoto lens for Pentax M42 fit with caps and case | eBay

Thanks
CalebWM

01-02-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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Don't think either of those lens are very high quality and additional money would be needed to buy adapters.Think you would get more use out of a zoom in the 70-300 range.Don't know about where you live but here in the US a high quality zoom that is manual can be had quite cheap.KEH has several that are not too high priced.Others here can give you more detailed information on particular lens than myself and you should check the lens database here.
01-02-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
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They might be the same lens, Tokina likely made them both. I've seen decent results from other Tokina made preset 400mm f6.3s, so they shouldn't be horrible.
01-02-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
They might be the same lens, Tokina likely made them both. I've seen decent results from other Tokina made preset 400mm f6.3s, so they shouldn't be horrible.
What exactly is your budget?

01-02-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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I live in England
My budget is 90 which is according to a convertor $146
01-02-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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If I brought say a 200mm lens and then used a 2x TC would the image quality be decreased by the the use of the teleconvertor?
01-02-2013, 10:07 AM   #7
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2x Tele Converter will decrease the effective aperture by two F-stops.

01-02-2013, 10:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bronmar Quote
2x Tele Converter will decrease the effective aperture by two F-stops.

That is correct - so if you were to find an inexpensive 200mm f4 lens (any faster than f4 is going to be expensive, even older ones, which are rare) adding a 2x teleconverter would make it a 400mm f8 lens.

Have you considered a mirror lens? You'll get more reach/bang for your buck and they are usually pretty decent optically (though the out of focus parts of an image will appear as donut rings) - do a search for 500mm or 600mm f8 and pentax and see what you can find on ebay - there should be results within your budget.

01-02-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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Don't waste your money, neither of those will be very good and they are both m42 so you will need an adapter. The first one says T2 mount so you will T2 to K-mount adapter or T2 to M42 and then m42 to K-mount. IMHO neither of those are good buys.

Do you really need 400mm? A 400mm f/6.3 will be very difficult to hand hold so you will also need a tripod.

If you can get by with 300mm there are plenty of good K-mount 100-300 zooms for no more money. And you get auto-focus auto-aperture and k-mount.

Here is one on US ebay Pentax SMC P FA 100 300mm F 4 7 5 8 Lens 0027075048591 | eBay likely lots of similars on your ebay as well. Check the lens database here or ask before you buy!!!
01-02-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Don't waste your money, neither of those will be very good and they are both m42 so you will need an adapter. The first one says T2 mount so you will T2 to K-mount adapter or T2 to M42 and then m42 to K-mount. IMHO neither of those are good buys.

Do you really need 400mm? A 400mm f/6.3 will be very difficult to hand hold so you will also need a tripod.

If you can get by with 300mm there are plenty of good K-mount 100-300 zooms for no more money. And you get auto-focus auto-aperture and k-mount.

Here is one on US ebay Pentax SMC P FA 100 300mm F 4 7 5 8 Lens 0027075048591 | eBay likely lots of similars on your ebay as well. Check the lens database here or ask before you buy!!!
I agree,the FA 100-300 4.7-5.8 is a good lens and the price ask is in line.There are Tamron and Sigma in the focal range that may be bought cheaper but I haven't used them to know their quality.Do have the FA 100-300 4.7- 5.8 and really like it.If you go with one of these be sure to get the one that is 4.7-5.8 as there is another FA 100-300 that don't get as good reviews.
01-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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Those 400/6.3 "wunder tube" lenses are actually pretty good! The Tokina versions (various brands) are the best of the lot imho. No problem handheld as long as shutter speed is sufficient -- at least 1/400 seconds, faster for close subject. Excellent value, the next step in IQ is a huge price increase.


A T2-mount 400/6.3 wunder tube should cost US$30-40, maximum, although somebody in Australia put an EOS adapter on some, described them as "EOS Lens" and sold them for hundreds of US$...keep looking!
01-02-2013, 12:56 PM   #12
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I found no reviews on the lens database so what's your opinions on this :
Centon 500mm mirror lens f8
01-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #13
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There are many, many 500mm mirror lenses out there by lots of different names. Not sure they are not all made in the same factory. I had one for a while and sold it on as I was not happy with the results. They do work but the results can vary from horrible to OK. There are a few good mirror lenses but they are rather expensive.

You might be OK with a mirror if your needs for image quality are not high. However, you have to keep in mind it is a 500mm lens, there is a certain amount of 'art' in using something that long. The tiniest vibration or movement will cause blur. You will need very good light, a sturdy tripod, possibly weighted and use a remote release and mirror lockup if you have that on your camera. Some people use sand bags or bean bags to damp out vibrations. I have also been told that a hood helps a lot. I suppose you could hand hold in very good light but you would need a shutter speed of 1/500 or better, likely 1/1000 to get a decent shot. And that is a lot of light.

The depth of focus is extremely small and at f/8 the view finder will be dark so hard to focus. Check an online DOF calculator to see what it would be at the range you want to shoot at.

Only you can decide how to spend your money, but really think you would be better off with a 100-300 zoom as noted above.

A good 500mm (like the Sigma f/4.5) costs about $4,500usd. And you generally get about what you pay for, so a $150 500mm is not going to be all that great. If it was Sigma could not charge $4,500 for there's.
01-02-2013, 07:21 PM   #14
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Wundertube is better for wildlife imho. DOF is very shallow in mirror lens -- mirror lens is harder to manual focus accurately on moving wildlife. Mirror lens focus helical is steep -- a small amount of turn makes a big difference in focus distance. Wundertube has longer focus throw -- easier to focus/harder to mis-focus.. Wundertube has faster f/# -- higher shutter speeds are possible, for hand holding, etc.. Wundertube will set you back US$30-40, while mirror lens costs more, takes more skill to use, and can be used in fewer situations. Mirror lens is "stopped down" by using ND filters -- there is no change in DOF or image IQ. Wundertube can be stopped down to f/22 or even f/45 -- IQ is sharpest at f/8 or f/11 and DOF changes with f/# change. Wundertube is pretty light weight -- as light or lighter than mirror lens...
01-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #15
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Here's a snap made with cheap Soligor "wundertube" 400/6.3, aperture is wide open at f/6.3, distance about 10 meters:

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