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07-18-2013, 05:33 AM   #1
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better t mount 400mm 5.6/6.3?

Just curious if anyone knows of one of these that stands out as a little better optically. There seem to be many brands available on ebay for a dime a dozen. fyi I have a similar 500mm f8 tou five star so I know not to expect miracles from these cheap lenses. I would like to find one with a bit less chromatic aberration though.

07-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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I have a T4 mount Soligor 400mm f/6.3 that is decent. There is probably also a Vivitar version of the same lens. If you can find one for less than $40 with an M42 mount included then it would be easy to use with an M42 to K adapter.

Soligor 400mm Lens - a set on Flickr

There is CA in high contrast areas (see some of the boat shots) but I've seen worse.

I haven't used any of the older T or T2 mount 400mm lenses.
07-18-2013, 07:06 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'll look into those. If I recall right the soligor t mount one was supposed to be good but I'm having a hard time trying to determine which are good as on at least some, some people say they are good, and some say they are bad. I'm still searching and reading up though.
07-18-2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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Vivitar (Tokina) 400mm f/5.6

Though I haven't done a comparison, I believe the Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 lenses are more highly regarded than the f/6.3.
I think they both have a better reputation than the cheap 500mm f/8 lenses.

I have a TX mount Vivitar made my Tokina. Mine is a 77mm filter size.

It produces acceptable results, but is very heavy. I haven't figured out how to stop it down. It has a small spring loaded wheel that you have to hold to stop it down. Very awkward (maybe somebody can figure it out for me).

I think the DA 55-300 might produce better results, if you don't need the extra reach. I don't think there is a big difference between 300mm and 400mm.

Here is a brief test I did when I first received the lens.

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07-18-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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I'll look into the vivitar's too. This lens is going to double for taking pictures (moon, stars if possible, whatever) and converted into a telescope. Basically the longer the better. I already have a couple of decent enough AF 300mm lenses but they won't work for at least part of what I want to do (neither will the da or any plastic AF lens unless perhaps its internal focusing). I have a 1.6x front mount teleconverter. Its a huge 2 lb or so brick with a 105mm objective lens. Its a rather expensive century optics (sells for about $650) so the quality is pretty good. Hanging 2lbs on the filter threads of a plastic lens and then trying to focus doesn't work too well. Its a shame too. It seems to work well with the pentax 100-300mm I have. It seems to work well with some lenses, bad with others. It worked great with my vivitar series 1 70-210mm 3.5 but that doesn't give a lot of reach.

Basically it would turn a 400mm 5.6 into a 640mm 5.6. I have little doubt that with the right lens it will be usable as a telescope. I'm fairly certain that while it might turn a very good lens into an ok lens it will be usable for pictures too (based on very limited testing, I may be proven wrong).

In theory, any lens with a 72mm or smaller objective lens can be multiplied by 1.6x with this without any light loss. So far any big heavy metal lenses (as in old manual focus) seem to work fine with the weight, but I have a limited selection of good are even average long ones (haven't found one it plays really nice with yet).
07-19-2013, 03:31 AM   #6
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I would suggest looking into a slightly newer vivitar, probably still cheap

Check the lens image archive

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-sample-photo-archive/198957-vivitar-...ml#post2098866
07-19-2013, 08:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
...I have a TX mount Vivitar made my Tokina. Mine is a 77mm filter size.

It produces acceptable results, but is very heavy. I haven't figured out how to stop it down. It has a small spring loaded wheel that you have to hold to stop it down. Very awkward (maybe somebody can figure it out for me).
You can find the TX to K adapter, or disable the internal parts of the TX to M42 adapter. Or possibly the TX to ES adapter has a better aperture control switch. The regular TX to M42 adapter comes apart and was straightforward to disable. I forget exactly how and have no photos. I saved all the parts and got it working again before I sold it.
07-19-2013, 02:05 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the further information. I actually have a tx - k mount adapter that came on a vivitar 300mm lens. I'll look into the vivitars more. It seems prices for them are all over the place on ebay so I think I'll do a little more reading up on the different versions of them, depending on what shows up on ebay.

Does anyone have any opinion on the spiratone sharpshooter 400mm 6.3?

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