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08-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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Best value in a 300mm prime for film?

After reading all the sundry reviews for 300mm primes, the Sigma 300mm 4.5 looks like the best value in a manual prime for my KM (not K-M). I like the quality of my other Sigma lens and the tripod mount is helpful.

Any other opinions or experiences? Specifically interested in film experiences, fewer worries about CA/fringing for me.


Last edited by Archimedes the Dog; 08-26-2013 at 11:46 AM.
08-26-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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Ca on film exists and if it is lateral CA in the plane of focus it will lead to off center loss of sharpness.

Other good manual focus 300's a the K, M, and A 300/5 lenses from pentax

Also, I picked up a Nikkor 300/4.5 which I modified to M42. It seems a bit sharper perhaps than the K 300/4
08-26-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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Fair enough, but CA seems to be much less pronounced with film than with digital sensors IME. Perhaps we just examine digital images more microscopically. The manual SMC 300mm lenses all seem good, but the lack of tripod mounts and the higher price points seem to offset the value a bit. The SMC Takumar M42 seems good, too.
08-26-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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Might want to give the Tamron Adaptall-2 360b 300mm f2.8 lens a look.

08-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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Pre-digital, Pentax SMC M-, A-, and F-class lenses, and the similar Tokina, Tamron and Sigma lens, especially the * lenses, would be excellent film shooters at less cost than the equivalent 'modern', digitally coated lenses.

They were good on film 20-40 years ago and they're still good today.

H2
08-26-2013, 03:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Might want to give the Tamron Adaptall-2 360b 300mm f2.8 lens a look.
That is a nice looking lens, is it $800 better than the sigma? Not being snarky, just curious. I am definitely not shooting for profit (quite the opposite) so I feel like the value drops off if I am not competing to sell.
08-26-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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As Lowell said go for one of the 300/4 manual focus Pentax lenses. (K, M or A)

Phil.
08-26-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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The Tamron SP 300/5.6 (Model 54B) is sharp and very lightweight for a 300mm lens.
I paid less than $100 for mine.

http://www.adaptall-2.org/lenses/54B.html

Chris

08-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Archimedes the Dog Quote
That is a nice looking lens, is it $800 better than the sigma? Not being snarky, just curious. I am definitely not shooting for profit (quite the opposite) so I feel like the value drops off if I am not competing to sell.
Don't know but I just bough one used with it's matched 2x teleconverter for less than $700. It's a heavy beast built like a tank and sharp too. Just wanted to give you another option.
08-26-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
Don't know but I just bough one used with it's matched 2x teleconverter for less than $700. It's a heavy beast built like a tank and sharp too. Just wanted to give you another option.
Thanks, I appreciate it. I have little experience with more advanced equipment and am unsure of the value. I am always pondering the more expensive lenses and wondering what I would get from them.

Years ago, a friend who was a photographer for travel calendars explained that he competed with other photographers to get photos published and he thus wanted any edge that equipment could give him. I have largely thought of camera equipment value in that light ever since.

I, personally, like the fun of doing photography with cheaper equipment. My entire equipment cost is probably around $700 if you leave off the Sekonic I talked myself into buying with my bonus last year. My Rolleicord was $60. My KM was $30 and it came with two good lenses. With a baby in the house I have to be frugal.
08-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #11
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It depends on what you shoot, but with long lenses the faster it is, the sharper it is, the better. And typically both come at a price. Essentially as you back away from excellence, ie. thousands of dollars, there are more and more situations where you cannot get reasonable results. Assuming of course that your technique can take advantage of the lens' capabilities. You master what you have and don't even bother shooting in situations that you know will disappoint.

To illustrate, compare manual vs auto focus. A skilled photographer can focus manually to get great shots, but if the subject is moving or is still for a very short time, the limits of the equipment means that you don't get a shot. Same with aperture and sharpness.
08-26-2013, 10:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Archimedes the Dog Quote
Thanks, I appreciate it. I have little experience with more advanced equipment and am unsure of the value. I am always pondering the more expensive lenses and wondering what I would get from them.

Years ago, a friend who was a photographer for travel calendars explained that he competed with other photographers to get photos published and he thus wanted any edge that equipment could give him. I have largely thought of camera equipment value in that light ever since.

I, personally, like the fun of doing photography with cheaper equipment. My entire equipment cost is probably around $700 if you leave off the Sekonic I talked myself into buying with my bonus last year. My Rolleicord was $60. My KM was $30 and it came with two good lenses. With a baby in the house I have to be frugal.
A lot depends upon what you intend with the finished product, not just shooting situations etc. if you are only ever going to print 4" x 6" prints from the full frame, you only need 2 megapixels and a cheap lens.

If you want to crop in , make big enlargements etc... You need better quality lenses and higher resolution sensors. Want really shallow depth of field, you need faster lenses. Shooting in low light, better high ISO capabilities of the camera sensor, maybe even going full frame, etc... The list goes on and on,

This does not mean you can't take great shots with less expensive gear, it means usually you have to work harder to get those shots. Working harder, may, however make you a better photographer
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