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02-17-2014, 07:11 AM   #16
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Even the "good" mirror lenses (Tokina and Tamron) run more than $50.

02-17-2014, 07:47 AM   #17
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FWIW - can you borrow another copy of the M42 200mm F5.6 preset and try it? Mine is amazingly sharp - cost $49 - has little PF/CA even wide open. I use it with a P/Q adapter for birds... I do always use the shade, always..

Another $40 or so lens, not sure already mentioned because it may be too short for you, is the M42 135mm F2.8 Vivitar Prime/Komine. (S/N 28xxxx). Mine seems close in sharpness and contrast to my M42 100mm F4.0 Macro Tak - which was 4x the cost. Bit more PF/CA though... Try with a TC? (whats to lose..)
02-17-2014, 07:09 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by cahudson42 Quote
FWIW - can you borrow another copy of the M42 200mm F5.6 preset and try it? Mine is amazingly sharp - cost $49 - has little PF/CA even wide open. I use it with a P/Q adapter for birds... I do always use the shade, always..
Thanks, cahudson. I think I'm learning what I can and cannot do w/ that TeleTak 200 5.6. Part of the trick is simply focusing. I've tried both through the viewfinder and LiveView, and I get mixed results in terms of which works better. I'm also learning how to operate the preset better. I've found that I really need to leave it open in order to focus, but when I go to close to the preset, I'm occasionally bumping the focus. I'm certainly doing better w/ plenty of light than not. When I do everything right, I can get sharpness that is as good or better as the DAL 55-300 at 200mm, but I usually have to do some touchup in Lightroom to fix the color aberrations.

Additionally, I have a apochromatic macro lens (a 49mm screw on deal; it's not one of those closeup lens/filters), and with it I can get decent 1:1 macro.

I'm continuing to practice with these long primes to see if I can get better results...
02-18-2014, 05:27 AM   #19
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I have an old vivitar 400mm F5.6 bought new as an end of line sale in 1982 for about $150CDN at the time

shot using ektachrome 400 scanned at 2880 dpi

You need to look for a lens starting with serial number 28xxxxxx and look for MC on the lens.

Also recently, I picked up a tamron SP 200-500/5.6 for about 350 including case, tamron 112mm front filter and 38mm drop in filter, a 2x tamron TC, plus 2 Nikon adaptors and a PKA adaptor



02-18-2014, 06:23 AM   #20
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Unless you're ridiculously lucky, I think you'll have to spend significantly more than $50 to best the 55-300. I've had quite a few teles in the 300-ish range, and I can tell you the 55-300 punches well above it's weight. Unless you're getting something similar to this Tamron SP 300, I don't think I'd bother.
02-18-2014, 11:56 AM   #21
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I have a Super Takumar 200/4 which cost me $50 plus shipping. I have had good results with a Vivitar M42 2x TC although I don't use that combination very often. My K300/4 cost me around $250 if I remember right. It's a big heavy beast without a tripod mount. It's quite good wide open and superb stopped down. I have had decent results with a Pentax 2x Rear Converter A but like the Tak, I don't use the converter setup often.

It's still worthwhile to own a AF zoom like the DA 55-300 or a Sigma 70-300. Neither will set you back a whole lot. The Sigma can be quite good stopped down and KEH had some used ones in the $60 range. The DA 55-300 is better and used ones run around $250 and the L versions even cheaper.
02-18-2014, 01:38 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Unless you're ridiculously lucky, I think you'll have to spend significantly more than $50 to best the 55-300. I've had quite a few teles in the 300-ish range, and I can tell you the 55-300 punches well above it's weight. Unless you're getting something similar to this Tamron SP 300, I don't think I'd bother.
I'm hoping to get ridiculously lucky!
Yeah, the more I use the 55-300, the more I'm impressed with what it does.
Some other things I'm finding out:
  • The TeleVivitar 300 f5.6 I have can return some good pics, but it's way more hit/miss than the 55-300 at 300. In addition, I can usually do okay with the 55-300 at 300 handheld. Not so much w/ the TeleVivitar.
  • Rather than doing just test pics, I wanted to see how things would go in typical practice. I went for a walk and took a bunch of pictures with the 55-300 one way, switched lenses to the TeleTak 200, and took the same pics coming back. Out of 7 pics for which I could make good comparisons, the 55-300 won (ie, better sharpness, contrast) 5-2. Part of the issue is simply my focus skills w/ a manual, but the 2 shots where the TeleTak won were markedly better.
  • I have both a decent 2x teleconverter and a very nice 1.5x Kenko teleconverter. It's not worth using them on the TeleTak.
02-18-2014, 04:46 PM   #23
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When you use the 200mm F5.6 TeleTak, to focus are you using OVF with PDAF, or LiveView CDAF? ( Your K-30 with Focus Peaking and Magnification?)

I use mine with a K-01 and Q, so no OVF/PDAF, but LiveView snaps into focus at 5.6. particularly with magnification.

Perhaps with PDAF there may be a an issue of front/back focus, which as I understand it, you can compensate for M42s 'globally' (one setting), but at least that can be done.

If using OVF/PDAF, I can see why using the 200mm with a 2X TC may be impossibly fussy - as you are trying to focus at what? F11? However, it might be worth a try in LV if the screen is bright enough..

Keep Trying!

02-18-2014, 06:09 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
I'm hoping to get ridiculously lucky!
Hey... could happen. Ya never know. I once nabbed an absolutely mint Pentax DA 10-17 fisheye zoom for $50 on Craigslist. (Wasn't hot, either.) Just keep your eyes peeled.
02-18-2014, 08:33 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by cahudson42 Quote
When you use the 200mm F5.6 TeleTak, to focus are you using OVF with PDAF, or LiveView CDAF? ( Your K-30 with Focus Peaking and Magnification?)

I use mine with a K-01 and Q, so no OVF/PDAF, but LiveView snaps into focus at 5.6. particularly with magnification.

Perhaps with PDAF there may be a an issue of front/back focus, which as I understand it, you can compensate for M42s 'globally' (one setting), but at least that can be done.

If using OVF/PDAF, I can see why using the 200mm with a 2X TC may be impossibly fussy - as you are trying to focus at what? F11? However, it might be worth a try in LV if the screen is bright enough..

Keep Trying!
I've been practicing w/ both the OVF and LV. LV and a tripod give best results, because I'm not the best at taking a pic holding the camera away from my eye.

If I understand things correctly, when using LV, front/back focus shouldn't be an issue. I've calibrated my autofocus lenses, but I should check about front/back focus issues when using the OVF w/ these manual lenses. Thanks.

I'll keep trying!
02-18-2014, 10:19 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Unless you're ridiculously lucky, I think you'll have to spend significantly more than $50 to best the 55-300. I've had quite a few teles in the 300-ish range, and I can tell you the 55-300 punches well above it's weight. Unless you're getting something similar to this Tamron SP 300, I don't think I'd bother.
How about a Nikon-h 300/4.5 for $40 and add $5 for the scrap m42 lens I stole the mount from to make this an M42 lens

02-18-2014, 10:35 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Fifty dollars is tough. I think the Vivitar/Komine 200mm f3.5 is pretty good
1+ on Dave's comment.

There are many, many moderately-priced and even cheap telephoto prime lenses in the range from 100mm to 200mm that are also very good and well-worth shooting with. Optical design in that focal length range is usually pretty straight-forward and competition was fierce even at the low end with most makers turning out very credible product in the late 1960s through the middle 1980s. Above 200mm things thin out VERY quickly.

Check my sig line. I think I paid $45 for the Viv 200/3.5, $49 for the Pentax-M 200/4, $35 for the Viv 135/2.8, and $90 for the Jupiter-9.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-18-2014 at 10:41 PM.
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