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07-08-2008, 01:12 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Sorry, I think you got carried away with your statement. First of all, there are a couple of lenses, namely Pentax FA lenses, which have far superior optical performance, than any of the old manual lenses (80-200/2.8 or 28-75/2.8 spring to my mind, but also the 300/4.5, 400/2.8, 600/4 etc. pp) This would be one reason to go for AF lenses. In the MF lens aera, especially long tele photo lenses were severely limited in their performance, because photographic lenses rarely sported ED/SD lens elements. There was the Ultra-Apo Takumar - but that was that. Only late MF lenses (the A* modells) benefitted from low dispersion glass.
And what about the newly produced manual primes? Such as Carl Zeiss? Are you going to tell me that they are of worse quality as the FA zooms? Ofcourse a DA* 300mm might outperform the Tele Takumars. But at what price? But what I reacted on was the statment that MF was for slowpokes. Not the optical quality of lenses.

QuoteQuote:
Also, there are other good reasons for AF. For once it can be faster, as - again especially with long lenses – the simple mechanical act of focusing takes a lot of time. Old glass usually has helicoids for simply changing the lens-to-film- distance. These require a long travel, usually around 360 degs, a full turn (400/5.6, 500/4.5 etc.). Modern IF (internal focusing) lenses were already much faster to focus, even manually and AF topped that. I think, the discussion, wheter manual or auto focusing was faster, has been decided ten years ago with the modern Canon EOS modells (even pre-digital).
Yes, it might be faster. But to completly write manual focusing off, because it is only usable at certain situations when you have the "patience" is simply wrong. In most situations when you are using a long tele, you will be near infinty when focusing, very, very rarely do you have to make a full turn to achieve focus. If you know your lens and how to work it, you will be very quick and exact with it, even before your motif is in focusing range.

QuoteQuote:
So, in my opinion, AF has its place or quite a few places in photography. It is not about an excuse to spend money. Your rant could be read quite to the contrary, somebody hiding his lack of funds or unwillingnes to invest in modern, at least partly superior equipment, behind this rant against modern AF lenses. I don't think, that this is your motivation, but really, your lines were too pointed. MF lenses might be your preferred choice, but this is an individual choice and not one on general account.

(By the way, I think, you targetted the wrong person, as Hrishi just posted a few nice owl images, taken with the old K 300/4.)
I am not targeting anyone at all, I am stating my opinion, based on what his was. I am not arguing, I am discussing. I have two way too expensive autofocusing zooms and I do regret that I bought them at all. The money I spent on one of them is more then I spent on all my 30 or so manual lenses. And niether of them would have gotten me better pictures then the manual counterparts.

QuoteQuote:
I personally use, whatever is adequate for the images I want to make. If I have time and don't need to deliver within a deadline I even go out with one of my 4x5 cameras. This is slow! At other times, to meet a tight deadline, I fire away with AF lenses and full-speed (as far as possible with Pentax...) And I even use some of my AF lenses manually if it is of advantage...
What shots can't you do with manual lenses? The only shot I can think of is if i crash into a motorcycle head on at 150km/h .

Yes, I know there is a use for AF, but I think people are overreacting about it. Just as for example people that state that you HAVE TO SEE SR IN THE VIEWFINDER or you will never ever get a sharp shot.

Here the DA*300mm costs about 1800$. I got my SMC-M 300/4 for 90$ or so. Would I pay 1710$ for autofocus? Never.

07-08-2008, 01:50 PM   #17
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autofocusing with a tele during the day is easy as pie.

anyone thinking otherwise just hasnt done it enough.
07-08-2008, 02:21 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
autofocusing with a tele during the day is easy as pie.

anyone thinking otherwise just hasnt done it enough.
You mean Manual focusing .
07-09-2008, 03:08 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
And what about the newly produced manual primes? Such as Carl Zeiss? Are you going to tell me that they are of worse quality as the FA zooms? Ofcourse a DA* 300mm might outperform the Tele Takumars. But at what price? But what I reacted on was the statment that MF was for slowpokes. Not the optical quality of lenses.
Well, my A* 300/4 was not a Cent less expensive than a DA 300 is. And the Zeiss lenses are in no way cheaper than AF modells.


QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
Yes, it might be faster. But to completly write manual focusing off, because it is only usable at certain situations when you have the "patience" is simply wrong. In most situations when you are using a long tele, you will be near infinty when focusing, very, very rarely do you have to make a full turn to achieve focus. If you know your lens and how to work it, you will be very quick and exact with it, even before your motif is in focusing range.
Nobody in this thread completely dismissed MF lenses - quite to the contrary - there are applications for both, MF and AF and a good AF lens can be used easily manually. By the way: I rarely use my 500/4.5 near infinity, more in the realm of 10-50 meters for bird photography. And that involves heavy MF work. An IF lens would be much better, but the 500 is too old for that concept.


QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
I am not targeting anyone at all, I am stating my opinion, based on what his was. I am not arguing, I am discussing. I have two way too expensive autofocusing zooms and I do regret that I bought them at all. The money I spent on one of them is more then I spent on all my 30 or so manual lenses. And niether of them would have gotten me better pictures then the manual counterparts.
The problem is, that really good manual lenses are basically quite as expensive as AF lenses. The Zeiss lenses, you mention are an example, but that is also true for some Petax glass. My Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar was less expensive than the Pentax FA200/4 Macro (but that is an enigmatic lens, I actually have never seen) - but it was in no way cheap. With lenses it is the same as with most other things in life: quality does not come cheap.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
What shots can't you do with manual lenses? The only shot I can think of is if i crash into a motorcycle head on at 150km/h .
I have lost many bird shots, because manual focusing at not infinite distances is simply slow. I don't say, that it is impossible to make stunning nature shots manually - because decades of impressive MF photography prove otherwise.

QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
Here the DA*300mm costs about 1800$. I got my SMC-M 300/4 for 90$ or so. Would I pay 1710$ for autofocus? Never.
I know you are a victim of the high VAT and other import duties in Sweden - but that basically applies to all lenses, MF or AF. As I wrote above, my A*300/4 manual focus lens was not a single Cent cheaper, than a DA 300 would be. I don't know about your SMC-M, but I guess, it is the old SMC K, because the only SMC-M 300 is the *-variety, which is a rare collectors item. If you got that for 90 USD, you are a very lucky guy.

Anyway: There is a place for AF lenses and for MF. Generally I don't care, as long, as the lens delivers top image quality. And especially in the tele area, modern lenses, AF or MF, beat old glass, because the lens designers of 30-40 years ago mostly did not have means to realize top image quality at long focal lengthes - it was simply way too expensive.

Every lens is a compromise, but modern glass technology is often a key ingredients to achieve better quality optics at an affordable price. The price advantage you refer too is the one, every second-hand item has versus a new item, be it lenses or cars. A really good Apo lens in the 1970 was more expensive, than a comparable lens today.

regards
Ben

07-09-2008, 03:08 PM   #20
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All of Ansel Adams' work must suck since he didn't have autofocus.


07-09-2008, 09:04 PM   #21
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Why would Ansel (or anyone ) need autofocus to capture Moonrise, Hernandez? Also, he didn't shoot many animals, right?

As even Ben mentioned, Nobody here has anything against manual focus. If we were to be swayed by latest-but useless technology and number games, we wouldn't be shooting Pentax, right?

Don't we still use MF for macro work? MF and AF both have their pros annd cons..Sometimes the MF is desired even for bird photography if the bird is in bush or a nest between lots of intruding branches..Ability to achieve superb manual focus was, among other things, the reason for me to buy a DSLR over a Prosumer..

That said, its just plain difficult and time consuming to focus manually if shooting passerines esp Muscicapidae in action..or BIF of course, unless u prefocus on the most obvious direction the bird would choose to take off..

The 'patience' I mentioned wasn't about using the lens, but about the extra time you have to shoot in order to cover up for the missed shots due to lack of AF..I'm sorry as I should have explained it more clearly..As I reread my reply, it does appear that i was talking about the 'patience with the lens'..

And generally, photographers across world would tend to agree that there are few things more than the 150km/hr crash that one acn't capture with a MF..that said, one can still capture the 150km/hr crash using MF if its a planned one

If somebody offered me a MF100/2.8 macro and FDA 100/2.8 macro, I'll choose the MF 100/2.8 coz it would be cheaper and won't make a difference to my work.

However, if somebody offers me k300/4 and a DA*300/4, I'll go for the K300/4 only if I can't afford the DA*..:ugh:

Rainer asked us a question, I replied what I thought would be good for him, as he hadn't mentioend specific use. But clearly my advice wasn't good for him as he doesn't mind focusing manually and insisted on primes. If he had mentioned he didnt want zoom, I wouldn't have suggested him that one..

Anyways, the K300/4 prime which somebody discouraged him to buy is , in my humble opinion,has the best price/output ratio for any 300mm lens in the Pentax system.. I wnet for it instead of the 70-300 AF zooms coz it was faster than them and had the ability to work with a TC..I simply needed the longest and the fastest lens I could afford..And I also chose it for all the pros that Zewrak mentioned like the built quality, optical quality etc..
08-06-2008, 12:15 PM   #22
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I bought a used Tamron 300 f/2.8 on Ebay about a year ago and have been very pleased with its image quality on my *ist-DS. It's the Adaptall-2 manual focus model 60B in the ugly army green color, is quite beat up, and cost me $425. It takes great pictures as long as it's focused accurately. Focusing is a pain - I use a Pentax 2x flip-up magnifier which helps a lot - just recently I bought one of those Chinese 1x/2.5x right-angle finders which should be much better, though I haven't actually used that yet. I use the Tamron lens mostly for stage & concert photography (where the subject is stationary or nearly so), on a heavy tripod, with a remote corded shutter release. It's too heavy to be used handheld for more than about 30 seconds, although I have taken a few pictures of animals in my backyard using it handheld. I am new to PentaxForums and haven't posted any pictures yet, but I'll put up some taken with this lens fairly soon.
08-09-2008, 02:19 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnI Quote
… Focusing is a pain - I use a Pentax 2x flip-up magnifier which helps a lot - j… It's too heavy to be used handheld for more than about 30 seconds, although I have taken a few pictures of animals in my backyard using it handheld. I am new to PentaxForums and haven't posted any pictures yet, but I'll put up some taken with this lens fairly soon.
Hi John. The 60B is a fine lens. I bought one myself some time ago and can only emphasize, what you have written. But both, focusing and handholding improve with practice. Handholding was intended by Tamron via the the included handrest (which screws into the tripod mount). Unfortunately I have never had this rest, because it wasn't there, when I bought my lens. But I have a substantial quick release plate (Manfrotto hexagons) on the the mount and use that for handholding. It gives a much better grip, than the usual "claw around the lens barrel." And as the QR plate is right below the center of gravity, it really helps, holding the lens-camera-combo steady.

When I started using that lens handheld, I managed to get blurred images (despite SR) with 1/4000s! Now I am down to 1/250s and get sharp images more often than not. The Tamron works very well with the Pentax 1.4x-L tele converter by the way.

regards
Ben

08-09-2008, 06:52 PM   #24
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I've seen three 60B on ebay in July and they went for:

969
760
305.03

These prices make the DA 300mm look good to me.
08-10-2008, 04:53 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I've seen three 60B on ebay in July and they went for:

969
760
305.03

These prices make the DA 300mm look good to me.
The last price you quoted is not that bad… All in all you should compare the Tamron prices to the old Pentax A 300/2.8, which is much more expensive on the second-hand market than the new DA 300/4. This one f-stop makes a huge difference in all respects: bulk, weight and price. But the one f-stop advantage can be a very decisive assett.

Ben
08-10-2008, 05:43 AM   #26
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Searching for a fine unexpensive lense around 300mm

Just thinking about buying a used lense around 300mm. I must say that I dont will use these a lot because I´m not into the bird or sport pic business. I just want to try and play a little around. So manual fokus would be OK.

So what to do?

=============================


I'm a little late to this thread but here goes. Based on my experience with the Pentax K 300 I find myself in agreement with Ben here. The K 300 while not an M/A * lens or auto focus it is certainly capable of delivering great images under most circumstances. This K 300 shot is one of the better shots I’ve made with any lens in the last little while.



Yes it is prone to chromatic aberrations (CA) in high contrast situations but such situations can be avoided once you are aware of them. It is hefty and while it can be hand held in good light you will want to use a monopod/tripod in most cases. I’ve been “playing around” with my copy for the last month or so and I am quite enjoying the experience. As Ben noted “time” is the key issue in using equipment of this vintage. It is manual focus and metering on digital is stop-down only and you will find no aperture reading in the viewfinder. This can slow the process down quite a bit but it is not necessarily a bad thing to think about what you are shooting and how to approach the subject before taking the shot. If you are impatient or totally addicted to auto focus this is not the lens for you. If you don’t mind slowing things down a bit I think you can have a lot of fun with a lens like the K 300.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-10-2008 at 07:43 AM. Reason: typo
08-10-2008, 08:37 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by TKH Quote
So there is a new woman in the neigberhood and I like to take pics when she is sitting with her bikini in the garden.
No. Just joking.
only have primes in my camera bag and like to stay that way.

Best,
Rainer
Rainer, if you can find one the Quantary brand (Wolf/Ritz private label brand, and I think they are actually made by Tamron) 70-300mm zoom works decently. I bought mine new from a Wolf's store two years ago for my ist DL and also use it with my K20D.
Good Luck
Larry
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