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09-03-2008, 07:50 PM   #16
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I have multiple solutions for 400mm+

Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX is probably the best when coupled wihtheir own 2x TC, but the price will scare the hell out of you. It is the best I have but not in your range.

Next is the Pentax 300mmF4 plus 1.7x AF TC the TC alone sells for more than your budget at present, hence is also out, as this combo would probably catch $700

Next I have a Vivitar 400mm F5.6 manual focus (but multi coated) be careful, there are many different versions of this lens.

The shot below was taken with the vivitar in 1982 on ektachrome 400 film, this shot was hand held, but I have no way of telling you settings.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/119654-post4.html

SOme of these go cheap, but look for one that has MC on the front.

09-04-2008, 02:52 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have multiple solutions for 400mm+

Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX is probably the best when coupled wihtheir own 2x TC, but the price will scare the hell out of you. It is the best I have but not in your range.

Next is the Pentax 300mmF4 plus 1.7x AF TC the TC alone sells for more than your budget at present, hence is also out, as this combo would probably catch $700

Next I have a Vivitar 400mm F5.6 manual focus (but multi coated) be careful, there are many different versions of this lens.

The shot below was taken with the vivitar in 1982 on ektachrome 400 film, this shot was hand held, but I have no way of telling you settings.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/119654-post4.html

SOme of these go cheap, but look for one that has MC on the front.
Lowell, I have the old Sigma 70-200/2.8, which is supossedly much sharper than the newly released macro version. But even this older lens is nowhere near as sharp, when combined with Sigma's 2x Apo TC as even my Tokina 80-400 is. And it is not faster, too.
The best bet, in terms of image quality, would be a prime 400mm lens, like the SMC-A or the Sigma Apo 400, from which I have seen very nice images.
A good working combination is also a 300mm prime combined with a 1.4xtc. Something like the A* 300 + Pentax 1.4x-S (the L-version won't fit). Even the old K 300/4 is a very good lens and I have seen amazingly good images even combined with a Pentax tc. The cheap old K 2-6 tc seems to be a good match for that lens, but then you have a 600/8. A 1.4x tc is surely better.

Ben
09-04-2008, 04:55 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Lowell, I have the old Sigma 70-200/2.8, which is supossedly much sharper than the newly released macro version. But even this older lens is nowhere near as sharp, when combined with Sigma's 2x Apo TC as even my Tokina 80-400 is. And it is not faster, too.
The best bet, in terms of image quality, would be a prime 400mm lens, like the SMC-A or the Sigma Apo 400, from which I have seen very nice images.
A good working combination is also a 300mm prime combined with a 1.4xtc. Something like the A* 300 + Pentax 1.4x-S (the L-version won't fit). Even the old K 300/4 is a very good lens and I have seen amazingly good images even combined with a Pentax tc. The cheap old K 2-6 tc seems to be a good match for that lens, but then you have a 600/8. A 1.4x tc is surely better.

Ben
Hi Ben,
I think you may have gotten a bad copy of the TC or something because that combo actually works quite well. I agree a 400mm prime is slightly better (I've since moved on to the Tokina 400mm) and much easier to handle (less weight) but the Sigma 70-200 lens (I have the same one as you) and Sigma TC can produce some nice sharp results.





09-04-2008, 05:23 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
Hi Ben,
I think you may have gotten a bad copy of the TC or something because that combo actually works quite well. I agree a 400mm prime is slightly better (I've since moved on to the Tokina 400mm) and much easier to handle (less weight) but the Sigma 70-200 lens (I have the same one as you) and Sigma TC can produce some nice sharp results.
Thanks for that. Your images are certainly much sharper than anything I have seen from my combo. Maybe it is really the 2x tc. It would ofcourse be very convenient to just carry the tc instead of an additional lens. Pe3rhaps it should see the Sigma service for adjustment, if that is possible at all.

By the way, as you use that combination: When manual focusing, I sometimes have great difficulties in doing so. The 2x tc seems to block the MF gear train, whereas it works fine in AF. I have read similar things about the Kenko 1.5x tc, but neither that (which I happen to have) not the Sigma 1.4x tc produce such problems. Have you experienced something similar?

Ben

09-04-2008, 07:58 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Thanks for that. Your images are certainly much sharper than anything I have seen from my combo. Maybe it is really the 2x tc. It would ofcourse be very convenient to just carry the tc instead of an additional lens. Pe3rhaps it should see the Sigma service for adjustment, if that is possible at all.

By the way, as you use that combination: When manual focusing, I sometimes have great difficulties in doing so. The 2x tc seems to block the MF gear train, whereas it works fine in AF. I have read similar things about the Kenko 1.5x tc, but neither that (which I happen to have) not the Sigma 1.4x tc produce such problems. Have you experienced something similar?

Ben
My manual focus ring is equally stiff with or without the TC. I just got the lens back from Sigma for a repair (AF stopped working) so I'm guessing the new focus mechanism needs to be broken in a little bit. Not sure if that helps


John
09-04-2008, 12:27 PM   #21
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I would have to agree with palmor here.

I have the origonal version of the APO70-200 F2.8 EX (not DG and NOT Macro)

See below

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/187646-post19.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/208249-post1.html

Whooping crane is about 10% of the frame only. Small falcon is not cropped at all

Nothing wrong with these
09-04-2008, 12:56 PM   #22
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Man, I'm all confused now. Just as well I did not jump on anything too early.

Maybe I should get a nice 300 M 1:4 and a teleconverter? That design will have a large objective lens and let in lots of light for the teleconverter. That way I have a 300 and I have a 500-600. The price will be a bit rough, but it seems there is no free lunch in this league. Is that as handy as a zoom? I don't know. It sucks that the typical 300 M or 300 A does not have a tripod collar.

Otherwise I want a older zoom; long barrel design, multicoated, and with a tripod collar. Thanks for the recommendations, I'm out a lookin'. Not very much available.

I do have a Tele-Takumar in 300. It came without the collar (oops) and is my only M42 lens. I'm not sure why I bought it or what to do with it. I don't think it is any part of the answer. I'm not so sure about adapters.
09-04-2008, 02:06 PM   #23
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Just to be clear, I have previously in this thread linked to posts of my 70-200 F2.8 plus 2xTC, and my vivitare 400 F5.6.

you have not yet (in this post) seen the 300mmF4 and 1.7x AF TC

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/106132-post4.html

Now you have.

As I said, I have 3 workable solutions all of which give good results.

I love the ease of auto focus, but sometimes, it is a real pain in the %$#&. It can't focus throuogh twigs, the birds must be in the clear.

Manual focus with the sigma is not much good, because it is only 90 degrees from min focus to infinity. The SMC300 F4 is 270- degrees and the vivitar 400 F5.6 is 330 degrees. This makes great precision when manually focusing at the expense of speed for moving objects.

I also found another posting using the 400 F5.6 again on 400 ISO film

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/photo-2415.html


Re No tripod mount,

Make your own

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/photo-849.html


Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 09-04-2008 at 02:12 PM.
09-04-2008, 02:21 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by jocko_nc Quote
Man, I'm all confused now. Just as well I did not jump on anything too early.

Maybe I should get a nice 300 M 1:4 and a teleconverter? That design will have a large objective lens and let in lots of light for the teleconverter. That way I have a 300 and I have a 500-600. The price will be a bit rough, but it seems there is no free lunch in this league. Is that as handy as a zoom? I don't know. It sucks that the typical 300 M or 300 A does not have a tripod collar.

Otherwise I want a older zoom; long barrel design, multicoated, and with a tripod collar. Thanks for the recommendations, I'm out a lookin'. Not very much available.

I do have a Tele-Takumar in 300. It came without the collar (oops) and is my only M42 lens. I'm not sure why I bought it or what to do with it. I don't think it is any part of the answer. I'm not so sure about adapters.
You could use the old Takumar with an M42 adapter. But you'll lose auto-aperture and would have to close the aperture manually for shooting. But the camera would operate in Av-mode or with M. As Lowell wrote, you could make your own tripod collar for the A 300 - but it is not really necessary. You will be very surprised, when you get that lens, because it is so tiny (I was...) and doesn't necessarily need a collar.

As Lowell's and John's (palmor) experience with the Sigma 70-200/2.8 + 2x Apo tc are so good, I wouldn't hesitate to try this combination. Even if a fixed focal length lens offers a slight advantage in image quality, the advantages of a zoom lens (and with AF) may be more important. It depends on your style of photography and your expectations towards the working speed.

I would not recommend to go for one og these really older zooms 100-500mm and the like. The image quality is mediocre at best. And they combine mostly all the things you woudln't like on fixed focal length lenses and zoom lenses otherwise considered (expect for the tripod collar): they are slow with respect to the aperture and slow to work with, they are very heavy and tend to break in at the longer end, which is the most useful. Also these old lenses may or may not have enough resolution to work with current and future 10-14 MP sensors.

Ben
09-04-2008, 02:23 PM   #25
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Check out the website mentioned in this thread, some of those Russian lenses can be pretty good. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-pentax-photography/36255-35mm-80m...ns-pentax.html
09-04-2008, 08:16 PM   #26
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I've recently picked up a Vivitar ( Tokina SN37###### ? ) f5.6/400 in a K-mount for ~ $80 that seems OK within the limits of its non-MC coating.

f5.6 @ 1/1500 sec - ISO 400 - no PP other than resize.

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09-04-2008, 09:56 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
I'm not 100% certain of your budget but I really like the Tokina AT-X 400mm f/5.6 lens. You can only find them used but well worth it IMO. I have a bunch of examples of the lens on my pbase gallery if your interested


John
I have the Pentax smc A 400mm f5.6 and its a nice lens as Ben stated. I also have a Tokina RMC 400mm f5.6 and use it because the Pentax I really need a tripod and I can use a monopod with the Tokina. I think for the money, the AT-X would be a good option. There is also a AF version of it out there.

Tamron has a nice SP adaptall 2 400mm f4 lens but they are tough to find. Ironically, I fond a SP 180mm f2.5 (63B) and still haven't got a chance at the 400mm!

Personally, I think the Tokina and Tamron 400mm lenses are better than the Sigma ones.
09-05-2008, 06:03 AM   #28
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Thanks guys...
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