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09-03-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
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Ideas / Recommend for 400mm

Guys:

Looking for recommendations for a 400mm lens. I've had my eyes (so has everyone else) on any 400mm SMC Pentax M to come along that certain auction site. They are highly desirable and go for almost $400.00. Though I am highly fond of M series, I suspect that the collecting value may surpass the functional value. ???.

Is there a more modern Sigma or other make that I should consider? What is a good manual lens in the $250.00 range? Is my search clouded by the novelty of the cool old stuff? Should I suck it up and get the thing?

Manual focus.

M or A aperture.

K mount, no M42 adapter.

I am starting to think a zoom would be a good thing.

Thanks.

09-03-2008, 11:16 AM   #2
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I had the Sigma 135-400 and it's a decent lens, though I sold it so I could buy the Bigma. There's a big price difference, and not as much of an image quality difference. The 135-400 didn't have a zoom lock, and that bugged me.

Have you tried KEH.com? I bought a 300mm f/4 from them and thought the price was fair. They're a little high, but not wildly high like the ebay crowd can be.
09-03-2008, 11:29 AM   #3
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Teleobjektiv Novoflex 400mm på Tradera. Pentax | Objektiv |
09-03-2008, 11:36 AM   #4
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Haha, I suspect using that lens here in the U.S. is likely to get you shot.

09-03-2008, 11:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
Haha, I suspect using that lens here in the U.S. is likely to get you shot.
I think you may be right. That's one bad-ass lens for sure.

Seriously, how are the optics on that? Certainly unique. And bad-ass.
09-03-2008, 11:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jocko_nc Quote
I think you may be right. That's one bad-ass lens for sure.

Seriously, how are the optics on that? Certainly unique. And bad-ass.
It's a very good lens. And the shutter release button is connected with a remote release to the pistolgrip. So you can use right hand for holding it, as a rifle.
09-03-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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this is a very nice lens if you can find it. Usually goes for around$300. There are several versions, this is the best of them:

Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO Tele Macro

Last edited by ivoire; 04-18-2009 at 09:23 AM.
09-03-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I bought a 300mm f/4 from them and thought the price was fair. They're a little high, but not wildly high like the ebay crowd can be.
Just curious, how do you like the 300/f4?

09-03-2008, 01:42 PM   #9
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From my own experience I can heartily recommend the SMC-A 400/5.6. Though lacking AF, this is a superb lens. It is in fact noticeably sharper, than the A* 300/4 - at least sharper than my A* 300. Also the link to the Novoflex should not be overlooked (you find these likewise on ebay). The A 400 goes pretty well with the Pentax 1.4x-L tele converter, if you need that reach.

If you opt for the newer 3-lens-elements T-Novlexar 400/5.6 with the barrell focusing system instead of the old bellows design, it is a razor-sharp lens. On top, focusing is really fast with the Novoflex. In many situations it is faster to focus on a "target", than the AF can. Especially so, when your subject is small and partly covered by obscuring leaves, branches etc., which is very common, when shooting wildlife. THe AF has obvious problems distinguishing the obtrusive foreground details from the real subject.

You shouldn't use the Novoflex nowadays near airports, military or other security sensible locations...

Ben
09-03-2008, 01:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jocko_nc Quote
Guys:

Looking for recommendations for a 400mm lens. I've had my eyes (so has everyone else) on any 400mm SMC Pentax M to come along that certain auction site. They are highly desirable and go for almost $400.00. Though I am highly fond of M series, I suspect that the collecting value may surpass the functional value. ???.

Is there a more modern Sigma or other make that I should consider? What is a good manual lens in the $250.00 range? Is my search clouded by the novelty of the cool old stuff? Should I suck it up and get the thing?

Manual focus.

M or A aperture.

K mount, no M42 adapter.

I am starting to think a zoom would be a good thing.

Thanks.
I am quite happy with the results of my SMC-P M 400mm f/5.6 on my k10d. I was even happier with it on the MZ-S, but now that I have finally learned how to reduce the CA's it gives me on sensor, I am happier again. Any decent quality 400/5.6 goes for about $400 these days. I bought mine 20 years ago for $300 - and considered it a great deal then.
09-03-2008, 02:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by paolojackson Quote
Just curious, how do you like the 300/f4?
It's a nice lens for the price. It can give some wicked PF in the wrong conditions (typical high contrast or improper exposure), but nothing more than other lenses (my DA*200 can also give wicked PF).

I'm not that great with manual focus, so I'll probably sell it in the future (along with the Pentax 1.7x AF converter) and go for the DA*300. Still, I've taken some nice shots with it. This has to be my favorite shot taken with the lens and the K100D.

09-03-2008, 05:00 PM   #12
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Keep the 1.7x afa Russ- it works great with the da*300
09-03-2008, 05:23 PM   #13
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I bought a used Tokina AT-X AF400mm f/5.6 a few months ago & have been very pleased with it. It's reasonably sharp and the autofocus works well, although is rather noisy (a common trait, I hear).
09-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #14
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there's a tokina 80-400mm that's not too expensive if purchased used
it shows up in the marketplace from time to time
09-03-2008, 07:25 PM   #15
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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
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