Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-12-2018, 09:31 AM   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2016
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,628
Takumar 500mm versus SMC varient versus DFA 150-450

The LBA just never lets up. I recently picked up a Pentax-F 1.7x AF converter, and now I'm wondering how it would couple with one of the vintage 500mm lenses. I already have the D FA 150-450, and I have found that converter works pretty well with that lens, but back of my mind is that I always hear TCs work better with primes. That got me to looking around at the vintage 500mm Takumars and SMC variants. I'm thinking the two are optically the same but it's about different coatings. So, what are folk's thoughts on these lenses? Worth looking for one, or a waste of money since I already have the 150-450? Of course, the LBA is so strong, I'm not sure if I can resists anyway, but for once I'm trying to be sensible....

Thanks!

04-12-2018, 09:35 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 14,749
The 500mm f/4.5 lenses that I have seen are very soft compared to today's telephoto lenses. I do not think it will come anywhere near the quality you are getting from the 150-450.
04-12-2018, 09:49 AM   #3
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 48,023
QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
The LBA just never lets up. I recently picked up a Pentax-F 1.7x AF converter, and now I'm wondering how it would couple with one of the vintage 500mm lenses. I already have the D FA 150-450, and I have found that converter works pretty well with that lens, but back of my mind is that I always hear TCs work better with primes. That got me to looking around at the vintage 500mm Takumars and SMC variants. I'm thinking the two are optically the same but it's about different coatings. So, what are folk's thoughts on these lenses? Worth looking for one, or a waste of money since I already have the 150-450? Of course, the LBA is so strong, I'm not sure if I can resists anyway, but for once I'm trying to be sensible....

Thanks!
Personally I've found the 500mm's to be very sharp, but they also suffer from noticeable aberrations due to the simple optical design. At the end of the day the 150-450mm does better overall.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover these costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

04-12-2018, 09:49 AM   #4
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 5,186
Yeah, I would think that zoom is way better than that old prime, although from what I've seen the Tak is better than I thought it would be. Still, the reason that "primes are better" is because in general primes are sharper & faster. But with 50ish years of technological improvement on the Tak, I would expect the modern zoom to blow it away.

04-12-2018, 09:53 AM   #5
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 31,465
QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
That got me to looking around at the vintage 500mm Takumars and SMC variants. I'm thinking the two are optically the same but it's about different coatings. So, what are folk's thoughts on these lenses? Worth looking for one, or a waste of money since I already have the 150-450? Of course, the LBA is so strong
All three versions of the Pentax 500/4.5 (Super-Takumar, S-M-C Takumar, and Pentax-K) share the same optical formula, so you are correct that the main difference would be coatings, build details and mount support. Whether it makes sense to buy is another matter. Consider:
  • The AF with feature of your TC will not work well with that slow a lens (resulting ~f/8 aperture is too slow for PDAF).* Of course, the same is true for that TC with your D FA 150-450mm.
  • All versions of the 500/4.5 are "beasts" of size and weight
  • Your D FA 150-450mm likely has better optical performance



Steve

* The aperture limitation is not one of image brightness, but a matter of light angle that results in prism "black-out" of the PDAF splitter prism (full explanation (pdf) HERE).

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-12-2018 at 10:23 AM.
04-12-2018, 10:07 AM   #6
SMC PENTAX LENSES
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,410
Minimum Focus Distance K500/4.5 = 1000cm
Minimum Focus Distance D FA150~450 = 200cm
04-12-2018, 10:19 AM   #7
Pentaxian
zzeitg's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: South Bohemia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,336
QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
I always hear TCs work better with primes

That's true, but 1.7x is not a standard TC.


QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
I recently picked up a Pentax-F 1.7x AF converter

So did I. And after a couple of quick tests, I'm pretty sure that to nail correct focus will be "trial and error" process (with major part of errors). For sure it's far away from the 1.4x TC user experience....
04-12-2018, 11:15 AM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2016
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,628
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
That's true, but 1.7x is not a standard TC.





So did I. And after a couple of quick tests, I'm pretty sure that to nail correct focus will be "trial and error" process (with major part of errors). For sure it's far away from the 1.4x TC user experience....

Not standard because of the AF aspect or something optically I'm missing?

What's your impression of this TC? I'm finding with the 150-450 that upsampling the image from 450 to match it with the 1.7x is a toss up. Sometimes the shot seems better with the TC, and sometimes it seems better with the 150-450 upsampled. The 1.7x appears to have a fair amount of CA and does introduce purple fringing though.

Part of what's hard on this decision is the LBA aspect and the enjoyment of trying different things. In the lens reviews on the forum, Kerrowdown has a really nice shot with the SMC 500.mm - pics like this make it hard to resist trying:

SMC Pentax 500mm F4.5 Reviews - K Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

04-12-2018, 11:27 AM   #9
SMC PENTAX LENSES
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,410
You really need to have long lens skills, both critical focus and damping with left hand, to nail it with the 500/4.5. Plus good support. I get a lot of motion blur but that’s my fault. In good light it is contrasty enough but subject to atmospherics. The hard sights help. Getting filters into the rear mount is a chore.

All of which makes it fun to use. I have a documented 1998 purchase K mount version.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-12-2018 at 04:58 PM.
04-12-2018, 11:55 AM   #10
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
Loyal Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 31,465
QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
Kerrowdown has a really nice shot with the SMC 500.mm - pics like this make it hard to resist trying:
Kerrowdown can pretty much make any lens sing, just sayin'...

A full walk through both the M42 and Pentax-K reviews show several examples that are more typical as well as some sharp critiques. CA is a recurring theme (often with the comment that it is easy to correct) as is difficulty in focusing and a need to use with tripod. If I saw one for $180 USD in decent condition, I might bite, but not at $350-500.


Steve
04-12-2018, 12:08 PM   #11
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon Cascades
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,742
I've used both long vintage primes and the DFA 150-450. IMHO, there is no contest. If you have neither and are on a budget the primes will be fine. But if you already have the 150-450 nothing vintage you can buy will be better.

Maybe an FA*250-600 but that is in another league altogether.
04-12-2018, 12:42 PM   #12
Pentaxian
zzeitg's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: South Bohemia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,336
QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
Not standard because of the AF aspect or something optically I'm missing?

What's your impression of this TC? I'm finding with the 150-450 that upsampling the image from 450 to match it with the 1.7x is a toss up. Sometimes the shot seems better with the TC, and sometimes it seems better with the 150-450 upsampled. The 1.7x appears to have a fair amount of CA and does introduce purple fringing though.

Because of the AF aspect. So far the focus accuracy hasn't impressed me. Anyway I have to try the adapter with different lenses to be able to evaluate its performance. The need of manual pre-focus does not make it easier, but probably I just need some practice.


(By the way the AF adapter came to me in "Ricoh" box and seems to be brand new. I'm wondering... are these 1.7x AF adapters still officially in production?)
04-12-2018, 01:19 PM   #13
SMC PENTAX LENSES
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,410
QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
Because of the AF aspect. So far the focus accuracy hasn't impressed me. Anyway I have to try the adapter with different lenses to be able to evaluate its performance. The need of manual pre-focus does not make it easier, but probably I just need some practice.


(By the way the AF adapter came to me in "Ricoh" box and seems to be brand new. I'm wondering... are these 1.7x AF adapters still officially in production?)
I believe RIcoh reboxed old Hoya / Pentax Gear. Some items they restickered the UPC (my AIV 77 Lim was restickered).

.:
04-12-2018, 02:44 PM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2016
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,628
Original Poster
Thanks for all the replies. This is mostly what I was thinking, and it's nice to get some first hand feedback.

It sounds like if you got one at the right price, it would be fun to play with, but to use it with reasonable expectations.

Luckily, cures for LBA haven't materialized.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
500mm, 500mm versus smc, converter, k-mount, lba, lenses, pentax lens, slr lens, smc, smc varient, takumar 500mm, varient versus dfa
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DFA 150-450 vs Sigma 150-500 gerax Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 26 05-21-2018 09:24 PM
Owners of Pentax 55-300 and 150-450 - Are you still glad you bought the 150-450? Joyce Keay Pentax K-70 16 02-17-2018 05:55 PM
Simple lens shootout Pentax HD DFA 150-450 vs Canon 100-400 II vs Sigma 150-600 C beholder3 Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 46 07-25-2016 12:33 AM
Nikon D7200+ Sigma 150-600 S vs Pentax DFA 150-450 Shanti Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 43 12-13-2015 09:02 AM
Sigma 150-500mm versus Sigma 50-500mm? Ubuntu_user Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 6 08-31-2011 09:35 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:08 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top