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11-19-2019, 10:51 PM - 2 Likes   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Amazing images luftfluss. Lens records impressive sharpness in your hands. See many mentions of this lens being difficult to shoot. Is it more difficult than other large 500mm lenses?

Bought one of these years ago. Don't remember it being anywhere near this quality. Will drag it out and try it on the K-1. Are there different versions of this lens? Mine has an interchangeable back piece that accepts m42 or K mount fittings. What do you feel is the sharpest aperture for this lens? Sorry for all the questions.
Thanks,
barondla
I'm happy to answer questions about the lens - I appreciate that there are folks interested in using it.

Yes, it's a little tough to use. Besides that fact that it is large and heavy, the focus ring does not always have a consistent feel when the lens is tilted up or down - there's something like a little bit of a binding sensation. One reviewer of the K version of the lens thinks the binding sensation is due to using a heavy camera (mine's the K-3 II + grip). And of course since the lens is not Internal Focus the balance shifts while focusing. Of my long teles the A 400/5.6 is my favorite for focus, it's smooth and linear and well-damped, so while focusing isn't fast it is precise. The K 135-600/6.7 has a pretty nice focusing action, too.


Focusing using a large aperture is a little tricky because the depth of field is so thin.

AFAIK the SMC Tak version and K-mount are the same other than the mounting point. The non-SMC Tak still has the same optical construction, just lesser coatings.


I don't recall if I've stopped down further than f/8, but that is definitely the sharpest aperture I've encountered. Each half-stop down from f/4.5 yields a noticeable improvement in sharpness and contrast, and a reduction in chromatic abberation, which can be downright vicious wide open. Wide open, the lens actually captures a decent amount of detail, but it's attenuated by the low contrast and aberrations. I generally prefer to shoot the lens at f/6.7 - f/8.

A few other thoughts: bokeh is generally very nice and smooth, even when the lens is stopped down. However, sometimes the transition areas can be a bit fuzzy - think focusing on a tree branch and there's another branch right behind it... that branch may have a bit of a fuzzy appearance to it, but branches further back will be rendered smoothly. The lens is very sensitve to light. Harsh, midday sunlight can lead to a pretty ugly aesthetic; modern lenses handle that much better. Keep the light behind you or shoot on a cloudy day or evening and the lens performs OK. Bright white objects can bloom a bit when the sun hits them - another case where modern glass does a better job. I guess what it boils down to is minding your P's and Q's when it comes to lighting... actually everything

11-20-2019, 10:12 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I'm happy to answer questions about the lens - I appreciate that there are folks interested in using it.

Yes, it's a little tough to use. Besides that fact that it is large and heavy, the focus ring does not always have a consistent feel when the lens is tilted up or down - there's something like a little bit of a binding sensation. One reviewer of the K version of the lens thinks the binding sensation is due to using a heavy camera (mine's the K-3 II + grip). And of course since the lens is not Internal Focus the balance shifts while focusing. Of my long teles the A 400/5.6 is my favorite for focus, it's smooth and linear and well-damped, so while focusing isn't fast it is precise. The K 135-600/6.7 has a pretty nice focusing action, too.


Focusing using a large aperture is a little tricky because the depth of field is so thin.

AFAIK the SMC Tak version and K-mount are the same other than the mounting point. The non-SMC Tak still has the same optical construction, just lesser coatings.


I don't recall if I've stopped down further than f/8, but that is definitely the sharpest aperture I've encountered. Each half-stop down from f/4.5 yields a noticeable improvement in sharpness and contrast, and a reduction in chromatic abberation, which can be downright vicious wide open. Wide open, the lens actually captures a decent amount of detail, but it's attenuated by the low contrast and aberrations. I generally prefer to shoot the lens at f/6.7 - f/8.

A few other thoughts: bokeh is generally very nice and smooth, even when the lens is stopped down. However, sometimes the transition areas can be a bit fuzzy - think focusing on a tree branch and there's another branch right behind it... that branch may have a bit of a fuzzy appearance to it, but branches further back will be rendered smoothly. The lens is very sensitve to light. Harsh, midday sunlight can lead to a pretty ugly aesthetic; modern lenses handle that much better. Keep the light behind you or shoot on a cloudy day or evening and the lens performs OK. Bright white objects can bloom a bit when the sun hits them - another case where modern glass does a better job. I guess what it boils down to is minding your P's and Q's when it comes to lighting... actually everything
Thank you for the super user info. I only shot the lens wide open and at about f5.6. Will try f8 & 11. Also have a Soligar 800mm f8 that breaks down into 2 pieces. Need to give it a try, just for fun.

Thanks,
barondla
11-30-2019, 08:27 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neopifex Quote
I suddenly feel very inspired to go out with mine and hunt the local wildlife. In fact, I may go do that this weekend.
Any new adventures to report?
12-08-2019, 11:14 AM - 2 Likes   #19
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I have just paid a deposit for a SMC Pentax 500mm F4.5 from Ted's cameras in Melbourne. I briefly tried the lens yesterday in the store and am amazed at the clarity. I will pick it up this week.
At 3.37kg, the beast of a lens will be used to shoot some birds and possibly the moon.
The quality of the all steel, 40yo build is amazing.
I can't wait to add it to my collection. I feel very excited to be getting it.
My only issue at the moment is finding a suitable container for lugging it around.

12-10-2019, 06:30 PM - 3 Likes   #20
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I had one of these back in the day. It is quite sharp - given a couple of caveats. First, like a 600/4, it's a long heavy lens and needs to be used with a very sturdy tripod and some effort needs to be exerted to reduce vibration. Long lens use is a fairly steep and surprisingly long learning curve. You can't expect to buy a long lens, mount it up, and shoot like Art Wolfe or Franz Lanting right off the bat. Second, this lens uses a rather simple 4 element optical design that is not anywhere near apochromatic. It is barely anchromatic which tells you it was designed for B&W use. In color, areas just off it's razor thin depth of focus are subject to CA which will give the effect of softness before you can see color separation. You'll get best performance using it to shoot in B&W with good quality mono-chromatic filters. Heed both these and you will get great images with it.
12-10-2019, 07:04 PM   #21
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Just thinking out loud ...electronic stabilizing gimbals like the Zhiyun Tech CRANE 3 LAB will take a payload of 4.5 kg, which could cope with a 500 f4.5 + K-3. An electronic gimbal paired with in-body stabilization could be very effective.

Something like the Crane could also free you from needing to lug a heavy tripod for use with such a lens.
12-12-2019, 12:14 PM - 1 Like   #22
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So I picked up a copy of this lens (K-Mount) yesterday and I will experiment with some shots tonight after work to help answer this question.
The lens itself has a screw thread at the front but I highly doubt I will be able to find a big enough filter for the front and will end up using the rear mounted filter option.
I am very excited to finally get my hands on a 500mm Pentax lens as I have only ever owned a 500mm mirror lens before this one.

12-12-2019, 12:24 PM   #23
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Besides the impressive lens, the gigantic metal Pentax lens cap is something to see.
Thanks,
barondla
12-15-2019, 02:53 AM   #24
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So I finally took my Pentax 500mm f4.5 lens out for a spin.
My target was my neighbours TV antenna which is approx 20 meters away from where I set up my tripod.
Shutter speed was 1/80th of a second at ISO 100 - f7.6 with no rear mounted filter on the lens.
I used a K-70 with Auto White balance. I also used a remote corded trigger to eliminate the lens shaking and motion blur.
I hope this shows some sharpness resolution answers.
I see plenty of Chromatic Aberrations which is why the next time I shoot with this lens, i shall shoot in B&W to see the differences.
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12-16-2019, 06:56 AM   #25
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Also see if you can get a set of color filters for it. It takes 49mm, so they won't be too expensive but I would get as good as you can. Red and green were always most useful for me.
12-16-2019, 07:16 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillO Quote
Also see if you can get a set of color filters for it. It takes 49mm, so they won't be too expensive but I would get as good as you can. Red and green were always most useful for me.
Just a note here...If you use colored filters that will remove info from your Raw Files though.. you maybe better off without the filters, and working the image from Raw into Black and white if thats goal. Colored Filters were great in the days of Film but with Raw and PP they may give you less to work with...Just an observation.

al
12-16-2019, 09:02 AM   #27
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The color filters actually remove the CA making the image sharper. While you can remove the color later, you can't remove the artifacting caused by the CA.
12-16-2019, 11:03 AM - 3 Likes   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
AFAIK the SMC Tak version and K-mount are the same other than the mounting point. The non-SMC Tak still has the same optical construction, just lesser coatings.
The SMC M42 version uses 49mm filters and the K-Mount uses 52mm.

Phil.
12-16-2019, 01:11 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
The SMC M42 version uses 49mm filters and the K-Mount uses 52mm.

Phil.
My bad. Yes, the one I used to have was the M42 with a k mount adapter.
12-29-2019, 06:14 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Besides the impressive lens, the gigantic metal Pentax lens cap is something to see.
Thanks,
barondla
I've been trying to find one. Mine came without one.
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