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06-30-2020, 06:49 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I'll bet its not under $500...................................
It certainly is not.


06-30-2020, 09:26 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I'll bet its not under $500...................................
No, but it's under $5000 Canadian. I've been fantasizing about for a few weeks now. And that's all it will ever be - I often can't justify spending a tenth of that price so this is a safe fantasy. LBF not LBA.
07-01-2020, 01:11 AM   #18
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Another vote for the SMC Pentax A 400mm f/5.6 from me. I have one that I bought new in the mid eighties. It is still going strong after all these years. I recently got an SMC Pentax F 1.7x AF Adapter. The combo seems to work well, but I have only shot a few frames with it so far. It gives you extra reach and the convenience of auto focus.
07-01-2020, 01:55 AM - 5 Likes   #19
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Before I got "more serious" long lenses (I now have the DA* 4/300 and a manual focus Sigma 4.5/500) I enjoyed the quite rare Sigma APO 5.6/400. Not a bad lens if you are fine with manual focus-
Here are 2 shots (with a K5)

... yes, BIF is quite doable with manual focus ...





I seem to remember that you are located in Germany?
If you want to play with the lens to see if you like this range and manual focus I can send it to you against shipping costs. When you are done playing just send it back to me.

07-01-2020, 02:21 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
There are two Pentax-A 400mm f/5.6 listed on fleabay. Both at under $500.
At this point I'm considering to make another trip to the US just to be able to make use of your used market

---------- Post added 07-01-20 at 02:37 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Austro-Diesel Quote
If money is tight and 300 mm are enough: The performance of the Sigma 70-300 DG OS works surprisingly well and you will surely find one for about 100 to 150 €. The built-in optical stabilizer works very satisfactorily.

Some pictures here: DigitalFotoNetz.de :: Thema anzeigen - Sigma 70-300/4-5,6 DG OS

Sure, there are better lenses, but not for these few bucks. Don't take an APO oder other Sigma or Tamron variants, only the "70-300 DG OS" is recommendable.
Huh, that's much better than I expected... so I was right in avoiding all those 70-300 variable aperture zooms... but there was one that is actually worth it. Thanks for the suggestion!

QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
I would recommend Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE Lens, but from my experience, I was never satisfied with my telephoto needs until I got my Sigma 150-500 DG OS for Pentax. That was before the Pentax 150-450 was being made, or else I would have gotten that Pentax model. Having a super telephoto lens remedies the need for distance seeking. Of course, as you may not be in the position to make that step now, I can see your point, but for me it was either do it or not do it, and I will never regret it.

If you did decide to get something like the 55-300 that I mentioned, it would give you mid telephoto range, and that is the scope of performance that you would have to rely on until you decided to make the step to super telephoto. There is also the option of a teleconverter, but I myself have never used one, and really do not plan on it. A shortcut to that 55-300 is below, and a shortcut to a Pentax converter is below that. Good luck with your decision and happy shooting!

amazon.com : Pentax HD DA 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE Lens : Camera & Photo?tag=pentaxforums-20&

Pentax 1.4x HD PENTAX-DA AF Rear Converter AW for K-Mount 37962
Yeah, the PLM was one of the options because it would double as hiking lens with the 28-105 for a more or less "do everything" light kit with more than decent IQ. I just have been hesitant to pull the trigger because I'm coming off of buying the 77 .

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
There are some slightly left field possibilities.

Of manual focus 400mm possibilities,a lens like the tokina made 400mm f6.3, which comes in various guises like soligor, vivitar as well as Tokina RMC, is really quite decently sharp stopped down to f8+. But I am something of a fan of the tamron 400mm f6.9 - a lens of this type doesn't deserve to perform this well (and the "nestar" is really rather cool). However perhaps the best price/performance of the MF era is the sigma apo 400mm f5.6, second version - a game changer on introduction with its compact design and sophisticated optics. But the game with that lens is to find one that is only minimally affected by hazing/spotting of a cemented group in the middle of the lens. The sigma apo 500mm f7.2 of the same era/series doesn't suffer from hazing usually, and IMO is the best price/performance 500mm option available.
If you would like to try something completely different, then browse around (seach listings in Germany) for a novoflex 400mm f5.6, specifically the later 3 element t-noflexar objective. For landscape and static shooting, find one fitted with bellows rack and pinion focus as well as the trigger stock.
Optically superior and photographically more interesting, but necessarily rather more pricy, would be a tamron adaptall 300mm f2.8 - the most readily available and best price 300-28. A plum to own and gratifying to use.
So I had checked the Novoflex pistol grips, but I wasn't sure they'd work without a lot of hassle (same reason I don't own a Tair 3 yet ). Do I need to set a cable release and that's it or is there any other stuff that has to be done? I've seen a couple of non-t Noflexars for a decently low price but the T-noflexar goes for substantially more and apparently is only in other mounts these days... I'll have to be on the lookout. I haven't seen available (either on Kleinanzeigen or regular Ebay) any of the APO 400/5.6 or 500/7.2 in K mount (or even on M42, I've also checked some of the older Pentacons/Meyers/Enna-Mnchens since they have a ton of blades and a pretty good rendering, but super teles of that vintage are slightly riskier buys and most are the Pentacon-six variants that are monstrously large), same goes for the Tamron 400/6.9.

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I've had a Tokina SD 400mm f5.6 for maybe 14 years. The SD is manual focus with an A position on the aperture ring. The lens is internal focus so its length doesn't change - about 230mm. It's about a kilogram. Filter size is 72mm, six aperture blades. Minimum focus distance is 4m. It has a tripod mount and a slide out hood. Image quality is OK I think. Flare isn't ever a problem. It has some purple fringing but that is mostly wide open and not too bad. I shoot it between f8 and f11. Contrast and colors don't look great compared to shots I've seen from the Pentax-A 400. Sharpness is OK, again it looks behind the Pentax. It is pretty consistent across the frame on APS-C, no real vignetting. Long telephoto is demanding anyway because focus has to be right, atmosphere has to be right, you don't have a lot of exposure latitude. Generally I take the easy shots like the moon and avoid small birds. I like the size, weight, handling and features of the lens. I paid $175 which is somewhat irrelevant today but I feel like it was a decent value. The focal length is useful.

A few months ago I bought the Tokina AT-X SD 400mm f5.6, which is similar but with autofocus. The optical formula is different because it focuses closer, and there are two more aperture blades. The reviews suggest the AT-X is sharper. It is a bit sharper but on the order of comparing 100% crops of carefully taken test shots, not OMG look at that it's amazing. I guess the AF is useful. I haven't looked at fringing differences. The lenses are similar in features and the same size. I paid $250 on the marketplace. That seems good for 400mm and AF.

I was never willing to sort out which Sigma is awesome and which one decays to unusable junk. The Tokinas don't do that.
I was about to get one of those 400/5.6 (I think the RMC II-branded version, not the SD) but it got away. I've been quite happy with the bunch of Tokinas I've used and seen so I was sure I'd get a reasonable performer, but oh well.

Last edited by Serkevan; 07-01-2020 at 02:42 AM.
07-01-2020, 02:43 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
Options I have considered so far:
-Super Cosina 100-500mm f/5.6-8 macro (I found a cheap one). Looks fairly competent but I haven't seen any into-the-sun samples and flare is typically a problem with such old designs...
-Pentax FA 80-320. I think it would mostly overlap with my Tokina 70-210/4.5 and the image quality seems to drop quite sharply at the long end which is where I'd like to use, but how bad would it be? Otherwise it's actually light and f/4.5 until 200mm, which is great in theory...
-Pentax DA 55-300 PLM. Might as well get a one-size-fits-all for hiking, but it's already about as much as I'm willing to spend right now because the 21 Limited won't be cheap.
-One of those generic 400mm f/5.6 or f/6.3 telescope types with 4 or 5 elements. The obvious pro is that they're dirt cheap but, well, I won't exactly get stellar IQ out of them. Flare is another big concern.

Any ideas? I'm of course open to any and all other suggestions, please go ahead

EDIT: for reference, expected viewing size is ~A4 print at maximum or, say, 24" computer screen.

*I know that the only correct options are the 150-450 or some of the FA* super teles, but it's what it is .
No screw-drive HD DA55-300 WR listed in your options? Don't discount it. Aside from the newer PLM model, I'm pretty certain it will out-perform the rest of the options you've considered, and you should be able to pick one up pretty cheaply used, somewhere in the EU. There's one at SRS Microsystems that's boxed and looks to be in mint condition, for GBP 199. You might find cheaper still if you're patient.

I own the DA*60-250 f/4, and whilst it's optically superior to my screw-drive HD DA55-300 WR (as you'd expect), the latter gives a strong enough performance that I'm rarely inclined to lug the 60-250 about unless I really need the fast aperture. Moon shots from both - taken at f/11 or so - aren't significantly different, with the 60-250 showing just a little more detail. The performance is even good enough to allow some cropping. With mild tweaking in post, and at the reproduction sizes you're talking about, I think you'd be quite content (I know I am).
07-01-2020, 02:46 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
Before I got "more serious" long lenses (I now have the DA* 4/300 and a manual focus Sigma 4.5/500) I enjoyed the quite rare Sigma APO 5.6/400. Not a bad lens if you are fine with manual focus-
Here are 2 shots (with a K5)

... yes, BIF is quite doable with manual focus ...





I seem to remember that you are located in Germany?
If you want to play with the lens to see if you like this range and manual focus I can send it to you against shipping costs. When you are done playing just send it back to me.
Wow, those photos are gorgeous. I'll be on the lookout for the Sigma as well, since it already got two recommendations and it goes for fairly little money on other mounts (even with AF)
Thanks a lot for the offer, but I'm massively clumsy (I've already busted the AF on my Tamron 90/2.5 via liberal application of floor ) and I'd rather not risk damaging a borrowed lens that couldn't be easily replaced due to lack of copies in the market...

---------- Post added 07-01-20 at 02:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
No screw-drive HD DA55-300 WR listed in your options? Don't discount it. Aside from the newer PLM model, I'm pretty certain it will out-perform the rest of the options you've considered, and you should be able to pick one up pretty cheaply used, somewhere in the EU. There's one at SRS Microsystems that's boxed and looks to be in mint condition, for GBP 199. You might find cheaper still if you're patient.

I own the DA*60-250 f/4, and whilst it's optically superior to my screw-drive HD DA55-300 WR (as you'd expect), the latter gives a strong enough performance that I'm rarely inclined to lug the 60-250 about unless I really need the fast aperture. Moon shots from both - taken at f/11 or so - aren't significantly different, with the 60-250 showing just a little more detail. The performance is even good enough to allow some cropping. With mild tweaking in post, and at the reproduction sizes you're talking about, I think you'd be quite content (I know I am).
I had considered it, but I've seen several PLMs (lightly used) go for ~250-270, and I figured the AF improvement and the smaller size when retracted would be worth the extra expense so I basically slashed the screw-drive version out of my mind... but I might have been too hasty in doing so.
07-01-2020, 05:34 AM   #23
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I need to try my Tamron 200-500/5.6 at moon shots and mountains. It might be a good candidate, it meets the ops requirements

Manual, focus
KAmount
Definitely Not a walk around (you need a 12 pound tripod just to hold the lens, plus the imbalance due to placement of the focusing and zoom rings makes it a nightmare even to try and hand hold.

07-01-2020, 05:52 AM   #24
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The Sigma 100-300/4 has a great reputation. Usually not easy to find on the used market. There are are number of versions; the most modern ones support AF micro-adjustments, i.e., Sigma can calibrate the lens for you, should it exhibit FF/BF.

I don't think I'll ever sell my copy.
07-01-2020, 06:01 AM   #25
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The Sigma Bigma 50-500 can be had below 500euros and is a FF lens.

Seb
07-01-2020, 06:10 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The Sigma 100-300/4 has a great reputation. Usually not easy to find on the used market. There are are number of versions; the most modern ones support AF micro-adjustments, i.e., Sigma can calibrate the lens for you, should it exhibit FF/BF.
It is one of the lenses that I was looking at, but the price it sells for leaves it in that situation where I feel I'd be better served with a fairly lighter FA* 300/4.5 or so...

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I don't think I'll ever sell my copy.
This is clearly an attitude that a lot of owners have, considering the availability in these parts
07-01-2020, 08:38 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Serkevan Quote
At this point I'm considering to make another trip to the US just to be able to make use of your used market
I'm not positive but I believe both of those A 400mm lenses were in Japan. Not sure ebay Germany has the same listings but it is possible. Shipping likely would not be significantly different.
07-01-2020, 08:47 AM   #28
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This thread on mflenses has some good comparison pics inc novoflex and sigma 500mm f7.2.

Best affordable 500mm MF telephoto
07-01-2020, 09:02 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I'm not positive but I believe both of those A 400mm lenses were in Japan. Not sure ebay Germany has the same listings but it is possible. Shipping likely would not be significantly different.
Ah, then they must not be shipping to Europe (or specifically to Germany), I haven't seen any A-series 400mm in a while.

---------- Post added 07-01-20 at 09:06 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
This thread on mflenses has some good comparison pics inc novoflex and sigma 500mm f7.2.

Best affordable 500mm MF telephoto
And now I'm adding mirror lenses to the mix (shame that adapting FD to Pentax is going to be suboptimal at best) - this is getting more interesting
07-01-2020, 09:50 AM   #30
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Dilemmas, dilemmas and dilemmas

I understand your frustrations - they were identical to mine until buying the 55-300mm PLM WR telephoto late last year.
I thoroughly recommend this lens; Im sure youd be happy with one if it produces the kind of results that mine produces (see my comments on this forum a few weeks ago).
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