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07-09-2020, 05:25 PM   #1
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Recommend a long, cheap telephoto please

Looking to take a vacation to national park late this month and want to have something useable for wildlife. Thinking 400mm range. Can anyone recommend a decent, cheap (prob third party) old MF lens?

I will probably adapt it to my LUMIX and have k mount and screw mount adapters already. I also have an older Nikon DSLR (D3100). I’m not married to a specific brand at this point. My film cameras are Pentax.

I see that a member was recently selling a Bushnell 400/6.3. Soligor 400/6.3? Any thoughts

Thanks.

07-09-2020, 05:33 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Pentax SMC A 400/5.6 - best bang for your buck....
07-09-2020, 05:50 PM - 3 Likes   #3
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Hi there, ever think about renting a great lens? You can mail-order one cheep that way your photos will be topnotch. I am now 71 yea old fart. I have lots of photos of the old days that are not that great. Places you go to now will be GREAT memories later. So use the best lens you can get. You never know when one of those once-in-a-lifetime shots will come along. Have fun and be ready at any time to get that super photo. ENJOY!!!
07-09-2020, 05:55 PM   #4
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While I’m sure that’s a great lens, I was really looking to go much cheaper. The Takumar 400mm was kinda my price ceiling.

Doesn’t have to be a 400, but want it to be long. I’m kicking myself for passing on a craigslist Takumar months ago.

---------- Post added 07-09-20 at 05:58 PM ----------

I haven’t really considered renting because frankly my DLSR are not cutting edge. Felt like renting a Jaguar lens for a Kia camera. Willing to consider though.

07-09-2020, 06:01 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
Looking to take a vacation to national park late this month and want to have something useable for wildlife. Thinking 400mm range. Can anyone recommend a decent, cheap (prob third party) old MF lens?

I will probably adapt it to my LUMIX and have k mount and screw mount adapters already. I also have an older Nikon DSLR (D3100). I’m not married to a specific brand at this point. My film cameras are Pentax.

I see that a member was recently selling a Bushnell 400/6.3. Soligor 400/6.3? Any thoughts

Thanks.
I have one of those Soligor 400 6.3 lens and it has a T mount so would adapt well to the Nikon. Sharpness wise it is just one of the better bunch but probably the coatings and potential fringing would be worse than newer lenses. Mine is a Tokina sourced one.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/soligor-400mm-f6-3.html
07-09-2020, 06:09 PM   #6
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+1 for the rental idea. I don't rent often but it is cheaper than laying out for a lens you might only use a couple of times.

I have the Tokina SD 400/5.6 which is decent. MF and light enough, easy to use on a monopod and can be hand held in a pinch. Some CA wide open, found a good UV filter will cut CA a bit. These aren't that expensive if you can find one. Thought about the Soligar, as it should be similar.

Another thought - Pentax FA300/4.5 with Tamron 1.4 AF TC combo. AF is slow but very light weight setup and easily hand held with MF when needed.
Find the image quality of this combo isn't any worse than the Tokina though a touch darker when trying to focus.

Enjoy your trip and post some photos when you get back.

Last edited by pcrichmond; 07-09-2020 at 06:12 PM. Reason: misspell
07-09-2020, 06:13 PM   #7
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Although I have not used it (I have several adaptall-2 SP lenses) the adaptall-2 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 is well thought of and would fit any of your cameras. KEH has one in EX condition for about $60. The 300mm f/5.6 comes up regularly and is also close focusing. They are both SP (top of their line) lenses and can be adapted to any of the common brands. Adapters are usually about $10-20, except Pentax KA, which is likely about $50.
07-09-2020, 06:35 PM   #8
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I have the Tokina AT-X 80-400 and the a Ricoh XR Rikenon APO 300mm/4.5, which is a rebadged Sigma. Both lenses are quite nice and can be found for little money if patient. Sigma also has a 400mm/5.6, of which the APO versions are said to be usable.

07-09-2020, 06:42 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for the great responses. Lots of great options.
The adaptall lens looks like a great value. I might want something like that eventually but I’m a bit afraid that 300mm is not a big enough difference from what I have now (55-200mm kit lens on my crop sensor Nikon or my 200mm super Takumar on the MFT LUMIX). Reviews seem stellar so it might be on the wish list.

I like the review of the Tokina 400
On this site. I was impressed with the images. Does anyone have a sense on which is the better lens, the Tokina or the Soligor 400?
07-09-2020, 06:53 PM   #10
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Do you want it to be hand holdable? Look for a Vivitar 400/5.6 multi coated, or if tripod bound the Tamron Adapt all 200-500/5.6 Samples Images of both Lenses can be found in the image archive

Check out the index of all third party lenses with sample images here. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/406975-abo...s-section.html

Or the Pentax lens image archive for real Pentax lenses here. About & Index of Pentax lenses in this section - PentaxForums.com
07-09-2020, 07:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
I like the review of the Tokina 400
On this site. I was impressed with the images. Does anyone have a sense on which is the better lens, the Tokina or the Soligor 400?
QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
I have one of those Soligor 400 6.3 lens and it has a T mount so would adapt well to the Nikon. Sharpness wise it is just one of the better bunch but probably the coatings and potential fringing would be worse than newer lenses. Mine is a Tokina sourced one.
Soligor 400mm F6.3 Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
The samples from the link GUB provided look very good for that lens.
I haven't tried the Soligar 400 but do have Soligar 35 and 135 in M42, both provide very good images.
I've also purchased from the forum member you are referring to with good responses to my inquiries.
If you message him, he might be willing to send you a few shots taken with the lens.

The Soligar looks to be about the same weight as the Tokina.
07-10-2020, 12:12 AM   #12
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SMC Pentax F/FA 80-320mm prone to fungus though, so beware looking at any listings. Loved mine while it was alive. Keep in mind that you'll need to get a lens hood if you get one. They're really inexpensive.
07-10-2020, 12:19 AM   #13
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Be aware there are different versions of the Soligors around. I actually had a Soligor/Sunagor 400/5.6 a while ago, and I wasn't impressed with its performance. Mine was not very sharp, had a lot of CAs (more than the SIGMA 300/4.5) and wide open very little contrast, so that I actually preferred cropping from the 300mm. That's why I wonder whether the APO-SIGMA 400/5.6 might be a better choice.

The Soligor 400/6.3 looks like a "Wundertüte" ("a bag of wonders"), which has the reputation of being better than one would think it should be.
07-10-2020, 12:43 AM   #14
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The Tokina 400/5.6 SD recommended earlier is not bad (I have one). The Pentax K 300/4 is also good, particularly stopped down a bit. You can get away with a teleconverter on the 300/4. Neither of these lenses has a tripod mount though.
07-10-2020, 12:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by antipattern Quote
The Soligor 400/6.3 looks like a "Wundertüte" ("a bag of wonders"), which has the reputation of being better than one would think it should be.
Back in the film days Soligor wasn't that highly thought of. But I have a few that I quite like to use. I think the zooms might have been all poor but the better sourced primes - ie Tokina- are quite good.
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