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06-24-2021, 06:10 PM   #1
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300mm lenses

I'm looking for a decent manual focus 300mm prime for shooting film. I currently use a Vivitar 100-300mm f/5 zoom which is actually really good for a vintage zoom, but it's really heavy. I'm looking for something a little better and maybe more compact. My budget is 100-150 USD or less There doesn't seem to be a lot of options out there. Most vintage primes in that range don't seem to be well reviewed, but if be curious of any opinions out there. I came across a Super Takumar 300mm f/4 for 80$ which seems like a good deal, but am I better going with something else?

06-24-2021, 06:21 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I came across a Super Takumar 300mm f/4 for 80$ which seems like a good deal, but am I better going with something else?
Id be surprise if you find much better than that, but even the poorly reviewed primes probably beat the zooms.
06-24-2021, 06:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I came across a Super Takumar 300mm f/4 for 80$ which seems like a good deal, but am I better going with something else?
There are four versions of the Super-Tak 300/4 with the final two versions (Super-Tak and S-M-C Tak) being highly regarded and the earlier two much less so.

S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The later versions are easily distinguished by having 6 aperture blades, the A/M switch on the side, and the silver pin on the lens rear for automatic aperture actuation. With patience you should be able to find one in your price range.


Steve
06-24-2021, 06:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There are four versions of the Super-Tak 300/4 with the final two versions (Super-Tak and S-M-C Tak) being highly regarded and the earlier two much less so.

S-M-C/Super Takumar 300mm F4 Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

The later versions are easily distinguished by having 6 aperture blades, the A/M switch on the side, and the silver pin on the lens rear for automatic aperture actuation. With patience you should be able to find one in your price range.


Steve
The one that I'm looking at is just the Super Takumar, so I guess it's one of the final two versions. I assume it's not multicoated then? The prices are all over the place on the reviews so it seems like a good deal, though it might be a gamble because the pictures aren't super clear.

---------- Post added 06-24-21 at 06:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Id be surprise if you find much better than that, but even the poorly reviewed primes probably beat the zooms.
I don't know, this Vivitar (Tokina) zoom is really damn good, and maintains its quality at the long end. I'd say it performs better than my SMC-M 200mm at 200. It's only weakness is moderate to heavy CA even stopped down.

06-24-2021, 08:47 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The older m42 and K series 300mm f4 lenses are okay (I have the K series). The CA is really noticeable if youíre even a little out of focus.

Ideally, youíd want to start with the A* 300mm f4 for quality you wonít feel is worth upgrading further, but itís likely out of your budget by a factor of more than 2x.

If you donít mind the inconvenience of adapting lenses, the 645 version of the 300mm f4 is excellent and less expensive. Maybe around $200 on eBay for a well used copy. Plus an adapter. Other 645 lenses are also quite inexpensive and good quality.

Another good choice might be the Tamron 300mm 54b. F5.6 but more compact and affordable and the IQ looks at least as good or better than the older 300mm f4 lenses.
06-25-2021, 05:43 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I'm looking for a decent manual focus 300mm prime for shooting film. I currently use a Vivitar 100-300mm f/5 zoom which is actually really good for a vintage zoom, but it's really heavy. I'm looking for something a little better and maybe more compact. My budget is 100-150 USD or less There doesn't seem to be a lot of options out there. Most vintage primes in that range don't seem to be well reviewed, but if be curious of any opinions out there. I came across a Super Takumar 300mm f/4 for 80$ which seems like a good deal, but am I better going with something else?
If you like oddities the Russian Tair 300mm "photosniper" does a great job from wide open.
TAIR-3S 300mm F4.5 - Fotosniper 12 ensemble Lens Reviews - Russian and Zenitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
06-25-2021, 08:22 AM   #7
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I have the 300/4 S-M-C takumar and it was my big astro lens until I found a stole it deal on a much more modern Sigma 300/4. I found the S-M-C 300/4 to be a good lens but modern ones will be better. However if you are shooting film that may not be as big of a concern. At $80 it is in the ball park for being a reasonable to good price.

06-25-2021, 09:11 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I'm looking for a decent manual focus 300mm prime for shooting film. I currently use a Vivitar 100-300mm f/5 zoom which is actually really good for a vintage zoom, but it's really heavy. I'm looking for something a little better and maybe more compact. My budget is 100-150 USD or less There doesn't seem to be a lot of options out there. Most vintage primes in that range don't seem to be well reviewed, but if be curious of any opinions out there. I came across a Super Takumar 300mm f/4 for 80$ which seems like a good deal, but am I better going with something else?
With your budget of $100-150 for a prime 300mm manual focus.. Id say you may be better with another zoom.... but up the lens quality a bit.. the tamron Sp 60-300 is a one that you may want to try.. Its often around $100 and really can shine... I think its probably sharper than most primes in your range.
EX..

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

That was taken with the Tamron sp 60-300 on my old *Istd.


Read the reviews here..
Tamron Adaptall-2 SP / Novoflex 60-300mm f/3.8-5.4 (23A) Lens Reviews - Tamron Adaptall Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Its not compact but its not heavy, imo.
Hth,Al
06-25-2021, 10:27 AM   #9
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Stretching the budget a bit...

KEH has an S-M-C Takumar 300/4 for $176.90 (free shipping).

Pentax 300mm F/4 SMC Takumar M42 Screw Mount Manual Focus Lens {77} - Used Camera Lenses at KEH Camera at KEH Camera

Steve
06-25-2021, 12:14 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I'm looking for a decent manual focus 300mm prime for shooting film. I currently use a Vivitar 100-300mm f/5 zoom which is actually really good for a vintage zoom, but it's really heavy. I'm looking for something a little better and maybe more compact. My budget is 100-150 USD or less There doesn't seem to be a lot of options out there. Most vintage primes in that range don't seem to be well reviewed, but if be curious of any opinions out there. I came across a Super Takumar 300mm f/4 for 80$ which seems like a good deal, but am I better going with something else?
I had a Tamron 300/5.6 Adaptall mount lens that seemed quite good. I expect they can be had quite inexpensively if one can find one. It certainly wasn't a big lens.
06-25-2021, 12:22 PM   #11
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I've got two 300mm lenses.

The Super Takumar model 2 (monster!)
Takumar 300mm F4 (model 2) Reviews - M42 Screwmount Telephoto Primes - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
and
The SMC Takumar
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-K-300mm-F4-Lens.html

Shooting with my K-3, I found there is minimal difference. Even doing A/B comparison shots, I can not detect much difference outside of normal shooting variances. The Takumar is a beast at 1575g and 82mm! filter thread. The SMC is a more svelte 1020g and 77mm filter thread. The Takumar Monster has a tripod foot, where as the SMC doesn't. I found aberrations to be similar despite what the user reviews state. If anything the Takumar "may" be marginally sharper, but it's essentially a wash to me. (Some people claim that fewer lens elements can be sharper). The big difference (outside of aperture blades, 18 Monster vs 6 SMC plus K mount for SMC), is the Takumar Monster is rated at .06 magnification, and the SMC is .09. That makes a fair difference to the subject matter in your image.

You mention shooting film, so in my opinion (which you should still question), I suggest there would be minimal difference outside of magnification, between the Takumar model 2, Super Tak or SMC Tak. (Let the flame wars begin.)

Last edited by Davep; 06-25-2021 at 12:40 PM.
06-25-2021, 12:40 PM   #12
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I'm very happy with my Pentax-K 300/4.
06-25-2021, 08:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dipsoid Quote
I don't know, this Vivitar (Tokina) zoom is really damn good, and maintains its quality at the long end. I'd say it performs better than my SMC-M 200mm at 200. It's only weakness is moderate to heavy CA even stopped down.
If your lens is a Vivitar Series 1, it may be difficult to improve upon and stay within your budget. The Vivitar Series 1 are very good lenses.
06-25-2021, 09:54 PM   #14
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It is likely out of your budget, but the 300mm f4.5 F lens is a stunningly good lens, likely in the $500 range. I've taken beautiful images with it. The only thing I don't like about it is the white paint coating that does scratch. My plan B would be one of the Pentax 55-300s; the version 1 is excellent, but lacks water proofing, and is likely very reasonably priced.
06-25-2021, 10:21 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
The Vivitar Series 1 are very good lenses.
The only one I have is the 135/2.3 close focusing one. And yes it is a very good lens, soft wide open (it was a portrait lens) but stop it down and it gets really sharp. For astro it is actually pretty bad as there are big purple halos until you get to almost f/8 but for other shooting it is good.
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