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03-16-2007, 02:52 PM   #1
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LBA and GAS! :O

I've been wanting a good "long" telephoto for a long time. The 50-200 is OK, but it's a bit soft wide open and fully extended, or at least my copy is, and I wanted at least another 100mm reach anyways. So I got kinda excited that KEH had a Pentax 300mm F4 SMC in EX condition for sale. Price was OK, about what I expected to spend. So I did some research and Woe! no tripod mount! Deal killer :cries: One of the reasons I want a long tele is for moon rises, tele night shots and other low light stuff. No good. All the reviews I read warned about using a tripod with the lens. Poops!
Well one day I just so happened to be downtown near Adorama, (why does this always seem to happen when I go downtown? ...I wonder... ) and decide to stop in to see if they have a decent used 300 or so tele. Well. they didn't, but the sales guy suggested a telephoto lens support. Just so happens that Manfrotto makes one, that he said was pretty good. Works well he said he had one for some of his Nikon lenses. What are the downsides? I asked. It's ugly, it's heavy, doesn't work in portrait orientation and if you have external focusing lenses, they can be hard to drastically change focus. But I wouldn't be changing focus much during a moon rise, or for night time city shots, and I can live with landscape orientation, so I got it. Then I went home and pulled the trigger on the Pentax 300mm F4 SMC. The lens came today. We're in the middle of a nor'easter right now so no test shots till the weather clears a bit.
But I can show you my new gear.
Lens


Telephoto lens support: If you want to see more pics you can go to Adorama and do a search for "telephoto lens support"


Here's the whole kit and kaboodle hooked together, lens mounted on my ZX-5n:


NaCl(I love it when I can indulge in two addictions simultaneously)H2O

03-16-2007, 03:03 PM   #2
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Very nice! I can sure use a 300 prime at f4. great pics of the lens and camera setup!
03-16-2007, 05:39 PM   #3
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That's some setup! Nice finds!
03-16-2007, 07:25 PM   #4
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I also got the Manfrotto long lens support for my Pentax 300mm, since it too had no tripod mount. It's a great lens but I don't use it as much as I should because the Manfrotto support is bulky and awkward to transport and use.

03-16-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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It is that tranq, but I won't always be using the tripod. The lens is light enough to hand hold for normal telephoto work, but I'm hoping Pentax day will be clear here so I can get some city nightime shots, and maybe even a nice 1/2 moon.

NaCl(I've seen some real nice 1/2 moon photos, even better than most full moon ones)H2O
01-06-2008, 12:53 PM   #6
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Nice stuff! I am thinking about getting a 300/4. This support looks like it works well. What tripod and ballhead are you using?
01-06-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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I have had a 300 F/4 since 1992, bought it to use expicitly with my PZ-1 and the 1.7x AF TC.

It always bothered me that it didn't have a tripod mount so I built my own. I made it to balance the weight of the camera properly when mounted with the 1.7x TC on my *istD. Built a second one, to use with my K10D because the camera base plate to lens center is slightly different.

you can see my K10D mounted on the support at the link below:

User Photo Gallery - Miscellaneous

Also, there is an australian company that makes a support. I have seen it referenced before on the forums.
01-06-2008, 04:34 PM   #8
roy
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NaClH2O,
pretty sure you'll like the lens. i've got the super tak vesion that's a light weight backup to the tammy300/2.8 and it's IQ is great wideopen.. smc should make it even better.

01-06-2008, 04:36 PM   #9
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Good luck with yours. I returned mine :-(.

01-06-2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Good luck with yours. I returned mine :-(.
What are you using to focus? If you rely on the stock focusing screen and focus confirmation with no other focusing assistance (like say a magnifying add-on) I'd not be surprised with the focus you have there. A split prism focusing screen on my *ist DL helps me immensely with my K 85/1.8 at f1.8 and the K 50/1.2 at f1.2. Adding the ME-53 magnifier would probably help me for macros too but I haven't done so yet...
01-06-2008, 06:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmv Quote
What are you using to focus? If you rely on the stock focusing screen and focus confirmation with no other focusing assistance (like say a magnifying add-on) I'd not be surprised with the focus you have there. A split prism focusing screen on my *ist DL helps me immensely with my K 85/1.8 at f1.8 and the K 50/1.2 at f1.2. Adding the ME-53 magnifier would probably help me for macros too but I haven't done so yet...
I used a stock K100D. Add ons might help, but I found the lens to be fairly cumbersome already (no tripod mount, 270 degree focus rotation), and the red (or cyan) halo was the killer.
01-06-2008, 08:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Good luck with yours. I returned mine :-(.

lol. The focus problem isn't the lens. With a manual focus lens, there is no camera/lens caused back focus or front focus. Your technique just needs some work

As for the fringing, that's very minor. I hope the person who got the lens in the end is happy with it.

Mike
01-06-2008, 08:40 PM   #13
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Congrats Slaty - now I wanna see da Bronx NY close up
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