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04-06-2009, 07:27 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Hin, I have the last version (still in production, currently) of the Novoflex 400mm lens and the 600mm front element (these are interchangeable). The Novoflexes sport an interchangeable camera mount and you can easily swap any Nikon or Canon mount, which comes with a used lens, against the Pentax K mount.

I have tried the Novoflex 400 on the K10 and could handhold down to 1/40s sometimes. Something like 1/200s is a better bet.

In the image posted here, you see an older version, which uses a bellows for extension. The current version (in production for the last 20 years or so) uses a fully closed sliding tube mechanism, which is more rigid. On top it's got two handgrips, the one near the camera for focusing via the grip and a second one near the lens, which immensely helps to stabilize the lens. The grip at the front also has an intergrated electronic trigger switch, though without the intermediate contact for switching the camera on and AF adjustment etc. I called Novoflex to inquire, whether they could provide a two-step trigger, but they can't. I tried to get this trigger as a replacment part from Bushawk, to adapt it to the Novoflex and the Bushawk people in the US were very nice, but their European distriobutor ignored me. Now I taped a simple Chinese cable shutter release to the front grip of the lens...

If you buy a Novoflex try to get a later modell and be careful about the lens: the old 400mm lenses have only 2 lens-elements. Only later the T-Noflexar with 3 lenses came onto the market and it is much better. The 600mm has always only two elements, but I have never really used that.

Focusing, by the way, is in many situations much faster than AF. Birds are a good example, as there are often twiggs and leaves near or just in front of the birds, which irritate the AF (not only on Pentax cameras....) Manual focusing is much better and with the rapid focus lens, also really much faster. -- The more I write, the more I think, I should use it more often.

Ben
Thank you for all the write ups on the Novoflex. It is an education for me and others.

Thanks,
Hin

04-06-2009, 07:42 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
There is (or at least were) certainly K mount's for Novoflex, though it is some 20 years since I tried one myself. No I don't own one, unfortunately. Was bidding on one a while ago, but it went to far up for my taste.

If you are reasonable good at shooting (with a riffle), steady hands, sharp eyes, you can do very well with the Novoflex hand held. That was the whole idea with it. Putting it on a tripod would limit your actions very much. This was a very popular lens with both sport photographers and wild life photographers before AF. And I have no trouble believing Ben when he says that it still beats AF in many situations. Most human brains out runs all DSLR processors on this point.

Will be interresting to see what you can do with this Russion monster.
I am not very much a tripod person. I try to stay as mobile as I can, I know I can get better shots with monopod and tripod but I have not gotten used to using my tripod in shooting, I always have it in my car though. I never shoot any riffle, though the very thought sound appealing to me, especially you can pan the motion of a flying bird with ease.

I was out with my boy with my shameless consumer zoom Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 along with Pentax F-1.7x AF TC. While the combination is not ideal for wild nature, but that is what I have got in my cheapo gear for long reach.

And my boy has much better eyesight than me and when we were about to end the photo shoot looking for red tail hawk, he caught a black bird flying high in sky from a distance. We first thought it was a black crow and I saw wing spread looking like a hawk in my view finder with the 510mm rig. I took few shots hoping it was the hawk that I missed last week. Due to sun above our head, we both didn't know what it was until we get home. It looks like vulture to me. These are taken hand-held at 510mm with the TC at f/8.0 in ISO 400 , cropped due to a far distance


Tamron 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 +
Pentax F-1.7x AF TC
510mm f/8.0 in ISO 400
cropped









The zoom plus 1.7x TC has PF/CA and loss of detail, probably some focus error but the AF does help in getting the bird on focus, and I hope the Tair-3 300mm f/4.5 does improve in CA area. The tair may not be as easy to take the shot as it is heavier and on manual focus but I will try.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-09-2009 at 12:01 PM.
04-09-2009, 12:10 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by georgweb Quote
Hi Hin,
about your question regarding the focus mechanism, mine has the little wheel on the bottom, and I find this easier to focus - some say the opposite, though. I did not try to use it without a tripod, but why not.

Tom Tiger has used this lens a lot,
Tigers Lair (scroll on the left to part 2 of his stories)




The aperture mechanism was new to me and it is not the easy kind, I can tell you .-) It has got some real recoil if you release it!
BTW I have the rubber hood like on your pics, and the metal cap from a 'Burlington socks' tin can is the perfect match to put on the hood (could be from a tea tin can also).
Best, Georg (the other)
Thanks for the link for Tom Tiger. I also read some where that the aperture is weird, I will know more when I get my lens delivered. Thanks again for the information as I may have the wrong expectation. The number of blades seems appealing to me, hope it has a nice bokeh.

And Georg, I found this link with user manual for Zenit FS-3 which seems to correspond to the lens that I have



picture from this source with complete FS-3 user manual
Photosniper Camera Manuals for FS-3

and the stock gun trigger seems to cock the aperture ring and perhaps it explains why it is difficult to use. I am still waiting for my copy but I am a bit disappointed to note on the weight, the lens with rifle gun stock in the FS-3 system 2.9kg and I read somewhere from Voe's flickr comment that the lens is about 1.8Kg for the Tair-3S, not sure if it includes the stock. I can't tell until I get mine. It is definitely heavy for hand-holding for use.

The later photosniper version is known as FS-12, and I was perhaps misled with 980g which I found on this link for Tair-3S
Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-09-2009 at 01:05 PM.
04-09-2009, 02:18 PM   #19
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Hello Hin,
nice pics of the vulture, elegant!

Here's another source for your lens,
Translated version of http://zenit.istra.ru/archive/lenses/tair-3.html

You made me go to the cabinet and pull out the lens and put it on a scale. It read 1.6 KG.

Don't worry, you can hand hold it if you want to. But it has a very nice tripod mount also :-)

Happy holidays,
Georg (the other)

04-10-2009, 09:15 AM   #20
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well I have the Tair 3s and it hurts my wrist every time i use it , I don't know how to make the set to work with Digital SLR i.e. I want to put the fotosnaiper lens +kit + a Digital SLR and pull the trigger .



however , as Geogr told, put it on a Kenko 2x TC and the outcome was good , thanks Geogr

can anybody here explain the firing mechanism of a novoflex on the film SLR and DSLR for me, thanks alot
04-10-2009, 12:17 PM   #21
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This lens has the potential to get you on the front page of the newspaper. Something like "Photographer Shuts Down Airport For 3 Hours".
04-10-2009, 03:51 PM   #22
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My 2nd copy with stock gun arrived Yesterday and somehow my wife and boys are struggling to a first hand on the stock gun. Of course, my wife wants to ban my boys from having it. There is just too many interesting things to share. The user menu is quite interesting with a handsomely dressed guy in a suite playing with the photosniper in the field. I can fancy myself as an agent in reading that menu. It is perhaps how they attract sales with that user menu nicely done with very polished b&w photos.


menu cover

















Some scan of the user menu to share

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-10-2009 at 04:50 PM.
04-10-2009, 04:00 PM   #23
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Those are actually really nice photos for the booklet!

04-10-2009, 04:09 PM   #24
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Thanks a lot Hin... I really was interested in this monster sniper shooter... And then you had to post the shots from the manual...
Will I look that cool when I finally find one of these?

The shot with the case strapped to the guys back looks like something out of the Radioactive fall-out pamphlets from the 50's...
too cool for school!

Where do I get one?
04-10-2009, 04:10 PM   #25
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Some random test shots. It is raining and cloudy today.


1/40 sec, f/4.5, 300mm, iso 250, +0.3 Ev




1/80 sec, f/4.5, 300mm, iso 250, +0.3 Ev
cropped




1/125 sec, f/8.0, 300mm, iso 200, 0 Ev


I am surprised that I can use it without tripod this morning for a short period like 40 minutes. Wide open shots are a bit soft but usable. Bokeh and color are decent. This lens is not for everyone day to day use as it it long and it is the tallest among my gear. As Georg has noted, I find the front focusing ring surprisingly useful and it get the focusing job done smoothly, though the location underneath the lens barrel will make it very odd to do portrait orientation.

I will fill in my impressions as I find more time for the shooting. Though I have not figured out the way to use the stock gun, I am thinking of using the wireless remote along with the gun's trigger. I try the gun stock at home last night, it helps in stabilize a shot


1/50 sec, f/4.5 with gun stock on shoulder in iso 400



Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-11-2009 at 08:02 PM.
04-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
Thanks a lot Hin... I really was interested in this monster sniper shooter... And then you had to post the shots from the manual...
Will I look that cool when I finally find one of these?

The shot with the case strapped to the guys back looks like something out of the Radioactive fall-out pamphlets from the 50's...
too cool for school!

Where do I get one?
My 1st copy has not arrived yet, I would need to sell one later on. My 1st copy doesn't have the gun stock and the metal box.




The lens can be ugly to some. As for me, I don't mind as long as I can get my shot. The black one is more classic but I choose the gray one due to availability at the time and less liking a gun. It is my first lens that has a hood that I feel like carrying a toilet plunger. It really looks like one. More plus and minuses to be revealed with more use in the field.

Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-30-2009 at 04:43 PM.
04-11-2009, 12:16 PM   #27
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Tair 3 Phs is difficult to use without tripod, I need to try it out on my tripod and I am looking for a good and reasonably cost mono-pod to try, recommendation are very welcome, my budget runs about $150 for mono-pod. Few more test shots this morning mostly in f/5.6




















b&w with some sharpening


I will share impressions later on....

Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-11-2009 at 08:11 PM.
04-11-2009, 07:59 PM   #28
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When I look more into the pictures, this Russian old lens do have quite good color and bokeh. All are taken in f/5.6 as I can't confirm focus easily in f/8.0 due to the M42 nature of closing blades


cropped



cropped









close to 85% crop




Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-12-2009 at 10:24 PM.
04-11-2009, 09:11 PM   #29
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Hin...

These look great... are these with the tripod?

I love the look of these old russian lenses. The color and sharpness are very good and the OOF area looks definately russian...

You always make these cheap lenses look so good...
04-11-2009, 09:55 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
These look great... are these with the tripod?

I love the look of these old russian lenses. The color and sharpness are very good and the OOF area looks definately russian...

You always make these cheap lenses look so good...
Gus, thanks for the kind words. All test shots are done hand-held as that is how I like to test the lens in the usual way that I use it. I think the lens would be easier to use on a tripod/mono-pod as I felt sore on my arms after holding it for over 30 minutes.

I can sum up my current impressions so far. Please give some grain of salt to my impressions as it is too early to draw conclusion especially when I find the lens difficult to use in the beginning

Initial impressions and notes
  • weight 1.6kg/3.5 lb, quite heavy
  • very long lens
  • filter size: 72mm
  • lens hood reminds me of a toilet plunger
  • this lens can get you attention, a long time Canon user on the street stopped me for the setup
  • color and contrast is quite good straight from jpg and K20D
  • sharpness is good at f/5.6, I tested few shots in f/4.5, a bit soft but still usable, more use will tell
  • focusing is on a knob underneath the lens barrel, surprisingly good in focusing
  • due to focusing knob location, it is extremely odd if not impossible to shoot portrait orientation, tripod will help
  • aperture ring is difficult to use, but I manage to get over the difficulty by pushing the red preset knob first before aperture change
  • no aperture f/stop in half stop, you have to improvise in turning the aperture ring half way in between stops
  • Due to M42 mount in manual diaphragm, blades are closing down in stop-down, I can confirm focus easily in f/4.5, f/5.6 and perhaps in f/6.3, but I can't confirm focus easily on f/8.0 onwards due to dimmer light. A tripod setup may help. Also, the sniper stock gun may have a mechanism in cocking the gun wide open for focusing -- I need to look into this
  • This lens will require genuine m42 adapter with adapter mounted on camera body first, extreme caution is needed as the rear is small and not able to cover the K mount locking pin. All electric contacts are exposed.
  • can't convert this to K lens easily
  • more to come

More pictures in Hin's flickr test set

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-13-2009 at 04:39 AM.
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