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04-17-2009, 11:54 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by XATN3q Quote
Why dont you go for a tamron/sigma 70-200 f2.8 and a pair of 1.4x/1.5x and 2x teleconverters ?
Because then we're talking about ~$1k.

And to some replies, as I mentioned, $750 is certainly cheap compared to the multi-thousand-dollar beasts. I'm just surprised there isn't anything in the, say, $400-500 range. Is there really a $600 difference in quality between the Tamron 70-300 and the Sigma 120-400? In other words, do I really need to jump into the $750+ category to get anything that's really better than the bottom tier consumer lenses?

On a side note, do teleconverters work with m42 lenses (i.e. my 200/4)? Would it even be worth doing that?

Thanks a lot for your help!

04-17-2009, 12:02 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mutedphotos Quote
Because then we're talking about ~$1k.

And to some replies, as I mentioned, $750 is certainly cheap compared to the multi-thousand-dollar beasts. I'm just surprised there isn't anything in the, say, $400-500 range. Is there really a $600 difference in quality between the Tamron 70-300 and the Sigma 120-400? In other words, do I really need to jump into the $750+ category to get anything that's really better than the bottom tier consumer lenses?

On a side note, do teleconverters work with m42 lenses (i.e. my 200/4)? Would it even be worth doing that?

Thanks a lot for your help!
I think the quality of a 200-400mm lens with a 77 mm front element i.e. 70-200F2.8, 120-400 F5.6 or a 300mm F4 prime is way above any of the 50/70mm -300mm F5.6-6.3 consumer zooms.

there are a couple of things to consider, first the view finder is brighter, second these lenses are designed somewhat to be shot wide open, and third when stopped down to the "sweet spot (perhaps 2 stops down from wide open), a 300mm F4 is at F8, where as a 300mm F6.3 is at F13. while they are both stopped down 2 stops, the bigger heavier lens lets you shoot faster, or with a lower ISO, resulting in much cleared sharper photos.

I will not argue that people have taken great shots with the 50-300 etc, my bet is the ratio of keepers would be higher with spending the extra $.

you will also note that you were given the option of getting an SMC 300F4 for about $300. this is in between your prices and a fine lens as my shot shows.
04-17-2009, 12:18 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by sajah Quote
I read that thread but the technical stuffs and the use of wording there are much beyond me and my limited english proficiency. You said 330mm before crop factor, then what is it after crop factor?
330mm is 330mm, so it's a bit longer than 300mm. The crop factor is only relevant if comparing the same lense between *different* sized cameras, not when comparing different lenses on the same camera.
04-17-2009, 12:27 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mutedphotos Quote
I'd prefer a zoom to keep lens switching down a little.
I suspect you'll find for birds and other wildlife, zoom is irrelevant. Whatever zoom lens you own will be used at the long end so often, it might as well be a prime - and you'll probably still wish it were longer.

QuoteQuote:
Only problem is I can't find anything (in terms of quality) between the Tamron 70-300 at $170 and the Sigma 120-400 at $750 (which may be cheap compared to some, but crazy expensive on a student's budget). I know there's the DA 55-300, but I'm not impressed with it and would likely go for the Tammy if I decide to go the cheap route.
I don't get that. The 55-300 is the obvious choice here - a couple hundred bucks more than than the 70-300, and a couple hundred bucks better too. So it would seem to perfectly fit what you are looking for. Unless the main concern is that for the extra couple hundred dollar, you'd rather get more length than higher quality in the same focal lengths.

QuoteQuote:
Is there anything (maybe an older manual focus lens) that can get me a little better quality (and maybe a little more reach) than the Tamron without costing nearly 5x more?
If the main concern is reach over quality, then I'd look at the Tamron 500/8 or Sigma 600/8 mirror lenses. There are also several 400mm mirror lenses that are supposed to be decent. Any of these would also hit that middle ground you are looking for. They'd cost more than the 70-300, and while perhaps not as good as the Bigma, they'd give better results than simply cropping a shot from the 70-300. You'd just have to put up with mirror lens bokeh, and expect to have to boost contrast in PP.

04-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #20
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"Sajah: I read that thread but the technical stuffs and the use of wording there are much beyond me and my limited english proficiency. You said 330mm before crop factor, then what is it after crop factor? 165mm (0.5 crop factor from the table in that thread)? It can't be so, since you're comparing this lens with tamron 70-300mm. What am I missing? "



QuoteQuote:
Marc Sabatella: 330mm is 330mm, so it's a bit longer than 300mm. The crop factor is only relevant if comparing the same lense between *different* sized cameras, not when comparing different lenses on the same camera.
Marc is correct--but perhaps adding to his commentary will help some more--perhaps it will confuse more---here goes anyway.

The 6 x 7 Pentax 165mm f 2.8, with the Tammy 2x tele, gives a 330mm f 5.6 lens.

The crop factor comes into play, as Marc points out, if you want to know the equivalent FOV this has on a different format camera. For example, 35mm cameras are often the standard used. So, a 330mm 5.6 lens, on a Pentax DSLR has an equivalent FOV, (with the Pentax 1.5 Crop Factor) of 495mm on a 35mm camera.

BTW, I have immense respect for you tackling this in a non-native tongue--Amazing and good for you! Some of us Americans (yeah, the Brits and Aussies count too) can't even even figure it out in our own language. Keep asking us questions until we make this clear. Best!
04-17-2009, 02:12 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
You guys are posting images worse than the 70-300 tammy produce
Yeah - I guess it is a piece of crap Alfisti.

Lowell - It seems great minds think alike re: the K 300.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 04-17-2009 at 02:22 PM. Reason: typo
04-17-2009, 04:27 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I would disagree that you absolutely need 500mm or more.
...
My 2 main combos are a pentax 300F4 plus 1.7x AF TC and a sigma 70-200 F2.8 with 1.4x and 2x sigma TCs
300 * 1.7 = 510mm
200*1.4*2 = 560mm

04-17-2009, 05:43 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Marc is correct--but perhaps adding to his commentary will help some more--perhaps it will confuse more---here goes anyway.

The 6 x 7 Pentax 165mm f 2.8, with the Tammy 2x tele, gives a 330mm f 5.6 lens.

The crop factor comes into play, as Marc points out, if you want to know the equivalent FOV this has on a different format camera. For example, 35mm cameras are often the standard used. So, a 330mm 5.6 lens, on a Pentax DSLR has an equivalent FOV, (with the Pentax 1.5 Crop Factor) of 495mm on a 35mm camera.

BTW, I have immense respect for you tackling this in a non-native tongue--Amazing and good for you! Some of us Americans (yeah, the Brits and Aussies count too) can't even even figure it out in our own language. Keep asking us questions until we make this clear. Best!
I was a little frustated when I wrote that. Tried reading that thread twice but still confused and didn't know where to start asking. Anyway your answer clears my particular concern. 495mm on k20d, compare to 450mm of tamron 70-300mm, now that's interesting. Thanks!

Of course there's still a lot of interesting stuffs in that thread that I still cant understand. But I think I'll take things slowly. Experience helps I suppose, and I'm still new with DSLR.

@Marc: After reading jewelltrail's reply, I can now understand what you mean. By standard we always compare things with their 35mm equivalent, e.g. Tamron 70-300mm and not 105-450mm, right? Thank you.


Last edited by sajah; 04-17-2009 at 06:53 PM.
04-17-2009, 06:06 PM   #24
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Thanks again everyone for the responses.

Can anyone help me out with teleconverter advice? Would adding a 2x converter to my m42 SMC Tak 200/4 be a good/bad idea? Is it even possible? Do I need a certain converter for certain lenses? I often hear people say that their converter works with such and such lens, or see specifications for lenses as "compatible with x/y/z-model teleconverters." So I can't just get any converter for any lens?

Also, the 300F4 that's been mentioned a few times. Is there a particular version I should be looking out for? m42/M/K/A/FA etc. And again, with the 300, would a teleconverter be a good idea?
04-17-2009, 06:14 PM   #25
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In my search for long primes over 300mm and 400mm, I found my Rocket Launcher


Photosniper Tair 3-PhS 300mm f/4.5
Kiron 2x matched multiplier









Rocket Launcher

It is my most difficult manual focus lens to use but it has its own charm and characters. It is in inexpensive category, lens alone around $100 in used condition with wear of old age. With the stock gun as a complete kit, it will be more in the ballpark from $150 to $250 depending on conditions. Many people reported getting it used for < $50. And I get what I paid for -- very difficult and impractical to use; otherwise, fun and charming on the tripod. I would not recommend it to anyone unless you don't mind all the caveats/hassles in getting it to work. I like this test picture hand-held in f/4.5


1/100 sec, wider than f/4.5 in preset ring max (likely f/4.0), iso 250, 300mm, +0.3 Ev, hand-held
shutter speed too slow to freeze the wing
shadow from large oak tree give me the most troubles
cropped



I would recommend the simple zooms as in Sigma 70-300mm, Tamron 70-300mm, Pentax DA 55-300mm and Pentax FA 80-320mm (silver one) as an interim zooms unless you want prime in 300mm and 400mm. Among them, I have used the Tamron 70-300mm, though the cheapest with caveats on PF/CA and slow speed, I used it for birding with TC in good lighting.


Tamron zoom + Pentax F-1.7x AF TC
1/800 sec, f/8.0, iso 400, 0 Ev, 510mm, hand-held




with Tamron 1.4x AF TC
1/1600 sec, f/6.3, iso 400, 420mm, 0 Ev, hand-held



Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 04-17-2009 at 07:37 PM.
04-18-2009, 12:43 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by sajah Quote
@Marc: After reading jewelltrail's reply, I can now understand what you mean. By standard we always compare things with their 35mm equivalent, e.g. Tamron 70-300mm and not 105-450mm, right?
Well, we do *sometimes* talk about focal lengths in their 35mm equivalent, if for some reason we happen to be concerned about comparing how a lens works on a DSLR (APS-C sized sensor) as compared to how it works on a 35mm camera. if for some reaosn we cared about that, then sure, we could say the Tamron 70-300 (or *any* 70-300) would behave on a DSLR like a 105-450 lens would have on a 35mm camera. I just don't see why you'd *care* how some lens you've never seen (a 105-450) woud have worked on a camera you don't own (a 35mm camera). Crop factors are mainly interesting to people who work with both systems.

The only it really matters to the rest of us is when talking to someone who shoots 35mm film - or reading a book or article that was written from that perspective. If they talk about a 300mm lens being the minimum needed for some particular purpose; then you have to do the math and realize that on APS-C, 200mm would actually do whatever it is they are talking about. That's the *only* time you'd ever need to be concerned about crop factor - when talking to someone who is talking about focal lengths from a 35mm perspective.

The complication here is that a 67 film camera has its own "crop factor" that would be used in comparing focal length on that camera with focal lengths on 35mm film, which is presumably where you got the 0.5 figure from. But unless for some reason you care about how a lens you don't own would work on a camera you've probably never seen, there should be no reason to use that number for any purpose, ever.
04-18-2009, 04:44 PM   #27
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I just ran a quick comparison of my M42 200/4 with the best 2x TC I found in the M42 300/4 stuff I put on another recent thread.


Edit: OK, here's the PST 300/4 straight up, The PST 300/4 with a Vivitar screw mount 2x TC, and the PST 200/4 with the same 2x TC. All at F8 and ISO 200. The 200 shot recorded at 1/30 sec. I think this is pretty good value for the money when you consider either prime plus a good screw-mount 2x TC can be had for around $160 or less. Pics in order listed.

H2
Attached Images
     

Last edited by pacerr; 04-18-2009 at 05:17 PM. Reason: Added pics
04-18-2009, 05:14 PM   #28
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as marc said, forget about crop factor, it is a misleading concept. as you are only shooting aps-c digital slr's, focal length is focal length, you know what 200mm means to you, that's all you need. focal length does not change across formats, a lens of a given focal length will behave as you expect that focal length to on your camera. if you must have a way to compare across formats, take the time to think in terms of degrees (field of view) instead, it will save you a lot of trouble on the long run.

many people who know what they are talking about (note: _unlike_ me) point out that you need to learn how to get closer before investing in longer glass, in the case of birdning/wildlife, you need patience, passion for your subjects, and knowledge about them and their habbits. or so "they" say. ofcourse that's not to say there is no need for 400mm or longer, it's jsut something to keep in mind.

i own and played with a pentacon 300/4, manual focus, excellent optics, excellent build, f%$^ heavy (i do mean it, i managed to handhold it for about 10 shots or so, before i gave in to the pain in my left hand), i estimate about 2.5kg. it tends to be cheap to buy. oh, it is also big, not just heavy (light surface to air missile launcher - big), as it was designed for a 6x6 format camera. it is great for nailing precise focus, but terrible for tracking fast moving subjects for the same reason (long focus throw, heavy dampening), so prefocusing is your best bet. i still love it .

hope this helps, good luck with your search, let us know what you shoose and how it suiths you.

edit: one related "trick" is to try and go for the bigger birds at first, for which a "mere" 300mm, or even 200mm might do the trick. this may not be acceptable to you though.
04-18-2009, 05:28 PM   #29
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Quit messin' around and get a Tamron adaptall 300mm f2.8 sp, and a katzeye focusing screen. Get the matched 1.4 and 2x tele with it and your all set.
04-19-2009, 01:03 AM   #30
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I like the Tokina 80-400mm f4.5-5.6.


It is small enough to carry with other lenses, can be used without a tripod, and doesn't have a "too long" minimum focus distance. The version II has a tripod collar. It took about one year for me to find one in my price range. I bought it late last year.

Thank you
Russell

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