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08-01-2009, 07:55 PM   #1
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Quantaray

Anybody have any input on Quataray lenses in general? I bought a 28-90 autofocus and was also looking at a 500mm f/8 as well, the price cant be beat but are they worth buying, I know they are not top of the line but would like to get some diverse lenses for a k20d and hopefully nice sharp photo's

08-01-2009, 08:06 PM   #2
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The 500mm f/8 lens is a mirror lens. The aperture is fixed at f/8 and pretty useless unless if it is sunny and bright outside. The quality from what I've seen isn't that great either. I don't have that lens but I bought one of those 500mm f/8 mirror lens on ebay and was not happy with it.

Since you have the Pentax 55-300mm lens on order, I would just buy a teleconvertor for it. Get a 1.5x or 2x teleconvertor and you should be able to get a 450mm or 600mm lens.
08-01-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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Recommend if you are going to get an f/8 mirror lens then at least make it the 800mm version. The 500mm is typically available in faster versions like the Rokinon f/6.3. Prices are all very close.

I disagree that it needs to be bright and sunny. A tripod helps to get best results for sure but even handheld can get usable shots on typical overcast days. The PP is different to get the sharpness and contrast back than your other lenses but there is fun to be had with the mirrors with practice.
08-02-2009, 03:50 AM   #4
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I will shy away from mirror lens that you have not heard about. Yes, it is cheap around $100 or maybe even less. You are likely to get what you pay for. I think the Rokinon with f/6.3 will be a better lens. Other better mirror lens include the Tamron SP 500mm f/8.0 in adaptall-2 mount. Some Russian mirror lens also do better than others. You need to research and ask around. As far as I know, Quantaray is likely an inexpensive brand. Please continue to ask around.

I have used a Vivitar 500mm f/8.0 mirror lens, I will rate it average and nothing stands out for me except the lightweight. I sold it a while ago.

Since you have a good zoom with DA 55-300mm, your money may be better spent on a good 300mm/400mm prime or a good TC as in Tamron pz-af 1.4x TC. A better one will be Pentax-f 1.7x AF TC. Another cheaper but value TC to consider is the Promaster AF 1.7x TC.

I recently got a Quantaray 400mm f/6.3 prime in K mount. It is not too bad. It is inexpensive as I got it in a mixed lot with multiple items. It has PF/CA in the test shots but the IQ and ease of use with very lightweight surprises me.


lightest 400mm that I have handled



taken with Quantaray 400mm f/6.3
no post processing



user focus error



cropped


I will need to sell this Quantaray 400mm later as I have other better 400mm with Tokian SD 400mm f/5.6 already, I can't justify to keep both.

Thanks,
Hin


Last edited by hinman; 08-02-2009 at 03:57 AM.
08-02-2009, 08:10 AM   #5
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I have the Quantaray 70-300mm f4-5.6 macro. The macro function works well enough. It has some a fair amount CA. Unless you stop down to at least f8 your photos will be very soft. Even then the lens isn't terribly sharp.

I bought the lens for $60 so I can't complain. For casual shooters the lens is plenty. If you are more than a casual shooter save your money and wait till you can afford something of higher quality.
08-03-2009, 01:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
I have the Quantaray 70-300mm f4-5.6 macro. The macro function works well enough. It has some a fair amount CA. Unless you stop down to at least f8 your photos will be very soft. Even then the lens isn't terribly sharp.

I bought the lens for $60 so I can't complain. For casual shooters the lens is plenty. If you are more than a casual shooter save your money and wait till you can afford something of higher quality.

Could you post photo of your lens and photos shot wide open?
As I have similar lens and it is not only very soft, but have some horrid spherical abbertations.
Btw lens must be rebranded Tamron and it is quite nice lens.
08-03-2009, 12:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcool Quote
Anybody have any input on Quataray lenses in general? I bought a 28-90 autofocus and was also looking at a 500mm f/8 as well, the price cant be beat but are they worth buying, I know they are not top of the line but would like to get some diverse lenses for a k20d and hopefully nice sharp photo's
Quantaray is the name Ritz puts on a product when they want to sell it under their own name - think of it as the equivalent of a "generic" grocery store brand name. Most if not all "Quantaray" products (including lenses and other gear) are made by someone else and are usually identical to the regular brand name version. Most of the Quantaray lenses are made by Sigma; some are made by Tamron or others. Sometimes they change manufacturers in mid-stream - there was a 70-300 that was made by Sigma, then by Tamron, and now I think by Sigma again. Or something like that.

The 500/8 mirror lens, as far as I know, is the one made by Samyang and also sold under the names Phoenix, Opteka, Vivitar, and perhaps others. If it is listed as weighing 360g and looks like the picture you see if you Google any of those others, you'll know that's the one.

It's not one of the better mirror lenses out there, but mirror lenses are quirky things - even the best are hated by many for their small fixed aperture, low contrast, and donut-shaped bokeh. Still, if you use a tripod and/or a high enough ISO to get a reasonable shutter speed, use a hood, shoot RAW, bump contrast and sharpness in PP (and also perhaps do some NR to combat the effects of the high ISO), you can get surprisingly decent results even from the below-average mirror lenses like this one. These results can often astound those who take test shots at far too slow a shutter speed, look at a couple of the resulting images without any PP to improve contrast and sharpness, and immediately write off the lens as total junk. On the other hand, sometimes you get a bad copy and it really *is* junk.

So it's not great by any means - below average, really - but for the price and weight (both a fraction of what even other mirror lenses might run), it could be worthwhile if you get great deal and know you're in for. BTW, it's more impressive shooting architecture or other hard-edged subjects than with wildlife, as the hard edges sharpen much more readily than fur or feathers.

Here are a couple from my Vivitar-branded version of this lens:






Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 08-03-2009 at 04:49 PM.
08-03-2009, 04:12 PM   #8
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I have had the 28-90mm lens and it was a good lens. It was made my Sigma. I currently have a 70-300mm lens made by Tamron and it is a very good lens. I don't have to stop down to f8 to get a sharp picture.

08-03-2009, 09:39 PM   #9
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Thanks

You folks are the best, thanks again, I think I'll hold off and abuse what I have for the moment after I get the Pentax zoom, I'll take it from there....
08-05-2009, 02:52 AM   #10
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Yeah, branding could be everything.
As I have 3 quantaray and 2 promaster lenses, quite cheap :-)
And my sharpest lens is.. Focal :-)
But my 70-300mm quantaray is really bad.
All I can understand is tha ;enses quality is very inconsistent.
08-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #11
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cheap on sale

i just picked up 2 quantaray lens they are older film ones without auto focus ...they are sturdy in construction ...i got them at a Ritz in the clearance section ...they were brand new in the boxes ...i don't know if this was a good deal or not but i grabbed them...i felt sorry for them sitting in the clearance case all by themselves...they say macro on them but i can't get them to focus at a really close range..im sure its operator error
i took a shot of some flowers in the house ...i should have closed the lens down alittle bit more as some of the flower in front is out of focus i used the 28-70mm for this shot.
I need to practice with these a bit more when i get the time
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