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12-09-2009, 03:46 PM   #1
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Tamron Sp 300mm f/2.8 model 60b

You know, since I won this lens on ebay I have been doing a lot of thinking. A lot of people complain about PF and CA with this lens. Others say their copies of it are fine and barely have PF in high contrast situations. Is it possible that this lens is so big and heavy that people are bumping against stuff and the PF developes from mis-alignment or something? Or can mis-alignment of elements not cause PF? I sure hope mine is a good one.

Also, I just payed $670 for this lens, which I thought was a good deal, based on a lot or research over the past year and considering the decent condition it was in. I have seen one a KEH for $500 something that was missing srtap lugs and rated BGN (which I know at KEH can be pretty decent). They may still have it. Anyway. A couple of hours ago another copy of this lens sold on ebay with a Nikon adapter in perfect condition with all original assesories for $607. Go figure. Maybe it went for so cheap because the listing makes it look like a Nikon only lens, but it was clearly the 60B with a Nikon adapter on it.

I guess I still got a good deal, just not the best deal.....Oh well, I guess that is life. We will find out when the lens comes.

12-09-2009, 08:21 PM   #2
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I paid over $800 for mine, about $900 if you include the KA Adapter.

Mike
12-09-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
. . . A couple of hours ago another copy of this lens sold on ebay with a Nikon adapter in perfect condition with all original assesories for $607. Go figure. Maybe it went for so cheap because the listing makes it look like a Nikon only lens, but it was clearly the 60B with a Nikon adapter on it.
I had that lens in my watch list. You got a good deal - its just the economy right now. There aren't enough buyers in any given week to ensure an intersection of someone willing to pay up for what you are selling, plus the text DID say something like "For Nikon." I had to look three times to be sure it was actually the AD-2.
12-10-2009, 03:16 AM   #4
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The price seems fine to me. I have seen several sellers asking around 900 USD in the past months, though I bought mine much cheaper (but had to add the 112mm front filter later, whch was costly...) Do you have the necessary 2 filters with the lens? The front filter helps to achieve much better sharpness wide open, so its use is really recommended. It also is a good protection. My 60B is the only lens I have, that has a (tiny) scratch on the front element, as it is so big and not protected if the lens hood isn't be used.

The PF is certainly there in high contrast situations. You will see it clearly in typical birding images (bird sitting on branch, bright sky background), but it is hardly annoying in less contrasty images. Also the PF spread is not really wide, so at smaller print sizes it isn't noticeable.

The 60B works very well with the Pentax L tcs, by the way, which would make it a 420/4 and 600/5.6 respectively. At least with the 1.4x tc the quality loss is not visible (ofcourse I can only speak of my own samples). The matched Tamron tcs might also be good, but I find using the Pentax ones much more convenient (no swapping of adapters).

To get nice, sharp images, I needed some time for learning to use that lens, especially handheld. The first images were really disapointing due to camera shake (despite SR), but it got much better after perhaps two or three weeks of use.

Ben

12-10-2009, 08:01 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info everyone. The lens does indeed come with the original 112mm lens and at least has the 43mm filter holder. I guess I assumed the filter would be attached, but if not Tamron still makes slim ones that can be bought at BHphoto-video. Someone is selling the original polarizer on ebay for $85 and the holder for $35 (I think). I am getting pretty excited to get the lens. I just hope that the delivery man does not leave it on my front porch because it is like 0 degrees outside with a -20 degree wind chill.
12-10-2009, 08:48 AM   #6
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Teleconverters

I have the matching Adaptall 1.4 teleconverter and find it perhaps just a hair better than the Tamron 1.4 converter. If I want longer reach than 300mm, I typically use the Pentax 1.7 AF converter that adds autofocus capabilities. As a 510mm lens, it is pretty darned good.

Mike
12-10-2009, 09:13 AM   #7
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I would like that AF converter, but the cost is ridiculous.
12-10-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
Thanks for the info everyone. The lens does indeed come with the original 112mm lens and at least has the 43mm filter holder. I guess I assumed the filter would be attached, but if not Tamron still makes slim ones that can be bought at BHphoto-video. Someone is selling the original polarizer on ebay for $85 and the holder for $35 (I think).
Be careful, that you buy the 43mm filter and holder especially for the 60B. Later ones do not fit. I bought a Hama HMC coated UV filter for the holder, because that's the only one I found with the correct glass thickness (1mm), which is a design element of the lens (and it just fits through the slot in the lens...) Most other filters have thicker glass. BH was the only source for the original filter, when I was searching (Tamron Germany couldn't provide anything anymore), but with shipping etc. the price was ridiculous.

Ben

12-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #9
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Well the lens has the holder for sure. It is the whether the filter is attached to the filter that is unknown. Thanks for the info on the 1mm thickness. I really hope it is there!!! I wonder if this will work:

Tamron | Normal 43mm Screw-in Clear Filter for 300mm | F94400
12-10-2009, 12:55 PM   #10
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Hi Stephen,

Don't worry, If the lens is in good shape, you did pretty good on this lens. It's hard to criticize this lens for CA and PF, considering that to get better optical performance in this area for the Pentax at this FL and speed, you'd probably need to spend at least over 2.5x that much for a relatively rare Sigma EX 300/2.8 APO, or 4-5x the price you paid for a very rare used FA*300/2.8. CA and PF control at this level of lens comes at a significant cost. The color aberrations can be corrected in PP, but you can't touch the resolution and light gathering ability of this lens for anywhere near the price.

This lens just screams to be used with the F 1.7x AFA. Don't assume that this TC only sells for ridiculous prices. Less than 2 months ago, I found an EX grade one at KEH for $218, and grabbed it as a spare. IMO, the AFA is the Pentax secret weapon for long tele shooters. I even stack the AFA on top of the SP 140F 1.4x TC for an AF 714mm f6.7 with very good results.

The only real complaint I have with this lens is that there's some extra movement at the mount. This is a bit disquieting on such a large and heavy lens. I've heard that others have found this also. I've had mine, and used it extensively for over two years, and this looseness has not effected the functioning of the lens, nor has it gotten worse, so I've pretty much dismissed this as a potential problem point.

Congrats on a good buy and an excellent lens!

Scott
12-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #11
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Thanks Scott. I will start looking for that AFA 1.7x once I pay the Tamron off.
12-10-2009, 01:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
Well the lens has the holder for sure. It is the whether the filter is attached to the filter that is unknown. Thanks for the info on the 1mm thickness. I really hope it is there!!! I wonder if this will work:

Tamron | Normal 43mm Screw-in Clear Filter for 300mm | F94400
I can't say. Tamron changed the design of the filter holder for each version of this lens and the size of the filter slot may vary accordingly. As the BH order number has the letters "CAFQ", I assume the filter is meant for the later AF versions. But at that price I would certainly give it a try. If the filter rim is too thick, you can simply use a file to slim it down.

Scott has written very enthusiastic about the lens
, but we should not forget, that it is an old design. It has visible PF in high contrast situations and wide open, but is really sharp and contrast is good. I got my first shots of flying geese with this lens recently and you can count the single hairs in the feathers, right down to the pixel level - and as I could (and needed to) close down the aperture to f/8 and f/11, the PF is basically gone. That's good news and the performance seem to be quite comparable to the current Pentax DA 200/2.8...

The Pentax AF-adapter is a nice thing, but it isn't a good choice for all lenses. I haven't used it with the Tammy, as I find the Pentax L-converters the perfect match, so I can't comment. But on a an ED-less lens, like the Pentax 500/4.5 I personally find the AF-adapter completely unuseable, as it increases PF massively. On its own that old lens performs quite well, when stepped down a bit, but not with that adapter...

Ben
12-10-2009, 05:08 PM   #13
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I had this lens for a short while. price you paid is ok, the 112mm normal filter is hard to find. I had it the results were inconsistent as to increase in sharpness. It does PF a lot, but easily correctable in PP, and the lens works very well with the 1.7 AFA, like they are made for one another.

Once you get yours post some images here
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/59769-adaptall...ub-tamron.html
12-10-2009, 06:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote

Scott has written very enthusiastic about the lens
, but we should not forget, that it is an old design. It has visible PF in high contrast situations and wide open, but is really sharp and contrast is good. I got my first shots of flying geese with this lens recently and you can count the single hairs in the feathers, right down to the pixel level - and as I could (and needed to) close down the aperture to f/8 and f/11, the PF is basically gone. That's good news and the performance seem to be quite comparable to the current Pentax DA 200/2.8...

The Pentax AF-adapter is a nice thing, but it isn't a good choice for all lenses. I haven't used it with the Tammy, as I find the Pentax L-converters the perfect match, so I can't comment. But on a an ED-less lens, like the Pentax 500/4.5 I personally find the AF-adapter completely unuseable, as it increases PF massively. On its own that old lens performs quite well, when stepped down a bit, but not with that adapter...
Hi Ben,

I am enthusiastic about this lens! -- but I have subsequently obtained a Sigma EX 300/2.8 APO and an FA* 300/2.8, so the Tamron has been relegated to backup of the backup.

It must be noted that "LD" is the Tamron equivalent of Pentax "ED" glass elements and Sigma's "APO", but the Tamron does not control CA/PF as well -- in the case of these 3 models, at least. The Sigma controls CA/PF considerably better than the Tamron, and about the same as the FA*300/2.8 in this regard. The Sigma is a tad sharper, and the FA*300 is a bit sharper still, but the differences are really marginal, IMO.

I use the 300/2.8s + TC(s) in lieu of longer glass -- LBA in the super tele range gets very expensive very quickly. . . . . . and I've limited myself to this class of lens as the largest that I can physically handle on a daily basis. I'd love to have an EX 500/4.5, an FA*250-600/5.6, and an FA*600/4, but I'd gain little in usability with the Sigma at a cost of $3K-4K, and the two big Pentaxes are just way too big at @ 13 lbs -- and in addition to the cost of the lens, I'd have to put about another $1K into a new tripod and gimbal.

Here are a few examples of why I feel that I can stand pat with any of the 300/2.8s and TCs. These were shot with the DS, and it only gets better with the K20 or K-7. . .

This Cardinal shot was a lucky one -- handheld with the DS, SP 300/2.8 + SP140F 1.4x TC + P F 1.7x AFA (714mm f6.7). This is only lightly cropped, then resized from the original jpg.


. . . and a 100% crop of the center of the frame -- no PP -- to show the fine feather detail the lens combo is capable of on the 6MP sensor.


Here's another one, this time tripod mounted.


For my purposes, I consider myself set out to 714mm. . .I think. . .

Scott
12-10-2009, 08:10 PM   #15
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So to search for this AFA 1.7X TC, do I look for just that: Pentax AFA 1.7X?
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