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07-14-2011, 06:45 AM   #1
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Performance of old Pentax telephoto lenses on the K-5

Recently a fellow member sent me a message about using the Pentax-M 400 f/5.6 on the K-5. We both currently own this lens and are quite familiar with its performance on the K10 or K200D 10MP sensor, but I hadn't yet tried it on the K-5. So I headed out with the old M400 mounted to see how it would go with the apparent increased performance of the K-5.

In summary, I'm quite impressed with the performance of this old 400mm on the K-5. It's only quite a quick comparison, but I do feel that the usefulness of this lens has been improved. Below I have included some of my examples at 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 ISO. If you would like to see what the image looks like at full size (100%), please click on the image and then right click and select "original" from Flickr.

I would also like to invite anyone else who has used old telephoto lenses on the K-5 to compare notes and post their examples. And please feel free to let me know what you think.

Here are some of my examples.

M400 @f/16 400 ISO



M400 @f/16 800 ISO



M400 @f/16 1600 ISO



M400 @f/16 3200 ISO



Lastly I took a shot at 80 ISO just to compare. Unfortunately I missed the focus slightly so it's not quite as useful as the other shots.

M400 @f/8 800 ISO (slightly out of focus)



07-14-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
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This lense produce some very nice images ! Lacks a bit of sharpness @f16 and have some CA, but that said, all i'll add is WOW !

try to find out wich aperture give the best rendering, to get (maybe) less CA.

nices picture BTW !
07-14-2011, 07:51 AM   #3
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Thanks aurele

Yes, this lens can be prone to CA and purple fringing. Already I have reduced some of the purple stuff in PP, but didn't touch any other CA. I have a feeling that f/16 on this lens might already be the 'sweet spot'. f/8-f/11 means less depth of field (hence harder to focus) and possibly a little bit more CA. f/5.6 is noticeably softer with more CA, in my experience.

cheers
07-14-2011, 08:21 AM   #4
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for the CA i have to say that it wasn't obvious at first sight, only when i saw the picture on its original size (yeah, pixel peeping, i know ...).

I was wondering, do you know if polarizing filter can help to reduce that ?

07-14-2011, 08:25 AM   #5
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No worries, I uploaded the full size shots for that reason. Not sure that the polarizing filter would help, but I do have one that will fit (77mm!) so I will try it out sometime.
08-08-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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So no one else has been using old super telephoto lenses on their K-5?
How about the A or K 400/5.6? Or the old 500mm+ lenses?
08-08-2011, 10:18 PM   #7
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Very impressive Jason. At 3200 edges againts light back ground noticable
but when background is darker not nearly as much.Has to be kept in mind
that glass in either "M" or "A" does not have any ED or low dispersion glass.
Have them both and only edge refraction in situations such as above is
it readily apparent.At 1600,..really looks like a sweet spot,anything above
400 on my K20 starts to show.Thats close to what pentax says capabilities
of that K5(sony) sensor is.Hard as it is,have something coming from stellar-vue
currently and have to 'hold pat' for awhile.
08-08-2011, 10:22 PM   #8
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I use a few older long teles on my K5. The A 400, Telyt 560, a couple of 500mm Russian mirror lenses and the Tair 300A with respectable results. Just purchased a 6x7 400mm which has yet to be used.

08-08-2011, 11:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Very impressive Jason....

.Hard as it is,have something coming from stellar-vue
currently and have to 'hold pat' for awhile.
Thanks Bill. I'm not sure what you mean by your comment about "stellar-vue" though?

QuoteOriginally posted by xjjohnno Quote
I use a few older long teles on my K5. The A 400, Telyt 560, a couple of 500mm Russian mirror lenses and the Tair 300A with respectable results. Just purchased a 6x7 400mm which has yet to be used.
Sounds good. Do you have any examples from the A 400 handy that you might like to share?
And which version of the 6x7 400mm did you get? I've toyed with the idea of getting one of those myself. Should be interesting!

cheers
08-08-2011, 11:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
not sure what you mean by your comment
Sorry Jason, its a scope that with T-mount adapter can do few different things.
Significant half and I 'struggle' at times when out together,makes it easier
for 2 of us to cover wider arc.Interesting thought about MF 400 & K5.
08-09-2011, 12:28 AM   #11
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Super Multi Coated Takumar version of the 400 6x7 and I'm expecting it to be a bit heavy on the CA.
A400 pics






08-09-2011, 05:36 AM   #12
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I have used a Takumar bayonet 135 f2,8, K135 f2,5 and M150 f3,5. The former was relatively soft wide open, decent but not amazing closed down, and had some CA wide open. The other two show very little CA, and impressive sharpness, even wide open. The challenge is much more in the focusing, the lenses themselves perform very very well.
08-09-2011, 05:42 AM   #13
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xjjohno - Thanks for posting some of your shots and nice one of the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.

bdery - Yeah, focusing these old teles can be tough. I find that I really need to get in the zone to focus the M400 effectively, even with a good split prism screen (which f/5.6 is a bit too dark for anyway). Stopping down to f/16 on the 400mm makes it a bit easier.
08-09-2011, 03:27 PM   #14
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I use the K500/4.5 on my K5 fairly often. This
QuoteQuote:
The challenge is much more in the focusing, the lenses themselves perform very very well.
sums up my experience pretty well. It's only real weaknesses are the CA (which can be pretty bad sometimes, especially at or near wide open) and the long minimum focus distance - extension tubes are a must! Also you need 3 arms if you want to shoot something moving with it.





08-10-2011, 06:17 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spyder Quote
I use the K500/4.5 on my K5 fairly often. This


sums up my experience pretty well. It's only real weaknesses are the CA (which can be pretty bad sometimes, especially at or near wide open) and the long minimum focus distance - extension tubes are a must! Also you need 3 arms if you want to shoot something moving with it.
Nice detail in those birds
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