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02-26-2011, 12:42 AM   #1
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400mm Lens Recommendations

I've recently tried a few Pentax 645 lenses (F series) 20mm macro and a 300mm f4 on my Nikon D3x via an adaptor. To say I have been impressed with the results would be an under statement.
I'm shooting for series on big cats in Southern Africa in September/October this year and my experience tells me I'm going to have to add a 400mm to my kit. I certainly have no intention of forking out big bucks for Nikon's latest offering in this department, particularly when the cheap 645 f lenses look better than any Nikon lens I currently own (and I own a few!) Don't tell Nikon as they sponsored my latest exhibition!
Could anyone recommend either a good 645 or 67 400mm lens? I'm assuming I can get a 67 to Nikon apaptor if I went the 67 route.
Any advise any one can give me will be very gratefully received. Thanks Chris

02-26-2011, 05:41 AM   #2
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The best MF 400mm is the 67 M* 400mm 4.0.
SMC Pentax-M* 67 400mm F4 ED [IF] Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

If you can't find the 67 M*, you can try the 645 FA 400mm:
SMC Pentax-FA 645 400mm F5.6 ED [IF] Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database
02-26-2011, 07:33 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by feverbeaver Quote
Yes the M*400/4 ED-IF is the best Pentax 400mm lens period. I use mine on 67, 645(D), 35, and Dslr with matching Pentax adapters.
02-26-2011, 09:10 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by D W Quote
Yes the M*400/4 ED-IF is the best Pentax 400mm lens period. I use mine on 67, 645(D), 35, and Dslr with matching Pentax adapters.
Any chance this lens would do well on a K5 or perhaps I should just go and look for something specific for the K mount?
Price-wise ... huge difference between a M*400/4 vs. an FA type lens od the same focal length?

Cheers.

JP

02-26-2011, 09:18 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Any chance this lens would do well on a K5 or perhaps I should just go and look for something specific for the K mount?
Price-wise ... huge difference between a M*400/4 vs. an FA type lens od the same focal length?

Cheers.

JP
Depends on the quality of the 135 format 400 you put on it I suspect. I did a pixel peep of my 135 format SMC A* 300mm f4 against my SMC 67 M* 300mm ED [IF] on my digital. My conclusion was it would not be worth hauling around the much larger 67 lens plus the adapter hassle for this comparison.

Last edited by tuco; 02-26-2011 at 09:29 AM.
02-26-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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Chris,

The above comments are good, especially the idea of using a smaller lens vs the larger lens regarding weight. The 67 400mm is really good, but it is very large and heavy and manual focus.

Your Nikon D3x can tolerate a little cropping. With the AF Nikkor 300mm (either 2.8 or 4, a used model), and minimal cropping, you get a 400mm look with AF and lighter weight.

The other option I've used for special trips, is renting a lens. For a safari trip, if I used Nikon, I'd rent an AF Nikkor 500/4 ED VR. This lens would give you more reach, AF and a stabilizer. The size/wt of this lens is about the same as the 67 400mm.
02-26-2011, 03:32 PM   #7
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Thank you for the advice everyone, you have given me much food for thought.
02-28-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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Lloyd's test showed the Pentax 645 FA 400mm/f5.6, at least the copy in his hand, performed very well over the full 645D image frame, making it the top two in sharpness, along with the 120mm macro. Massive Moire is visible even widely open at the edges of the images, indicating the lens resolution went much beyond the sensor (Nyquest) limit.


Last edited by leping; 03-01-2011 at 05:55 PM.
03-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Since cost is a consideration, the 400mm Takumar should be considered. I use mine on my Leicaflex SLR body with adapter. It is very sharp but has some limitations--

1. Mounts on the outer bay of the P67, so your adapter needs to have outer bay tabs for this lens to fit. I use a Zoerk adapter.

2. The diaphragm is manual.

3. Slight lateral color is seen in very high contrast shots. It is rare to ever see this however.

The good news is that a mint used 400 Takumar sells for $700- $900.

Last edited by desertscape; 03-01-2011 at 10:33 AM. Reason: clarification
03-01-2011, 03:55 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. Sounds like a better plan. I can't even find the alternative available for sale. I'm assuming of course, that a P67 to Nikon adapter is available as I haven't actually bought a 645D yet so I intend using this 400mm on my Nikon D3X. Does anyone know if a universal tripod ring is available? I wouldn't mind getting one for my A* 300MM.
03-01-2011, 06:24 PM   #11
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The 67 300mm F/4 EDIF (test on Luminous Landscape) with a 1.4 X converter seems to be as good as the 400 F/4ED bare.
03-01-2011, 11:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sig M9 Quote
The 67 300mm F/4 EDIF
all I can say is good luck trying to find one though, the 400mm f/4 ED [IF] is much more useful for wildlife work because of it's speed.
03-02-2011, 02:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Since cost is a consideration, the 400mm Takumar should be considered. I use mine on my Leicaflex SLR body with adapter. It is very sharp but has some limitations--

1. Mounts on the outer bay of the P67, so your adapter needs to have outer bay tabs for this lens to fit. I use a Zoerk adapter.

2. The diaphragm is manual.

3. Slight lateral color is seen in very high contrast shots. It is rare to ever see this however.

The good news is that a mint used 400 Takumar sells for $700- $900.
I bought a Takumar 400 6x7 for 500€ last year. On my K-7 the DA*300 with converter or a simply Crop is better (sharper, more contrast, less aberrations. But the Takumar have a special rendering. Images are looking more like medium format images than with the DA*300.
03-05-2011, 01:13 PM   #14
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645 & 67 lenses on a DSLR

This is very informative because I have wondered about using the larger format lenses on my DSLRs. What are the factors for results? Can any of you direct me to a definitive discussion? Would a 645 300mm have double the telephoto result? Might these give more affordable solutions than some of the 35mm premium lenses?
Thanks for helping a neophyte.
03-05-2011, 01:58 PM   #15
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645 300mm on a Pentax DSLR is still a 300mm. 645 FA* 300mm 4.0 has the same focal length like the DA* 300mm.

On my K-7 the DA* 300mm is the better lens, because it is wide open (f=4) sharper than the 645 FA* 300mm at f=4 and it has autofocus.
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