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03-13-2013, 11:33 PM   #1
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help with 300mm decision

I am currently preparing for a trip to India and I am taking a medium format equipment - based on Pentax 645- with me in order to take photos of small animals. I am usind the 120mm Macro wih extension tubes for the smallest animals and I plan to take a 300mm lens with me for the bigger small animals - mostly lizards (and snakes if i am lucky to meet one). I already own a Pentacon 4/300mm lens (designed for the Pentacon Six) wth an adapter for Pentax 645 and it performes fine. Now I am tormenting myself with the decision, wether I should by the 4/300mm for the Pentax 6x7 and take it with me on the trip instead or not. The decision is hard because of several advantages and disadventages of both of them:
Pentacon 300MM
Negs compared to Pentax: almost one Kilo heavier then Pentax (2100 gr). No open aperture metering. What shall I do with my 67 to 645 adapter ? :-)
Pros compared to Pentax: the higher weight is mostly due to a very massive tripod collar, that sits on a point of the lens, that makes the whole camera-lens-rig very well balanced on a tripod, also very good for a monopod. The tripod collar turns, so you can use it well with a square Mediumformat. It can be safely locked, so it just turns when you want it to. Much closer focussing possible: 3,6 m; for lizard-sized-animals a smaller extension tube is required. The Pentacon 300mm is a little more "tele" compared to other 300mm lenses.
Pentax 300mm:
Negs: No tripod collar but still heavy, might be a problem, when the small camera is mounted on a tripod/monopod with a large and heavy lens (balance etc), only 5m (!) closest focussing possible, requiring a longer extension tube for small animals (I own all extension tubes sizes for the 645). The lens I am offered is at least 15 years older then the Pentacon (it says 6x7 instead of 67), though already the Takumar SMC version (produced somewhere between 1971 and 1976? - the Pentacon about 1989/1990). It shows significant signs of use (on the barrel, not the glas), while there are no signs of use on my Pentacon.
Pros: mainly the open aperture metering (I already got hold on a fairly priced 67 to 645 adapter), perhapes better Coating, although I don´t know if this affects the pictures of small animals
Either of those lenses would fit well in my camera backpack (even with mounted camera) and would not make it surpass the handluggage limit for the flight.
Well, what is your decision in my place?

03-14-2013, 01:36 AM   #2
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If You had the 645N I would say 645FA 300F5.6

Short, lightweight, min. focus distance shorter than the F4, but not that MF-feeling on the downside.

-Linus-
03-14-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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Original Poster
I have a 645N (and the 645) - but the FA 300mm lens is way out of financial reach. I have to choose between those two lenses. I got the Pentacon in this almost new condition for 80 Euros and the Pentax offer is 200 Euros. Two more features of the two: The Pentax is a little shorter (not much). The Pentacon has an iris consisting of 19 blades. I saw test photos and red reports, where the Pentacon surpassed the Canon 1:4 300mm L concerning resolution. So I really don´t know if spending money on the Pentax lens is really worth it. It might be not better or even worse concerning it´s optical performance...
Liebe Grüße aus dem Schwarzwald!
03-14-2013, 02:22 PM   #4
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The 300 Takumar, when used on a tripod can be a pain. It is very susceptible to shutter vibration when shooting in the 1/2 to 1/30 second range. Handheld at 1/125 sec it does well. Putting extension tubes on it when on a tripod invites shutter vib because it now overhangs even more from the camera. If you are shooting like this but in the 1 second or longer range, not a problem. ...Or if you are using fast film and fast shutter speeds, no problem. The 300 Takumar rarely fringes, as it is well color corrected.
I have been to the Schwarzwald.

03-14-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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Why not the 645 A* 300/4 (manual focus). It's got the same brutally sharp optics as the FA version and has been going for only 250-320.00 on eBay used lately. I have one, paid about that amount, and it is by far my favorite piece of equipment; never lets me down.
03-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
The 300 Takumar, when used on a tripod can be a pain. It is very susceptible to shutter vibration when shooting in the 1/2 to 1/30 second range. Handheld at 1/125 sec it does well. Putting extension tubes on it when on a tripod invites shutter vib because it now overhangs even more from the camera. If you are shooting like this but in the 1 second or longer range, not a problem. ...Or if you are using fast film and fast shutter speeds, no problem. The 300 Takumar rarely fringes, as it is well color corrected.
I have been to the Schwarzwald.
why are you shooting at such slow shutter speeds?with my 300mm i only shoot from a tripod or monopod, my shutter speeds run from 1/500 to 1/1000 sec. OOPS, SORRY i'm usenig the 645d so i can up the iso.
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