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11-09-2015, 03:45 PM   #16
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Disclaimer: I don't own this lens, but you can usually tell how a lens is going to perform just from its general profile. From my understanding the 300/4 is very typical of pre-EDIF teles and superteles. Wide open, it's reasonably sharp in the center but falls off towards the edges, and there's CA and low contrast. All of these problems get better as you stop down, ideally to at least f/8.

EDIF lenses are designed to fix these problems - the contrast and CA are very good right from wide open, and typically the edge sharpness is somewhat better as well. Again, the EDIF 300 is no exception from what I know.

It's pretty easy to mistake CA for softness under the right circumstances (especially on B+W film). Lenses of this vintage were designed for hoods, and you should use the built-in hood whenever you can. That'll help a little bit. CA and low contrast can be easily corrected on digital nowadays, and small APS-C/FF sensors hit the sweet spot of large MF lenses.

It's important to think about the alternatives. If you're only going to be shooting on crop/FF then there may be some better options available for a similar price. There are some 300-400mm EDIF primes that aren't too expensive. Price being equal, for APS-C/FF shooting I would take a 35mm EDIF lens over a plain MF lens in a heartbeat. The sweet spot isn't good enough to make up the difference.

I'd think seriously about bumping up to the EDIF for MF shooting. On film you can't digitally correct your CA and contrast, and you'll be spending some of the difference on a tripod lens mount anyway, whereas the EDIF has it built in. It'll be fine stopped down - but then you need to start worrying about having a good set of lens plates/ballhead/tripod, even more than you would shooting wide. As such by the time you can really be shooting this lens on MF, you probably already own:
  • Body, prism, grip, and a couple other lenses, probably to the tune of at least $1000
  • A good ballhead, $200
  • Tripod legs - can be cheap if you can deal with heavy, so like $100
  • L-bracket - $150
  • Assorted other widgets and doodads

So since the lens tripod mount will cost you another $200 plus another $150 for the lens itself - you could easily be talking about close to $1800 in gear. The extra $350 to get the right lens is probably worth it at that point.


Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 11-09-2015 at 04:12 PM.
11-09-2015, 04:04 PM   #17
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Thank you for your input Paul! Well, on my Pentax APS-C DSLRs I already have a very competent 300mm. The lens I have started this thread about, the SMC 67 300/4, is only planned to be used on my Pentax 67 ii MF film camera. I have been looking at the EDIF version for a long time, and if I ever inherit a larger sum of money, the Pentax 67-M* 300mm F4 EDIF will be one of my first investments.
11-09-2015, 04:19 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by bjolester Quote
Thank you for your input Paul! Well, on my Pentax APS-C DSLRs I already have a very competent 300mm. The lens I have started this thread about, the SMC 67 300/4, is only planned to be used on my Pentax 67 ii MF film camera. I have been looking at the EDIF version for a long time, and if I ever inherit a larger sum of money, the Pentax 67-M* 300mm F4 EDIF will be one of my first investments.
Keep an eye out on the forums here as well as on auctions. The 300 EDIF goes for reasonable prices quite frequently - like I said, I've seen it go for $700 and less fairly regularly. The volume of P67 stuff here in the marketplace forum isn't all that high, and the EDIFs are fairly rare items on top of that, but they do crop up from time to time and often at very good prices. I snagged a 400 EDIF at KEH for a great price, and then of course one promptly showed up here for ~30% less than I paid.

They're still much more than the plain 300, of course, but there's the tripod mount thing, and at the end of the day - you do get what you've paid for. There aren't a whole lot of long/supertele medium format lenses, let alone 90s-vintage EDIF lenses. Both the cheap stuff and the EDIF lenses are both huge draws to the P67/P645 system IMO.

Still on the hunt for the elusive 75/2.8 AL though.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 11-09-2015 at 04:26 PM.
11-09-2015, 11:08 PM   #19
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I own the 300/4* since two years. Before, I have been using the 67 300/4, too. Rcently, I tested it again on the 645D, just because being curious. It is sharp wide open, but not as sharp as the top leneses I use on the 645D. But still far away from being soft. Contrast is very low at f/4. Some post processing has to be done to fix this (contrast, saturation as well as sharpening using a larger redius than normal). If doing so, good but not outstanding sharp shots can be obtained even at f/4 on the "small" 645D sensor. f/5.6 almost eleminites the contrast problem stopping down fruther doen't grow the contrast much further. It doesn't reach the 645 A 300/4* in this topic. stopping down to 5.6 and 8 doesn't change much in terms of sharpness, a reall tiny difference. at f/11, the sharpness boost becomes a bit mor visible and pictures get rellay crispy.
If not looking for the real maximum in reolsution and if willing to spend some more time on post processing when used wide open, this lens is a bargain. Off course it is big and heavy and needs a good tripod, but you can't alwys win

11-10-2015, 06:42 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul MaudDib Quote
...
On film you can't digitally correct your CA and contrast,
I don't shoot my M* 300/4 EDIF much but when I do I really like. I scan my film to a DNG file which is a partial implementation of the DNG spec, import it into Lightroom for editing. I don't see why it wouldn't correct CA as it would with any other file from one of my digital cameras if that's what you mean.
11-10-2015, 11:36 AM   #21
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The original 300mm for the 6x7 was not bad regarding CA. Just because it was from an era before ED became popular, doesn't mean all conventional glass 300s performed similarly. A triplet up front shows it was corrected for 3 colors (APO). The only disadvantage it has compared with the 300ED color wise is that the older 300 could not keep the marginal rays from separating. The paraxial and zonal rays were well controlled. This differential color focus by lens zone is known as spherochromatism. My conventional glass Canon FD 300mm was not as well corrected as the 6x7 300 Takumar. At the time the 300 Takumar came out, there was technology to produce a triplet that corrected 5 colors. Most optical companies chose not to do this due to cost. The conventional glass 400 Takumar competes well with the 300 EDIF both in sharpness & contrast and almost as well in color correction.
07-30-2016, 01:09 AM   #22
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There is a shop in Copenhagen that has a very nice used copy of smc Pentax-67 300mm ED [IF] for sale. I tried to barter for it, but I found I would have to give up too much to get it, so I will stick with my old smc Pentax-67 300mm F4.0.

The older smc Pentax-67 300mm F4.0 does not have the best reputation, and I don't quite know why. OK, it does not have a tripod mount, but otherwise I like it a lot - especially at the price point it can be found today. And I use it on film, not digital, and handheld:
Eurofighter Typhoon

Camera: Pentax 645N
Lens: smc Pentax 67 300mm F4.0 (and the Fotodiox P67 to P645 adapter)
Exposure: 1/180 @ F-- +0.7
Film: Fomapan 100 Classic dev. in D-76 1+1

Agusta-Westland EH101, HC3 Merlin

Camera: Pentax 645N
Lens: smc Pentax 67 300mm F4.0 (and the Fotodiox P67 to P645 adapter)
Exposure: 1/350 @ F-- +1.0
Film: Ilford Delta 3200 dev. in D-76 1+1
07-30-2016, 01:42 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaHo Quote
....
The older smc Pentax-67 300mm F4.0 does not have the best reputation, and I don't quite know why.
The absolute quality of a lens deteriorates the very same moment that a newer/better version is released. Fora (forums) are awash with supporting statements and evidence so it needs the manufacturers to tell us how they achieve this timely degradation in perceived IQ.

Bob


Last edited by Bob L; 07-30-2016 at 01:50 AM.
07-30-2016, 01:50 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob L Quote
The absolute quality of a lens deteriorates the very same moment that a newer/better version is released. Fora (forums) are awash with supporting statements and evidence so it needs to manufacturers to tell us how they achieve this timely degradation in perceived IQ.

Bob
So true :-(
07-30-2016, 02:25 AM   #25
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The 300 EDIF version mentioned in your post is the one I most often hear about with glowing praise. This highly corrected version has removed much of the chroma and residual aberration, and you pay a price for that. As for support, a collar and an additional monopod are often employed, rather than just camera-only support (you are, after all, dealing with a big camera and a big lens that will do nothing at all to reduce vibration-induced ruination of images) together with refined skill in stabilising the lens and triggering the camera (67), that is to say, using mirror up, the tripping the shutter (with a long shutter release cord).
07-30-2016, 03:27 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
The 300 EDIF version mentioned in your post is the one I most often hear about with glowing praise. This highly corrected version has removed much of the chroma and residual aberration, and you pay a price for that. As for support, a collar and an additional monopod are often employed, rather than just camera-only support (you are, after all, dealing with a big camera and a big lens that will do nothing at all to reduce vibration-induced ruination of images) together with refined skill in stabilising the lens and triggering the camera (67), that is to say, using mirror up, the tripping the shutter (with a long shutter release cord).
Yes, I know it is a stunning lens, and also that there are not that many of them about. If I knew that digital medium format was in my upgrade path, I might be inclined to cough up the cash for this lens. But as it is, I enjoy shooting with film too much and will probably stick with that for some time to come. If I wanted to build a digital 645 system, there are other good tele options - also with ED glass and internal focusing and some even with auto-focusing, so ...
But I admit I was sorely tempted.
07-30-2016, 04:05 AM   #27
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I've got 4 different 300mm f/4 lenses for medium format and the 67M-300 EDIF produces the best results overall.

The others.....
CZJ Sonnar in P6 mount.....acceptable but unremarkable
Meyer Orestegor in P6 mount....likewise
Kilfitt Pan-Tele Killar in P6 mount....superb for a 55 years old lens and excellent for close up work (0.45x) with its dual focusing system comprising rack and pinion supplemented by a precision helicoid for the front group.

Bob
07-30-2016, 09:29 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaHo Quote
The older smc Pentax-67 300mm F4.0 does not have the best reputation, and I don't quite know why. OK, it does not have a tripod mount, but otherwise I like it a lot - especially at the price point it can be found today. And I use it on film, not digital, and handheld:
Nice shots!

That's the best way I have found to use my 67 300/4 is also handheld and using faster film. One other "sleeper" lens to consider is the 6x7 Takumar SMC 400/4. It has a proper tripod mount and has a little more reach than the 300/4. It also uses rear mount smaller 77mm filters and can be had for around $700.00. I use this lens much more than my 300/4.

Phil.
07-30-2016, 09:33 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Nice shots!

That's the best way I have found to use my 67 300/4 is also handheld and using faster film. One other "sleeper" lens to consider is the 6x7 Takumar SMC 400/4. It has a proper tripod mount and has a little more reach than the 300/4. It also uses rear mount smaller filters and can be had to around $700.00. I use this lens much more than my 300/4.

Phil.
Thank you, Phil. I haven't seen the 6x7 Takumar SMC 400/4 around in my corner of the world, but I have managed to get a copy of the smc Pentax-6x7 500/5.6. Luckily, this has a tripod, as it is quite hard to handhold - weight around 3 kg.
07-30-2016, 09:43 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaHo Quote
Thank you, Phil. I haven't seen the 6x7 Takumar SMC 400/4 around in my corner of the world, but I have managed to get a copy of the smc Pentax-6x7 500/5.6. Luckily, this has a tripod, as it is quite hard to handhold - weight around 3 kg.
The 500/5.6 is one lens I would love to try, great pickup. Should be fun to use, post some picture when you get a chance!

Phil.
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