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07-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #1
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Should i buy a used Phoenix 100-500mm?

Hi! Being a newbie, this seemed like an appropriate place to ask a few questions.

i have the chance to buy a used Phoenix 100-500mm lens from an individual online, (they say it's in great condition and there are a few photos of it, looks ok to me) .. but in the lens review section of this forum there are unfortunately no reviews for this particular lens, and few threads about it at all. I did find one from 2009 where one of these lens was sold here for 250 but my main question is, what should i look for, when i... look at (and if the seller allows) mount and test shoot, this lens?

Also, being 2013, is 140 a fair price for this piece, and... would you buy one if you had the extra cash to do so?

Ok i'm sorry this is more than one question.

More info; this would be my first lens purchase (but not the only lens i will buy) ..and i'd plan to use it for landscapes/moon shots mostly on a K-5 with a remote shutter release.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice. (Also it's an hour away, and i've already emailed back and asked to meet outdoors if i go see it, so i can test it.. but more so because i won't go into a stranger's house alone, for any craigslist ad, ever).I may ask if he'll knock a few bucks off for my travel expense too but maybe not.. Ok thanks again for reading.


Last edited by shark7; 07-07-2013 at 08:37 PM. Reason: added more specifics
07-07-2013, 08:42 PM - 1 Like   #2
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At 500mm it is an f/8 lens so it will be very hard to focus, even in daylight. It is a push/pull zoom and is very long at 500mm, you will need a very sturdy tripod to get any sort of decent pictures from it.
07-07-2013, 09:06 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by shark7 Quote
is 140 a fair price for this piece, and... would you buy one if you had the extra cash to do so?
140 is probably fair. Would I buy it? Nope. There are lots of cheap lenses that say they go to 500mm. I am sure they do and if you are looking for surveillance photos I am sure they work. If you are looking to get any kind of quality image out of it, well, I have my doubts. The much better rated Sigma 150-500 or 50-500 are IMHO only marginal at 500mm and they cost over $1,000. The Pentax 560mm is about $7,000. Just trying to point out that if the Phoenix was very good it would command a much higher price point.

As long as your expectations are not too high give it a shot. But if you are looking for high quality images, I would test it thoroughly before spending $140. Personally I think you will get better IQ with the Pentax 55-300 and cropping than you will get with this lens. If you do go for it, please post a review in the review section to help others.
07-08-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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I had one & it was rather lousy. Low contrast, very soft, and more fringe than a 16th century English fop.

If you want a good 500mm long tele on the cheap, look for a used 500mm Tair or Tamron mirror lens. They're MUCH lighter, have very good image quality, and work well in good light or on a tripod.

Good luck,
Bobbo :-)

07-08-2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
more fringe than a 16th century English fop.
Good luck,
Bobbo :-)
Whoa.. well that's certainly not what i'm lookin for thanks for the post, i've officially backed out of this 'deal'.
07-09-2013, 08:32 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Cropping and/or stitching (panoramas) are not very hard with digital images, good solutions for landscapes and moon shots, That makes a poor 100-500mm unnecessary, because you often don't need that much compromised quality zoom. You can crop from a good 300mm shot. It's worth spending money on a good-great lens and working with it, instead of a cheap lens that appears to do more.

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