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07-24-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
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Getting some tele ability on the cheap

I'm looking at the used lenses at KEH because I don't have anything tele yet.
A few things catch my attention:

Takumar 135/3.5
M42 Vivitar 200mm/3.5
M42 Vivitar 70-210mm/3.5
Sigma 70-300mm/4-5.6 (can autofocus)

At the moment I'm mostly interested in taking pictures of the harbor and downtown buildings from my deck (I have a nice view). I of course like the idea of a zoom because I could compose more easily from one spot; but then again, I could get the 135 and the 200 for less than one zoom.
OTOH the Sigma is the most modern design, and it would be interesting to try autofocus.
Are there any vast differences in image quality here? Size and weight?

Any thoughts?

07-24-2009, 11:53 AM   #2
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You don't say what camera this is for. If it's for a DSLR, you should also be considering the DA50-200 and perhaps 55-300, although I gather you are probably trying to keep it cheaper than that. AF, of course. Whether digital or film, you should also be considering the (AF) Tamron 70-300 and the (MF) Pentax A70-210/4, as well as the (MF) M135/3.5 and M200/4.

They are all very different, as is evident by their basic specs (focal lengths and maximum apertures). Since you mention size and weight, you might want to give a little extra attention to the DA50-200 and M135/3.5, either of which is *significantly* smaller and lighter than anything otherwise comparable.
07-24-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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...and of course you haven't told us about your actual budget aside from what Marc has already mentioned as to what camera this is for?
07-24-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
...and of course you haven't told us about your actual budget aside from what Marc has already mentioned as to what camera this is for?
This is actually for a Canon DLSR. Yep, I come here because I get the best information.
Budget is under $100.

07-24-2009, 05:35 PM   #5
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You could do worse than the 55-200 if it's a crop body. Figure on $100 or less used.

If you go with an M42 lens, you will need an M42-EOS adapter ($15-40 or so depending on if you want focus confirmation). Not sure what the Takumar 200/4 runs, though it'd be worth a look there. It would require you to do stop down metering and such and obviously manual focus though.
07-24-2009, 06:03 PM   #6
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The older lenses are going to all be pretty heavy. My Vivitar 200mm f3.5 is 670 grams. I don't know what the other lenses on your list weigh but there aren't many M42 lightweights.

For image quality, the Vivitar 200mm f3.5 (made by Komine) is actually pretty good, and f3.5 is very usable. There is a Vivitar 135mm f2.8, also made by Komine, an excellent performer. The big advantage of these lenses is there are many available at cheap prices. You should be able to get both, shipped, for $40 total. A great deal for great IQ and some inconvenience. I have a Vivitar 300mm f5.5 but have no idea about IQ there.
07-24-2009, 06:36 PM   #7
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Can't go wrong with the classic 135mm f:3.5 Takumar, quality-wise & price-wise, readily available, for M42. P/K mount choice would be 135mm f:3.5 M, super compact & cheap, also readily available.
07-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #8
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I have the Sigma 70-300. It can be picked up new for around $129. For the price it does a good job. The APO version is a little better quality but costs more. I also have the Takumar 200/4. I picked it up here in the Marketplace for around $50 if I remember right. It's an excellent lens and usable on your camera with an adapter. I have used it with a Vivitar 2x converter I picked up on Ebay for 10 bucks and have been getting good results but it is heavy and I find a monopod or tripod is necessary for me.

07-26-2009, 11:13 PM   #9
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Is the Sigma any better than the Tamron 70-300. I've been able to test a new Tamron, a used Pentax 70-210 and a used Sigma 70-300. The Tamron had faster AF than the other two.

Thumbs up to the Pentax Manual 135mm. It is cheap used and works great.
07-27-2009, 06:45 AM   #10
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I purchased the Tamron and, for the money, cannot fault it. Nice lens.
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