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Thread: Super tele zoom lenses

  1. #1
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    Default Super tele zoom lenses

    After seeing very very long lens during the outing... I'm doing some research.

    Have anybody seen this in Singapore before?



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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    There is one 400mm in nikkor mount in one of the second hand shop here. Not sure it's the same but similar.

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Photographers have been shot by accident before, carrying these kind of things.

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by istDeS View Post
    There is one 400mm in nikkor mount in one of the second hand shop here. Not sure it's the same but similar.
    Thanks Des, i'll keep a lookout for this... which 2nd shop is it?

    Can you imagine someone bringing this lens to shoot macro at the Istana? hehehehe
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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by woefulwabbit View Post
    Photographers have been shot by accident before, carrying these kind of things.
    Oh... Never thought of that... it looks like a rocket launcher. Enough to blow something to smithereens.

    Wonder if pasting doraemon and hello kitty stickers on the lens will distract attention...

    Apparently, the pistol grip is detacheable


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    Last edited by sebianos; 21st December 2009 at 09:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    way overkill .......

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by woefulwabbit View Post
    Photographers have been shot by accident before, carrying these kind of things.
    Friendly Fire.

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    I saw this one in P&G Photographic in Adelphi B1 some months ago, not sure if it's still there.


    http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/prime...e/K1000f8.html

    It's not a zoom, and I didn't ask for the price, but it was still an interesting sighting.
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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Gengh View Post
    I saw this one in P&G Photographic in Adelphi B1 some months ago, not sure if it's still there.


    http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/prime...e/K1000f8.html

    It's not a zoom, and I didn't ask for the price, but it was still an interesting sighting.
    It's ONE meter looooooooong. And focusing distance is 30m. Must go and look see how it's like. Probably costs a bomb though... Thank Gengh.

    Although, i'd be happy with a 300mm but who knows.... might use it for astrophotography. I'm thinking very clear, defined shots of the moon, and other planets.
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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Rifle-stock, anyone? Better stability than pistol grip.

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    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    OP, determine the subject you plan to shoot before narrowing down your long lens options.
    Long telephotos don't come cheap so it is important to know beforehand before plonking down any money. While one can get older manual focus lenses a little cheaper than more contemporary AF models, I would actually advise against going the manual focus route for several reasons.

    Firstly, long teles don't usually have large maximum apertures. The combination of razor thin DOF and a not very bright viewfinder means getting critically sharp focus will be a testing experience, especially with the camera's stock focusing screen. Manual focus means a more deliberate (read slower) approach to shooting... so you can pretty much forget about tracking and shooting anything that's moving (flying birds, moving animals, moving vehicles, etc.). That's why I feel AF is important with long lenses because the camera can lock focus faster than you can.

    A super tele is a specialist lens. Most shooting is going to be limited to daylight and the narrow angle of view means the longer the lens, the more limited the subjects you can shoot. This also means camera shake is a big issue as any camera shake is magnified. That means investing in a good tripod or monopod with a good ball/gimbal head = not cheap.

    If you're serious in image quality, a good tele prime will always be the way to go = not cheap. All long telephotos of any standard would have expensive extra low dispersion elements to correct secondary chromatic aberration, which shows up as green/magenta color fringes. This aberration starts to be a problem for lenses beyond about 200mm. Old lenses will usually not have such elements and the image quality shows (nasty colour fringing, low contrast, so-so sharpness). Tele zooms are more versatile and easier to find as most third party lens makers opt to produce zooms instead of prime telephotos.

    Even if you do have the money to buy that dream super tele and camera/lens support, I've found that using a super tele puts even more demands on perfecting technique. The discipline to be a bird/wildlife shooter is not for everyone (hours in the sun, shooting at odd hours, waiting, walking long distances to find a nice spot, lugging heavy and expensive gear, mosquitos, etc. ). A lot of effort just to get a few keepers. Good luck in you super tele quest.
    Last edited by creampuff; 22nd December 2009 at 10:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Hi Creampuff, thank you very much for your advice. You have no idea how much they mean to me. And also for the detailed post on a cure for LBA - you know, you can actually write up a blogpost for that. Very helpful to me.

    My path is different as I'm doing the manual focus/prime lens route (edit: more because of monetary constraint; tight budget). Can understand where you're coming from - the need for AF and fast focus zoom. Will take everything you said into consideration regarding chroma, camera shake, specialized accessories, not to forget the pain of lugging expensive equipment while fighting mosquitoes, insects, and other pests.

    I like how you give me a better sense of perspective. For now, I'm looking at 200-300 range of telephoto lenses. Super Taks, and the russian TAIR. They appear to be what I need at the moment since I've got most of the normal, short tele range covered.

    After that, will be the ultra-wide range. So yes, the roadmap to building a lens kit is pretty well-planned for now. Only thing is to stick to the roadmap. Thanks again.
    Last edited by sebianos; 22nd December 2009 at 11:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Hi Sebianos,
    If you interested in the Tair 300 can get it from me, but need service as the blade jammed.
    it pretty heavy lens.

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by OPERA58 View Post
    Hi Sebianos,
    If you interested in the Tair 300 can get it from me, but need service as the blade jammed.
    it pretty heavy lens.
    Most likely you also need a gun stock as well for the bazooka.
    http://m42.artlimited.net/lens_show....4-2.jpg&lid=94

  15. #15

    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    I think Creampuff summed it up perfectly.

    Having gone there and done that.

    1. The old Tele lenses are huge and heavy. You NEED a good tripod and ball head. Any other tripod cannot take the weight and still be stable. Unless light conditions are good and you can shoot at 1/300 and above.
    2. Old coatings (or none), contrast is not as good (but easily adjusted in PP, so not a big deal for me).
    3. Very far closest focus distance. The old takumar or SMC-K 500mm f4.5 for example focuses 10m min. This takes away a lot of flexibility.
    4. Focal length beyond 135mm are hard to MF. You are looking down a very narrow tube which is shaking badly from hand holding and made worse with manual turning of the focus ring.

    Wildlife photography and birding is really hard work. Tropical sun/heat, bugs, leopard crawl to avoid detection, mud (esp. tropical terrain). Wah! I gave up.

    All said though, an old telephoto is a thing of beauty. An all metal construction that would not be possible (or would cost many times more) if built today. The many bladed aperture and smooth focusing is a pleasure to fiddle with. Not to mention that they are usually 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of an equivalent prime or long zoom. Still "buyable" if its for the occasional playing around.

    A more modern telephoto lens has far superior optics and weight (and sometimes price). A 55-300mm for example easily matches these old behemoths at a fraction of the weight and size. Likely better quality pictures as well though a tad bit slower. (I've seen very good samples images from the Tair 300mm though... )

    My thoughts is this.
    200mm and below, forget the old stuff. Get a 55-300mm. At 190mm, its f4.5, sharp and light. Most old 200mm are like f4 for all the inconveniences, and cheaper but maybe only 1/2 the cost of the 55-300mm.
    300mm, there are a few attractive old f4.5 and f5.6 out there. But they get heavier. Around the same price as the 55-300mm. This depends if you can really get a model/copy that is sharp wide open. The 55-300mm is a bit slow at 300mm (f5.8) which is my only minor dislike of it; but still sharp.
    400-500mm-1000mm, ok 55-300 can't add a teleconverter w/o suffering noticeable image degradation , and its slow (f5.8 x 1.4 on a 1.4x converter). So arguably these are the focal lengths to play with for old telephoto primes. (Note that I said 'play'; not depend on )

    If you really want superior pictures, invest in a F*300, FA*300 or the new DA*300 and add a teleconveter. A good copy of the Sigma 100-300/4 is scary to behold even when used with a 1.4 teleconverter (can by at less than $1600 new overseas).
    Last edited by pinholecam; 22nd December 2009 at 02:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Thanks pinholecam, when I grow up I want to have FA*300 and a teleconverter.

    But do tell me more about Sigma 100-300/4?

    This is like "lens idol" for me, have to get the contestants first... then the elimination rounds and finally down to one "idol" lens. If the wallet can tahan.
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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Start putting aside at least S$1,800 first for that long tele.
    That will be a starting point for getting a credible AF long telephoto.

    Of course if money is no object and you want something more exotic like a FA* 300mm f/2.8, a seller on Pentaxforums is letting one go for only US$3,700.
    Likewise the Sigma 300mm f/2.8 is a mere US$3,000 and the Sigma 500mm f/4.5 is only US$4,700, shipping not included.
    Last edited by creampuff; 22nd December 2009 at 07:30 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by sebianos View Post
    Thanks pinholecam, when I grow up I want to have FA*300 and a teleconverter.

    But do tell me more about Sigma 100-300/4?

    This is like "lens idol" for me, have to get the contestants first... then the elimination rounds and finally down to one "idol" lens. If the wallet can tahan.
    The guru over here (you know who you are ) has tested all 3 of the Pentax 300mm and he determined that the F*300 was the best. I trust his judgment totally. Smaller, lighter, with a built in lens hood and as sharp as the other 2.

    The Sigma 100-300/4, I don't have this lens, but my brother has it. The only thing i dislike is the Sigma quality out of box (ie. dodgy). If you can test out the lens yourself and find a good copy, then its a gem. Zoom, very sharp and likely as sharp as the primes and cheaper. Heavier than the Pentax 300mms of course.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by creampuff View Post
    Start putting aside at least S$1,800 first for that long tele.
    That will be a starting point for getting a credible AF long telephoto.

    Of course if money is no object and you want something more exotic like a FA* 300mm f/2.8, a seller on Pentaxforums is letting one go for only US$3,700.
    Likewise the Sigma 300mm f/2.8 is a mere US$3,000 and the Sigma 500mm f/4.5 is only US$4,700, shipping not included.
    This is multiple doses of

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    Default Re: Super tele zoom lenses

    Thanks creampuff and pinholecam for the multiple *multiple* doses of LBA. :tongue: I'm really getting a A* education in telephoto lenses here from the gurus.

    I'll start putting aside some money aside from now on.... reckon, it will take me a year to get to the credible AF telephoto lens stage. Meanwhile, better put the LBA on cold storage for now.

    Sometimes, when the poison is too potent. There's no effect at all as it's definitely out of reach at the moment.
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