200mm or 300mm Prime Adapted lens?

Jason Stamper

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So I am thinking I'd like to pick up a longer prime lens for my G5. Currently the longest legacy lens I use is a FD 135mm f3.5, and I have the Panny 45-150. I have invested in a good Canon FD adapter (the Polish one), and I prefer the actual Canon lenses. With the intention of shooting wildlife, the moon, perhaps even the kids from a distance I am trying to decide between a 200mm and a 300mm focal length. My budget won't allow for both yet, and I think the old FD zooms are not as sharp as the primes, plus they are much heavier. Due to budget constraints the two I am considering are the FD 200mm f4 and the 300mm f5.6. Both seem like solid performers for the money, I am just in a quandary over the focal length.

So I'd love to hear thoughts, or even sample images. Thanks in advance!

Oh, by the way, here's a moon shot from the old FD 135mm f3.5, which on a tripod was much sharper than my Panny 45-150.
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MAubrey

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I don't know the price for the FD 200mm f/4, but you would do well to consider the FDn 80-200mm f/4L. It can be had for $200-250 and is probably superior to the 200mm f/4, even though it's a zoom. Along with the FDn 300mm f/4L, it's easily the best deal in FD L glass.
 

Jason Stamper

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Well the difference in price, is most certainly a factor. BUT, the biggest reason is that I enjoy using the old FD lenses far more than my native ones. For me I just really enjoy the tactile and more deliberate feel of the adapted lenses. To give you further insight, I am also a woodworker. Hands down my favorite, most used, and loved, tools are all over a hundred years old. I know, something's wrong with me, but it does work for me. ( :

Using the old lenses has really brought out a love of photography in me, and somehow to me the native lenses are just not as satisfying. Long answer to say it's a personal preference. I agree that the Panny is solid, and I often use mine for video, but the old glass just speaks to me.

Is there some reason you are avoiding the native zooms? I have extensively used the Panasonic and while e it's less than stellar it is solid.

https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/12843006@N00/11386568225/sizes/o/
 

humzai

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Well the difference in price, is most certainly a factor. BUT, the biggest reason is that I enjoy using the old FD lenses far more than my native ones. For me I just really enjoy the tactile and more deliberate feel of the adapted lenses. To give you further insight, I am also a woodworker. Hands down my favorite, most used, and loved, tools are all over a hundred years old. I know, something's wrong with me, but it does work for me. ( :

Using the old lenses has really brought out a love of photography in me, and somehow to me the native lenses are just not as satisfying. Long answer to say it's a personal preference. I agree that the Panny is solid, and I often use mine for video, but the old glass just speaks to me.
Oh ok that makes a lot of sense. I was just confused as to the reason. Price can't really be the issue as copies of both lenses cost pretty close to each other and I thought perhaps you had heard bad things about them.
 

pellicle

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Hi

So I am thinking I'd like to pick up a longer prime lens for my...
I have invested in a good Canon FD adapter (the Polish one), ...I am trying to decide between a 200mm and a 300mm focal length.
I have both the 200f4 and the 300f4, they cost about $50 and 200 each. Personally I use them both about the same but if doing birds use the 300 more.

Be careful if you pick the 200f4 to note that there is a big difference between the new FD mount lens and the old FD lens. The older lens focuses by extnsion and weighs over 700g and the new one focuses by Inner Focus and weighs 440g ... the opticals of the new one seem better too

On a camping trip I thought I'd take a comparison
45mm
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200mm
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300mm
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all just resized so as to give a feel on what the respective "reach" of each is.

Some images from my 200 (which works when the smaller subjects aren't far away)
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and the 300
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Personally I mainly use my 200 hand held and have it as a lens in the side-netting of the backpack for "just in case" shots when walking and use the 300mm for more planned or "anticipated" shots where I'm mounted on a tripod.

If you bought Ciecio7's tripod mountable adapter then the 200 will sit beautifully on that if not then you may feel a little akward with it canterleavering off the tripod with the camera as the lever point. My main issue with that is simply lack of stability on shots with shutter speed under 200th of a sec. As you can tell from the woodpecker shot there was some subject movement (the chick) and I was using a lower shutter speed (and a good tripod).

My budget won't allow for both yet, and I think the old FD zooms are not as sharp as the primes, plus they are much heavier. Due to budget constraints the two I am considering are the FD 200mm f4 and the 300mm f5.6. Both seem like solid performers for the money, I am just in a quandary over the focal length.
If that's the case I'd start with the 200f4 ... it was my first tele on my G1 many moons ago and I loved it. I don't think that the 300 5.6 is as good as the f4 but I've not actually compared. I'd also look to KEH for used prices and you may find they are cheaper than fleaBay.

You may find these posts interesting reading
http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2010/02/panasonic-45-200mm.html
http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/tale-of-two-teles.html

I found the OM300 to be the equal of the FD, but the FD had a better tripod collar.

In this post the first image is a 'stitch' of a shot taken with the FD200 ... worked beautifully
http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-walk-on-lake.html

and in this post I compare the 200 f2.8's and the f4 at f4
http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2010/09/200mm-fd-lenses.html

they are much softer at f2.8 and equal at f4 ... given the weight disadvantages of the f2.8 I have sold them all (well gave one to a mate).

Best Wishes
 

Jason Stamper

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Wow, thank you so much! That is some great information, and thank you too for the samples. I will also check out the links you sent over. I greatly appreciate everyone's time and help with this!
 

humzai

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Nothing is wrong with your reasoning, old FD or OM glass for the history is great to use now. If you like using old mf glass you'll love getting your hands on the Olympus 40-150mm 2.8 it feels soo good in the hand. I actually bought some old fast glass for my ep1 before we had anything native to use, unfortunately I somehow lost it around the the time of my wedding.

The Olympus Pro lenses are pretty great feeling lenses to use, they mf well and the 40-150mm feels incredibly smooth to zoom and focus.

The Panasonic 100-300mm lens can be had very cheaply if you wait for the right deal. Low to mid 300s is very achievable. While it's kind of slow to AF compared to much of the other native glass it is fast enough that it works for birds in flight. You can mf for bifs with focus peaking but it is kind of hit and miss even with the mf clutch. However it might be different with true mMF lenses,I have no long focal length mf glass to test this. I've been trying to mf for bifs with the Olympus 40-150mm and I might just need to practice to get good results. Atm though, I'm kind of frustrated with it and went back to C-Af+Tr.
 

Phocal

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If you are looking for reach do not rule out the Canon FD 400mm ƒ4.5. I have this lens and love it. It is actually fairly easy to handhold but a tripod helps a lot (you are shooting 800mm after all). Here is a link to photos I have taken with this lens, they are a combination of shots taken with my old Fuji X-E1 and Oly E-M5 https://www.flickr.com/photos/prehensile-pollex/sets/72157633410554465/
 

MAubrey

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If you are looking for reach do not rule out the Canon FD 400mm ƒ4.5. I have this lens and love it. It is actually fairly easy to handhold but a tripod helps a lot (you are shooting 800mm after all). Here is a link to photos I have taken with this lens, they are a combination of shots taken with my old Fuji X-E1 and Oly E-M5 https://www.flickr.com/photos/prehensile-pollex/sets/72157633410554465/
^This. The FDn 400mm f/4.5 is one of the few non-L leneses that has 'special' glass. It performs exceedingly well.
 

Jason Stamper

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Thanks so much to everyone for the replies. I ended up getting a good deal from KEH on the 200mm f4, so I'll start with it. If I need more reach the 300 or 400 might definitely be worth a look. Since my ciecio 7 adapter does not have the tripod mount I was thinking of looking for a lens tripod mount that would either attach to the lens itself or to the adapter. Anyone know of a smaller lens tripod mount, say 58-60mm inside diameter? I had thought of adding something like rubber to a larger one to make it small enough to grip the adapter.
 

Jason C

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Thanks so much to everyone for the replies. I ended up getting a good deal from KEH on the 200mm f4, so I'll start with it. If I need more reach the 300 or 400 might definitely be worth a look. Since my ciecio 7 adapter does not have the tripod mount I was thinking of looking for a lens tripod mount that would either attach to the lens itself or to the adapter. Anyone know of a smaller lens tripod mount, say 58-60mm inside diameter? I had thought of adding something like rubber to a larger one to make it small enough to grip the adapter.
I see that you've made your choice, good deal. I'll post more on this later; I own both the above mentioned Canon FDn 300/4, and also a Tokina 400/5.6 FD mount...along with several teleconverters.


Jason
 

Jason C

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Thanks so much to everyone for the replies. I ended up getting a good deal from KEH on the 200mm f4, so I'll start with it. If I need more reach the 300 or 400 might definitely be worth a look.

Had I seen this thread earlier, before you made your decision, I would have suggested the Canon FDn 300mm f/4 (w/tripod collar). It's good glass, fairly sharp wide open with peak sharpness between f/5.6 and f/8. CA is an issue wide open, but that's why we either stop-down, or use editing software.

I have found the FD 300 to be relatively versatile, and possibly hand holdable with steady hands. My FD 300mm takes Canon FD teleconverters well; I've gone as high as 2x 2.0 TCs with good results...that's a 1200mm focal length.

I got my FD 300/4 in Bargain condition from KEH for $150, a great deal for me.

Next up is my Tokina 400mm f/5.6 SD FD, bought is EX condition from KEH for $105. This is a really good deal. Peak performance comes at f/8, and this lens too suffers from wide-open CA. The 400mm takes up to two 2.0x TCs, but thats pushing it. Diffraction hits MFT sensors quickly, and the 400 with two 2.0x TCs gives you a max aperture of f/22. Another thing about the 400; even though it's lighter than the Canon 300 and roughly dimensionally the same size, hand-hold ability is difficult with this lens.

Here are some various samples if you do not mind.


E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 @ f/8
View attachment 398033


E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 1.4X TCs; 840mm, f/16, iso 1600, NO CROP



E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 2.0X TCs; 1200mm, f/22, iso 640, NO CROP



G3 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 1.4X TCs; 840mm, f/16, iso 1600, NO CROP
View attachment 398036


E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 2.0X TCs; 1200mm, f/22, iso 400, NO CROP



E-PL1 w/ Canon FD 300/4 @ f/4
View attachment 398038


Canon FDn mounted to a G3
View attachment 398039


And the "lets use everything" test shot:
EOS M, Tokina 400mm, two FD 2.0X TCs + FD 1.4 TC; 2240mm focal length, f/45, iso 2000, no crop




I feel the Canon FDn 300mm f/4 would be an excellent addition to your kit in the future...


Jason
 

Jason Stamper

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WOW, thanks so much for the information. Your pictures are great, really sharp! I will definitely think about the 300mm at some point. I am slowly building my collection of FD's, but I love them. Thanks again for all you help.



Had I seen this thread earlier, before you made your decision, I would have suggested the Canon FDn 300mm f/4 (w/tripod collar). It's good glass, fairly sharp wide open with peak sharpness between f/5.6 and f/8. CA is an issue wide open, but that's why we either stop-down, or use editing software.

I have found the FD 300 to be relatively versatile, and possibly hand holdable with steady hands. My FD 300mm takes Canon FD teleconverters well; I've gone as high as 2x 2.0 TCs with good results...that's a 1200mm focal length.

I got my FD 300/4 in Bargain condition from KEH for $150, a great deal for me.

Next up is my Tokina 400mm f/5.6 SD FD, bought is EX condition from KEH for $105. This is a really good deal. Peak performance comes at f/8, and this lens too suffers from wide-open CA. The 400mm takes up to two 2.0x TCs, but thats pushing it. Diffraction hits MFT sensors quickly, and the 400 with two 2.0x TCs gives you a max aperture of f/22. Another thing about the 400; even though it's lighter than the Canon 300 and roughly dimensionally the same size, hand-hold ability is difficult with this lens.

Here are some various samples if you do not mind.


E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 @ f/8
View attachment 398101


E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 1.4X TCs; 840mm, f/16, iso 1600, NO CROP



E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 2.0X TCs; 1200mm, f/22, iso 640, NO CROP



G3 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 1.4X TCs; 840mm, f/16, iso 1600, NO CROP
View attachment 398104


E-PL5 w/ Canon FDn 300/4 + FD 2.0X + FD 2.0X TCs; 1200mm, f/22, iso 400, NO CROP



E-PL1 w/ Canon FD 300/4 @ f/4
View attachment 398106


Canon FDn mounted to a G3
View attachment 398107


And the "lets use everything" test shot:
EOS M, Tokina 400mm, two FD 2.0X TCs + FD 1.4 TC; 2240mm focal length, f/45, iso 2000, no crop




I feel the Canon FDn 300mm f/4 would be an excellent addition to your kit in the future...


Jason
 

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