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Best 300mm+ under $300?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ddr, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. ddr

    ddr Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2013
    I was wondering what your recommendations or experiences are for legacy glass 300mm+ that are not too expensive.

    I found this thread, but also stumbled upon something like a SMC 300 f/4 (82mm). Now the size of the front element is not directly indicative of their performance, but there is a slight correlation.

    Thanks in advance.:smile:
  2. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    • Like Like x 2
  3. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    The best I can think of doesn't come within your $300, the Nikon 300mm f4 (300mm f/4 Nikkor Review byThom ). His main knock, slow focus, may actually be a plus for manual focus. But they seem to run almost twice your $300. There are older versions of this lens that would be in your range, but I have no experience with them.

    Nikon did make a nice 70-300 f4.0-5.6 AF-D ED. I had one for more than a few years in between copies of the 80-400 (2) and copies of the newer 70-300 AF-S VR (also 2 :redface:). For the price, about $80 - $125 seems to be the going rate, it might not be a bad option for you. (byThom 70-300mm lens review) But I have no idea how they might handle for manual focus.
  4. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Take a look at the Olympus 70-300mm four thirds version. It's slow to focus, and a zoom rather than a prime, but it's in that price range.
  5. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    How about 500mm brand new for $160 with T-mount for µ4/3 included? The same seller also offers a UV filter for it for $15 (lots of glass at the front that some might like to protect).

    Try here.

    You'll quickly find many that loathe mirror lens doughnut-bokeh, but I find it beautiful. Being a mirror, the lens is quite small for it's FL and incredibly light owing to the lack of glass. It's slow, but really... it's $160 brand new and let's you do something unique!

    That's my thinking-outside-the-box recommendation for the day :wink:
  6. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you want to go reflex there is the Tokina 300mm for micro4/3. It is right at $300. However it is slow and has all the reflex issues, ugly bokeh, large diameter body, not the sharpest image.

    I have an Osawa 60-300mm and it isn't too bad. It is nice and sharp and renders colors well with nice bokeh. It produces bad chromatic aberration however. It is a bit big but not too heavy. Manual focus of coarse which can be tricky at such long focal lengths. I got it off ebay for less than $50.
  7. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    I have also heard good things about the Tair-3 or 300 series. Sharp, clean. However, I have also heard it described as a stovepipe with glass inside, so if lighter is something you are looking for, this may not be it. You can also look into the Zenit Photosniper version, and pick it up with a Helios 44 for about $100 total.
  8. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    I agree, I have one and it's the happiest lens purchase I've made. It's not just 300mm it's 600mm eq! and it's auto-focus capable unlike the rest of them. At 300mm eq (the 150mm setting) it's F4.5 capable. It also does half macro (1:2). Oh and you can do physical focus too by turning the outter rim (instead of just electronic focus).

    The image thread is at : https://www.mu-43.com/f81/olympus-70-300ed-f-4-5-6-zd-4-3-image-thread-9911/

    and here's some one on here selling one right now : https://www.mu-43.com/f17/fs-olympus-zuiko-70-300mm-ed-f4-0-5-6-location-usa-ships-usa-40942/
  9. ddr

    ddr Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 12, 2013
    thnx for all the suggestions:thumbup:

    i was thinking a legacy prime would be sharper than a (modern) zoom or a mirror lens. the nikon seems interesting, but I couldn't find one for under $600. the hunt goes on ...
  10. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This lens was slow to AF and hunted a lot on its native mount, but it is CDAF optimized and the good thing is that it is no worse on m4/3 than it was on 4/3! It is a very nice performing lens which offers 1:2 tele-macro capabilities. I liked it a lot and would also suggest it for a budget lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    the canon fd 500mm reflex is a beast. Personally I find using them outdoors with a better beamer or similiar flash extender limits the donut issue, plus adds some utility with the fixed f8 aperture. Added bonus, no CA at all, a florite element, and a beatifully dampened focus ring... Big con, the 34mm drop in filters are stupidly expensive and may cost MORE than the lens, and front element is like 82mm. So if you look at one make sure it has at least the regular 1x filter in tact appearently the lens formula acconts for the filter (I haven't actually used it without it to test that possible urban legend). I see them arond 250-300 usd. As far as a reflex lens go, I would only suggest the Canon FD, Nikon, or Leica telyte's as I have seen superb usage, and work arounds of the bokeh problem. They actually are good lenses to use, but there exist so many cheapo relfex lenses to the point where I would be skeptical without actually using one past those 3.
  13. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    Here's an example of the one I use, a Canon FD 85/300, f4.5 (constant) and it takes an 96mm filter. It's a big beast at about 4 pounds but is pretty nice.

    I bought mine from Keh, here's a link to one in stock.

  14. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    +1 to Zapitista.
  15. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    The only problem with legacy zooms is that you have to reset the IBIS to the focal length you are shooting, obviously not a problem if you are just keeping it at 300mm or not using IS (tripod, very sunny) but if you use it as a zoom and want/need IS it does become a pain IMO.
  16. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    Very true, assuming you're using an Olympus body...otherwise tripod/monopod/body builder work well.
  17. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Be patient mate. The buy now prices are stupid. There is an 'ex' quality 300mm f4.5 ED-IF at keh.com for far less than ebays buy now prices. Still above your target price though.
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    That's not been my impression. Most legacy telephotos are a bit dreamy wide open, whereas even consumer-grade modern zooms tend to be fairly sharp from the get go.
  19. snaimpally

    snaimpally Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    Yesterday, I picked up a used Panny 100-300mm on this forum for $400 shipped. If you are going to spend $300, you might consider scrounging up an extra $100 and get a lens that has autofocus. :)  The reviews indicate it is a very good performer.
  20. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    There is a 70-300mm zuiko 4/3 @ Cameta for $229 refurbished.
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