Cleanest way to 300mm

Quadna71

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I’ve been enjoying taking pictures of the moon at night as well as more nature walks lately. And it turns out I’m at 300mm more often than I had expected with my 75-300/4.8-6. Except now I’m starting to see that there is room for improvement at that focal length. So what is the best way to amp up 300mm for me? You have my current Olympus 75-300, the Olympus 40-150/2.8 with a 2x convertor, and the newer Olympus 100-400/5-6.3 lens. I’m eliminating the 150-400 based on the price and also the 300/4 prime due to it’s limited focal length. Any other options out there worth exploring? Maybe the Panasonic 100-400/4-6.3?

I’ve been using the Imaging-resource website to look at their lab test results to compare sharpness but can’t seem to find a way to take into account a teleconverter. Of course my mind quickly travels to the Olympus 100-400 since I can then just zoom into 400mm instead and get better results and then maybe even use a teleconverter to really bring it in. Is this the best route to go? I’d most likely sell the 75-300 to help pay for a new lens but see that they aren’t selling like hotcakes as of late. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share any moon shots with the above combinations to maybe help me come to a decision.

Thanks!
 

John King

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Have you considered a astronomical telescope?

Mine is a f/7 560 refractor, but you can get decent astronomical kits with auto-trackers for reasonable amounts of money.

Transit of Venus in 2012 with E-510 and my telescope plus Thousand Oaks solar filter here:

https://www.canopuscomputing.com.au/zen2/Nature/transit/

e.g.

E-510_JAK_2012-_6066808_Ew.jpg
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Quadna71

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I have considered one of those before - even to the point that I had one in my cart online. But the reviews and online results seem so hit or miss on them. One of the things that are mentioned often are how bad the chromatic aberration tends to be. What are your thoughts on that? Also, I can find a bunch of brands but many seem to be the same lens with a different manufacturer’s name on the affixed plate on the barrel...which one do you use?
 

PakkyT

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If you want to go with a camera lens (vs. the good suggestion of a small telescope above) how about one of the old four-thirds lenses, specifically from Sigma? You will of course need an adapter and AF will b slow on a non-PDAF camera but that shouldn't be an issue with shooting the moon. You can pick up the Bigma (50-500mm) for four-thirds right now on eBay for $468 shipped. They even made the 300-800mm f5.6 available in four-thirds mount although I rarely see that one for sale anywhere.
 

Phocal

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If you want to go with a camera lens (vs. the good suggestion of a small telescope above) how about one of the old four-thirds lenses, specifically from Sigma? You will of course need an adapter and AF will b slow on a non-PDAF camera but that shouldn't be an issue with shooting the moon. You can pick up the Bigma (50-500mm) for four-thirds right now on eBay for $468 shipped. They even made the 300-800mm f5.6 available in four-thirds mount although I rarely see that one for sale anywhere.
I would my Bigma go for around $350
 

John King

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I have considered one of those before - even to the point that I had one in my cart online. But the reviews and online results seem so hit or miss on them. One of the things that are mentioned often are how bad the chromatic aberration tends to be. What are your thoughts on that? Also, I can find a bunch of brands but many seem to be the same lens with a different manufacturer’s name on the affixed plate on the barrel...which one do you use?
Mine is a one off, built from scratch by a friend who is a qualified optical technician.

While it is only an 80mm doublet, the lens pair are Hoya, and out of a pair of tourist binoculars from Mt Dandenong.

Resolution is roughly the same as a Televue 75mm!

With the old focuser:

_3201557_E_Web_SH.jpg
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It has an adjustable objective lens cell, 3mm aluminium optical tube assembly (OTA) and a 2" Crayford type micrometer focuser. It uses microscope eyepieces, or focal plane without an eyepiece.

Bintel_Crayford_7467X.jpg
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Heavy equatorial mount and tripod.

Buy a reputable brand from a reputable telescope dealer.
 

ac12

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I use a 500/8 mirror lens, when I want to "reach out."
There are a few good ones, and a LOT of junk.

I have yet to put a camera on my wife's reflector telescope.
But if you thought a tripod is bulky, wait till you have to deal with an equatorial mount tripod. Look at John's pic.
 

John King

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Hmm. That gives me an idea.

My new-to-me E-PM2 should be absolutely perfect on the back of my telescope.

One problem. I can (just) lift my E-PM2.
Even in its four main pieces, I'm not sure I can lift and assemble my telescope.

The four main bits are:

1) Tripod

2) Equatorial mount

3) OTA

4) the counterweight.

I used to be able to lift and carry it all in one piece! Not now. Even if I doubled the dose of endone, which is absolutely not an option!
 

Quadna71

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I don’t intent to do anything further than planting the lens/body atop my Benro tripod. Anything more advanced is more in-depth than I’m willing to go. So simply finding a lens that can resolve great shots of the moon is the priority but also doubling for the occasional landscape/beach use is a bonus.

I’ll do a little research into “Bigma” to see exactly what it is. Thanks for the tips.
 

Quadna71

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Quiet a few sample shots from it on Flickr, but it seems uncommon to find one in a 4/3 mount. For those that have used one, can you snug down the zoom lock at fully extended as well as fully retracted? I understand the importance of fully retracted to prevent zoom creep when walking, but I need it to stay extended when it is positioned vertically for sky viewing too.
 

Phocal

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Quiet a few sample shots from it on Flickr, but it seems uncommon to find one in a 4/3 mount. For those that have used one, can you snug down the zoom lock at fully extended as well as fully retracted? I understand the importance of fully retracted to prevent zoom creep when walking, but I need it to stay extended when it is positioned vertically for sky viewing too.

It will only lock in the fully retracted position.
 

RAH

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I think that the Oly 100-400 is your best option if you want to spend the bucks.

As far as the Bigma, I had one that I used on my Oly E-520 DSLR and did not like it at all. Do folks really think that it is as sharp as the 75-300? Not my 75-300, even at 300, IMHO. When I switched to Canon and a 400mm lens, I almost wrote Olympus a thank-you letter for abandoning DSLRs, the Canon lens was so much better!
 

RichardC

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I’ve been enjoying taking pictures of the moon at night as well as more nature walks lately. And it turns out I’m at 300mm more often than I had expected with my 75-300/4.8-6. Except now I’m starting to see that there is room for improvement at that focal length. So what is the best way to amp up 300mm for me? You have my current Olympus 75-300, the Olympus 40-150/2.8 with a 2x convertor, and the newer Olympus 100-400/5-6.3 lens. I’m eliminating the 150-400 based on the price and also the 300/4 prime due to it’s limited focal length. Any other options out there worth exploring? Maybe the Panasonic 100-400/4-6.3?

I’ve been using the Imaging-resource website to look at their lab test results to compare sharpness but can’t seem to find a way to take into account a teleconverter. Of course my mind quickly travels to the Olympus 100-400 since I can then just zoom into 400mm instead and get better results and then maybe even use a teleconverter to really bring it in. Is this the best route to go? I’d most likely sell the 75-300 to help pay for a new lens but see that they aren’t selling like hotcakes as of late. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share any moon shots with the above combinations to maybe help me come to a decision.

Thanks!

I bought the 75-300 on a special last year and sold it on at a profit to generate funds for the 100-400.

The 100-400 is noticeably sharper at the long end. It's also much bigger and much heavier.

I find it difficult to focus manually. When focusing on the moon with the magnifier active, the tiniest shift of the focus ring has a significant effect on the focussing. The manual focus ring is not as smooth as the 40-150 f2.8 which i have also owned. Of course, this is the longest lens I've ever had, and I'm very much a novice with it.

I tried stacking half a dozen shots in Photoshop (median/mean) with some success, but noticed another member with an EM1 Mk3 is getting sharper images and the GAS inside me is wondering whether he used HHHR.

20210329-_R290374.jpg
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doady

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The moon is moving, right? Does stacking or HHHR really work for subjects like that?
 

RichardC

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The moon is moving, right? Does stacking or HHHR really work for subjects like that?

Stacking works because you line the images up in post, either automatically or manually by setting the layer blend mode to difference.

Astro photographers stack images to reduce ISO noise.

Not sure about HHHR. Could depend on the shutter speed.
 
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saladin

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The Oly 100-400 is a pretty big investment, but its actually very good overall. And if you already have the 1.4 T/C it works on that too.


5EM10057_C.jpg
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I've always wanted to do some serious astro/ planetary stuff with a decent telescope but I've never had the funds/knowledge to take the plunge. I think it'd be lots of fun to get shots of Mars, or Saturns rings, or close detail of the moon etc. But its quite an investment by all accounts.
 

ac12

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The Oly 100-400 is a pretty big investment, but its actually very good overall. And if you already have the 1.4 T/C it works on that too.


View attachment 881557




I've always wanted to do some serious astro/ planetary stuff with a decent telescope but I've never had the funds/knowledge to take the plunge. I think it'd be lots of fun to get shots of Mars, or Saturns rings, or close detail of the moon etc. But its quite an investment by all accounts.

From my initial look, and my wife's telescope, the investment is not bad.
UNTIL you get to the point that you want to TRACK the movements of the planets and stars. IOW compenstate for the rotation of the earth. The tracking mechanism is what gets expensive.

The magnification needed to see Saturn's rings may be another one.
 

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