Looking for a very fast telephoto lens

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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As the title suggests, I’m looking for an option of a 100 to 200mm faster then f 2.8 lens. Last night it hit me that light is going down very fast and my Panny Leica 50-200mm is getting to slow at f 4 for the low light of autumn and winter. (Even for the big Oly, E-M1 IBIS).

I don’t mind Manual Focus only since the light would be to low for any camera. My first thoughts were the Korean Samyang/Bower 135mm f 2 and the (still expensive) Olympus Zuiko 150mm f 2 ED. I am wondering if there are other options like a 200mm f 2 or 135/150mm f 1.4. I doesn’t have to have absolute sharpness, just smooth and precise mechanical focus.

I just realised I could do ISO bracketing to get more options to choose from in terms of ISO performance.
 

Bushboy

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135 f2 would be nice. I imagine it will be to short often...
But you know, if you camo out, and stay low....
BTW, what support are you using?
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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200mm f2 is a crazy specialist lens. Canon’s is $5k

135mm f2 is about the fastest/longest reasonably priced glass
I was having a nagging feeling that it might be the case. I’m not going to pay 5K. I think Olympus upcoming 100-400mm f 4.5 might be to xpensive as well.

135 f2 would be nice. I imagine it will be to short often...
But you know, if you camo out, and stay low....
BTW, what support are you using?
I don’t like carrying and using tripods, I do all my shots handheld, use sniper breathing, use the EVF for stability.

Most of my photography these days is down to luck and the opportunities I can squeeze on my commute to work (through the outskirts of the town).
 

Bushboy

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I can’t imagine getting by without my little tripod...
It makes the impossible, possible. :)
It’s amazing how still deer can stand, especially if they think they’ve seen something!
I always wanted a 135 f2... I bet the Samyang is a beauty.
 

kinlau

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Get a Canon or Nikon mount 2.8 tele along with a focal reducer. I’ve used my Sigma 120-300/2.8 with a Viltrox 0.71 reducer for a effective 200/2. Seems to be no shortage of manual 300/2.8’s on EBay. Warning tho, those things are very heavy.
 
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I recently got the legendary Olympus OM 350mm ƒ/2.8, which with a focal reducer, is an unreal 250mm ƒ/2.0. I paid under $1600 through KEH. They show up now and then.

I also recently got the rare Sigma 500mm ƒ/4 mirror for under $180 on evilBay. It actually does a respectable job, and does 350/2.8 with a focal reducer.

I previously posted a photo of each, along with shots taken from them. Although they are big and heavy, they are a G.A.S.!

I've been seeking the super-rare, super-legendary Olympus OM 250mm ƒ/2.0, but they appear to be made of pure Unobtainium, which with a valence of +1, quickly gets bound to Moron, which has a valence of -1, to make Morunobtainium.

A much cheaper route would be the Tamron 300mm ƒ/2.8, which can be had for under $400. I once had an Adaptall version with an Olympus mount, and I must say, though, that it was no match at all for the Oly OM 350/2.8, so I sold it.

I don’t like carrying and using tripods, I do all my shots handheld
Well, something with a front element of 100mm+ isn't very hand-holdable.

The Olympus OM 180mm ƒ/2.8 takes a 72mm filter, and becomes a respectable 127/2.0 with a focal reducer. I don't like the 180/2.8 very well with a straight adapter, but it cleans up nicely with a quality focal reducer. At 700g, it's nicely hand-holdable. Decent copies show up for under $300 now and then.

The aforementioned SHQ Zuiko Digital 150mm ƒ/2 (for Four Thirds) is one of the most awesome lenses ever made. It is painfully sharp, wide-open, edge-to-edge. It's sizeable, but still quite hand-holdable, with an 82mm filter size. They tend to be pricey, but I got mine for under $800 from KEH.

Be careful out there. Fast glass quickly becomes an expensive addiction!
 
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L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I recently got the legendary Olympus OM 350mm ƒ/2.8, which with a focal reducer, is an unreal 250mm ƒ/2.0. I paid under $1600 through KEH. They show up now and then.

I also recently got the rare Sigma 500mm ƒ/4 mirror for under $180 on evilBay. It actually does a respectable job, and does 350/2.8 with a focal reducer.

I previously posted a photo of each, along with shots taken from them. Although they are big and heavy, they are a G.A.S.!

I've been seeking the super-rare, super-legendary Olympus OM 250mm ƒ/2.0, but they appear to be made of pure Unobtainium, which with a valence of +1, quickly gets bound to Moron, which has a valence of -1, to make Morunobtainium.

A much cheaper route would be the Tamron 300mm ƒ/2.8, which can be had for under $400. I once had an Adaptall version with an Olympus mount, and I must say, though, that it was no match at all for the Oly OM 350/2.8, so I sold it.



Well, something with a front element of 100mm+ isn't very hand-holdable.

The Olympus OM 180mm ƒ/2.8 takes a 72mm filter, and becomes a respectable 127/2.0 with a focal reducer. I don't like the 180/2.8 very well with a straight adapter, but it cleans up nicely with a quality focal reducer. At 700g, it's nicely hand-holdable. Decent copies show up for under $300 now and then.

The aforementioned SHQ Zuiko Digital 150mm ƒ/2 (for Four Thirds) is one of the most awesome lenses ever made. It is painfully sharp, wide-open, edge-to-edge. It's sizeable, but still quite hand-holdable, with an 82mm filter size. They tend to be pricey, but I got mine for under $800 from KEH.

Be careful out there. Fast glass quickly becomes an expensive addiction!
Thank you, it’s very helpful information. I am going to keep myself refrain about expensive glass. Right now the most expensive (and only one above 500£) is the Panny Leica 50-200mm. I do want to add, at some point, one high end telephoto prime for wildlife but that’s it on that side of photography.

I might consider carrying a monopod for low-light, if I can find one reasonably compact for my daily commute. I had the Olympus 50-200mm f 2.8-3.5 and it was quite hand-holdable even without the HLD-7 grip, though I don’t think I want to go more then 1.5 Kgs weight of the a lens.

I’m finding the winter in South West England extremely depressing, landscapes are fairly boring and unusable since snow is to uncommon and rain makes everything depressing grey and mucky. I am hoping I can get some bits of wildlife, birds of prey seem to be bountiful in my area. Curious to see if I can get some more foxes as well.

Now back to hear talk (everyone’s favourite :p ), that Tamron 300mm f 2.8 sounds mighty tempting, might look for other brands equivalent as well.
 

Bange23

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I can’t imagine getting by without my little tripod...
It makes the impossible, possible. :)
It’s amazing how still deer can stand, especially if they think they’ve seen something!
I always wanted a 135 f2... I bet the Samyang is a beauty.
+1
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alex g

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Another vintage suggestion is the Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 80-200mm f/2.8. It's a relatively rare 80's classic push-pull zoom, which with a speedbooster gives 56-140mm f/2.0. I found one online recently in mint condition for £250. It's beautifully constructed and performs very well. Very well controlled CA for its age, thanks to an ED element. Lovely, delicate bokeh, particularly for a zoom lens, and plenty of natural looking resolution which can be emphasised with a little sharpening if desired. It's an internal zoom, external focus design and comes with a very sturdy tripod collar and hood. Manual focus of course, and it isn't light — it weighs about 1.5kg. Third from the left in these pics:

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Bushboy

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I know you don’t wanna hear this, but you need a little travel tripod. Buy a used one cheap. They are gold. My one came in a nylon bag with a sling shoulder strap. Very easy, lightweight. Honestly, it’s the best thing.
I’ve got a monopod, useless really.
 

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martink111

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As the title suggests, I’m looking for an option of a 100 to 200mm faster then f 2.8 lens. Last night it hit me that light is going down very fast and my Panny Leica 50-200mm is getting to slow at f 4 for the low light of autumn and winter. (Even for the big Oly, E-M1 IBIS).

I don’t mind Manual Focus only since the light would be to low for any camera. My first thoughts were the Korean Samyang/Bower 135mm f 2 and the (still expensive) Olympus Zuiko 150mm f 2 ED. I am wondering if there are other options like a 200mm f 2 or 135/150mm f 1.4. I doesn’t have to have absolute sharpness, just smooth and precise mechanical focus.

I just realised I could do ISO bracketing to get more options to choose from in terms of ISO performance.
You should easily be able to find a Nikkor 180 ED 2.8. That is a phenomenal lens… Especially with an EM1 mark II. Got mine in very ugly cosmetic shape from KEH for $250
 

mnhoj

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Nikkor 105 2.5
Barely fits the requirements - a great lens nonetheless.

Edit: Horrible answer. What happens when you just want to yell out a favorite lens and then you realize(a month later) that it's not at all what everyone is talking about. ( :
 
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The Rokinon/Samyang 135 f2.0 is superb. I have some images in the showcase for the lens. Beats the Canon FD and EF and almost as good as the Sigma 135 f1.8. Has no CA anywhere. I got mine in a m4/3 mount for $300.00.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I've got one of the Nikkor 135mm f2.0 DC lenses and in addition to it being really sharp, they can be had for around $300. I also use a 105mm f2.8 macro that produces amazing results on unmoving subjects.

e.g., https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-AF-D...841447?hash=item341348dc27:g:-ygAAOSwdhtdekk0

I use a Metabones F-mount adapter for my Nikkors.
I'll put it on my to-watch list, forgot that Nikon used to love 135mm lenses

There's also the very rare OM Zuiko 180mm f/2 and the almost as rare Tamron Adaptall 180mm f/2.5
I'll see how many organs they require to buy :p

You should easily be able to find a Nikkor 180 ED 2.8. That is a phenomenal lens… Especially with an EM1 mark II. Got mine in very ugly cosmetic shape from KEH for $250
Very good idea, I will look into that lens as well, old Nikon F lenses seem to be quite the gems.

Nikkor 105 2.5
Barely fits the requirements - a great lens nonetheless.
Yes, it's a bit on the short end, though still good for Macro range :)

In case you change your mind, the 43 mount Olympus 150 f2 is $3K at Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Olympus-150mm-Digital-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B0001WE6UC

By all accounts, it's a stunning lens.
https://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/olympus/150mm-f2-zuiko-digital/review/
I am considering that lens as my High-End Telephoto Prime to get, or the Panny Leica 200mm f 2.8, but both are way out of affordability at the moment, maybe next year.

The Rokinon/Samyang 135 f2.0 is superb. I have some images in the showcase for the lens. Beats the Canon FD and EF and almost as good as the Sigma 135 f1.8. Has no CA anywhere. I got mine in an m4/3 mount for $300.00.
That lens keeps battering my eyes and thoughts. It's such a versatile option: it's 190mm f 1.4 with speed booster, it's 270mm f 2.8 with dumb adapter, it's 380mm f 2.8 with 1.4 teleconverter. But to be able to use the speed booster I need to get it in Canon EF or Nikon F mount.
 
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