More reach needed - more than 300 (ie 600 FF)

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by nstelemark, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    I have been shooting a lot of outdoor sports and I really need more reach. And, while I am a big proponent of getting closer I can't walk on water so that is pretty much out :wink: I am currently using the 50-200 and ec-14 with either a tripod or monopod.

    The 90-280 and 300 SHG are out of my price range.

    The only options I see are the 50-500 bigma or the ec20. I have heard mixed opinions on this, so I am not sure which is the better option.

    Bigma: big, heavy, somewhat soft. Not really 500, more like 440. Softer past 400. Hard to find. But some people swear by it.

    EC-20: softer than the EC-14, you have to stop down to f8 to get sharpness. Max of 400 with the 50-200. Smaller and lighter than the Bigma. Some people argue the 50-200 + EC-20 is sharper than the Bigma.

    Both combinations are not fast at the long end: the 50-500 is f6.3, and the 50-200 + EC-20 is f6+.

    I can easily shoot at f7+ most days with sufficient shutter speed so the fastest maximum aperture is not critical.

    If there are any other brilliant ideas I'd love to hear them. The 300 mFT lenses are too soft at the long end for what I want.

    Cliff notes. Buy the Bigma or the EC-20 to get at least 400 mm of reach.
  2. MarylandUSA

    MarylandUSA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Poolesville, Maryland
    Paul Franklin Stregevsky
    I'm confused. Would you consider a 300mm full-frame lens? Or only a full-frame lens that's 400 or longer?
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I717 using Mu-43 mobile app
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    I have roughly 300 now @ f4.9.

    It would be ideal to have at least 400 (800 with crop). Really 500 (1000 with crop) would be nice.

    After some more research IQ may be a wash. The downside is no weather sealing on the Sigma and lots of dust in the lens. Since it can be dusty and I do get rained on this may be an issue.
  4. bredman

    bredman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 30, 2013
    Sherwood Forest
    You could consider converting a scope. Good results from what i've seen with the Skywatcher 80 600mm, especially with birders etc..
  5. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    How about some old school MF glass? IQ should be top notch, only issue being no AF.
  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    On the e-m5 the 50-200 is really mf anyway. But, AF would be really good, and a big enough advantage the e-m1 is in my radar. If my subjects were not moving I'd just buy a nice legacy lens.
  7. nathan_h

    nathan_h Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    This is interesting. A quick google didn't give me a recipe. Any tips on where you have read about it?
  8. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    The basic premise is that you take any small telescope that uses 1 1/4" eyepieces (or 2", if you want to go bigger). Then you get an adapter from m4/3 to T, and then T to 1 1/4". Or a single adapter will go from the m4/3 lens mount directly to eyepiece. The term to use in google is 'digiscoping'.

    I picked up my adapters at TELESCOPE CAMERA ADAPTERS |, they cover m4/3 nicely.

    The advantage is that you can get some really nice glass. Check out the 480mm TeleVue-76 as a high end choice for both birders and astronomers. (76mm aperture, 480mm focal length, f/6.3). The bad news is that you're at a fixed f stop and focus is purely manual. Of course, spend the money and you can get a two-speed focus knob, which helps, or the astrophotographers will spend more for a motorized focus control. You can also start using other astronomy tools, like a barlow for 2x, 3x, 4x, or even 5x magnification.
  9. MarylandUSA

    MarylandUSA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Poolesville, Maryland
    Paul Franklin Stregevsky
    In the days of manual focus, quite a few companies made 400/5.6 primes. My Pentax SMC 400/5.6 PKA delivered great results, but it usually sells nowadays for more than $500. There are cheaper options, including Vivitar, Soligor, Tokina SD ATX, Sigma APO, Sigma non-APO, and a Sigma mirror lens. I don't know anything about them; I seem to recall that the Tokina ATX had a great reputation.
  10. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    I use a Canon FD 400mm f4.5 and am very satisfied with the results-obviously manual focus only has it's limitations but IQ is pretty good. From yesterday; Capturing some fast action is possible:



    The wasp won:
  11. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    Do a search for Samyang 500mm f6.3. There have been a few posts about it. It's a mirror (catadioptric) lens, so it's similar technology to a telescope. It's not native mount but T Mount which is used a lot with telescopes, and Samyang sell a T to m43 adapter. Obviously it's manual focus.

    They sell an f8 mirror lens too but apparently it is not as good as the f6.3
  12. AceAceBaby

    AceAceBaby Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    I have the Samyang 6.3 mirror, but I've yet to have much success myself with it. Focusing is extremely sensitive, I feel like it really needs to be geared down, and the DoF is very thin. I'm guessing the mirror design makes the focus effectively 3x more sensitive than it might be otherwise.
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