1. Reminder: Please user our affiliate links to get to your favorite stores for holiday shopping!

Prime legacy lens for Sports/Wildlife

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by neofx19, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. neofx19

    neofx19 Mu-43 Regular

    76
    May 16, 2012
    Vancouver
    This is a list of lenses that are available to me locally and online. Most of which are advertised as good to excellent quality. I've never had any experience using legacy lenses before and the only reason I want to is because of their fast glass and reach. So, which one would you guys recommend for a novice to try...

    Canon FD 300mm 2.8 L
    Canon FD 300mm F/4 L
    CANON FD 300mm F4 S.S.C
    Canon New FD 300mm f/4 (non L)
    Nikon AI-S 300mm 2.8
    NIKON AF 300mm f/4
    Olympus 300mm F4.5

    (These lenses are under a thousand dollars, most expensive being the Canon 2.8 L and the least expensive being the Olympus)

    In the past I've done sports photography and occasional wildlife but never with a manual lens. I'd like to use this lens specifically for outdoor sports, i.e. Soccer, Football, Baseball, etc... and occasional wildlife. I know this list is a bit long but just wondering which one I should try and more importantly what I should look for when buying a used telephoto legacy prime lens...and yes of course I will also be buying the adapter for the camera.
     
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Well, the Nikon 300mm f2.8 AI-S and the Canon 300mm f2.8 L are the best of those, but they are also going to be by far the biggest and bulkiest - and really will dwarf your camera. They should each only be considered useable on a big heavy tripod. I would imagine these are going to both cost nearly $1000.

    The F4.0 lenses should all cost MUCH less, like in the range of $200-500 ($500 would be for the Canon FD f4 L). From that list, that's the one I'd go for, but you really haven't given us much of a clue as to what you want to spend and how important mobility is for you.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    For sports and wildlife I would get the fastest lens, which would be the Canon or Nikon 300mm f/2.8 (though Olympus actually has options in their OM line which are either faster or longer than the competitor's 300mm/2.8 standard, including the Zuiko 250mm f/2 and Zuiko 350mm f/2.8... but these lenses are rare and hard to find).

    Though sports has the fastest action in actuality if you're shooting all outdoors then you don't really need too fast of a lens most of the time. However, if you're lucky to have an overcast day then you will get the best shots then and your fast lens will come in useful. If you ever want to shoot indoor sports, it will be a necessity. With wildlife, although you can capture more still moments you also have a choice of when to shoot, which you don't with outdoor sports. To get the best pictures, you will want to avoid bright daylight and stick to darker portions of the day towards morning or evening. Thus, a fast lens is important.

    As Doug says however, mobility is also important. f/4 at 300mm is really not shabby at all, but that stop difference at such a long focal length makes a huge difference in size and weight! The Olympus is a half stop slower than that, but Zuiko lenses are notoriously compact. The quality on them is also consistently good. So really, I don't think any of your choices are bad. Every lens is a compromise in one way or another.

    If you go with the Canon 300mm/4 though, I would just stick with the L version. With legacy glass you always want the best that you can get in that form. You may choose the f/4 over the f/2.8 for better mobility, but you still want to get the best quality f/4 you can.
     
  4. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    I've had the ( f4's) Nikon 300 AF-S, Canon 300 FD L and currently have the Oly 300 f4.5. The Nikon and Canon are equal optically with the Oly slightly less contrasty and possibly more prone to CA, tho in some situations, there is no avoiding it with any of them. The nikon also has the aperture blades outside of the optics and therefore more exposed to the elements than the other 2. I'd chose the canon if price is not a concern, but the Oly was much cheaper and only slightly inferior. With the EM5 you can shoot handheld shots in good light with the f4's. A monopod can help sometimes and yet be pretty mobile. With no AF, shooting sports will be quite difficult no matter if it's 2.8 or 4. You'll have to area focus and wait. I know "Grid" shoots a lot of motorsports with a 300 2.8 Tokina, I believe, but I'm sure he is area focusing and waiting, for the most part.
     
  5. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    The Canon 300mm L lens is an a amazing piece of optics. It has one flaw that will be hard to detect. The focus happens when an external screw, through a plastic standoff, slides through a groove under the rubber focus cover. The screw on mine stripped after a few weeks of use. The design appears to be somewhat prone to this. I've read Ken Rockwells site on the Nikkor 300mm ED AIS is better than the non- ED lenses. As Juan says the aperture blades are in the back and not protected by the element. I'll probably either try the Olympus or another Canon
     
  6. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Don't forget about how a speed booster can help you in this case.

    Rather than purchasing super expensive fast telephotos lenses. One can just get a good quality moderately priced lens and the speed booster makes it faster and can make it sharper.
     
  7. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    If you haven't done manual focus on sports events before, I would start off with a cheaper 300mm lens and see how you go in good light. If you think you get some nice keepers from such events, then upgrade to some faster (and much more expensive glass). Manual focusing with fast glass on moving subjects will take alot of practise. You may also need to consider how good your camera body is for manual focusing action scenes. E-M5 has no focus peaking which may help you at sporting events.
     
  8. neofx19

    neofx19 Mu-43 Regular

    76
    May 16, 2012
    Vancouver
    Thanks for the replies guys, I'm going for the Olympus 300mm f/4.5, it's priced fairly reasonable and judging from the reviews I've seen online, it's a really nice lens. I'm hoping to get it soon with my micro four thirds adapter, hopefully I'll get a chance to try it out before football season begins.
     
  9. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    Hey it would be great to see some pics with the Olympus
     
  10. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    Hey just to update my story on my Canon 300mm L lens...Originally I attempted a repair and could never get the aperture assy to work correctly. So I was shooting the lens wide open for awhile (not too bad because the lens is almost as sharp at F4 as it is at F8). I ran across a non-L version lens on ebay for $150...I bought it and took some photos with it....the CA was out of control bad and it wasn't nearly as sharp. So I decided to experiment. I removed the barrel with all the optics except the rear focusing element and swapped it onto the lens that works...I just shot some test shots and they appear great. No CA, back to very tack sharp images. So I was able to repair the lens in a round about way
     
  11. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    Shot with the repaired lens...

    Well after totally hosing up the focus and aperture, the purchase of a non-L and then simply swapping the barrel (all lens components except focus and filter are stored) with the broken lens, I now have a fully operational lens again. :smile:
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  12. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    So let me see if I understand what you did..
    Did you swap any elements between the two lenses?
    Or is it just that you used the mechanics to fix the L lens and all the optics of the L lens are still the same ?

    P.S., that Image is fantastic .. looks like it could be a 3D image.
     
  13. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    Thanks! So the Canon barrel with most of the elements just screws off after removing some small set screws. After removing this barrel you have access to the mechanical section. This section houses the focusing element...which is the one I had to leave in place because I screwed up the one one the L version. I was initially worried the focusing element in the working non L lens was different than that in the L version but after taking the test shot above I'm convinced those parts are identical. I purchased the non-L version hoping to just replace just the barrel. It worked :)
     
  14. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    What is this and how do you accomplish this
     
  15. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Its a special adapter with lens elements inside that makes it act as a focal reducer. The best ones comes from Metabones - read their whitepaper - http://www.metabones.com/images/metabones/Speed Booster White Paper.pdf

    A speedbooster has 3 benefits;
    • the adapter is shorter - 4-5mm shorter
    • the focal length of the lens is reduced by 0.71. So a 28mm lens would become a ~20mm.
    • the image circle of a full frame lens is reduced, increasing the light density by 1 stop. So a f4 lens becomes an f2.8.

    Unfortunately, the supported mounts are few and far between. No support for Canon FD mounts atm. Also the adapter is expensive, so only really makes sense if you have a number of lenses that can share the speedbooster.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Wow, that is Fantastic..
    So one can assume that maybe the difference in the lenses is the Coatings to the elements or at least a difference in the last elements group.
    I need to find myself a sharp 300mm + lens. After taking some Moon photos the other night with my Minolta 100-300 zoom, I am quite displeased. I had thought it was a good lens before I purchased it. Shots with my newly Acquired Tamron Adaptall 70-350mm lens proved a little better, but still not sharp enough even when stopped down to f11.
    I lookind into the cost of that Canon L lens you are talking about, but prices are way out of my range.
     
  17. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Martin
    If you want a cheap but sharp 300mm+, you may want to consider the Konica Hexanon AR 300mm F4.5 lens. I've seen some sell for as low as 70$ recently. I find it to be very sharp, especially when stopped down. Check out some of the pictures I posted, including a moon shot from this lens coupled to a Konica Hexanon Teleconverter 2X AR, making it 600mm (the teleconverter sells for 10-50$):

    https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=54281
     
  18. DenverDutchman

    DenverDutchman Mu-43 Regular

    73
    Jul 10, 2013
    Colorado, Denver area
    Just saw this thread and saw this add on the buy & sell forum: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=53577
    May be a good option for the person that started the thread? I own the Pentax 50 f1.7 and many legacy OM lenses (not the 300 f4.5 though) and always enjoy shooting with them - great value.
     
  19. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    Yep, those be mine. Both in really good condition. The oil spot on the 300mm is a non issue as far as operability. We're talking $35-40 in adapters alone. $30 for the Pentax and $90 for the 300. They go for $200+ on e-bay.