Suggestions on 300-400mm legacy primes

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Eirik, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Eirik

    Eirik Mu-43 Regular

    72
    Aug 20, 2012
    Oslo, Norway
    Eirik
    After I bought the Canon FD 135/2 and 200/2,8 I'm looking at adding some even longer focal lengths to my collection. I was originally looking into the Canon FD system for these as well, but they seem to be few in numbers and hard to get. I have more or less decided to go all out on these, and go big aperture, aka larger than f4. Currently I'm looking at 300 and 400 mm lenses, and the Canons (FD 300mm f2,8L, FD 500mm f4,5L) seems very rare in this segment, only a very few on ebay, and they are all too expensive. I'm looking at something around $1500 for the lens itself. So I have started looking at Nikkors. I saw an AI 400mm f3,5 (Predecessor to the 400/2,8) in excellent condition at Keh, the other day, but it got sold rather quickly, but there are still some at ebay. An other option would be the 300mm f2,8 ED IF and a decent teleconverter, which seems cheaper and much more numerous. I see these are available as AI and AI-S, what's the difference? Generally, AI-S designated ones seem to fetch higher prices and are more common than the regular AI designated, despite the fact that the optical formula seems to be the same.

    So, any of you have any good ideas...?
     
  2. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    901
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    You might wish to consider the Olympus F Zuiko 300 Auto T f4.5 which is quite well rated I believe?
    Rob
     
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  3. Glenn S

    Glenn S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    788
    Feb 1, 2010
    I have one, here are a couple of pics:

    P8180727.

    P8180728.
     
  4. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    I think the 's' gives you better multi-coating to the lenses or maybe ED glass somewhere in there. I recently got the Nikkor 400 f/3.5 AIS IF for just under your budget number and it is in pristine condition. I got lucky. The whole world has figured out that good legacy telephoto class is enjoying a renaissance due to m4/3.

    One thing I can suggest is to start searching the individual websites of big city brick and mortar stores. That's where I found mine although I still had to go to ebay as they had just listed it. It's amazing how out of touch a lot of brick and mortar people are. :tongue:

    Here's some good info on Nikkor telephoto lenses:

    Nikkor Super Telephoto lenses - Index Page
     
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  5. Eirik

    Eirik Mu-43 Regular

    72
    Aug 20, 2012
    Oslo, Norway
    Eirik
    Thank you. I have been looking around on ebay, and I have found a few of those, but some people are asking ridiculous sums for them, upwards $3000 for an Ais 400/3,5 for instance. I'm a little annoyed that I didn't get the one Keh had up for $1500 though.

    I think I'd err towards the Ais 300/2,8 ED IF, and then just add a 1,4 or 2,0 teleconverter to get more... These are much more numerous than the 400/3,5 and I think I can get a better deal on one of those, that said, if a nice one shows up, the I might go for it. Most of the time I have bought used camera stuff from Keh, or B&H and got my brother to pick it up for me, as he is in the US quite often...

    Sadly, there aren't that many 'brick and mortar' stores carrying used equipment around here, so long Ais Nikkors and Canon FDs are few and far in between. Second hand market isn't big either...

    Yes, most OM Zuikos seems to be very good, but I'm mainly looking for something with the option of using a larger aperture than f4, with a 300mm i'm basically looking at an f2,8... Anyone know anything about the old Tokina and Tamron 300mm f2,8 manual focus lenses...?
     
  6. srhphoto

    srhphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 26, 2012
    You could try to track down a Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 as an alternative to the Canon 300mm f2.8s. I found this one in a Canon fd mount after a bit of searching and it would've fit well inside your budget.

    [​IMG]
    Tokina_300f28_Test_P1080529 by srhphoto, on Flickr

    Cheers,

    Simon.
     
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  7. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I got to play with the Tamron 300mm f/2.8 and a good friend did some testing on his Canon 1DmkIII comparing the Tamron 300mm f/2.8, the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 mmII, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 mmII. The sharpest was the Canon 300mm f/2.8 but the Tamron was soooo very close to it. Great contrast and very sharp wide open. The Canon zoom, perhaps the sharpest zoom Canon has ever made to date, came in third and it was not as close as we would have liked, for the money! If you can find the Tamron for under $700 consider it a bargain. It's big, but very very sharp.

    I didn't want to spend the money on the Tamron, but acquired a Canon EF 85-300 f/4.5 in mint condition through a trade and am extremely pleased with it. For a zoom, it's amazing how sharp it is wide open and how well it works with direct light sources (sunsets with minimal flare, for example). Granted, you are looking for f/2.8 or faster and this isn't as fast as that. I also use the Vivitar Series I 70-210 f/3.5 Macro for a little faster, though not as long, telephoto.
     
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  8. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    There is also a manual older version of the tamron 300mm f2.8 in adaptall mount (meaning you'd just have to get the matching mount for your m4/3 adapters). I've got it and it is a very nice lens, use it mostly with my pentax though as the pentax 1.7x AF-A teleconverter turns it from a manual to an autofocus lens!
     
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  9. Eirik

    Eirik Mu-43 Regular

    72
    Aug 20, 2012
    Oslo, Norway
    Eirik
    This is for both of the quotes above: Do you know what the image quality of these third party lenses is like compared to either the Ais Nikkor 300/2,8 or the Canon FD 300/2,8L?
     
  10. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Since that is a relatively subjective question and I don't have any experience with those lenses I'm hesitant to answer. The lens is generally highly praised in my experience. There are plenty of samples out there, google 'tamron 300mm f2.8 adaptall samples' and you'll find plenty of photos to judge!

    The adaptall tamron is quite reasonably priced and there are typically 2-3 for sale on ebay. Most show a lot of body wear due to age but typically tend to have clean optics. Final sales have usually started around $500 - if they have the accompanying 1.4x and 2x teleconverters that bumps them up a couple of hundred, and I know if they've got the Auto Pentax adapter (that allows aperture control) they'll probably be at least $800 or more (that adapter sells for $100 on its own). There is also an accompanying tamron 400mm F4 lens of similar size, however it is much more rare to see for sale.
     
  11. srhphoto

    srhphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 26, 2012
    I'm in exactly the same boat having never owned, used or seen full size files produced by the Canon and Nikon lenses you mention.

    I have only owned my Tokina lens for less than a week. My initial testing has left me very pleased with the output even wide open.

    Cheers,

    Simon.
     
  12. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    668
    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Mike
    I have an FD 85-300mm f4.5 and it is a really nice lens. It's a big piece of glass though, 96mm filter and about 2kg (over 4 pounds).
     
  13. Eirik

    Eirik Mu-43 Regular

    72
    Aug 20, 2012
    Oslo, Norway
    Eirik
    So, in the end I went for the Ais Nikkor 300mm f2,8 ED IF with the Voigtländer adapter, got them both from Adorama, actually. I also added a Nikkor TC-14b, teleconverter for good measure. My brother is going to the US tomorrow for a conference, so he ordered it, and shipped it to the hotell he's staying at. This will be interesting, looking forward to playing with this... :)
     
  14. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    Did you ever have a chance to post some pics with that big lens? I wouldn't mind finding it's little brother (300mm f4.5 ED) sometime.
     
  15. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    Still looking for a lens cover for mine. I don't have a filter as mine has a built in filter.
     
  16. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    668
    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Mike
    If you can stand the f4.5 maximum aperture, I think the FD Canon 85-300mm is excellent as well. Features internal focusing and a constant max aperture throughout the zoom range.
     
  17. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    I do love the FD 85-300mm. But it's really heavy. Built in hood is probably short at 300, as it has to work also at 85mm. Tonight I walked around the lake with a Tamron 300mm f/5.6. It's internal focusing is very fast but accurate, has tripod mount and built in hood. It's very light, so I'll see how well it does. Probably not as sharp, though. My version is not the sharpest version Tamron made of that series. I'd really like to get the Nikon 300mm f/4.5 ED but they are not cheap if in good condition.