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Telephoto Lenses with focal lengths longer than 60mm.

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  #1  
Old 14th February 2009
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In praise of older lenses...

OK, here is my bargain of the month. Its a Tamron 200mm f3.5 and it cost 9.99. This was shot tonight hand held wide open at 1/25th second in our church tonight. The lighting was stage red and I gabbed this shot of a local school swing band from the back of the nave (I was on the sound mixer tonight)

So: Well done old Tamron, and well done IS :-)



Pete

PS, on the original file, you can read the title on the music sheet!
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Old 14th February 2009
mike_j mike_j is offline
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Yes, very nice. I like Tamrons too - this is my new 28/2.5

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Old 14th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

You guy's are making me wondering why my initial test with the 1.8/50 Oly was such a disapointment.....
Good shots, good sharpness and 10 bob for that lens ?

Time to get some practice in manual focussing I gues........

Peter
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Old 15th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archphoto View Post
You guy's are making me wondering why my initial test with the 1.8/50 Oly was such a disapointment.....
Good shots, good sharpness and 10 bob for that lens ?

Time to get some practice in manual focussing I gues........

Peter
Peter,

The Oly 50/1.8 is pretty good and you should be getting reasonable results. What is the problem? My camera settings are fairly standard except:

Aperture mode
Exposure - centre weighted - be prepared to use exposure compensation if necessary, check the histogram.
Focus - manual, live view x 7 when possible. When focussing, focus through the critical point then come back to it.
Check the infinity point of your lens scale. Ideally the infinity should be correct on a distant church tower or similar. If it is correct you can use the lens distance scale for quick focussing or even the hyperfocal markings though they are for 35mm film and too optimistic for 4/3.

I know we have some other legacy lens users here (Pete - snaarman for example), perhaps they can chip in with ideas.
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Old 15th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_j View Post
My camera settings are fairly standard except:

Aperture mode. Exposure - centre weighted
Focus - manual, live view x 7 when possible. When focussing, focus through the critical point then come back to it.
Check the infinity point of your lens scale.
I know we have some other legacy lens users here (Pete - snaarman for example), perhaps they can chip in with ideas.
Yes I operate in exactly the same way, Aperture mode, centre weight, with Live view and I.S. where demanded. (Last nights shot is an exception. I learnt the hard way that you need to use spot metering on faces with stage lighting)

You may have to stop down a couple of clicks to get ultimate sharpness from an old lens. There are some old lenses that are faultless wide open, but they are few and far between :-)

Pete
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Old 15th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

I have a Tamron 200mm f3.5 I have had it since 1980 I still use now on my E500 for photographing butterflies I also have a 135mm f2.5 both work well I would like to fit them both with the auto confirm adaptors at some time but for now I will carry on.

PS manual is good

Barrie
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Old 15th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

My 50mm f1.4 is acceptable fully open but the 24mm f2.8 is very good fully open. Stop down to f5.6 on either and the results improve considerably.

The real fun starts when I use the Sigma 400mm & 600mm. I'm still amazed by the results that can be achieved with these lenses and I'm always on the lookout for big fast primes (at a good price).

I'd be interested to know who has used what and how well did they perform.

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Old 15th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post

I'd be interested to know who has used what and how well did they perform.

I rate my Tamron SP90 very highly. Provided you focus it properly it delivers the goods even wide open. Almost as sharp as the Oly 50mm f2 macro (!).

I also had good results from an unusual choice - the Nikon series E 100mm f2.8 - another lens I would use wide open with no doubts.

A lens I used on film but no longer have is the Nikon series E 75-150 f3.5. This is another surprisingly sharp lens, good wide open.

What do I mean by "excellent" in this context? Well, you take the shot wide open, put the card in the computer, zoom straight in to 100% and assess the picture from edge to edge..
I have come across quite a few lenses where you say to yourself "Pretty good, shame about the coma round the highlights, pity about the corners, some slight colour fringing - but then again it was wide open"
For instance the Tamron 135 and 200 are very nice, very useable but not "excellent" in this sense. The legendary Hexanon 40mm f1.8 is also very good, but not excellent.

With a "excellent" lens you do the same and look at the 100% image and say "now that is sharp :-) "

I have tried a selection of Vivitars, Pentacons, Hexanons etc and put some thoughts on my lens ramblings page .. http://www.snaar.co.uk/lenses/

Hope these mumblings help :-)

Pete
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Old 15th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Re: Graham


A few that I use:

Tamron 90mm macro. As Pete says - excellent macro lens (needs EX-25 for 1:1). Also good for portraits though a bit cruel and searching for women past their youth I'm told - quite vehemently I might add. A little softer focus goes down better. Note BBAR finish is multicoated and higher quality. May be found complete with dedicated extension tube. These Adaptall lenses need a primary adapter to fit a designated SLR then a second adapter to 4/3. I use Olympus OM as the primary adapter but it doesn't really matter as long as there is an adapter from whatever is chosen to 4/3

Tamron 28/f2.8 BBAR. I bought this because I was too tight to buy the Olympus 25 pancake. Sits very nicely on an E510 and so far I'm pleased with it.

Pentax SMC Super Takumar 50/1.4. Soft full open but f2 upwards nice portrait lens (100mm equiv) Also brilliant reversed for macro. M42 fitting. Again buy the later multicoated (SMC) lens, not the early version.



Leica R 50mm/f2 Summicron and 90mm/f2. I don't own these but a pal of mine does and they are superb

Long Tom 400/f5.6 or 500/f8. Produced under various manufacturer's names., Not technically telephotos, these are simple three or four element telescope type lenses. Mine is a Photax 400/f5.6. Reasonably sharp once stopped down to f8, lacking in contrast but quite serviceable. Remember this is an 800mm f5.6 equivalent. Cost - under 20. M42 thread.

Mirror lens. 1200m/f13. Can be used as telescope or camera lens. Falls into the 'interesting' category. At an equivalent 2400m it needs a mighty secure tripod and a very static subject to focus on. Very difficult to focus but quite sharp in the 'in-focus' zone, lacks contrast but that is easily fixed in post processing.
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Old 16th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

want to get anal about your legacy zuiko?

http://brashear.phys.appstate.edu/lh...o/mc-sc.survey

linked off R Lee Hawkins site
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Old 17th February 2009
Ellie Ellie is offline
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Okay chaps, without using too much technical language, and acknowledging that I've got an E-400 which doesn't seem to lend itself to manual focusing (or it could be my eyesight) - would it actually be worth my while looking out for some legacy lenses and if so, which ones would be the best to get?

Would it be cost effective and let me end up with good pictures that I can't get with the three lenses I've already got?

I have the 14-42; 40-150 and 70-300.
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Old 18th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Well Ellie, this playing with older lenses may well be a boy thing but it is fun
I have the same kit as yourself plus the 25mm pancake... outside of that range I will use a 300mm f4 Meyer - big and heavy but gives you that extra aperture and good colour/contrast.
I regularly use a Nikon 85mm f2 as I like the fixed angle of view, it is also an excellent lens for astrophotography.
I have tried a cheap 500mm f8 mirror lens and that is just too difficult to use with a very shallow DoF
If money allows get yourself a Zuiko 50mm f 1.8 and the OM->4/3 adapter ... have a play ... if you enjoy the experience and the images then you will look for other lenses otherwise you can sell them back from where you got them...
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Old 18th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

You'll find it hard to focus anything shorter than a 50. The longer the better for easy focus. That said the Zuiko 24/2.8 is fantastic - I used it on an E410 (when I had one) and that worked well together. I found it OK to focus but on wider lenses you might find it easier to set the focus first - hyper-focal.
A 'late model' 50/1.8 is very cheap and hard to beat for sharpness. If you get yourself an M42 adapter then there is plenty of cheap and fast glass out there to try.
Also of note - for easy focus - is a contax Zeiss planar 50/1.7 which really snaps in and out of focus. You'll need a contax/Yashica adapter for that.

You're not going to know until you try though, and you'll need to try a few to see which suits, which leads to the top of a dangerous slippery slope...
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Old 18th February 2009
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Ellie

Yes, I agree these comments: I have tried various manual lenses with my E400 and even with a Katzeye screen I find if tricky to focus lenses shorter than 50mm.

I would also suggest a 50 f1.8, or a 90 or 135mm f2.8 as a good starting point. Each of these would offer a wider aperture than you would get with a kit lens.

Much shorter than 50 and you would need live view to get focus right, much longer than 135 and you would need IS to help with the camera shake (in my humble opinion)

Pete

PS, if you want to borrow my Tamron 135mm with its adapter you are most welcome...
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  #15  
Old 18th February 2009
maccabeej maccabeej is offline
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Re: In praise of older lenses...

Just bought of Ebay but not yet received an adapter for my old Pentax lenses (bayonet not screw). It is chipped so that it will give a confirm on focus point. When I have tried it will report back.
Jim
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