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Old Jul 14, 2009, 2:18 PM   #1
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Default E-30 with Tokina 400mm 5.6 ATX SD lens

I recently picked up a used Tokina 400mm ATX SD 5.6 lens fitted with a
Minolta MD mount. In order to use the lens, I ordered a Minolta MD to four thirds adapter from JinFinance in China. The main purpose for this lens was to be able to take images of birds and wildlife. Not necessarily BIF, but I would have been pleased if that actually was possible. My plan was to use it with the E-30 and EC-14 telecon.

I've been trying it out in various situations but with the weather we've had here the last few weeks (cloudy, rainy) I really haven't had many opportunities.

After taking a bunch of shots this morning, I can safely say I need to work on this a bit more.

The lens needs an awful lot of light. To make matters worse, I'm using it with the EC-14 Telecon. To this point, my best results are not as good as the shots taken with the 50-200mm/EC-14 telecon then cropped.

Even with the E-30's larger view finder or using the Liveview, it is fairly difficult for me to focus properly and get a sharp image. As you can guess, DOF is rather limited. I see purple fringing on a lot of my images and the IQ is rather soft.

Here are a couple of samples:





If there is anyone out there who has used this lens with good results, I'd be interested to see/hear your findings.

Zig
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 1:04 PM   #2
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Default another go at it!

Well, today the Sun was out the sky, clear and I had a bit of time to go over to the Osprey's nestsite. The purpose was to try and shoot additional images at various settings to determine settings that would produce the best images.

I took the E-30 with the EC-14 telecon mounted to it plus the Tokina 400mm ATX, SX lens. I have to admit, I didn't have much hope that good lighting or not, focussing would be a problem and the results would be the same as I've been getting - whch is poor.


To my surprise, the lens actually captured the shots much more accuratley. My best output was produced with settings set at
Manual mode, ISO500, f11, shutter set at 1/500:

Here is one sample that I thought came out much better than the originals
posted a few days ago.

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Old Jul 17, 2009, 1:20 PM   #3
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That is most definitely a huge improvement over the first post. I take it you have to use manual focus since this is not a 4/3 lens. That isn't easy to do on BIFS or longer shots. I tried it on the 70 300 and went immediately back to auto focus : )
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Old Jul 17, 2009, 1:55 PM   #4
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Default hi Eric,

Quote:
Originally Posted by eharrim View Post
That is most definitely a huge improvement over the first post. I take it you have to use manual focus since this is not a 4/3 lens. That isn't easy to do on BIFS or longer shots. I tried it on the 70 300 and went immediately back to auto focus : )
Eric

Yes, since this is an older 35mm lens, my only method of focusing is manual. I don't have an adapter with an AF confirm chip mounted, although that might be something to consider in the future.

Even with the E-30, the major difficulty is achieving accurate focus.
Like all legacy lenses, I first focus then stop down to the desired arpeture.
But, the DOF is so very thin that live view is the only method I've found that I can actually get this lens into focus. That really puts a kink into trying to shoot BIF-making it impossible, in fact.
Additionally, with this lens, you really do need a lot of light. I tried various ISO settings and finally settled on ISO500-even though it was 9:00am and the sun was very bright.

Frankly, I think I'm being penny wise and dollar foolish with respect to having purchased this lens. It was certainly priced right at B&H photo.
I'm sure it was a very good lens when coupled with a 35mm slr. but I think I'm stretching the lenses capabilities to resolve detail.

Rather than buying a lesser expenseive lens, I should have just saved my pennies and picked up a 50-500 Sigma- or, at the very least, a 70-300mm. Over the last 3 yrs, I've owned 2 70-300mm lenses and sold them both for various reasons. I've come to realize that this is a heck of a lens for the price.
In the meantime, I'm encouraged by the results of today.

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Old Jul 17, 2009, 2:33 PM   #5
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I really like the 70 300 and it gives great results but it definitely is not a prime : ) I don't have 5 grand or more to spend on glass that good so my next step and probably last from a money standpoint will be the 50 500 unless sigma or oly comes up with a cheaper 400mm prime in the future. I looked at the 135 400 but I don't think it gives any better sharpness than the 70 300. But the 50 500 from what I've seen in some pics seems to be a little step up in glass..
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Old Jul 18, 2009, 8:56 AM   #6
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.....but you do have those great birds to work with.

Yesterday I saw two morning doves settle down for a drink from the rain runoff, that was it for any nice looking birds around here for some time now.

Your 'bright light' shot definitely is a better result than the first.... and if the lens is capable I am betting you get it worked out.

Show us more,
____
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Old Jul 18, 2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the kind words.

Today we have clouds and rain. Not a good day for the 400mm Tokina.

I'm glad I read the Kirk Tuck blog article this morning because he drove home the point about really working your equipment and getting to be really familiar with it. That's something I've got to do with this prime lens. Also, this may be one of those situations where an adapter with an AF confirm chip just might improve the results. Had I known what I know now at the time I ordered the MD to four thirds adapter, I would have sprung for the add'l money. I still may do that since this lens did produce a fair number of good quality images yesterday. The focusing issue is mine (or my eyes).
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