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Old Apr 20, 2007, 3:11 AM   #1
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After seeing the cheapo Phoenix huge/long slow f/8 500/600mm manual's (often with 2x TC bundled) all over Ebay, I was sort of hesitant to bid on this but got it for near half price ($120) in pristine condition, even with a nice padded lens bag with filter compartment and UV filter .
(Never even knew they actually made AF's)

And checking on it after first bid, found a shopping review of someone also surpised by it.

Decent contrast even in low light/wide open, and sharper than expected even at 400mm.

The only thing I don't care for is that it is a push-pull zoom and it doesn't have good gravity resistance (mostly an issue at rest/hanging as other wise you are holding it and its AF). And while I will get used to it, I sometimes think it is at full zoom trying to twist it rather than push it.

For its cost though a really not bad at all lens.

This shot is unfortunately about a 25% crop (the trying to twist vs push thing ). It was post sunset flash filled (Promaster 7000M)

A couple of other not/less cropped examples at http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=80

Shooting literally into sun or large bright lights it does have some internal reflection issues... but pretty minimal, and not unexpected in a bargain lens.

Not the fastest thing (4.5-6.7) but actually no slower than my SIGMA 70-300mm with a 1.4x TC on making it roughly the equivalent FL (actually Phoenix is 1/2 stop faster). Again only so much you can expect in a low price. Plus the SR is much better as it is fully compesated for. (TC's don't report their mag factor)

The contrast and sharpness, especially in a budget longer than average zoom, did rather (pleasantly) surprise me though. My BIGMA LBA may be placated now... and much less bulk and weight. :roll:

Fuly collapsed about 6.5" and 1.6 lbs
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 11:58 AM   #2
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Also pleasantly surprised with the Promaster 100mm autofocusing Macro (same lens as Phoenix) bought as a stopgap at a fraction of the cost of other current focal length macros.
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