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Old Dec 14, 2007, 6:02 PM   #1
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Whoops. The heading should refer to the "Phoenix" F/4.5 - 6.7 100mm to 400mm zoom lens, not Kenko. I didn't have the Popular Photagraphy article written by Herbert Keppler with me when I first initiated this post.

Any comments on this lens?

Is the "new" version as good as the old version reviewed, which was quite positive?

Which 1.5X or 2.0X adapter is best to use with this lens and a Pentax K100D camera?

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Old Dec 15, 2007, 7:20 AM   #2
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I have used this lens for about six months now, and it has become my lens of choice for birding. The lens is manufactured by Cosina and I have seen it with the Cosina badge and the Vivitar Series 1 badge, as well as the Phoenix tag.

For a budget AF long zoom, I think it would be hard to beat. It pulls in light relatively well and has a razor-thin DOF when fully extended. Negatives: autofocus is dicey, at best, on small objects, such as small birds, at the end of its range. When birding, I almost always leave it on manual focus because there is nothing more irritating than having it suddenly start searching just when you're getting ready for a long shot. Quality of construction is not real high. It's a push-pull lens, and the zoom will creep on you when the camera is pointed either up or down.The focus ring has a little bit of a "cheap" feel to it, and the lens hood and its threads feel like they're made by Mattel. Here's a few shots I've taken with this lens.









I have not had much success using it with a TC, although I normally shoot everything handheld, thus when I go to a tripod with a TC, my skills aren't as well developed, so it may be operator instead of equipment.

All in all, I like the lens well enough thatI boughta second one to give to my son to use with his K100d.
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 9:51 AM   #3
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Thanks, Trojansoc...those are inspriational for me...way beyond what I can do with my 50-200mm. Any guesses what a 1.5X adapter would add in terms of reach vs. difficulty focusing?

I also viewed your flickr stuff. Many more bird shots; very nice- also with this lens?

Question about flickr: How many photos can you post without having to pay for them? It appears like you have hunreds.
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 10:04 AM   #4
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gfmucci wrote:
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Thanks, Trojansoc...those are inspriational for me...way beyond what I can do with my 50-200mm. Any guesses what a 1.5X adapter would add in terms of reach vs. difficulty focusing?

I also viewed your flickr stuff. Many more bird shots; very nice- also with this lens?

Question about flickr: How many photos can you post without having to pay for them? It like you have hunreds.
Thanks for the kind words. Most of my bird shots on flickr have been taken with this lens, but not all. Your question on flickr.....I'm not sure about the limit without paying.... I think about 200 or so. I pay about 29-dollars a year for unlimited storage and viewing and have about 22-hundred shots there now. To me, that's a bargain to have that good of sharing site as well as an absolute backup of my edited images in case of catastrophic hard drive failure.

The only TC I have tried is a manual Takumar 2.0, so I really can't predict what results you might have with a 1.5X. I'd be curious to know what results you get if you try this combination. I don't have any examples of my trials with a TC because I haven't had any I considered worth saving. I might tryagain this morning so I can give you some examples.
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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You shot most of these without a tripod? That makes the results even more noteworthy.I would think with theTCa tripod would be a must at >400mm, actually probably in the 600 to 800mm range.:?
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 11:36 AM   #6
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I reloaded the TC this morning to take a few shots to show you. The selection of birds at my feeder was very limited, primarily because my labrador decided to "help" me by maintaining a sitting position ten feet from the feeder. At first, I tried shooting off the tripod, but since I couldn't find my remote release, I got far more shake just by releasing the shutter. So, I shifted back to handheld. The two I'm posting might give you some idea of why I don't normally use the TC with this lens. Both are shot at manual exposure....800mm (400mm X 2X TC)...f-stop was wide open....shutter 1/50...very cloudy day. You can see the effects of shake, although bokeh was relatively nice. (ISO was at 1600, so both were run through Noiseware.)


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Old Dec 15, 2007, 11:37 AM   #7
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You won't see me putting either of these on my flickr page, but I wanted you to see that my results have been FAR better without the teleconverter. Again, handlheld at 800mm.


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Old Dec 15, 2007, 2:42 PM   #8
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Thanks for the demo. I think it would be exteeeeemmmmly rare to get a good hand held shot using ANY brandlens at 800mm. Tripod and remote release are probably essential. When I get this lens I will comparemy results"handheld" and "tripod/remote release" before I spend money on a TC. It can't be real breezy, either, even on a tripod,unless it is one of those 10lb bricks of a tripod.
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Old Dec 15, 2007, 3:00 PM   #9
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Just by way of contrast, I stayed outside for a while and shot handheld without the TC. (Without the dog's help, there was quite a bit more activity at the feeder.) These are the first American goldfinches I've ever seen in this area.





Others who showed up included a downy woodpecker and a tufted titmouse.




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