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Old Oct 10, 2009, 6:37 PM   #11
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MtnMan - you are quite right - it will not come along on hikes, but am looking forward to more bird photos... Thanks!

Harriet - it is a large lens - but not all that tough to handle. You would probably enjoy one!

Kjell - got a (very used) tripod at the same time - a Bogen 3011. May need to get a better head eventually, but seems pretty solid.

BigDawg - thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Will try them soon!

Penolta - Actually it was listed at KEH at the next to lowest rating ("bargain"), but I can find nothing wrong with it at all! Maximum aperture (at all lengths) is F 6.7
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:24 AM   #12
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Hi mole,

Congrats on the getting this monster!!! From the samples, it looks to be a very nice lens -- but really big.

The best suggestion that I could give is to get a gimbal for it. If you're not going to be lugging it around much, and a bit of size and weight isn't a major consideration, I'd suggest that you look at the Manfrotto 393.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ty_Gimbal.html

When I was looking for a gimbal, I wanted the lightest, most compact, and most versatile unit that I could get, so this one wasn't one of the contenders. Note that the picture on this page shows the lens mounted upside down -- normally you'd have the tripod mount under the lens, on top of the gimbal arm instead of underneath it. What this head has going for it is that it works, and is easily the least expensive of the alternatives. The one thing that you would need to do is find the balance point with the camera mounted and measure the distance from the tripod mount. I believe a long QR plate is included with the 393, but you might need one that's longer, or find some 1/4 to 3/8" thick aluminum plate to make an extension foot. -- This might be a good idea anyway, since balancing the lens/camera combo would also help handling if you were to continue using the pan/tilt head you have.

More expensive, but possibly more versatile, and definitely lighter and more compact would be one of the Acratech ballheads, the GP or GV2, or the Long Lens head. The advantage the two ballheads offer over other brands is that they have an additional pin on the bottom of the ball that distributes the stress on the ball while it's being used in the faux gimbal position. You'd probably need an extension for these also, since they also need balance to work optimally, but it's not as important as with a true gimbal head.

Other gimbals are currently being marketed by Wimberley, Jobu Designs, Kirk, Feisol, and Custom Brackets. They're all well made and designed, and they're all expensive. If I were to choose one of these, it would probably be the Wimberley Head II.


BTW, I'm a big fan of "bargain" grade KEH lenses. All except one of the lenses I've bought from them have been "bargain grade", and I consider most to be EX glass with very minor blemishes in the cosmetics -- some so minor that it took over a week to find them. Considering their return policy, I have absolutely no problem with these. . . now "ugly" ones. . . I might take a chance on one if I really wanted the lens, and it was really cheap, but otherwise, I really wouldn't consider them.

Looking forward to seeing more from this one!

Scott
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 5:18 AM   #13
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Scott - Thanks for the excellent suggestion. Looks like this gimbal would be quite useful! Unfortunately, I have no funds for purchasing any other equipment at this time, but will begin saving the pennies...
Will probably not have much time to play with this new lens this week, but will certainly post more photos as time permits. Thanks again!

BigDawg - as our resident expert on older lenses, perhaps you can help me. According to the specs at http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/zooms...5-600f6.7.html
my new lens takes a rear filter, 52mm. You suggested a polarizer to cut down on CA, and I do have a 52mm CP. But how do you attach a filter at the rear of the lens? (By the way, I notice that KEH has the thread-mount version of this lens for sale now too - at several 100 dollars more than I paid. Just what you need!)
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 5:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Scott - Thanks for the excellent suggestion. Looks like this gimbal would be quite useful! Unfortunately, I have no funds for purchasing any other equipment at this time, but will begin saving the pennies...
Will probably not have much time to play with this new lens this week, but will certainly post more photos as time permits. Thanks again!

BigDawg - as our resident expert on older lenses, perhaps you can help me. According to the specs at http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/lenses/zooms...5-600f6.7.html
my new lens takes a rear filter, 52mm. You suggested a polarizer to cut down on CA, and I do have a 52mm CP. But how do you attach a filter at the rear of the lens? (By the way, I notice that KEH has the thread-mount version of this lens for sale now too - at several 100 dollars more than I paid. Just what you need!)
It should take a slimline drop-in filter. I've never owned a lens that used one but some lens require you to unscrew the back section of the lens and "drop in" the filter. Others have a door that opens to allow this to be done.The bad part of that is you have no way to rotate the polorizer from the outside. Hope this helps.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 6:37 PM   #15
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It should take a slimline drop-in filter. I've never owned a lens that used one but some lens require you to unscrew the back section of the lens and "drop in" the filter. Others have a door that opens to allow this to be done.The bad part of that is you have no way to rotate the polorizer from the outside. Hope this helps.
I think that Dawg is right about removing a rear section of the lens and dropping the filter in, but IIRC, this was not a design strength of this lens, and it's difficult to do, and once you've gotten the back section off, it's apparently even harder to get it back on correctly. Without specific instructions, I personally wouldn't even try.

As far as the CP goes, while it might help with the PF (and I'm not sure it would), it'll also cut at least a stop (and more likely a couple of stops) from an already slowish lens. Manual focusing with something slower than f8 would not be good, IMO. I'd just get used to applying a good PP routine on the shots that need it.

Scott
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 6:42 PM   #16
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Unless there were some special provision for it, I would think there would be no way of rotating a rear mounted polarizer - you would have to fit one to the front of the lens.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 10:28 PM   #17
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The bad part of that is you have no way to rotate the polorizer from the outside. Hope this helps.
As I said...LOL most would say don't use one and I must say I concur. There are ways as with a Cokin Filter system. I own and use this system. A warning though...for the larger size filters and holders they become expensive. Give great results though. As you are focusing wide open the F-stop will not cause much of a problem until you add several filters and bump it to f/16 or so. Then you can loose some sharpness through inaccurate focusing. Have a blast playing with this one...I do envy you
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 5:43 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the fine, detailed, and helpful suggestions. From what all have said, it seems best to not try the filter, but rather learn to use this lens! Will continue practicing as time permits. (and maybe learn to use PSE for the fringing!!) Thanks again!!
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