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Old Aug 30, 2010, 10:13 PM   #11
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Thanks Scott. I figured off-axis is meaningless for me unless I'm shooting with my old film cameras and it's not likely I'd be doing that with 600mm. It was the improved close focus that had me wondering since the closer the better and I may even use it on a tube. I really like the results I get with the 80-200 that way. But if the 60B has sharpness to spare (and it is listed as beter than the 80-200 by a wee bit) then you're right, I want a working lens not one that collectors prize.

John

ps. as an experiment I stacked the 80-200, the 140F and the Kenko to produce 420mm and was quite pleased with the results. Better than the 80-200 with the Tokina 2x so I suspect that idea would work well for a 630mm with the 300/2.8. Not quite the length you can get with the 140 and the AFA but it'd do
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 7:00 AM   #12
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Can't add much to the excellent information that Scott & Marc have given you, but just wanted to suggest another possibility - the Pentax SMC 135-600 F6.7
It's relatively inexpensive when available. Very sharp once you get used to manual focus. Comes with a "close-up" filter but still not very close focusing. Requires a tripod. Does have some rather strong CA, but correctable. Here are a few sample shots, and a photo of the lens itself:
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 6:32 PM   #13
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Thanks Mole, I didn't know about that lens. Might be a bit massive for my tastes, I can't imagine lugging that around too much. And speaking of huge, that is one ambitious Chipmunk! Great shot.
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Old Sep 2, 2010, 1:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
Thanks Mole, I didn't know about that lens. Might be a bit massive for my tastes, I can't imagine lugging that around too much. And speaking of huge, that is one ambitious Chipmunk! Great shot.
IMO autofocus is indispensable in bird photography, but I recognize that some people either prefer or can get by with manual focus. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive solution or stopgap until you find the costlier lens you want at a good price, or want a backup, there are 500 mm and longer mirror lenses around - they are slower than some long lenses, and sometimes produce OOF donuts, but they are compact, light weight, and do focus very closely (10 feet or so). Other than the Minolta/Sony 500 AF (the primary reason for retaining that system in addition to Pentax), they are all manual focus. I have the Tamron 500 (very good) and Sigma 600 mirrors in Pentax mount left over from film days, but seldom use them.

Here is an example taken with the AF 500:

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And another:

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Old Sep 2, 2010, 4:51 PM   #15
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John - He sure was a busy chipmunk! Glad you enjoyed the photos.
Although it is a big heavy lens, it is pretty well-balanced. I've managed to carry it down some 5-6 mile trails without too much discomfort.

Penolta - Those are GREAT photos with the mirror lens!
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 6:24 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=penolta;1136628] If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive solution or stopgap until you find the costlier lens you want at a good price, or want a backup, there are 500 mm and longer mirror lenses around - they are slower than some long lenses, and sometimes produce OOF donuts, but they are compact, light weight, and do focus very closely (10 feet or so).

penolta, this is really a good suggestion that I didn't think of. . .

I also have the Tamron SP500 f8 Cat, and it's a very good lens. MF is pretty much John's only alternative as he's shooting a m4/3, and there are no (and probably won't be any) AF alternatives. The SP 500/8 would be a great match for m4/3 as it's about as small, light, and long as you're going to find for this type of camera.

Scott
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Old Sep 6, 2010, 12:34 PM   #17
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Scott- do you have any sample from the Tamron 500mm cat? I have thought about getting one for the reasons you mention but the potential bokeh issues have put me off a bit. Thanks.

John
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Old Sep 6, 2010, 1:56 PM   #18
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Scott- do you have any sample from the Tamron 500mm cat? I have thought about getting one for the reasons you mention but the potential bokeh issues have put me off a bit. Thanks.

John
This lens is equipped with a rear filter holder and comes with a clear "filter" insert, plus a set of four interchangeable filters (which may be of little use to non film shooters). Make sure the filter drawer is in place and has the clear insert, as the manual states that the lens is computed to have a filter in place at all times. It should also have a self-storing slide-out lens hood attached. There was also available as an optional accessory an 82mm clear lens protector for those situations in which one might feel that one is necessary.

Edit: I should have added that he lens has a removable tripod mount - make sure any lens you buy has it attached.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 12:17 PM   #19
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Scott- do you have any sample from the Tamron 500mm cat? I have thought about getting one for the reasons you mention but the potential bokeh issues have put me off a bit. Thanks.
Hi John,

Here's a link to my mini review of this lens. . . with a few samples

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...got-bonus.html

Many Cat shooters don't find the bokeh that bothersome because they've gotten used to avoiding scenes with specular highlights. My feeling is that shooting digital, it's usually easy enough to PP the donuts, so they're not much of an issue to me.

Scott
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 12:35 PM   #20
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Hi John,

Here's a link to my mini review of this lens. . . with a few samples

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pe...got-bonus.html

Many Cat shooters don't find the bokeh that bothersome because they've gotten used to avoiding scenes with specular highlights. My feeling is that shooting digital, it's usually easy enough to PP the donuts, so they're not much of an issue to me.

Scott
Thanks. Some pretty nice samples there. It might look kinda funny on the E-1 with it's vertical grip and all it's kinda bulky but i could live with that. I'm surprised at how much they have gone up, must be getting more popular because even a bargin grade one at KEH will cost $180 now.

John
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