Good, compact 300mm f/4 lens?
/forum/topic/1140128/0

1
       2       3       end

formula4speed
Registered: May 08, 2005
Total Posts: 1670
Country: United States

I don't shoot a lot of long lens stuff, but with the OM-D crop factor I'm wondering if I can get some reach without spending a fortune. I owned the Canon 500 f/4L in the past but sold it because I used it pretty infrequently. I'm not expecting that level of quality, but something that performs well wide open would be great. There seem to be a lot of choices out there, I just have no idea which ones are worth looking at. That's where you guys come in

Any input is appreciated, sample images would be awesome as well.



MaxBerlin
Registered: Jul 14, 2012
Total Posts: 577
Country: United States

I use a Zeiss 180 2.8 on my NEX7 so it almost works likes a 300 (270mm). I have incredible photos from it and it fits in my camera bag.

I'll look for an image



Imagemaster
Registered: Feb 23, 2004
Total Posts: 34229
Country: Canada

I think the OP wants a 300mm, not a 180mm.



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10187
Country: United States

i hear the pentax A 300/4 is very compact and pretty sharp.



rico
Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Total Posts: 3835
Country: United States

The Yashica 300/5.6 ML C isn't my best lens at this FL, but it's real hard to argue with $130. Uncropped test shot from 1Ds is below, with additional 1x-scale crop.





cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4701
Country: United States

I wish Oly or Pany would come out with really sharp 300mm f/5.6. I know telephoto isn't the top priority of M43, but it would be pretty awesome for a small birding setup.



pingflood
Registered: May 03, 2006
Total Posts: 1567
Country: Sweden

OP asks for a 300/4 and so far we have suggestions for a 300/5.6 and 180/2.8.



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4701
Country: United States

pingflood wrote:
OP asks for a 300/4 and so far we have suggestions for a 300/5.6 and 180/2.8.


Cue the 10-page equivalence discussion



rico
Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Total Posts: 3835
Country: United States

pingflood wrote:
OP asks for a 300/4 and so far we have suggestions for a 300/5.6 and 180/2.8.

It's either Yashica 300/5.6 or Leica Apo-Telyt 280/4.



U.C.
Registered: May 25, 2008
Total Posts: 607
Country: Netherlands

The Canon FD 300/4 L weighs 1060g and the non-L weighs 945g. The Pentax earlier mentioned is bit lighter though.



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10449
Country: United States

Probably the FD 300/4L will be your best bet here.

The non-L might be just as sharp, but the FD lenses really need the fluorite or UD elements on m4/3. I have an FD 200/2.8, which is very sharp wide open, but on high contrast subjects, has really severe purple fringing. My FD 50-300 f/4.5L, however, is sharp and shows very little CA or fringing at all. In a perfect storm of conditions, it can exhibit a mild blue fringe, but it's very rare, and very easily taken care of.

The 50-300 f/4.5L is a fantastic lens, but it doesn't fit your qualification of 'compact', as it's quite a beast...weighs 4 lbs and is pretty huge:







formula4speed
Registered: May 08, 2005
Total Posts: 1670
Country: United States

Thanks for the suggestions so far, I want an actual 300mm lens, not 300mm equivalent. I'm ruling out the f/5.6 options at this point, I think I'd go with the 100-300mm zoom and get AF if I could deal with the slower aperture.

I'll check out the Pentax and FD versions. KEH stock on long lenses seems low right now, might have to find a new source.

I saw that Leica has a 250 f/4 in R mount, anyone know anything about that?



AhamB
Registered: Jul 11, 2008
Total Posts: 4961
Country: Germany

formula4speed wrote:
I saw that Leica has a 250 f/4 in R mount, anyone know anything about that?


Probably a pretty good lens but it's not an APO-Telyt and it's not a light lens (1400g). Some info here: http://forum.mflenses.com/leica-telyt-r-250mm-f4-t42014.html



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 15271
Country: Germany

I had the Leica 250/4 at some point, and it wasn't anything special. I used it on a 5D. It was heavy though.



telyt
Registered: Mar 01, 2004
Total Posts: 1703
Country: United States

formula4speed wrote: I saw that Leica has a 250 f/4 in R mount, anyone know anything about that?

There are two versions of the Leica 250mm f/4. The first version has a non-rotating tripod mount, a long minimum focus distance and is very heavy. The second version has a rotating tripod mount, a much closer minimum focus distance, and is not as heavy.

I used the second version of the 250mm f/4 Telyt for a few years. It's a decent lens in the central part of the picture area, and since you're interested in using it on the OM-D that may be sufficient. Outside the central area lateral CA is hard to miss.

Another possibility is the Leitz 280mm f/4.8 Telyt, originally for the Visoflex. The color saturation isn't as rich as most other Leica lenses I've used, but it shows very little if any CA (at least on film, I haven't used it on any digital cameras). The last version (with bayonet mount) is the best one.

The 300mm f/4.5 Nikkor*ED (pre-IF) is exceptionally sharp at full aperture but I suspect that it's overkill for the OM-D because a big part of its performance is the image quality all the way out to the corners of a 24mm x 36mm frame. It's a scarce lens and mine's not for sale.



hdan
Registered: Oct 01, 2004
Total Posts: 166
Country: United States

KEH currently has the Sigma 300mm f/4 APO MACRO lens (77mm filter thread) for $199. I have this lens in Olympus mount, and it's only slightly bigger than a 70-200/2.8 lens. I'm not sure if that qualifies as compact, but from a performance standpoint, I don't have any complaints.

http://www.keh.com/camera/Nikon-Manual-Focus-Non-Mfg-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses/1/sku-NK089990473050?r=FE



Fred Bruche
Registered: Dec 10, 2005
Total Posts: 640
Country: United States

I remember a post from Bifurcator a few months ago, quite remarkable birds in flight pictures taken with a Zuiko auto-T 300/4.5. Should be a pretty compact lens too.



dlabrecque
Registered: Apr 03, 2008
Total Posts: 373
Country: United States

Though considered to be pretty outdated now, I liked the Nikon 80-400 when I had one. The nicest thing I liked about it was that it was fairly compact (maybe about 9in. in length when closed up) and not all that weighty. Granted, it had one of the slowest focusing mechanisms I ever used, and it wasn't exactly the sharpest at 400mm, but it also had vibration reduction and used prices nowadays put it squarely in the mid $900's. Ebay had dozens of them listed last time I checked.



Imagemaster
Registered: Feb 23, 2004
Total Posts: 34229
Country: Canada

Pardon my stupid question, but how many, if any, of these lenses will auto-focus when used on the OM-D?



sebboh
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 10187
Country: United States

dlabrecque wrote:
Though considered to be pretty outdated now, I liked the Nikon 80-400 when I had one. The nicest thing I liked about it was that it was fairly compact (maybe about 9in. in length when closed up) and not all that weighty. Granted, it had one of the slowest focusing mechanisms I ever used, and it wasn't exactly the sharpest at 400mm, but it also had vibration reduction and used prices nowadays put it squarely in the mid $900's. Ebay had dozens of them listed last time I checked.


indeed the 80-400 VR is extremely compact for a 400mm (or a 300/4), but it's pretty much an f/5.6 lens at 300mm. it is actually pretty sharp on a 4/3 sensor and though the colors and contrast are a bit dull it has little CA. the manual focus is terrible though with a short sloppy ring designed for early autofocus.

here's a few shots with it wide open at 400mm on a 4/3 camera:





















1
       2       3       end