Telephoto

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Maxx640, May 12, 2008.

  1. Maxx640

    Maxx640 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    Can anybody advise me a good 300mm or 400mm lens to slap on my k1000. I need a lens for shooting surfing from the beach (but I don't need more, waves are close-ish to the shore) at around 100€ or 150$ on e-bay. There are quite a few different models at that price but I'm scared most are junk. I don't need the top mega sharpness but something decent all the same.

    Thanks,

    Max
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Could you post a link of a few that you considered/considering?

    For the budget minded, I'd recommend getting a M42 to K-mount adapter and purchase one of the "Takumar"/"Pentax" screwmount telephoto lenses. If you are lucky, a SMC coated one. Keep in mind that you'll need to manually stop down all the lenses. Many of the Takumars were considered very good glass for their time 1950s.

    A list of the screwmount Takumars are here:
    http://www.m-fortytwo.info/ViewAllTakumars.php
     
  3. Maxx640

    Maxx640 TPF Noob!

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  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Between those two.. definitely go with the Vivitar 100-300mm over the Paragon. Faster aperture, better brand, and zoom make it more useful. I personally would assume the Paragon as "junk". There is very little information on the Vivitar but way back in the day, many of vivitar's lenses were pretty good for the value. Looking at specifications only, the Vivitar is the clear choice.

    There is no quality loss using an adapter (no glass elements) and infinity focus is maintained. It is a common adapter that simply allows the screwmount/M42 lenses to screw into an K-mount camera. They are relatively easy to find and allowed many screwmount photographers (Lots of Spotmatic shooters) transition to the bayonet K-mount. I have a collection of Takumar M42 lenses which I use frequently with a newish Samsung DSLR (Pentax *ist DL2 copy) with no problems. The glass on the Takumar primes are wonderful.

    "Manual stop down": When you are focusing on your camera, the lens' aperture is wide open. This is necessary to help you focus accurately. At the time you trip the shutter, a lever on the camera engages a lever on a K-mount lens. This "stops" down the lens automatically by bringing the aperture smaller to whatever is indicated by the aperture ring. This is what people refer to as auto stop down or simply auto. All your K-mount lenses are "auto".

    When using an M42 to K-mount adapter, the linkage to automatically stop down the lens doesn't exist. This means you have to "manually" stop down the lens. For the sake of explaining, lets assume a K1000 camera body with a Takumar 50mm f1.4 screwmount lens attached via an M42 to K-mount adapter. Steps as follows (at least how i do it).

    1) Using TTL matched needle meter, determine exposure. Letsay it says 1/60 @ f/5.6.
    2) Turn the aperture ring of the lens to f/1.4 (full open). Leave shutter setting alone.
    3) Focus
    4) Turn the aperture ring back to f/5.6
    5) Trip the shutter.

    With the auto K-mount lenses, steps #2 and #4 are done automatically. Those are the extra steps by which one is referring to when we say 'manually stop down" the lens.

    note: Some screwmount lenses including Takumars have a "M/A" switch just behind the aperture ring to make "manual" stopping down the lens easier.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As to the question on whether or not you are better off with the M42 screwmounts lenses. There are a few considerations:

    * I am a bit biased being that I am a Asahi/Takumar/Pentax collector. So you can already assume what my preference which is not necessarily the best choice for YOU.
    * The M42 to Screwmount adapter (at least mine) attaches to the camera not the lenses. So switching between M42 screwmount lenses and K-mounts can be a bit of a hassle since you will have to take the time to remove the adapter. When I shoot with Takumars, I carry a bag full of nothing but screwmount lenses thus the adapter always stays installed to the camera and switching lenses is no different from me shooting with a Spotmatic.
    * The Vivitar lens you linked is a zoom. During the time of the screwmount Takumars there most were primes. I made an assumption that you wanted primes judging from your original post.
    * I can't say for sure that the Vivitar you linked is better (then Takumar) because of the limited information on the lens. But Vivitars of a couple decades ago were decent.. this is especially true with there earlier "Series-1" lenses.

    It is nice to see someone still shooting with a K1000. They are wonderful and reliable. Mine is a mint K1000 SE (brown leather) and picking it up just now (to help me post this reply) brings back some good memories.
     
  6. Maxx640

    Maxx640 TPF Noob!

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    Well, thanks for all that information. I understand what you mean by manually stopping down now. There is always something to learn!

    Actually, I looked around for Takumar lenses, they seem attractive to me. As I only have a 50mm K mount for the moment, I suppose I could go for M42. I saw some cheapish wide-angle Takumars on the web that I would like one day too.

    One last question: are all the Takumars listed in the link good? Or are there any I should avoid?

    I'm pretty old school with my K1000, but it's reliable, solid and in good condition (even if it's the model with the plastic). Not changing that camera for a loooooong time!

    Max
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can't say they are all great lenses... I don't have all of them.. heheh lol.

    What I can say is that there was/is a long history of quality glass under the Takumar (later Pentax) name brand "during that time". The reason why I stress "during that time" is that some of these lenses are more than 50 years old by now.... some didn't have the coatings we have today. They are for the most part decent lenses with "limitations". What those limitations are is part of the fun of collecting lenses.

    One example...

    The Takumar 50mm f/1.4 was/is regarded as one of the sharpest 50mm you can obtain. Unfortunately, the coatings or materials used to create the glass is slightly unstable (very slightly radioactive). Which means that certain examples have turned "yellow" over the years. One in my collection is SHARP but fairly yellow... makes for a wonderful B&W lens (or DSLR and color correct).
     

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