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Best combination for long telephoto

dvogt

New Member
I'm taking a photo safari in mid-June. I own an Aria with the 35-70 and the 80-200 zooms. Although on previous trips with lesser equipment I had nothing longer than 200mm and still got good wildlife shots, I am being advised to bring something longer. I will not likely be using this longer lens often after the safari.
My choices seem to be:
1) Buy a Mutar I or III, although some warn the Mutar I won't work on the zooms. If I'm limited to the III, don't I only gain from 200mm to 280mm and lose a stop (or more)?
2) Buy a 500mm f8 Mirotar. This is a huge jump in focal length and, reportedly, a focusing challenge. Hopefully I will have relatively motionless subjects and bright African sunlight, as well as a tripod or other solid support. I've found a very good price on this lens.
3) Buy a used Zeiss long tele lens - any suggestions? The pocketbook is not bottomless.
4) Buy a new or second hand non-Zeiss zoom or prime lens (horrors).
5) Just forget the whole thing and sneak up closer.
Any useful (and quick) suggestions will be very much appreciated! Thanks, Don Vogt
 

pim

Member
Don Vogt wrote on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 9:57 am: >I'm taking a photo safari in mid-June. I own an Aria with the 35-70 >and the 80-200 zooms. Although on previous trips with lesser >equipment >I had nothing longer than 200mm and still got good wildlife shots, I >am being advised to bring something longer. I will not likely be >using this longer lens often after the safari. >My choices seem to be: >1) Buy a Mutar I or III, although some warn the Mutar I won't work >on the zooms. If I'm limited to the III, don't I only gain from >200mm to 280mm and lose a stop (or more)?

I've used the Mutar I with the 80-200 for photographing a solar ecclips. Yes, it looses you two stops. I guess there may be some risk of vignetting, but of course I didn't notice that with my photo's.

>2) Buy a 500mm f8 Mirotar. This is a huge jump in focal length and, >reportedly, a focusing challenge. Hopefully I will have relatively >motionless subjects and bright African sunlight, as well as a tripod >or other solid support. I've found a very good price on this lens.

I think I'd buy the Mirotar. I'am seeing some pretty low prices for it, looks like people are dumping it on the market. Price used to be round US$2000, but e.g. B&H now sells it for $600! You do need the tripod and/or good light, but you'll need that for any lens over 200mm.

>3) Buy a used Zeiss long tele lens - any suggestions? The pocketbook >is not bottomless.

The 4/300 is probably the other option. I think it's more expensive. You can use both in combination with a Mutar

>4) Buy a new or second hand non-Zeiss zoom or prime lens (horrors). >5) Just forget the whole thing and sneak up closer.

Please let us know what you decide and your experiences and pictures afterward! Best of luck!
 

swoolf

Well-Known Member
You can always consider the Tamron 300 F2.8 which comes with matched converters at 1.4 and 2x - it is an excelllent lens and the converters will give you most focal lengths you might need . I swear by mine and I use it quite a bit as I live in Africa . Steve
 
R

rickd

Don, I've only shot a couple dozen frames so far with my 500/8 Mirotar (on an Aria), but am very pleased so far with the results. It's a reasonably easy lens to carry and manipulate, considering how long the focal length is. If you can live with the relatively slow, fixed aperture, and are committed to using a tri- or monopod, I'd think the 500 would complement your existing kit very well.

Also, consider changing to a ground glass focusing screen, as the Aria's standard split screen blacks out readily in the center in less than ideal light.

Don't feed the lions!

--Rick
 

marc

Active Member
I'd go for the Tamron as suggested by Steve. As you want to shoot living animals, I think you will really need as much speed as possible, even if you can use a tripod. Remember that using a 1,4x converter will always make you loose one stop, whereas a 2x converter takes two stops. So a 2,8/300 together with a 1,4x converter will give you a 4/450 which I would prefer to the 8/500 Mirotar (the Mirotar, as all mirror lenses do, has also a very special kind of bokeh - be sure that you like it!).
Of course, you could also try to find a used 2,8/300 Tele-Apotessar at a good price - perhaps from someone who sells his MF-stuff in order to buy into the N-system ;-)
Have fun!
Marc
 
A

arthur

>I'm taking a photo safari in mid-June. I own an Aria with the >35-70 and the 80-200 zooms. Although on previous trips with >lesser equipment I had nothing longer than 200mm and still >got good wildlife shots, I am being advised to bring >something longer. I will not likely be using this longer >lens often after the safari.

Hi Don,

I had a 80-200 VS as my longest lens for a while and needed something longer, last year I bought the Mirotar 500 f8 and have got some great results. The focussing is a little tricky but apart from a few shots that weren't sharp, I've been very pleased with this lens. I hardly notice the hole between 200 and 500, as usually when I'm going over 200 I just want the longest focal length possible, other times 200 or less is plenty. I did have my reservations before buying the lens, the fact it's fixed f8 and I was worried the quality would not equal my other Zeiss lenses, but in reality I find colours to be fantastic contrast and sharpness what I expect from Zeiss. Because it's f8 looking through the viewfinder is a bit underwhelming, so when the results come back it's a pleasant surprise. There are rare occasions where the donut shaped out of focus highlights or the lack of control over the shallow DOF is irritating, but I've learned to work with the lens' strengths and find it's advantages of image quality, size and weight, cost outweigh it's disadvantages.

cheers,

Art.
 

singlo

Active Member
Hi Don,
I have Sonnar 180mm, the Mirotar 500mm and Tele-tessar 300mm, with Mutar II and Mutar III tele-converters. With theses three lenses and two coverters, they give 9 combinations of focal length: 180mm, 250mm, 300mm, 360mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm,700mm and 1000mm! Mirotar is probably the best 500 f8 mirror lenses ever made. Zeiss had a long history of designing top notch catadiaptic lenses. It is very sharp and good contrast. Tele-tessar 300 is an old design but very good lenses at a reasonable price. Both lenses work very well mutar II & III. Forget about 2.8/300 Tele-apotessar unless you got loads of money or you want to re-morgate your house.
You can also go for 100-300 Vario-sonnar if its relatively slow lens speed (f5.6)is not your main concern. Some people use it with tele-convertor but you risk breaking the rear lense elements! The Tamron 300 F2.8 adaptall is still quite expensive and obviously its hasn't got a Zeiss name on the front! Why blow loads of money buying third party optics if you have a Contax body and want to taste the exquisite quality of Zeiss lenses in the first place?
 
P

pelmo

I´ve sold my TT 4/300 and bought a used Tamron 2.8/300 LD IF with 1.4 converter at the same price. Viewfinder is bright at 2.8 and 300mm is long enough for most of my shots. For birds I tried the delievered matched Tamron 1.4 converter and tested it against Mutar III. The Mutar is clear winner regarding optical and mechanical performance. This 4/420 combination is an excellent and flexible value for money.
The only thing I have to test is combination with Mutar II......
 
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