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Telephoto lenses for wildlife Zeiss vs nonMFG

jorgo

Member
Hi All -

I was wondering if anyone here had experience with third-party telephotos (Sigma, Tokina, Tamron), particularly 300mm to 400mm f5.6 non-mirror ones, and how they compare to the Zeiss 300mm f4.0 (or this plus a Mutar-II). The 300 f2.8 is nice, but I'm kind of attached to my kidneys.


I am planning a safari trip, so any insight in general about equipment, tips, techniques would also be very helpful.

Kindest regards,

Erik
 

gunteach

Well-Known Member
Erik,

I'm not sure if this will answer your question directly, but in the interest of your maintaining both your kidneys, here goes.

I don't have the 300 f/4 because I wouldn't use it frequently enough to justify it. However, I do have both the 135/2.8 Zeiss and the 200/3.5 Zeiss teles and use them with the Mutar, effectively giving me a 270 f/5.6 and a 400 f/8 approximately. Both of these lenses are dirt cheap for Zeiss lenses. The 135 with the Mutar attached is really handy and still bright enough to use in daylight with no problems. I bought my 135, my 200, and my Mutar all for just under $500 total, so my renal system remained intact. Perhaps you should consider one of these lenses with the converter.

As for aftermarkets, I've had some really disappointing experiences with some of them over 200mm. Images have generally looked soft, flat, and washed out contrast-wise, and I've never had such a problem with Zeiss glass. If it were my choice, I'd bite the bullet and go Zeiss, especially if this is a once in a lifetime experience. If you splurged and bought the 300mm at a good price, you could always sell it when you get back and its true cost would only be the difference between what you paid and what you got for it. Even though the true strength of CZ lenses seems to be at shorter focal lengths than these, my 135 and 200 are still better than any of the aftermarkets I've tried.

Cheers,

Tom
 

nickser

Well-Known Member
Hi Erik,

I know a few folk who use the Tamron SP 300mm f2.8 300/2.8 LD IF and say it is very good indeed, and there is also a matched converter to go with it. It still might cost a kidney though.

Paul
 

grumpoid

Well-Known Member
Hi, Two suggestions for keeping whatever long lens you choose ,steady...assuming you do not want to take a tripod, do take a decent monopod and possibly a beanbag to steady the lens on other objects.. Cheers Steve.
 

deshojo

Well-Known Member
Hi Erik,

I have a Tamron SP 300mm f2.8 IFED which gives very good results. In fact I've just attached it to my Canon 5D and taken a couple of s&les for you, and I'm now wondering why I spent £3,000 on the Canon version! Well £3K is a lot just for autofocus and IS...

I would say for sharpness it matches the Zeiss 100-300mm f4.5-5.6, although obviously without the T* colour rendition, and in general is an extremely good value lens (it cost me £650 used).

I have been considering selling it so if you are interested let me know.
If you want something more compact, have you considered the Zeiss 100-300mm?
The crops are at 100%, the first at f2.8, the second at f5.6.

Cheers,
Matt







 

nickser

Well-Known Member
Hi Matt,

That's an impressive post. They look great on my screen, so in print they must be brilliant. It must be pure joy to use it with a small sensor digital. About a 450mm 2.8, and even better with the multiplier.

Many thanks for the post. If you want to send me a full res' file of the first shot I would be more than happy.

Paul
 

deshojo

Well-Known Member
Thanks Paul. To be honest I'd forgotten how good the lens was until I used it on the 5D today. Since I got the Canon the autofocus and image stabiliser has meant I just use that now. I have to admit though that the image quality of the Tamron is pretty close to the Canon (and 1/5th of the cost!).

The full res' .tif is 36mb so would be rejected by my mail-server.
The .cr2 file is about 12mb so might just make it, I'm not sure.
Or if you can't convert .cr2 raw files then I could convert it to .jpg at the best quality I can get away with.

Let me know your email and I'll try tomorrow.

Cheers,
Matt
 

deshojo

Well-Known Member
I just converted the .tif to a .jpg at maximum quality and it's only 6.4mb, so that should email fine and still be pretty good quality.
 

nickser

Well-Known Member
Hi Matt,

Thanks for the jpg, it's smashing. May I use it for a wallpaper?
I visited you excellent site at:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

You have a lot of lovely work there. I have a soft spot for the owls. They remind me of a day out I had at the Screech Owl Sancuary down your way just outside St Columb.

Many Thanks,

Paul
 

deshojo

Well-Known Member
Hi Paul,

Thank you for your kind comments, you're very welcome to use the photo as wallpaper.

I haven't yet visited the Screech Owl Sanctuary, but I intend to as it's only about 20 miles up the road.
The owl shots on my site were taken at Bird Paradise in Hayle, an excellent organisation which has helped preserve endangered parrots (I think the St.Lucia's parrot), and also reintroduced the Cornish Chough to areas around The Lizard in Cornwall, where they are now breeding every year.

Unfortunately, although I have owls in my garden every night, my photographic skills haven't extended to being able to catch them in their natural environment yet (I'm just no good with flash).

Cheers,
Matt
 

jorgo

Member
All -

Thanks for the valuable input. I've bitten the bullet but managed to find a decent deal on a CZ 300MM f4.0... looking forward to trying it out.

Slightly off topic, but somewhat related: I've got a Mutar II that seems to be kind of off in showing the correct aperture in the viewfinder (i.e. it will show f2.4 when it should show f2.8). I generally use an incident meter and ignore what it tells me, but is this affecting TTL readings for spot-reading purposes?

Does what I'm saying even make any sense?

Cheers,

Erik

PS - Matt, great photos btw!
 

dwa

Well-Known Member
> Make sure the Mutar is locked in position tightly If it is loose, it will affect the reading. If the mutar or lense stays slightly loose even with best effort, it is a problem best to just live with. in AE mode, the light meter responds to the amount of light hitting the film and the film speed indicator, or at least it does so in the models I own For manual mode, a few test shots will tell the tale Dave
 
A

antonyb

i have the 135mm and the mutar II - results are excellent... IMHO.
 

jorgo

Member
Hi all -

Thanks for the feedback received on this subject (quite a long time ago now...). I wound up getting a CZ 300mm f/4 and am pretty happy with the results. This plus a Mutar II and beanbag was a great combination. I wound up using my RTS II more than the Aria as it balanced better and had a brighter screen which really made a difference with the teleconverter.

Now I just need to get a decent scanner...



On the subject of RTS IIs - would anyone know decent service/repair places for this model?

Regards,

Erik
 

biggles3

CI-Supporter
Hi Erik,

The only place I know that does a really good job is Sendean Cameras in London. They've fixed 2 RTS3's for me, a CGCM and are about to fix 2 RTS's and an RTS2. They also repaired a 300 f4 which had 3 tiny cracks in the glass behind the front element and will be about to repair a 28 f2 that I sold to a member of this group which got damaged in the post. I don't know how impractical London is for you but they can work Contax/Zeiss miracles! They have a web site - just Google to get the url. Cheers.
 
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