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Author Topic: Best ~300mm lens mountable on a D800  (Read 4038 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: April 01, 2012, 05:55:26 AM »
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I am looking for the best ~300mm lens mountable on a D800. Max aperture is not important, I could us f8 if it delivers better results.

One major constraint, it should weight max around 2kg which excludes most of the f2.8 lenses (I already own a nikkor 300f2.8 VR).

I have tried the nikkor 300f4, but its tripod collar is such a disaster that it makes it very hard to get sharp results.

My current top candidate is the Leica R 280 f4 APO, but are there better options (MF lenses,...)?

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard
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tsjanik
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 07:11:35 AM »
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Bernard:

Perhaps not a better option than the Leica, but certainly less expensive is the Pentax 67 300mm ED.  Very sharp wide open and the focus ring is a joy to use.  Coincidentally I had recently used that lens.  Here an actual pixel crop taken on a 645D.  The photo is not a keeper, but I think the crop illustrates the sharpness and shallow DOF of this lens wide open. The 645 300mm may be equally as good but I have no personal experience.

Tom
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Scott O.
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 12:43:29 PM »
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If the collar is the main issue, ReallyRightStuff makes a replacement. I have one on my 300 f4 and it is very secure and stable. And it is much less than a new lens...
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 12:45:25 PM by soberle » Logged

imagico
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 12:53:29 PM »
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I did research the 300mm options some time ago as well - since you say you want the best and less weight than f/2.8 it is really only between the AF-S Nikkor and the Leica i think.  I never used the Leica but its reputation is legendary and if you can assume anything from the smaller Leica-R APO lenses it would make the Nikkor (which is not bad at all apart from the tripod collar) look quite old.

In case you get the Leica - a report on how it performs and handles on the D800 would be appreciated (by me - possibly not by my wallet...).
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Dustbak
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2012, 01:02:13 PM »
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You could also consider the HB CFE 350SA or CFi 250SA. I have always lusted for one of these lenses but never dared pulling the trigger due to its steep price but I reckon it will be in the same ballpark as the LEICA R lens. Everyone I  know that has owned one of the Super Achromats is raving about the way it draws.

The RRS replacement collar seems to be working quite well too BTW.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 01:05:10 PM by Dustbak » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2012, 03:05:58 PM »
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I am looking for the best ~300mm lens mountable on a D800. Max aperture is not important, I could us f8 if it delivers better results.

One major constraint, it should weight max around 2kg which excludes most of the f2.8 lenses (I already own a nikkor 300f2.8 VR).

I have tried the nikkor 300f4, but its tripod collar is such a disaster that it makes it very hard to get sharp results.

My current top candidate is the Leica R 280 f4 APO, but are there better options (MF lenses,...)?

Thanks.

Cheers,
Bernard


I had a Nikkor 4.5/300 - an IFED, that worked very well with transparency film, but I'd long sold it by the time I went digital. Not much help, I know, but I'd suggest trying whatever you find first - you never can tell, but you know that. One flaw: I bought new, but it had a very loose focussing feel, and even letting go of the ring could throw you out of focus again. I mentioned this to Nikon and they suggested I bring it in for tightening, but I never did - I sold instead.

Rob C
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2012, 03:10:54 PM »
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Yeah, just looked at that RRS plate, http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=LC-A10-Pkg&type=3&eq=&desc=LC-A10-Package%3A-Collar-and-foot-package- looks pretty stable and fixes the problems.

Personally I'd imagine the 300mm f/2.8 VR or VRII would be the best...but Mamiya also made a manual 300mm f/5.6 ULD which is very compact, and I would assume delivers some seriously nice optical performance since you'll be using its sweet spot since it was made for full-frame 645 film capture...the Hasselblad SA's would also probably be amazing but I don't really know why you'd want to be using these older manual focus / manual everything lenses on a modern camera like the D800 when you have a 300mm f4 and 300mm f/2.8 option available to you.

And even if you don't like what RRS offers for the Nikon 300mm f/4, I'm sure you could have some shop make you a custom foot for whatever you want...which would certainly be less costly and more expedient then hunting after other options.

I took a Canon 300mm f/4 (rented) with me on a recent trip to Asia, and found it to be a great option in terms of optical performance as well as size and weight. The Nikon 300mm f/4 is a little larger, however I'd imagine it performs much better. I have only handled it at trade shows, so I can only comment on its size, physical appearance, ergonomics, and AF speed on D3s.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 05:25:44 PM »
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Thank you gentlemen, I had somehow overlooked the RRS replacement collar for the 300 AF-S.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 05:31:47 PM »
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it "looks" pretty good and like it fixes the issues with the Nikon collar for it
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dwnelson
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 11:40:05 PM »
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I have the Nikon 300mm f4 AF-S and it is excellent, especially at f5.6 to f8 on my D7000. I currently use the RRS collar which really helps with tripod stability. I also owned the Kirk collar which I found to be MORE stable than the RRS because there are two points of contact with the lens, the second one being closer to the front element. I ultimately went with the RRS because I have a RRS quick release clamp, which barely fits the slightly larger plate size on the Kirk collar. If you have a screw clamp or a Kirk quick release clamp and want a rock solid collar I'd go with the Kirk collar.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 11:45:17 PM »
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I have the Nikon 300mm f4 AF-S and it is excellent, especially at f5.6 to f8 on my D7000. I currently use the RRS collar which really helps with tripod stability. I also owned the Kirk collar which I found to be MORE stable than the RRS because there are two points of contact with the lens, the second one being closer to the front element. I ultimately went with the RRS because I have a RRS quick release clamp, which barely fits the slightly larger plate size on the Kirk collar. If you have a screw clamp or a Kirk quick release clamp and want a rock solid collar I'd go with the Kirk collar.

Thanks for the tip!

Cheers,
Bernard
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2012, 06:00:50 AM »
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How about the Leica 105-280 ?
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 12:24:54 PM »
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My current top candidate is the Leica R 280 f4 APO, but are there better options (MF lenses,...)?

No.

Not only does the optical performance of the 280mm f/4 APO make the CaNikon equivalents look like cruel jokes but the 280 APO's handling is likewise several steps beyond the others.  The focussing ring is light, perfectly damped and placed well.  Likewise the tripod collar operates smoothly, balances the camera well, and is designed to minimize the distance between the tripod head and the axis of rotation.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 04:35:53 PM »
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No.

Not only does the optical performance of the 280mm f/4 APO make the CaNikon equivalents look like cruel jokes but the 280 APO's handling is likewise several steps beyond the others.  The focussing ring is light, perfectly damped and placed well.  Likewise the tripod collar operates smoothly, balances the camera well, and is designed to minimize the distance between the tripod head and the axis of rotation.

thanks. Yes, my short experience with the Leica R 180 f2.8 APO indeed seems to indicate that those R tele lenses are in a class of their own.

do you have experience with the 280 at long distances?

cheers,
Bernard
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wildlightphoto
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 07:41:26 PM »
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do you have experience with the 280 at long distances?

Nope.  Most of my subjects are less than 10 meters away.  For a few subjects I'm a little farther away:



cropped from horizontal.
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Mulis Pictus
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 03:27:45 AM »
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I have the Nikon 300mm f4 AF-S and it is excellent, especially at f5.6 to f8 on my D7000. I currently use the RRS collar which really helps with tripod stability. I also owned the Kirk collar which I found to be MORE stable than the RRS because there are two points of contact with the lens, the second one being closer to the front element. I ultimately went with the RRS because I have a RRS quick release clamp, which barely fits the slightly larger plate size on the Kirk collar. If you have a screw clamp or a Kirk quick release clamp and want a rock solid collar I'd go with the Kirk collar.

Thanks for the info. Do you know where is the "No-parallax point" (http://wiki.panotools.org/No-parallax_point) of Nikon 300mm f4? Is it located by a chance above the RRS collar foot?

BTW, I am also looking for info about Nikon 180mm AF-D with D800 or D7000. Anybody using this combination? Is it sharp in the corners?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 03:56:33 AM »
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Nope.  Most of my subjects are less than 10 meters away.  For a few subjects I'm a little farther away:

You wouldn't happen to be in the mood for a quick infinity focus test, would you?  Wink

Cheers,
Bernard
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wildlightphoto
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2012, 09:21:56 PM »
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Are you still looking for a 300mm lens?
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