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Thread: a fast, longish old lens ...

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    a fast, longish old lens ... Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8

    The lens I've been waiting for arrived today:


    Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8 - circa 1969ish

    Lovely old lens, I had one of these for my Nikon F back in 1969-1971 that belonged to my uncle. I made many more photos with it than he ever did.

    I've been working with longer focal lengths and decided that something in this range and speed might be nice. Looked at the Samyang 85/1.4 because it's available in FourThirds mount, but there's really no difference between using it and using an adapted Nikon or other lens. I remembered this old lens fondly, looked it up on KEH and bought a BGN example.

    The focusing helicoid on this one operates slightly rough (probably dried out lubricant, might send it off for a CLA) and the paint is a little chipped. But the glass looks perfect, the iris is clean and operates smoothly, and the imaging qualities in my test snaps around the house look good. Even fits on the fotodiox adapter better than the Nikon AI lenses (no AI coupling ridge on the aperture ring to get in the way of the adapter mount release).

    Not bad for a cheap "BGN" lens... and it's nice and compact too.

    Last edited by Godfrey; 19th February 2011 at 06:57. Reason: tweaking title

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Nice! Can't wait to see what you'll do with it.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

  3. #3
    hawaiigent
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Godfrey, you might be interested in some of the jury rig arrangements being done by videographers who own the GH2 and seek short short lenses too, often just not out there....
    As I understand this article, the gent is using a Computar C mount lens of large aperture in wide aspect choice shooting video mode on the camera.

    It just inspires one that out there with some rigging there seems to be unlimited possibilities, if one wants to do manual focus and why not manual focus with video especially. In any event, fills a gap in current lenses.
    Of passing interest, following related link re the GH2 etc...

    http://www.eoshd.com/content/535-EXC...-GH2-and-AF100

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiigent View Post
    Godfrey, you might be interested in some of the jury rig arrangements being done by videographers who own the GH2 and seek short short lenses too, often just not out there....
    Not entirely sure what you're getting at. I bought this lens because I wanted a longer focal length, fast lens that was compact, not because I was looking for wide or videography.

    I have the 11-22/2.8-3.5 for the E-5 ... plenty wide and plenty fast for an ultrawide @11mm. I also have an adapted Cosmicar 12.5mm f1.4 TV on a Micro-FourThirds mount adapter from when I was shooting with the G1, which I could use on a GH2 body if I wanted to. (It doesn't quite cover the whole format, but good enough for what I wanted.)

    ??

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    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    It is great to have a modern camera on which you can mount old lenses like this. I'm also interested in seeing the results.

    LouisB

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Godfrey... that's cool. Seeing the lens design and colors on that lens flashes me way back to the late sixties and seventies myself, when those lenses were brand new and I was a young Nikon shooter using them! All my old Nikon gear was sold long ago, dang it, when EOS hit the scene. It would be great to have some of those old Nikon lenses today. Great stuff. Looking forward to seeing what you can pull through that lens! I recently got an 85/1.4 and a couple of 50/1.4 legacy lenses... I bought mine primarily for shallow depth of focus/subject isolated portraits, not so much for general use.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    An update from using Nikkor 85 with the E-5 for a week or two ...

    - My gosh, I'd forgotten just how well the Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8 performs! It snaps in and out of focus crisply and cleanly even wide open, and has beautiful bokeh everywhere.

    - There's almost no lateral CA and just a smidge of easily cleaned up longitudinal CA on specular highlights. Virtually no rectilinear distortion either. Truly an impressive performance for a 43 year old lens on a digital sensor.

    - The E-5's big reflex viewfinder makes focusing this lens manually as easy as it was on my Nikon F3, and the Live View nets an even more accurate way to focus critically when doing static work or using a tripod.

    - E-5 metering performance on Aperture Priority or Manual exposure with the 85 is very accurate.

    - Combination of the 85's speed and the E-5's image stabilization, low noise at ISO 800-1600 nets impressive hand-held capability. I can shoot people subjects very comfortably down to 1/20-1/40 second, which at f/1.8 to f/2.8 is pretty darn low light. I was never able to get results this consistent when hand-held with the Nikon F3 and 180/2.8 (close match in FoV and DoF) back in the day, always needed at least 1/125 second or better.

    - A local dealer had the original Nikon HN-7 lens hood for it in stock, used, for only $10. It's a little short for FourThirds format, but seems to do an excellent job of flare prevention nonetheless.

    I'm delighted with this lens. It's just the right balance of size, weight, reach and speed for me at the long end; it will get a lot of use. And the price was a bargain ... I can spend another $140 on it for a full CLA if I want and not feel like I've over-paid.

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    Member Ron Evers's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    You gave me a chuckle Godfrey, I opened this thread expecting you to be having fun with a 135 or 200mm & here it is a short 85 (I read as far as longish). I sometimes shoot with a Series 1, version 2 Vivitar 70-210/3.5 on my G1, now that is longish.

    I am missing a 85 in my kit but have 14 to 210 covered in my kit mostly with primes starting @ 24mm. It is fun playing around with some of the old glass & finding gems for cheap coming from the former Soviet Union.
    Panasonic G1 & GF1 bodies, Panasonic 14-45, 45-200mm, various Minolta, Pentax, Canon FD, M39 & M42 mount lenses.

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Evers View Post
    You gave me a chuckle Godfrey, I opened this thread expecting you to be having fun with a 135 or 200mm & here it is a short 85 (I read as far as longish). I sometimes shoot with a Series 1, version 2 Vivitar 70-210/3.5 on my G1, now that is longish.

    I am missing a 85 in my kit but have 14 to 210 covered in my kit mostly with primes starting @ 24mm. It is fun playing around with some of the old glass & finding gems for cheap coming from the former Soviet Union.
    85mm on FourThirds format is as "longish" as I normally use. ;-)

    In use, an 85mm f/1.8 gives field of view and depth of field characteristics virtually indistinguishable from using a 180/2.8 on my Nikon film SLRs from years back. And is a lot smaller and handier in the process. Love this FoV for a long lens options.

    Most of my photography is made with wide to portrait tele focal lengths, in FourThirds 11 to 35 mm. So 50, 70 and 85 mm are longish. I have a nice old Pentax Super Tak 135/3.5 too, and can use it and the 85 with the 1.4x extender for when I want longer.

    I'm just not a big zoom user. I had the 50-200/2.8-3.5 and found I just didn't use it enough. This 85 ... I'll use a lot.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Memory is an amazing thing... every time I look at the photo of that lens, I can literally feel that focus ring and the unique feel of it's ribs and valleys in my left hand.. even the feel of turning the focusing ring... and the feel of pushing in those buttons on the lens cap... and I haven't had one of those lenses since the seventies... that pic really brings back memories.
    Don

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    135mm on M4/3 is where I draw the line for hand-held walk about lenses in the MF genera. 85mm is sweet sweet sweet tho!

    For example here's some lens tests from yesterday hand-held.

    Canon FD 135mm f/2.5 (S.C.) on the GH1:



    f/5.6




    f/2.5


    I think that 85mm would generally provide a higher fun-factor maybe tho. Here's a lust-page on it: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...photo/85mm.htm

    If you ever wanna do a trade just lemme know!



    .

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    85mm is one of my favourite focal lengths on the two 4/3 systems. As Godfrey points out, it's very close to the classic 180mm on film. I use mine, a Zeiss CY 85mm f/1.4 for portraits and as a general telephoto lens. It's mostly long enough for anything I do on travels. The rest of the kit is usually a 50mm, a 20-something mm and the Panasonic 7-14mm.

    Here's a photo from Mekong River through Phnom Penh a couple of weeks ago:

    GH1 with Zeiss CY 85mm f/1.4, probably @ f/4


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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Tesselator... awesome images! I just stumbled upon and bought a like-new Canon FDn 135mm f.2.8 lens that I'm eager to do some work with. Your images are quite inspiring!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    135mm on M4/3 is where I draw the line for hand-held walk about lenses in the MF genera. 85mm is sweet sweet sweet tho!

    For example here's some lens tests from yesterday hand-held.

    Canon FD 135mm f/2.5 (S.C.) on the GH1:



    f/5.6




    f/2.5


    I think that 85mm would generally provide a higher fun-factor maybe tho. Here's a lust-page on it: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...photo/85mm.htm

    If you ever wanna do a trade just lemme know!



    .
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Tesselator... awesome images! I just stumbled upon and bought a like-new Canon FDn 135mm f.2.8 lens that I'm eager to do some work with. Your images are quite inspiring!
    You'll like it! My two 2.8s are even just a tad sharper than my two 2.5s. Yeah, I'm a sucker for a good buy. I sometimes have two or three of a particular lens.

    Here's the two in a head to head on the rez-chart:




    I wrote up a little info on the two here in this thread: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/985376 in the sixth post down.

    The full chart image looks like this:



    This is scaled of course.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    The photo of leaves and flowers somehow has more artistic merit

    Is the 200mm f/4.0 sold yet?

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    funny how a discussion of my new - old Nikkor 85mm lens has morphed into a photo gallery of Canon 135mm photos .. and resolution charts and such too! wot da ...? ;-)

    I'm sure the Canon 135 is nice. I occasionally use the Pentax SMC Tak 135/3.5 and stick it on a 1.4x telextender for a 190mm f/4.9 when I want a good long reach ...


    Olympus E-5 + Pentax SMC Takumar 135mm f/3.5 + Olympus EC14
    ISO 200 @ f/5.6 @ 1/320 second

    But for me, 135mm on FourThirds is a bit beyond my comfort zone for hand-holding, just like a 300mm lens was generally a bit too long and cumbersome in film shooting.

    The 85mm FoV is just right. ;-)

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    funny how a discussion of my new - old Nikkor 85mm lens has morphed into a photo gallery of Canon 135mm photos .. and resolution charts and such too! wot da ...? ;-)
    LOL was thinking the same thing this morning, although I do love my FD 135/2.5 on the GH1.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Godfrey and Tesselator, I agree that the 135 legacy lens is a bit long for hand held comfort. The 85 is generally a better choice for that, overall, unless one can steady with tripod or other stabilizing methods. My intended use of my 85/1.4 Planar and 135/2.8 FDn is specifically for shallow DOF portrait work done on my studio property where I use ladders with a sand bag for varied angle of view or a tripod for stabilizing long lenses.
    Don

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    I don't do a lot of portraiture but 85 on the M4/3 is too long for me for that. I like 35mm ~ 55mm for that on the M4/3. That would be 70mm to 110 and about in line with what most portrait artists claim to be the most friendly with. And since there are just too many awesome normals (45mm~55mm) out there there's a cornucopia of unique glass to choose from too.

    Portraiture for me is most comfortably undertaken from between 3 and 4 meters away. It feels like the proper distance to hold the person's attention for those intimate looks and yet not so close as to invade their personal space. 85mm on the M4/3 at 3 meters is not much more than a lip-to-eyebrow shot. Ya need 7 to 8 meters to get a bust shot with an 85 on M43 and that invariably means little to no intuitive/dynamic background control - unless you want to sprint ladder in hand, around your model or something.


    .
    Last edited by Tesselator; 27th February 2011 at 17:48.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Tesselator... Among my other portrait clients, I photograph about 150 high school seniors a year, from August through October, with the 5DMkII with 70-200 f/2.8L, mostly at 200 mm, always at f/2.8, on the grounds of my 5-acre portrait park studio. And the average sale to each of these clients provides a remarkably nice living for myself and my family and fully supports this gorgeous home/studio property. So... I can't relate to what you're saying about the 85 not being suitable for portraits. The 85/1.4 on m4/3 equates nicely to 170mm f/2.8 with the FF 5DMkII. Works for me! Whatever other people use or believe applies to them, but not to me.

    Oh.. the 8' ladder rides with us around the property in a golf cart with all my lighting gear. Easy. Everything I need during a session right there on the cart... including pruning sheers for the lush vegetation and a 12 ga. in case I see a new mole hill rising up on the lawn!

    As for the 50/1.4 on m4/3... I'd say that an awesome choice too. This year I'm going to sub in the Planar 50/1.4 and the Planar 85/1.4 on my GH2 in place of the 5DMkII and 70-200/2.8L - for a few sessions at least. Depending on how it goes, I may use it more frequently for work and ease back from the full frame Canon kit. There are some portrait situations where I will still need the FF sensor for large canvas wall portraits of family groups, but for my 150 high school senior clients each year, I think the GH2 might just work out ok. My typical HS senior portrait order includes a 12x17 or 17x24 wall portrait, so it will be interesting to see how the GH2 prints at those sizes. If not, there's always the Canon kit. My m4/3 stuff is my "fun" kit.

    Godfrey... sorry for the diversion... back to your wonderful 85!
    Don

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Ah, I see. Sounds like two very different styles. I was thinking celeb / glam / fashion type portraiture. For the bread & butter stuff you're talking about that's very different to what I have done lately or what I was envisioning. Santa lap-shots in the mall are also "portraits" I guess but not what comes to mind when I think of "portraiture" - even tho I did those for a few years - waaaaay back when. And yeah, for Santa Lap shots or what I guess you're doing by what you describe, for sure, a 120 ~ 200mm is probably just about right on a FF.

    Terminology can be so confusing sometimes.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Tess... I'm sorry, I must have given you the wrong impression. My portrait work is not like "school pictures" or Santa photos... anything but... it's outdoors (not confined to small spaces), artsy, fashionable, edgy, high school senior portraits (about as far from "school" pictures as you can get).. the kind of images that today's cool graduating seniors and their parents are willing to pay top dollar for. Not mall type, typical portrait studio ho-hum. Perhaps best for you to see rather than read words, caution... bokeh ahead...

    http://www.legendimaging.com
    Don

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Glad you gave me the link! Those are pretty awesome! Really, that's mostly around 180mm? Hmmm, I never would have guessed! I would have thought 80mm or maybe 100mm.

    Good to know tho! I'm learning! Is that mostly tripod work with directed poses?

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    All 5DMkII w/70-200 f/2.8L @ f/2.8 and mostly between 150-200mm, mostly 200. No tripod, pretty much all sand bag on different rungs of an 8' ladder, directed poses, reflector lighting. As I said, I haul it all around the acerage on a golf cart. The 85/1.4 on m4/3 gives me just about the same exact look!

    Let's get back to Godfrey's thread, if we can please.... sorry for the diversion, Godfrey.
    Don

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    I'm sure Godfrey will forgive you. This is useful stuff

    My girlie portraits from the race-track are often shot at even longer focal lengths btw. usually 150-200mm at f/2.8-4.0 (Nikon D300 with Nikkor AF-S 80-200). For travel portraits, I use mostly the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 on the GH1, usually, but not always, stopped down to 2.0 or 2.8:



    Last edited by Jorgen Udvang; 28th February 2011 at 01:43.

  26. #26
    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Nice Jorgen... I remember the pony driver portrait very well... the 85/1.4 Planar is a wonderful portrait lens on m4/3... amazingly beefy feel to it as well, which I feel stabilizes the lens moreso than a lighter lens does, but adds quite a bit of weight to the kit.
    Don

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    All 5DMkII w/70-200 f/2.8L @ f/2.8 and mostly between 150-200mm, mostly 200. No tripod, pretty much all sand bag on different rungs of an 8' ladder, directed poses, reflector lighting. As I said, I haul it all around the acerage on a golf cart. The 85/1.4 on m4/3 gives me just about the same exact look!

    Let's get back to Godfrey's thread, if we can please.... sorry for the diversion, Godfrey.
    No problem at all. I enjoyed seeing your photos. Nice work, indeed, modeling shoot quality. They're a bit more "commercial" than I'd want for my yearbook photo, but I guess I come from a different age and aesthetic. ;-)

    And yes: in the day, a Nikon F/F3 with 180/2.8 netted this FoV/DoF, now I can get it with the E-5 and 85/1.8 in a lighter, more compact package. With another stop and some of light gathering power. That's progress!

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    No problem at all. I enjoyed seeing your photos. Nice work, indeed, modeling shoot quality. They're a bit more "commercial" than I'd want for my yearbook photo, but I guess I come from a different age and aesthetic. ;-)

    And yes: in the day, a Nikon F/F3 with 180/2.8 netted this FoV/DoF, now I can get it with the E-5 and 85/1.8 in a lighter, more compact package. With another stop and some of light gathering power. That's progress!
    Yes, a fast legacy 85 on m4/3 gives us that look in a very nice little package. Fantastic!
    Don

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    Member Ron Evers's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    I too live on acreage but my focus is nature photography.
    I shoot with a Panasonic G1, now brace yourself - this is taken with a Sears 135/2.8 hand held.





    This with a Vivitar 70-210/3.5 maxed out hand held.




    I confess anything over 135mm is lens heavy on this camera. My favorite walk-about is a Helios 44-2, 58/2 that is very sharp & will close focus.


    Panasonic G1 & GF1 bodies, Panasonic 14-45, 45-200mm, various Minolta, Pentax, Canon FD, M39 & M42 mount lenses.

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    Senior Member Tesselator's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Yeah, I agree. 135 is the longest that's both comfortable and easy. I can still manage a 200mm hand-held but the keeper to blur ratio takes a nose-dive even at 1/1000 and the framing becomes somewhat difficult as well. At 300mm ever the more-so. Although while I can still get some sharp keepers from a hand-held shoot with it - it's basically a crap-shoot. I've shot hand-held up to 500mm (1,000mm equiv.) and that's, like, On My Gawd difficult.

    Is it just me or do you guys also get out of breath with fatigue trying to hold, frame, and focus lenses of 200mm and more? It's weird because it's not at all physically demanding like shoveling snow or something - yet 20 to 30 min. into the shoot feels similar - my forehead even sweats. Just me?

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    Super Duper
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    ... Is it just me or do you guys also get out of breath with fatigue trying to hold, frame, and focus lenses of 200mm and more? It's weird because it's not at all physically demanding like shoveling snow or something - yet 20 to 30 min. into the shoot feels similar - my forehead even sweats. Just me?
    I don't know. I tend to put the camera on a tripod when shooting with any lens longer than about 100mm the vast majority of the time. Even with lenses down to 50mm. And with all lenses (particularly ultra-wide-angle!) when I'm going for maximum quality and resolution...

    That makes it easy and takes the sweat out... ;-)

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    I shot with the FD 200 hand held the other day for about 45 minutes. I was huff'n & puff'n when I finished. Breath in, breath out! Anyone of you use a monopod? I agee the 85 - 135 is good limit on M4/3s.

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by turbines View Post
    I shot with the FD 200 hand held the other day for about 45 minutes. I was huff'n & puff'n when I finished. Breath in, breath out! Anyone of you use a monopod? I agee the 85 - 135 is good limit on M4/3s.
    A monopod for such a tight FoV is a big help. I haven't done any of this work for a while, but when I go to the races and use longer focal lengths like that, a monopod is nearly essential to good results as it affords a good measure of stability while also allowing mobility for panning. It also takes the load off your arms and neck.

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    I've been considering (on and off) getting a monopod for about, oh, thirty years plus. Perhaps it's about time. I don't like to make rushed decisions, you know.

    I do have three or four tripods that have fallen into dis-use over the years (as I've gotten newer better tripods). Perhaps I should look into trading those old tripods off and buy a monopod!
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    Yeah, I agree. 135 is the longest that's both comfortable and easy. I can still manage a 200mm hand-held but the keeper to blur ratio takes a nose-dive even at 1/1000 and the framing becomes somewhat difficult as well. At 300mm ever the more-so. Although while I can still get some sharp keepers from a hand-held shoot with it - it's basically a crap-shoot. I've shot hand-held up to 500mm (1,000mm equiv.) and that's, like, On My Gawd difficult.

    Is it just me or do you guys also get out of breath with fatigue trying to hold, frame, and focus lenses of 200mm and more? It's weird because it's not at all physically demanding like shoveling snow or something - yet 20 to 30 min. into the shoot feels similar - my forehead even sweats. Just me?
    Interesting comment, and yes, I have the same experience. I used to try to live by the "exposure time the same as the focal length" in 35mm terms, but in real life, I can shoot at surprisingly long shutter times with a WA lens, often twice as long as the "rule" should indicate, but once I get above 200mm, it's as if I can't hold still any more. I wonder if there's some psychological thing coming into effect here, or that it's simply because the longer lens throws the camera/lens/body combination somewhat out of balance.

    On the other hand, when I use a monopod (I use one from Monostat, highly recommended) or any other supporting device, I'm back in business. Knees and elbows are great photographic tools, and you can often find me sitting down on the ground, using one or both of my knees as "twopods".

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    ... once I get above 200mm, it's as if I can't hold still any more. I wonder if there's some psychological thing coming into effect here, or that it's simply because the longer lens throws the camera/lens/body combination somewhat out of balance. ...
    A 200mm lens on FourThirds is an equivalent ~8x magnification over normal.

    See the field of view shrink ...

    One degree camera of movement nets a large change in what it's pointing at when working with such a long lens...

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Very neat illustration, Godfrey. That explains a lot. Thanks for posting.

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by turbines View Post
    I shot with the FD 200 hand held the other day for about 45 minutes. I was huff'n & puff'n when I finished. Breath in, breath out! Anyone of you use a monopod? I agee the 85 - 135 is good limit on M4/3s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    Interesting comment, and yes, I have the same experience. I used to try to live by the "exposure time the same as the focal length" in 35mm terms, but in real life, I can shoot at surprisingly long shutter times with a WA lens, often twice as long as the "rule" should indicate, but once I get above 200mm, it's as if I can't hold still any more. I wonder if there's some psychological thing coming into effect here, or that it's simply because the longer lens throws the camera/lens/body combination somewhat out of balance.

    On the other hand, when I use a monopod (I use one from Monostat, highly recommended) or any other supporting device, I'm back in business. Knees and elbows are great photographic tools, and you can often find me sitting down on the ground, using one or both of my knees as "twopods".
    Yep, same experience here.

    Well, if nothing else it's good to know that it's not just me. On the downside it means we need to buy more stuff.

    I of course have a nice pod (it's a Linhof from the 60's and VERY lightweight) but I've been meaning to use monopods more often. There are some really good ones (with fold-out legs) from velbon at very reasonable prices. Only thing is... I don't wanna send my money to china. Hmmm, maybe I'll make one from oak. The one I have right now is busted.

    I think this setup on a monopod would be optimal!


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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Tesselator... that Manfrotto 222 looks like a great head for a monopod.

    Here's a monopod I've been considering:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=387806&is=REG

    Manfrotto gear never fails to impress me. Their engineering designs are amazing and the build quality matches the engineering.

    I recently bought the Manfrotto Magic Arm for my Kesseler/Bloom Pocket Dolly and what an amazing design feat that Magic Arm is. (The pocket dolly is very impressive as well.)
    Don

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    I agree about Bogen errr, Manfrotto gear but do you think super engineering and such quality is really needed for a monopod? I mean't it's just a stick with a screw on top and a bit of padded tubbing. I've been thinking about making something like this:





    Total cost including electricity is about $15 and it seems like a nice one or two day project. Then just get that Bogen 222 and it'll all be good? And I have a better design with higher quality parts than those shown above.

    Whattya think?



    .

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    ... Whattya think?
    Cute if you like working wood and building things, but nowhere near as fast in the field and convenient as a Manfrotto 334B Automatic Monopod. I don't have a woodshop, don't have the time to run around finding the right pieces, crafting a design, etc.

    If I do all that, I'm in danger of taking up woodworking, not photography. ;-)

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    As Godfrey mentions, if you have the time, skill, and desire to make it yourself... sure, should work fine. As for myself, I'd much prefer to buy what I need and be done with it. And no, I don't think amazing engineering is "necessary" for a monopod, but from that standpoint, is the amazing engineering of that head necessary then either? I think it's nice to have, if you can swing it.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    convenient as a Manfrotto 334B Automatic Monopod.
    Automatic? How is it automatic? Break it down bro.

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    Automatic? How is it automatic? Break it down bro.
    Manfrotto labels the extension/locking mechanism in this monopod as "automatic". It's a three-section pole. Squeeze the grip, slide the column to the height you want (upper section moving), loosen your grip, it's locked: "Automatic". Very fast in operation and great in the field for sports and such. The lower section of the monopod is a twist, pull, twist back style extension locking mechanism.

    I don't make up the name... ;-)

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Hehehe, yeah, some of the names these guys come up with...

    This would work in the field nearly identical to the wooden one. Actually I think the wooden one would be faster - if it's speed a person is concerned with. It's only one section so no bottom to mess with. And like a bicycle's seat-post clamping lever bolt, ya just lift the leaver and the thing extends to the ground and then fold the lever and you're in business. (Not the one's pictured above, but in my design....)

    I want a built-in anti-gravity pod! Half press the camera button and you're stabilized in reverse gravity!

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Is this what you're talking about?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGksGIkYfEE

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesselator View Post
    Is this what you're talking about?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGksGIkYfEE
    That's a similar model to what I have. Mine is the cheaper, non "Neotec" version I pointed to above

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...pod_Black.html

    (Actually, I think it's this model's predecessor, before the changed the numbering scheme again.)

    Sorry, but no pod that I have to reach down to the clamp, unlock and relock is going to be faster than squeezing the trigger, sliding the camera an inch or three up or down, and letting go of the trigger. Can't be.

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...


    Olympus E-1 + Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8
    ISO 200 @ f/4 @ 1/4000 second

    Click the photo above and you'll be on the Flickr.com page for this photo. There's another link to a larger version of this image there.

    My new-old Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8 lens is doing me well. I was out on my walk this morning with it fitted to the E-1, photographing landscape and trees, when this huge white crane drifted into view.

    Who says you need C-AF or AF at all? Or even fast sequence capture? I refocused and caught three frames of it, all very sharp. Go to the large image and take a look at its eye ... :-)

    Thanks for looking, comments appreciated.

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    Senior Member DHart's Avatar
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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Godfrey.... that's an amazingly beautiful image! And especially impressive that you were skilled enough with manual focus on a legacy lens to capture it. Wonderful job.
    Don

    "Be kind, everyone you encounter is fighting battles you have no awareness of."

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    Re: a fast, longish old lens ...

    Quote Originally Posted by DHart View Post
    Godfrey.... that's an amazingly beautiful image! And especially impressive that you were skilled enough with manual focus on a legacy lens to capture it. Wonderful job.
    Thank you for the compliment!

    And with an 8 year old, 5Mpixel camera too. The old E-1 still has a lot of life in it... ];-)

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