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Thread: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

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    Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Fellow photographers

    Has anyone of you owned the 240mm and how much use did you get out of it? What did you photograph and more qualitatively speaking - do you like / love / hate the lens?

    I am thinking of getting it, but am afraid a bit it is too limited in use.

    Many thanks
    Paul

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    It is one of my most used lenses. I use it for picking pieces out of a landscape. I love the lens, its very sharp. Attached a couple of images using this lens. If you Want to see more images email me I can send some images.
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Steven, I think I mentioned this to you before, but I still love that first image - the subtle warm tone of the sky contrasts so elegantly with the snowy hill...

    John
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    During a recent trip to southern Africa I used the 240mm repeatedly. I found it very sharp wide open, though for DOF I usually used it one stop down. This is a 100% crop of one such picture. I would not be without this lens!

    Bill CB

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenfr View Post
    It is one of my most used lenses. I use it for picking pieces out of a landscape. I love the lens, its very sharp. Attached a couple of images using this lens. If you Want to see more images email me I can send some images.
    That is fabulous! Thank you! But it is not easy to master, I reckon and you need to go out and find the landscape ... looks beautiful
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    During a recent trip to southern Africa I used the 240mm repeatedly. I found it very sharp wide open, though for DOF I usually used it one stop down. This is a 100% crop of one such picture. I would not be without this lens!

    Have you done portraits with it?

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Another thought - I use the 240mm for stitching panoramas. No nodal point is needed to be calculated for this focal length. It is a great lens. A couple of examples attached.

    Thanks John and Paul for your kind thoughts on my first images I posted.
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Have you done portraits with it?
    But that IS a portrait! But if you mean human portraits, no. I prefer the 150 mm for those.
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Also, there is also the TC option for the lens although it does need long lens support.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    The World is a book, and those that do not travel read only one page ...

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Also, there is also the TC option for the lens although it does need long lens support.
    Donít see the TC as an option. Image quality was very poor when I tested it. Even my dealer wasnít able to tell the difference between the 240 + TC vs 240 digitally upscaled...
    Christopher Hauser
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Donít see the TC as an option. Image quality was very poor when I tested it. Even my dealer wasnít able to tell the difference between the 240 + TC vs 240 digitally upscaled...
    Christoph - what is your experience with the lens? Do you own it and what is your use? I think you are into cityscapes, right? Do you find it useful and are you happy with it? It is a big lens and expensive too, but I might have access to one for a good price which is why I am considering it. I thought about landscapes and stitching too - some of the images here are stunning. Just am afraid it is a one-trick pony ... that I donīt reach too much for

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    I love the 240mm. It's pretty much glued to my XF. The very last sample is with the x2 TC which makes it a 480mm. You have to use a lens support though.

    Cheers,
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Donít see the TC as an option. Image quality was very poor when I tested it. Even my dealer wasnít able to tell the difference between the 240 + TC vs 240 digitally upscaled...
    I suspect you're right. I have the TC but use it with the 150 mm when the weight of the 240 is an issue. You've reminded me that I've been meaning to test it with the 240. I'll do so in the next few days.

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Christoph - what is your experience with the lens? Do you own it and what is your use? I think you are into cityscapes, right? Do you find it useful and are you happy with it? It is a big lens and expensive too, but I might have access to one for a good price which is why I am considering it. I thought about landscapes and stitching too - some of the images here are stunning. Just am afraid it is a one-trick pony ... that I donīt reach too much for
    It depends on the effect you're looking for. Some (including myself) are looking for the compressed perspective that the longer focal length affords. More often than not, when shooting built environment or landscapes, I find myself reaching for my Zeiss 250mm Superachromat (somewhat different beast than the 240 SK, but similar focal length). The longer FL is also well suited for more intimate landscapes, so it's definitely not a one-trick pony if you look for interesting ways to apply it.

    John

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    I'll chime in as for the focal length part of the discussion, I've always felt the need for a long lens, especially on landscape shoots, even if just to have something to turn to after the hero-shot or if the conditions do not allow for the hero-shot which, in my case, is often a wide angle, all encompassing kind of image.

    I can't comment on the SK 240, but after considering the 2x teleconverter to be paired with my 150/2.8 I decided to opt for the Mamiya 300mm f/4.5 instead. It's a light lens rated at 1430g (50.4 oz.) whereas the SK 240 is rated at 1600g (56.4 oz.), so it basically has the same max aperture with a bit less weight and 60mm longer focal length (size wise, the Mamiya is a bit longer and thinner).

    Sharpness of the 300mm is more than good enough for me, stopped down for landscapes it's as sharp as anything in my bag and interestingly, on the IQ3 100mp, the Mamiya is sharper than the famous and outrageously expensive Hasselblad / Zeiss superachromat 350mm f/5.6, at which I was pleasantly surprised (perhaps I had a lemon, I don't know).

    Anyway, just sharing my experience so you have another option to think about and I'm pretty sure the Mamiya can be had on the second hand market for much less than the SK 240.
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    My 240mm BR Lens is amazing. I have used another 240mm BR which wasnít that great. So sadly, like most Phase One lenses there is sample variation.

    In general the quality is good on my IQ4150. Not as great as my 150 2,8; 45 or 35.

    I use the lens for a looting landscapes and cityscapes. Especially when shooting panoramic images. I admit that I prefer the GFX100 with the 250/350 lens. As with is itís so much easier to shoot and focus and certainly the better lens.

    All in all I einlullet the lens. The only drawback when hiking is the focus issue. Donít get me wrong I make it work and get great images, itís just not the most fun thing to do.

    Itís a different story on a tripod. Here it works great.
    Christopher Hauser
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    My 240mm BR Lens is amazing. I have used another 240mm BR which wasnít that great. So sadly, like most Phase One lenses there is sample variation.

    In general the quality is good on my IQ4150. Not as great as my 150 2,8; 45 or 35.

    I use the lens for a looting landscapes and cityscapes. Especially when shooting panoramic images. I admit that I prefer the GFX100 with the 250/350 lens. As with is itís so much easier to shoot and focus and certainly the better lens.

    All in all I einlullet the lens. The only drawback when hiking is the focus issue. Donít get me wrong I make it work and get great images, itís just not the most fun thing to do.

    Itís a different story on a tripod. Here it works great.
    Do you use a nodal stiching adapter when doing panos?

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Spinnler View Post
    Do you use a nodal stiching adapter when doing panos?
    When shooting from a tripod yes! More often even a panoramic head.
    Christopher Hauser
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Weldo,

    What type of lens support system do you use for your lens? I am looking to try something with my 150mm and 2X TC lens combination.

    Thanks,

    John


    Quote Originally Posted by weldonbrewster View Post
    I love the 240mm. It's pretty much glued to my XF. The very last sample is with the x2 TC which makes it a 480mm. You have to use a lens support though.

    Cheers,
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    It's been several years now since I stopped using Phase One however when I did I had the SK240 along with the TC and have very fond memories.

    My first time using it was during the winter in Jackson Hole WY and was immediately in lust with the lens. I found (using a Phase XF) I could easily handhold the lens capturing buffalo hers and moose. Putting the TC on required a tripod due to the weight and loss of AF. I was disappointed with the TC as I felt it could have offered more.

    This was among the last of the lenses to be sold shortly after dropping from Phase One. Overall an excellent lens for wildlife and landscape.

    I'll see if I can dig up some samples later and share. By all means get one.


    Don

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    On a related note; I repeated a careful test of my Phase 150mm 2.8 blue ring lens, controlling vibration as much as possible- Gitzo 5 series tripod, Area C1 cube, Phase XF camera, and Electronic shutter with mirror up. I shot a test target at about 35 feet at f8.

    I did the test with and without the RRS Really Right Stuff lens stabilizer system with the Y bracket.
    First, using the 150mm lens and the 2X TC, for an effective focal length of 300mm, there was marked blurriness and image degradation; at 100% the image was clearly fuzzy.

    Secondly, with the RRS len stabilizer- a huge improvement; in fact the image was as sharp as the 150mm alone.

    This is remarkable really; a 300mm lens as sharp as the 150mm- definitely I now know I can use the 2X TC, as long as I use the lens support.




    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    It's been several years now since I stopped using Phase One however when I did I had the SK240 along with the TC and have very fond memories.

    My first time using it was during the winter in Jackson Hole WY and was immediately in lust with the lens. I found (using a Phase XF) I could easily handhold the lens capturing buffalo hers and moose. Putting the TC on required a tripod due to the weight and loss of AF. I was disappointed with the TC as I felt it could have offered more.

    This was among the last of the lenses to be sold shortly after dropping from Phase One. Overall an excellent lens for wildlife and landscape.

    I'll see if I can dig up some samples later and share. By all means get one.


    Don

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    When shooting from a tripod yes! More often even a panoramic head.
    Thanks Christopher! Any recommendation you can make? I presume Novoflex VR System or the RRS things? Just because a 240 LS will be quite heavy.

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    As promised here is a comparison between the 240 mm rezzed up to the same field of view as the 240 with the TC.

    Of course, one cannot tell much from the 1200 px JPGs. But what I see on the screen is encouraging. The uprezzed image is sharper than the 2X image, but I found that by increasing contrast marginally and tweaking the sharpening, I can get the images to be so similar as to be indistinguishable. The main difference was contrast - the extra glass of the 2X definitely saps contrast.

    Having said that, I only checked the centre of the image. I'll have to have another look at the edges.

    First shot is the 240 alone, at f6.3, one stop down from wide open. The second is with the TC and an effective stop of f12.6. Both on solid Gitzo, w/cube and electronic shutter. Incidentally, it was a windy day so don't look at the leaves!

    My tentative conclusion is that I will continue to use the TC for wildlife where the edges are unimportant, but for landscapes I'll probably forgo the hassle of mounting extra glass etc etc.



    Last edited by Bill Caulfeild-Browne; 4 Weeks Ago at 13:42. Reason: Correction
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Here's a couple of samples from Jackson Hole..

    OxBow Bend IQ180 240mm


    Oxbow Bend IQ180 240mm


    IQ160 240mm


    IQ160 475mm (240+TC)


    IQ160 475mm (240 + TC)


    IQ160 240mm
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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothjazz View Post
    Weldo,

    What type of lens support system do you use for your lens? I am looking to try something with my 150mm and 2X TC lens combination.

    Thanks,

    John
    I use a Really Right Stuff lens support. I tried to find a couple of different angles of the setup.

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    Okay- that is the one I have too.


    Quote Originally Posted by weldonbrewster View Post
    I use a Really Right Stuff lens support. I tried to find a couple of different angles of the setup.

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    Re: Experiences with the SK 240mm LS

    This may be stating the obvious but I worried that my 240 (Non Blue Ring) was a bit off with the aperture wide open. But I hadnít adjusted the focus trim which made a huge improvement.

    The lens also benefits from support at the front of the lens.

    Very happy with it but donít use it so much these days, partly because of the weight and partly because of how my photography has evolved over time.

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