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  1. #1
    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    Thoughts on using vintage loooong lenses?

    I just picked up a Takumar 500mm f4.5 for $200. This lens was probably built in the late 60s. From what I can find on-line it suffers from low contrast and moderate chromatic aberration. It has a nice big hood. Due to the size, filters can only be mounted on the rear. I have a nice strong tripod for it.

    I realize I'm not going to get results like a modern $10K lens, but does anyone with experience have any thoughts on maximizing performance here?

    Thanks.

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    Late 60s is vintage?

    Make sure the lens is clean internally and use a lenshood.

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    What's the smallest aperture? That's the one you want to use. I have a 1960s Soligor 5.6/350mm and it's actually rather sharp stopped down. I only paid $9 for it too.

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    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashinoff View Post
    What's the smallest aperture?
    It's f45, but I don't have all day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchetman View Post
    It's f45, but I don't have all day.
    f:45 will put you well into diffraction. Try f:8 or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashinoff View Post
    What's the smallest aperture? That's the one you want to use. I have a 1960s Soligor 5.6/350mm and it's actually rather sharp stopped down. I only paid $9 for it too.
    I have that same lens, took it out of a dumpster with a Miranda attached to it! My copy is pretty good at all apertures.

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    Agreed with stopping down a bit, at least one stop, maybe two. Use a heavy tripod too.

    I have a Canon FL-F 500/5.6 which I use on my old F-1. This lens uses a fluorite lens element so it's pretty damn sharp, wide-open, even by today's standards. Big and heavy though.

    Jim B.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    f:45 will put you well into diffraction. Try f:8 or so.
    F45 on 500mm is probably too large for diffraction to have much effect, the aperture would still be larger than f16 on 50mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashinoff View Post
    F45 on 500mm is probably too large for diffraction to have much effect, the aperture would still be larger than f16 on 50mm.
    Sorry. Diffraction depends solely upon the stop, it has nothing to do with focal length. The diffraction limit in LP/MM can be approximated by dividing the stop # into 1500. At f:45 the diffraction limit is about 30 LP/MM regardless of the focal length of the lens.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Sorry. Diffraction depends solely upon the stop, it has nothing to do with focal length. The diffraction limit in LP/MM can be approximated by dividing the stop # into 1500. At f:45 the diffraction limit is about 30 LP/MM regardless of the focal length of the lens.
    And the F stop is a fraction of the focal length. f16 on a 500mm lens is a whole lot larger than f16 on a 50mm lens. It's the relation of the size of the hole to the wavelength of light going through it that causes diffraction.

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