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Charles Morgan

Thinking about Telyt R 400mms - f5.6 vs f6.8

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I find myself living in Plymouth, UK, for the foreseeable future.  One of the joys is the naval traffic in and out of port, and watching yachts at sea. My longest R lens is a 180mm Elmar, but I can use a 60-300mm Tamron Adaptall lens on my R cameras, and the result is ok. But I really could do with a 400mm or longer, but don't really want to spend a fortune for something that will be a small part of my film photography. 

I see there are two versions of the 400mm Telyt R. There's surprisingly little to find on the web about either's images and I wonder if anyone here has any experience of either or both in use and in results.

Many thanks!

 

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Or the 500 mirror, like Wilson scored? You'll be lucky to get a back-cap like he did though I suspect. 😁

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I fear they have reached a considerable price. Plus, if I'm out when the other ship photographers are there with their consumer zooms, I want a big barrel of a lens with rifle stock to make a point (probably that I am a moron!).

 

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I picked up the f6.8 a few years ago, and it's a pretty good lens. it came with the stock, which helps for handheld use. IQ is quite good wide open when you nail focus. I remember David Douglas Duncan used one of the first ones with a Leicaflex SL at a Democratic national convention and raved about it, showing large portraits on TV at the time. The sliding focus will likely need service to move smoothly and still lock position well. I've been meaning to send mine to DAG to improve that, but I use it rarely.

With one hand on the lens barrel for sliding focus, and the other on the grip of the stock for steadiness, you really need a remote release to trip the shutter. Using it with a Sony A7 I had to make a pushbutton switch for that purpose. It would be easier with an R or M10 to take a standard cable release. (Maybe a use for the Leitz mouth-activated one!)

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6 hours ago, Charles Morgan said:

... I want a big barrel of a lens with rifle stock to make a point ...

As long as no one mistakes it for a weapon and starts shelling you in 'advanced retaliation'.

It's not something I would dream of taking onto the streets of London in the current climate.

Pete.

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vor 11 Stunden schrieb Charles Morgan:

I find myself living in Plymouth, UK, for the foreseeable future.  One of the joys is the naval traffic in and out of port, and watching yachts at sea. My longest R lens is a 180mm Elmar, but I can use a 60-300mm Tamron Adaptall lens on my R cameras, and the result is ok. But I really could do with a 400mm or longer, but don't really want to spend a fortune for something that will be a small part of my film photography. 

 

 

A zoom lens is not bad, because you can find the subject easier and zoom in then. I have no zooms, but the 500mm mirror. That one is not bad, most of the time the bokeh is ok.

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Posted (edited)

The Telyt R 500mm on APS-camera, giving 750mm eq focal length.

Edited by jankap

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Posted (edited)

Same picture cropped. The picture is handheld at 1/500 with IBIS. The distance is around 300m.

FCN is 1. football club Nuremberg:)

Edited by jankap

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Jan - a nice lens, I have a Nikkor 500mm I use with my Fui XH1 and that is also very good. But at 500mm or indeed 750mm it's just a bit too long. 400 seems to be the sweet spot for distances involved here. This is an uncropped photo of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the new aircraft carrier, at anchor outside the breakwater (as large and as far as it gets here) taken on the R8 on a tripod, using the 300mm end of the Tamron zoom.

Edited by Charles Morgan

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750mm is very long agree, but at the seaside... the newest destroyers..... I also took a picture with the Metabones lens booster giving 500mm. Unfortunately not sharp. 

 

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Hey ho, found a 400/560mm f5.6 combination with desired shoulder stock and pistol grip at Red Dot in the UK for £500, which I thought was not a lot of money for two very long lenses in excellent condition. I suspect I might be getting a telescope viewing adapter to use with the 560!

 

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I gave up on the 400/560 f5.6 Televit combo and sold the kit. Firstly it is just too unhandy - it is huge. Secondly the quality of the image at anywhere other than centre frame is mediocre and finally there is the risk of being shot, as some less than observant policeman thinks it is a rocket launcher. I have in any case three better options. I have the excellent 80-200 Vario-Elmar-R and APO 2 x extender-R, second I have the Zeiss modular CX/Y Tele-Tessar kit 300/600/1200 mm and finally I have the 500MR Catadioptric Telyt-R, which is far better than I feared when I bought it. This is the Mk.2 version with the German refractive optics, albeit still with the Minolta reflective optics. Other than the weird doughnut bokeh, it is pretty good. 

Wilson

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I went the 400/6.8 and a 500 on a Televit some years ago, as well as several 500 cats lenses. I was never completely satisfied with any of them, and eventually sold them all...but then needed a 400 fand 500 or some nature work. What I found was heresy to Leica fans. On the mirror side, a 500mm Tamron Adaptall bested my Leica, Canon and Nikon ones. Then another heretical experiment...modifying an old Spiratone 400/6.3 to use on a Visoflex (or any other camera body with a proper adapter) bested the Leica in sharpness and ease of focusing, although the Leica lens showed very slightly better contrast. Lastly, a comment on maritime photography, having spent a few years at sea with my first Leica years ago...heat differentials and long lenses definitely get in the way of razor sharp distant ship images...so I'm not convinced that for this type of photography the most expensive lens wins the contest. Our pilots, intelligence officers, and I used a variety of lenses to photograph ships and most of the results were indistinguishable from one another...too many other factors came into play. So, don't overpay for this type of photography...especially if you're using a digital camera. Post-processing is really your friend here.

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I suspect for marine photos at any distance, you need a good Image Stabilisation set up. It is not a field I work in at all but if it was, I think I would buy the 2X  Extender for my 70-200 Panasonic Pro L  mount lens. I don't know if it is the lower weight or that technology has moved on but I think its OIS is fractionally better that the Leica 90-280 I  had before. It really is remarkably good and when coupled with focus tracking (when I remember to turn it on - I must get round to setting up a tele profile on my CL and SL), you can take photos of things like birds in flight. 

Wilson

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4 hours ago, spydrxx said:

I went the 400/6.8 and a 500 on a Televit some years ago, as well as several 500 cats lenses. I was never completely satisfied with any of them, and eventually sold them all...but then needed a 400 fand 500 or some nature work. What I found was heresy to Leica fans. On the mirror side, a 500mm Tamron Adaptall bested my Leica, Canon and Nikon ones. Then another heretical experiment...modifying an old Spiratone 400/6.3 to use on a Visoflex (or any other camera body with a proper adapter) bested the Leica in sharpness and ease of focusing, although the Leica lens showed very slightly better contrast. Lastly, a comment on maritime photography, having spent a few years at sea with my first Leica years ago...heat differentials and long lenses definitely get in the way of razor sharp distant ship images...so I'm not convinced that for this type of photography the most expensive lens wins the contest. Our pilots, intelligence officers, and I used a variety of lenses to photograph ships and most of the results were indistinguishable from one another...too many other factors came into play. So, don't overpay for this type of photography...especially if you're using a digital camera. Post-processing is really your friend here.

I agree entirely about haze etc, there are many days when you look out to sea and the images are pure fug. But on others the air is crystalline, often on a day like today when the rain has come (it happens a fair bit here). I'll mostly be using them on the Fuji with image stabilisation, but with the film camera when I'm happy (I just prefer film!).

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Posted (edited)

400 TELYT 6.8 was my long lens for quite some time. I used it without stock and loved the handling. It is designed as hand held lens. Note that due to extreme field curvature (it is simple doublet), it is not a landscape lens. But it is beautiful for birds etc. I like bokeh too although there is CA.  Center is very sharp! I have shot Saturn rings with it!! However now a days I don’t shoot birds and prefer 180mm 3.4 with x2APO which is lighter and more versatile (with flatter field and no CA)  

My Flickr page has an album for this lens. Just to give an idea what to expect. 

Edited by jmahto

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