View Full Version : α700 & MF 200-500mm f/6.9 LD

11-08-2007, 10:30 PM
"Now, that's a lens ..." he said, just after hernia surgery.


Yep, 96-ounces of serious reach ... that was able to get for just $27. I tell ya, people are nuts, ditching old glass ... but what the heck? Glass that works, is glass that gets used. They quit producing this model in 1984 ... so it's on overtime. Seriously sharp ... just not exactly the most portable of lenses. Like any of these type of lenses, you need at least ten-feet between you and your subject, so you won't be using it to take Christmas-morning shots.

Hey, I've been the $800 route, with the 43-oz TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD ... and it is a nice lens ... still needs the ten feet MFD, but then again, you can get a lot of nice lenses for $800. Anyway, it was sold to a nice Canon camera owner ... in Texas.

This baby ... fits on anything, as long as you have the TAMRON Adaptall-2 adapter mount. It is a manual focus, but its rare you can get autofocus to get tight at 500mm. The focus usually is hunting back and forth, looking for that darn bird you wanted to snap ... and you wind up switching to manual fous, anyway ... just to even get close. Experience can be cruel. :cool:

Hey, I'm not selling them ... just telling the tale of outdoor fun. :o

This is definitely one of those lenses that can really stress the mount on your camera body, so be careful handling it. That tripod mount is there for good reason ... use it.

Anyone else shooting the heavy stuff? What do you use to transport your glass in? Backpack? Separate hard case? Some kind of strapped bag?

11-09-2007, 06:44 PM
Don, is that an Ebay or keh.com find?

11-09-2007, 06:56 PM
Thats one hell of a lens.. For the price why not! :D

11-09-2007, 10:04 PM
Don, is that an Ebay or keh.com find?

Ebay ... I just couldn't see not getting one. $27 ... and yeah, it's a little more work, but you in some kind of hurry?

Using this lens, you wind up in another time zone. :rolleyes:

11-10-2007, 01:54 PM
Does your a700 meter with that lens?

Even though my Nikon won't meter with old Nikkor glass, I'm going to grab a couple lenses off KEH for fun and experimentation.

11-10-2007, 05:14 PM
Does your a700 meter with that lens?

Even though my Nikon won't meter with old Nikkor glass, I'm going to grab a couple lenses off KEH for fun and experimentation.

The A700 meters with ALL lenses ... Manual Aperture or AUTO. There is a detachment of information from the lens, as you might suspect (no electrical conduit) ... leaving it to guess what aperture you actually are using (default is f/1.0), but to the camera metering ... it doesn't really care. You could shoot through a stained glass-window, with no lens, for all it cares ... and you would still get metering. :D

You also need to go to the "Custom" Menu (which icon looks like a gear) and set "Release w/o lens" to "Enabled", otherwise the shutter locks down and will not release.

Like I probably mentioned, earlier, there are a few considerations with this piece of glass ... but, for what I saved ... I'll live with it. It shoots frosty clear ... and was a champion lens in earlier times. There aren't too many lenses, these days, that can jump from brand to brand like the TAMRON Adaptall-2 does. Just get the appropriate adapter collar and start shootin'.

11-20-2007, 12:29 PM
What do you use to transport your glass in?


and inside the bag:


attached to


420mm in total mouted and inside the little bag.

11-23-2007, 12:16 AM
I was transporting this large lens around in the case that TAMRON supplied, but it was aged ... and has since been ... well, deconstructed. I have since bought a couple of neoprene lens cases (an extra-large and a medium ... and have back-to-back'd them to cover it from dust and weather. Not that much out there that can cover something this long.


Although, not as "bullet-proof" as the original case kind of was, it is actually more weather-resistant and does a decent enough job, regardless.

The weirdest part of all of this is ... the two cases, together, cost me more than the fine glass inside. :eek:

12-05-2007, 01:34 AM
Yeah i was going to say, nice find but at 27 bucks, you're likely to spend more on a case than the lens. But if it does end up getting dinged up, it's still a 27 dollar piece of glass, at least you won't be out mega bucks. Again, nice find.

12-27-2007, 08:00 PM
Someone asked me ... is the TAMRON MF 200-500mm f/6.9 a good "Nature" lens. Uh ... well, not unless you have a tripod underneath it. Spotting birds in trees and wildlife poking around a large field. Carrying it under your arm would be rather impractical, due to sheer weight and the fact that it is manual focus.

A man needs to know his limitations. Even the TAMRON SP AF 200-500 f/5-6.3 DI LD is a serious undertaking, but definitely "doable", weighing in at only 43 ounces (half of the prior model). Yes, it's definitely lighter than most 70-200mmm f/2.8 lenses.

So, if you are looking to whip the lens from one direction to another, this older beast is definitely not the one. Buy the newer lens (SP AF 200-500 f/5-6.3 Di LD) and have fun. The SONY A700 provides the stability for the longer shot ... and it doesn't take much to improve most shots.

12-27-2007, 08:40 PM
500 mirror works great too

12-27-2007, 08:42 PM
500 mirror works great too

The TAMRON or SONY? I have a Vivitar MF 500mm Reflex. I just don't see it as a sharp lens, though. Believe me, I have tried. Lightweight, oh yeah. A whole ten ounces. LOL


12-27-2007, 08:44 PM
i have a vivitar..but there are others..basically all the same

12-27-2007, 09:27 PM
Okay, here is a side-by-side ... same exposure settings off the A700, same distance to subject ... 10-feet.

Vivitar MF 500mm f/8
EXIF: 500mm - f/8 - 1/200 sec - ISO-100 - Manual - Elex Flash (Full Power)

TAMRON MF 200-500mm f/6.9
EXIF: 500mm - f/8 - 1/200 sec - ISO-100 - Manual - Elex Flash (Full Power)

The TAMRON appears brighter ... so f/8 is obviously in question, here. That is the Reflex lens' rating and it is "fixed", so I guess we take it up with them for pushing an f/11 lens ... and wishing it was an f/8. Without a third lens for comparison ... it's up for grabs, but still ... the TAMRON delivered a brighter shot. It also looks like the magnification is a bit longer with the TAMRON. So ... call the Vivitar a 450mm lens, based on the TAMRON's calibration, because on the Vivitar ... it is "fixed" also. (LOL)

Both are manually focused ... and handheld. The Reflex makes for a very light tote, but no flexibility in framing. You are stuck with that ~450mm f/11 shot, every time ... and just hope for a real bright day, I suppose :rolleyes:

12-28-2007, 09:02 PM
i know it's not the best but it's ok for some stuff..

while we are comparing lenses

here is a shot with the 500 vivitar f8 12ft away

12-28-2007, 09:04 PM
sigma 70-200dg 2.8 at f8 200

12-28-2007, 09:06 PM
mc mount with 1:1 adapter 200 mm 3.5........

at 5.6

12-28-2007, 09:29 PM
same lens with out the lens element in the adapter...(my focus was off a bit):(

12-28-2007, 09:45 PM
Well, it might be fun to check this one out ... but SONY's version (the SAL-500F80 - 500mm f/8 Reflex (http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&productId=11039029) Super Telephoto Lens) is ... yeah, Autofocus. I kid you not ... the world's only one, from my understanding. Add that to the α100/α700's built-in anti-shake and you might have a very competative lens.

It is also a little too seriously priced at $699, which is a far cry from the $100 you probably paid for the Vivitar 500mm f/8 Reflex, right? If they chopped that price in half, I might even try one ... but, if I'm popping for a $700 lens ... that would definitely go for the TAMRON SP AF 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD, first, for only $100 more. It just does more and brighter.

I guess what surprises me is that the SONY can actually autofocus with a fixed f/8 lens. Most AF cameras simply can't. They would either stop or just drift back and forth, through the subject's focal plane. There's another darn good reason to grab a SONY and start shootin', right? BETTER AF RESPONSE. <- Darn tootin'! :D

12-29-2007, 12:21 PM
i like my sigma apo 70-200 2.8...i have yet to try it with a 2x but i suppose it couldn't be to bad..even at about 4.8 400mm

01-16-2008, 02:53 AM
but its rare you can get autofocus to get tight at 500mm.

Depends on the lens and camera Don. My 500mm AF is superb.