Recommend me a good tele zoom legacy lens?

Started Mar 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
oklaphotog Senior Member • Posts: 1,093
Re: Contradiction in terms

oklaphotog wrote:

LincolnB wrote:

"Good" "Legacy" and "Zoom" don't belong together in the same sentence. Zooms are optically inferior to primes and older zooms were much worse than newer zooms. (Unlike legacy primes, which except for coatings are still as good as newer primes.) Old zooms just weren't that good. I've got some legacy zooms and they're pretty unusable wide open and nothing special stopped down.

The Olympus 40-150mm micro four thirds zoom is probably your best bet for an inexpensive tele zoom. When it goes on sale it can be had for about $120. On the short end of zooms the kit lens will outperform older zooms.

Not all zooms are inferior to primes, although they generally are. The 14-24/2.8 Nikkor is a much better lens than any of the 14/2.8 primes out there. The original 120-300/2.8 Sigma was better than their 300/3.8 and breathing down the neck of the Canon 300/2.8 L. There are other examples of this as well. Look at the MTF of the old Minolta 35-200xi. It's resolution was nearly as good and sometimes better than many primes of it's day, and it was a super zoom (although probably the best one ever made until the 28-300L). David Kilpatrick swears by the 35-200xi.

The OP already has a 45-200, so the 40-150 isn't a solution. I highly doubt the 100-300 Panny is any better than a 100-300/4 Tokina ATX, 75-300 Minolta MD (same lens as the Alpha Big Beercan) 50-300/4.5 or 100-300/5.6 Canon FD L. The 70-210/2.8-4 Kiron's and the 70-210/4 Minolta MD and Leica R (both are the same lens as the Alpha Beercan) are great lenses too, but the OP already has something out to 200mm.

All of these lenses are far less expensive than the 100-300 Panny. If you can do without AF these are good options.

I would note to this that the the 50-300 FD L, is generally more expensive than the 100-300 Panny, but if you look hard enough, you can find them under 500 bucks. It is a much better lens optically than the 100-300 Panny though.

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