280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R

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I'm considering replacing some under-used equipment with this lens. I've read a lot about the detail rendition and color quality, but what about bokeh and resistance to flare? These are very important to me. Comparisons with the late 250-R, late 280 f/4.8, and first-version 300mm f/4.5 Nikkor ED will help.

-- Douglas Herr (telyt@earthlink.net), February 04, 2002


Doug, I've had the 280/4 APO for the past 3 months and have used it singly, with the 1.4xAPO, 2xAPO and 1.4x+2x. I have used the lenses you mention, plus a few others, but not simultaneously so I can't make that comparison fairly. I have shot the 280/4APO concurrent with the 300/2.8 Tamron SP IF Adaptall (v.2, the "good one"), 300/2.8 AF-S Nikkor and 300/2.8 IS Canon. At f/4 (of course)I can not detect significant differences between these lenses (the Nikon and Canon pull ahead of the Tamron a hair in the outer corners at f/2.8). With teleconverters, the Canon is way out front, but this is clearly due to the effect of Image Stabilization at reducing vibration-induced blur. At one time I owned the ED-IF version of the Nikkor 300/4.5 and also the 300/4 AF, and those lenses were less contrasty and softer in the corners than the 300/2.8 AF-S or the Tamron, so you might be able to draw some conclusions. I certainly prefer the 280/4 over the 280/2.8 (non-modular) due to the fact it has a knob to lock the tripod collar anywhere. Those pushbutton collar locks with set lockpoints are fine if you use a ballhead; I use an Arca B2 as a sort of gimbal-type head so I need the tripod collar to level the horizon.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), February 04, 2002.


I have had only one outing for wildlife pictures with my new 280/4 APO but was very impressed with it. Some shots were made with the lens alone and some with 1.4X APO or 2X APO extender. All pictures were sharp with excellent detail when I did my part correctly. Color quality was like looking through Leica binoculars which is to say great. Shot closely near the morning sun using K64 without any noticeable flare effects. Didn't happen to notice the bokeh in slides so it must not be bad and probably is pretty good to escape notice. No experience with the other Leica lenses you mentioned but my slides had slightly more contrast than with Nikkor 400/f3.5 ED. The color quality of 280/f4 was at least equal if not better also. Pictures were much better than with Nikkor 500/f8, sharper with more contrast and more even light/color rendition. Think you would like the 280/f4 APO. LB

-- Luther Berry (lberrytx@aol.com), February 04, 2002.

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