[OM] 350mm f2.8

Subject: [OM] 350mm f2.8
From: "Ron Crabtree" <crabtree@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:05:00 -0600
Hello all,

Pardon the length of this listing.  I am wondering about recent experience
with the Zuiko 350mm f2.8.  I recently purchased one from KEH for the
seemingly reasonable price of $3100.  It was black, not white, but was in
quite good condition it seemed.  I had heard about the legendary sharpness
and quality of this lens and before even receiving it I had sold my Sigma
500mm APO f4.5 on ebay to a local buyer, but things did not work out.  So,
when my 350mm arrived I had both the 350mm and the 500mm to compare.  I also
had a Tokina 300mm f2.8 ATX that I had also tried to sell to KEH to help pay
for the 350mm, but that too did not work out.  My plan was to have one
phenomenal lens(350mm/490mm/700mm with the use of the 1.4xA and the 2xA) to
take the place of the 300mm and 500mm.  But whoa!!  That 350mm is REALLLLLY
HEAVY!!!  The lens hood was a little skimpy too.  But what really surprised
me was the fact that my lowly Tokina 300mm 2.8 ATX and the 500mm APO Sigma
resulted in much brighter and contrasty viewfinder images and sharper
transparencies.  Granted, the Tokina is 50mm shorter than the Zuiko and the
Sigma is a prime 500mm as compared to the 350mm and a matched 1.4xA at
490mm, but hey...this is the legendary Zuiko 350mm f2.8.  Needless to say,
the Zuiko is on its way back to KEH and I am VERY glad to still have my
Tokina and Sigma lenses.  Maybe I got a dud lens from KEH, but has anyone
besides myself ever compared the Zuiko at 490mm to a Sigma 500mm APO?  As
far as I know, the Sigma is the only available long FAST lens made for OM
anymore.  And I had to special order it from Sigma to boot.  It is amazingly
lightweight for its focal length, although it does not seem anywhere near as
sturdy as the Zuiko.  You might say that I am setting everyone up to buy the
Sigma from me when I list it again, but nope.  This is a lens I will keep
and recommend to anyone needing a fairly light, fast supertelephoto.  I
wonder if the fact that the Sigma is APO makes the difference?  One big
problem with the Sigma lens, though, is the fact that it is not compatible
with the 1.4xA since the extending front element of the 1.4xA protrudes too
far.  Does anyone know of a way to fix this?  What would happen if I put a
small extension tube between the 1.4xA and the Sigma lens?  I really want a
700mm f5.6 lens, and the 350mm with the 2xA just did not make the grade.  I
have no experience with the Zuiko 600mm, but feel it is really a bit too
slow for my work.  This novel is concluded.  Thanks for reading....snore!!

Ron Crabtree
Santa Fe, NM

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