Brock Whittaker, a landscape photographer in Phoenix, AZ recently decided to take it upon himself to look at some of the unknown and dated telephoto lenses that can be bought on eBay for ridiculously cheap. Among those, he was able to pick up a Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO, Five Star 500mm f/8, Sears 2x Teleconvertor, and a Generic 3x teleconverter all for $50. His findings, were actually quite impressive.
In his first attempt, Brock put the Sears 2x teleconverter on the Sigma 500mm f/8, making it an incredibly slow f/16 lens on his Sony NEX camera. And while you’d expect that the depth of field to be nearly nonexistent, it was actually still incredibly sharp, as he was shooting at a focal length of 1000mm. The images he was able to capture were of some shingles, about 220 feet away from where he was standing. As you can see below, the sharpness is great, with a pretty nice bokeh to boot, given its an unknown lens branded as ‘Five Star’.
The Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO performed equally as well, with a razor thin depth of field, even with the 2x TC attached. And while there is some fragmenting in the bokeh, the results are pretty stellar, given the price of the lens.
Later in the evening, was able to get some great shots of the Estralla mountain range 13 miles away from where he was standing.
While these photos don't directly compete in sharpness and quality with some of the newest lenses available today, they were also obtained for a fraction of the costs (Some telephotos break $8000 in price). Proving that perhaps the latest products are not always are best options, especially when perfectly capable lenses can be found for pennies by comparison.
You can see more of Brock's work on his flickr page.
[via reddit | photos used with premission]