400mm Fluorite Telephoto Lens

This is one of my favorite systems – 400mm F8


The total weight is surprisingly only 1.0kg (2.2 lbs) including a camera!! Quite easy to carry and handhold for shooting without tripod. The image quality created by the fluorite optics is promising. The issues are

1) Speed : You might feel this is a bit too slow. Basically BORG speed looks like  a couple of stops faster than the conventional telephoto lenses because of less number of lens elements. So BORG F8 feels like F6.3 or something like that in regular lenses. As long as it is used under the sunlight, I didn’t feel this was too slow at all. Camera has the image stabilizer. That should be big help.  We have another fluorite – 400mm F5.6.  It is still very light weight. If someone is looking for more than 400mm, 71FL + 1.4x might be good choice (560mm F7.8). I’d like to show this 71FL(71mm aperture) here next time.

2) Focusing : BORG requires completely manual focus. But thanks for today’s technology. EVF is very useful for fine focusing. Especially EVF’s zoom-up mode allows to focus precisely. Olympus E-PL1 allows to enlarge 7x – 14x. But 7x as minimum number is too much in handhold and I was always thinking I need a bit smaller number like 4x or 5x in the field. Fortunately, new OM-D’s enlarging number starts from 5X. Probably a lot of people were feeling the same and Olympus should have listened to such voices.  Thank you! EVF with 5x should be perfect for handheld focusing. Looks like OM-D allows to switch between 1x and 5x by one push like E-PL1. This is very important too.

Because of those reasons, I’m eagerly waiting for OM-D.


– 5x mag EVF for focusing

– 5-axis image stabilizer (I’m very curious how it makes it better)

– less-lowpass effect

features are perfect match with BORG.

Still Fuji X-Pro1 is interesting. So I plan to try with X-Pro 1 ASAP too. It is unfortunate it has no body-stabilizer. But it might work well for astro.





~ by tedishikawa on March 8, 2012.

2 Responses to “400mm Fluorite Telephoto Lens”

  1. The E-M5 also allows using the IS for manual focussing, which should help a lot. I’m looking forward to it.

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