You know me . . . I had to try it. One and done, I figured, no hands for the job and not enough resolution even if I did. And about as wrong an assumption as I’ve ever made.
With decent light but no inclination to chase birds this afternoon, I headed out to shoot known targets with the CL, 350mm Telyt, and 2X. Setting the lens to f/5.6 (eff. f/11) and testing my hands with shutter speeds at 1/1250 and 1/1600, I figured the ultralong configuration would be like trying to gun down gnats with a rifle.
First surprise was that my hands were good at either speed. Second was that the resolution of the combo was astounding. Not the easiest to focus at first-level magnification because of the shaky EVF and because the moderate contrast yields only limited peaking cues when magnified, I took my time with each shot and was rewarded with surprisingly well-defined edges, even on the smallest details.
It’s easy to imagine that the lukewarm reviews for this lens were possibly due not to any shortcomings, but to the limitations on focusing accurately forty years ago. Although its middling contrast makes it not the best option with bird feather details, as a general purpose telephoto it’s as sharp as I’ve ever seen, including the much-vaunted 280mm f/4 APO.
And, as we know it was designed with the intention of being used with the non-APO extender, released about the same time, it might even take the APO 2X even better than the APO lens. Too bad I can’t post my shots, but I don’t want my regular haunts doxxed (which has happened).
Anyway, the shorter sibling of the lens, the 250mm, was to have arrived today, but it is stuck in . . . (all together now) . . . the land of cheap accessories. Or, as Bill Maher calls it, the shithole superpower. 😉