Tair-3 4,5/300 Review
Tair-3 4,5/300 (Russian Таир-3 4,5/300) is a fast telephoto lens with fixed focal length for 35 mm SLR cameras. Perhaps this is the only one telephoto lens having a focal length and aperture ratio, which was produced for half a century, with almost no change in the optical design.
It produced since the mid-1950s to 2005 in USSR on the factories KMZ (Krasnogorsk Factory Zvereva) and ZOMZ (Zagorsk optical-mechanical plant) and KOMZ (Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant) and endured several modifications:
Tair-3 4,5/300 - the very first issue, for M42 system, presented in this review. Still does not have built-in hood and tripod socket.
Tair-3A 4,5/300 - redesigned barrel, equipped with retractable hood, tripod socket and has an A-mount (T-mount analogue), and is installed on any system.
Tair-3-S 4,5/300, Tair-3-PhS 4,5/300 - intended for mount on "Zenit Photosniper" have a completely different barrel design and the other focusing mechanism and a rubber hood.
Tair-3-T 4,5/300 - version for television and cine.
Later modifications have multi-coating, and have letters "MC". In 1958, Tair-3 the award-winning Grand-Prix at the World Exhibition in Brussels as one of the most dramatic telephoto lenses. With such a modest optical design, all 3 lenses in 3 groups, and the aperture ratio of 1:4.5 at the 300mm focal length, even now it is surprised by its sharpness.
This is first version of the lens, has a serial number 001115, and released on KMZ. Judging by the appearance, the lens has passed a difficult path. Housing badly battered life side is stock number caused by oil paint, indicating the use of the lens in the state structures. But despite the appearance of such lenses in the order, the case took all the blows of fate itself. It shows the reliability of the barrel.
Tair-3 has optical design 3 lenses in 3 groups. This design has long flange distance that equates it to retro focal design where the flange distance is almost equal to the focal length of the lens.
Tair-3 4,5/300 Specifications
Focal length: 300mm
Aperture: f/ 4,5 – f/ 22
Weight (gr): 1340
Length (mm): 250
Filter Ø (mm.): 72
Aperture blades: 16
Min. Focus distance (m.): 3
Tair-3 4,5/300 Handling and Mechanics
Visually the lens has a huge size, and looks at the camera giant. Something like a telescope. But despite its almost 1,5 kg weight, have good balance, and it is convenient to shoot. I did not feel disadvantage of my Nikon D3100. On the contrary, big weight reduces a handshake, and I was able to shoot without motion blurring at 1/80 shutter speed.
Handling on Nikon D3100
The main weight is on the edge of the lens, where the optical elements is located. And that half of that is closer to the camera is an empty tube with internal hood to reduce stray light. Barrel is made of metal, and the design is like some military equipment like the lens is designed for military purposes. Aperture ring and focus ring is not rubberized. The lens has a 72mm filter thread. Next is the narrow aperture ring. The diaphragm closes smoothly. 16 blades allow forming a perfect circles in the bokeh. To the surprise of the blades are blackening, not all the objectives of those years have blacking diaphragm blades. The lens has no automatic preset aperture, only manual.
At infinity mode
At MFD mode
A short distance from the aperture ring is the focus ring. It is rotated by 270 degrees. The front part of the lens extends to 3.5 cm. Focusing smooth. The front element is rotating. Generally focusing is convenient, but because of the fact that the focus ring is narrow, and is located near the aperture ring, sometimes I confuse them, it is inconvenient. I set the lens on Nikon SLR camera via an adapter M42-Nikon. While Infinity saved.
Tair-3 4,5/300 Example Photos
All examples were taken on camera Nikon D3100 on wide open. RAW export without any post-processing.
Tair-3 4,5/300 Sharpness
The lens has a good sharpness. The best sharpness seen at a distance of 30-40 meters.
On the wide open there are certain scenes slight chromatic aberration.
On the close focusing on the aperture the sharpness is good for portraits. When close the aperture to a value of f/5,6 aberration partially disappear. At f/8 is greatly improved sharpness, disappearing almost all aberration.
Sharpness at infinity mode
Tair-3 4,5/300 Character and Bokeh
The lens at this focal length and aperture nicely separates the object from the background in portraits good blurs the background.
Bokeh beautiful when the background is much distant from the subject. Even at a distance of 40 meters, you can get a good selection of the object from the background.
But in general, I do not really like bokeh. Although it is a subjective opinion.
Tamron 1:5,6 f=300mm i like more.
Tair-3 4,5/300 Color Render and Contrast
Unfortunately, the lens showed low contrast, even with the hood.
Photo quality requires correction of contrast.
It is afraid of the strong backlight and side light.
The same applies to color reproduction. The images give a slightly yellowish.
But in general, the contrast is not much worse than the rest of the Soviet lenses. I would say to the Soviet lenses such color reproduction is the norm, and to demand from the lens with three lenses and a single layer coating something more is not necessary.
MC version of the lens a bit better, but not completely eliminate these disadvantages. If you shoot with a hood of a bright sunny day and are not allowed in the frame strong light sources, you can get good quality of pictures.
Tair-3 4.5/300 especially interesting for its fastest and sharpness. Aperture f/4,5 allows shooting in cloudy weather and even night landscapes and astrophotography.
But in terms of contrast and color, it worse then same lenses.