Review of the Tair-3A 300 / 4.5 photo lens, ZOMZ, 1967 from a reader of Radozhiva

View of the TAIR-3 4,5 / 300-A lens (ZOMZ, 1967), examples of photographs from it, and the review itself especially for Radozhiva, prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

Tair-3A 300 / 4.5

Tair-3A 300 / 4.5

Characteristics Tair-3A:
Optical design: 3 elements in 3 groups (“Tair” design)
Resolution (center / edge): 45/38 lines / mm, according to technical specifications - 36/30 lines / mm
Light transmittance: 0.8
Geometric vignetting: 40% (on APS, the illumination drops to the edge of the frame by 40%)
Field of view in native format: 8 degrees
Aperture Limits: F / 4.5-F / 22
Aperture design: 16 flap, with dual ring preset mechanism
Filter thread: 72 mm
Mounting to the camera: A-adapter, usually with an M42 * 1 shank.
Tair-3A - A modification of the Tair-3 lens for conventional cameras, was produced in Zagorsk (Sergiev Posad) for a fairly long time - from the 60s until the restructuring and collapse of the USSR. The early versions of the lens (before the 70s) were coated with black varnish, the later versions were matte and carried a quality mark.

See more reviews of the Krasnogorsk versions: MC TAIR-3S 4,5 / 300 (black), TAIR-3-FS 4,5 / 300 (black), Tair-3-PHS 4,5 / 300 (White).

Design and main features Tair-3A

The Tair-3A is a true telephoto lens; therefore, it has a very large length, almost equal to its RF.

The whole lens is made of metal, therefore it is very heavy - this modification weighs 1600 g. In general, the Taira-3s are all made extremely foolproof - they are strong and reliable like a tank.
To make the handling of the lens more convenient, the designers provided for a tripod mount on it (in fact, it is useless to try to mount the Tair-3A camera to a tripod due to the camera mount socket):

Tair-3A

Tair-3A

Tair-3A has two tripod sockets at once - 3/8 ”(old type) and 1/4” (new type). The clamp with the heel of the mount to the tripod is movable and is locked with a powerful screw. But from time to time on my copy it is impossible to turn it in the usual ways.

On the clamp there is a proud inscription “Made in USSR” and the logo of the manufacturer (ZOMZ):

Tair-3A

Tair-3A

The main difference between this lens and Tair-3C is the usual focusing mechanism - with the help of a ring. Such a mechanism does not bother the amateur photographer, unlike the Tair-3C flywheel. If we compare them for convenience, then Tair-3C is convenient to focus horizontally and inconveniently vertically; Tair-3A to some extent always inconvenient to focus. When focusing on MDF (2.2 m), the lens lengthens very much:

Tair-3A at infinity

Tair-3A at MDF

Tair-3A at infinity

Tair-3A at infinity

Another feature is the presence of an excellent lens hood for this lens modification - not a rubber “plunger”, but a fixed, retractable metal hood. It protects the lens well from excess light and bad weather.

Extended hood

Extended hood

Unlike Tair-3C, Tair-3A has the usual two-ring aperture preset mechanism: first, the value is selected with one ring, and then the aperture is closed to it by another ring. The diaphragm itself, as before, is sixteen-petalled, blackened:

Aperture view at f / 22

Aperture view at f / 22

Thanks to this design of the diaphragm, the circles of blur are always round.

In general, the lens pleases with its indestructible construct, familiar layout and such joys as a universal tripod mount and a retractable lens hood. Among the shortcomings can be noted the size and weight of the lens, as well as the not the most pleasant focusing process due to the size of the ring.

Optical properties of the Tair-3A lens

The Tair scheme is one of the simplest optical schemes; it contains only 3 elements: achromat with an air gap and corrective thick meniscus at the back. It is in it that all the salt of the circuit - one such lens removes to some extent all aberrations. A similar idea was applied by Maksutov in mirror-lens systems.

Tair-3, as a fixed lens, has a sufficiently large relative aperture for its focal length - F / 4.5, zooms like 70-300 usually have F / 5.6 at the far end. Although in general this is not much and will not allow to set low ISO in low light.

There are no surprises in terms of image Tair-3A - the picture without processing is low-contrast (always, although in general the lens is resistant to “excess” light), with pronounced HA on the open diaphragm. The sharpness of the lens seems to be good, but it’s so hard to take something with this lens, falling into focus with such a small depth of field, without blurring the picture with hand shake! It is because of the movements and mistakes that most of the pictures go into marriage - it is by no means easy to shoot with this lens.

The lens can be used when shooting portraits and nature, despite its shortcomings. Tair-3A well separates the background, has a nice smooth bokeh. The sharpness of the lens is enough for its usual tasks. Tair-3A has the correct color rendition.

Tair-3 lenses are loved by many astronomers: they can be used both for astrophotography and for visual observations of bright extended sky objects.

Moon on Tair-3A, crop, F / 8.

Moon on Tair-3A, crop, F / 8.

Solar eclipse at Tair-3A, crop, F / 8, visual solar filter.

Solar eclipse at Tair-3A, crop, F / 8, visual solar filter.

And more examples:

conclusions

Tair-3A is a good long-focus fixed lens for your money - you can take it into the arsenal for specific purposes or just try it (the benefit of prices allows). It has quite adequate optical quality and a very reliable construct. It does not shine with ease of use, it is not easy to use Tair-3A. In general, it is able to compete with zooms such as 70-300 and other "three hundred" in image quality.

Thank you for your attention, Eshmakov Rodion.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 25, on the topic: Overview of the Tair-3A 300 / 4.5 photo lens, ZOMZ, 1967 from a reader of Radozhiva

  • Ullar

    And it can also be used as a club or hammer.

  • Eugene o

    "In general, it is able to compete with zooms like 70-300 and other" XNUMX "in terms of image quality."

    Well, if you fight with three hundred like clubs, literally, then yes - you can fight. As for 1967, it certainly looks decent, but nothing more.

    • Rodion

      Tair-3 will be better than modern lenses. For example, the mid-format 300/4 Pentacon and Zonnar are said to lose in quality. The Japanese nameless three-hundredths of type 300 / 5.6 are also far behind.
      So it turns out that for imputed money the 300 / 4.5 lens does not buy a good one. As an option, there is a Nikkor 300 / 4.5 cool, but the prices are not very merciful.
      The Canon 70-300 III zoom seemed to me even worse than Tahir, although, m. poorly compared.

      • anonym

        But after all, 300 per SF is essentially 200. And to use a 35 mm sf lens, and even more so on a crop, expecting sharpness is stupid ...

        • Rodion

          Why stupid. Here was Uranus-27 - so it covers 8 * 8 cm. But at the same time, it should be noted that even on the crop it has a very decent resolution.

  • Alan grek

    I have 3A and 3FS (I sell the second, as an advertisement). and so, according to my subjective sensations and the sensations of yet another comrade, they used both the first and second, but different copies:
    - 3A has a better picture! both in contrast and in sharpness;
    - less MDF and any aperture value !! in contrast to the multiple of the full foot in 3FS (
    - but on 3FS it is much more convenient to focus, there is less shake from the hands. at 3A at values ​​close to infinity, it is still normal, but when you turn it to the MDF, the weight balance shifts and the lens simply turns out of hand. maybe with a heavier camera and it will be fine ..
    I will also add that Tair-3A was sold in a leather tube on a belt with color and one UV filters, which were attached to the tube cover; The native lens cap is made of metal, on a thread, which is not very convenient, but reliable.
    and another moment: with the KP-A / N shank, it does not fit into my native tube with light filters, without filters it is normal; with KP-A / 42 - there is no such problem.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It is rumored that “A” lenses have always been considered to be of better quality.

  • Pastor

    An interesting modification of this taira. I have two, but both for photo guns. I would love to change to this or buy it. Mostly the native hood is pleasing, but the usual focus is also a plus. Although, taking a longer shot at the taira with a photo gun you get used to it and only then look for the twist at the bottom of the other lenses on the machine :)

  • zengarden

    A real male lens :) here only for astro-photo is probably better, mirror-meniscus.

    • Rodion

      EVIL is definitely not better, because their aperture ratio is very low.

      • zengarden

        F8 and lack of distortion; shutter speed is not critical. This would have to clamp the diaphragm more.
        Although, for the pictures of the moon, it will fit perfectly :)

        • Rodion

          ZM-5 has a non-acidic spherical)
          Tair on F / 8, I think, by permission, it will give you a chance to light up EVIL.

  • anonym

    and SBU will not be raked for such photos? :)))

    • Rodion

      In the Russian Federation, the SBU does not work)

  • anonym

    And the drawing is nice. Thanks for the review)

    • Rodion

      I also like the picture from this lens, because I still use it)
      PS You're welcome

  • Alexander

    An excellent lens, I shot the Moon on it on a DSLR and a mirrorless camera - of course, a wild tremor from my hands) But with a tripod and proper patience - excellent quality! The price is now over UAH 1, which is sad. Used to be cheaper

  • anonym

    When you open the site on a tablet (iPad), the bottom panel is vk, fc.b, tai, g +, up, it occupies about 12% of the display and can’t be removed, is this fact very annoying and interferes with reading?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Fix it

  • anonym

    I’m eyeing Tair 3. Most likely 3a. Camera NEX 7. Please tell me how to install.

  • Kostjan

    There are three aperture scales on my taira, why? Brussels M39

  • Alexander

    Knowledgeable people, tell me how to decipher the marking? I would like to know the year of manufacture of the lens. I have an export Tair 3 4.5 300A N702855 factory ZOMZ

    • Trueash

      EMNIP, according to Soviet standards, the first two digits indicate the year. 1970, began to be

  • "Joe"

    A short video about the Tair-3AS 300mm f / 4.5 in English:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twl-bIaoDZY

  • Rodion

    Added sample photos to full frame Sony A7s.

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