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06-27-2011, 08:59 PM   #1
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Mirror Lens at DX

What you think about these:

500mm F/8.0 Telephoto Mirror Lens
$125.30 - 500mm F/8.0 Telephoto Mirror Lens - Photo & Camera

&

500mm F/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens
$182.50 - 500mm F/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens - Photo & Camera

06-27-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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The f6.3 lens is better rated and about 2/3rd stop faster than f8 version. I don't have either of them but I am mulling over whether to get the f6.3 version or not. I would like to do some comparison test against Tamron SP 55B 500/8.0. If the IQ is about the same, 2/3 stop gain would be a real plus. Here is a link to an eBay seller with better price than DX, less the rear filters: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=360370738834&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Hope this helps,
06-28-2011, 07:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ultraviolet Quote
What you think about these:

500mm F/8.0 Telephoto Mirror Lens
$125.30 - 500mm F/8.0 Telephoto Mirror Lens - Photo & Camera

&

500mm F/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens
$182.50 - 500mm F/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens - Photo & Camera
I think those are lousy prices and I think you can do better, especially since those lenses will ship from China and take a while to get to you and have who knows what in terms of warranty. They look like they are generic re-badges of the Samyang mirror lenses, as seen here:

::: Samyang Optics co., ltd. - We bring you Safety :::

Samyang.pl Samyang 500 mm MC IF f/6,3 Mirror

Samyang lenses are sold (and warrantied) under a broad range of brands in the US (Vivitar, Pro-Optic, Rokinon, etc.) It looks like you are in Canada, so I'm not sure exactly the situation there, but I imagine it's similar. Their mirror lenses are T-mount lenses and can be adapted to other mounts, and are sold both without adapters and bundled with adapters.

I bought the Rokinon branded version of the 500mm f/6.3, and you can buy that from a reputable reseller in the US like Amazon bundled with a T-mount to K-mount adapter for $169 (the mount adapter would cost $5-$15 if bought separately):

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004JHY5P6/

The 500mm f/6.3 is a better lens optically than the 500mm f/8.0, so if you're going to get one, go with the f/6.3. Keep in mind that mirror lenses have a whole set of caveats (fixed aperture, donut shaped bokeh, lower average contrast, the mirror finish looses it's reflectivity by about 1% per year) along with their benefits (light, compact, good resolution, suffer from very little chromatic aberrations). You can find reviews of the 500mm f/6.3 here in this forum:

Rokinon / Kenko / Bower / Samyang 500mm F/6.3 DX Lens Reviews - Fixed Focal Lengths - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

Some people have also posted samples in the mirror lens club:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/71775-mirror-lens-club.html

I also bought a 95mm lens hood, metal, brand name Sonia, from an ebay seller for $12.95 shipped, and the 95mm lens cap fits perfectly on the theaded open end of the hood. (All lenses and especially mirror lenses should come with hoods, without a hood stray light can get in from outside the field of view and reduce contrast.)
06-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
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Avoid these new under $ 200 lenses if you can afford a 300 / 400 mm prime or zoom.
Image sharpness, contrast and bokeh will worry you to no end. At best you will enjoy it for its novelty value for a few days and then will be at your wits end for how best to dispose it.
If at all you need a mirror lens, go for the Russian MTO, Sigma, Tamron or Vivitar in Pentax Bayonet Mount or M42 with a Pentax original adapter. These are better lenses and have to be bought used on eBay, KEH, B&H or this Forum etc. They sell for between $ 100 to 250 depending on the condition.

06-28-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Avoid these new under $ 200 lenses if you can afford a 300 / 400 mm prime or zoom.
Image sharpness, contrast and bokeh will worry you to no end. At best you will enjoy it for its novelty value for a few days and then will be at your wits end for how best to dispose it.
If at all you need a mirror lens, go for the Russian MTO, Sigma, Tamron or Vivitar in Pentax Bayonet Mount or M42 with a Pentax original adapter. These are better lenses and have to be bought used on eBay, KEH, B&H or this Forum etc. They sell for between $ 100 to 250 depending on the condition.
Generally good advice, and for example I already have a 70-210mm f/4.5, 70-200mm f/2.8, 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6, and 400mm f/5.6 so a 500mm f/6.3 mirror makes sense. I don't know what the OP has, but they did seem set on purchasing a mirror lens, which is why I didn't question it so much.

While nobody I know of has done a shootout of the Samyang 500mm f/6.3 and an older mirror lens, based on the shots I've seen, it looks like it could match or exceed those older mirror lenses. And being a newly constructed mirror, it should be a lot brighter (a mirror lens that's 20 years old will be 1% dimmer per year, though I'd guess that's a logarithmic progression and therefore not 20% total reflectivity lost).
06-28-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
I also bought a 95mm lens hood, metal, brand name Sonia, from an ebay seller for $12.95 shipped, and the 95mm lens cap fits perfectly on the theaded open end of the hood. (All lenses and especially mirror lenses should come with hoods, without a hood stray light can get in from outside the field of view and reduce contrast.)
This Sonia lens hood, could it be reverse mounted onto the lens like the Tamron SP 55B(B)'s oem lens hood? It would be less than ideal if it cannot.

QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote

While nobody I know of has done a shootout of the Samyang 500mm f/6.3 and an older mirror lens, based on the shots I've seen, it looks like it could match or exceed those older mirror lenses. And being a newly constructed mirror, it should be a lot brighter (a mirror lens that's 20 years old will be 1% dimmer per year, though I'd guess that's a logarithmic progression and therefore not 20% total reflectivity lost).
My Tamron SP 55B 500/8.0 was manufactured between 1979 and 1983. Even the last lens to come off the assembly line is fast approaching 30 years of age. I've seen pictures taken with the Rokinon 500/6.3 here in the Forums and they were very good. If the IQ is equal to the Tamron 55B, 2/3rd stop faster aperture will make focusing a lot easier. I am very tempted to buy this lens - really depends on your answer about the Sonia lens hood.

Thanks,
06-28-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
This Sonia lens hood, could it be reverse mounted onto the lens like the Tamron SP 55B(B)'s oem lens hood? It would be less than ideal if it cannot.
No it cannot be reverse mounted because it is 95mm at both ends (male threading on one end, female on the other). I ended up getting a neoprene drawstring lens pouch and keep the hood attached, and while not a small combo in total length, it remains very light.
06-28-2011, 10:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
No it cannot be reverse mounted because it is 95mm at both ends (male threading on one end, female on the other). I ended up getting a neoprene drawstring lens pouch and keep the hood attached, and while not a small combo in total length, it remains very light.
Thanks for the info, would you do me the favour of providing the lens' length and diameter with the lens hood mounted? If I pick up this lens I would definitely get the lens hood and a 95mm screw-in metal lens cap, or can the lens cap that was provided be used over the lens hood?

Much appreciated,

06-29-2011, 05:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
Thanks for the info, would you do me the favour of providing the lens' length and diameter with the lens hood mounted? If I pick up this lens I would definitely get the lens hood and a 95mm screw-in metal lens cap, or can the lens cap that was provided be used over the lens hood?

Much appreciated,
About 7.5 inches (190mm) in length with hood and T-mount to K-mount adapter attached, diameter is about 3.8 inches (98mm). Hood is just under 3 inches (75mm) in length on it's own. The Rokinon version of the lens comes with a sturdy side-pinch clip on 95mm cap that fits just as well in the 95mm threaded opening of the Sonia hood as it does on the lens.
06-29-2011, 06:43 AM   #10
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I have the 500/8 in the Opteka version. They are all pretty much the same lens with only some cosmetic differences with different brand names. Mine looks identical the one in the photo. The 500/6.3 is considered the better lens. I picked mine up quite cheap, used. I had a single purpose in mind which was getting shots of my daughters crew team racing their boats at a few places where the course was several hundred yards away from the shoreline. It did the job although the IQ wasn't all that great. I really haven't used it since she graduated. The lens is very light but 500mm is still very difficult to hand hold and for me, at least a monopod is essential. I have got some pretty good shots from it but not on a consistent basis. A lens hood helps. I made one out of some black plastic tubing. Based on the postings I have seen in the forum, the old Tamron is a much better lens if you can find one.
06-29-2011, 07:55 AM   #11
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DX's price is more expensive than the Bower/Phoenix 500/6.3 lenses from B&H - and it's the same lens almost surely.
06-29-2011, 08:53 AM   #12
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Sonia is an excellent Delhi based manufacturer for the past 40 years. I have attached a zip file of a list of their accessories I own / wish list for future purchases.
The family business split and now they sell under (3) different brand names - all competing with each other. An amazing amount of accessories and photo gear are available in the Photo Wali Galli, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi - 100's of shops - opposite the Red Fort. Literally 30 to 50% of the New York / Brooklyn prices - eBay prices are obviously inflated. Example a DSLR Hand Grip costs INR 250 (US $ 5.50) in shops in the Galli (street).
I own the Sigma 600/f8 in M42 mount w/Pentax original Bayonet Adapter + a Sonia black anodised one. The metal lens hood reversed nests over the lens making a very compact storage solution. The whole lens then goes snug inside a Quantaray padded lens storage case - hood and all. This case is no bigger than the lens itself.

Last edited by nanhi; 11-19-2012 at 08:31 AM.
06-29-2011, 01:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Sonia is an excellent Delhi based manufacturer for the past 40 years. I have attached a zip file of a list of their accessories I own / wish list for future purchases.
The family business split and now they sell under (3) different brand names - all competing with each other. An amazing amount of accessories and photo gear are available in the Photo Wali Galli, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi - 100's of shops - opposite the Red Fort. Literally 30 to 50% of the New York / Brooklyn prices - eBay prices are obviously inflated. Example a DSLR Hand Grip costs INR 250 (US $ 5.50) in shops in the Galli (street).
I own the Sigma 600/f8 in M42 mount w/Pentax original Bayonet Adapter + a Sonia black anodised one. The metal lens hood reversed nests over the lens making a very compact storage solution. The whole lens then goes snug inside a Quantaray padded lens storage case - hood and all. This case is no bigger than the lens itself.
It's too bad Sonia does not make lens hoods that can be reverse mounted to the Rokinon 500/6.3, putting a female thread on the front of the lens hood do not serve a whole lot of purpose except to put on a screw-in cap. Any filter should go right in front of the lens or at the rear of the lens. My Tamron 55B isn't all that much bigger than a Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 and will fit in the LowePro AW200 sling bag quite easily with the lens hood reversed but with the lens hood in the shooting position, I have to rearrange the dividers drastically to fit the lens in the bag.

Thanks,
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