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02-15-2009, 03:11 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
A Pentax shooter has posted some pics on the DPreview website he made in Botswana using the Tamron 500mm mirror lens. More Botswana Pics (Duma Tau): Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
The quality, at least on my monitor screen, looks great, much better than I had thought was possible with a mirror lens. Does anyone in the forum have similar experience with the Tamron or any other mirror lens? It would certainly be much easier to take on a trip than my Bigma.
Having tried a few different mirror lenses, my favorites are the Tamron SP 500/8 (both versions), and the Vivitar Series 1 600/8 Solid Cat (and the nearly identical Perkin-Elmer 600/8). (I also used to have a pair of Vivitar Series 1 450/4.5 Aspherical Cats, which I liked a lot, but I sold both of them some time ago now.)

The Tamron SP ~is~ quite a good mirror lens, and it also works pretty well with the Tamron Adaptall2 1.4X and 2X TC's. Furthermore, it focuses quite closely for a mirror - while not exactly a macro lens, this is quite a useful feature for closeup nature shots at times.

Although all cat lenses exhibit the dreaded donut bokeh, some do so more obviously than others (and, of course, it is sometimes - but only sometimes - possible to minimize the effect in composition). All mirror lenses seem to have a bit of a lower contrast, compared to "regular" telephotos, too, but contrast can be boosted a bit in digital post-processing to compensate.

I'm not sure, though. that a mirror is going to fully replace a Bigma... (<g>)

Anyway, here are some clippings on the SP 500/8 -








Last edited by fwcetus; 02-15-2009 at 03:20 PM.
02-15-2009, 05:29 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
From that posting, the bokeh in the first shot is really nervous.

The 2nd and 3rd shot do have too much gaussian blurr applied to the bokeh altogether.

The fact that the colour on these animals have strong orange hue suggesting contrast being increased too much in PP. This suggests that the lens might render low contrast images to start with.

So I would be rather cautious
No PP in my image at all, it's right out of my camera.
02-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raybo Quote
No PP in my image at all, it's right out of my camera.

Oops, I think I am referring to the DPR postings unless you were the poster there.


After viewing the posting on my laptop, these fussy look of the background bokeh in the 2nd and 3rd pic were less of a problem. Maybe this was a monitor issue.

Reflex lenses are known to create donut ring effect and appearing very harsh against leaves or branches in the background.

Last edited by roentarre; 02-15-2009 at 07:50 PM.
02-15-2009, 09:03 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Oops, I think I am referring to the DPR postings unless you were the poster there.


After viewing the posting on my laptop, these fussy look of the background bokeh in the 2nd and 3rd pic were less of a problem. Maybe this was a monitor issue.

Reflex lenses are known to create donut ring effect and appearing very harsh against leaves or branches in the background.
The 2-7 photos on the dpr site are actually with the 55-300 as I mentioned earlier. The warthog and hornbill photos as well as the lioness don't have any apparent donuts.

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