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03-10-2009, 03:12 PM   #1
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Kalimar 500 f8

Someone is selling some lenses including a Kalimar 500mm f8 refractor lens for around $40. I saw some images on an online gallery with this lens and was not that impressed. I have a Tokina RMC 400 f5.6 manual lens that does pretty well with some PF in high contrast. I'm wondering if the Kalimar 500 would be worth $40 or if I should let it pass. I like to do wildlife shots, birds etc, and have used both the RMS 400 and an ATX 100-300 zoom with a 2X converter for the really long shots. Anyone have experience with the Kalimar 500 f8?

03-11-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
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I have a couple of similar lenses but not exactly what you're asking about. I have the Tokina SD 400mm f5.6, a bit newer than the RMC version, maybe better too, but stil some PF. I bought a Vivitar 500mm f8 mirror lens, made in Korea, used to be fairly common. The Vivitar was OK for the price, but contrast was very low and sharpness was mediocre. It came with a 2x TC which didn't help. I can get just about the same results by cropping an image from the Tokina. I kept the Vivitar because it's way more portable than the Tokina.
06-09-2009, 09:53 AM   #3
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I have the Kalimar 500mm lens and it does well for an inexpensive lens, (I use it only for film cameras.) I have $50 in it (the guy took some trade stuff) so for me it was a good deal. I also have the Vivitar 500mm Cat' lens which is much more portable and focuses closer, but it's not quite as sharp as the Kalimar (I purchased it for $30 plus shipping on eBay and that was a great price in my estimation.)

I generally prefer to use a 300mm lens when looking to use long but portable glass. The Vivitar 300mm f5.6 (mine was made by Olympus for Vivitar and cost me $35) or the Spiratone 300mm f4.0 (mine was made by Sun and set me back $100) and the despised Tokina 300mm Adaptamatic (which a friend purchased for me on eBay as a late Christmas present recently for $10.50) and I am having a blast with! The 300's are much easier to hold and mount (are often faster) and give better results than the longer telephotos and mirrored lenses and the higher magnification isn't really worth the trade off (to me.) I often use a sand bag to steady the camera and 300mm lens, which is very hard to do with the long 500mm.

If you could, try using a long 500mm or a mirrored 5 and then (assuming you have the same success in borrowing lenses) try a 300 and see what works best for you.
06-13-2009, 07:34 AM   #4
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Looks like all new mirror lenses have adaptall mount, so I can take any, if I have proper adapter. What about old lenses? Do they use adaptall or some have proprietary mount?

I often see such lenses on Ebay and some owners don't know which mount it match. Could I expect it is adaptall?

Anybody who have old lens could say about it?

Thanks

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