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04-14-2007, 03:54 PM   #1
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Old friend fromthe Cold War era

So, I was checking out some old stuff today and I found this guy:


My 25-or-so year-old, Soviet-made Zenit MTO 500mm f/8 M42-mount mirror lens from when I was a student in Italy, and this was the only long tele I could even imagine to be able to afford.


It truly is built like a tank (weighs like one too), the focus is slow but very precise, and from what I remembered it behaved surprisingly well.

It could not mount on my Ds because the built-in flash was too close to the lens mount, but it fits just right with the K100D. So I was back in the backyard to see if it was indeed the case that this was a nice lens, or just that memories sweeten with time.

Alas, no bird in sight, so I took a shot of the empty birdfeeder:


cropped 100%:


and of a tree trunk:


and cropped 100%:


and finally a junco showed up - very jumpy fellow, didn't want to sit still so I had a hard time locking the focus (my eyesight ain't what it used to be!), but finally I got this:


and 100%:


Note: all pics are RAWs straight off the camera, converted with RSE with no pp , i.e. no sharpening at all. Of course, the bokeh is what it is (although I don't mind the donuts so much), and the colors and contrast are a tad flat (also, it is cloudy out here).

Still, amazing old geezer, isn't it?


Last edited by slomojoe; 05-02-2007 at 06:30 AM.
04-14-2007, 04:00 PM   #2
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Making me interested in 500mm again!!!

Nice photo btw!
04-14-2007, 05:53 PM   #3
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Those 500mm mirror lenses on eBay have really been peeking my interests lately, now this is really making me interested in getting one.
04-14-2007, 06:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
Those 500mm mirror lenses on eBay have really been peeking my interests lately, now this is really making me interested in getting one.
It takes some getting used to the focusing, now that we are slaves to AF, but I truly loved it. Of course, forget about catching birds in flight, and the little critters are damn hard, especially with the current nasty viewfinders (how I miss my ME Super's split prism!). But zoos are a blast, and ducks, geese, nesting raptors etc are just perfect. I spent many a day in the bushes by the shore of marshes and lakes with this lens... got some really nice shots too. I hear moonshots are great too, though I never tried.

Anyway, I may actually sell this guy, now that I know it still works fine. If you are interested, drop me a PM. It's in really pristine conditions, with the original leather case, filters and all. I'll do some research in the meanwhile.

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