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05-08-2007, 07:01 PM   #1
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Mirror Lenses

My LBA is out of control, I cant seem to stop it so I am trying to slow it down by going economical (but hopefully not cheap). I have been seeing a lot of the long range 400+ mirror lenses on eBay, was wondering how the quality was on any of them if anyone had any experience with one.

05-08-2007, 08:02 PM   #2
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I was actually very impressed at the picture quality of scg's 1000mm f11 Reflex Mirror lens in this thread
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/6684-fords-pond.html

From what I understand they're a fixed aperture though, so they might not be for you.
05-08-2007, 09:03 PM   #3
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Those pics sure look great, but from my experience with the 400-600mm, getting good shots requires a lot of patience and some good luck. Because of the donuts and slow (yes, fixed) aperture, it's hard to get the composition perfect without constantly moving around.

The MF can get frustrating on such a long tele, too! A tripod won't help you much unless the lens has a dedicated mount, and I believe that that's not the case unless you get the 1000 or 2000mm

All in all, I'd much rather use my 300mm with the 1.7x converter- it's faster, sharper, and the reach is almost the same as that of the mirror lens.

Adam
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05-08-2007, 09:34 PM   #4
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Good call Mo, I am thinking of hitting up some local pawn shops in the morning to see if I get lucky on a converter.

05-09-2007, 08:59 AM   #5
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Mirror Lenses

QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
My LBA is out of control, I cant seem to stop it so I am trying to slow it down by going economical (but hopefully not cheap). I have been seeing a lot of the long range 400+ mirror lenses on eBay, was wondering how the quality was on any of them if anyone had any experience with one.
Back in the 90's I was using Mirror Lenses all the time..I love the "Circles of Confusion" A photographer named Uli Weber gained his reputation using them. I had the Sigma 400 f5.6 mirror lens. Beautiful Lens...

Ben
05-09-2007, 09:16 AM   #6
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Buddha,

It is difficult to say what the quality of mirrors in general are. I have seen some good results from expensive Meades and seen poor images from lesser quality mirrors.

The Pentax mirror that I use has outstanding coating and the resolution exceeded my expectations considering the reach of the lens. Coatings are important. The Pentax coating on their mirrors has very well controlled CA's and virtually no PF at all.

If the mirror you are looking at is the Pentax 500mm mirror or their 400-600 it might be worth getting because they are hand holdable and generally a good value. I would be a little leary of third party mirrors though there are some good one out there. One of the older Sigma 500's is not bad from what I hear, though I have not used it myself.

Good luck and let us know what you ultimately decide to do.

Stephen
05-09-2007, 06:26 PM   #7
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I have several mirror lenses in my collection and I can specifically recommend the Tamron SP 500/8 as being a very good mirror lens for the price. It is still available regularly used on eBay in P/K and Adaptall-2 mounts for $100-200. My copy has a built-in tripod mount which is vey convenient.

Mo's comments about difficult focusing and the limitations of a single fixed aperture are valid, and I would add that this is a lens for use in good light only, but if you want a budget long tele and are a patient photographer it's a good value.

Last edited by jamesk8752; 05-09-2007 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Correction of typos
05-09-2007, 06:31 PM   #8
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My wife bought a Quanteray 500 mm f8, I bought a Bauch & Lomb 800mm f10 and both are useless junk. OTOH my Meade 2000mm f10 Telescope is pretty good for night time work, especially if the target is 20 million light years away.


Last edited by LeoTaylor; 05-09-2007 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Added to last sentence.
05-11-2007, 10:48 AM   #9
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I use a celestron C90. 1000 mm F10. I have had some success with this on film, but find that unless you have a 100 pound tripod (sorry for the exageration, maybe 5-10 pound tripod with 20-30 pounds suspended from it to damp out vibration) the real issue is that the equivelent 1500 mm focal length on a digital camera makes it really prone to shake. If you have a stable mount, you are OK but forget hand held or even monopod at that length.

Depth of field is also an issue as there is no opportunity for adjustment, but there are 2 things I like when compared to a regulad lens, first they are small and light for the focal length, and second they can generally focus closer than a regular lens.
05-11-2007, 08:18 PM   #10
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If you just want to capture an image the mirror lens is fine. I agree with the other comments that there are lot of better solutions, but at a price.

I took my Vivitar 500 out this evening and shot with it for the first time. I was surprised by the quality of the images. I am not too good with manual focus yet, so I have to practice more.

Without Shake reduction it would be almost impossible to get an image without using a tripod but the K10 does a good job. I will be playing around with this lens a bit more and for the cost ($110 cdn) it does not break the bank.



This was taken from 4-5 meters away.
05-12-2007, 12:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
Back in the 90's I was using Mirror Lenses all the time..I love the "Circles of Confusion" A photographer named Uli Weber gained his reputation using them. I had the Sigma 400 f5.6 mirror lens. Beautiful Lens...

Ben
I also liked my Sigma 600mm f8 on a Canon EF. I want to try one again. Lightweight, relatively inexpensive, acceptable image quality.
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