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10-14-2014, 05:18 AM   #1
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Mirro telephotos on the K-01?

Hi,
I'd appreciate if those who've worked with mirror telephotos on the K-01 could share their experience, or maybe point me to a thread where they already did?

I've been a little out of 'serious' photography for some years but working my way back right now. I'm toying with the idea of getting a K-01 for (mostly) exclusive still photography with (old) manual lenses, specifically long(ish) mirror telephotos.

This could make for a very compact and light setup despite the long or even very long focal lengths.

I'd hope to be able to shoot hand-held up to at least 300-500mm in overcast daylight conditions, and get away with minimal stabilisation with longer lenses, i.e. light tripod or car window mount, instead of the usual super-heavy tripod and super-expensive ball head usually associated with the latter.

Which issues should I know about, what is it like to work with those on the K-01? I've never used a mirrorless interchangable lens camera, though I do have extensive experience with an EOS 10D from back when. An early DSLR, it didn't even have live preview on the display (though it did have a dedicated DOF-preview button! Besides a lot of other nice features.) (Autofocus and video issues are irrelevant for me since I'm also getting a 5D Mk iii.)

And since the K-01 has been discontinued, are there rumours about a successor by any chance?

10-14-2014, 06:23 AM   #2
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I haven't used a K01 but can remark that I have no doubt that the main issues of working with long lenses with that camera are the same as with other cameras: focussing, vibrations/shake etc etc. The K01 looks like having a very good spec and should be capable of fine results with decent lenses.
My one specific remark is that you are likely to find the absence of a viewfinder signficant - it's what has prevented me from considering obtaining a K01 more seriously. I use a lumix G1 and find the evf more or less indispensable, a more accurate and clearer tool for focussing and framing than the lcd particularly in bright ambient light.
However I haven't tried using a loupe in a serious manner, that might compensate sufficiently.
10-14-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
I haven't used a K01 but can remark that I have no doubt that the main issues of working with long lenses with that camera are the same as with other cameras: focussing, vibrations/shake etc etc. The K01 looks like having a very good spec and should be capable of fine results with decent lenses.
My one specific remark is that you are likely to find the absence of a viewfinder signficant - it's what has prevented me from considering obtaining a K01 more seriously. I use a lumix G1 and find the evf more or less indispensable, a more accurate and clearer tool for focussing and framing than the lcd particularly in bright ambient light.
However I haven't tried using a loupe in a serious manner, that might compensate sufficiently.
I use a big LCD Viewer/Loupe on the K-01. Doubles the size of the camera, but it actually makes it my preferred setup (over the K-5) for long telephoto (manual focus) lenses since I am focusing off the sensor. Of course I can put the thing on the K-5 too, but I've just found it easier to have one body with the optical eyepiece and the K-01 with the viewer (which I can remove for walking around)...
10-14-2014, 09:14 AM   #4
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Even with LCD loupe, the viewfinder will be dark because mirror lenses are usually f5.6 and slower, often f6 or f8. So you need good light just to please the aperture. Then you need a fast shutter speed because of the range (1/double the focal length should be minimum, like 1/1000). These lenses almost always need to be used on tripods, unless you have very steady hands.
Mirror lenses on K-01, I dunno, but from the threads about mirror lenses on these forums, I can say they are not very well liked. The cheap ones are very difficult to focus, flare badly, and are very soft. The more expensive ones (especially older ones, back when mirror lenses were considered an "emerging technology" rather than "failed technology, but cheap") might give you better results. I suggest you search for these threads on the forums, so you can see what the best mirror lenses in capable hands can do, and how bad the average ones are. The problem isn't K-01, but the mirror lenses themselves. They are tricky to use, and it is not easy to get good photos, even though some people, rather few, manage it.

I think if you want a telephoto that doesn't break the wallet, the most recommended lens would be DA 55-300mm (DA L version is cheapest, the new HD version is more expensive)

10-14-2014, 09:16 AM   #5
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I use a Russian MTO 500/8 mirror lens that's actually 550/8.8. Its a heavy 40 year old beast, but I find it eminently usable on my K-01 + EVF viewer. As long as I keep the shutter speed 1/350s I can hand-hold it just fine. Focus peaking on the K-01 really helps. I'll post a couple images in a bit.
10-14-2014, 09:20 AM   #6
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I've used a K-01 with a 500mm Tamron mirror lens. I would say results are fair to middling. The usual problems with bright sunlight and viewing the screen which can be solve by a shade/loupe. The good news for me is that the mirror lens is pretty light so I can use a monopod for stability and not rely on the camera mount to support a heavy conventional lens if it doesn't have its own mount.
As for a replacement .... I wish there was one, with Q styling and better video .... ah well I'll continue to dream on.
10-14-2014, 09:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Even with LCD loupe, the viewfinder will be dark
One point is that that with mirrorless, the internal electronics normally brighten the vf or lcd to compensate for smaller apertures. Thats why eg M42 lenses and slow lenses are very easy to use on my G1 (and also because of good accurate exposures, focus assist as well) .

I use tamron 350/5.6 and 500/8 mirrors on my K-r and have posted a few pics on the adaptall thread and the 300mm+ thread. For more pics/discussion see here. As far as focussing goes, the 350 does pretty well with my split prism VF screen, the 500 needs sunlight pretty much otherwise the sp really does tend to blank. In live view however both lenses focus accurately, which is more pertinent to the K01. In fact the K01 is better than the K-r, with focus peaking as well i think.

Mirrors are fun lenses to use, but I tend to agree with the general point that they will always be inferior to the equivalent non-mirrors. However there is a big difference in size+weight and cost. Ive got a number of nice bird pics becauseIi just grabbed the 500/8 to take with me and was able to use it braced/on a wall/monopod etc

Last edited by marcusBMG; 10-14-2014 at 09:48 AM.
10-14-2014, 11:15 AM   #8
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See, the Tamrons and the old Russian mirror lenses are your best bet. I think very few people were satisfied with the modern mirror lenses you can find on ebays for under $300

10-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
See, the Tamrons and the old Russian mirror lenses are your best bet. I think very few people were satisfied with the modern mirror lenses you can find on ebays for under $300
The problem with the old Russian mirror lenses is that they are old and, well, Russian. The mirror fades with age - in terms of light-gathering, my f/8.8 lens is actually around f/11, at least when I compared with a couple of my other lenses. And the build of my MTO is typical Russian: heavy and built like a tank (which is not always a negative).
10-18-2014, 04:09 PM   #10
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I have tried the old 400-600mm with very little success.
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