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Latest Review Posted Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 500mm f/8 Mirror (55BB)
The Tamron Adaptall-2 55BB is probably the best catadioptric “mirror” lens for the average photographer. I’ve owned four CAT lenses, the 55BB, Tokina 500/8, Celestron 500/5.6 and Opteka 500/8. This Tamron is far and away the best, well worth having in ones kit. Sharpness is very good, I’d have given it an 8.5 if the rating were available. Closeup capability is a strong point- no other 500mm lens that I know of can focus into macro range. The lens is quite hand holdable with proper technique and Pentax DSLR Shake Reduction. You need a body with excellent high ISO performance since the T-stop of this lens is f/10, not f/8. In bright light, contrast is high and colors are saturated. In dull light, images need a boost in both areas. Out to about 150 feet, this lens is very sharp and images respond well to PP sharpening. Past 150 feet, images begin to degrade somewhat. Abberations are extremely well controlled, surprisingly good. Bokeh? Well it gives the classic CAT/mirror lens “donut hole” out of focus highlights. Used creatively, this can be fun, otherwise it is a bit distracting. Please use this lens with the straight Pentax K/M Adaptall-2 adapter and not the PK/A version. The K adapter allows shooting with the camera on Aperture Preferred with no fiddling around. Plus, the K adapter is far less expensive. I definitely recommend this lens. Small, light, smooth focusing, reasonably sharp and easy to take with you.

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