Mirror lenses.

Fiddler

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Sep 1, 2010
Messages
489
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland.
I just bought a used Vivitar 500mm f8 mirror lens in FD mount. Does anyone have a experience of this kind of lens? I can't use it until my adapter arrives. I've never used a mirror lens, so I'm intrigued... All I know is that they produce very strange out of focus area donuts... It's certainly compact. Any comments much appreciated.

All the best,

Colin
 

Narnian

Nobody in particular ...
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
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Location
Richmond, VA
Real Name
Richard Elliott
I have owned 3 of them over the years:

Sigma 600/8 (great when I shot pony pics at Chincoteague,VA 25 years ago)
Minolta 250/5.6 (cute, almost the size of the 50mm and the best performer)
Quantaray 300/5.6 (currently own, mediocre, but handy when I walk around the lake and don't want to carry much)

Contrast takes a big hit with mirror. And as you have mentioned the bokeh is unusual. It is best to avoid strong out of focus highlights.

I posted a couple of pictures over here of my 300/5.6 - they are unprocessed.

Quantaray 300/5.6 on GF1 and samples

And quality is not up to snuff versus refractor lenses. Especially since you are only using the middle. And the design can lend itself to some unusual artifacts in addition to the funny bokeh.

That being said they are cheaper, lighter and smaller and have a place, especially for wildlife and sports, when you can't haul a large lens.
 

Fiddler

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Sep 1, 2010
Messages
489
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland.
Thanks very much for your reply and interesting photos. I got the lens for £10 US$16), so I can't complain about the price. I bought it with the intention of photographing a fascinating island near where I live - the Bass Rock. It is the largest nesting ground for gannets in the world.
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The photo isn't mine so all credit to the photographer. All the white you can see is millions of Gannets nesting. As soon as my adapter arrives, I'll be off to do a shoot.

All the best,

Colin
 

Narnian

Nobody in particular ...
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
1,465
Location
Richmond, VA
Real Name
Richard Elliott
And if bird poop gets on the lens or you drop it in the ocean it isn't a big loss ... :wink:
 

bilzmale

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
1,743
Location
Perth, Western Australia
I've had a Sigma 600 for a while - very light and compact for the focal length but I struggled with hand holding so be prepared to use a tripod. Never found the bokeh a problem but contrast will need boosting in post processing.
 
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