Recommend a cheap reflex/catadioptric lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Mark0, May 9, 2012.

  1. Mark0

    Mark0 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Near Venice, Italy
    I have the kit lens, plus Panasonic 14mm/2.5 pancake (to turn the PL1 in a very compact shooter).

    Now I was thinking at something to have some long reach, let's say about 500/600mm equivalent, or more, but keeping it cheap & small. I would like to try & experiment a bit with a catadioptric lens. I see lots of them on eBay, but I don't have much an idea about how to orient among them.

    Is there some model to recommend, that could be considered a "cheap best buy" of sort?

  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The only catadioptric lens I would consider would be the old Tamron SP's adaptalls. There was a 500mm and 350mm.

    IIRC, I don't think they are "cheap" even on ebay... and still a slow mirror lens.

    There are smallish 200-300mm lenses in M42 mount that will most likely be cheaper.
  3. Mark0

    Mark0 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Near Venice, Italy
    Thanks for the info!
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I think you'll find that most of the cats are 500mm, so 1000mm equivalent. There was a Minolta 250mm but like the Tamron 350mm those are quite expensive now.

    I had the same thought as you and rolled the dice on a $50 Craigslist Samyang 500mm. After adding $20 or $30 for an adapter I discovered that despite good reviews, my LNIB example was terribly soft. I did learn, however, that 1000mm equivalent focal length requires a very heavy and stiff tripod. Heavier and stiffer than I will ever own. Lens and adapter now collecting dust and I have no interest in finding a better 500mm.

    So, if you can possibly try before you buy, it might save you owning a dust collector too.
  5. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    I could only recommend those by Minolta, Nikon F, of Olympus OM.
  6. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I have a Russian MTO 500mm that works well enough. In good light and ISO 400, you can shoot hand-held at over 1/1000 shutter speeds. It won't work well if you don't have an EVF on your camera, I used mine on a Digital Rebel, but I do have much nicer glass now. Unless you're into shooting insects or birds, there's actually not that much you can shoot with 1000mm equiv focal length.
  7. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    If you want 500mm equiv, there are two that come to mind. One is the Minolta 250mm. There was already a thread about it. It's very nice lens. You might be able to afford one if you forego getting a E-M5.

    A cheaper option is the Lentar 250mm. I actually have one of these. Here's the picts that someone posted.

    Lentar 250mm f/5.6 Mirror lens with k mount adapter -

    Overall, I think you'd be better off getting a Pentax Takumar 200mm lens. The 250mm mirror lenses aren't really that small. The Takumar will be far easier to use and have much better IQ.
  8. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    I have a small Quantaray 300mm that I get some great images from. With any cat lens, expect higher percentage of flubbed shots, and don't be afraid to up the contrast and add a bit of sharpness in post.
  9. Mark0

    Mark0 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Near Venice, Italy
    Many thanks to all for the great info!
  10. Texsport

    Texsport New to Mu-43

    May 22, 2012
    Has anyone used a Zoomar catadiotropic?