Rokinon 500mm mirror lens vs 50-200 Zuiko 4/3

silver92b

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I broke down and ordered a 500mm Rokinon Mirror lens from Amazon. I've read many posts about how sorry those mirror lenses are, but I figured I'd try it and if it works fine, if not, I'll send it back (the beauty of Amazon prime). I took a couple of shots outside and decided it was soft, but for the reach at just over $100 for a NIB unit, it was not too bad.

Then I thought, why not compare it to a known good lens? I got my Zuiko ED 50-200mm and the EM5 and tried one shot with each, inside, low light, f8 (the Rokinon is fixed f8), ISO 200, manual focus, 2 second timer. My old camera case at about 45' away. Here are the two samples at full size and a crop of the 50-200 to simulate the reach of the 500mm lens

What do you think? Of course, the bokeh of the 500mm is almost hideous with the donut shapes, and possibly there was some camera shake with only a 2 second delay.
The 500mm lens was a bit faster at the same f8 with a 2 second exposure time. The Zuiko at f8 shot a 2.5 second exposure under the same conditions.

I did crop the 500mm shot a little bit when I leveled it. However I tried to size the crop of the Zuiko to match the size. The reflections on the window are different, possibly because a used 2 tripods about a foot apart and the Zuiko lens might have had a different angle... Next time I'll use the same tripod.

500mm Rokinon
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50-200 Zuiko
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crop of 50-200
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OzRay

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The reality is that no mirror lens can compete with prime lenses or good zooms (such as the 50-200mm), even if the prime/zoom is using a teleconverter. I have a Vivitar Series 1, 600mm f8, Solid Catadioptric lens, which was purportedly the best mirror lens ever produced. It was apparently designed/made by Perkin Elmer, who were originally commissioned to make these lenses for the CIA or military (the stories seem to vary: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Perkin-Elmer). Here's one comparison: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/solid_cat.shtml.
 

silver92b

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The reality is that no mirror lens can compete with prime lenses or good zooms (such as the 50-200mm), even if the prime/zoom is using a teleconverter. I have a Vivitar Series 1, 600mm f8, Solid Catadioptric lens, which was purportedly the best mirror lens ever produced. It was apparently designed/made by Perkin Elmer, who were originally commissioned to make these lenses for the CIA or military (the stories seem to vary: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Perkin-Elmer). Here's one comparison: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/solid_cat.shtml.
Of course the mirror lenses cannot compete with primes or good zooms. I knew that before buying this one. I just want to try some moon shots with the longer reach... Anyway, the lens is fairly soft and the depth of field is extremely shallow. Amazingly it's not too difficult to focus. It's just a cheap toy to try.. I also ordered an Olympus 1.4X 4/3 to M43 adapter which I will try with the 50-200mm

Here are a few shots I took in the street as the water works people were working all along the street. Those shots are from approximately 100/150 feet away and a couple from about 500 feet away..

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this one about 200' away

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this one is abut 500' away

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Harmonica

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I have a Vivitar Series 1, 600mm f8, Solid Catadioptric lens, which was purportedly the best mirror lens ever produced


Now it would be interest to compare that Vivitar to my own mirror lens (see below). I also belive that Carl Zeiss (incl. Jena/DDR) produced some great (longer than 500mm) mirror lenses back in those days.


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Big Gun




Here' re couple of photos (the tree was quite far...a long 800mm lens used with m4/3 body).


Original size
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Cropped a bit
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Cropped more
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OzRay

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So you want one for street photography now? :wink: :tongue: :biggrin:
If there was a hill big enough or a street straight enough to do so discretely, but then I'd most likely be picked up and accused of being a perve. :)

I must say, that lens produces far better results than my Vivitar (the CIA must have been happy with poorer quality and just wanted robustness in the lenses).
 

Harmonica

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Well; I'm absolutely still on learning curve of using this lens (it's my first mirror lens), but I think that it can produce some desent photos. Sometimes you'll get donuts (like here); sometimes not so much....depending of backround, but EVF helps a bit here, as you can see it already before taking the photo.

Here's the link (the lens is showed on last page).

http://www.minoltaflashback.com/rf_lens.html
 

tjdean01

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What about the m4/3s Tokina 300mm f6.3 mirror? Not quite as long as what we're talking about but from the samples I've seen it looked decent. At, the guy who bought it only paid $200.

Personally, my toy for good tele and and macro was a $100 used Pentax Q. I put my good Konica glass on it--40/1.8, 50/1.7, 55/3.5 macro, 135/3.2, 200/4--and have a 5x crop factor. 1000mm has shallow DOF even on that 1/1.7" sensor! But, the fact that they packed 12MP into it really shows that the Konica glass was no designed for such precision. So much for my idea of super zoom on the cheap. I did buy Pentax 110 lenses for the Q but I'm not expecting much.
 
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