Should I get a mirror lens?

sinophilia

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Hello everybody,
I was looking for a cheap telephoto lens on eBay and I stumbled across some Tokina 500mm mirror lenses starting from about 100 euro. I really like the size of these things, which would be just perfect for a micro4/3 camera.

I saw a couple of bird photos taken with this kind of lens on this forum and I'm wondering if it's worth to get one for my GF1. The donut bokeh looks good to me. And such an inexpensive 1000mm telephoto lens is really tempting! Of course I should also get an adapter (probably a Canon FD). Any thoughts?
 

hohoho

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You haven't said what you want to use it for. (Birds?)

I'm assuming here that "bokeh" is not your prime interest. If on the other hand you want to produce "bokeh photographs", then go for it.
 

sinophilia

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I'm not really sure what I could use it for, I guess moving subjects would be pretty hard to manual focus accurately... but why not, I saw some good bird/mammal photos taken with this kind of lenses. I'd just like to have a super-telephoto. Could be useful for flower close-ups too, maybe some astronomy shots. Of course with a tripod.

As for the donut bokeh, some people like it, other hate it. I guess it depends on the background you have.
 

mauve

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I find donut bokeh very dated, very 70ish ; it's almost a time-stamped signature. Plus I think the effect is pretty much 'cliché' now. But like many fads, it can make a come back, or who knows, be used differently and bring totally new pictures.

Anyway, for 100 €, you can't be really wrong.
 

bilzmale

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I have a Sigma 600. The bokeh is not too bad but it lacks contrast ooc. Postprocessing fixes that quickly enough. They are very light and compact for the reach which could suit MFT.
 

sinophilia

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thanks bilzmale, any place where I can see photos taken with the Sigma? it is the most expensive but I may have found one pretty cheap...
 

hodad66

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all of these shots are from the Sigma 600

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what I find is that it works best at close range. Distance shots
loose contrast.
 

Graham_of_Rainham

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I too use the Sigma 600mm and fully agree. I think it's the best Mirror lens that I have ever used (I sold the 500mm)

However on a 4/3 sensor 1200mm (effective) is quite "Interesting" :wink:
 

hohoho

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I saw some good bird/mammal photos taken with this kind of lenses. I'd just like to have a super-telephoto. Could be useful for flower close-ups too, maybe some astronomy shots. Of course with a tripod.
It's so big that you won't want to carry it around other than for a particular purpose. I find it really hard to imagine how it would help with flower close-ups. If you want to take photos of the moon, you'll need a telescope; for interesting starscapes, something much wider than a mirror lens.

For birds and wild mammals, you'll need patience by the truckload.

I'd wait till you know what you want to photograph for which none of your lenses is long enough, and only then get something for the job.
 

sinophilia

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thank you for the photos hodad66. impressive.
you're probably right hohoho, let's say I like new (old) toys.
I have my eyes on a Sigma but will only buy it if it remains a bargain.
 

sinophilia

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Seems like I will be trying not one but two mirror lenses! I just won a Sigma 600mm for 50 pounds on eBay, and a Tokina 500mm for 90 euros (had bidded on it before I found the Sigma). Both have a Canon FD mount.

Yay! New toys :)
 

Amin Sabet

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Jim Radcliffe showed some nice results with his new 500mm Rokkor mirror lens and GF1 here. The rhino and the cheetah photos were made using this lens.
 

ballfresno

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Warren T.

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I was testing out my Reflex Nikkor 500mm f8 the other day on the G1.

Lumix DMC-G1, Nikkor 500mm f8, on monopod:

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