Vivitar 500 f8 Mirror lens vs old Canon FD 400mm f4.5 SSC

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by EricRose, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. EricRose

    EricRose Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2014
    The upper 12
    Eric Rose
    I want to do some moon photography and thought a 500mm mirror lens might be the cats whiskers. Years ago I had used a Nikkor 500mm lens for newspaper work and it was tack sharp.

    On there was a Vivitar 500mm mirror lens for sale at a reasonable price so I bought it. I was under no illusions that it would equal the Nikkor but hey I might get a good one.

    It arrived, I put in on my Panasonic GX7 and set it atop the Manfrotto tripod that I use for 4x5 photography. To insure I didn't suffer from the dreaded shutter bounce, which BTW I have never experienced, I set the camera to electronic shutter. Also set it to delay timer of 2 secs to further reduce any stray vibrations.

    Well the results were less than stellar to say the least. I thought maybe a long focal length like this just doesn't work with the GX7 so I put my wife's 400mm Canon FD f4.5 SSC lens on the camera and repeated the test. The Canon lens was crystal clear and sharp.

    So I guess I will be selling the 500mm lens to someone who wants a nice dreamy look with funky doughnut highlights. Any takers lol.

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  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have taken a lot of amazing photograph with my FD 400/4.5 on my Fuji XE-1 and Olympus EM5. About to ship it off to KEH because I never use it anymore and using the money from selling a bunch of lenses to build a new computer :biggrin:
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yep, that's about what I'd expect.

    I feel like none of the old FF mirror lenses have much utility any more, and the only one that is sort of interesting is the M4/3 specific Kenko / Tokina 300mm/f6.3, if only because it is so, so tiny. But even still, it's hard to see the appeal when you can almost always get sharper results cropping from a shorter, higher quality lens that might have AF as well...