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500mm Mirror Lenses
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I owned my Sigma back during the days of film, but I seldom used it freehand. However I did use it a lot with a monopod.

I think one thing that makes the Sigma a bit more comfortable to focus compared to some other mirrors is it has an almost 360 degree focus throw. Some mirrors have focus throws as short as 90 degrees. It's worth noting that the Tamron 55B and 55BB both have 360 degree focus throws as well.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long focus throws typically indicate a closer focusing lens, not more travel between two distance settings, thus the len with longer throw is no easier to focus.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah? I don't have any way of checking this, since I don't own any mirrors with short focus throws anymore. But everything else being equal, I'll still prefer lenses with the longer throws. Oh, and I just thought of a lens I used to own briefly -- it was a Samyang 800mm f/8 and it had a 90 degree focus throw -- but it also focused quite close. I don't recall exactly how close, but I do recall specifically taking close-ups of my dog with it.

And the difference between 360 degrees and 90 degrees is dramatic. I'm basing this on personal experience. I don't care how you want to slice it, a lens with a 360 degree throw will be easier to focus at all distances than one with a 90 degree throw.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the throw between two distances, say 10m and 30m on several lenses. Same throw. I say that is typical, however there are probably lenses with different helical pitch. Maybe the Samyang, if it does focus as close.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, my yashica 500mm/f8 arrived.. ML or not, initial results are excellent imho, all straight from camera:

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


depth of field seems slighly deeper than my sigma 600/8, and sharp detail is better than any of my other mirror lenses.. focus throw is around 200 degrees and feels real good, able to nail focus on walking people etc ... only real downside so far is that the tripod shoe completely occludes the focus ring, i have to move it to the top of the lens to get it out of the way.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those look very good. What are the other mirrors you're comparing to? I've had and sold the ML version. While it could be plenty sharp, I found it much more difficult to focus than some of my others. And the Depth of field seemed so shallow that it was in or out of focus with the slightest movement of the focusing ring. Congratulations.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
Those look very good. What are the other mirrors you're comparing to? I've had and sold the ML version. While it could be plenty sharp, I found it much more difficult to focus than some of my others. And the Depth of field seemed so shallow that it was in or out of focus with the slightest movement of the focusing ring. Congratulations.


I have a made-in-korea Quantaray 500/8 which is awful in every possible way, an early massive Rexatar (maybe same as soligor) 500mm f8/11/16 (rotating filters) that is sort of ok but too big and heavy to be practical for freehand use, and a Sigma 600/8 that is very good and relatively easy to use, but i havent been able to achieve the same level of focus sharpness after shooting something like 2000 photos with it over the course of the last few months, that i was able to get with this yashica in the first fifteen minutes shooting with it.

have a spiratone minitel-m arriving soon that i think is basically the same design as the quantaray, but hopefully made in japan.. i am not expecting it to approach the yashica, but it's certainly a bit smaller.

having now been horribly bitten by the mirrorlens collecting bug, i've still been thinking about getting one of the canon or nikkor reflex lenses, but it's difficult to imagine the results being much better than this.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

benadamx wrote:


have a spiratone minitel-m arriving soon that i think is basically the same design as the quantaray, but hopefully made in japan.. i am not expecting it to approach the yashica, but it's certainly a bit smaller.

having now been horribly bitten by the mirrorlens collecting bug, i've still been thinking about getting one of the canon or nikkor reflex lenses, but it's difficult to imagine the results being much better than this.


Catadioptric is an easy addiction on top of the lens addiction. Even serious at times Smile The Minitel M is likely to be a good lens if noting is defective. I have represented it in this thread. There were three versions; the first two made by Tomioka; I have the third. If you are going to add to your mirror collection, I suggest careful research and avoidance of cheap deals. I've seen good results from the Nikkors. Minolta AF Reflex is excellent. I still consider my Rubinar 5.6/500 to be best but the Minolta is easier to carry about and can AF on Sony DSLRs and Mirrorless with an adapter. An underrepresented lens from which I get excellent results is the Sigma 5.6/400.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wondering if anyone has a Yashica ML 500/8 reflex lens for sale ?
This recent discussion has resurrected my own mirror lens cravings.
Cheers,


PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woodrim, that Sigma 400mm f/5.6 is actually a quite uncommon lens. I've never seen one in person, and only very rarely on eBay. How is yours optically?

Sigma also made a 1000mm, which is even more rare.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Woodrim, that Sigma 400mm f/5.6 is actually a quite uncommon lens. I've never seen one in person, and only very rarely on eBay. How is yours optically?

Sigma also made a 1000mm, which is even more rare.


Hmm, I found the 400mm and 600mm easily (old stock, new in box both) Wink

Just checked: Over 60 of them have been sold or offered within the last 3 months on ebay btw. Rare?? Wink


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
Woodrim, that Sigma 400mm f/5.6 is actually a quite uncommon lens. I've never seen one in person, and only very rarely on eBay. How is yours optically?

Sigma also made a 1000mm, which is even more rare.


Hmm, I found the 400mm and 600mm easily (old stock, new in box both) Wink

Just checked: Over 60 of them have been sold or offered within the last 3 months on ebay btw. Rare?? Wink


Hmmmm...my search for Sigma 400mm f/5.6 Mirror yields 1 for sale and 4 sold last 3 months.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
kds315* wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
Woodrim, that Sigma 400mm f/5.6 is actually a quite uncommon lens. I've never seen one in person, and only very rarely on eBay. How is yours optically?

Sigma also made a 1000mm, which is even more rare.


Hmm, I found the 400mm and 600mm easily (old stock, new in box both) Wink

Just checked: Over 60 of them have been sold or offered within the last 3 months on ebay btw. Rare?? Wink


Hmmmm...my search for Sigma 400mm f/5.6 Mirror yields 1 for sale and 4 sold last 3 months.


Worldwide sales for the 400mm + 600mm ones


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
visualopsins wrote:
kds315* wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
Woodrim, that Sigma 400mm f/5.6 is actually a quite uncommon lens. I've never seen one in person, and only very rarely on eBay. How is yours optically?

Sigma also made a 1000mm, which is even more rare.


Hmm, I found the 400mm and 600mm easily (old stock, new in box both) Wink

Just checked: Over 60 of them have been sold or offered within the last 3 months on ebay btw. Rare?? Wink


Hmmmm...my search for Sigma 400mm f/5.6 Mirror yields 1 for sale and 4 sold last 3 months.


Worldwide sales for the 400mm + 600mm ones


Only 1 Sigma 400 5.6 mirror for sale, 4 sold, none new in box.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good news, then. I stand corrected. Still haven't seen one in person though. Ever. Even back when I was a camera dealer.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is some confusion. 600mm are plentiful, 400mm not so much.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3dpan wrote:
Just wondering if anyone has a Yashica ML 500/8 reflex lens for sale ?
This recent discussion has resurrected my own mirror lens cravings.
Cheers,


While it is a very decent lens, it does not live up to the claims some have made. The Yashica mirror images recently posted are as good or better. I'm not making just a sharpness judgment but overall performance.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Woodrim, that Sigma 400mm f/5.6 is actually a quite uncommon lens. I've never seen one in person, and only very rarely on eBay. How is yours optically?

Sigma also made a 1000mm, which is even more rare.


I have no experience with the 1000mm but would be inclined to buy Rubinar or MTO in that focal length range. The Sigma 1000 is painfully slow.

The Sigma 5.6/400 was a very pleasant surprise to me. In fact, I am amazed at how well it performs. Focusing is easy and my keeper rate very high, so evidence of how well it handles. It's bigger than the 600mm, obviously a result of the greater speed. My shooting partner bought one shortly after seeing mine and his is the equal. I had been concerned with Sigma's quality after reading much about the 600mm versions. However, as with the 600mm, it seems the Sigma mirrors may be more susceptible to haze and fungus issues, so one must be careful when buying. I'll post just a few of the many images I like from this 400mm lens.


#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


#8


#9


#10


PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
3dpan wrote:
Just wondering if anyone has a Yashica ML 500/8 reflex lens for sale ?
This recent discussion has resurrected my own mirror lens cravings.
Cheers,


While it is a very decent lens, it does not live up to the claims some have made. The Yashica mirror images recently posted are as good or better. I'm not making just a sharpness judgment but overall performance.


Thank you. I have one in the post, but could be a couple of weeks before I see it. I won't get too optimistic about its performance though.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the spiratone minitel-m arrived today - i am very fortunate, it is one of the made-in-japan models! here it is compared with made-in-korea quantaray, which is maybe the same as the later korean-made spiratone minitel-m



while the quantaray (or at least my copy of it) is garbage in almost every quantifiable way, the (tomioka? tokina?) minitel-m seems pretty decent; i haven't had a chance to test it in proper sunlight yet, but initial indoor tests under poor lighting seem promising.. very long (and sligtly stiff) focus throw

as an addendum, here's my mirror lens collection as it now stands, for size comparison:



my apologies for the lighting, i had to improvise a bit


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
I'll post just a few of the many images I like from this 400mm lens.


I returned for the photos and am very pleased!

#6 of that fish being eaten especially, as the use of the bird as negative space is just right, and a little motion blur for action.

Like 1 Like 1 Like 1


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:

I have no experience with the 1000mm but would be inclined to buy Rubinar or MTO in that focal length range. The Sigma 1000 is painfully slow.


Yeah, f/13.5 is pretty slow -- unforgivably, really, ask me. But besides Rubinar and MTO you have the American brands: Meade and Celestron. I owned a Celestron C90 (1000mm f/11 I think) years ago, and as I recall, it was a decent mirror. A few months ago, I bought a Meade 1000mm f/11 mirror kit. I paid a little less than $100 for it. Came with a camera adapter with Canon FD T-mount, two eyepieces, and an erecting prism for the eyepieces. It does not have an integral hood and none came with this outfit. The lens has an integral tripod mount. Size-wise, it's pretty compact for a 1000mm mirror -- about 9" long. And it takes surprisingly good pics. I haven't shot any of the moon with it yet, but I have taken some shots of closer in subjects and it did quite well. The focusing collar is well damped. MFD is about 8 feet. It has about a 270 degree focus throw and focuses way past the infinity mark -- like almost 2 inches. One rather unique thing about this mirror is it's made in the USA.

A couple shots of the kit:



Here's a shot of a boarded up section of some old fencing. The subject was about 40 meters from the camera/lens.


A couple of more close-in subjects. The tree knot was about 20 meters away and the shovel about 3 meters away.



A pole-mounted transformer, located about 60 meters from the camera/lens.


This is the transformer's inspection tag. This is a 100% crop of the image. Surprisingly good detail. I think I've found a new yardstick for comparing the sharpness/resolution of my telephotos.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tamron SP 500 F8 55B





















PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olivier wrote:
Tamron SP 500 F8 55B


Like 1


PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEO wrote:
Olivier wrote:
Tamron SP 500 F8 55B


Like 1



definitely still have to get one of those