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500mm Mirror Lenses
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Received my Minolta/Sony AF Reflex 500/8 today and it's indeed more fun to use on my Sony AF body. However, still somehow difficult to avoid shake blur without tripod in despite of IBIS.

First test shot (my typical purple fringing target):



And my typical 400m distance test:



Excellent performer on FF. Nothing to complain about for 350 EUR. The "normal" 500mm APO lens from Sony would cost more than 10 thousand EUR new. Wink


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:38 pm    Post subject: The Leitz clone Reply with quote

I have found the optically identical (but possibly specially selected & adjusted )Telyt R to be quite acceptable.

BUT- given that it is very difficult to find the exact focus point, I do not entirely trust tests that (in contrast to yours) show slightly unsharp results with various makes.

p.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: The Leitz clone Reply with quote

paulhofseth wrote:
I have found the optically identical (but possibly specially selected & adjusted )Telyt R to be quite acceptable.

BUT- given that it is very difficult to find the exact focus point, I do not entirely trust tests that (in contrast to yours) show slightly unsharp results with various makes.

p.


Exactly and what I've been saying after experiencing these mirrors. They're better than our focusing.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:


Excellent performer on FF. Nothing to complain about for 350 EUR. The "normal" 500mm APO lens from Sony would cost more than 10 thousand EUR new. Wink


That lens looks good and I remember your orange roof subject from other tests. I think this mirror may compare well with the refractor lenses you tested.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
tb_a wrote:


Excellent performer on FF. Nothing to complain about for 350 EUR. The "normal" 500mm APO lens from Sony would cost more than 10 thousand EUR new. Wink


That lens looks good and I remember your orange roof subject from other tests. I think this mirror may compare well with the refractor lenses you tested.


Indeed. It delivers exactly the same excellent quality like the older manual focus Minolta RF sibling which is optically identical to the Leitz Telyt variant.

The good news is that the newer AF version makes it very easy to use on a compatible body as it's really very difficult and rather cumbersome to focus correctly with these lenses when no AF support is available. My conclusion is that it is purely the users fault if the output isn't sharp due to shake blur or incorrect focus. It's also remarkable that there is no chromatic aberration (purple fringing) at all.

Finally I'm happy with my "new" lens. Looking forward to do some bird shootings with it.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
The good news is that the newer AF version makes it very easy to use on a compatible body as it's really very difficult and rather cumbersome to focus correctly with these lenses when no AF support is available. My conclusion is that it is purely the users fault if the output isn't sharp due to shake blur or incorrect focus. It's also remarkable that there is no chromatic aberration (purple fringing) at all.

Congratulations on your new lens.
I 100% agree with you regarding the fact that with mirror lenses it is the users fault if the images are not sharp. Users will get sharp images out of a 4kg 500mm refractor lens, just because they use it on a sturdy tripod, the lens being too heavy to be handheld. But with the sub-1kg mirror lenses, they forget the tripod and shoot at 1/125sec, which is simply not enough to get a sharp image.
Focusing a handheld 500mm lens is also somewhat comparable to gambling against a rigged roulette wheel... and that's where the AF comes into play. I find that I get far more keepers with my Minolta AF 500/8 than with my Tamron 500/8, not beacuse the Minolta is a superior lens, but just because of the AF!

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given the current discussion regarding focusing and mirrors being sharper than their reputations, this seems a good time to introduce my $12 mirror. Well, more like $20 with shipping. The is an 8/500 with macro, which we know is really a close distance relative to a long lens like this.

I'll hold off a short time before identifying it. I do not pretend to believe that this mirror is as good as the big Maksutov, Tamron, Minolta, or other big names, just that I was surprised to do this well with it. And handheld too.















PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing wrong with that, whatever it is
Tom


PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
Received my Minolta/Sony AF Reflex 500/8 today and it's indeed more fun to use on my Sony AF body. However, still somehow difficult to avoid shake blur without tripod in despite of IBIS.

First test shot (my typical purple fringing target):



And my typical 400m distance test:



Excellent performer on FF. Nothing to complain about for 350 EUR. The "normal" 500mm APO lens from Sony would cost more than 10 thousand EUR new. Wink

Like 1 Friends Congrats


PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3dpan wrote:
I keep reading good things about the Tamron 55BB, and your moon pic would justify those reviews.
I'm really very tempted to add one to my collection.



There are a couple of things to be said about the Tamron - first, Tamrons tend to have a very consistent build quality so your chance of getting a turkey is virtually nil (unlike the Sigma 600 mirror, for example, I'm sad to report), and second the Tamron mirror has a focus throw of almost 360 degrees. Having such a long focus throw makes it quite a bit easier to nail best focus. Even with that long focus, I've found it can be quite exacting. I wouldn't even want to think what it would be like trying to focus one of those cheap ubiquitous mirrors you see all over eBay for example, which have only about 90 degrees of focus throw.

My Tamron came with a case and a hood that is almost as long as the lens, plus a set of drop in rear filters.

Whether the first model (55B) or the second, which I have, they are both excellent performers. I have an old but very sharp 500mm f/5.6 refractor that I've taken some great moon shots with. I was quite surprised to find that my Tamron mirror held its own against that old refractor. The refractor had a slight edge in contrast, but as far as sharpness goes, I couldn't tell a difference. Here are two shots I took of the crescent moon with both lenses, combined so it's easier to evaluate. (CPO stands for Century Precision Optics, and the model of the lens is the Tele-Athenar II 500mm f/5.6):




As I mentioned earlier parenthetically, the Sigma 600's quality can vary. I bought my first one in Canon FD mount back in 1984 and used it a LOT. It was a tack sharp performer. Sold it when I switched to Nikon several years later. Wish I hadn't. Fast forward a few decades and I had the opportunity to pick up one in Canon's EOS mount, which meant it was a fairly late model one. All I can say is that the newer one was a great disappointment compared to that old one. Not even close. Sharpness is barely even acceptable. I'm almost ashamed to put it up on eBay for sale. I've had it for a couple years now and it just sits there in the corner . . .

Anyway, just to show how sharp one of those old Sigma 600s can be here's a shot I took of some sport racers at an SCCA event back around 1986 or so. Film is a Kodachrome 64 slide that I duped with my digital dupe outfit. Check out the detail in the second image, wihc is a 100% crop of the first.




PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had considered the Sigma but read mixed reports, then noticed a lot of problems with rear element coating.. or something else (from memory).


PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While at the swamp yesterday, I tried the $12 mirror in order to compare to the big Maksutov 3M-6A. I'm still quite surprised that the $12 does so well but in no way is it as sharp as the big Mak.

$12


Big Mak


$12


Big Mak


PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And a few more from the big Mak.






PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1 Like 1 Like 1


PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You make a great argument for mirror lenses to be the default lens for Heron images!


PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
There are a couple of things to be said about the Tamron - first, Tamrons tend to have a very consistent build quality so your chance of getting a turkey is virtually nil (unlike the Sigma 600 mirror, for example, I'm sad to report)
I'll confirm that with the 3 Tamrons I have, all being Adaptall-2 mount. I have a near-pristine SP 28-80(27A) and a more worn copy, the third being a SP 60-300(23A). I can say the same of the few Soligor I own too, all of perhaps 70s vintage. Cosmetically, they're of the same series: 135/2.8, 75-260/4.5 and 400/6.3 and all have same or similar build characteristics of high quality.

cooltouch wrote:
and second the Tamron mirror has a focus throw of almost 360 degrees. Having such a long focus throw makes it quite a bit easier to nail best focus. Even with that long focus, I've found it can be quite exacting. I wouldn't even want to think what it would be like trying to focus one of those cheap ubiquitous mirrors you see all over eBay for example, which have only about 90 degrees of focus throw.

My Tamron came with a case and a hood that is almost as long as the lens, plus a set of drop in rear filters.
Same can be said for my Soligor C/D 500/8 on all counts: long hood, case, screw-on ND filters and long foucs throw. I'd say the focus barrel has over 270-degrees of travel action from stop to stop, and build quality appears very high.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually use my samsung NX20 20MPx mirrorless with my tamron 55BB 500mm f8s because of the advantage 5x/7x focus mag gives in the evf. Particularly when cropping a lot there is zero focus latitude, millimetric adjustment required. At least the tamron has a big focus throw - much superior to the off-brand ones, vintage and current, in that respect. I'm pretty sure the tammy is optically superior anyway. Couple of birds:
Meadow pipit.


Little ringed plover.


Few more...


(big crop!)




If I do nail the focus then I can crop a lot, but generally I find I have less latitude than with the refractive lenses, the images look better with more resizing that smooths out the inherent "roughness".


PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

come on..what is the $12 one?
Nice shots BTW


PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only got this LZOS MC 3M-5CA 'Matsukov' yesterday, an d I think I'm going to like it. It's going to be interesting to compare it to my other other 500 Mirror's - Canon FD, Minolta AF, Tamron 55B.



Straight out of the A6000. The very first shot with this Russian beauty.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
Thank you, Thomas, Suat, and Thomas. I'm very interested in hearing your assessments when you've had opportunities to use more than one mirror.


I have been comparing the following lenses in that range recently:

Canon nFD 2.8/400
Minolta MD 8/500mm
Nikkor AiS 8/500mm "new" (not sure if it's really called "AiS", but it's the newest [1984], best version which focuses down to 1.5m)
Sigma 8/600mm
Tamron SP 8/500mm

To make it short: The Canon beats them all in terms of detail resolution, even at f2.8, and the Sigma is the worst of the bunch. Minolta, Nikkor and Tamron are "in the middle" and pretty close to eacht other, but have different strengths and weaknesses. Resolution-wise, the "new" Nikkor 8/500mm has better corners than the Minolta, but its focusing is very steep and therefore a bit tricky.

I'll post some image later, for clarification.

Stephan


PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
woodrim wrote:
Thank you, Thomas, Suat, and Thomas. I'm very interested in hearing your assessments when you've had opportunities to use more than one mirror.


I have been comparing the following lenses in that range recently:

Canon nFD 2.8/400
Minolta MD 8/500mm
Nikkor AiS 8/500mm "new" (not sure if it's really called "AiS", but it's the newest [1984], best version which focuses down to 1.5m)
Sigma 8/600mm
Tamron SP 8/500mm

To make it short: The Canon beats them all in terms of detail resolution, even at f2.8, and the Sigma is the worst of the bunch. Minolta, Nikkor and Tamron are "in the middle" and pretty close to eacht other, but have different strengths and weaknesses. Resolution-wise, the "new" Nikkor 8/500mm has better corners than the Minolta, but its focusing is very steep and therefore a bit tricky.

I'll post some image later, for clarification.

Stephan


Stephan: Surely the Canon isn't a mirror, so would be expected to resolve better. The Nikkor is the one with the orange stripe? As highly regarded as the Tamron is, I would expect the Minolta to be a little better. Sometimes the differences aren't great as you saw when I compared my $12 lens against the big Maksutov. When the differences are so little, focusing can confuse the result assessments. Nevertheless, I appreciate your work and look forward to eventually having a good assessment of many of the mirrors.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
I only got this LZOS MC 3M-5CA 'Matsukov' yesterday, an d I think I'm going to like it. It's going to be interesting to compare it to my other other 500 Mirror's - Canon FD, Minolta AF, Tamron 55B.


Seems you're now in a position to make some interesting comparisons, Lloydy.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IAZA wrote:
come on..what is the $12 one?
Nice shots BTW


Patience, Suat. Laughing I didn't want people judging it by any information shared in the past or any preconceived notions. The $12 lens is what I paid for it, plus shipping, which ran it up to around $20. You'll find it for more money with the buy-it-now sales but there is an occasional auction that starts low and stays low. The lens is Spiratone Minitel-M, the later version with macro and serial number starting with 81, and without the tripod mount. There is an interesting read here: http://www.subclub.org/Tomioka.pdf

$12 Minitel-M



PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
The lens is Spiratone Minitel-M, the later version with macro and serial number starting with 81, and without the tripod mount. There is an interesting read here: http://www.subclub.org/Tomioka.pdf

Very interresting read, thank you for sharing it. I wonder whether the 300mm Spiratone Minitel-S was made by Tomioka too...

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been at the swamp a lot lately. I'll post more images soon. Here are some from the big Mak 3M-6A...