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300mm Mirror Lenses
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: 300mm Mirror Lenses Reply with quote

I've done a lot of searching for information on 300mm (350mm Tamron) mirror lenses and have been frustrated at how difficult it is to find good information and image results. I know several have been covered here at MFL but not enough qualitative information is available and some of the image links are broken.

My request is for those who already have some of the assorted brands to post what you know about them and some images. I have a Makinon 5.6/300 which actually has no brand markings but looks like a Makinon. I have posted images and there was discussion in this thread: http://forum.mflenses.com/makinon-5-6-300-mirror-t68385,highlight,%2Bmakinon+%2Bmirror.html

Since having great success with a Maksutov 6.3/500, I have taken a greater interest in the 300mm lenses. The Rubinar 4.5/300 and the Tamron 5.6/350 have been out of my price range so far, so I'm looking at others. I'm actually quite surprised at how many are out there.

My perception from the little I've read is that there are a few gems to be had on the rare occasion when one becomes available. They are Spiratone 5.6/300, Ohnar 5.6/300, Tamron 5.6/350 and Rubinar 4.5/300. There is a Soligor that I wonder about since it looks much like the Spiratone.

I have actually just purchased an Onar and will report out on it when received. The Ohnar had been very difficult to find information and even more difficult to find one for sale.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The modern Samyang 6.3/300 is probably better than all of the old ones (other then the Rokkor 250mm Attila has Wink )

http://www.photoreview.com.au/reviews/lenses/m4-3/samyang-reflex-f-6.3-300mm-ed-umc-cs


PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian may very well be right but I was hoping some folks with the lenses would offer their opinions and post some images. At this time I'm especially eager to hear about the Ohnar, which hasn't been posted about very much. I know there are two styles and I'm not certain which I'm getting because I was given only a condition report. I'm hoping for the best. I did find this post with pictures: http://www.dchome.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1031611 Additionally, I found this blog, covering several mirrors interesting - you'll have to translate: http://www.dchome.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1006352&page=1#pid12150045


PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't speak to your issue as the only 300 mirror I own is the vaunted Rubinar which Attila has already shown to be a strikingly good performer. I have quite a few other FL mirrors though. The underrated Tokina RMC 500 f8, the other rubinars in 500 5.6, and 1000 f10, the Minolta AF 500 f8 and the telescope Celestron %SE which is 1250mm f10.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamaeolus wrote:
I can't speak to your issue as the only 300 mirror I own is the vaunted Rubinar which Attila has already shown to be a strikingly good performer. I have quite a few other FL mirrors though. The underrated Tokina RMC 500 f8, the other rubinars in 500 5.6, and 1000 f10, the Minolta AF 500 f8 and the telescope Celestron %SE which is 1250mm f10.


Thanks anyway. That 300mm Rubinar is beyond my price point but otherwise would be my first choice. I am also watching for a 5.6/500 Rubinar. I suspect anything longer may be beyond reasonable for the shooting I do. However, I'm interested in know more about your Celestron 1250mm. Do you have images from it? There seem to be few examples where telescopes are used for terrestrial photography.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can take some with it. I've been trying to get set up for eclipse photos so it is on the patio. I'll try to get some shots with it this evening, time and lighting permitting.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamaeolus wrote:
I can take some with it. I've been trying to get set up for eclipse photos so it is on the patio. I'll try to get some shots with it this evening, time and lighting permitting.


I'm wondering how it would work for birds and other wildlife.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woodrim, have you looked at the Kenko/Tokina 400mm/F8 lens yet? It's available for little money even new and the example pictures I've seen on flickr are looking rather promising. It's equipped with T-mount and therefore adaptable to almost every camera.
http://www.kenkoglobal.com/blog/2015/08/review-of-kenko-mirror-lens-400mm-f8-from-pro-photo.html


PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 300mm 5.6/CELESTRON with T-mount (M42 it is now), but I'm not really impressed by it.
Small and light, but not really sharp and lacks contrast. too.

I have the Tokina 8/500 somewhere (with Minolta mount), but haven't used it in years, when I was
using film, it was a rather sharp lens, I remember.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only recommend the Tamron 350 which is sharp, easy to focus and focus close.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

calvin83 wrote:
I can only recommend the Tamron 350 which is sharp, easy to focus and focus close.


Thanks. Everything I've read and seen are consistent with your report. There are few available - wish I could but wife would definitely notice that purchase Sad Pretty much the same for Rubinar 300mm.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
I have a 300mm 5.6/CELESTRON with T-mount (M42 it is now), but I'm not really impressed by it.
Small and light, but not really sharp and lacks contrast. too.

I have the Tokina 8/500 somewhere (with Minolta mount), but haven't used it in years, when I was
using film, it was a rather sharp lens, I remember.


Thank you, Klaus, that is very helpful. I have been following a Celestron on ebay and very curious about it because of their experience and reputation with telescopes. The last one sold a short while ago at over $200. The current one is approaching $100 with eight hours to go.

Contrast is an issue with most if not all of them, although my Makinon seems decent in that way. Even the 3M-6A lacks contrast and vibrant color.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woodrim I was unable to locate my T adapter. I will keep looking. But just to be sure I ordered another one. My lens is actually pretty sharp, at least to look through. But it is obviously a different FL than you are looking for. I have not taken that many photos with it and none during daytime.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My "mystery" Pentax 300/5.6 mirror (without and then with its hood, on an LX body) -





PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystery, Fred? It does say Pentax on it. How well does it do?


PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never saw this Pentax mirror for sale.
Is it any good?


PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fwcetus wrote:
My "mystery" Pentax 300/5.6 mirror (without and then with its hood, on an LX body) -
woodrim wrote:
Mystery, Fred? It does say Pentax on it. How well does it do?
hoanpham wrote:
I never saw this Pentax mirror for sale. Is it any good?

OK, I confess to teasing you "a bit" (LOL). The lens is actually just the T-mount "guts" to an "el cheapo" mirror spotting scope. Pentax made two of these scopes, a 300/5.6 and a 500/8. Here are some more pics of the two of them:













Optically they're not particularly good (unlike the "serious" line of non-cat Pentax spotting scopes) -- they're not overly sharp and their contrast is fairly low. [I am actually surprised that Pentax ever made these -- they were certainly a cut above "toys", but I think that their optical qualities (or lack thereof) did run the risk of diminishing the reputation of the "serious" Pentax spotting scopes.]


PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystery solved.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Like 1 small

This closest 300mm I have is 250mm. It is compact. I consider it very good optical. The only down side is the ring bokeh.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had two T-mount 300mm mirror lenses, an Ohnar and a Super Paragon. They were essentially the same lens under a different name, but the Ohnar had much better performance, My memory is that the Ohnar was decently sharp but was outperformed by a good refractor like the Tamron SP 300mm f5.6 except in colour fringing (which the Tamron has lots of but is absent in the mirror lens). The Super Paragon was not very good, seeming to suffer from astigmatism (by that I mean horizontal and vertical lines could not be focused at the same time). They both took small filters screwed onto the rear of the lens. I have read that these filters are important to get the optimum performance, but i found no difference in sharpness with or without.

I have a reproduction of a mirror lens group test from Amateur Photographer (UK magazine), dated 5 September 1981. This reviewed the following
Tamron SP 350mm f5,6
Hanimex 300mm f5,6
Makinon 300mm f5,6
Ohnar 300mm f5,6
Super Travenon 300mm f5,6

The Hanimex, Ohnar and Super Travenon are the same basic lens and the same as the lenses I had.

AP found the Trevenon and Ohnar to give the same performance, which was below the Tamron in terms of 'definition' and 'contrast', though all three got an overall rating of 'very good' The Hanimex was slightly softer whilst the Makinon was said to be dismal and possibly faulty.

My hunch is that mirror lenses suffer from more sample variation than refractors. I have a copy of the legendary Tamron SP 350mm which looks in excellent condition but performs very poorly. It also seems to suffer from high levels of astigmatism.

If you have a micro-4/3 camera, the short-lived Tokina 300mm f6.3 for that format is worth seeking out. I was surprised how sharp it is. Much better than the oldies.

Mark


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's that well-known high sample variation with mirror lenses that is largely why I suggested the new Samyang - you can return it until you get a good copy.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
Woodrim, have you looked at the Kenko/Tokina 400mm/F8 lens yet? It's available for little money even new and the example pictures I've seen on flickr are looking rather promising. It's equipped with T-mount and therefore adaptable to almost every camera.
http://www.kenkoglobal.com/blog/2015/08/review-of-kenko-mirror-lens-400mm-f8-from-pro-photo.html


Thanks, Thomas. The Kenko looks like a nice option for between my 300mm and 500mm. I was also looking at Sigma 400mm.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
It's that well-known high sample variation with mirror lenses that is largely why I suggested the new Samyang - you can return it until you get a good copy.


That's an interesting approach but I wonder how one determines a lens is optimum or just close. The Samyang is an option if I remain unhappy with the two 300mm that I have; my current Makinon and the Ohnar That's on way to me from Ian's neighborhood.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SXR_Mark wrote:
I have had two T-mount 300mm mirror lenses, an Ohnar and a Super Paragon. They were essentially the same lens under a different name, but the Ohnar had much better performance, My memory is that the Ohnar was decently sharp but was outperformed by a good refractor like the Tamron SP 300mm f5.6 except in colour fringing (which the Tamron has lots of but is absent in the mirror lens). The Super Paragon was not very good, seeming to suffer from astigmatism (by that I mean horizontal and vertical lines could not be focused at the same time). They both took small filters screwed onto the rear of the lens. I have read that these filters are important to get the optimum performance, but i found no difference in sharpness with or without.

I have a reproduction of a mirror lens group test from Amateur Photographer (UK magazine), dated 5 September 1981. This reviewed the following
Tamron SP 350mm f5,6
Hanimex 300mm f5,6
Makinon 300mm f5,6
Ohnar 300mm f5,6
Super Travenon 300mm f5,6

The Hanimex, Ohnar and Super Travenon are the same basic lens and the same as the lenses I had.

AP found the Trevenon and Ohnar to give the same performance, which was below the Tamron in terms of 'definition' and 'contrast', though all three got an overall rating of 'very good' The Hanimex was slightly softer whilst the Makinon was said to be �dismal� and �possibly faulty�.

My hunch is that mirror lenses suffer from more sample variation than refractors. I have a copy of the legendary Tamron SP 350mm which looks in excellent condition but performs very poorly. It also seems to suffer from high levels of astigmatism.

If you have a micro-4/3 camera, the short-lived Tokina 300mm f6.3 for that format is worth seeking out. I was surprised how sharp it is. Much better than the �oldies�.

Mark


Thanks for that. I would think Ian might be right about sample variation based on your comments and others that have reported similar lenses performing differently. However, since one cannot know of any sample deficiency, it is only the general reputation of the lens that can be considered. I have seen scattered mention of the Ohnar, yet very little information other than brief, mostly positive comments. I found one for sale in England for cheap (just my style) and bought it. Does anyone know the history of Ohnar? I can't find anything.

My Makinon has no brand markings, as I've reported before but looks much the same. It came to me with a funky mount arrangement. The rear of the lens said CA but the mount was Olympus. Then I found that there was a very thin extension on it. I removed the extension but it still didn't focus to infinity. I examined more closely just last week and discovered that it had been converted to Oly. To make matters worse, I had done some lathe work on my NEX adapter to shorten in an attempt to reach infinity. As is often the case when I fix something, it was unusable afterward. I found that my work was a tad uneven, resulting in impossibly focusing. I'll try to "fix" another adapter soon.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
It's that well-known high sample variation with mirror lenses that is largely why I suggested the new Samyang - you can return it until you get a good copy.


That's an interesting approach but I wonder how one determines a lens is optimum or just close. The Samyang is an option if I remain unhappy with the two 300mm that I have; my current Makinon and the Ohnar That's on way to me from Ian's neighborhood.


I dunno about determining optimum, but you will be able to spot if it's faulty by factors such as if one side of the frame is worse than the other or it has noticeable aberrations it shouldn't have.