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300mm Mirror Lenses
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
calvin83 wrote:
kds315* wrote:
Shall I be a bit mean and throw in this one...?

It depends on who is reading this thread. Wink


Yep, for some (like me, maybe others..) it is a treasure... Wink


Klaus: Have you posted images from the lens? Or is it a special purpose lens only? I saw a similar lens recently that was a 5/300.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
kds315* wrote:
calvin83 wrote:
kds315* wrote:
Shall I be a bit mean and throw in this one...?

It depends on who is reading this thread. Wink


Yep, for some (like me, maybe others..) it is a treasure... Wink


Klaus: Have you posted images from the lens? Or is it a special purpose lens only? I saw a similar lens recently that was a 5/300.


Really, where did you see that? Never knew he made a 5/300mm!!


PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
woodrim wrote:
kds315* wrote:
calvin83 wrote:
kds315* wrote:
Shall I be a bit mean and throw in this one...?

It depends on who is reading this thread. Wink


Yep, for some (like me, maybe others..) it is a treasure... Wink


Klaus: Have you posted images from the lens? Or is it a special purpose lens only? I saw a similar lens recently that was a 5/300.


Really, where did you see that? Never knew he made a 5/300mm!!


Not necessarily by him, just similar in that it is a fast mirror made for IR.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

150mm 1.4 ! Just a bit challenging to nail THAT focus I'm guessing!


PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Status... I have been doing lots of testing, adjusting, testing, adjusting, well, you get it. I now have three 300mm mirror lenses but will likely have one when the dust settles. I have discovered much about these difficult beasts and will report back here after I've made my full conclusions.

At the moment, the two lenses I'm evaluating are the unbranded Makinon and an Ohnar. Another Makinon will eventually show up. I have noticed that the last distance before infinity on the Ohnar focus ring is 100 feet, 30 meters. The Makinon has 50 feet, 15 meters. Perhaps this is why the Ohnar focuses more easily. I have so far also observed that the Ohnar is weak at close distance and the Makinon is weak at distance. The Ohnar is very good from around 20 yards to infinity. The Makinon is not performing as well as I would like at close distance and something occurred to me. When I first received it, it had a funky mount arrangement that made it fall well short of infinity. It also included a shot extension tube, so it was obvious the previous owner used it for close up work.

I have a question that I'm asking here because it applies to this Makinon. I have found its sweet spot to be at intermediate distance, not real close and definitely not infinity. Is it possible that by adding an extension, thus making the intermediate position on the focus ring a closer distance, the sweet spot will have been brought closer for better macro? Did I explain that well enough?


PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
Status... I have been doing lots of testing, adjusting, testing, adjusting, well, you get it. I now have three 300mm mirror lenses but will likely have one when the dust settles. I have discovered much about these difficult beasts and will report back here after I've made my full conclusions.

At the moment, the two lenses I'm evaluating are the unbranded Makinon and an Ohnar. Another Makinon will eventually show up. I have noticed that the last distance before infinity on the Ohnar focus ring is 100 feet, 30 meters. The Makinon has 50 feet, 15 meters. Perhaps this is why the Ohnar focuses more easily. I have so far also observed that the Ohnar is weak at close distance and the Makinon is weak at distance. The Ohnar is very good from around 20 yards to infinity. The Makinon is not performing as well as I would like at close distance and something occurred to me. When I first received it, it had a funky mount arrangement that made it fall well short of infinity. It also included a shot extension tube, so it was obvious the previous owner used it for close up work.

I have a question that I'm asking here because it applies to this Makinon. I have found its sweet spot to be at intermediate distance, not real close and definitely not infinity. Is it possible that by adding an extension, thus making the intermediate position on the focus ring a closer distance, the sweet spot will have been brought closer for better macro? Did I explain that well enough?


An interesting idea. With a non IF refractor I can't see it would make any difference, but with a reflector it may do. Worth a try IMO.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
I have a question that I'm asking here because it applies to this Makinon. I have found its sweet spot to be at intermediate distance, not real close and definitely not infinity. Is it possible that by adding an extension, thus making the intermediate position on the focus ring a closer distance, the sweet spot will have been brought closer for better macro? Did I explain that well enough?


I would say yes. What you're doing is moving that particular focal range closer by using the extension tube. Probably a lot closer.

I look forward to your report on the short mirrors.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, looking forward to your individual ratings and the final decision.
I have a few mirror lenses myself, but was never really convinced...


PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your thoughts. I have thought about it again and am not convinced but did get better images from the Makinon before I started messing with the mount. Perhaps the previous owner knew something,

Klaus: I will say this again when reporting findings. When using mirrors, all descriptive terms become relative, especially when describing sharpness. What keeps me going and hooked is the unique rendering and pleasing look when all falls into place well. Here is an example of one that is to my taste. It is from the Ohnar on my friend's FF Nikon.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1


PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still owe a report on my discoveries, observations, and perceptions about these 300mm mirrors. However, I have added to the list and it will still be some time before I've developed information on all. I now have an unbranded 5.6/300 Makinon, another branded Makinon 5.6/300 in like-new condition, 5.6/300 Ohnar, and a 5.6/300 Super Danubia. I have also purchased a Spiraton 8/500 version 3 (couldn't resist at $12). For now, here are some more images from the Ohnar.





















PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent!


PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Those are some great examples, Woodrim. That Makinon looks to be impressively sharp to me.
What is the typical aperture of a 250mm mirror? f/4? f/5.6?

The Minolta is f5.6. Very small and lightweight, about the size of an 1.2/58mm.
cooltouch wrote:

I would like to own a smaller mirror one day, but I just can't get my head around the prices they sell for these days. I'll stick to refractors for now.

That's reasonable. In the 200mm ... 300mm range i would go for either the Minolta MC 4/200mm which is very well corrected (nearly as good as the Minolta AF 2.8/200mm APO or the ED AF Nikkor 2.8/180mm, and visibly better than the FD 4/200mm, FD 2.8/200, MD 2.8/200, Ai Nikkor 4/200mm, Pentax M 4/200mm, Hexanon AR 3.5/200mm and AR 4/200mm). In the 300mm range the Canon new FD 5.6/300mm is quite good, and the FD 4/300mm L is very good. Another excellent and cheap 300mm lens is the Mamiya Sekor C 5.6/300mm (for Mamiya 645), which on 24MP FF is extremely sharp wide open, and has no CAs. Obviously, it contains ED glass.

woodrim wrote:

I just witnessed a Minolta selling for >$1200 at auction. Rubinar and Tamron have been running at 2/3 to 3/4 the price of Minolta. All three have remained out of my reach.

OOPS, that expensive ...?? I got my Minolta MD 5.6/250mm last year for CHF/USD 100.-- at a local photography shop, and one of my collegues bought one in Zurich for CHF/USD 60.--, also last year ... I must admit that the Minolta MD 5.6/250mm is a rather sharp and contrasty lens, certainly better than the Minolta MD 8/500mm.

Stephan


PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
Those are some great examples, Woodrim. That Makinon looks to be impressively sharp to me.
What is the typical aperture of a 250mm mirror? f/4? f/5.6?

The Minolta is f5.6. Very small and lightweight, about the size of an 1.2/58mm.
cooltouch wrote:

I would like to own a smaller mirror one day, but I just can't get my head around the prices they sell for these days. I'll stick to refractors for now.

That's reasonable. In the 200mm ... 300mm range i would go for either the Minolta MC 4/200mm which is very well corrected (nearly as good as the Minolta AF 2.8/200mm APO or the ED AF Nikkor 2.8/180mm, and visibly better than the FD 4/200mm, FD 2.8/200, MD 2.8/200, Ai Nikkor 4/200mm, Pentax M 4/200mm, Hexanon AR 3.5/200mm and AR 4/200mm). In the 300mm range the Canon new FD 5.6/300mm is quite good, and the FD 4/300mm L is very good. Another excellent and cheap 300mm lens is the Mamiya Sekor C 5.6/300mm (for Mamiya 645), which on 24MP FF is extremely sharp wide open, and has no CAs. Obviously, it contains ED glass.

woodrim wrote:

I just witnessed a Minolta selling for >$1200 at auction. Rubinar and Tamron have been running at 2/3 to 3/4 the price of Minolta. All three have remained out of my reach.

OOPS, that expensive ...?? I got my Minolta MD 5.6/250mm last year for CHF/USD 100.-- at a local photography shop, and one of my collegues bought one in Zurich for CHF/USD 60.--, also last year ... I must admit that the Minolta MD 5.6/250mm is a rather sharp and contrasty lens, certainly better than the Minolta MD 8/500mm.

Stephan


Stephan. The Mamiya Sekor C 300 is on my list but important to know it's the ULD model, not the one with the chrome rim in the middle of the barrel.

The good refractors will always be better and sometimes faster. They will also be larger and heavier. While I have two good ones with the Orestegor 4/300 being the heaviest (and most pleasing IQ), and a Topcor 5.6/300 which does very well too. The mirrors, and what I will be trying to explain in this thread, are fun to use and give a unique rendering - sometimes 3D-like - in addition to being very small and light. While it can be very frustrating to get sharp images, once mastered, they can produce very acceptably sharp images and sometimes images don't betray the type of lens. Oh, and by the way, should you trip over another inexpensive Minolta 250, please think of me Smile


PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seven mirror lenses, one of which is the Rubinar 300mm f/4.5.
I have not used this lens much at all, the focus ring is very stiff to move and not very user-friendly.
However, this thread has inspired me to have another look at it.
I have a favorite real-life target for testing longer focal length lenses, a fence line on a hilltop, about a mile away from my home.

So, first pic is the view from my house window, using a "standard" focal length lens (25mm on m4/3). This is just to set the scene, so-to-speak.






Now, if I replace the standard lens with the Rubinar 300/4.5, without moving the camera, I get this image, note you can just see the fence posts on the hilltop,




And now a 1000 pixel crop from centre frame, resized to 1600 pixels.
Here you can see the strands of wire on the fence. I think that's amazing, especially for a mirror lens.




I have previously used this target for testing my Tokina AT-X 300/2.8 refractor lens, so I thought I would include the result. Here for comparison is the 1000 pixel crop resized to 1600 pixels from the Tokina.



The Tokina image is cleaner, but the Rubinar is very good.
One of the earlier posts has reminded me that I also have a Mamiya M645 300/5.6 ULD lens to add to the comparison.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Rubinar 4.5/300 and 5.6/500 both have very good reputations. The Tamron SP 350 and the Rubinat 300mm have remained out of my reach. I am interested in finding a Rubinar 5.6/500 to compare to my Maksutov 6.3/500, which I find to be an excellent performer.

I would expect your Rubinar to perform its best at intermediate distances.

I would be interested in seeing results from the Mamiya ULD and maybe a more extensive display of images in its own thread.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:

...
Stephan. The Mamiya Sekor C 300 is on my list but important to know it's the ULD model, not the one with the chrome rim in the middle of the barrel.

The funny thing is - my Mamiya Sekor C 5.6/300mm is not the ULD variant, and yet its color correction is as good as my venerable FD 2.8/300mm Fluorite!

I do own quite few "ordinary" 5.6/300mm, 4.5/300mm and 4/300mm lenses (such as Canon FD and nFD 5.6/300, Canon nFD 4/300, Hexanon AR 4.5/300,
Olympus 4.5/300, Minolta AR/MC/MD 5.6/300, Minolta MC/MD 4.5/300 and Mamiya Sekor E 4/300), but the Sekor C 5.6/300mm is much much better
than all these lenses (tested on 24MP FF). I suspect it to have ULD glass as well; it certainly has less CAs than the Sekor C 4/210mm from the same time.

woodrim wrote:

While it can be very frustrating to get sharp images, once mastered, they can produce very acceptably sharp images and sometimes images don't betray the type of lens.

i have no 300mm/350mm mirror lenses, but four lenses in the 500...600mm range (Minolta MD 8/500mm, the new (!) Nikkor 8/500mm from 1984, the Tamron 8/500mm,
and a Sigma 8/600mm). The Sigma is the worst and franly quite useless on 24MP FF. The Minolta is OK with good center resolution and quite some vignetting (actually
not vigneting but straylight in the central part of the image). The new Nikkor 8/500mm is better than the Minolta (better corners and less straylight), and the
Tamron is in between the Nikkor and the Minolta. They are certainly useful for certain types of landscape photography, and i have shot quite a few nice animal portraits.

Some samples (reduced to 50%) are available here:
http://artaphot.ch/minolta-sr/objektive/371-minolta-500mm-f8-rf

woodrim wrote:

Oh, and by the way, should you trip over another inexpensive Minolta 250, please think of me Smile

To be honest: i never intended to get these mirror lenses. The first was the new Nikkor 8/500mm which came with a couple of Nikon F301s, a 2.8/80-200 and a
4/70-210mm Nikkor, and a 2.8/24mm, all for about CHF 180.--. Later an elder Englishman living near the Zurich Airport was happy to get rid of some Minolta stuff
"as quicke as possible": The whole lot including a MC 1.8/35mm and the MD 8/500mm came for CHF 70.--, so i couldn't resist because on the following weekend
i would go to the mountains (the images linked above are these very firts shots with the MD 8/500mm). Then i got a large amount of old lens stuff and cameras
which included the Tamron, and finally, last summer, i found the MD 5.6/250mm RF...

I'm rarely looking for a specific lens. Rather i prefer to wait for the next surprise sitting somewhere in a charity shop, at a flea market or, sometimes, in a photography shop ... Wink


PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a picture taken today with the Spiratone 300/5.6 and a Lens Turbo II focal reducer on my Sony A6000:



Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love it! Those are some wild OOF donuts!


PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abbazz: Do you have the color version? It amazes me that the mirror would work that well with the lens turbo. The Spiratone is one that I sought from the beginning but couldn't find at an affordable price. I do wonder if it was available under other names. From what I'm seeing, the Ohnar appears to have been marketed under several other names.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I love it! Those are some wild OOF donuts!

Thank you Michael!

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
Abbazz: Do you have the color version?

Here it is:

woodrim wrote:
It amazes me that the mirror would work that well with the lens turbo.

The Lens Turbo is very interesting with mirror lenses, as these are usually difficult to use because their focal length is too long and their aperture too slow. The bird image above is not very sharp because it was taken handheld at 1/100s but the IQ with the Lens Turbo is usually quite decent.

I fully agree when you say that when talking about mirror lenses, "all descriptive terms become relative, especially when describing sharpness." But it is nevertheless interesting to see these MTF results from Modern Photography tests:


Note the score of the Spiratone 300/5.6, which is very close to the Minolta 250/5.6.

woodrim wrote:
The Spiratone is one that I sought from the beginning but couldn't find at an affordable price. I do wonder if it was available under other names. From what I'm seeing, the Ohnar appears to have been marketed under several other names.

The Spiratone is not a common lens and its price on eBay usually reflects that. But it might still be possible to find one for cheap in a discounted items bin at a photo fair, as Spiratone is not a premium brand and is often associated with low quality items. I would like to know the manufacturer of this lens (it only says "Spiratone" and "Lens made in Japan" on the barrel). I think it has also been sold under different brands (Fotomat, Soligor, Quantaray). As Fotomat was an American chain of photo retailers that was bought by Konishiroku Photo Industry (Konica) in 1980 and since the 300/5.6 mirror lens dates from 1982, there might be a slight chance that the lens was in fact manufactured by Konica...

Your Ohnar seeems to be quite good too (I love the picture of the guy with the suspenders).

Cheers!

Abbazz


Last edited by Abbazz on Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:35 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does FTM in that chart stand for? Are the resolution numbers in that chart supposed to be line pairs per millimeter?

If lppmm, some of those numbers are unbelievably low. Like the Tamron and Sigma -- no way do those two lenses score that low, if those numbers are lppmm.

Many of Spiratone's lenses, including their mirrors, were made by Sigma. Those that were will usually have a Greek Sigma character on the bezel ring or edge of the lens, wherever, often next to the serial number.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
What does FTM in that chart stand for?

Sorry, it's the French acronym for Modulation Transfer Function.

cooltouch wrote:
Are the resolution numbers in that chart supposed to be line pairs per millimeter?

If lppmm, some of those numbers are unbelievably low. Like the Tamron and Sigma -- no way do those two lenses score that low, if those numbers are lppmm.

As usual with Modern Photo tests (and not Pop Photo Wink ), the resolution numbers are lines per mm. Here are for example the test results for the Spiratone lens:



cooltouch wrote:
Many of Spiratone's lenses, including their mirrors, were made by Sigma. Those that were will usually have a Greek Sigma character on the bezel ring or edge of the lens, wherever.

This one is definitely not a lens made by Sigma.

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from the sharpness of the mirror lens, how precisely of the focus is also very important. This is the reason why I like the Tamron. I can focus fast and accurately with it but no other ~300mm mirror lenses I have tried.