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500mm Mirror Lenses
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. I look forward to receiving the Tamron tomorrow and using over the weekend. There are still some other brands I would like to try, Minolta being one of them. I would also love to find an affordable Yashica ML. And by the way, I bought a mint, older Soligor that is terrible.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
I was offered a Soligor ZOOM Mirror the other day, I think it was 500 to 800? Anyway....I hadn't got the cash on me, and it wasn't that much, and I didn't get it. Crying or Very sad An interesting lens though.


Good choice not to buy. I had purchased an inexpensive but like-new Soligor 8/500 of older style. Beautiful, solid lens. Terrible images.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've received the Tamron, replaced the Canon Adaptall 2 mount with one direct to E-Mount. I took a little time to get used to it and found that I was being a little overconfident in my handholding skills. Bad light also contributed to poor early results. My third time out with a monopod and better light produced much better results.

I have also found a Yashica ML in near mint condition and initially experienced the same as with the Tamron. A more careful and deliberate shoot with the ML is forthcoming.

These are images from the Tamron SP 8/500 55BB:













PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice results from the Tamron,
Persistence paid off
Tom


PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I learned through trial and error with my old Sigma 600 that careful attention to technique brought out the lens's excellent capabilities. Best to be somewhat deliberate when using these long yet light optics.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good results! Impressive...have to work on my skills using those lenses, too for sure!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yery nice results, Woodrim.

IMHO the most important issue with these lenses is the technique how to use them. It took me a while to learn the best practice.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
Yery nice results, Woodrim.

IMHO the most important issue with these lenses is the technique how to use them. It took me a while to learn the best practice.


You are so right! I've made the point before that I think much of the criticism mirrors get is from people who just didn't get them focused. Until recently with the introduction of mirrorless and focusing aids, the failure rate must have been high. I base this opinion on my experience with my first DSLR and what I see today in the viewfinder with how little movement of the focusing ring it takes to move from perfect to less than perfect.

My more recent experience has shown me the extra sensitivity of lighter weight lenses. When handholding, perfect focus comes and goes not only from the focus ring but also movement of the subject and movement of me - not being able to stay in a rigid position while standing. I sway. That is lessened some by using a monopod and closer to eliminated with a tripod. However, given the nature of my subjects, I choose the monopod for greater flexibility. When I see that perfect moment of focus - or something happening that I want to capture - I've had the tendency to hit the shutter too abruptly, causing a jolt. Fast shutter speeds, IBIS, and a heavier lens has saved me much of the time.

I am now concentrating on my methods. It has been the norm for me to get my best results from a lens on my third trip out. That has been the case with the Tamron and I'm hoping the same for the Yashica ML. They are both new to me and during my first couple of outings, I was switching back and forth, handholding both. And to make it worse, the lighting was poor. I was depending too much on IBIS.

I've had great success with the two Russian mirrors but they're very large and much heavier than Tamron and Yashica ML, the ML being the lightest. My initial impression of the much-touted ML is that it is on a par with the Tamron, certainly not to the level of much of what is written.

Here are a few of my early Yashica ML images (the first not in perfect focus)...















PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the day when I was doing a lot of motorsports photography with my old Canons and my Sigma 600mm, I almost always had a monopod attached to my outfit. Sometimes I was able to shoot at high enough shutter speeds, even when shooting with Kodachrome 64, but I preferred the added stability that the monopod provided. And I believe it paid off. I'm pretty sure I've shown this pair of images before, but I'm gonna go ahead and post them again, just to show the level of sharpness a good mirror can obtain. Bear in mind this is a slide images too. Judging by the size of the grain, I think it was Fujichrome 100.

The full-frame image:


A 100% crop:


This dupe was taken with my old 10.1mp Canon EOS XS DSLR. One thing I never cared for about that camera was, when viewing an image at 100%, stairsteps to diagonal lines were visible. They are evident in the printing on the driver's helmet.


PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been buffing up and testing a couple of tamron 500mm 55BB's, here's some of the pics. All pentax K3.







large crop:




PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MTO 8/500

DSC01709 by Mr TTT, on Flickr

DSC01732 — копия by Mr TTT, on Flickr


PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusBMG: The Tamron really is a very good lens and probably the best value considering prices.

sergtum: Very nice images. The flower is especially good given the MTO is not a close focus lens. Will you please say which model lens it is since there were several versions of the 8/500?

Although I have not posted here recently, I have acquired more mirror lenses. I have since added a Questar 8/700 and a Sigma 5.6/400, neither of which is represented here. Since a Sigma 600mm has been represented, perhaps I should include these two and make the thread more broad than just 500mm. I will mention that I may also have the AF Minolta coming soon.


PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't found a better mirror yet woodrim. I would like to try an MTO, however the late model rubinar 500mm f8 I tried wasn't as good IMO, and that's supposed to be better than the earlier MTO and similar.

Some more tamron 500mm 55BB pics - a 3rd example, seems like a good one actually. K3 again. All of the pics I have taken revently have rubbed in how imortant good light - ie bright sunshine - is in using these lenses and getting good results. It was noticeable that my focus efforts by eye (I have a tenpa 1.36x magnifier basically permanently on my K3) were pretty accurate when I double checked via magnified LV.



Big crop.






PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marcusBMG wrote:
I haven't found a better mirror yet woodrim. I would like to try an MTO, however the late model rubinar 500mm f8 I tried wasn't as good IMO, and that's supposed to be better than the earlier MTO and similar.

Some more tamron 500mm 55BB pics - a 3rd example, seems like a good one actually. K3 again. All of the pics I have taken revently have rubbed in how imortant good light - ie bright sunshine - is in using these lenses and getting good results. It was noticeable that my focus efforts by eye (I have a tenpa 1.36x magnifier basically permanently on my K3) were pretty accurate when I double checked via magnified LV.



I had read that the Rubinar 8/500 wasn't as strong. The one I use is the 5.6/500 and is superb.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

got this absolute beast of an all-metal rexatar 500mm f8/11/16 at the flea market the other day.. initial results are better than my newer all-plastic quantaray 500mm/f8, but it's also a good four or five times heavier (at least 4lbs probably!) and almost twice as long so not really practical for handheld use - i shot these with a monopod which helped a bit, but my actual tripod is too lightweight for this beast so pretty tough to get the focus right.

expect these results would have been totally fine for 3x5 prints from the drugstore photomat.

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benadamx : I have the very same lens, branded as a Soligor. Heavy, indeed, and wonderfully built with smooth focusing. I overpaid for mine at $40, thinking it might have been made in Russia given its tank-like build and appearance. Images from it are just as bad as yours.


PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:
benadamx : I have the very same lens, branded as a Soligor. Heavy, indeed, and wonderfully built with smooth focusing. I overpaid for mine at $40, thinking it might have been made in Russia given its tank-like build and appearance. Images from it are just as bad as yours.


i think i also paid $40 or so, mostly bought it because it was insane-looking but figured maybe by virtue of the armor-grade construction it might somehow deliver better photos.. oh well


PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

benadamx wrote:
woodrim wrote:
benadamx : I have the very same lens, branded as a Soligor. Heavy, indeed, and wonderfully built with smooth focusing. I overpaid for mine at $40, thinking it might have been made in Russia given its tank-like build and appearance. Images from it are just as bad as yours.


i think i also paid $40 or so, mostly bought it because it was insane-looking but figured maybe by virtue of the armor-grade construction it might somehow deliver better photos.. oh well


For small money, The Spiratone Minitel M is surprisingly good if you can keep the focus ring from moving even a spec from in-focus.


PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodrim wrote:

sergtum: Will you please say which model lens it is since there were several versions of the 8/500?



sorry, I don't know what model my lens is. my lens has next script: "MTO 8/500 №661387 label of ЛЗОС". what does it mean? I did not find enough information to determine the model of this lens by this inscription.

DSC01401 by Mr TTT, on Flickr


PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tamron pics look good everyone. I'm happy with Tamron too--will not be looking elsewhere for a mirror. Best, jt


PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to read this topic, some very nice photos here!

I've been using a Tamron 55B on a Fujifilm X-E2s camera for awhile now, I often ride my mountain bike to a lake close to where I live where I use it to take photos of birds. I enjoy this lens greatly.

I'm wondering if one of you could help me with the following: hoping to expand my reach a bit I bought a Kenko 1.4x Teleplus Pro 300 N-AF DG teleconverter for Nikon. After adding an original adaptall-2 mount for Nikon to the 55B however I can't get the teleconverter to mount: while it seems to align fine, it cannot be turned to secure it. On the other hand the teleconverter fits fine a manual Sigma 500mm f7.2 APO lens, with Nikon mount, that I have (but find much harder to focus than the 55B).

I am interested in any ideas you might have! Did any of you successfully use the 55B with the Kenko teleconverter?

Here are some photos taken with the 55B + X-E2S:

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edit: I chose to "Drag and Drop upload" some photos but they don't show. In the preview I could see them fine.


PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dlaor wrote:
edit: I chose to "Drag and Drop upload" some photos but they don't show. In the preview I could see them fine.



There you go Dlaor. You did nothing wrong. It's an anti-spam feature. You should be okay now.


Last edited by Sciolist on Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Dlaor

Seems like 2x should fit...maybe somebody else knows.

I just received 55BB. Getting used to it; definite learning curve! Besides steady mount and plenty of light, subject distance is important. Focus throw from 30 meters to infinity is very short; focus is difficult. Throw from 20 feet to 5 feet is huge; much easier to focus.


PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nikkor 500mm f5.0





PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
Welcome Dlaor

Seems like 2x should fit...maybe somebody else knows.

I just received 55BB. Getting used to it; definite learning curve! Besides steady mount and plenty of light, subject distance is important. Focus throw from 30 meters to infinity is very short; focus is difficult. Throw from 20 feet to 5 feet is huge; much easier to focus.


Thanks visualopsins. I have a Tamrom 01F 2x converter but it suffers from some kind of haze. I will try out the suggestions here (this forum looks to be very helpful!). Have fun with the 55BB!

Scoilist: thanks for making the photos appear!