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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 Feb 2015 (Monday) 16:16
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Does anyone use a Mirror Lens?

 
steved110
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Feb 09, 2015 16:16 |  #1

I've been looking at the Samyang 500mm and 800mm mirror lenses - i only ever once used a mirror lens on my old manual film camera back when Hector was a pup. didn't like it that much - it was dark and hard to focus, but there was no arguing with 500mm for reach.
These lenses will fit on a Canon EF mount with a T2 mount adapter. Manual focus only and fixed f/8 aperture. My gut feeling is that you could have a lot of fun with one of these.

Anyone had a go yet?


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Feb 09, 2015 16:37 |  #2

Had one come up on Craigslist a while back and dug up this thread to ask about them.

https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=497​213&page=1

The lens had sold before I decided to buy. I Look around CL quite a bit and have not seen one since.

Looks like a cheap way to get some reach.


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Archibald
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Feb 09, 2015 16:45 |  #3

They are fun for playing around with. I bought the Tamron 500mm mirror years ago and fitted it with the 2x to shoot a shuttle launch. It was somewhat sharp, and there were no doughnut haloes in the background, because it was just sky. Pick your subjects carefully and it might suit.

But I sold mine because it was not suitable for my shooting.


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bumpintheroad
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Feb 09, 2015 17:02 |  #4

I have a Samyang 500mm f/6.3 with an EOS mount. I've used it a few times but my old eyes have trouble with manual focus. When I do nail focus it the quality is acceptable, IMHO. But they are indeed hard to nail focus.

You really need to use Liveview with a loupe or Hoodman type magnifying device, or have an upgraded focus screen more suited to manual focus.


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DreDaze
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Feb 09, 2015 17:15 |  #5

Left Handed Brisket wrote in post #17424196 (external link)
Had one come up on Craigslist a while back and dug up this thread to ask about them.

https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=497​213&page=1

The lens had sold before I decided to buy. I Look around CL quite a bit and have not seen one since.

Looks like a cheap way to get some reach.

hey that's my thread :)

in all seriousness though, that thread was like the very first photos i had taken with the lens...i still think for my intentions, which were monitoring a nest site, it served me well...i used it in conjunction with a 70-300mm for a couple years probably...then moved on to the 150-500mm, and now have the 120-300mm with 2X...so watch out, it gets expensive :)

here is a comparison to my bigmos:
https://www.flickr.com …e/sets/72157623​760814379/ (external link)

with the tamron 500mm sharpness is pretty good, the background is where most have an issue...but i would really only recommend using it on a tripod where you can use live view to focus

they can be fun though, i've held on to mine, and lately i've been thinking of mounting it onto my star tracker...only problem is i know nothing about stars :)


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dodgyexposure
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Feb 09, 2015 19:34 |  #6

I just had my Tamron 500mm out last weekend. I finally got around to getting a manual focussing screen for my 6D, and wanted to try it out with the mirror. I found that I could get acceptable focus more often than not (the opposite of my results with the normal focussing screen), and I guess the f8 aperture helps with that by giving greater depth of field.

Once I had my confidence up, I tried to capture some shots of the dog - I had no success in getting accurate focus on the moving dog.

I originally bought the lens to shoot a solar eclipse. I didn't have the money for a decent refractive lens at the time. The image quality is pretty good - sharpness is acceptable, contrast a little low (but easily fixed in post), and avoid out of focus specular highlights, unless you like the doughnut effect.

The main problems were always focussing, and lack of light shooting handhed at f8 and 1/500. Both easily fixed by shooting on a tripod and using liveview (but not as fun).


Cheers, Damien

  
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Canon ­ Bob
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Feb 10, 2015 03:03 |  #7

If the mirror part is not relevant, Steve, and you're just looking for length then something like an old Meyer-Gorlitz (later Pentacon) 500/5.6 Orestegor is a good option.....typically around £200.

Bob


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MalVeauX
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Feb 10, 2015 03:12 |  #8

steved110 wrote in post #17424162 (external link)
I've been looking at the Samyang 500mm and 800mm mirror lenses - i only ever once used a mirror lens on my old manual film camera back when Hector was a pup. didn't like it that much - it was dark and hard to focus, but there was no arguing with 500mm for reach.
These lenses will fit on a Canon EF mount with a T2 mount adapter. Manual focus only and fixed f/8 aperture. My gut feeling is that you could have a lot of fun with one of these.

Anyone had a go yet?

Heya,

They're cheap telescopes basically. No where near the sharpness or resolving power of a good lens.

However, for the cost, you could also explore vintage glass.

You can get a M42 mount (Pentax, very easy to adapt to EOS) 400mm F5.6 prime that is quite good, for under $200 on the bay. Search for a Takumar 400 F5.6. I'd go that route over a mirror.

Very best,


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ZoneV
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Feb 10, 2015 05:41 |  #9

The Tamron mirror lenses are regardes as some of the better mirror lenses - the Zeiss and Leica, probably Minolta where a bit better when I remember right.
The Samyang mirror lenses are likely not as good.

A pure refractive lens like normal photo lenses could be an viable option. For example a Sigma 400mm f/5.6 Apo - but there you can likely not stop down because of Sigma hardware problem with Canon EOS DSLR cameras (execpt very old DSLR). But most mirror lenses can not be stopped down as well.

I own three russian mirror lenses with 500 and 1000mm focal length. I find them hard to handle, and image quality is not as high as most of my other lenses.
Different to most I use them most times because of their special bokeh - I am a bokeh-lover.

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At the moment I wait for a shorter mirror lens, should be much easier to handle.

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Lenty007
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Feb 10, 2015 06:02 |  #10

I still have (and use from time to time) the Canon version (from 1985!).
It's a demanding lens for those who want to have fun and have a sweet tooth for donut-backgrounds.
Needs a lot of light, a steady hand and prefocus possibilities to get the best of it.

In de passing years it has given me some "nice" portraits but nobody wants to know it's done with a reflexlens.

One thing is for sure, despite my big whites I'll never get rid of my (melancholy) reflex!

Greetings,

Alain




  
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Aswald
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Feb 10, 2015 06:17 |  #11

Not too sharp, low contrast, round doughnut background...best on tripod, require good light. Surprisingly good "macro" lens with surprising keepers when you hit the sweet spot. Fastest way to the moon, esp. with a tele-converter.

Kept my Tammy simply because I'm still trying to nail it....vmad




  
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msowsun
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Post edited over 4 years ago by msowsun. (4 edits in all)
     
Feb 10, 2015 06:50 |  #12

I owned a Samyang 500mm Mirror lens for awhile but found it nearly impossible to get a decent looking image from it.

The $100 Samyang 500mm "preset" telephoto does get surprising good results with proper technique. Stopping down to f/16 and using a tripod in good light makes a world of difference.

Check out his thread on the Samyang 500mm f/8 preset telephoto. (aka Opteka, Bower, Kalimar, Phoenix, Rokinon, Quantaray, Vivitar, Bell & Howell, Falcon, Walimex, etc)
https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=1294​328&page=1

About $100 on ebay http://www.ebay.com …ang+500mm+prese​t&_sacat=0 (external link)

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(7D at 18mm to show reference position)
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yogestee
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Feb 11, 2015 05:17 |  #13

In the 1980s I got hold of a Reflex Nikkor 500mm f/8 for awhile. Found it interesting to use and really quite sharp.


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steved110
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Feb 23, 2015 16:00 |  #14

Hey thanks for the information guys - been away from the forum for a while and just seen the replies. it looks like these less are pretty tricky to nail focus on - something I remember from my previous use of a 500mm Centon mirror lens. As always impressed by the depth of knowledge and experience here!

On reflection i think there are many better options, but I wouldn't say no if one came my way at the right moment.


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Feb 23, 2015 18:36 as a reply to  @ steved110's post |  #15

Well I shot this with my Centon 500mm f/8 mirror, on my 300D. It certainly seems to look better on the 300D than on my current 50D. I deliberately left it un-cropped, for here as I figured a full shot was better on a lens comparison thread. At least with sky as a background there are no donuts. I got it when Jessops went bust and closed all the stores, it cost me less than £50 brand new, so was worth a punt.


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Does anyone use a Mirror Lens?
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