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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 19 Jan 2009 (Monday) 02:17
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Sigma 600mm f/8 Mirror

 
macroimage
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Jan 19, 2009 02:17 |  #1

After I posted pictures of this lens at:
https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=9626​2&page=115
or single post:
https://photography-on-the.net …?p=7087650&post​count=1724

There were some requests for pictures from this lens. Anyway I went out this evening and took a few with it.

Canon 5D, Sigma 600mm f/8 Multicoated Mirror lens.
1/400s, 1600 ISO, F/8, 600mm, monopod.

In the first image is the original bokeh which is pretty bad. The second one has a quick paint with the blur tool in PS on the out of focus parts.


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macroimage
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Jan 19, 2009 02:22 |  #2

Here's another of the heron in flight. Trying to do birds in flight is quite a challenge with this lens.

This one 1/2000s, 1600 ISO, F/8. Simply cropped, resized and sharpened a bit.


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L.Morey
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Jan 19, 2009 02:28 |  #3

Look good can I ask how much the. Lens cost and did you lose auto focus?


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macroimage
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Jan 19, 2009 02:33 |  #4

L.Morey wrote in post #7108219 (external link)
Look good can I ask how much the. Lens cost and did you lose auto focus?

Yes, it is a manual focus lens. There is no autofocus version of it. There is not autofocus confirmation dot on Canon cameras either for this lens. Focus is by eye only on the ground glass. Aperture is fixed at F/8 and cannot be changed. Exposure is controlled by ISO, shutter speed, and ND filters only.

It was $200 used. Came with case, caps, hood, and one internal filter.


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DreDaze
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Jan 19, 2009 02:39 |  #5

i've got a tamron f/8 mirror...i never thought of using a blur brush to get rid of the ugly bokeh...although i typically use it just on a tripod, pointed at a nest site
you can see an example shot following this link:
https://photography-on-the.net …php?p=7054454&p​ostcount=4

are you manually focusing it thru the viewfinder?...i noticed it was on an XT in your other shot...i think that'd be extremely hard, you show it's possible though...i'm glad i can use live view to manually focus mine


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macroimage
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Jan 19, 2009 02:50 |  #6

DreDaze wrote in post #7108241 (external link)
are you manually focusing it thru the viewfinder?...i noticed it was on an XT in your other shot...i think that'd be extremely hard, you show it's possible though...i'm glad i can use live view to manually focus mine

Nice shots. That is another good use of the lens since the bokeh won't be an issue for you there.

Yes, just focusing manually. The XT and the 5D both are about the same difficulty. Setting the diopter adjustment helps a bit. Probably if I'm going to do this a lot, I should get some kind of viewfinder magnifier or maybe a split prism screen. I don't know if one of those glue-in AF confirmation chips would be effective with an F/8 lens.

On the 5D there is a lot of vignetting. Here's an uncorrected example of just how bad it can be. On the XT it is only a small issue. You can imagine the 1.6x crop area where the vignetting is a lot less. Photoshop's lens distortion filter or the ACR vignetting tool both work pretty good to correct it.

This one is the 5D @ 1/1250s 800 ISO, F/8, 600mm. Focus was on the set of bolts on the right. Depth of field is quite shallow. Bokeh is not a problem with a sky background.


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cooltouch
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Jan 19, 2009 18:31 |  #7

macroimage wrote in post #7108187 (external link)
After I posted pictures of this lens at:
https://photography-on-the.net …read.php?t=9626​2&page=115
There were some requests for pictures from this lens. Anyway I went out this evening and took a few with it.

Canon 5D, Sigma 600mm f/8 Multicoated Mirror lens.
1/400s, 1600 ISO, F/8, 600mm, monopod.

In the first image is the original bokeh which is pretty bad. The second one is a quick paint with the blur tool in PS.

Did you manage to find your Sigma mirror in EOS mount, or are you using an adapter?

I had one of these lenses when shooting with a Canon FD system. I had trouble with the focusing until I switched to a plain ground glass screen in my old F-1. For this reason, I don't think you will be happy with a split-screen. Half will be light, half dark. I found getting an eyepiece magnifier helped some, but after a while I just got used to ground glass focusing.

I found the Sigma mirror to be a solid performer, but back in those days there was no such thing as photo editing software, so I just had to live with the donut-shaped bokeh. This is a lens I have plans to reacquire, maybe in Nikon, PK, or OM mount, since adapters for those mounts are available for EOS.

Also, I wouldn't describe the light fall off at the edges as vignetting. It is not uncommon for a mirror lens to show a "hot spot" like this. The hot spot is most noticeable when the subject is against an evenly lit background. I just learned to live with it.

Best,

Michael


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macroimage
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Jan 19, 2009 21:54 |  #8

cooltouch wrote in post #7112856 (external link)
Did you manage to find your Sigma mirror in EOS mount, or are you using an adapter?

I know that there are EF mount models out there, but I am using an adaptor (no glass, mechanical only). I presume that the adaptor isn't perfect since the distance scale seems off a bit and I have to focus a little past infinity to reach infinity but it is close enough since it reaches.

Apparently the newer version of this lens that is a bit larger in diameter vignettes less. It really is kind of a circular hotspot though, not so much normal vignetting. Turning up the contrast makes it worse too. If I see one of the latest models with an EOS mount for sale reasonably, I may sell this one and try the newer one.

Birds in flight are possible. I used 1600 ISO to get a high shutter speed, then picked a big slow bird like this heron. I focused continously while tracking and whenever the focus seemed to really pop, I'd press the shutter. The lens was on a monopod.

It is a difficult lens. I probably wouldn't like it on film. At least here I have the benefit of raw capture and DXO to make my ISO1600 shots look not too bad.

This was the full frame. 1/1600s, f/8, 1600 ISO, 600mm. If the rings in the background are distracting, a quick wipe across the shoreline with the blur tool in PS will make it look normal.

I'll post a crop next


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Paul ­ J ­ McCain
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Jan 19, 2009 22:00 |  #9

Awesome length to play around with for only $200!


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macroimage
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Jan 19, 2009 22:00 |  #10

Here is a 100% crop of the above image completely unsharpened. All sharpening was turned off in DXO Optics Pro for raw conversion. The second picture is the same one resized to 50% and slightly sharpened.

1600 ISO has unfortunately lost much of the detail and I wasn't on a tripod, it was a moving subject with a manual focus lens and the shutter speed probably should have been a bit higher. It was an evening shot and the light was getting low.

A 100 ISO shot on a tripod with mirror lockup of a stationary subject would probably yield better results but I don't have any examples yet.


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dliveleyphotography
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Jan 19, 2009 22:30 as a reply to  @ macroimage's post |  #11

Wow I am really surprised at how well the pics come out using these lenses, I think I might have try to find a EF mount on ebay to play around with.


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Jan 19, 2009 23:14 as a reply to  @ dliveleyphotography's post |  #12

Congrats Macroimage with your pictures. I use the Canon 500mm mirror from time to time on XT and more likely on a 30d (bigger viewfinder you know).
Darn difficult lens to handle. I happen to like the special bokeh, but indeed one need to acquire a taste for it.
The poster before me puts it very well - a lens to play with. In a time period where photography becomes a (choise permit) full automatic happening, this lens provides a way to - just like in the early days - make you sweat for a good picture.
A cheap way to handle a big tele but not to be considered seriously.
For me it was a nostalgic thing (the only thing) I kept from my analogue period.
Greetings,
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macroimage
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Jan 20, 2009 00:59 |  #13

Thanks. Like you say, it is not to be taken seriously as a lens really. It is all about having fun and the challenge of making a reasonably good image with a really difficult lens. I wouldn't recommend one for a beginner. A Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM is a much better choice for those just getting started in photography.:cool:

In this image I think the light fall-off and weird bokeh maybe even enhance the image. 1/8000s, F/8, 800 ISO.

How many 600mm primes can fit in the palm of your hand anyway? Hood reversed and caps on, this thing is tiny. I don't have big hands either. I find the Rebel XT to be just right sized.


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nordstern1
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Jan 20, 2009 01:41 |  #14

the shot of the wires are nice & the birds are pretty good but the bokeh'd trees & bushes are painful to look at. still, an interesting lens to have fun with & for a collector to have.

by the way, nice job on the blur tool. huge improvement. now i understand why you didnt have unprocessed samples...


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macroimage
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Jan 20, 2009 02:34 |  #15

I almost forgot the obligatory duck shots!

These ones were taken with the Rebel XT and the Sigma 600. As you can see, the light falloff is minimal with the crop camera. Sharpness is decent for a mirror lens. The depth of field is so shallow that the back of the ducks are out of focus.

Both images 800 ISO, F/8, 1/1600s. Once again, just the monopod for support. This would be like trying to use a 960mm lens on the 5D except a lot smaller.


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