Large reflector (reflex) lens opinions...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Chris Eller, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Chris Eller

    Chris Eller Guest

    Greetings. I'm looking for opinions on reflector lenses of the 500mm and
    600mm range. Do these reflector lenses stack up against the more common
    type of lens (refractor)? Nikon and others make a 500mm and 600mm reflex
    lens in the f/5 to f/8 range. Does anyone have experience with this type
    of lens and do they wish to share their opinions??

    Thank you in advance,
    Chris
     
    Chris Eller, Sep 15, 2003
    #1
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  2. Mirror lenses can offer useful "reach" for certain types of photography, and
    depending on quality of design and manufacture can be of good to excellent
    quality. Equally, I've had a very poor design (500 f8) where the internal
    baffling was so poor that the lens produced very low contrast results. My
    Minolta RF 500 f8 produced excellent results, but suffered from doughnut type
    out-of-focus highlights which spoilt many shots. Images from my Sigma
    (refractive design) APO 500 f7.2 were generally better.
    However, occasionally I've also had poor bokeh at full aperture from the highly
    regarded Canon EF 300 f4L, a top quality refractive design with LD glass to
    control secondary spectrum faults. I suspect this poor bokeh may be from
    astigmatic effects showing their effects on objects close to the in-focus plane.
    See http://www.megalith.freeserve.co.uk/Images/Red_Squirrel.jpg for an
    example.

    HTH
     
    Malcolm Stewart, Sep 15, 2003
    #2
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  3. Chris Eller

    canute Guest

    I've used a Tamron 500mm f8 mirror lens.

    advantages:
    - light - easy to hand hold
    - short - easy to pack away
    - good close focus (this lens)

    disadvantages:
    - one aperture - no depth of field control
    - dark - must use fast film or wait for bright days
    - light - hard to hand hold reliably at low shutter speeds especially with a
    light camera body

    People complain about the bokeh, but in my opinion (and maybe by definition)
    that is a subjective matter. Donut or circular blur patterns persist due to
    the structure of the optics and the way light is transmitted through the
    openings of the lens. Selecting backgrounds is always a photographer's
    choice. I've produced some nice blurred washes behind my subject, after all,
    f8 produces a pretty shallow depth of field for anything close at this focal
    length. Which can be one other problem. If your subject is close and
    especially if it's moving it's hard to maintain focus because of the shallow
    depth of field. I'm not a fan of auto-focus, but as far as I know these
    lenses have never been offered with autofocus and probably can't because of
    their small aperture. Also, does anyone know if there is an internal focus
    variant of the mirror lens? Or, what would happen if you put a polarizer on
    one of these lenses. I don't have an 82mm polarizer (or the money for it) to
    try out this experiment but I wonder whether the reflective elements make it
    behave different from the usual refractive lenses. ... sorry, I'm now adding
    to your questions.
     
    canute, Sep 16, 2003
    #3
  4. Chris Eller

    Peter Chant Guest

    I would guess, as the filter modifies the light before it goes into the
    lens that it would work the same.

    However, my mirror lens takes very small filters in the back of the lens,
    inbetween the lens elements or mirror and the film plane. At the best this
    would make a circular polariser hard to adjust!
     
    Peter Chant, Sep 16, 2003
    #4
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