December 22, 2014, 05:58:51 PM

Author Topic: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex  (Read 5999 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

  • EF 50mm F 0.7 IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9415
    • View Profile
Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« on: June 27, 2012, 08:15:07 PM »
I picked up a Nikon 500mm f/8 Mirror lens locally for $80, and finally found time to mount it on my 1D MK IV today.  I am really challenged when it comes to manual focusing, my old eyes are not that sharp.  I had to fool with the exposure, and when I finally got it right, I put the camera into live view so I could use the magnifer to focus, and the exposure was 3 stops off.
For those who don't know, this breed of mirror lens has a fixed f/8 aperture, and are manual focus.  As long as a adapter exists, they work equally well (or equally poorly) on all bodies.

After getting exposure set once again, I was able to get a couple of in-focus shots.  Its pretty frustrating to use.
As expected, its reasonably sharp, and  for a 500mm lens that only cost $80, its a steal. The sharpness is not going to blow you away, the birds were near MFD, so the depth of field is a bit shallow. The awful bokeh was a given, but those out of focus highlights were worse than I expected, when compared to a Sigma 600mm mirror lens that I had a few years back.
Still, for those who can't afford a real 500mm lens, a mirror lens is a cheap alternative.  I should go out and try my 100-400mm l on the same basic shots and crop, but I know it would win.  It cost 20 times as much, so it should be better!
 

 

 
 
 
 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:17:57 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

canon rumors FORUM

Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« on: June 27, 2012, 08:15:07 PM »

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 4577
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 08:19:52 PM »
not bad for 80 bucks! you still got the D800 to try it out on?
APS-H Fanboy

Mt Spokane Photography

  • EF 50mm F 0.7 IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9415
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2012, 08:28:21 PM »
not bad for 80 bucks! you still got the D800 to try it out on?

I have the D800 all boxed up to ship, and did not want to put any more exposures on it.  The D800 would certainly blatently expose all the flaws, the 1D MK IV does a good job of that as well.
I'll be selling the mirror lens as well, but it will go for a bit more than what I paid.  I just can't do manual focus well enough to justify keeping it. 
I had bought a Nikon 200-400mm f/4 AIS at the same time, but it needed some repair, so I returned it.  The issue with being able to focus factored in to that.
 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 08:30:57 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

TexPhoto

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1015
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 10:21:17 PM »
Every now and then i am tempted to buy a 600mm Sigma f8. 

dr croubie

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Too many photos, too little time.
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 10:45:24 PM »
I've always contemplated getting a Mirror Lens, there's a lot out there that I have no idea about, which is better than the others. Prices vary a lot, I just saw a Zeiss 500mm f/8 in C/Y mount go for $380 shipped, or you can get an MTO500 soviet job for as low as $100 BIN. Every major manufacturer seems to have made them at some point, even Canon had a go (which is interesting, seeing as they never got into pancakes until now).

So which ones have the 'good' reputations, and which ones to steer clear of?

Btw, bokeh on those pics doesn't look too bad and 'doughnutty', did you specifically try to find a good background, or are some lenses just not that bad?
Too much gear, too little space.
Gear Photos

Mt Spokane Photography

  • EF 50mm F 0.7 IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9415
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 11:03:39 PM »
I've always contemplated getting a Mirror Lens, there's a lot out there that I have no idea about, which is better than the others. Prices vary a lot, I just saw a Zeiss 500mm f/8 in C/Y mount go for $380 shipped, or you can get an MTO500 soviet job for as low as $100 BIN. Every major manufacturer seems to have made them at some point, even Canon had a go (which is interesting, seeing as they never got into pancakes until now).

So which ones have the 'good' reputations, and which ones to steer clear of?

Btw, bokeh on those pics doesn't look too bad and 'doughnutty', did you specifically try to find a good background, or are some lenses just not that bad?

I thought the background was bad, but there is not a lot of it to see in the image.  Thats actually the best way to use one, avoid a distant background, or crop it out.
There is one Sony Autofocus lens that is sought after, but of no use to Canon users.  Aside from that, there are many older ones as well as new ones with T mounts, so they adapt to almost every model.
Here is a image from the only other Mirror lens I've owned, a sigma 600mm.  Notice the donut shaped bokeh.  The lens was sharp enough, but it is just plain difficult for me to see well enough to focus.

 
 

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 3545
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 10:55:59 AM »
Careful! That F/8 lens may not AF on the 1Dx. ::)

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 10:55:59 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

  • EF 50mm F 0.7 IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9415
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 02:25:49 PM »
Careful! That F/8 lens may not AF on the 1Dx. ::)
It doesn't on my 1D MK IV either, does anyone know whats wrong ;)

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 4577
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 01:35:57 AM »
Careful! That F/8 lens may not AF on the 1Dx. ::)
It doesn't on my 1D MK IV either, does anyone know whats wrong ;)

its broken but dont worry i'll take it off your hands for cheap :)
APS-H Fanboy

Mt Spokane Photography

  • EF 50mm F 0.7 IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9415
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 01:19:29 PM »
Careful! That F/8 lens may not AF on the 1Dx. ::)
It doesn't on my 1D MK IV either, does anyone know whats wrong ;)

its broken but dont worry i'll take it off your hands for cheap :)

Someone did ding it and put a very slight ding near the front, but it does not affect performance.  I was concerned that it might need re-adjusted, but I think its fine.
 
I was suprised to see that several have sold for $500 on ebay, I guess I got a better deal than expected.  I might buy a alternate focus screen for my 1D MK IV and see how that compares to having to use liveview on a tripod.  Just a tiny touch of the focus ring, and it loses the peak focus, its very sensitive.  Considering the relatively long throw, that is a suprise.  I've used old Zeiss Hasselblad manual focus lenses on my 5D MK II, and its very easy to focus them right on the button.  However, 500mm is a lot longer.

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 4577
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 06:55:22 PM »
Careful! That F/8 lens may not AF on the 1Dx. ::)
It doesn't on my 1D MK IV either, does anyone know whats wrong ;)

its broken but dont worry i'll take it off your hands for cheap :)

Someone did ding it and put a very slight ding near the front, but it does not affect performance.  I was concerned that it might need re-adjusted, but I think its fine.
 
I was suprised to see that several have sold for $500 on ebay, I guess I got a better deal than expected.  I might buy a alternate focus screen for my 1D MK IV and see how that compares to having to use liveview on a tripod.  Just a tiny touch of the focus ring, and it loses the peak focus, its very sensitive.  Considering the relatively long throw, that is a suprise.  I've used old Zeiss Hasselblad manual focus lenses on my 5D MK II, and its very easy to focus them right on the button.  However, 500mm is a lot longer.

i got a brightscreen for my 5Dmk2 its awesome for manual focus the split pea enabels you to really get it accurate
APS-H Fanboy

TexPhoto

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1015
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 07:05:24 PM »
With my 400mm f2.8 I use a ballhead and Wimberly sidekick.  I really like this setup because it so quickly converts from a full gimbal head to a ball head for shooting with shorter lenses.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • EF 50mm F 0.7 IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9415
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 07:08:33 PM »
I bought a Canon split prism for my 1D MK III, but it was not all that accurate.  I ordered a EC-s from B&H today, I'll give it a try.
 

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 07:08:33 PM »

wickidwombat

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 4577
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2012, 10:28:07 PM »
I bought a Canon split prism for my 1D MK III, but it was not all that accurate.  I ordered a EC-s from B&H today, I'll give it a try.

i used an EG-S screen on my 5D2 for ages and thought it was good (for f2.8 and faster glass anyway) then changing to the brightscreen was just that much better, not cheap but since neuro recomended them i thought they must be decent, makes the whole experience with the mk2 feel very old school now :)
APS-H Fanboy

Mt Spokane Photography

  • EF 50mm F 0.7 IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9415
    • View Profile
Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 11:46:35 PM »
I bought a Canon split prism for my 1D MK III, but it was not all that accurate.  I ordered a EC-s from B&H today, I'll give it a try.

i used an EG-S screen on my 5D2 for ages and thought it was good (for f2.8 and faster glass anyway) then changing to the brightscreen was just that much better, not cheap but since neuro recomended them i thought they must be decent, makes the whole experience with the mk2 feel very old school now :)

My vision is poor enough that I do not have high hopes, its as well corrected as its going to get.  If it makes a difference, I might consider a brightscreen.  At any rate, I was willing to invest $32.50 at B&H for the EG-S.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Nikon 500mm f/8 Reflex
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 11:46:35 PM »