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Old Mar 19, 2010, 6:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
There is one of these in my local camera shopping mall, in a Pentax mount, going for around US$250.

BTW it is of course a mirror lens so very compact and light, and of course Manual only. I've seen comments on some issues (highlight doughnuts) but it seems like a fun lens and one guy even had his F1 shot published on the cover of Road & Track !

I tried a couple of shots on my K7 - I love the reach !

Any opinions ?
Hi FF,

As far as mirror lenses go, the only one's I can recommend are the Tamron SP 350/5.6 and the Tamron SP 500/8. I have the latter, model 55B.

I wrote a mini review with some samples when I got it. . .


The major negative points:
Manual focus
Very thin DOF
No aperture control/relatively slow
donut bokeh
Strangely -- too light to handhold effectively

The pluses:
Zero CA/PF
Super compact and light
generally lowly regarded for the bokeh, so available inexpensively.

I'd use it more if I didn't have better, faster, AF optical alternatives, but if I feel the possible need for something very long, and I'm traveling light, the Tamron 500 Cat finds its way into the bag. . . It was definitely worth the price I paid.

Any of the other brands, I'd be leery of, including some of the Russian lenses, which I hear aren't bad. I just don't know enough about these lenses to risk any significant money on them.

The only other mirror that I'd have a Jones for is the Minolta AF model that penolta has. . . but I don't own a Sony/Minolta body. . .

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Old Mar 20, 2010, 3:50 AM   #12
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Thank you for that Scott ! It has helped me make a decision. I loved the way you described how to erase the doughnuts in PS - that may help me with other photos in the future.

However although those photos were good I think my Sony HX1 will produce just as good long shots rather than buying this 500mm mirror for use on my K7.

The reach is just insane - below are two photos from a test I did on holiday last June - I just wanted to see the whole range . Of course the fully zoomed in photo used the full digital zoom rather than just optical but even when using the optical the zoom is impressive. Not printable of course but just an example.

If I want better quality long shots (which I'm not sure I do - I'm just suffering from LBA induced by the purchase of the K7) then I need a much higher quality lens ....... and a good divorce lawyer
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