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Old Apr 15, 2013, 10:55 AM   #1
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Default Rokinon Super Telephoto 500mm f/8 Mirror Lens

Has anyone ever tried this lens for birding? The price seems cheap enough (138.00) but for birding I'm thinking it may not be fast enough with a fixed aperture of f8. I'm also thinking the ISO would have to be quite high to use a 1/250 shutter speed. I'm also not sure what kind of resolution this lens would provide. Is it just a fun lens? Any thoughts?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...:X:RTQ:US:1123

Thanks.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 11:50 AM   #2
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I have never tried a mirror lens because of the bokeh issues. I know that the old Tamron adaptall ones have a very good reputation for sharpness. Lately I have been playing around with my 500mm Kalimar T-mount that I got off ebay for $25. It's slow (f8) and the minimum focus distance is way too long (i use a 25mm extension tube with it) but at f11 and in the right light it produces tack sharp pics. I was amazed, I had planned on selling it because I remembered it as no good. Not sure it is as sharp as my Tamron 200-500/5.6 but it is very close at least, and about 1/5 of the weight, very easy to shoot hand held. Depending on what you will be shooting and at what distances one like it could be good for you, in bright sun at least.

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Old Apr 15, 2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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I don't know that lens... BUT (....always a but isn't there.)

I do have this old "Vivitar series1 600mm f8 mirror Solid Catadioptric" (???)that I used with my old OM2. I hauled this hunk of glass all over Nepal..in my misspent youth.

Now you've got me thinking, I need to try it out again. I remember it was really touchy focusing, my spit screen may help that and 1200 mm should be interesting!!!

Sorry I couldn't help you, but you gave me an idea..





Not my pic.
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 9:03 AM   #4
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Whaaaaaaaaaa, it says "made in the USA" on the lens???
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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It does..! and sorry to say, it's not great.
Closest focus is about 25 feet, hard to focus and soft. Prolly why I put it away all those years ago. Lots of hype when it came out and I fell for it. Comes with a set of filters that fit in the camera end of it, just a gimmick though.
I may give it another try when I can find time, HAS to be shot from the tripod. Not really worth shooting birds on the deck if I have to be that far away. I can get up their little beaks with the 70-300.
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Old Apr 16, 2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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I kind of figured that, a fun lens more than anything. I'm sure the details won't show up with bird shots.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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Just so you know in case you decide to look into a mirror lens more, the Tamron can focus to 5 1/2' which makes it practically a macro.

John
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 12:21 PM   #8
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Thanks John but I'm not entertaining that idea any more. Too many people say the resolution and sharpness isn't all that great with mirror lenses.
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 1:42 PM   #9
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Catadioptric lenses can be sharp but the design inherently reduces contrast compared to refracting lens systems (what you think of as a typical all-glass telephoto lens). Loss of contrast isn't such an issue if you're shooting celestial objects which generally are in a black background, but it's more of an issue for terrestrial photography. Cat systems are the mainstay of amateur astrophotography, though, because they are way more compact and lighter than refracting telescopes. Since you have to turn the telescope opposite to the earth's rotation, the telescope mount gets enormously expensive for a refractor.

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