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Old Feb 14, 2009, 1:43 PM   #1
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No one here seems to be using mirror lenses. I have a Minolta 500 AF which has been lying idle since film days, when it did yeoman service. I bought a Sony a350 in part so I could use that lens - I won't post the pictures here, as they are not Pentas images, but take a look in the Wildlife forum where I have put 7 threads with ducks and shorebirds - scan down the "started by" column for my ID (some are already halfway down the page) if you are interested in seeing them. Be aware that these are the first images, and I found the lens at its 750mm (775 accordint to one reviewer) equivalent hare to hand hold steadily because of the light weight. I left the camera on its defaults which didn't allow speeds over 1/500" so I will have to set a higher ISO in the future. Most of the images are sharpened -some oversharpened - and all are cropped jpegsI. I have in the closet a Tamron 500 adaptall mirror and a Sigma 600 Pentax K mount which I might try, but not on BIF's without autofocus - I have lots of experience finding FO's with 300 digitals (and 500s in film), but the 750 equivalent field is awfully small. These mirrors focus close - 10 ft or so - so are good for macros of out-of-reach subjects. In most situations you can avoid the out-of-focus donuts int he background. MF mirrors are relatively inexpensive (not so the Minolta/Sony AF in today's market), and could be worth trying by those of you who like to experiment.
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Old Feb 15, 2009, 2:51 AM   #2
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Thanks for the post, Penolta. I have been wondering about mirror lenses. I think the donut bokeh might be worth the ease of operation. I would think if it was distracting it could be dealt with in post processing. I'm going to look into one.

Glenn
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 12:19 AM   #3
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Funny you should mention that - I was looking in a magazine today and happened to see an add for a new mirror lens. They really are inexpensive and light-weight.
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 1:56 AM   #4
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Hi penolta,

I've got a Tamron SP 500 f8 Cat, but rarely have used it. I got it because I remember drooling over the ads for the Vivitar Series 1 Cats when they first came out a long time ago. . .:roll:. It was graded lower by KEH because it didn't come with the hood, but I got a bonus as a P/KA A2 adapter came mounted on it though it was not mentioned in the description. Considering today's prices for the adapter alone (seems to be @ $100 or so), I ended up getting the SP 500 essentially for free.

I shot with it a bit, but was getting better results with the FA* 300/4.5 with the 1.7x AFA, so auto focus, f7.7 with adjustable apertures won over manual focus at f8 only, razor thin DOF, and a lens that was a bit too light for me to hand hold effectively. Now that I've committed to using a tripod more, manual focusing and the weight are less of a problem. I mounted it on the DS tonite, and compared with what I've gotten used to, it's almost seems weightless.

I wrote a mini review about it here:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...15&forum_id=80

I'd use it a lot if it had AF. . . I'm just too spoiled. . .:?

Looks like you're having fun with the A350 and the Minolta Cat. How's the AF performance with this combo?

Scott

Edit: An interesting side note -- I just discovered that the Tamron SP500 f8 Cat sold for $735 new in 1979. In 2007 dollars that would be about $2075! I hadn't realized it was that expensive. . .
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Old Feb 16, 2009, 2:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Looks like you're having fun with the A350 and the Minolta Cat. How's the AF performance with this combo?
Scott, all the shots posted in the seven threads in the Wildlife forum were taken with AF. The sharpest ones that required little or no sharpening are the ones in the diving sequence, which is an assembled one - each required finding the duck after it popped to the surface and shootring quickly as it dived there were as many dives as there are pictures. Distance was about 30 feet +/- and all are cropped somewhat :

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...57&forum_id=11

The ones that are most enlarged are the Snowy Egrets in the Reflections thread - they were well within the focus brackets in the viewfinder and are heavily cropped:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...47&forum_id=11

I did havee a monopod with me and probably used it on the distant Egret shots, but I took 165 images that morning and I can't remember which ones I used it onfor certain, nor which of the duck shots in those three threads (Pintails, Scaup and Bufflehead) I might have been resting my elbows on the bridge railing. I do remember using the monopod on some of the Curlew shots in the "Upside down" and Shorebird threads, plus the two others in which they appear.

Quote:
Edit: An interesting side note -- I just discovered that the Tamron SP500 f8 Cat sold for $735 new in 1979. In 2007 dollars that would be about $2075! I hadn't realized it was that expensive.
.
That must have been list (no "street prices" listed in those days) - I bought mine new in 1980 for $325 ($333 with shipping). The Minolta AF was $460 in 1989, a little over half of what Sony sells the same lens for now.
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