500/1000mm lens for $129 - Too good to be true?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by stick35, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    I found this Phoenix 500mm/1000mm Telephoto Lens at eBay for only $129:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2967037521&category=48556

    Does anyone have any comments about such a lens? I'm sure it's not the most well built lens ever made, but for $129 to get 500mm and even double to 1000mm with the 2x telconverter! It seems like it would be worth a try anyway.

    It says it has a 33' minimum focusing distance. Does anyone know if the focusing distance would change (probably double to 66') with the 2x teleconverter attached?

    OK - now give me the bad news.
     
  2. Prophet

    Prophet TPF Noob!

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    I dont' know about this lens but I saw it on Ebay today too. I thought about giving it a try but I am not sure yet. It is a slow lens and it is being sold by a reputable eBay dealer. The lens is an f8 throughout the range. It is an incredibly slow lens, you would probably need direct sunshine or a really well lit stadium to use it. Give it a try and let me know, then I can buy one!

    -Jeremy-
     
  3. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    When you say it is an incredibly slow lens - do you say that because the maximum aperture is f8?
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    For the most part those mirror lenses are junk. Nobody has ever endorsed this lens as a good deal. Most purchase it, try it once and never use it again.
     
  5. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a similar 400mm lens; think I paid around $100 for it 6 years ago. ItÂ’s has a generic thread mount and requires a mounting ring (about $25) that fits to your camera, this in itself is not bad, the lens is fully manual, including the aperture (f stop setting), when taking a light read you well need to manual open the aperture, and them make setting manual, also with at 1000mm you will need to use a mono or tripod, and fast film

    I do not know if the minimum focusing distance will change, but I do know the aperture will
     
  6. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    The lens in question actually has a fixed f stop of f8. You would need to adjust the shutterspeed to accommodate an aperture of F8
     
  7. photobug

    photobug TPF Noob!

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    A couple of things to keep in mind re: this combo-

    1- As a mirror lens it's very short & very light. This is good as it won't take up a lot of room in your bag.

    2- Adding a doubler to a f8 mirror lens gives you a f16 that will be extremely hard to focus except in the brightest light. Trust me, I know.

    3- A mirror is okay for the ocassional long shot, but if you plan to do this you need to bite the bullet and spend the bucks on some good glass. The mirror lens if fairly dark to view through. If you have a split prism focus screen you're probably going to lose half of it (making it nearly useless).

    4- DOF is really (and I mean really) short. At 10 meters it's only 0.2 meters. That's like, what?... seven inches or so? Subject better be static!

    5- Macro (if it has that mode) actually works pretty well for those things you'd really rather not get that close to, but want to fill the frame with. Mine will focus down to about 5.5 feet if I remember correctly.

    6- Infinity focus (and beyond)... because these things are made of plastic (except for the really spendy ones) they all focus past infinity. This allows for temperature expansion/contraction in the plastic barrel so the lens actually will focus to infinity all the time. You have to pay attention to your focus control.

    In short, it's a nice occassional-use lens that I wouldn't want to have to use all the time. :)

    hth
     
  8. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of the comments, but I don't think this one is a mirror lens. It is long and heavy.

    Anyway - I guess I have decided not to bother with it. It just can't be that good at that price. Normal 500mm lenses are generally over $1,000 from what I have seen.

    I love taking nature shots and I would love to get closer to the birds than my 300mm gets me. That's why I was hoping that the 1000mm would be usable.
     
  9. photobug

    photobug TPF Noob!

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    Oops! I should have followed the link. Having done that now I'd be more inclined to get a mirror than this thing.

    And to answer your other question, no, the min focus distance shouldn't change with the doubler attached.

    Why not try using a doubler with your 300 to see how that works? Should be able to pick up a used one cheap.
     
  10. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Stick, I know it sounds really good, a lot of lens for the money. $129 for a fixed, manual focus 500mm lens seems pretty reasonable, I have seen many a lens at about the same price. I believe the same lens sells overseas as a Vivitar. All in all, if you want to experiment with the 500mm you'll have to buy it and, worse case scenario, sell it if you hate it.

    If I were you I would save $$ and buy a Nikon lens of excellent quality. Not to say that the Phoenix is a bad lens or anything but one cannot compare it with a Nikon lens. At least I wouldn't.

    :)
     
  11. stick35

    stick35 TPF Noob!

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    I looked into the 2x teleconverter, but I found that my 70-300mm lens will not work with it.

    Thanks for the suggestion anyway.
     
  12. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 2x you looked into was it the same brand as your 70-300 :?:
     

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