Opinions?? VIVITAR 500mm SERIES 1 LENS

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Genisis, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Genisis

    Genisis TPF Noob!

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    Ok...wanting to get a few opinions on this lens.

    1000mm Mirror Lens for Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 A300 A350 - eBay (item 200366860206 end time Aug-24-09 14:58:01 PDT)

    I know there is no AF and it got a fixed f/8....so my real question is would this be a good lens for the money as far as using a tripod and using it for casual zoom.....or would using a 2x Teleconverter with my 75x300 be a better investment even though I would loose the f stops of light? I know it wont give me Nation Geographic quality and has a limited field of focus. Also know that it is mirror based and not refraction. I have done allot of reading up on these types of lenses but I would just like a point of view from someone that either has one of these or has used one.

    Any opinion or advise will be greatly appreciated.

    Nathan
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    There is a very affordable 500mm f/6.3 mirror lens being sold these days by Adorama that I think would be a better choice. A 500mm f/8 mirror lens is a slow,long focal length lens,and most inexpensive mirror lenses have T-stop or actual Transmission of light that is below their stated f/stop; I doubt the Vivitar 500mm f/8 will actually transmit f/8, meaning it will be usable only in good light and/or with elevated ISO settings.

    Here is the URL for the ProOptic 500mm f/6.3 mirror 50063 Pro-Optic 500mm f/6.3 Manual Focus, T-Mount Mirror Lens

    Please, do not be mislead by the "new" Series 1 name on the Vivitar. That name earned elevance decades ago on lenses that had good designs and good specifications and were made by over a dozen different independent lens makers to Vivitar's specifications. Vivitar did sell some superb Series 1 mirror lenses like the 450 and 600mm solid catadioptric lenses, but today's Series 1 mirror lens that you show is a low-cost,dime-a-dozen type of mirror lens.

    Until you've had a 500mm lens, it's hard to describe how much of a specialty lens it is. The focal length is very long, and the angle of view on a crop-frame camera is very narrow, so it's only useful for things 100 feet or more away,pretty much. The weight is light however,and the storage needs are minimal,and mirror lenses are pretty easy to shoot hand-held as long as the light is high enough. You can buy inexpensive, all-glass 500mm f/8 long focus lenses from places like Ritz camra, Adorama,etc, for around $99,and they have the same,or better,optical quality, but are something like 13 inches long,with a lightweight, slender aluminum tube barrel and simple helicoid focusing. These are not "true" telephoto designs, merely old-schooll,simple long focus designs. These too are light weight, but are a bit more conspicuous perhaps due to their extreme length and skinny barrels.

    it is difficult to focus an f/8 mirror lens precisely. I would not consider this lens,or any 500 mm as a"general" purpose long lens. For things like daylight (and I mean bright daylight) shooting of distanct action from one spot, a 500mm lens is handy. Like surfers, zoo animals outdoors, or offshore sailboats, or other long-range subjects. Around water, the mirror lens' doughnut shaped OOF highlights come into play,and a simple,cheap $99 all-glass 500mm f/8 from Ritz camera (lens marketed as Phoenix,or Samyang,or Quantaray if from Ritz) might be a better suggestion than a mirror lens design.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well there's a big difference between not national geographic quality and what you would get when a mirror lens renders something out of focus. The problem is that out of focus blue is rendered in a doughnut shape. This leads to horrid pictures under a lot of circumstances although you possibly could get some very decent photos out of it in some situations.
     
  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    SAVE YOUR MONEY!

    Take the money you were going to spend on it and save it for a Sigma 150-500. Yes quite a bit more for the Sigma but the difference is night and day. You get a long very useable lens with full functions.

    I have not had a 1000mm but I used to own a 500mm and it was a complete waste of money. Yes you get pictures but the quality is about the same as a cell phone pic. They do not produce sharp quality pictures like a true lens will.

    Save your money towards a real lens like the Sigma. If you bought the 1000mm you would be 1/4 there already.
     
  5. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    It's not a real 1000mm mirror lens anyways - the eBay auction is actually selling a 500mm mirror lens with a 2x teleconverter.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Which means at 1000 mm it will be f/16, not f/8.

    You'll be looking a very slow shutter speeds at 1000 mm.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Save your money and get a manual focus Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 super telephoto. It too is a cheap solution to getting longe range but as a super telephoto the results will be better than that mirror lens could do and you won't have that peskey fixed aperture thing to try to work around. It can be found on almost all film body mounts, most for under a hundred bucks. As for the compatability with your Sony...I don't know the mount but I am reasonably sure that there is an adapter made if the Minolta M mounts are not already compatable, I simply don't know the system that well.

    Shot with Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 on Canon mount

    Common Crow by Battou - Photo Lucidity

    Blue Jay by Battou - Photo Lucidity

    Cedar Waxwing by Battou - Photo Lucidity

    Hawk VS Raven (3/4) by Battou - Photo Lucidity

    Common Sparrow by Battou - Photo Lucidity

    Shot with Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 on Olympus mount

    Untitled #12 by Battou - Photo Lucidity

    for quality and speed it is not going to win any awards but it is far more versitle than that 500mm fixed aperture mirror lens will ever be.
     

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