Vintage 500 mm mirror lenses

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by Lonnie1212, May 20, 2020.

  1. Lonnie1212

    Lonnie1212 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Greetings!
    On eBay there are several brands of old 500 mm mirror lenses. They range from $30.00 to $200.00 in price. There are adapters available for Nikon cameras for $5.00 to $7.00 dollars. Most of the customer reviews are marked with frustration and disappointment. However, there are those who seem to have enjoyed experimenting with these old lenses. Does anyone have any experience with such lens? Good or bad is okay.

    Thank you,

    Lonnie


     
  2. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Many years ago I had one and you could put me down in the frustration and disappointment group, good luck.......
     
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  3. snowbear

    snowbear Oh, hai. I iz bear. Supporting Member

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    I don't think you can change the aperture, so there's that. I guess at $35, it might be worth playing with it.
     
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  4. Lonnie1212

    Lonnie1212 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are right about the aperture. It cannot be changed from F8.
     
  5. snowbear

    snowbear Oh, hai. I iz bear. Supporting Member

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    So it a slow lens. Like I said, if $35 is relatively cheap for you (dinner for one at a decent restaurant) and you want to play, go for it.
     
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  6. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have the 500mm Macro Russian version.
    The apertures were in fact set to F8.
    They are a fun item, but unless you are willing to deal with the poor functionality they have a tendency to be as pointed out. frustrating.

    Any catatrophic lens design will have some neat functionality and WAY COOL 1980's super duper spy-man looks (dont forget the Gargoyles).

    I have shot mine on my Fuji X-M1 and it works fine, but to be honest its not the top end performer some wish they were.
    Lots of CA in certain settings and focus is impossible unless its on a tripod.
     
  7. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The image quality is not bad on many mirror lenses. It's not bad on a budget or if you need a physically small long focal length lens. The biggest issue that many photographers have is the bokeh (donuts).

    These are great for astro purposes (where it originated from).

    As I am a Minolta/Sony A-mount user ... the Minolta AF 500mm mirror is pretty good: Minolta Maxxum AF 500mm Reflex
     
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  8. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    You're gonna learn to like doughnuts...........
     
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  10. Lonnie1212

    Lonnie1212 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  11. Lonnie1212

    Lonnie1212 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is what I hear. Sounds like a tricky lens.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I have a Nikkor 500mm f/8 mirror from 1973: sharp, light, solid build. Hard to focus on D610 or D800. Bought in 2017 for $135.

    I have a 300mm/5.6 Celestron mirror lens, bought in 1985...67mm filter, small, built okay. Reasonably sharp. About the size of an 85mm f1.4 lens of today. $89 new in 1985.

    Vivitar Series 1 600mm "solid cat", f8...sharp, but hard to focus....highly collectible "cult classic"..

    _DSC_7808_500mm Nikkor-3_LR reduced.JPG

    Shot in DX mode on the D610 on my very first day with the 500 mm Nikon mirror lens. This was from about 15 feet away. I thought I was in full frame mode but for some reason I was in DX mode with the Nikon D610. This explains the strange cropping.
     
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