Quantaray 500mm/8.0 Mirror lens

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Sep 28, 2010
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The Tooth Fairy dropped one of these on my doorstep yesterday afternoon. After I left home unfornuately.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/Quantaray-500mm-F8-CN-MC-Mirror-Lens-for-Pentax.html

Questions: the lens is a T-mount variety. I see lots of T-mount adapters advertized on the internet. Do the EOS T-mount adapters work with this lens? Allow infinity focus? Will the meter in the camera (EOS-1 & EOS 1d Mk III) work in manual mode? Or should I rely on a hand meter?

I know all about the donut bokeh. I can tolerate that. I think. Thanks for your help.

There was an SMC Pentax-M 50/1.7 in the box too. More on that later. I reckon I may need a K mount Pentax camera. Any offers? Free to a good home works for me. :woot: :grin:
 
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If its needs a "T" mount I suspect it will be a manual focus only. No connectivity between lens and camera. An f8 lens needs loads of light and the price should give some indication of how good it is . I think the comments posted in your link just about says it all.

Bazza
 
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Of course it's manual focus. It left the factory that way.
I would like to know if anyone has tried an old T-mount lens on a modern digital camera. I know that the earlier Canon FD mount won't focus at infinity on the EOS cameras. I'm hoping that the T-mount system won't have the same problem.
I shoot at f/8 all the time. With Kodachrome even. That's why digital cameras have ASA 6400. I also own several good tripods. No biggie there.
As for the price, I have thoughtful friends. This lens didn't sell at a garage sale. My friends left it with me rather than throwing it out.
This will be the best 500mm lens I own. I will use it accordingly.
 
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Have no idea about Canon, but I have two T-mount lenses that have worked perfectly on a D200, D300 and D700 Nikon.

One is a 600mm built by Perkin Elmer (Hubble Space Telescope), and it is a mirror lens as well. While it is mathematically an f/8.0, in practice it is closer to t/11.0. Nearly 1.0EV is lost in transmission. This is not a problem with through the lens metering, and of course you can always do a test shot, examine the histogram and use Exposure Compensation to nail it.

The electronic rangefinder on the D700 is only good for f/5.6 or faster lenses, thus one is stuck with visual focusing. It takes a great deal of care, since even at a goodly distance, the depth of field is extremely shallow and the view in the finder quite dark. Since it is a mirror lens, out of focus highlights look like donuts—not the darlings of the 'bokeh' obsessive. Compared to a 50mm normal lens, a 600mm multiplies all camera movement by 12×, so tripod—or monopod with high shutter speed—is pretty much needed for sharpness. With patience and good technique, you can get quite good results.
 
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I have the Tokina 500mm f/8.0 mirror. Be aware that mirror lenses usually lack a lot of contrast and saturation. When I get home tonight I will post an image from mine. It needed a lot of boosting the contrast in post. Of course it is about as cheap away to get to 500mm as your going to find.
 
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The T-mount will allow the lens to focus on infinity. If the camera will mount a T-mount adapter, it will work fine. I think some mirror lenses allow focus beyond infinity, to allow for thermal expansion.

I used to have a Nikon 500/8.0, which was a very poor lens, with low contrast. But you should be able to boost the contrast and sharpness in software, and get pretty good results.

I'm looking forward to seeing your results.
 
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Here is an image from a Tokina 500mm f/8 mirror. This is considered a high quality lens

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Wayne,

Any normally functioning T-mount lens, when fitted with the proper T-mount adapter, will achieve infinity focus.

If your Quantaray is one of the newer Samyang models, then its performance is probably never gonna be any better than "just okay." However, some mirror lenses are capable of excellent performance. Unlike Erik, I've owned one 500/8 Nikkor reflex that was a very good performer. A couple of the best aftermarket reflex lenses that I can recommend are the Tamron 500/8 and Sigma 600/8 -- all used, of course. Of the new Samyangs, I've heard repeatedly that the 500/6.3 and 800/8 are much better performers than their cheapo 500/8.

A couple of shots from my old Sigma 600, including 100% crops. These are dupes from slides taken back in the 80s, probably Kodachrome.

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I also have one of the T mount Samyang mirror lenses and a Sony T mount.
Calling it's performance poor is an understatement. I only paid $30.00 for the lens, case and filters. I piad almost $20.00 for the T mount.

The Tokina I have is a much better lens in all regards.
 
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I tried one because it was too good to be true. Motto still holds.

Fortunately I tried before I bought.
 
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Best to check the focus on that puppy, given how P-E royally botched the main mirror in the HST (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Space_Telescope#Flawed_mirror). :biggrin:
Interestingly, I mentioned it in a forum many years ago, and there happened to be a Perkin Elmer engineer on-line who had actually worked on the lens. She said that she and her team did whatever they could to distance themselves from the Hubble team for exactly that reason.

It is an interesting design. It is a catadioptric optical system that is made in solid glass—generally referred to as the Solid Cat. Mirror lenses tend to be delicate, and once knocked out of alignment are pretty much just scrap. With the size, weight and robustness of this one, you could attach it to a monopod and have quite an effective club-type weapon. Found an interesting blog entry on it

http://mattbeardsleyblog.com/2010/02/19/an-exotic-telephoto-perkin-elmer-600mm-solid-cat/
 
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I heard the exact opposite regarding mirror lenses being fragile, I guess it depends on the model. I just recently purchased the nikkor 500mm f8 Macro version, which on a DX body would give a "quasi 1:1 photo" (not really 1:1) compared to an equivalent photo taken at the minimum focus distance of a fx sensor frame. In terms of sharpness, It takes A LOT of practice to make a photo sharp with this lens but it is possible with a good tripod and timer function on my D300.


Vigilence by juin212000, on Flickr
 
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I found this "learning curve" to be true with Sigma 600/8 I owned back in the 80s. At first I thought it was a pretty crummy lens. This was back in the days of film only, understand. And I usually shot slow stuff like Kodachrome 64. So I finally learned that to get really quality shots with the Sigma, it required a stout tripod, mirror lock-up, and a cable release. Sometimes I used an eyepiece magnifier, but once I got used to focusing with plain matte screens, it wasn't as necessary.

Welp, I bought one of those Samyang 800mm f/8s off eBay a few days ago. It should arrive within the next couple of days. This one's a white one with the Opteka label. Only reason why I bought it is because a fellow who owns one posted a bunch of images he took with his on another forum, and I was quite impressed. It appears to be true: the Samyang 800mm f/8 (and most likely the 500mm f/6.3) is a much better quality optic than their 500mm f/8 and is more in line with their other manual focus lenses (such as the 85mm f/1.4 and 14mm f/2.8) that have garnered such a good reputation recently.
 
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I found this "learning curve" to be true with Sigma 600/8 I owned back in the 80s. At first I thought it was a pretty crummy lens. This was back in the days of film only, understand. And I usually shot slow stuff like Kodachrome 64. So I finally learned that to get really quality shots with the Sigma, it required a stout tripod, mirror lock-up, and a cable release. Sometimes I used an eyepiece magnifier, but once I got used to focusing with plain matte screens, it wasn't as necessary.

Welp, I bought one of those Samyang 800mm f/8s off eBay a few days ago. It should arrive within the next couple of days. This one's a white one with the Opteka label. Only reason why I bought it is because a fellow who owns one posted a bunch of images he took with his on another forum, and I was quite impressed. It appears to be true: the Samyang 800mm f/8 (and most likely the 500mm f/6.3) is a much better quality optic than their 500mm f/8 and is more in line with their other manual focus lenses (such as the 85mm f/1.4 and 14mm f/2.8) that have garnered such a good reputation recently.


Did you get the lens ? and if so why no sample's or review
 
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Did you get the lens ? and if so why no sample's or review
Simple. The lens I bought was a turkey. You know, I researched this lens thoroughly before buying a copy. Found a link at a website I frequent where a member had posted a bunch of photos he shot with his, and they were outstanding. If you google "Samyang 800" and then click on "Images" you'll find a bunch taken with that lens that are excellent.

But mine wasn't one of 'em.

I don't know if you've noticed this or not -- I sure have -- that there's no such thing as quality control anymore. The end user has become quality control. I find that probably close to half of the electronics pieces I buy nowadays are defective right out of the box. Well, I guess it's the same with lenses now too. My Samyang (actually labeled an Opteka) was blurry right out of the box. I mean, a casual inspection may show its images to be fine, but as soon as you zoom in to 100% image size, the image has turned into mush. And with my cheezy 10.1mp DSLR, I expect a lens to be able to handle a 100% enlargement without issues.

Here's a shot of my dog, using the Samyang:
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A 100% crop:
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And a shot of my dog using about a 40-year-old Century Precision Optics 650mm f/6.8, also set to f/8:
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And a 100% crop:
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And if I would have tried a little bit harder I could have gotten even a sharper photo out of that old Century. It's a damfine lens, even if it is rather ancient. Biggest problem I have with using it, and the reason why I've been looking for a good mirror is it's almost three feet long!

I still haven't given up on owning one of these 800mm mirrors, though. I mean, take a look at this shot I snagged off the net just now:

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and

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!!! !!

I mean, I'd be plenty happy with that sort of rez out of a mirror, wouldn't you? But if it's gonna be a crap shoot, then I think the smart way to proceed would be to find a shop locally that carries them, so that I can go through their entire inventory and pick out the best one. :cool: Otherwise, having to pay shipping both ways, with shipping as expensive as it's gotten, it just doesn't pay. Unless I can depend on whoever is selling the lens to try it out first and insure that it's working normally. Yeah right. Like that's gonna happen nowadays.
 

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