Lens adapters and IQ; mirror lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Susurs, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Susurs, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    Susurs macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #1
    I bought an old ‘manual’ Sigma 600mm f/8 mirror lens with a Pentax mount. To use it, I need P PK-NEX adapter. I was wondering whether this adapter will have an impact on the IQ, similarly as extension tubes let through less light... Or this is something different? A bit confused here....
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    Nice review btw: :p

    “...This lens is really a b**** to use. If you have your shutter speed a little too low, you'll get a crappy image. If you are wobbling a little, you'll get a crappy image. If you miss the focus, you'll get a crappy image.”

    http://stanfordphoto.blogspot.com/2008/03/review-sigma-600mm-f8-reflex-part-2-of.html?m=1
     
  2. kenoh, Sep 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

    kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #2
    You are fine as long as there is no glass in the adapter like a teleconvertor or one of those speed booster monstrocities. I use Leica M, M42 and Contax/Yashica lenses on my A7Rii and they all work lovely.

    The adapter in this case is really only mounting the lens to the camera at the right distance from the focal plane as if it were fitted to the Pentax that it was originally designed for.

    Good luck with the lens. Mirror lenses are pigs to get decent images from! tripod and a very steady hand needed... and wait til you see the donut bokeh from it... marmite bokeh... some love it, the rest hate it... :)
     
  3. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #3
    Thank you! That’s what I wanted to hear (right distance).

    P.S. It’s more for experiments / fun ... should be fine (with donuts) :)
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #4
    I like mine with jam in the middle!
     
  5. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #5
    MuUum!..... Dad's awake.... :p
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    I've had a 500mm Reflex-Nikkor for a while, and the last time I used it was for the eclipse last month. It's a great lens for that application, but I hate it for general photography.

    Surprisingly enough, I can often get somewhat better results handholding than on a tripod. The big problem is that it's just to darn light for a lens of this focal length to sufficiently dampen vibrations.

    A local shop has a 1000mm Reflex-Nikkor that has sort of tempted me but a. I don't really see a use for it(I don't do wildlife photography, and if I did I'd spend the cash good on refractor lenses) and it's on the high end of price for what I'd want to pay for a mirror lens. On the other hand, unlike the 500mm, it's actually a good sized chunk of glass and I suspect might be somewhat easier to use.

    As an insufferable collector, though, I want it as it is a fairly scarce lens.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Don't worry about the above review. Whoever wrote it seems not to know that what he wrote applies to EVERY 600mm f/8 lens no matter who made it. It is just the nature of 600mm f/8

    To use this lens you want to shoot with shuttler above at least 1/600 second and certainly you want a tripod. If you can use the cameras self timer so that your hands are not on the camera. It is impossible not to shake the camera if your hands are on it. A self timer allows shaking to dampen out and stop before the shutter trips. The self timer trick works for not-moving subjects. If the subject is moving use a cable release to troop the shutter.

    About adaptors. I don't know abut the one yu want to use but a very few of them add distance between the lens and the camera body. If it does add distance it might not allow for you to focus to infinity, but would allow you to focus closer. You might check if distance is added. likely you are fine.
     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    Maybe it's just the amount of coffee I drink, but even for normal lenses I'm hit or miss with the inverse focal length guideline. I prefer double the inverse focal length, and for something as light as a mirror lens(yes I've used them) I'm more comfortable with 1/1500 or 1/2000.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    At 600mm you need to use the 1/600 rule AND a tripod and a cable release. For hand held shots, I doubt if even 1/2000 would be fast enough. I agree you'd not be able to hand hold this at 1/(focal length)

    The reviewer who wrote that it is hard to get good shots with this lens was right. This is why you never see professionals using a 600mm mirror lens on the sidelines at football games. The lens is totally unsuited to fast action photography. It is best used on a tripod with a cable release.

    The OTHER problem you will find is that no mater what lens you have if the subject is very far away you will find that the air is not so clear. Wildlife shots from extreme distance rarely work because of the haze in the air. There is thing like being close
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    As I mentioned earlier, I still find tripods iffy with mirror lenses due to their light weight. A cable release/self time combined with MLU if you have it helps. If not, use good tripod technique by coupling as much of your body mass as you can to the lens(i.e. press your eye up hard against the viewfinder and put your left hand on the lens barrel). In fact, sometimes the self timer is preferable to the cable release as there are cameras that lack an explicit MLU mode but can be set to pre-fire the mirror as soon as the self timer is activated(and other cameras that do that automatically).

    There's no getting around the fact that mirror lenses are just difficult to use in general...which is why even my nice Nikkor stays at home 99% of the time.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    You most have a crappy tripod. I place my camera and long lens on mine and even if I tap the lens the image does not move. I can push harder on the camera a leg lifts off the ground but no vibration. I bought my heaver tripod back when I was shooting medium format film. Of course the problem is the cost of a good tripod.

    If you can't afford a high end tripod one decent substitute is a sand or shot bag. Pea gravel works. rice is lighter. Lead shot is best but it is expensive and very heavy. Make a "pillow" filled with something like shot, sand or gravel and use it as a camera support. Place the bag on a picnic table, boulder or car hood then the camera on the bag.

    If you have a light weight tripod then there are tricks. One is simply adding weight a 5 or 10 pound dumbbell weight works or more portable is a bag filled with rocks or water. Cheap tripods act like springs and are hard to use.

    A good tripod is the best way. It tracking wildlife a good ball head is needed to. I have Gitzo legs and acra swiss heads but if budget is not up to that Manafrotto is great at less then 1/2 the price. If buying a tripod, test it. Tap the lens and if the camera continues to shake for more then a second look for a larger tripod.
     
  12. bunnspecial, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #12
    Out of curiosity, how much experience do you have with mirror lenses?

    I use a Marcioni Tiltall, which is hardly a flimsy or "crappy" tripod. I'll assume that you know what one is @ChrisA but if not, I'll just say it's a classic design of heavy tubular aluminum construction with a wonderful pan/tilt head. The Tiltall has fallen out of favor for modern designs that are more flexible(and lighter in the case of carbon fiber) as well as the modern preference for ball heads. Still, I don't think you'll find anyone who has used one disagreeing that it's a solid piece. I've shot everything from P&S to 4x5 off mine, and it has provided a rock-solid platform. The only thing that really tests it is the RB67.

    I also have some massive affair that weighs about 15lbs that I use primarily for large format and occasionally for use medium format work.
     
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #13
    BTW, here's an article with what I was talking about with using good techniques in combination with a tripod...

    http://www.moosepeterson.com/techtips/longlens.html

    If you don't know Moose Peterson, let's just say that he has a pretty compelling(and easy to find) portfolio to back up what he's saying.
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #14
    All his advice works. But as I remember he was writing to a target audience of beginners. I remember what he actually used himself. A tripod that cost than a new dSLR.

    I used to have a couple 500mm f/8 l=mirror lenses. I can tell you they are useful in a few cases but mostly because they are f/8 and 500mm they find only specialized uses.

    Likely the best case is if yu have a bird feeder in you back yard and the birds always have to stand on the size perch to get the sets. The shot can be set up. But f/8 is not good and blaring a background unless it is 20 feet away so you have to have the feeder in the center of the yard. you need a 500mm or longer lens for birds

    The lens is light and slow so a big tripod helps. OK maybe you can shoot at ISO 6400 and hand hold it? I did not have that option back then.
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    I don't really know what point you're trying to make.

    I don't have a DSLR that gives results I consider satisfactory at 6400, so that's out of the question for me.

    My point is that these lenses are so light that I've had as good of luck with them handheld as on a tripod.

    BTW, I DO have super-teles(non-mirror) and consider a tripod or a good monopod at the minimum mandatory. Mirrors are a special use case, and I find them difficult to use under any circumstances.

    Nikon was at least nice enough to put a tripod mount on the Reflex-Nikkor I have, but there again my results on a tripod vary.
     
  16. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #16
    Thank’s for the replys! :)
    I have a tripod (not the best one, probably, but serves me good), and can use my iPhone as a 5.5” viewfinder/touchscreen via Sonys app on QX1. I do not have to attach it to the camera in all cases. When on tripod - this is very useful. Well...we’ll see what interesting things comes out of this lens... I will get it next week.
     
  17. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #17
    Out of curiosity, what sort of tripod do you have?

    My first was a $20 Wal-Mart special, and I found that it could actually cause more problems than it solved due to being so flimsy.

    After buying a good tripod, I used that for a little while as a light stand in my first attempts to do off-camera flash, but even then it was a poor choice for that. Real light stands generally are generally light and fairly wobbly but have very low legs, making them easier to position. Plus, most light stands will go 8ft or higher-something that you often need to position your lights properly. A tripod that can go that tall will have a huge base size, weigh a lot, and probably cost more than I paid for all my studio lighting equipment (admittedly I got a screaming deal on that with 3 power packs(2x2000 w-s and 1x800 w-s), 8 heads,bunches of radio triggers, a dozen stands and booms, soft boxes, a bunch of other expensive light modifier for well under $500).

    Lighting discussion aside, you really DO need a sturdy tripod. I bought my Tilt-All 10 years ago thinking it would be a good quality starter unit for me. I bought a Marcioni branded one on Ebay for about $50, although if one insists on new the last I checked they were a bit over $100 on Ebay. I'll mention, though, that current production ones aren't as nice as the old Marcioni or Leitz branded ones.

    The Tilt-All ended up being about as much tripod as I need, and didn't even start looking for a different until I got into large format and realized I was pushing the limits of it. I'll also mention that I'm 6'3", and depending on the camera or lens I have mounted on it I don't have to raise the center column or possibly only raise it about an inch. The ground glass on my Speed Graphic is right at eye level for me without raising the colunm. With the legs fully extended, it's actually too tall for me to use the waist level finder on a Rolleiflex, and even larger medium format SLRs push the limits. I often end up retracting the legs an inch or two so that I can satisfactorily see the ground glass. I sometimes-horror of horrors-even use a prism on medium format(45º prisms are handy for this, although I don't generally use a prism when hand holding MF).

    There are folks out there who will have you spend $1K or better on a set of Gitzo legs and Really Right Stuff or Arca-Swiss ball head. I'd have to pay more than that to get a Gitzo tall enough for me. There's also the fact that I have a lot of heavy lenses and bodies(at the time I was shopping, my "benchmark" was Canon 400m f/4.5 with a T90 or F-1 hanging off the back-now days an F5 or D2S with an 80-200 2.8 would be my weight benchmark even though that's a rarely used combination. Most of the good ball heads are designed to be used with quick release plates, and if you have multiple bodies and lenses with tripod mounts you really need a separate QR plate for every item(they're not super easy to install). I now have three DSLRs that I use regularly(D2X, D300, D800) along with several 35mm film SLRs(I'd probably want one on my F4, F5, F100, and one on at least one of my F2s) and various medium format bodies. The QR plates aren't cheap.

    The Tilt-All is heavy, which is a pain when I'm going very far away from the car. Carbon fiber tripods are definitely a lot lighter, and even Gitzo aluminum legs are a bit lighter. Furthermore, some don't like the twist locks on the legs, although you'll find the same on a lot of high end tripods. One feature I really do miss is that many high end legs will allow you to spread them apart varying amounts to get lower to the ground, although not extending the legs all the way can allow you to get more or less the same effect. If I need to get lower than doing that allows, I'll use the cute little Leitz table-top legs along with the superb ball head(this unit honestly is overkill for the Leica it came with-it will hold a view camera without batting an eye).

    Many folks don't like pan-tilt heads for still photography and favor ball heads. Personally, even though a pan-tilt can be a bit more fiddly, I still like the fact that I can get absolute control over one axis while leaving the others alone.

    One other common criticism is that it lacks a QR system, although you can add one if you wish.

    Like I said, at the time I bought it as a good, sturdy even if dated unit to hold me until I could spend $1K on a good head and legs(I was in college at the time). As I said, I ended up finding that it worked fine for me.
     
  18. Susurs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #18
    Just some entry lvl König. Seems to suit my needs fine for now...Will see if something changes with that Sigma lens.
     
  19. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #19
    Plus one for Gitzo. Mine is a lovely to use.
    Manfrotto is my backup which is also fine.
     

Share This Page

18 September 29, 2017