Right Angle Mirror Lens - a good lens to buy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JBmac, May 24, 2008.

  1. JBmac macrumors member

    JBmac

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    Eastern, PA
    #1
    Hello, I am considering buying a Right Angle Mirror Lens, and would like some feedback from anyone who uses one, or why you don't use one? I am new to Digital SLR using Point and Shoot cameras the last 11 years or so. I like to record candid and unposed photographs, and I think this type of lens would help a lot. I think it sells for under $50. Thanks!


    "This Bower 37mm Right Angle Mirror Lens Attachment is a classic "deceptive angle" photographic device. It allows photographs to be taken at 90° right angles of the camera. This means you can keep the camera pointed straight ahead, while actually photographing subjects to your right or to your left. The attachment rotates 360°. Designed to be used on lenses with 37mm filter threads, or with bigger sizes with the use of step-up rings.

    Great for candids, kids, or photo-shy people.

    Note! This item is recommended for normal and longer focal length lenses only. can not be used with wide angle lenses."​
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #2
    My personal opinion is using that lens falls into the "creepy" category.

    In any case, for 50 bucks the optical quality won't be very good.
     
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #3
    This takes street photography to a whole new level of creepiness. And to earmark the fact that it is great for kids....yikes.
     
  4. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

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    #4
    I wholeheartedly agree that it seems to border on ultimate creepiness.

    That being said, if it floats your boat I don't see why you shouldn't go for it!
     
  5. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #5
    you'll have a lot more people creeped out if they figure it out.

    Not only are you taking their photo, but you're trying to make them think you're not… and they're a stranger.
     
  6. JBmac thread starter macrumors member

    JBmac

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    #6
    I guess it must just be a lens for Private Detectives or something, I could not find much information on it, so I don't think it is very popular. Thanks!
     
  7. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #7
    "Creepy" is right. Ask yourself why you want to spy on people, without them knowing what you're up to. Have the cojones to be upfront and honest with people you photograph in the street.
     
  8. JBmac thread starter macrumors member

    JBmac

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    #8
    I am upfront, and honest with people. It is called a Spy Lens, to cater to a certain segment of users I am guessing, but there are other uses for a right angle lens, that are not creepy?
     
  9. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #9
    Such as?
     
  10. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #10
    Other, uncreepy uses... such as??? (whoops... Bartelby beat me to it...)

    BTW, it's not a lens... just a mirror mounted at 45 degrees in a housing that looks (a bit) like a lens...
     
  11. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #11
    I just had a look at the "lens" in question on the website and I reckon it makes you stand out even more.

    [​IMG]

    Honestly, if you can't tell someone is taking a photo of you with that, you must be pretty blind and when you get caught, you'll get an even worse response than if you just took the photo normally.
     
  12. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    Alaska
    #12
    Not really. That's a lens for taking pictures of someone without that person knowing it. For example, while at the beach when somebody is not aware that a certain part of his/her body is somewhat exposed, etc. It's much like the a mirror on a kid's shoe, below the unsuspecting girl's skirt at HS.

    Well, I imagine that it would not be creepy to use the lens on an unsuspecting pair of house flies mating :)
     
  13. JBmac thread starter macrumors member

    JBmac

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    #13
    Okay, so far all Theory and Conjecture... and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I find it hard to beleive that there is not someone who uses this type of lens in a Creative, or Artistic way?
    In MacRumors:Forums, we have "Forum Spy", so what is in a name? Cell phone cameras are far worse, or just as bad as we are making out this lens to be.
     
  14. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Yes, thats true. One can use just about anything to spy on others, including the angle lens. The problem I can see is that such a lens is just too obvious, and if you are in a crowd taking photos with it, somebody could easily spot you, assume that you are trouble, and bunk you on the head or something. Just imagine a few guys running after you because they suspect you have been using the lens around their kids?

    That lens is just as obvious as having a sign that reads "KICK ME" on the back of your shirt :)
     
  15. JBmac thread starter macrumors member

    JBmac

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    #15
    Quite Right! I did see somewhere in the literature that it is made to be used with telephoto lenses.
     
  16. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #16
    It's a 50 dollar right-angle mirror. It's hard to see how it could add anything to the creative process. The frame is almost certainly going to vignette horribly with most lenses, for one thing. And, as others have pointed out, it's a big honkin' extension to your already fairly large lens (since you need to use a telephoto); so it's not like people are going to not notice the guy taking pictures.
     
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #17
    You will get better photos if you stop and talk to the people you photograph and ask first if you can take their picture. Then you take a dozen photos to get them used to the camera after that they relax.

    Just the other day some tourist stopped a few of us at the beach and took some photos of me and my friend there. Almost everyone is like us will say "yes" and if not there are a few billion more people to ask.


    Also, people aren't dumb and most know what a mirror is. Those mirror things that attach to SLRs are huge and call attention to themselves. The subject will be able to see the mirror. If you want an un-obtrusive camera the "standard" for the last half century has been the Leica M. but today something like a Canon G9 might work as well.

    I suspect more of these things are sold than used. Many photographers are suckers for gadgets. Many of them thing "I could take some great photos if only I had..." It thid case even if not for the ethical and technical problems it's just not going to give good results. Go to the library and check out some big picture books with old photos from Time, Life or the like. Studying these and tryng to emulate them is the way to improve your work, not by buying one of these mirrors. The proof is that NONE of the photos you see any any of those books was made with a mirror. THose mirrors are sold to "suckers" right next to the cheap $45 500mm f/8 lens and other junk that just does not work. I've seen them being sold back in the 70's but have never seen one case where a good photo was taken with one
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #18
    Wouldn't people notice this big gaping hole in your lens hood or the lens that pointing that them?
     
  19. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #19
    Yeah, this is the way to go. I call it 'candid with permission'...

    The store that sells these mirror things may stock other fun stuff, like itching powder, black-face soap and infra-red glasses that lets you see right through people's clothes... :rolleyes:
     
  20. flinch13 macrumors regular

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #20
    Kind of weird, but a neat little toy. For 50 bucks, why not? Could come in handy one day.
     
  21. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    That's exactly what the creators want you to think.
     
  22. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #22
    I'm telling you dude, all you need to do is ask. Don't waste your money.;)

    [​IMG]
     
  23. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    Location:
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    #23
    Ok I guess I could see this being useful (and I am stretching it here) if you are trying to scenic shots out of a window of a tall building and you don't like heights.... or maybe put it through a tall bar fence where you would get one of the bars in the middle of the shot when at the desired angle.

    Otherwise, I would say it is borderline a toy and otherwise odd (won't quite go with creepy). I'd take a guess and say you could probably build one of equal quality yourself for about the same price.

    Maybe someone can correct me here, but with this type of setup wouldn't the camera be focusing on the mirror itself and not on the object being photographed which means your image can only ever be what is being reflected? I guess you can "zoom" and make the object appear larger but it won't do anything for making the "zoomed" image more detailed.

    Although it currently costs $280 I would be more inclined to say that the ZigView-R Ditigal Viewfinder is a much more useful device that you could actually benefit from.

    http://www.adorama.com/ZVRDV.html
     
  24. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #24
    Have you ever taken a picture off of a mirrored surface? Say, a self portrait in a mirror? That's the easiest way to demonstrate the mirror/focus thing.

    The camera occasionally focuses on the mirror, but if the mirror is clean enough it'll focus on the proper subject.
     
  25. zirkle2007 macrumors 6502

    zirkle2007

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    Indiana, USA
    #25
    You bring up another good point. How the heck are you supposed to keep this thing clean? And are there caps for that hole? I just see it eating up the dust!
     

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