Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:10 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 7999
Location: UK
Image

There's a bunch of these cheap on ebay. Curiosity got the better of me and I got one to play with. I've always wanted more length than my current longest 300mm zoom lens, which is soft at that length. So I thought this would be a cheap way to get it. In a search, I couldn't find much information about it. It only has to work at one focal length, what could go wrong? Well... I'm reminded of two sayings. "You get what you pay for" and "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".

Image

My sample was used and did not come in original outer packaging. Contents include the lens itself, and a hard case. Inside the case are three filters which screw on the camera end of the lens: skylight, ND2 and ND4. Note the top picture shows the lens with an additional UV filter attached, which was removed for the 2nd shot.

The lens is T-mount, also known as T2 mount. This requires an adapter to fit which was obtained separately.

The lens itself fitted to the adapter and to the camera securely. As there is no electrical connection to the camera, it only works manually. The Sony A350 will only fire in manual mode.

There is a large grip on the body for focus. The whole front section turns during focusing, and the lens extends a little going from infinity to minimum distance. End to end, it takes just under 3/4 of a rotation.

Taking test shots showed what this lens was capable of. Or more precisely, what it wasn't. As said, it requires manual setting. The aperture is fixed, so it's only focus that needs to be set. Using the viewfinder, I set the focus to objects at various distances. Even in bright sunlight, the fixed f/8 isn't very bright. You still need a fast shutter when hand holding to prevent motion blur, so I found I had to increase ISO and trade off noise.

100% crop
Image

Inspecting the images, none of them were sharp. Most of them were very soft. To check this wasn't my focusing, I tried shot after shot.

100% crop
Image

Not happy with this, I tried a final test to get around any possible focus problems due to myself. Using a tripod, I took a photograph of my lawn at a low angle. I manually focused for the middle of the image. The overall total depth means that I will be guaranteed that the focus will be at some point in the image. This point still wasn't sharp as shown in the above crop.

I thought my 28-300 zoom was soft when I got it, but this makes it seem razor sharp in comparison. While full sized images look ok, you could arguably get similar useful detail with a sharper shorter lens and image crop.

Not illustrated by these images, any point sources will give ring shaped bokeh. Any contrasting out of focus areas will look a bit odd too.

Now I am assuming my sample is representative of the lens model in general. If so, then my preliminary conclusion is simple. Don't be tempted by the low prices and give it a miss. Save up for a real lens if you really need the length. Look at it another way. If it was any good, then either the price would be higher, or there would be many more of them made.

The only reason I'm not giving this the final nail in the coffin is I haven't tried it on my intended use, which is moon photography. I'll give that a try before deciding if I'll keep it or put it back on ebay. In fact, I don't think I've tried focusing it on any more than, maybe 30m away. So consider the above to be provisional until tried on more distant targets.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:05 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:43 pm
Posts: 631
Location: Portugal
Well, you may be interested in a review of the Tamrom 500mm f/8 by Thomas. He seemed quite pleased. Maybe that one would be a better choice for your needs?

_________________
Nikon D90 + MB-D80 + SB-600 + AF-S VR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 + AF-S 35mm f/1.8 + AF 85mm f/1.8 | My photos on Flickr.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:15 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 7999
Location: UK
The Tamron seems to be uncommon. The Centon was cheap enough to be an impulse buy, and will be easy enough to put back on ebay if I don't keep it. I'm not keen on the lack of automation that a manual lens requires so I'm more likely going to save up for a decent 300mm zoom instead, maybe one that can take a teleconverter well.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 7999
Location: UK
Mini-update. I did try photographing more distant objects, also not sharp. But comparing again with the Tamron 28-300 in more practical situations (as opposed to test conditions) the gap isn't as big as I thought it was. All the same, I still think the 500mm doesn't provide any more useful detail than the Tamron at 300mm, plus you have a more restricted aperture and manual operation only. I guess it still has value for those with older/lower resolution cameras.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:21 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7896
Location: Germany
Have you uprezed a shot with your 300mm at f/8 by 66% and compared this to the same shot with the mirror lens, popo?
I doubt that this miroor lens gives you better detail or contrast :?

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:49 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 7999
Location: UK
Ooh, old thread. I've sold the lens long ago so it's rather moot now. I think I'll be happy with a -400mm conventional lens. I only need to decide which system to get it for.

One thing though, I'm getting similar experiences with the scope as I did with this mirror lens. Arguable they're not that different. At "only" 500mm I'm fairly sure I found the limits of the lens I had. With the scope I don't think I've found its limits yet as it is so much more sensitive to the environment.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group