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OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

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  • OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

    I'm quite intrigued by this lens, having read up on it a little it appears to be one of the better performing mirrors with much better sharpness and contrast than the norm.
    Compact and light, fully manual with a fixed aperture of course and there is the doughnut bokeh to contend with.
    Having said all that it still might be a useful addition to the camera bag, giving the same FOV as a 1000mm FL lens on 35mm. Would have to be used carefully for wildlife (subject isolation in bright conditions if at all possible).

    Any users of this legacy lens here? Any thoughts?

    Here are some references...
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...tmls/500mm.htm
    http://mirrorlens.blogspot.com/searc...lympus%20Zuiko
    http://www.foto-bochum.net/Historica...72110773_Pq3ne
    Last edited by Greytop; 19th November 2010, 03:23 PM.
    Regards Huw

    E-M1 & HLD-7 | E-M5 & HLD-6
    7.5 | 17 | 45 | 60 | 12-40 Pro | 40-150 Pro | MC-14 | 75-300 MKII | FL-36R
    Tokina 300 | x1.4 x2 TC
    CaptureOne Pro | Helicon Filter Pro | Photomatrix Pro

  • #2
    Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

    I didn't know Oly ever had one of these. I would say that the shots in that last link are among the better that I have seen out of a reflex, but the bokeh is still ugly, and looking at the prices on eBay, I would have a hard time justifying this over the Sigma 50-500 even at $500 more.
    ~Reggie

    Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

    Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

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    • #3
      Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

      Yes when you weigh up the pros and cons, there does seem to be more on the negative side.
      However from the example images I have seen it really looks quite good and of course it's very light and compact for an extreme telephoto lens.
      Regards Huw

      E-M1 & HLD-7 | E-M5 & HLD-6
      7.5 | 17 | 45 | 60 | 12-40 Pro | 40-150 Pro | MC-14 | 75-300 MKII | FL-36R
      Tokina 300 | x1.4 x2 TC
      CaptureOne Pro | Helicon Filter Pro | Photomatrix Pro

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

        Yeah, the weight, size, and price are definitely unbeatable at those sorts of focal lengths.
        ~Reggie

        Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

        Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

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        • #5
          Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

          About a year ago I was looking into mirror lenses to get over the 300mm barrier. I had found a website that compared ten or so mirror lenses (along with some other ultra-long standard lenses), and the Zuiko mirror lens was by far the best of the bunch. It was even better than the Zuiko 600mm, although I don't know how well regarded the 600mm is. Still, for a mirror lens to best a standard lens is impressive, I think. I'm sorry to say that I don't have the link to that website, and I wasn't able to find it, either - it was really wonderful, though.

          At the time that I was looking, the Zuiko 500mm was extremely rare on eBay, and the price was pretty high. I do like the "donut bokeh" (I think it's unique and gives some interesting effects) but the idea of being stuck at f/8 didn't appeal to me, nor did the idea of manual focus or working with a 500mm prime. I would have gone for it if the cost had been less.

          I ended up going with a Sigma 50-500mm instead. I don't regret it, but the Sigma yields some of its best results at f/8 to f/11 and that's what I tend to use it at. In hindsight, the aperture of the mirror lens wouldn't have been an issue compared to what I'm using now! Despite being big and heavy, I use the Sigma hand-held, thanks to the autofocus. The Zuiko 500mm seems like it should be small and light enough that you could easily use it hand-held. Manually focusing telephoto lenses can be a real chore, though, given that there's a pretty big range to go through.

          If you can find one in good condition that fits your budget, go for it. Based on the results that I've seen, it's the best mirror lens you can get.
          Signatures have become gear lists?
          Olympus E-3 | Olympus E-P1 | ZD 70-300mm | ZD 50mm f/2.0 Macro | EX-25 | ZD 12-60mm SWD | Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4 | Sigma 50-500mm | Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro | Pentax SMC-M 50mm f/1.4 | FL-50R

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          • #6
            Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

            Originally posted by Ledgem View Post
            Manually focusing telephoto lenses can be a real chore, though, given that there's a pretty big range to go through.
            Agreed, the HSM is certainly helpful with the Bigma
            ~Reggie

            Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

            Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

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            • #7
              Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

              I used one years ok, before digital became big, and found it to be a great lens. Sharp light and the bokeh was still doughnut but not to the same extent as say the Tamron 500 Mirror lens, which was a big seller then.

              With the lens only being f8 you do have to use it in good light or use a tripod, I only shot using ISO200 film but with the ability of digital to change ISO speed on the hoof, it should not cause much of a problem.

              They were expensive new and mirrors lens then as now are a bit of an oddity. Because of that Olympus never sold many, hence the reason they are fetching big money on E-Bay.
              My Flickr

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              • #8
                Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

                More interesting thoughts on this lens, I must admit I'm still a bit on the fence at the moment.
                Regards Huw

                E-M1 & HLD-7 | E-M5 & HLD-6
                7.5 | 17 | 45 | 60 | 12-40 Pro | 40-150 Pro | MC-14 | 75-300 MKII | FL-36R
                Tokina 300 | x1.4 x2 TC
                CaptureOne Pro | Helicon Filter Pro | Photomatrix Pro

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

                  Well, it looks like it holds its value quite well, so why not pick one up, play with it, and if you decide it's not for you, just put it up on eBay.

                  EDIT: This might be one to keep an eye on:
                  http://cgi.ebay.com/Olympus-OM-Zuiko...item45f6e038f7
                  ~Reggie

                  Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

                  Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

                    Originally posted by ReggieB View Post
                    Well, it looks like it holds its value quite well, so why not pick one up, play with it, and if you decide it's not for you, just put it up on eBay.

                    EDIT: This might be one to keep an eye on:
                    http://cgi.ebay.com/Olympus-OM-Zuiko...item45f6e038f7
                    Thanks Reggie, actually I've already gone for one, my curiosity got the better of me
                    It should arrive midweek so I'll have to hook it up when my OM to 4/3rds adaptor arrives and see how it performs
                    Regards Huw

                    E-M1 & HLD-7 | E-M5 & HLD-6
                    7.5 | 17 | 45 | 60 | 12-40 Pro | 40-150 Pro | MC-14 | 75-300 MKII | FL-36R
                    Tokina 300 | x1.4 x2 TC
                    CaptureOne Pro | Helicon Filter Pro | Photomatrix Pro

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: OM Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 mirror lens

                      Very nice! Can't wait to see some images from it!
                      ~Reggie

                      Nikon D3s | D500 | Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF | Tamron 10-24 f/3.5-4.5 | 70-200 f/2.8 G2 | Sigma 50 f/1.4 Art | 500mm f/4 Sport

                      Panasonic GX8 | GF3 | 20 f/1.7 II | 12-35 f/2.8

                      Comment

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