mirror lens or a 2x converter


Redninja01

Link Posted 29/06/2012 - 07:30
Trying to decide the best way to go on either a mirror lens 500mm or a 2x converter to fit my 50- 200mm telephoto which is to allow me to get in closer to the subject matter.

What is everyone's thoughts

DoctorJeff

Link Posted 29/06/2012 - 11:22
Either way, get a tripod first.
Mirror lenses can be good (not super, just good)and can often be found real cheap - and usually cheaper than a good 2X converter.
Some mirror lenses are very sensitive to a filter, and give mediocre results when one is fitted.
I would be inclined to see if you could borrow one to try out, and see if you like it - and how it performs.
Remember that a mirror lens will likely be f8 fixed, while a converter will drop the effective aperture of your zoom to more than this (i.e. smaller).
Geoff
Water can wear away a stone - but it can't cook lunch
X-5
istDS
K2000
P50.
Lenses Digital: 50-200, 18-55 KAF: 28-80.
Lenses KA & K: SMC-KA f2.0, SMC-K f1.4, SMC-K f1.7 Tokina KA 28-70 , SMC Pentax 70-210 F4, Sigma KA 75-300 , Hanimex 500mm Mirror, and the Tamron Adaptall-2 stuff.
and then there's all the M42 kit, and the accessories ...

fritzthedog

Link Posted 29/06/2012 - 18:27
Chalk and Cheese

Both only worth using in bright conditions

Tc is more flexible

Both can be tricky to focus

Mirror gives a unique bokeh when used well that you will either love or hate

TC easier to get reasonable results with

Bottom line - neither are perfect but both have their USPs

Slightly disagree with Geoff on price - a good MF TC will be cheaper than a good Mirror - however a good AF TC will be more expensive but that is not a fair comparison as your mirror will be MF

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

SteveEveritt

Link Posted 29/06/2012 - 19:40
A mirror can be challenging but ultimately rewarding and a tripod and patience are required because the DOF is tiny and you have to be precise with the focus. Catch in focus is a huge advantage on a Pentax DSLR.
A TC adds glass which impacts your IQ unless you use good quality lenses with it.
To give you an idea here are some shots taken with a Sigma 600mm f8 mirror.
link

And here are some shots with a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and a Kenko 2x TC
link

BTW The 600mm and/or the 2x TC could be for sale if your interested
My Flickr link

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" (John Lennon)
Last Edited by SteveEveritt on 29/06/2012 - 19:40

johnha

Link Posted 29/06/2012 - 23:20
Technique is a big variable when using lenses this long. I've just grabbed a couple of shots on this link, the first with a Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 zoom at 250mm and a manual focus 2x TC, the second with my Tamron 500mm f/8 mirror.

Both are focused manually, I can't remember if the 70-300 with the TC displayed the green hexagon, but with the 500mm mirror it did indicate correct focus. The 70-300 + TC is somewhere between f/9.5 & f/11 which may be beyond the AFs capabilities.

The other advantage of a TC is that you use them on 50/1.7s to get a pretty good 100/3.5 lens.
PPG Flickr
Last Edited by johnha on 29/06/2012 - 23:23

Redninja01

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 07:08
Thanks everyone tripod already sorted last Christmas new to DSLR after using my trusted Ricoh KR5 35mm slr for years.

Traded it in couple of years ago for the K-m and only just started to use it and learn the multitude of settings available, when I get to the point of exceeding its capabilities will trade up to another Pentax.

Looking at comments it appears you pays your monies and takes your choices and both have their good and badpoints,

Will explore the cost of each and see what takes my fancy maybe both if wife is feeling generous

Steve will come back to you on offer.

Frogfish

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 09:52
Some excellent examples from both Steve and John above re. possibilities of 500/600 Mirror. The only real downside (if they bother you, and they do bother some) is the doughnut rendition of specular highlights. In most cases they don't bother me at all - and can even look interesting.

I have just come up from comparing 3 lenses and TCs in the garden (Tokina 300/2.8, DA*300 & Tamron BB 500, plus Tamron x1.4 and AFA x1.7). Again it was a pleasure to see the Tamron BB 500 perform well within it's capabilities even though with TCs I put the others on a monopod and used the Tamron handheld (because that's how I would use them in the field - birding).

I doubt with either of your choices you would lose money if you decide to buy to try and sell on if dissatisfied with the results.

BTW the Km is an excellent camera - it is limited in some ways but I've seen some wonderful shots from it.
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0
Last Edited by Frogfish on 30/06/2012 - 10:06

johnha

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 11:59
I think my comparison is better used to show that there's not much in it. Although I feel the mirror lens shot is sharper, whether this would consistently be the case (shake was the biggest difference I think), I'm not sure.

I went for the mirror because I wanted to minimise CA (those pesky film days when you couldn't easily do anything in software) and at the time it was the only affordable option.

Handling is going to be a big factor, and mirrors have a considerably different profile, but they're more likely to have a lens mounted tripod mount, which is definitely an advantage.
PPG Flickr

johnha

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 12:10
And don't forget that compared to 135 format, on APS-C a 500 becomes 750 and a 600 becomes 900. Great for getting closer, but it means your technique needs to take this into account.

For my shots of the bottle, there was enough 'shake' visible in the finder to make the framing a challenge in itself.
PPG Flickr

Frogfish

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 13:14
[quote:3496ace15f="johnha"]I went for the mirror because I wanted to minimise CA (those pesky film days when you couldn't easily do anything in software) and at the time it was the only affordable option.
/quote]

Eradicate
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

kh1234567890

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 16:03
johnha wrote:
And don't forget that compared to 135 format, on APS-C a 500 becomes 750 and a 600 becomes 900. Great for getting closer, but it means your technique needs to take this into account.

For my shots of the bottle, there was enough 'shake' visible in the finder to make the framing a challenge in itself.

I just hate it when people state this. The lens does not care what camera you put it on, its focal length stays the same, it is just that APS sensor only covers the middle bit of what a 135 frame would.
Flickr Stream

johnha

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 17:39
kh1234567890 wrote:
johnha wrote:
And don't forget that compared to 135 format, on APS-C a 500 becomes 750 and a 600 becomes 900. Great for getting closer, but it means your technique needs to take this into account.

For my shots of the bottle, there was enough 'shake' visible in the finder to make the framing a challenge in itself.

I just hate it when people state this. The lens does not care what camera you put it on, its focal length stays the same, it is just that APS sensor only covers the middle bit of what a 135 frame would.

I know that, but the apparent magnification you get is changed from 10x to 15x. This means that you need a faster shutter speed to compensate for shake than you would need for film as the same lens movement creates more image movement.
PPG Flickr

kh1234567890

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 18:24
johnha wrote:
kh1234567890 wrote:
Quote:
And don't forget that compared to 135 format, on APS-C a 500 becomes 750 and a 600 becomes 900. Great for getting closer, but it means your technique needs to take this into account.

For my shots of the bottle, there was enough 'shake' visible in the finder to make the framing a challenge in itself.

I just hate it when people state this. The lens does not care what camera you put it on, its focal length stays the same, it is just that APS sensor only covers the middle bit of what a 135 frame would.

I know that, but the apparent magnification you get is changed from 10x to 15x. This means that you need a faster shutter speed to compensate for shake than you would need for film as the same lens movement creates more image movement.

It depends how big you blow up your 135 print. If you were to crop that and print it at the same size as one from an APS sensor they would be the same, camera shake and all.
Flickr Stream

Stuey

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 20:40
I have a super paragon 2x mf converter knocking around - I could not tell where you are based but if you find yourself anywhere near Wrexham or Llangollen on a weekend you are welcome to try it out but just to try focussing etc as it is not great IMHO

I paid 15 for it at a local camera shop a few years ago - I think they ripped me off

The reason I have never offered it for sale is that I like you guys & gals on the forum and selling it to anyone could be reasonable cause for fisticuffs unless the description included pretty good condition but results from it when in in the hands of stu are pretty poor
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link
Last Edited by Stuey on 30/06/2012 - 20:42

Frogfish

Link Posted 30/06/2012 - 20:53
You can check out the Tamron BB 500 mirror performance in a comparison thread I've just put up :

https://www.pentaxuser.com/forum/topic/garden-tests---da-300-vs-tokina-300-2-8-v...
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0
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