Budget long tele lens- Mirror or classic lens?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Scheimpflugger, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Scheimpflugger

    Scheimpflugger Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Look for a 300 to 500mm tele lens to be used exclusively on a tripod for photographing details of gothic architecture.

    Budget is small as I don't expect to use such a lens very often. Think about a Nikon 500mm Mirror Tele. Is this a good idea? Or do I need to invest a bit more in a classical tele lens?

    Thanks
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,418
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Calgary AB,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have a mirror lens and it "ok". You would have to spend major bucks do get a better glass lens. But then again it depends on how important it is to you. Spend lots of money on a VERY solid tripod though.
     
  3. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Can you live with donuts in the out-of-focus areas, and one f-stop? Then go for it. It's far lighter, too
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    For that usage, you're probably okay with a mirror lens. I tried a Nikon 500mm/8.0 once years ago, and among mirror lenses, it's pretty sharp and if the mirror hasn't oxidized, it's probably closer to f:8 in light transmission than many cheaper mirror lenses. With architectural subjects you don't really need the speed of a refractive lens (as you would for wildlife), and you are likely to be far enough away from the details you are photographing that you won't have any out-of-focus donuts or double lines.

    A sturdy tripod, solid head, cable release, and MLU are recommended.
     
  5. skahde

    skahde Member

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I went through the same decision last year. The decline of prices for the 4/300mm AF (non AFS) made it affordable even for me. If you need to go even longer it works well with TCs.

    Compared to the 8/500mm Reflex Nikkor this is a much better allround tele IMO, not that much more expensive and you certainly will be pleased by its performance.

    Stefan