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what would be the cheapest 500mm lens for a Canon 300D?
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An old preset lens (£20-£50 depending on seller) from ebay (Photax Paragon was a decent one) plus an EOS T2 mount.
Oh that's handy. you mean I don't have to spend a grand? that's great. Is the t2 mount a kind of adaptor? what is the original camera this is meant for?
what is a mirror lens?
It's an old lens made when film cameras and before autofocus. The lens didn't have a camera fitting, just a screw threaded end. You buy a T2 mount that screws onto it and has a camera mount at the rear. These T2 mounts were made in loads of different camera fittings so the lens could be used on many different types of camera.
Mirror lenses have a mirror at the back and one at the front that fold the light so the lens can be much shorter. They are not quite as sharp as normal lenses and have unusual out of focus highlights (doughnut shape) but much more compact to carry.
Do they get reasonable results and can they be used with digital?
not bad they're a bit soft overall... one of the best mirror lenses is the Tamron 500mm
Thanks. I'll have a look
Do you want cheap or do you want decent images. The answer must be the latter. Most mirror lenses and older long lenses designed for film cameras will not have an anti reflection coating onthe rear lens element.i know, I tried to do what you are doing.
The result is usually loss of contrast and increased flare making images look unsharp even when they are not. You will do better to save up and look at second hand lenses, say Sigma 150 to 500 or 50 to 500. The optical quality of these lenses is excellent and the 150 and late model 50 have an OS system.
Beware, a good 500 mm will weigh a tonne. The Sigma 50 to 500 is about 2.5Kg on it's own. This means you must use a mopod or tripod. I did say must. You are at 800mm at the long end and you will get camera shake, often even with OS.
By the way, it is wrong to say mirror, or cadadioptic lenses are old. They are still made and are the basis of most astro telescopes. The are fixed aperture and manual focus, but small, compact and lightweight. They do tend to be scarce as camera optics these days as computer design has made long conventional lenses much smaller in general. You also get the magnification factor of your sensor.
I still have a Tamron 500mm SP mirror and have used it on EOS digital cameras with adequate if not perfect results.
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