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Quote: Most people my age and younger actually thought they were state of the art cool.
State of the art cool then was a Catadioptic mirror lens. That was some fat mother strapped to your camera body. Rubbish quality, donut highlights, only one aperture, the slightest knock put the mirror out of alignment,but those that didn't have one were either green with envy, or laughing in their sleeve if they had experience of one.
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I can never recall mirror lenses being cool in my circle.
I have never had one, (way too long ago? although some manufacturers still made them a few years ago) but I think the fact that was allowing people with low budget to have a go on wildlife photography, they must have made some users happy, regardless of the results on paper.
Too long ago? - they are still made today, in fact Sony even make an AF 500mm.
fresh doughnuts? yummy
Quote: I can never recall mirror lenses being cool in my circle.
If you had the Canon 800mm f3.8 in your circle, that wasn't cool ................. that was liquid nitrogen! It had an internal set of ND filters that you could alter the light input by moving an external ring, unlike the Tamron of the time where you had to screw in small ND filters on the back of the lens, but nobody bothered.
I also remember a review of the Canon 2,000mm f11 catadioptic mirror lens. I never even saw one of those in the flesh and certainly didn't get to try one. Seem to recall the 2,000mm had a separate bellows unit to adjust focus. Special order only to people with very long pockets and various military units.
Now that my memory is kicking in, I also remember a Canon 5,600 Cat lens. Now that was a big monster and had its own trailer unit to move it around. Someone did a portrait session in Manchester ............. from London!
Well they weren't cool as no 15 year old boy in Doncaster had even seen one much less used one.
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