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500mm without breaking the bank


Eckyboy 10 57 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2016 6:09AM
I'm buying a 1200D body soon. One day I'd like a 500mm zoom but you'd probably not get much change from a grand, and I'm not sure I could really afford it unless paying it up. Are there cheaper alternatives, ie non-Canon lenses
EddieAC 18 3.7k 2 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2016 9:27AM
You can get a fixed 500mm focal length mirror lens on Amazon , not a zoom lens I know and these are usually have a fixed aperture and only manual focus but it is a cheaper alternative and something else to consider..

I do have one for my Nikons. Smile
LenShepherd 14 4.6k United Kingdom
24 Dec 2016 10:43AM
Buying new there are some older designs for around £750
http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/Sigma/Sigma-Canon-Fit-Lenses/Sigma-150-500mm-f5-6.3-DG-OS-HSM-Lens
Second hand with a reasonable warranty from MPB. Fords etc you could get below £600.
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
24 Dec 2016 11:07AM
Eckyboy 10 57 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2016 11:29AM
Yes I see Sigmas second hand are about 500 quid
Eckyboy 10 57 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2016 11:31AM
Thanks for the links.
peterjones 21 5.2k 1 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2016 1:14PM
Consider the Sigma 150-600 Contemporary zoom, I have friends who go out and use these and obtain excellent results, I use the Sports version and I can vouch for its image quality.
tonyguitar 10 77 37 Canada
26 Dec 2016 10:01PM
I had a Sigma Zoom 500mm and promptly sold it, not due to image quality but due to poor handling. It was no fun to use. I now have a Tamron 150 - 600mm used at half price. Very lucky to find this locally on Craigs list. Images are soft at 600mm so more like a 150 - 550mm lens yet pleasing to use compared to the Sigma. Now new Sigma art lenses are much better and so is their higher price. Take your camera to the store and try on ANY expensive lens FIRST. Some are a pleasure and others can be a pain. Don't end up with a long lens pain. If you only have 1/10th the long lens money then a 500mm mirror lens at fixed f/6.3 will get you up close on BRIGHT days, yet the BG doughnut highlights are something you must work around. TG
25 Jan 2017 9:56PM

Quote:You can get a fixed 500mm focal length mirror lens on Amazon , not a zoom lens I know and these are usually have a fixed aperture and only manual focus but it is a cheaper alternative and something else to consider..

I do have one for my Nikons. Smile


Note to the OP
Wanted to add these lenses are T2 mount so you will to a purchase T2 convertor ring as well.
Another idea for you have a look at some of the older M42 mount fixed prime lenses again you would need a convertor ring for your camera fitting
thewilliam 14 6.1k
26 Jan 2017 12:55PM
Many years ago, I had a Nikon 500mm mirror lens. It was light and cheap but the f8 fixed aperture made it much less useful than the regular 500mm f4. I wasn't sorry to sell it.

If you bought a second-hand Russian MTO 500mm from Fleabay, it would be in 2 figures and you could sell it to get your money back if you don't like it
altitude50 18 23.1k United Kingdom
26 Jan 2017 1:35PM
I have owned three different 500mm Mirror lenses, 30+ years ago it was a Mitakon on a Canon Film camera, recently I have owned a New Samyang and another that I cannot remember the name of. I did not like any of them, I can live with the oof ring highlights for sports but not for nature. All of them were lacking in contrast.

I also bought an Opteka 500mm telephoto (not mirror) in good order at a car boot sale for £5 - it was quite good for a lens in the £80 bracket. I sold it for £40.
Another venture was an older secondhand Sigma 170-500mm AF lens which I used for a couple of years, not entirely happy with the quality at 300mm plus, so I sold that. I decided that a decent 70-300 mm was affordable - Tamron (cannot afford more!) and that I would work around the restricted range and aperture.
tonyguitar 10 77 37 Canada
26 Jan 2017 10:18PM
Interesting to read what Mr. Altitude says above. Plenty of wisdom in that. I have used a Canon 70 =- 300mm with a 1.4X tele-converter for shooting long and while it may not be the sharpest, it certainly got me plenty of good birds and ducks. Makes an easy cam/lens combo to handle.. The Canon 100 - 400 is sharper but heavier and costs so damn much to buy. TG
PS: I would never go to a 2X tele-converter. Too dark.
User_Removed 12 240 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2017 11:15AM
Don't even consider a mirror lens. You would soon grow to resent the purchase. Near a grand now is the fabulous Sigma 150-600mm sport (far better in every way than the 'Comtemporary' version but very heavy! The Sigma 150-500mm is now cheaply available but I have one and results are OK but not great. Any solution using teleconverters only really works on very fast (F4+) mega thousand buck lenses and should be avoided at all costs. They appear to be a cheaper answer but are not. I would think a used Canon 100-400 l would suit you well. Fabulous results and a little fieldcraft and the loss of 100mm will dissolve away. Tamron have a second bite at the cherry with the G2 version out its 150-600mm and that may be in your price range.
Strangely in the past I counted pennies and bought lenses that are compromises due to limited funds but everytime I have bit the bullt and paid more I have not been disappointed where as the compromises have always felt like that. Looking back at their images that is being generous.
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
27 Jan 2017 2:10PM
I doubt spending the extra on the Sport version of the Sigma would benefit the OP any more than it would the pixel peepers of this world.
tonyguitar 10 77 37 Canada
27 Jan 2017 4:44PM
My final answer to this question was the Tamron 150-600mm lens bought used for $700. A demanding lens that delivers only if you are rock steady. But that is normal for all long lenses. TG

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