What is Mirror Lens? What You Need to Know About

Dear en.fotografmania.com followers; Our topic today is mirror lenses, as it says in the title. To avoid confusion with Mirror Cameras, let me warn you: You are in a lens review now, not a DSLR. In this article, I examine very different, interesting, thick and large lenses: Mirror lenses… I tried to examine what mirror lenses are, where they are used, what their characteristics are and what they can think of.

What is Mirror Lens?

Mirror lens is the type of lens that drops the image to the sensor (or film) with the help of mirrors. Contains hollow-bump and flat mirrors rather than lenses. Though in some mirror lens models, both mirror and lens are used. Some brands only use mirrors.

Why were mirror lenses invented?

They can be physically produced in long, huge and bulky ways to adjust long focal lengths in normal lenses. For example, a lens such as 1000 mm f11 is expected to be at least 50 cm and 2-3 kg. Mirrored lenses will be much lighter as they are not made of lenses, and will be much shorter because they are made of hollow mirrors. However, due to the physical properties of the mirrors, their thickness did not decrease as expected. They will physically give a thick image despite their length. They are between 500 and 750 gr in weight.

Features of Mirrored Lenses:

Because they are physically relatively small, they can be easily transported. They take up less space and are lighter.

Since they are made up of mirrors, the image losses that the lenses can create are not encountered. In general, their sharpness is above the median compared to tele lenses.

Since it does not contain lenses, they do not create color deviations, ie CA.

Since it consists of mirrors, it gives very interesting bokeh. Bokehs are hollow round round. These are also called katadioptic, donuts or donut bokeh. It has characteristic bokeh like interlocking rings. Some users love it while others like it.

Due to the mirror systems they contain, they cannot contain anti-vibration systems similar to today’s lens lens technology. But in the future, if a different anti-vibration system occurs, it is another.

Their contrast is relatively low. Numerical intervention will be required for an artistic photograph. In electronic environments, the contrast of the pictures taken can be increased.

No Diaphragm Mechanism in Mirrored Lenses

They do not have a diaphragm due to their mirror systems. More precisely, it would be appropriate to say that they have fixed diaphragms. Generally, 500 mm will take a value such as f8 or f11 and smaller ones will take a value like f5.6.

Many are not Autofocus. Although there is no reason for them not to produce amnesty, many mirror lenses that I use and research are manual focus. As far as I know, there is only ‘Minolta af reflex 500mm f8’ lens which is automatic. But I read that the focus speed is a bit slow at this.

Mirrored lenses look like telescopes. It can be thought of as a simpler than professional telescopes. Therefore, if the focal length is sufficient, even astronomy photography is done. More zoom can be done with machines with high Crop multiplier.

Since there are no diaphragm mechanisms, I recommend using it in A mode when using it. In A (aperture-priority mode) mode, you set the aperture and the shutter speed gives the machine according to the environment. Since the diaphragm is fixed, the machine must deliver the shutter required. With reverse logic, I said to me, let me explain, “Why is A mode used in lenses without aperture”?

Mirrored Lenses Suitable for Bird Photography

Since it has a long focal length, it is suitable for ornitho or bird photography. Of course, if manual focus will not be a problem for you. On the other hand, lenses with long focal lengths are already at low speed. So af to one side mf to one side …

Portrait can also be taken with mirrored lenses. The ability to separate the subject from the background is good. But as I mentioned above, the bokeh it will create in the background will create an interesting composition. If you like it, you can also use portraits. In fact, while there are more beautiful lenses for portraits, I wouldn’t recommend a lens like this. Especially at such high focal lengths …

Prices of Mirrored Lenses Are Not Too High

The prices are very favorable, as they do not contain special lenses or spacecraft. Actually, we can say full price performance products for mirrored lenses.

Although the systems of different brands are the same or very similar to each other, their quality can be very different in terms of the image they create. Some really give a high quality relatively sharp image, while others give a faint image. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that it does not give an image so that it does not insult the image.

They are very difficult to use in low light environments since their diaphragms are relatively narrow. It is impossible to find a usage area in a low light environment other than its use for the moon photo. Note that if you consider that there are no vibration damping systems, you will need a lot of light.

In some mirror lenses, mirrors can be painted in different colors, such as blue or silver. Thus, it can reduce the light that comes to the eyes in very light environments. (It can be thought like sunglasses). These mirror coatings will not be able to be constrained because there is no diaphragm and if your camera’s shutter speed is not enough, we can shoot very bright objects.

Although mirror lenses contain mirrors instead of lenses, some companies even have special lenses even with mirror lenses. So the mirror already exists and there is a lens beside it to capture the light. Users especially say that its sharpness is better. Example Tamron 500mm f8 sp. It is one of the most famous mirror lenses.

It is also called reflex, catadioptrix or mirror lens. Just like the Reflex i of the letter R in DSLR. There may be only a time period between the visible image and the image taken, just as fast as the speed of light. 🙂

The Most Popular Mirror Lenses on the Market:

Tamron 500mm f8 SP

Nikon 500mm f8 (prices are higher than others)

Samyang 800mm f8 (one of the latest models)

Canon fd 400mm f5.6

Zeiss- Contax Mirotar 500mm f8 (It has a T * coating from Jupiter and thanks to its high price J)

Minolta AF reflex 500mm f8 (with autofocus – Sony produced the same.)

3m-5a (mto-500) 500mm f8 (Russian lens)

Vivitar Series1 600mm F8

There are many more mirror lens brands and models that we can count. I tried to list the lenses that are known in the market and which can be called relatively higher quality.

As a result

Mirrored lenses are a family of lenses that have been preferred for a long time due to their long focal lengths and prices. In addition, they are often preferred because they are much more ergonomic than their depositors. But there are a few serious drawbacks. The biggest problem is its fixed hoarse diaphragms. Depth of field control is very difficult, and its low diaphragms can also cause a headache in low light. I think those who are interested in photography may have it to experience. There will be many different bokeh.

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