800mm f/8 Mirror Lens for the Eclipse?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by WoodWorks, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I plan on heading up to north central Oregon next month to take in the total solar eclipse, and am considering buying a new lens to photograph it. Specifically, one of the Samyang or Bower 800mm f/8 mirror lenses that I see offered on eBay for ~US$250.

    I know some of you have experience with these lenses, and I'm hoping you might be able to give me some input, whether good or bad. I have no real use for a lens of that focal length other than for this one event. So I'll probably just turn around and sell it after the eclipse. But this is a fairly rare phenomenon (I've seen one other total eclipse down in Baja in 1991), and I don't want to find myself wishing I had better gear.

    So whadyathink? :hmmm:
     
  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    The two that I had worked reasonably well as "closeup" lenses. Never could ever get them to take a sharp pic at distance. One of the old heavy metal Makarov's (or similar) should work though.

    Where ya gonna go for the eclipse? I'm thinking about heading down to Lime to see if I can get some structure in the pics.
     
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Thanks Jim. That's about what I've been reading.
    Lime? I bet that big ol' cement plant off of I-84 would look great in the foreground. Brilliant choice!

    I'm planning to be out at the Painted Hills.

    Painted Hills.

    That's close to the view I'm hoping to get come eclipse morning before I strap on the 800mm.

    I've got that Contax 100-300 and a 2X teleconverter that would work. And I've shot some moon shots with it. But. Meh. It just doesn't seem up to this job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  4. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    David,
    Forget investing time and money on those Samyang/Bowers. They mostly don't have the build quality to yield anything resembling a sharp image of the Moon.
    If you want a light kit that has a lot of reach and very good image quality:
    1. Tamron SP 500mm f/8 55BB 2nd generation fixed some aberrations but has no tripod collar. But it's so light you don't need one with this Tamron. It's the brightest thanks to its Mangin mirror. Design shared with Minolta's and Nikon's mirror lenses.
    ~$100-$150 used for a good copy. Adaptall-2 mount. I recommend the Fotasy Adaptall2-NEX adapter.

    2. Russian ZM-5A MC 500mm f/8 This is an updated version of the famous Maksutov. I found it to be a bit sharper than the Tamron SP, but the Tamron had no edge fringing.
    $50-125 on ebay. It's heavier due to brass internals. Typical Russian lens, tough, like bull. M42 mount.

    To see what they can yield, check my flickr Moon shots album or the lens' dedicated album. The images will be marked by which lens via tags.
     
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  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Thanks for those suggestions, Will. I'll check them out.
     
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    That's the other option. It's still a coin flip at this point. :)
     
  7. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I'm considering using my Minolta SR/MD 500mm f/8 mirror lens for the eclipse (and heading to the Carolinas for the totality). Do you think a solar filter on the outer threads will work (I don't believe I could find a solar filter to fit the internal rear filter slot)?
     
  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I just got one of these from B&H (using the Talk E-Mount link, of course). It's a lot cheaper than a threaded solar filter, and ought to do the job.
     
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  9. sesser

    sesser TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    225
    May 21, 2016
    randy
    What, no Lincoln City? Only supposed to be about 40k people showing up. ;)
     
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yeah, and I expect all of them will find themselves staring up at a thick layer of coastal fog. :(
     
  11. sesser

    sesser TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    225
    May 21, 2016
    randy
    And a lot of them were gouged on hotel pricing. Some places still have rooms... $1000/night for a average (at best) chain hotel room. :wtf:
     
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  12. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Top Veteran

    881
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    We are only supposed to hit about .8 magnitude here. I may go sit on my roof that day, but a full-fledged trip to The Totality Zone(tm) is not in the cards for me, fun as it might be.
     
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  13. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    pass the kool-aid !!
     
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  14. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    The solar filter arrived from B&H yesterday, and today I had my first chance to try it out. This image is taken with the Contax 100-300 lens @300mm attached to the Mutar I 2X teleconverter. So what you see here is an uncropped, 600mm, full frame image, shot with my A7II @ISO 100, f/11.

    DSC00287.

    You can see there's a visible sun spot at about the 4 o'clock position. So the lens combo seems to resolve enough detail. And during the total eclipse there should be plenty of room in the frame to show the sun's corona if I bracket my shots. So now I'm thinking that maybe this Contax lens will do the trick after all.
     
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  15. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    It's not a sunspot it's dust on your sensor wink wink.
     
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  16. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I'll just add, anything at that range, make sure and use a tripod.