Finally, after procrastinating for about 40 years I have just taken the plunge and bought a Nikkor C-500mm mirror lens off eBay. It is the solution to my Long Lens Dilemma (see previous post) and came about because (i) I’ve wanted one ever since I first bought a Nikon F and (ii) the price was right.
For some reason mirror lenses bring out all the worst in photographers – most of whom have never used one – citing the fixed aperture and odd “Bokeh” (what?) as the main reasons not to buy one.
I don’t see the fixed aperture as a real deterrent – at a guess I’d say more photographs are taken at f8 than any other aperture – playing with the ISO to control shutter speed is a no brainer. As for the donuts you either like ’em or hate ’em, but it is possible to work around them.
And yes, I do know what I am talking about, having used both the original and the later C versions for extended periods, The last I tried to buy but the owner who used it most on Arriflexes via adapters was too attached to it to even consider my offer.
The photograph at the top of the page was taken from the deck of my house in the early morning, hand-held, with the 500 mirror on an Nikon F. The film was a C-41 negative film – probably Ektacolor 100, scanned on a Nikon LS-1000. No donuts, no problem with f8. I have sold several copies of this image A3 size, in both colour and black and white.
The lens should be delivered in 10 to 14 days and then I’m off to shoot the rock with both the mirror lens and the 200 + tele-extender combination. I’ll post the results when I’ve done a little experimenting.