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Thread: Mirror or Sigma

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    Default Mirror or Sigma

    I am trying to get some shots of the Space Shuttle . What would be a better buy.

    A 500mm Mirror elcheepo or the Sigma 55/200 I have seen some pic's with the Sigma but not with the Mirror lense


    Chuck

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    somewhere in this Forum someone posted a comparison of mirror lenses adapted to FourThirds (of course not all of the available lenses, but some 5 I think to recall)

    the foundings were: all of them were quite shi- well: poor in performance, except the Zuiko 500/8.0 which performed well even on a digital camera, but alas, the Zuiko is also the most expensive of them

    with the Sigma 55-200 you might be just a little bit short of focal length, depends how close you can get with your camera to Cape Canaveral
    Cheers, Herman

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    Hi Chuck,

    if this is a 'once-upon-a-lifetime' opportunity, I would forget about the Mirror. Apart from most being mediocre or even bad, they are also dark (also the Zuiko) and are hard to focus to 100%. So unless you practice in advance a lot, there is a very significant risk that you will blow the opportunity by mis-focus with a mirror lens.

    If you are considering spending 100-200 dollars for this, I would advice you to buy a ZD 50-200 and maybe an EC-14 and then sell them when the images are safe on your harddrive. The loss shouldn't be more than a couple of hundred dollars but you would definitely have the best chance to not screw up the shoot.

    Cheers, Jens.
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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    Thanks Jens I would love to have the Olympus 50/200 but my funds are limited. I might get the Sigma 55/200 and then sell it if it is realy bad.

    chuck

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    55/200...think you are better off using the 40-150.

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    Chuck,

    I second what has been said wholeheartedly - a cheap mirror will probably be a big disappointment for all those reasons.

    No aperture control,
    Slow lens,
    Manual focus,
    Difficult to focus,
    Needs a very sturdy tripod hard
    Prefereably a very high shutter speed (1000-2000 minimum)
    Poor contrast (for an already poor contrast situation - miles of atmosphere between you and the subject),
    Odd bokeh and donut shaped highlights,
    Reduced image quality.
    Need a 4/3rds lens adapter

    Lost time means less images to start with and out of those if this were your first time use, my guess is less than 10% would be regarded as worth keeping with a mirror.

    Here is some of my experience in a current thread
    http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=11706
    I have been playing around for some time with 5 of them.

    There are a few better mirrors out there (and they are expensive), but 'upresing' a 50-200mm AF lens image to a 500mm equivalent will give you much better image quailty and your keeper rate will be 10 fold better - especially if you haven't had a lot of practice learning how to get the best out of your particular mirror.

    So any 4/3rds lens will yield better results (more keepers, more shots in the same time frame, better IQ), it becomes a question of what focal length you can afford.
    Where in this case more is definitely better.

    Regards

    Rally

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    Let me add a bit more, If you can't afford the Zuiko 50-200, take a look at the Sigma 135-400. It's way better than the Sigma 55/200.

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    I've never owned a mirror lens, but I've good and bad about them. Some people can get good results from them, but it's not easy. The Sigma 135-400 would be ideal...if you can find it.

    JW

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    I have owns and useed mirror lens , did not like them( that was years ago tho ). Go with what they suggested above , I would use either 50-200mm min with ec-14 extender or the 90-250mm and above in glass. Hope you have great time and get alott of great photos! Peter
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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    Thanks Pete, Rally,Blu-by-u and all. Yes i will not waste my money on a Mirror.

    Chuck

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    Get a 135-400mm and mount your widest lens to another body(If you have) set it up on tripod.

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    I have been looking for a 135-400mm

    no where to be found....
    shooting fuji X10 and X-S1 at the moment.

    Soon to have an e-3, e-30, e-620 and e-410 bodies with a bunch of glass. I can't wait to be back with the E-System.

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    Default Re: Mirror or Sigma

    I don't know what sort of access you've managed to swing, but there is a very detailed guide to viewing shuttle activity available. It includes tips on shooting from the VIP areas as well as heaps of other useful information.

    If you do have a visitor's pass then I have to go with the others in suggesting a 50-200, ideally with an EC-14, and on a sturdy tripod. The resale value on the glass is very good, and given the ticklish nature of shuttle launches this defacto extended rental may be necessary.

    On the other hand, if you've not got good access then don't sell an astronomical telescope short. You can find a quality used 2000mm scope and mount for less than the price of the 50-200. Try to shoot either at night (the shuttle is lit by floodlights) or dawn, before the atmosphere has had time to warm up. Using a quality mount and mirror lockup you can shoot at base iso with long exposures, with much better results than if you try to crank up the shutter speed shooting at high iso in the daytime.

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