GESO -- Kalimar 500mm f8.0 Mirror Telephoto Test

Graydon oak at
Sun Oct 4 21:33:58 EDT 2009

On Sun, Oct 04, 2009 at 08:44:37PM -0400, P. J. Alling scripsit:
> Just a few quick shots with El Cheepo Kalimar 500mm mirror lens.

Those are some spiffy egret pictures.

> My conclusion.  This isn't a bad little lens.  Based on my test shots,
> when I do everything right, I wouldn't be embarrassed to show 8x10 and
> maybe larger prints from images made with it.  It does have the
> typical  donut shaped out of focus highlights, but they're not
> objectionable if  you're careful using it..  It's very lightweight,
> lighter than the F  70-210 and not a lot larger.  Unlike most of the
> cast off photo gear  people seem to think I can give a good home to
> it's actually useful.

My experience trying to do bird photography with mirror lenses is that a
tripod is really important; the depth-of-field is so damn thin that
inhaling can move the focus point off the bird, never mind any slight
front-to-back motion.

I'm impressed if that was all you took; I rarely get better than 1 in 5
acceptably in focus with the 800mm Rokinon.  (It's damn sharp when in
focus; I'm just not so good at manual focus.)

-- Graydon

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