Leitz 500 mm MIRROR lens - any good ?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tony_brookes|5, Sep 30, 2001.

  1. I have been offered a Leitz 500mm R mirror lens. It seems to be in excellent condition and kept in a padded sleeve. No obvious knocks. Has anyone experience of this lens ? durability ? quality of image ?

    <p>

    I should be most grateful for any comments.
     
  2. The 500/8 MR-Telyt is the Minolta 500/8 mirror lens in a Leica R
    mount. As mirror lenses go it is a decent one, quite compact, though
    it doesn't focus as close as eg the Nikkor. The biggest drawback is
    its price, which usually hovers in the $700-800 range. The optically-
    identical Minolta version can be bought for about $150, and for
    another $150 you could get a decent Minolta body for it. I happen to
    own the E67-version non-APO 180/2.8, which can accept the 1.4xAPO
    teleconverter. This stacked along with the 2xAPO teleconverter also
    produces an effective 500/8 lens, except it has a 1.8m (vs 5m) close-
    focus and a working diaphragm for choice of aperture, and the
    contrast is still superior to the MR-Telyt. Of course this is also a
    much more costly setup, but in consideration, provides 180, 250, 360
    and 500mm, plus the teleconverters have applicability with other
    lenses as well.
     
  3. I like your maths Jay, I would chosse the 180/2.8 way.
    Just had a Tamron 500/8 offered by a friend in Nikon mount, I also
    thougth of a similar 180 way, but I didn´t include the 1.4x wich
    seems great.
     
  4. BTW, the first version of the 180/2.8, not just the second (E67)
    version will also except the 1.4xAPO. This fact is not stated in any
    of the R books, but I have done so and it fits and works. The first
    version of the 180/2.8 is a fine lens (albeit much heavier than the
    second), has a tripod socket, and usually costs about 1/3 of the
    second version.
     
  5. I have not used the lens, all I will say is that two Minolta designed
    optics remain in the R lens line, the 16mm and the 24mm, and these are
    reputed to be excellent lenses. The Leica versions of the Minolta
    lenses are better finished and have Leica-quality mounts. Also the
    Minolta lenses have to be put through the Leica quality control, so
    will be guaranteed to be of "Leica quality". Although, of course you
    could luck out and get a great Minolta one too.

    <p>

    The mirror lenses were a bit of a stop gap which filled the void left
    by the end of the "long" Telyt production and the start of the current
    APO modular system. I suspect that if you can live with the
    limitations of a mirror lens then the Leica version is probably as
    good as you can get - even if if it is designed by Minolta.
     
  6. Roberto<BR><BR>
    With the beautiful 35ers and 50ies you just posted I'm really curious
    to see any *500er* of yours! I haven't "seen" such a shot in my *life*
    ... 200 was about the longest I ever cared to frame and picture - and
    that was a while ago. Maybe I'm getting narrow-sighted (hopefully not
    narrow-minded) by age...? But it sure helps me in balancing both -
    budget and shoulders. ;o)
     
  7. Lutz, I have never use such a lens, I am in my world with a wide
    angle and a M, but you know I like dreaming of some editor hires me
    and ask for a long lens and all that stuff they require to ensure
    you´re a "good" photographer, I think more seriously every time to
    sell all my hasselblad stuff (not much) and buy a 35 and 28 asph, or
    a 50/1.4, but not until Leica update it, still I´m dreaming my frined.
     
  8. Thanks to you guys who have responded to my question but not one of
    you has ever used a Leica 500 mirror lens. Where are they ? (the
    users of this lens) All the points made are helpful in explaining
    what the lens is or is not but I need some authentic experiences. An
    associate who is well versed in cameras and lenses says that Leica
    had to rebuild almost everything made by Minolta because it was so
    poorly assembled and quality control was just not good enough. This
    tells me that the Leica 500 is likely to be a very different fish
    from the Minolta in handling and results.

    <p>

    I hope someone can give me some hard experience.

    <p>

    Thanks you guys.
     
  9. Everything that Minolta made for Leica had to be rebuilt?!! Thats
    total and utter nonsense. Minolta made Leica R electronics up till
    the R8 and which R has the worst electronic reliability, the R8! The
    whole Minolta quality control thing is a myth spread by Leica
    purists. Read through experiences in these threads and you hear just
    as many horror stories about poor Leica quality control and they
    charge you 10 times the price!
     
  10. Joel. My friend worked for a Minolta dealer - in fact he jointly
    owned it. It may have been a sweeping generalisation but he became
    disillusioned with the camera business a few years ago, sold it, and
    has returned to his engineering company. No doubt his statement is
    relative and that it reflects his loss of faith in the industry but I
    would certainly respect his views on camera products.
     
  11. Sorry Joel - I used the wrong name. I used my friend's name by
    mistake.
     
  12. Tony

    <p>

    First off, I have never used a 500 mirror Leica lens, but I've used
    both a Canon and Nikon 500 mirror lens on assignments. I like them
    for their size, weight and price for a long lens to have in the bag.
    The photos I got back were good and sharp and the color was good with
    these lens. It's nice not to have to use a bunch of extenders to get a
    long lens. Plus the fact that I'm sure that if, it's a Leica or Leica
    got their name on it, it's going to be good. Sometimes lens quality
    (but it sure helps) isn't everything, sometimes it's the ability to get
    the shot that counts. I've never had any editors ask what I use to get
    that shot, they're just glad that I got it. I think a 500 mirror lens
    is a wonderful lens to own and use. It's small and compact and by the
    way I like the donuts you get in the background when using a 500
    mirror. Maybe you could borrow the 500 mirror to try it out, see if you
    like it. Use it with a monopod, a good tripod and use it hand held. I
    hope this helps. I would be interested in hearing what you decide to do
    or didn't do.

    <p>

    John
     

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