Vivitar Series 1 600mm f8 solid catadioptric telephoto lens

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by JDMvW, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. How do you guy shoot the mirror?

    I was shooting a tennis match this past week, and my tripod's pan head just was not loose and smooth enough to be able to track the players. Quite frustrating.
    I just ordered a Neewer gimbal from Amazon, to try out.

    BTW, I was shooting at a court, 6 courts away from me, so I needed the reach of the 500 mirror. The 300 was a bit too short for that distance. I was pleased with the reach.
  2. Well the Neewer gimbal arrived, and it was a disappointment.
    The mfg used a grease that was sooooo thick and sticky that the gimbal was HARD to move. Quite the opposite of what it should do.
    I am in the process of cleaning and regreasing the gimbal. Just stuck now with needing the correct size hex key/allen wrench.
  3. JDM have you ever considered the MTO 1100mm f/10? It's a monster by the way.
  4. JDM
    Well you did it, didn't you.
    I now have a 600mm Vivitar solid cat on the way to me, to join my Nikon 500mm/f8 mirror.
    Why do I have 2 mirror lenses?
    Maybe should have shopped for the 800mm mirror instead.
  5. Sorry,i had missed these later posts. I'll be back, though.
  6. Of course I have, but I am just getting the slightest, most tiniest, notion that more than a dozen catadioptric lenses may be enough, at long last. :confused:
  7. Two is not enough to be a true "kook" :cool:

    For me it all started with the unsatisfactory Quantaray. I got another mirror lens, and another, and so on, until I am in the condition I'm in.
  8. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I have the Nikkor F8, what about the F5? Saw one recently for sale - expensive for an old lens.
  9. #3, the 800mm/f11 solid cat is on it's way also.
    Although it is a bit close to the 600, only 33% longer.

    Next one to look for is the 1000mm
    Or maybe I will get the 200-500 zoom instead.
  10. I don't know, but I've been told that the Reflex-Nikkor f/5 is optically not up to the later f/8 versions.

    Nowadays, with insanely high ISOs (and some noise tolerance) compromises to grab an extra photon or two are not so well-motivated as formerly.
    Sandy Vongries likes this.
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    JDM, Thanks!
  12. The Vivitar 600mm solid cat arrived :)
    Man is it a short lens.
    The lens hood that I will have to make will be longer than the lens.
  13. One lens that seems to have been a little overlooked in this thread is the little Tamron Adaptall II SP 500mm Catadioptic (Model 55b). Using Mangin mirrors in it's construction, at 87mm in length it's only 3 mm longer than the Vivitar and, weighing in at 575g, it's considerably lighter than the Vivitar at 1360g. As it focuses down to a handy 1.7m I use it extensively on my Sony A7-series full-frame digital cameras for botanical photography; I increase the ISO until I can hand-hold the rig at 1/1000th and the results can be quite striking. I'll post an image I took this afternoon of the Everlasting Sweetpea (Lathyrus Latifolius) in bloom. But first, a diagram of the construction, courtesy


    Lens formula.jpg

    Lathyrus Latifolius

    Lathyrus Latifoliar Pnet.jpg
    davecaz likes this.
  14. I also have the Tamron 500 f8 Adaptall II. I find it to be a sharp, compact and useful mirror optic.
  15. Not overlooked, just not on the topic of the Vivitar solid cat.
    As for me personally, I'm still thinking that over a dozen catadioptric lenses may be enough for one person.:oops:
    Gary Naka and Sandy Vongries like this.
  16. JDM
    Maybe we need a thread on mirror lenses in general.
    I think we only have 2; the Vivitar solid cat and the Sigma mirror threads.
    Now that I've started my collection (of 3), I'm getting into the subject of mirror lenses.

    Maybe I should get a Nikon mount for my wife's 5 inch reflector telescope ;)
  17. Is there one?
  18. Any luck with the lens cap? I have the plastic 106mm on mine, but the old thing is broken down into bits.

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