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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    STM's Avatar

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor

    I have not used this lens in a while, opting for my 600mm f/4 ED IF AIS Nikkor instead, but it really can produce some really outstanding images and is but a tiny fraction of the size and weight, at 1lb 5 oz, compared to that 14lb beast. This is the newer version, though I have owned the much larger old clunker as well. I have heard lots of complaints from folks that it is practically impossible to get a sharp image with this lens but I guess they are not just used to focusing manually. This one was taken hand held at 1/200 sec hand held the D850 at 1/200 at ISO 400. Granted I do have microprism/split image focusing screens (from focusingscreens.com) in my D500, D750 and D850 so focusing is easy, even at the f/8 maximum aperture (and only aperture for those not familiar with catadioptric lenses). The depth of field on this lens, however, is very shallow, especially at the distance I shot this image, around 12 feet, so it is best to try to find a specular highlight or some very fine detail to really nail the focus. I also don't find the out of focus "donuts" characteristic of mirror lenses to be objectionable, though I know some do, and at times they can really add a unique touch if there are a lot of specular highlights in the background.

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-stm_0026-1000.jpg

    A world of difference!
    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-600vs500.jpg


    › See More: 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor
    Last edited by STM; 05-06-2021 at 08:02 PM.
    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle Thanks/liked this post
     
    FTn, F2A, FT2, F3HP, F4E, F5, FE2, D850, D500, D750

    8mm f/3.5 AIS, 15mm f/3.5 AIS, 16mm f/2.8 AIS, 18mm f/3.5 AIS, 24mm f/2.8 AIS, 24mm f/2 AIS, 25-50mm f/4 AIS, 28mm f/2 AIS, 35mm f/1.4 AIS, 35-70mm /3.5 AIS, 50mm f/1.8 AIS, 50mm f/1.4 AIS, 50-135mm f/3.5 AIS, 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro, 85mm f/1.4 AIS ,135mm f/2 AIS, 80-200 f/4 AIS, 105mm f/1.8 AIS, 105mm 2.8 AIS Micro, 180mm f/2.8 AIS, 200mm f/2 AIS, 200mm f/4 Micro AIS, 300mm f/2.8 AIS, 400mm f/2.8 ED IF AIS, 500mm f/8 Reflex, 600mm f/4 ED-IF AIS



  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Re: 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor

    I've been wondering how these lenses do for astro. There is a Tokina 400mm that I've been eye'n pretty hard. It'd be nice to mount something like that on the Z6 for a light package that doesn't require the counterweight needed for the 150-600 that I use on my tracker. 500mm, even better!
    Camera- Z6, D800, D7500, D40x
    Zoom Lenses-
    Z- 14-30 f4, 24-70 f4
    DX- Tokina 11-16 f2.8, Sigma A 18-35 f1.8, Nikon 18-140 f3.5-5.6
    FX- Tamron 15-30 f2.8, Nikon 35-70 f2.8, Nikon 80-200 f2.8, Nikon 24-120 f4, Nikon AF-P 70-300 f4.5-5.6 Sigma C 150-600 f5-6.3
    Prime Lenses- Nikon 50 f1.8g, Tamron 85 f1.8, Tokina 100 f2.8, Rokinon HD 8 f3.5

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor

    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedThrottle View Post
    I've been wondering how these lenses do for astro. There is a Tokina 400mm that I've been eye'n pretty hard. It'd be nice to mount something like that on the Z6 for a light package that doesn't require the counterweight needed for the 150-600 that I use on my tracker. 500mm, even better!
    Keep in mind that the lens is f/8 all the time, so when you are trying to focus in the dark, it is not easy. The moon is a good target, and I used my 500mm reflex lens for a few years mostly for photos of the moon. During the 2017 solar eclipse I wish I had the forethought to use the reflex lens instead of my 70-300mm. The focal range would have been perfect and no purple fringing. It would have required some time on a previous day to find infinity focus and tape the lens into place there.

    I wish I could say my lens gives sharp images. I think it has acquired some fog inside and maybe a little bit of alignment creep. It's a 1970's version. My Sigma 150-600mm C lens gives images that are obviously more sharp.

    But I have taken a few photos with my Nikkor 500mm f/8 that I like, but since they are a bit old I don't have them online at the current time to share. An eagle with a fish, a canoeist on a river, vultures on a bluff. Stuff like that.
    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle Thanks/liked this post
     

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    STM's Avatar

    Re: 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor

    Quote Originally Posted by BF Hammer View Post
    Keep in mind that the lens is f/8 all the time, so when you are trying to focus in the dark, it is not easy. The moon is a good target, and I used my 500mm reflex lens for a few years mostly for photos of the moon. During the 2017 solar eclipse I wish I had the forethought to use the reflex lens instead of my 70-300mm. The focal range would have been perfect and no purple fringing. It would have required some time on a previous day to find infinity focus and tape the lens into place there.

    I wish I could say my lens gives sharp images. I think it has acquired some fog inside and maybe a little bit of alignment creep. It's a 1970's version. My Sigma 150-600mm C lens gives images that are obviously more sharp.

    But I have taken a few photos with my Nikkor 500mm f/8 that I like, but since they are a bit old I don't have them online at the current time to share. An eagle with a fish, a canoeist on a river, vultures on a bluff. Stuff like that.
    If you are going to do astrophotography, it is always best to use a Bahtinov mask and focus on a bright star like Sirius or Betelgeuse (yes that really is a star, it is in the Constellation Orion). You can get them online or there is a guy on Ebay that can custom 3D print one for you. They are extremely precise.

    Here is one of his auctions:

    77mm Camera Lense Bahtinov Focus Mask | eBay
    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle Thanks/liked this post
     
    FTn, F2A, FT2, F3HP, F4E, F5, FE2, D850, D500, D750

    8mm f/3.5 AIS, 15mm f/3.5 AIS, 16mm f/2.8 AIS, 18mm f/3.5 AIS, 24mm f/2.8 AIS, 24mm f/2 AIS, 25-50mm f/4 AIS, 28mm f/2 AIS, 35mm f/1.4 AIS, 35-70mm /3.5 AIS, 50mm f/1.8 AIS, 50mm f/1.4 AIS, 50-135mm f/3.5 AIS, 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro, 85mm f/1.4 AIS ,135mm f/2 AIS, 80-200 f/4 AIS, 105mm f/1.8 AIS, 105mm 2.8 AIS Micro, 180mm f/2.8 AIS, 200mm f/2 AIS, 200mm f/4 Micro AIS, 300mm f/2.8 AIS, 400mm f/2.8 ED IF AIS, 500mm f/8 Reflex, 600mm f/4 ED-IF AIS

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor

    OK, I dug in my photo editing PC and here are my sample Nikkor 500mm reflex photos. Old stuff with a D80 and D7000 bodies so 750mm effective view. I removed crops and re-processed with my current version of RawTherapee.

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-turkey-vulture.jpg

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-juvenile-eagle.jpg

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-dsc_5479-kayak-.jpg

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-dsc_5479-kayak-b.jpg
    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle, blackstar Thanks/liked this post
     

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    BF Hammer's Avatar

    Re: 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor

    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedThrottle View Post
    I've been wondering how these lenses do for astro. There is a Tokina 400mm that I've been eye'n pretty hard. It'd be nice to mount something like that on the Z6 for a light package that doesn't require the counterweight needed for the 150-600 that I use on my tracker. 500mm, even better!
    In 2018 a few months after buying my Sigma lens, I tried a fairly direct comparison of moon images. Same night, same setup, changed lenses. I even dialed the Sigma back to 500mm for a more fair comparison.

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-moon-nikkor-500mm.jpg

    500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor-moon-sigma-500mm.jpg

    I reprocessed a bit with the current version of RawTherapee and left the final photos uncropped. I would not even attempt a deep-sky target such as Andromeda. It would be impossible to see in the viewfinder, and still difficult in LiveView. But planets are doable.
    Thanks/Like TwistedThrottle, blackstar, BeegRhob Thanks/liked this post
     





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