Samyang 500mm f/8.0 Mirror Lens is a welcomed addition to any sports or wildlife photographer's kit bag. It's lightweight and compact and it focuses as close as 5.6' (1.7m). The aperture is fixed at f/8.0. This manual focus lens is constructed from fully multi-coated low-dispersion optical glass with a 72mm front filter thread and a 30.5mm rear filter thread. A 2x neutral density filter, 4x neutral density filter and a skylight filter (all 30.5mm) are included. A T-ring adapter (available separately) is required to mount this lens to a camera body.
First off, this is a manual lens. You focus it manually and you determine your exposure manually, though aperture priority settings might ease the task. I prefer manual use and spot metering. The lens is light weight and fairly sharp and contrasty. However, with no aperture, it has amazingly shoret depth of field. That's okay, because the bokeh is rather nice. As a past user of the Sigma 50-500mm cannon, this little gem is a pleasure to use. If you get one, figure on using a tripod most of the time.
I have only had this lens a short time and am still exploring its features. I have gotten to where I can attach it easily enough and am learning to focus better (it is a manual focus). Some of my pictures have been pretty good while others are not. You can zoom in pretty well with this lens and of course it works best in good light. I am not very good at hand holding this lens and use a tripod and a cable shutter release to reduce the vibration. I expect to get better results after I use it more and so far I am getting about what I expected.
A tripod helps when working with this lens - while it's not heavy, it does throw the balance off, making it prone to camera shake when hand-held.
Easy to use
I was not able to achieve sharp focus on my Alpha 100 with this lens and I used a tripod and fast shutter speeds, it would not focus sharp in the view finder. I did return the lens for a refund and purchased the Sony 500 mm mirror lens which works great.
This lens tests your skills. If your persistant the pictures the lens can produce are spectacular. Just like any other lens it is a different paint brush. It has some pros and some cons. One of the biggest issues is that the lens has no hood and if the sun is above you or in front of you good luck getting any good pictures. But if you prepair your shoot properly and have the sun behind you the pictures are amazing. In the age of digial you can shoot with a high iso and get spactular shots with low noise. I was regularly getting shutter speeds of at or more then 1/2000th of a second. The reason why i got this lens is because its the cheapest way to get a 500mm lens. Overall i love the build, the focus is smooth, and i had lots of fun with it. I have not used this lens with a tripod because i don't believe in such things. Even with a monopod it would restrict me to much. Although after shooting a manual focus lens for 3 hours of some surfers my eyes were tired. I suggest using this lens if your on the west coast no earlier then 9am and no later then noon. [@]
When I've really needed the extra strength, I haven't been able to get it to focus clearly. It is by far the worst lens I've ever owned.
I had high hopes for this lens but have not been totally excited. The biggest problem is the softness in the image. This is an adequate lens for things that you do not necessarily want to enlarge and display. If you are just out shooting for fun and want to get in close then this is more than adequate. If you do, USE A TRIPOD!
If you only periodically need the reach of the 500mm lens, then you should consider this one. It is low contrast and not nearly as sharp as the higher priced glass, but well worth the price if you only need it once in a while.
This compact lens is great for capturing distant photo opportunities where vistas may be long and you want to carry a fairly compact camera bag. Offers sound construction and decent image quality at a low cost.