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Sony SAL-500F80 Telephoto 500mm f/8.0 Reflex Autofocus Lens for Sony Alpha & Minolta

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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 00:21   #1
Rosah
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Sony SAL-500F80 Telephoto 500mm f/8.0 Reflex Autofocus Lens for Sony Alpha & Minolta

Has anyone used the
Sony SAL-500F80 Telephoto 500mm f/8.0 Reflex Autofocus Lens for Sony Alpha & Minolta Maxxum with the Alpha A-100?

I called a photo shop to ask about it and the salesman told me this is not the lens I want for shooting birds. He said what I need is a doubler (2X). The specs I had read on this lens sounded real good but I haven't been able to find any reviews for it. The 2X he was talking about was about $200.00 less than the 500mm so he wasn't trying to talk me into buying something more expensive. Any thoughts?
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 01:31   #2
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And what lens would you be using the 2X extender with?
For the price of the New sony 500/f8 (~$650), I would go for sigma 170-500 or Tamron 200-500. But I dont have any of them to give you more advice. I have the sony alpha and the IS system works very well IMHO. Jose
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 01:36   #3
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I have a Vivitar 28-300 lens on it now Jose. Thanks for the suggestions on other lenses. I will check them out. I can get the Sony/Sal 500mm for $610.00. The doubler he was talking about was $429.00.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 01:55   #4
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Hi ya old friend.

I use the Tamron 200-500mm and I love it.
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Old Friday 21st September 2007, 02:19   #5
Rosah
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Hey KC! How ya doin? It's good to talk to you. I looked that one up along with the sigma Jose mentioned. They are both way more expensive than the Sony. But I will take another look at the Tamron since you give it such a good recommendation. Thanks my friend.
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Old Saturday 29th March 2008, 09:35   #6
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I just bought the Sigma version of this which lacks autofocus. It's a 600mm Mirror lens at the 35mm measurement. I'm sure that with the 1.5x crop factor the mm increases on this lens. Anyway I've attached a file which shows 1 of my first 8 shots with this lens(I just got this lens today), and it has performed like a champ.

The picture was shot hand held, iso 400, at this length any little movement shakes the lens, so i was surprised to find that when i uploaded my photos, many of them were usable shots.

I attribute this to the anti-shake system, and the very sunny day outside today. The Sigma goes for around $200, and mounts directly to the alpha mount, compared to the Sony offering, I would say buy this one instead you won't get a better deal.
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Old Monday 31st March 2008, 12:51   #7
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Thats a nice image, good job.
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Old Monday 31st March 2008, 21:33   #8
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It's down to personal preference but I would sugest you hire one if possible and try using it with different backgounds, especially if you often shoot near water. The bokeh produced by mirror lenses is not to everyones taste. I had the Minolta version, loved it at first but that wore off very quickly. I rarely used it in the end. I currently use the Tamron 200-500 as you may gather from another thread.

The 2x was a stupid suggestion for use on the 28-300. I use the same lens most of the time when walking about. 2x telecons do NOT work well, if at all, on the 28-300. Total madness to even consider it. Unless, they may have meant something like a 200-400 lens, also known as a 2x. Different beast and much more desireable if a little less in reach.

The 500 mirror lens is an expensive stop-gap to a glass lens imho. Pluses are size and weight and performance is also very good on the focused subject. The bokeh, the out-of-focus area, can be horrible especially near water as said earlier. It also has a fixed aperture of f8 so you need light to get it at its best. It's also a fixed focal length giving no opportunity for adjustment if your subject hops in close.

It's all a matter of personal taste and budget of course and the final decision is yours but 40+ camera years would tell me to save for the Tammy or Siggy lenses.

The pbase gallery website where you can search for photo's taken with particular lenses for some idea of what you will get shows no input from the Sony, Minolta or Sigma mirror lenses as far as I can see, at least as far as the seach criteria is concerned. You may have more luck.

Good luck with your choice either way.

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Old Tuesday 1st April 2008, 04:38   #9
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The bokeh can be pretty distracting at times. But again, the post suggests that the user was looking into the Sony mirror. I hear good things about the tamron, and at about $800 it's out of my range. However after my first day out with the Sigma 600mm, I can say it was very light, easy to handhold, and the donut bokeh everyone else complains about is evident in some, not all shots.

I have an album taken with this lens which is viewable here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/valzunig...olsaChicaBigma
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Old Wednesday 16th April 2008, 23:17   #10
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I ended up buying the Sigma 170-500 and I am getting on real well with it.
Denis, you were right on about the 2X. They talked my sister into buying it and it is awful. I'm glad I didn't go that route.
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Old Tuesday 22nd April 2008, 19:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosah View Post
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I ended up buying the Sigma 170-500 and I am getting on real well with it.
Denis, you were right on about the 2X. They talked my sister into buying it and it is awful. I'm glad I didn't go that route.
Pleased to help

Good luck with the Siggy. They are a good lens and much sought-after.

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