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A200 and Minolta AF Mirror lens

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woodrim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote woodrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A200 and Minolta AF Mirror lens
    Posted: 15 January 2019 at 00:51
I still have my A200 from before mirrorless days. I'm considering a Minolta or Sony 8/500 AF mirror lens and wondering if it will focus well on the A200. While it is very satisfying to capture a bird in flight with manual focus, I've missed focus on some good opportunities. I'm hoping someone here might know the limitations of the AF mirror and old DSLR and if I'm too optimistic about AF for bird-in-flight.   
Regards,

woodrim
 



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dxqcanada View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dxqcanada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2019 at 01:52
BIF is not easy for the AF mirror lens as it only activates centre focus.
I have tried tracking a bird with that lens on my A77mII and it was was extremely difficult to keep the subject exactly centered while in flight.

It did a pretty good job for birds that are walking around on the ground.
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2019 at 13:27
I never managed a decent in-flight shot with anything over 300mm. With a sharp 200-300mm lens you stand a chance of getting something fully in view and (if it is a fast lens) sharp with a high shutter speed.

I don't have the Minolta mirror lens but I do currently have four other mirrors from 300mm to 500mm (all MF, though) and I would suggest they are not well suited for birding, unless your target bird sits still on a branch or tree well away from the surroundings and is watching for you, in which case they can work very well indeed.

With a more recent camera you have as much chance of getting feathers sharp with a good fast 200-300mm lens as with a 500mm mirror as the shorter lens will stand more cropping. With only 10Mp that may not be true, but I still think the shorter lens is easier to target BIF, unless you are going for a bird of prey that hovers or glides slowly.

Just my 2p anyway. I wait to see what the better birders say!


Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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woodrim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote woodrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 January 2019 at 23:43
Thanks for your responses, Dennis and Anthony. I'm not so much in need of lens recommendations or advice on technique, although nonetheless, I appreciate your comments. I should explain better what I'm asking.

I too have several mirror lenses since having become somewhat obsessed with them. I appreciate their convenience, love certain of the bokeh, and excuse the disadvantages. I have Ohnar 5.6/300mm. Sigma 5.6/400, Spiratone Minitel M 8/500, Tamron SP500, Yashica ML 8/500, Maksutov 6.3/500, and Rubinar 5.6/500. Between them, I've taken well over 10,000 images over three years with most of the 500mm being birds (big birds).

Shooting them in flight is a percentage at best. I do have some successes but have missed many great shots due to bad or near miss focus. My question is more specific to the AF 500mm mirror matched with the old A200 and what I might expect from the focus. Will it be painfully slow and inaccurate or might it do well if I have a decent technique? I use a mirrorless A7 II for all my MF glass but considering my retired A200 if a good match to the AF Minolta.

Regards,

woodrim
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dxqcanada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2019 at 00:12
Hmm, I cannot answer your question specifically with the A200 ... the only camera I have used the Maxxum mirror is on my A77m2. I don't even remember what my A100 was like, but I do remember that when I jumped to the A55 the AF was dramatically different.
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Jozioau View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2019 at 01:23
When I first bought my Minolta AF 500 f8, I mounted it on my a100, and then have used in on all my a-mount cameras since, successively a700, a850, a900, a77, a77ii, a99 and a99ii. I now own and use the latter three.
I've posted sample images in the lens data base here, taken with various of those cameras, the latest being the a99ii.
Minolta AF reflex 500mm f8 page3, and over time I also added groups of images that are on pages 4 and 5..
With just the centre spot focus, I've captured good images of kite surfers moving at some speed, with the focus locking by panning with the action.
Birds in flight would be a lot more challenging, especially in anything less than bright light.
Further down page 3 in the sample images are some fine ones taken by @Ome Kees of birds in flight, but using the lens on an a77.

Edited by Jozioau - 16 January 2019 at 01:40
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woodrim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote woodrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2019 at 18:53
Originally posted by Jozioau Jozioau wrote:

When I first bought my Minolta AF 500 f8, I mounted it on my a100, and then have used in on all my a-mount cameras since, successively a700, a850, a900, a77, a77ii, a99 and a99ii. I now own and use the latter three.
I've posted sample images in the lens data base here, taken with various of those cameras, the latest being the a99ii.
Minolta AF reflex 500mm f8 page3, and over time I also added groups of images that are on pages 4 and 5..
With just the centre spot focus, I've captured good images of kite surfers moving at some speed, with the focus locking by panning with the action.
Birds in flight would be a lot more challenging, especially in anything less than bright light.
Further down page 3 in the sample images are some fine ones taken by @Ome Kees of birds in flight, but using the lens on an a77.


Thanks, Joe. I did see those images. Very good. I will consider this a challenge and hope the A200 can focus quick enough. Fortunately, our light here is very bright.
Regards,

woodrim
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woodrim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote woodrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2019 at 19:02
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

I never managed a decent in-flight shot with anything over 300mm. With a sharp 200-300mm lens you stand a chance of getting something fully in view and (if it is a fast lens) sharp with a high shutter speed.

I don't have the Minolta mirror lens but I do currently have four other mirrors from 300mm to 500mm (all MF, though) and I would suggest they are not well suited for birding, unless your target bird sits still on a branch or tree well away from the surroundings and is watching for you, in which case they can work very well indeed.

With a more recent camera you have as much chance of getting feathers sharp with a good fast 200-300mm lens as with a 500mm mirror as the shorter lens will stand more cropping. With only 10Mp that may not be true, but I still think the shorter lens is easier to target BIF, unless you are going for a bird of prey that hovers or glides slowly.

Just my 2p anyway. I wait to see what the better birders say!


To follow up on your lens ownership, how would you compare the AF to the other mirrors you have? I've so far received the best images from my Russians, particularly the Rubinar 5.6/500. From what I have seen of Minolta AF images shared with me, they too look very good.
Rubinar:
Regards,

woodrim
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2019 at 11:01
Well, first off I don't have the Minolta mirror. I have the two 500mm Tamrons both of which are very sharp for mirror lenses (better than any of of my other lenses, mirror or not for moon pics). I have the Kenko 400mm which is small and fairly sharp and quite nice, but not really giving any benefit in resolution over a good 300mm zoom.

I've tried a few other mirror lenses which I didn't buy or didn't keep and were very poor. I also have a tiny super-paragon 300mm f5.6 mirror which is pretty sharp and about the size of a 50mm lens. That works well on the Nex 6.

I've shown a few Moon shots and birds here with the Tamron, including some Herons, but the Herons on my local lake are usually too close for a 500mm on APS-C

I reckon the Tamron 500mms have better resolution than a 300mm zoom or a slow 300mm prime on the 20Mp A58, at least in chart tests in the garden, though in real life it all depends on whether you can take a lot of shots (in which case you can usually find a good one with an MF mirror) or whether you have to make just one count (in which case a fast-AF 300mm zoom is more reliable).
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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