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brian1208
5th February 2013, 03:11 PM
So, have I finally lost the plot or what - I've just disposed of my sigma 400 and picked up a cheapish (129 including adapters) Tamron 500 mirror to play with?

First reactions are, its dinky and only about a third of the weight of the Sigma and is eminently hand-holdable. The mirrors look clean, its got its original box + filters and all the adapters (Adpatall 2 to canon FD, canon FD to m4/3rds) all fit and lock together correctly

Better yet, I've just had a quick shot of my local "distant focus test subject" a pylon about 400yds distance and it really does work hand-held with not too bad focus / sharpness (later tests and use will be off the monopod in the main)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/EM-5Tamron500BBmirrorhand-held.jpg

100% crop

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/em-5tamron500100crop.jpg

I can't wait to get out for a bit of "Birding" in good light! :)

Seonnaidh
5th February 2013, 03:23 PM
Looks as though you will get some good results with this lens.

David Morison
5th February 2013, 03:24 PM
These results look excellent although the 100% crop has some sharpening artifacts by the look of it. What camera did you use? Certainly good value for money which is always an important factor.

David

StephenL
5th February 2013, 03:25 PM
Very workable. For interest, did you know you can get a Tamron - m4/3 adaptor quite cheaply from Ebay, which makes a more elegant solution than having two adaptors?

brian1208
5th February 2013, 03:34 PM
This is with the EM-5 David and yes, there are some sharpening artefacts in the 100% crop, I squeezed to see what I could wring out of it at that distance


Stephen,, I had spotted the adaptal to M4/3rds but as the ones I got were available from the same dealer and it gave a bit more space for using the QR plate on the tripod I decided to stick with that. It handles OK and doesn't look too bad

Another focus test subject, a sand tower on our local drinking water treatment plant at around 100 yds

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/em-5tamron500SANDTOWERoriginal.jpg

100% crop is very noisy as it was shot at ISO800 and boosted to see if I could read the embossed lettring on the steel, which is my go/no-go test for focus - its not too bad for hand-held at 1000mm eq FOV

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/em-5tamron500SANDTOWER100crop.jpg

Greytop
5th February 2013, 06:30 PM
Doesn't look too bad at all does it.
It will be interesting to see what's possible with from a birding perspective :)

brian1208
5th February 2013, 07:05 PM
Tomorrow, if the weather plays ball

Here's a Pigeon I found that I'd shot earlier, at about 250ft (6 gardens away down the hill)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamron500pigeonfull.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamron500pigeon.jpg

Alpha1
6th February 2013, 08:59 AM
Brian
This looks interesting for wildlife work and these results are encouraging.

Is it possible to use converters with mFT zoom lenses do you know?

My old Sony system could not use converters with their zooms and I have often thought that a 1.4x or even 2x would be useful on a 75-300 or 100-300 lens for birding.

brian1208
6th February 2013, 09:19 AM
Dave, as far as I know there are no m4/3rds TCs available. Some people are having good results using the digital TC on the EM5 (although I don't seem to be able to get such good results). The easiest way may be to go the legacy prime lens route + the dedicated TC for that lens?

ayewing
6th February 2013, 09:28 AM
While there are 4/3 teleconverters as far as I know there are no micro 4/3 tele converters available. I doubt if one would work well with zooms such as the Oly 75-300 as the aperture is quite small at the long end so the loss of a stop or more of light would make it unusable in anything but the brightest sunlight. Teleconverters work best with fast primes.

brian1208
6th February 2013, 12:33 PM
Just for you guys I braved the icy winds and had a wander along our local Quayside, banging off a few shots to share. I'm pleased with this lens but my goodness my manaul focus technique needs some work, I reckon I got around 3% keepers. The focus ring is beautifully smooth but it covers such a massive range that the slightest rotation and you lose sharp focus. Mind you, when it does nail focus the images aren't bad but see what you think, mostly hand-held but I will note where shot off a monopod

Pod
http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamron500starlingpod.jpg

Pod
http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamron500gullstandingpod.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamrongullflighthand-held.jpg

pod
http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamron500Oystercatcher.jpg

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamron500oystercatcherflight.jpg

cariadus
6th February 2013, 12:51 PM
Wow, that's very impressive. You did well to get the BIF shots with manual focus.

brian1208
6th February 2013, 01:42 PM
Thanks Roger.
Manual focus up to 300mm I don't find a problem and use it all the time through the SAF + MF option on the EM-5.
At 500mm the problems multiply because of the difficulty of getting the bird in the frame and keeping it there whilst rotating the focus ring (which is incredibly sesnitive) and panning at the same time.

Just needs a bit more practise (and the good thing is that it will improve my technique when using the 75-300)

Falk
6th February 2013, 03:03 PM
Wow! Your 3% keepers are - at least - nice keepers! It happened just yesterday, that I tried my 21yrs. old Exacta MR500/F8 lens once again and had a little play with it. I have the same experiences as you described them with the focus ring, which offers only a tiny way to cover a huge change in distance from 30m out. Almost impossible to focus and even when I happen to hit it, the outcome is considered crap by myself. The resolution of my Exacta does not even get close to your Tamron lens. I would love to use the mirror lens once in a while to save me 1.5kg compared to the Bigma, but the images I get from it realy makes any effort useless ...

brian1208
6th February 2013, 03:23 PM
Thanks Falk, I must say that I am suprised and delighted with the potential of this lens, its better than I had read.

Going through the rest of my images from this morning (some 400+) I find that its one of those lenses that gets better the more I use it ;). In the last 100 or so shots I was creeping up toward 10% keepers - I must use it more!

This is one of the last images from the morning session, I think its an improvement, what do you reckon? (hand-held again)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/2013/Tamron%20500%20SP%20Mirror%20Lens/tamron500mmtwogulls.jpg

Imageryone
7th February 2013, 12:05 AM
Mostimpressive throughout, gives me great hope as I have just ordered the Sigma 600mm f8 to try.

I used a Tamron 500mm f8 mirror for years, but it was soo heavy it felt wrong on the E-1 so i sold it on. Hope this will be as light as yours.

Phill D
7th February 2013, 07:10 AM
They are brilliant shots well done.

Alpha1
7th February 2013, 08:51 AM
Brian, these are very impressive indeed. I must take a look at the Tamron 500 now!

During my recent sojurn to Mexico, I had a go at BIF and found just how difficult it is, even in excellent light. Using my Pany 100-300, I tried everything from pre-focusing on a fixed object at my estimated distance from the bird, lower apertures to increase DOF, widening the lens to increas the field of view before zooming in, but my best results out of all of these was simply good old fashioned panning!

Even then nothing as good and sharp as these so I take my hat off to you sir! *chr

brian1208
7th February 2013, 08:58 AM
thanks for you comments everyone.

Dave, I think the main thing with BIFs is practice. I've been at it for over 8 years and have slowly developed the techniques that make it, relatively, easy to get shots like this with whatever camera / lens I'm using.

For me, the most difficult bit is to actually get the bird in the frame, which is easier the further away the bird is. The next most difficult thing when changing systems is to remember which way to turn the focus ring! ;)

I hope you get a good copy of the Sigma "imagery", I tried one some years back and it was a dud

Falk
7th February 2013, 11:18 AM
This is one of the last images from the morning session, I think its an improvement, what do you reckon? (hand-held again)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/2013/Tamron%20500%20SP%20Mirror%20Lens/tamron500mmtwogulls.jpg

I can't believe this! If there was not clear evidence of a mirror lense Bokeh in that picture, I would bet a bunch you used a HQ refractor lens for it. I need to search this lens of yours on the web and read some more about it ...

Tordan58
7th February 2013, 12:52 PM
I can't believe this! If there was not clear evidence of a mirror lense Bokeh in that picture, I would bet a bunch you used a HQ refractor lens for it. I need to search this lens of yours on the web and read some more about it ...
This is an excellent result indeed.
/Tord

Tordan58
7th February 2013, 12:58 PM
Thanks Roger.
Manual focus up to 300mm I don't find a problem and use it all the time through the SAF + MF option on the EM-5.
At 500mm the problems multiply because of the difficulty of getting the bird in the frame and keeping it there whilst rotating the focus ring (which is incredibly sesnitive) and panning at the same time.

Just needs a bit more practise (and the good thing is that it will improve my technique when using the 75-300)
Brian,

Have you tried using an AF confirm chip? It helps in getting focus more or less right on the first frame, which is a good starting point. By shooting a sequence while re-focusing from the starting point chance increases that you will get at least one good frame, as you describe.



/Tord

David Morison
7th February 2013, 01:08 PM
Super BIF shots.

It is also worth trying using the "Keyline" filter - Art #11. It will enable you to mimic focus peaking and works very well with my Canon 400mm. I have FN2 assigned to a Myset set to use this filter so that I can use it for initial focus whenever I wish without going into the menus.

Regards

David

brian1208
7th February 2013, 01:53 PM
Have you tried using an AF confirm chip? It helps in getting focus more or less right on the first frame, which is a good starting point.


excuse my ignorance Tord but what is one of those and how do you use it?

David, I find that the EVF is fine for manual focusing and with the Doughnut Extinction effect its even better. The main problem for me is the fine control needed when rotating that focus ring, its incredibly sensitive

brian1208
7th February 2013, 02:47 PM
It was a grey and dreary morning with really poor light, what better time to test out this new lens to see if it could handle these conditions ;)

The answer is, yes, just about, but its not to be recommended (much as one would expect)

Anyway, here are a few goes, heavily worked to try to get some detail out and the last one is just for a laugh, the headlamp grills were on a builders wagon.

A Teal, heavily cropped (1/250ths sec, ISO 400 off a monopod)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/2013/Tamron%20500%20SP%20Mirror%20Lens/tamron500Tealcloud1-250thpod.jpg

A 100% crop of an egret feeding in a small drain at the side of the estuary, shot through the reeds (1/400th sec with ISO 400 off a monopod)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamron500egretcrop.jpg

Bob the Builder (1/250th sec, with ISO 400, hand-held)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/2013/Tamron%20500%20SP%20Mirror%20Lens/tamron500Bob.jpg

Benedict
7th February 2013, 02:58 PM
I would be interested to know where you got this lens particularly with the 4/3 adaptor. All on EBay seem to have the Canon/Nikon mounts ?

Tordan58
7th February 2013, 03:05 PM
excuse my ignorance Tord but what is one of those and how do you use it?

Hi Brian,
An AF confirm chip mimics the signal produced by the AF lens when the lens confirms it has locked focus, and it results in the green light in the viewfinder and the audible beep.

Hence the name "AF confirm".

The chip is mounted on a connector which contacts fit the pins on the camera body. The connector is in turn glued on the adapter ring that connects the legacy MF lens to the body.

These AF confirm chips exist in a variety of makes, and have different set of features. Some are programmable, some are not. Those with the richest feature sets support the following:

Lens focal length
Lens speed (aperture)
Back/front out-of-focus calibration
(possibly other features unknown to me)


Lens focal length and speed will be saved in EXIF data.
Back/front out-of-focus calibration is useful if you experience bias.

I use this chip (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/230671199585?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649)that you can source from eBay. It is programmable and supports the features listed above. A plastic "template" (not sure about the correct English word) is supplied as well, makes it easy to position and glue the copnnector at the right place on the adapter ring so that the connector is properly aligned with the pins on the body.

Some chips come pre-mounted on the adapter ring which eliminate the risk of non-functional chip due to misalignment.


/Tord

PS
One useful camera feature is calibrating the camera IS system to conform to the FL of the lens. To do so:
Activate IS menu, select e.g. IS.1
Press +/- (exposure compensation)
Press arrow up/down until the wanted value. 500 in your case.

brian1208
7th February 2013, 03:07 PM
I got the lens + adaptall to FD adpater from http://mifsuds.com/ (one of my favourite dealers for used and new kit) and the FD to m4.3rds from Amazon UK Canon FD FL Lens to Micro 4/3 M M43 M4: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41A9ZVqEVzL.@@AMEPARAM@@41A9ZVqEVzL

brian1208
7th February 2013, 03:09 PM
Thanks for the input on the chip Tord, sounds a bit out of my league :)

PS
One useful camera feature is calibrating the camera IS system to conform to the FL of the lens. To do so:
Activate IS menu, select e.g. IS.1
Press +/- (exposure compensation)
Press arrow up/down until the wanted value. 500 in your case.
__________________


yes, I spotted this a long while back and have been using it on all my MF lenses

Tordan58
7th February 2013, 03:13 PM
I would be interested to know where you got this lens particularly with the 4/3 adaptor. All on EBay seem to have the Canon/Nikon mounts ?
It does not really matter, you will need an adapter ring anyway.

Nikon-Four third adapter rings (http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l2736&_nkw=nikon+4%2F3+adapter)


Canon-Four third adapter rings (http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l2736&_nkw=canon+4%2F3+adapter)

As you can see they will typically cost you 10-20. Some come with AF confirm chip, some don't.

/Tord

brian1208
7th February 2013, 03:56 PM
As I understand it they made two models, the B and the later BB.

The main difference between them was a re-work to the optics which removed some distortion frm the B but may have reduced its close-up quality as a result. There was also supposed to be no tripod ring on the BB, but I've got one on mine so I'm not sure about that.

I did find a couple of links to the spec sheets for each lens but wouldn't you know it, I've chucked them out so will try to locate them again and post here if I can

David M
7th February 2013, 03:56 PM
BBAR is the lens coating Tamron use(d). Broad Band Anti-reflection if I remember correctly.

David M
7th February 2013, 04:09 PM
The first model had a removable tripod mount. The later version had no tripod mount but came with a spacer that could be screwed into the base of the camera to give clearance between the lens and tripod head.

brian1208
7th February 2013, 04:43 PM
found the links I wanted, I find it intriguing that mine is definitely labelled as the BB model yet has the tripod mount and the ribbed rather than knobbly focus ring grip + it comes with the 4 rear screw-in filters, could it be that it is a transition model? Can't say I really care, it works fine and that's all I need to know *chr

http://www.adaptall-2.org/lenses/55B.html

http://www.adaptall-2.org/lenses/55BB.html

Greytop
7th February 2013, 07:18 PM
You're getting some very nice results Brian, I'm particularly impressed with the bif shots.

brian1208
9th February 2013, 07:27 PM
Thanks Huw.

I took this combo out to the quay yesterday under pretty awful conditions, grey and dank with poor light, but I thought it would be interesting to see what I could get in this situation ('cos even down here in Dorset its not all Sun and Blue Sky :D )

It was hard work and I go a few not bad shots but this was my favourite, for all its lack of sharp focus and poor composition.

I was trying to capture a gull catching the bread a family were tossing up for them and seem to have got the timing right at least :p

What do you reckon?


http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/tamronsquabblinggulls.jpg

Tordan58
11th February 2013, 10:36 AM
Hi,
Hard to give a fair comment since the subject suffers from back focus, have a look at the rearmost feather tips in the tail of left bird.
/Tord

brian1208
11th February 2013, 11:05 AM
Morning Tord, can one really talk about back focus or front focus when using a manual focus lens?

More correctly perhaps, its out of focus because of operator error *chr

One thing I have noticed with the manual focus game, its essential to check the dioptre setting of the EVF. A few times I've forgotten, had OOF images and then found that the adjustment was out by a click or two. Must get moved putting in and taking it our of the bag (my canons used to have this "problem" too but I'd forgotten until this event)

brian1208
11th February 2013, 11:38 AM
Thanks John, I plan to do a lot more of these BIF action shots once we get some good light / clear skies but at least I know its feasible now (after all, its what we did before this new fangled AF stuff came along ;) )

ayewing
11th February 2013, 11:47 AM
Using a 500mm mirror lens on an OM-D with crop factor of x2 means that the shot was taken hand held with the equivalent of a 1000mm lens of a rapidly moving target. I think it is a credit to the skill of the photographer (and a bit of credit to the IBIS) that such a good result was possible. The head and beak of the gull catching the bread is sharp enough to be the focal point of the picture.

I wish my BIF shots were half as good.

Tordan58
11th February 2013, 01:02 PM
Morning Tord, can one really talk about back focus or front focus when using a manual focus lens?

More correctly perhaps, its out of focus because of operator error *chr

One thing I have noticed with the manual focus game, its essential to check the dioptre setting of the EVF. A few times I've forgotten, had OOF images and then found that the adjustment was out by a click or two. Must get moved putting in and taking it our of the bag (my canons used to have this "problem" too but I'd forgotten until this event)
Hi Brian,

What I meant but perhaps did not express the right way:

The shot looks Ok, when inspecting the objects in the rear of the picture e.g. the tips of the tail feathers. And exposure time is OK, action is frozen in a good way.

How far were you? Something like 15-20 meters? At this distance the depth of field on a 500mm, F/8 lens should be in the order of 30 cm so it is a challenge to get the focus right. In the case of this photo you probably would like to have the gulls' heads sharp, ideally the one with the bread.

And yes, having the viewfinder correctly adjusted helps...

Cheers,

/Tord

brian1208
11th February 2013, 02:20 PM
No worries Tord, I guessed what you probably meant :)

Yes, DOF with what is effectively 1000mm FOV is shallow so getting the focus spot on with action shots is always a challenge (that's what makes it fun ;) )

David M
11th February 2013, 02:58 PM
One thing to consider is that while the lens is marked f/8 in reality it's around T9.5 although I'm not sure if that affects depth of field. It will only affect metering if you're using a hand held meter.

brian1208
11th February 2013, 03:57 PM
Thanks David, I had the feeling that it was around f9 but thank goodness it still meter OK in both Av and Manual modes so its not a problem (it just really does need good light to get the best from it)

Zuiko
11th February 2013, 05:01 PM
Thanks Falk, I must say that I am suprised and delighted with the potential of this lens, its better than I had read.

Going through the rest of my images from this morning (some 400+) I find that its one of those lenses that gets better the more I use it ;). In the last 100 or so shots I was creeping up toward 10% keepers - I must use it more!

This is one of the last images from the morning session, I think its an improvement, what do you reckon? (hand-held again)

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m531/oldcanon/2013/Tamron%20500%20SP%20Mirror%20Lens/tamron500mmtwogulls.jpg

That's an amazing picture, looks like you have the skill to get the best out of that lens and it should turn out to be a bargain. :)

Alpha1
11th February 2013, 05:01 PM
One thing I have noticed with the manual focus game, its essential to check the dioptre setting of the EVF. A few times I've forgotten, had OOF images and then found that the adjustment was out by a click or two. Must get moved putting in and taking it our of the bag (my canons used to have this "problem" too but I'd forgotten until this event)

Many years ago I learned from an eye specialist, also a photographer, that a person's eyes change from early morning to late afternoon or at times of stress. Consequently VF optics need to be checked regularly, preferably before each shooting session.

Sorry to go off topic Brian, but your post reminded me of it! ;)

It does nothing to distract from your great BIF shots from one who is still trying!! :(

brian1208
11th February 2013, 05:22 PM
Thanks John & Dave.

Not off topic at all Dave, very relevant.

As I'm getting older my vision is all over the place with an apparently constantly changing astigmatism (3 new prescriptions in the last 2 years) That's one thing that changing the dioptre setting on the EVF can't cure

Alpha1
11th February 2013, 06:53 PM
I would never have noticed looking at these images of your Brian, so I shouldn't worry about it!