OM-D E-M5 + Tokina 500mm Mirror Lens

Started Aug 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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highwave
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OM-D E-M5 + Tokina 500mm Mirror Lens
Aug 4, 2012

The OM-D is more or less my first ever interchangeable lens camera and I've been thoroughly introduced to the fun of having an interchangeable lens system (as well as the big whole in the pocket).

I honestly wanted to try everything I could get into. It's something hardly there for fixed lens cameras. And you sort of do have the choice of what you want to try out and how much you want to pay for it.

The mirror lens was a prime example of photographic exploration. I was really intrigued by the novelty of a lens using mirrors like a Newton telescope. I planned to get one even before I bought the OM-D. I knew all about their shortcomings which made me even more interested in getting one.

And soon enough I landed a deal on a Tokina 500mm f8 for less than 50$. It's a lovely relatively small mirror lens with acceptable performance when talking in terms of mirror lenses. Not as good as the Tamron but nowhere near as expensive either. Plus it looks great on the OM-D.

I have to admit, the lens was terrible. Contrast, not there. Speed, forget about it. Sharpness, what? It's so terrible that even when I use my 14-150mm and crop it to fit the same size as the 500mm Tokina (that's about a 1/3 crop) the 14-150mm cropped image is still much sharper, contrasty, and colorful than the Tokina down to the pixel level. And I don't believe I got a bad copy either. I looked at what's available on the web and it seems to be what to expect of it.

But having said all that. I have to say, I HAD LOADS OF FUN. It's so easy to use a lens with autofocus or a simple normal lens. But when you use a 1000mm equivalent lens which is only as fast as f11 realistically and has razor sharp depth of field, the challenge is on. I'd say about 5% are keepers. The rest are just for laughs. But when you nail it, you get that sensation of achievement that really justify having the lens.

It's all for the fun and I have no complaints about it that way. I even try my best to get that donut bokeh a lot of people hate. Really not as easy as I thought.

I sure wish that EVF stabilization worked on legacy lenses. When you use it on native lenses it's downright spooky how well it works. I was anticipating this kind of aid when using the 500mm lens but sadly nothing but shaky previews (I never ever use a tripod).

But for the spirit of fun I have to admit being new to system cameras, I will never look back again on fixed lens cameras in the same way.

 highwave's gear list:highwave's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS +3 more
Olympus OM-D E-M5
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