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Kenko-Tokina Reflex 300mm F6.3 compact telephoto for Micro Four Thirds

By dpreview staff on Feb 3, 2012 at 17:30 GMT

Kenko-Tokina has added the mirrors back into mirrorless with the launch of an ultra-compact Reflex 300mm F6.3 for Micro Four Thirds. This fixed-aperture, manual focus lens revives the catadioptric lens design that was especially popular in the 1970s and '80s for producing small high-magnification telephoto lenses. With a 55mm filter diameter and weight less than 300g, this is possibly the smallest lens of this type that's ever been made for stills cameras. The spec is rounded-off with a minimum focus of 0.8m and 0.5x maximum magnification, making the lens potentially interesting for chasing insects and the like, just as long as you can hold it steadily enough.

The catadioptric design allows long effective focal lengths in small packages but does give characteristic 'doughnut bokeh' patten of sharp-edged rings in defocused areas.

Comments

Total comments: 154
Tom Caldwell
By Tom Caldwell (Feb 10, 2012)

There still are some nutters that actually use mirror lenses. Thankfully they are generally cheap.

I like them and they are ok if you don't expect wonders. Thry are capable of reasonable performance.

The size/focal length ratio is very good, but the percentage of keepers is not so great.

However there is no doubt that they are useful. A bit like a form of advanced pinhole perhaps (grin) I like them, don't be discouraged by faint praise if you are not obsessed by perfection issues.

0 upvotes
Nathebeach
By Nathebeach (Feb 7, 2012)

Any sample photos yet? I ask because I have a 500mm mirror lens, admittedly a far cry from a 300, with less than stellar results.

My 200mm Canon SSC (via adapter) is jaw drawping sharp and has reasonable Chromatic Aberration control down to F5.6. I am assuming a mirror lens has zero problems with Chromatic Aberrations. Am I correct? I wonder about the sharpness. I hope it is better than my 500.

0 upvotes
JosephScha
By JosephScha (Feb 7, 2012)

What does "lauch" mean? I can't find even a placeholder for this lens on either Amazon or B&H. When I search the web for it, all I find are announcements like this one, many of which link back to this page.

When can we expect to be able to buy one?

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Feb 5, 2012)

Wow. Imagine the size of a 600mm lens on a APSC or FF camera !

Can you imagine that on a Nikon 1 - it would be effectively a 810mm 6.3 lens !

Who wants FF ! Crop bodies rock !

0 upvotes
Arn
By Arn (Feb 5, 2012)

Then again, imagine the stability when shooting a 600mm tele lens with a body that's actually stable to hand hold! Not that this little wonder isn't interesting, but it's going to be a bit of a bugger to hold steady and focus. Image quality is another topic entirely, of course.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (Feb 6, 2012)

You're comparing a mirror lens to a traditional. There are mirror lenses for FF that are pretty small.

0 upvotes
Humboldt Jim
By Humboldt Jim (Feb 11, 2012)

If its on an Oly body image will be stabilized.

0 upvotes
jurci
By jurci (Feb 5, 2012)

Would love to see a Mirror 500/8 (or 6.3 even!) for Canon full sized sensor 5D MII. Minolta used to have one!

0 upvotes
dubstylz
By dubstylz (Feb 6, 2012)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SAMYANG-500mm-f-6-3-Mirror-Tele-Lens-CANON-/330462182384?pt=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item4cf114bbf0#ht_7006wt_1042 something like this?

0 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Feb 6, 2012)

And Sony still make the 500 mm f:8 - with AF ;-)

0 upvotes
Paullubbock
By Paullubbock (Feb 6, 2012)

Funny mine came in this weekend (the one clubstylz mentions) but I got mine from Overstock. Works well even came with an aluminum 2x multiplier and T-mount.

0 upvotes
zorgon
By zorgon (May 11, 2012)

Not sure I understand...
There are lots of 500mm mirror lenses that fit canon with an adapter and are fully functional as they don't have electronics or variable aperture anyway.
Nikon made a 500mm f5.0 which I used to own and shoot on a canon 20D. Not the sharpest but good fun nevertheless.

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Feb 5, 2012)

I've always wondered if something could be done to beat the odd bokeh by replacing the secondary mirror with a partially-reflective lens of some description, and using software to do something clever with the results. Presumably it's nonsense - someone would have tried it already otherwise - but it does seem a shame that we can't all tote around pocket-sized 600mm lenses.

0 upvotes
peterwr
By peterwr (Feb 6, 2012)

Back when cats were trendy, the "odd bokeh" was one of the major reasons for using them. ;-)

0 upvotes
areseeuu
By areseeuu (Feb 8, 2012)

If you're OK with a crazy-slow lens, just put a lens cap on it with a circular cutout between the secondary lens and the edge.

There are some more exotic designs that offset the secondary mirror from the light path of the primary. Most of them are very slow designs (i.e. f/20) since they are used for telescopes and the aperture size is more critical to performance than focal length. Look up "schiefspiegler" and "yolo". This page claims that such a design can be made as fast as f/5.6: http://www.amsky.com/atm/telescopes/spscopes/spt.html

It'd be great if someone could bring one to market, especially if it could be made with autofocus and image stabilization. It'd sure be a weird looking lens though.

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Feb 4, 2012)

Looks like a howitzer mounted on the front of a volkswagon. I've never had much luck with these reflecting lenses. Sharpness fals off the planet. Will be interesting to see if they got around this.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 5, 2012)

Don't you mean "it looks like a NEX with a kit lens?" That's what it looks like to me anyway....

15 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Feb 4, 2012)

So how much?

1 upvote
Pasha001
By Pasha001 (Feb 4, 2012)

I tried the Sony 500/8 at a short distance and in such a situation it loses contrast significantly so the "making the lens potentially interesting for chasing insects and the like" clause is not quite realistic, IMHO.

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Feb 4, 2012)

Hope there is one for NEX.

2 upvotes
Vicenzoni
By Vicenzoni (Feb 4, 2012)

There is one 400 mm right here.
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdc.watch.impress.co.jp%2Fdocs%2Fnews%2F20120131_508811.html
I just hope the link works
or else go to the kenko tokina site

1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Feb 4, 2012)

Both URL are invalid. Anyway, thanks for your information.

0 upvotes
photonius
By photonius (Feb 4, 2012)

worked for me. just copy the whole thing

1 upvote
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Feb 5, 2012)

Got it. Thanks.

0 upvotes
HotPepper
By HotPepper (Feb 5, 2012)

@Edmond Leung there is not two URLS, it is this URL:
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/20120131_508811.html
passing through Google Translato (As the page is in Japanese). Just copy the whole URL "Vicenzoni" put there, or just go to your favorite online translator, and paste the above URL

0 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Feb 6, 2012)

Thanks. I already got the info from the link provided by Vicenzoni.

0 upvotes
Hoddo
By Hoddo (Feb 4, 2012)

Terrific...looks great too.

0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Feb 4, 2012)

It looks really nice with the Oly.

1 upvote
Jun2
By Jun2 (Feb 4, 2012)

As they said, you can put anything M4/3

0 upvotes
Ladisai
By Ladisai (Feb 4, 2012)

I use an old Russian 500/8.0 a lot, handheld. It's really fun. I don't think this one would be any harder to use than 500/8.0. The problem is, I don't have m4/3.

Talking about focusing. None of the m4/3 cameras got something like peak focus?

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Feb 4, 2012)

Not peaking yet, but the new Panasonics have picture-in-picture zoom and they all have full res 5 and 10x live view zoom. Not quite as nice but still makes manual focus very usable.

0 upvotes
TheYetiCom
By TheYetiCom (Feb 4, 2012)

You see occasional complaints about depth of field, but you probably don't understand how bad a problem it is. I looked into getting one of these (reflector based telephoto lenses)years ago, and at the time the russian models were available. I don't imagine that this can be much different.

the 500mm lens had a depth of field of 1 inch at a distance of 1/4 mile at F11. focusing required a tripod. Maybe that is desirable, you would have crazy bokeh, but the bokeh is all donuts not circles.

So given the problems with the depth of field, you need lots of rotation on the focusing grip, or a usm motor, a stepper motor is not precise enough.

-Michael

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 4, 2012)

"500mm had a DOF of 1 inch at a 1/4 mile at f11"

Not according to any science I am aware of. Basic DOF formula says that your above combo should have had a DOF of about 2000 feet at 1/4 mile. Even with some room for rounding, you are off by a few football fields.

At the distances this lens would normally be used, on an m4/3 body, you shuld have a DOF of at least a few feet. Focusing won't be too tough.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Josh Dahlberg
By Josh Dahlberg (Feb 4, 2012)

"Even with some room for rounding, you are off by a few football fields."

Thanks - that made me laugh! (I'm still laughing, admittedly after a couple of drinks). M43 is a great system to sign up to... exciting to have such varied options from Olympus, Panny and associates.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PCPics
By PCPics (Feb 5, 2012)

I like the 'out by a few football fields' comment!

As far as I'm aware a 500mm f/11 mirror (shouldn't that be f/8 anyway?) will have the same d.o.f. as any other 500mm lens at the same aperture. A mirror lens does not have less d.o.f.

0 upvotes
Ganondorf
By Ganondorf (Feb 4, 2012)

Why is it that hard to include auto focus Compatibility?

0 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (Feb 4, 2012)

You need the mind of Minolta

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 4, 2012)

I am not sure why only minolta has done it. My guess is that they want to keep it cheap and simple. The AF Minolta/Sony 500mm f8 was a $800 lens, IIRC, and this is probably going to be a fraction of that cost.

0 upvotes
theFlasher
By theFlasher (Feb 4, 2012)

The centre focus point on most minolta/sony cameras works down to f8. Maybe the 4/3s focus system cant focus at f6.3?

0 upvotes
photonius
By photonius (Feb 4, 2012)

theflasher: good point

0 upvotes
tobias2003
By tobias2003 (Feb 5, 2012)

Micro 4/3 can focus just fine at f6.3.

0 upvotes
Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (Feb 3, 2012)

I want it!!
I already have a 300mm mirror lens that is not so sharp. The same with my 500mm mirror.
I hope this one will be sharper.
All the people that think f6.3 is not enough are wrong. Is not a lens for night pictures (only if you photograph the moon). In good light if you are steady enough it can be a very nice lens.
Doughnuts can be nice in some pictures.

BE POSITIVE!

4 upvotes
///M
By ///M (Feb 3, 2012)

just need a mini gimbal mount for some birding fun, with wings or not ;)

0 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Feb 3, 2012)

Has anybody tried out lenses like this for astrophotography?

0 upvotes
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Feb 3, 2012)

Not personally, but catadioptric lenses are routinely used by astrophotographers in the guise of schmidt-cassegraine, schmidt-newtonian and ritchey-chretien telescopes.

0 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Feb 4, 2012)

I know, but I have the feel lenses like this one are far from astronomical counterparts in terms of quality... but if not, this would be much more portable than my newton :D

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
BartyLobethal
By BartyLobethal (Feb 5, 2012)

I suspect that with a central obstruction that large that contrast will not be as good as it is on the better scopes. Probably not an issue for moon-shots and star fields.

I'm sure someone will have an answer informed by actual experience soon.

0 upvotes
SteveNunez
By SteveNunez (Feb 3, 2012)

I like it!!!!!

0 upvotes
abolit
By abolit (Feb 3, 2012)

it's getting worse every day! WTF????

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Feb 3, 2012)

Mmmmmmmmmm, donuts!

2 upvotes
lajka
By lajka (Feb 4, 2012)

There ain`t no do-nuts when you ftgrf deep space said the black hole! And no bokeh said the star.

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Feb 3, 2012)

f6.3!!!!!!!!!!!!
rubbish!
thank god I've got my Canon fast lenses f1.2 and 2.8!

2 upvotes
Rupert Bottomsworth
By Rupert Bottomsworth (Feb 3, 2012)

You have a canon 300mm f1.2?

17 upvotes
matty_boy
By matty_boy (Feb 3, 2012)

why even post that ?

4 upvotes
curtisls
By curtisls (Feb 3, 2012)

Quite frankly, that is a silly response. There are mirrored lenses for your Canon, just as there are fast lenses for m4/3.

3 upvotes
W Sanders
By W Sanders (Feb 3, 2012)

Because, for about $500 you can get the stock Lumix 100-300 that is f5.6 and has autofocus and stabilization. Unless this lens costs $50 or something.

Life's too short for a slow tele that doesn't autofocus.

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Chris_in_Osaka
By Chris_in_Osaka (Feb 4, 2012)

@DioCanon. This Tokina is equivalent to 600mm. Please tell me where I can get an 600mm f1.2 for my Canon 5D MarkII.

@ W Sanders. Are you conscious of the SIZE of this lens? It's 66mm in length, about half the size of the 100-300mm (126mm in length) plus it's close to half the weight.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
lajka
By lajka (Feb 4, 2012)

Look around, there`s Super-zoomatar 240/1.2 if you fancy one.

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Feb 5, 2012)

To everyone:
no worries, we are in a society where QUANTITY is more important than QUALITY...
and where many boys who still check to have everything longer than anyone else...
I prefer a 70-200 f2.8 and my 50 1.2.
You keep o playing with "600mm like" f6.3 toys...

0 upvotes
J R R S
By J R R S (Feb 6, 2012)

Yeh nice low F number to go with the nice low mm number...

0 upvotes
W Sanders
By W Sanders (Feb 6, 2012)

Well, my all time favorite lens was my old Canon 300/2.8 monster. Size is relative :-)

0 upvotes
Don Glenn
By Don Glenn (Feb 3, 2012)

My concern is quality. The MAK telescope design is great and I would use that as a lens without any concern. But...

There is a design shortcut that the cheap mirror lenses like to use that kills sharpness. The design should be corrector-concave mirror-convex mirror, and possible flattening lens/group. The cheap design is corrector-concave mirror-lens-flat mirror-lens-possible flattening lens/group. I have a cheap lens and I disassembled it to see what was wrong with it (bought it used, so I didn't care much).

The lens-flat mirror causes a reflection that kills the sharpness. The lens never seemed to be in focus.

If I knew the design was correct, I would buy one. Currently I look for suspicious element-group counts.

2 upvotes
icy2527
By icy2527 (Feb 3, 2012)

thanks for new knowledge ,I jut knew that reflector lens is MAK(maksutov) design ,+1 for knowledge !!! . and agree with you that MAK is great but you need corrector plate or field flattener to eliminate all sharpness issues (coma , astigmaism ,field curvature,etc)

0 upvotes
Laminated
By Laminated (Feb 3, 2012)

I don't think this is truly a Maksutov design because the secondary mirror is not the same surface as the corrector. Looks more like a Schmitt Cassegrain (but probably isn't due to small entrance aperture and difficulty of manufacture), and could be one of several standard Cassegrain varieties, or likely a custom design - which can be done by using lens elements instead of the corrector "plate", etc. It wouldn't fit in my pocket, so I wouldn't buy it, but I'm not a serious photographer, and if I were probably still wouldn't buy it due to internal stray light issues with such designs.

I do think this lens is really cool and would love to see a section view.

0 upvotes
Lukino
By Lukino (Feb 3, 2012)

maksutow lens is spherical, this looks flat from pictures

0 upvotes
NomadPhotog
By NomadPhotog (Jul 16, 2012)

Lens design is shown at:
http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h420/Hidekisanjp/TOKINA_300mmMRR_lens.jpg

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Feb 3, 2012)

When they offer it in Nikon 1 mount then we can have some fun.

6 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Feb 3, 2012)

unless you don't have a Nikon 1, as this is a post about a µ4/3 camera lens.

3 upvotes
Zoran Krnjajic
By Zoran Krnjajic (Feb 3, 2012)

We can have fun even without Nikon 1 mount...

7 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Feb 3, 2012)

we can have fun without Nikon period~

11 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (Feb 3, 2012)

We can have fun period

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 4, 2012)

We can have period

LOL

4 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (Feb 4, 2012)

Can we? (.)

0 upvotes
Kim Seng
By Kim Seng (Feb 4, 2012)

I read that there have F mount version for Nikon. Can easily fit into Nikon V1 on FT1 adapter and we can enjoy center and spot metering like my Meade ETX90 telescope. So we are also having fun too with V1.

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (Feb 3, 2012)

I might end up going full circle from film days. When Olympus put out a body with decent manual focus ability, I could have a system with three manual focus lenses in my favourite focal lengths of 24, 80-100 and 600mm. Just like film days, the whole kit would cost peanuts, except it would weigh very little and image quality would be better.

The best thing about m4/3 is it is a system that allows some of the best choices out there these days and Tokina have made it that much better. Excellent!

4 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 4, 2012)

That will depend on what you mean by 'a body with decent manual focus ability'. I have an E-P1 and it's very simple to get proper manual focus.
1. Mount a manual focus lens on the camera
2. Select MANUAL on the focus menu or super control panel
3. Press the INFO button until a yellow rectangular mark pops in
4. Press the OK button
The marked area will be magnified 7x or 10x. (You can select magnification with the secondary rotary dial.) You can also select the area you want to focus by moving the mark with the main dial.
This neat little trick works with AF lenses too: select manual focus and the centre of the image will be magnified when you touch the focus ring.
But first you'll need an adapter for those treasured lenses, of course.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
deep7
By deep7 (Feb 5, 2012)

I also have an EP1. Manual focus is a pain. Like you say, you have to scroll to a different screen to get that enlargement (which precludes making several adjustments). Then, when you enlarge, you can't compose, so you end up swapping backwards and forwards. It's a rubbish system, barely better than nothing at all.

Oh yes, you don't need an adaptor with the Tokina (or my Hyperprime 12/1.6). I use an adaptor with a little PenF 40/1.4 and the combination is quite tiny and lovely - or would be if manual focus was easier!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 5, 2012)

@ deep7: I don't find it so difficult to focus manually with my OM primes. On the contrary, I consistently get razor-sharp images with my 28mm/f3.5 and 50mm/f1.4. There are, of course, some drawbacks. You can't visualize the level bars or the histogram, it involves more fiddling with buttons than it should be necessary and makes taking photos a time-consuming job, but at the end of the day it pays as it allows very precise focus.
However, it's also true that trying to focus manually with long focal lengths can be rather difficult; a micron to the left or to the right in the focus ring, and the image will be blurred. Stopping down helps, of course, as it increases depth of field. That's why catadioptric lenses have such narrow apertures.
As for the composition issue, I usually enlarge to get critical focus and then revert to normal size, so I really don't find it to be much of a problem.
Of course you don't need an adapter for this Tokina lens. It is conceived for micro 4/3.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jmaxx30
By jmaxx30 (Feb 3, 2012)

Any idea on how much this thing might be?

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Feb 3, 2012)

is it going to cost more than a bag of donuts?
Kenko-Tokina-Dunkin ....NOW THAT ladies and gentlemen is a lens!!!!!!
WooHOo!

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (Feb 3, 2012)

I'm not sure I see the value of this lens. Manual focus, no zoom, F/6.3? I would rather have my stabilized 30-110mm (81-297 equiv) Nikon 1 lens :-) Just as compact and it's a zoom...and it's stabilized...and it's sharp....and it's only $250. No, I don't have a m4/3 camera anymore so I wouldn't have a need for this lens anyway. Even if I did have a still have a GH2, I can't find a good reason to buy something like this.

0 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (Feb 3, 2012)

This is for lightweight extreme telephoto, like birding. Why compare a 300mm lens to one of 100mm (at the long end), which in FOV equivalents is 600mm vs 300mm? To match the reach of this mirror lens with that 30-100/3.8-5.6 would require at least a 2x, TC giving f/11 at the long end.
Actually a bit more than 2x would be needed to get "as many pixels on the bird", due to the 10MP vs 16MP sensor difference.

4 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Feb 3, 2012)

The fact that you said "it has no zoom" pretty makes me chalk up your post to "you don't know what you're talking about" or "this isn't for you."

It's a super light weight small 600mm equivalent fov lens. It's a mirror lens, meant for very long focal lengths, and not being super heavy (and unfortunately not fast).

4 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (Feb 3, 2012)

Thanks for the insult :-) You can check my 'work' online to see whether or not I'm an idiot, mister roboto. To save you some time checking, I'm not ;-) Ok, I didn't think about the 2x added on because it's being slapped on a m4/3 camera. So it becomes a little more useful for some people at 600mm for its size. It still seems to be a very, very limited use lens. Some people may have a use for it, but I think it will be a very small group of people.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
matty_boy
By matty_boy (Feb 3, 2012)

i could see a lot of people being interested in this lens, 600mm FF equiv is pretty impressive in such a small lens and surely this fits with the m43 ethos of smaller form factor. Aside from that, don't be so defensive d200 you seem like you have something to prove, roboto didn't call you an idiot, he just said you didn't know what you are talking about and this isn't for you... i would tend to agree with that.

6 upvotes
Xellz
By Xellz (Feb 4, 2012)

D200_4me, your answer is funny. First of all you admitted yourself, that your comparison of lenses is quite stupid, those lenses have nothing, simply nothing in common. It is small manual focus telephoto prime lens, end of story. You don't need it, don't buy it. So suggestion to check your work online, to see that you're not idiot totally doesn't make sense :)

2 upvotes
Pasha001
By Pasha001 (Feb 4, 2012)

> You can check my 'work' online to see whether or not I'm an idiot
I have checked that 'work' and the answer is unfortunate for you.

2 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Feb 3, 2012)

Cheap fun.

0 upvotes
nikonsigma
By nikonsigma (Feb 3, 2012)

"Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?" - Homer Simpson

13 upvotes
tecnoworld
By tecnoworld (Feb 3, 2012)

I'd like a lens like this also for my Samsung NX!

1 upvote
JensR
By JensR (Feb 3, 2012)

That's interesting, I think.
Live view focusing will mean that the relatively shallow DOF is less of an issue. Maybe it will even take normal front-mounted filters?
The small size will make its use off a tripod easier than the 800/8 available for "FF", even without a dedicated tripod mount.

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Feb 3, 2012)

Knock knock!
-Who's there?
-Did you order doughnuts?

5 upvotes
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (Feb 3, 2012)

Too bad it doesn't auto focus like the sony 500 f8. With a narrow DOF, it will be very hard to focus.

0 upvotes
Bart Hickman
By Bart Hickman (Feb 3, 2012)

300mm/F6.3 on micro 4/3 = 600mm/F12.6 on full frame or 400mm/F8.4 on APS-C. Doesn't sound so amazing to me.

2 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 3, 2012)

True about EFL, not so about aperture. There's no such thing as "equivalent aperture". It's f6.3 irrespective of sensor size. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=39304105

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 3, 2012)

The aperture doesn't change. 300mm/6.3 on m4/3 = 600mm/6.3 on full frame. You multiply the focal length by the crop factor, but not the aperture.

0 upvotes
JensR
By JensR (Feb 3, 2012)

Of course you have to multiply the f-stop as well, as the f-stop is a measurement including the focal length and the aperture diameter. The same aperture diameter (and equivalent f-stop) lets through the same number of photons per time and creates the same DOF.
So Bart is correct.

3 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 3, 2012)

So you're saying sensor size determines the way the diaphragm blades open or close, JensR. That's an interesting concept...

4 upvotes
binary_eye
By binary_eye (Feb 3, 2012)

No, aperture doesn't change, and that's why you can't have equivalent focal length without equivalent f-stop. There is a difference between aperture and f-stop.

If a lens is 300mm with an f-stop of f/6.3, then the physical size of the aperture is about 48mm. That aperture size doesn't change because you've mounted it on a camera with a crop factor. Thus, you have to multiply the f-stop by the crop factor to get an equivalent.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 3, 2012)

The amazing part is the size and weight (and likely price). 600mm reach in the size of a DSLR kit lens, is pretty cool.

And honestly, if done right, they can be sharp enough. The Sony 500/8 was a pretty nice lens and plenty sharp.

0 upvotes
GraemeF
By GraemeF (Feb 3, 2012)

Focal length doesn't change on a crop sensor. Field of view changes which has the same effect as increasing the focal length by the crop factor when compared to full frame sensors. Aperture and f/stop are unaffected. Effective DOF increases because DOF stays the same, but with a narrower FOV. It's simple optics and Physics.....

4 upvotes
jmaxx30
By jmaxx30 (Feb 3, 2012)

JensR I believe the F stop is a factor of the actual focal length or in other words the literal phyical focal length, since this length is not changing I don't believe the F stop changes either. X 2 crop factor is a result of distance from sensor so I don't believe it has an impact on f stop.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Feb 3, 2012)

300mm f/6.3 on m4/3 is equivalent to 600mm f/12.6 on full frame, if we're talking about DOF, but it's equivalent to 600mm f/6.3 in terms of exposure.

8 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Feb 3, 2012)

I think the confusion about aperture arises from the DOF because of the FOV. Thus the DOF at X distance with this lens will be the same as the DOF AT THE SAME FOV of the other formats at the respective smaller f/stops. The actual aperture of 6.3 represents a ratio and will let in the same number of photons as any other 6.3 lens.

Where this relative aperture terminology has gained traction is in the current obsession/fashion over shallow DOF.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Feb 3, 2012)

Seriously? This AGAIN?

f/6.3 = f/6.3 NO MATTER WHAT. THE DOF is equivalent to a f/12.6

Do you see a "120, 135" switch on a light meter? Didn't think so.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 45 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
makofoto
By makofoto (Feb 3, 2012)

@Jens - typically u don't use filters in front of long lenses because they must be of exceptional quality, typically extra thin, to not destroy resolution.

0 upvotes
pannumon
By pannumon (Feb 3, 2012)

A FF sensors allows you to push up ISO and by assuming that noise only depends on the intensity of light at the sensor you get that you will get equally noisy image with f/6.3 with MFT as you would get with f/12.6 on FF. Anyway, on a normal bright day, you can use this lens handheld at ISO 100 while camera shake not being a problem.

0 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (Feb 3, 2012)

The only other factor is that the smaller the sensor the less amount of light (area of lit area if you will) is collected, and therefore ASSUMING the same number of pixels the larger sensor will be more sensitive, this may count against the smaller chip, until small chips can reach the practical limits of sharpness resolution and dynamic range of the final image.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Feb 3, 2012)

hehe - the same discussion - over and over again about the aperture and focal length when cropping :) I think I have seen it 100 times by now.

Yes - cropping dont change the focal length and dont change the aperture. Thats right. But ...

Cropping (e.g. 2x as in u43) does decrease the FOV and does decrease the total amount of light hitting the cropped sensor. So - you get the behaviour of a longer lens with a smaller aperture.

Therefore - those are right that says that the 300 mm that acts as a 600 mm also loses light gathering power from F6.3 to F12.6 in this case.

But, of course, neither focal length nor aperture changes by cropping.

But if you pretend you get a longer lens you also have to pretend you get a smaller aperture. Otherwise you are cheating and use magic to amplify the light gathered.

1 upvote
oldalaskan
By oldalaskan (Feb 4, 2012)

Oh Bart, it only that were true! I could have done amazing things with my large format 90mm, F/8 lens! By your calculations that would have been equivalent to a FF 22.5mm f/2.0! Check your math buddy.

0 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Feb 4, 2012)

In terms of DOF it is related, which is why it increases on smaller sensors, but not in terms of light gathering relative to the sensor (smaller sensors need less light), so it is totally unrelated to the exposure you get. Smaller sensors need less light but also this means they absorb less light, which is why they struggle, relatively, in terms of dynamic range and high ISO (amplification) abilities.

Basically, the effect is a crop from the lens, whose measurements are being given in full frame terms, which remain the standard, even on compact camera lens markings. The f-stop is a fraction related to the aperture opening the lens can allow, which even then is fairly approximate, hence the 'T-stop' on cinema lenses, where this is critical.

Just crop an image on a computer, you see the different frame of view, the 'increased telephoto' that results, but no change to f-stop. This is why a D700 uses the same exposure timing on a lens whether in DX or FX (full-frame) mode.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tom
By tom (Feb 4, 2012)

There is no crop factor on f/number as regards to light intensity. Take a 35mm negative. Expose it with a lens. Cut out a small section (you now have a crop sensor). Nothing changed about the light intensity in the cropped sensor.

The field of view changed, not the focal length, not light intensity/mm, or number of photons/mm.

DOF on the cropped piece of film (not the final printed image) is the same. Or if you prefer the CoC at the same distances from the focal plane are still the same.

When you enlarge the image to print or view the same size as the uncropped image the DOF on the final image will be less on the cropped image (because you have magnified the the CoC more to enlarge the image to the same size as the image from the uncropped film.)

This DOF case doesn't deal with same field of view in the cropped and uncropped images, since camera / subject distance has to be greater for the cropped image increasing DOF on the "film".

tom

1 upvote
Bart Hickman
By Bart Hickman (Feb 4, 2012)

Light intensity isn't what matters--total light gathered is what matters. Your cropped piece of film also has far less resolution, but resolution and dynamic range are things you have to keep constant if you're comparing the technical capabilities of a system.

The error you all make is setting ISO the same on the two cameras, but ISO has a "crop factor" too. ISO100 on FF has 4x the dynamic range as ISO100 on 2x--they aren't the same system gain.
To compare a FF camera to a 2x camera, you must set the light gain the same. Light gain here means from entry into the lens to the final viewed image.

So once you set the cameras for the same gain (noise, if you like) a 600mm/F12.6 lens on FF will give the same settings as 300mm/6.3 on 2x. They'll have the same resolution. Same shutter speed. Same noise. Same dynamic range. Same DOF. Same everything (assuming the same technology and lens quality levels obviously.)

Bart

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tom
By tom (Feb 4, 2012)

The A700 (1.5x) and A900 (FF) had essentially the same pixel pitch. Using the A900 sensor and cropping instead of using film as I discussed above gives the same result. Cropping the A900 image has exactly the same gain.

There is no inherent crop factor on IS, or resolution of a crop sensor compared to FF sensor. It depends on the relative number of sensors per mm. Some systems have FF cameras with relatively low pixel count compared to their cropped cameras. The quality of each pixel might be better (larger pixel captures more photons in a given time at the same aperture), but resolution may in fact be lower on the large fewer pixel camera. For a crop camera with the same size pixels (and the same generation sensor/processing), there is no impact on noise, or DR). It does depend on the specific cameras, not a universal crop factor effect.

tom

1 upvote
Bart Hickman
By Bart Hickman (Feb 5, 2012)

In your comparison, you're whacking off 75% of the surface area of the FF sensor. I'm not talking about using the same lens with different crop factors. I'm really talking about the (false) implication that a 300mm/F6.3 lens on 2x crop is somehow equivalent to 600mm/F6.3 lens on 1x crop. F-number is not equivalent between systems (any more than ISO is) and by implying it is, manufacturers deceive would-be consumers.

I think M4/3 manufacturers use this little white lie (intentionally or not) to their advantage when they charge a premium for a lens like, say, the 14-50 F/2.8-3.5. Compare this so a fairly vanilla lens like the Sigma 17-70 F/2.8-4 which sounds somewhat boring until you convert it to the equivalent performance on a M4/3 system, which is 13-53 F/2.1-3. You must apply the crop equivalence to both F-number and focal length when judging the value proposition of a lens and system.

0 upvotes
KentG
By KentG (Feb 6, 2012)

There seems to be a lot of misconception on this issue. A crop factor has no effect on the physical parameters of the lens. the lens is still a 300/6.3. The only things the crop factor effects is the focal length because the FOV is narrower, and depth of field because the crop equivalent does not have the same DOF as a lens that is of that physical dimension. The F-stop is a measure of the number of photons per square unit that can potentially hit the media. The image circle may change in size but the photons per square unit does not. This is the measure of the aperture. So while on a crop camera the crop equivalent focal length changes because of the narrower FOV but the equivalent aperture does not change because the number of photons hitting each pixel stays the same. Aperture is not a measure of the total light hitting the media but the average level of the light hitting the media. That never changes regardless of the crop of the sensor. If you look it up you can find it.

2 upvotes
Spunjji
By Spunjji (Feb 6, 2012)

Need... down-vote... button. You deserve it for igniting this "argument" again.

The increased depth-of-field here is arguably a benefit, as focusing at 600mm with a 6.3 aperture is non-trivial. Having the "f12.6 equivalent" depth-of-field is handy, as is doing so whilst still having the actual light-gathering ability of the f6.3 aperture.

Everybody saying that you only get f12.6 worth of light needs to go outside with 2 cameras, FF and m4/3, and meter with the same lens attached to both. Your answer will be right there in front of you and then you can stop seeding forums with this absolute nonsense about somehow getting less light with a cropped sensor.

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Feb 6, 2012)

Bart...do I need to draw a picture to prove you wrong?

0 upvotes
tomservo33
By tomservo33 (Feb 3, 2012)

Interesting new (shrunken) design based on the Schmidt-Cas telescope. So does this equate to 600mm in micro 4/3 ?

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 3, 2012)

Yes it does.

0 upvotes
gordonpritchard
By gordonpritchard (Feb 3, 2012)

If I remember correctly, it is possible to change the effective aperture on a catadioptric lens by making an off center hole in a lens cap and placing that in front of the lens.

1 upvote
JensR
By JensR (Feb 3, 2012)

Yes, this works - Sigma (IIRC) even had a two-piece lens-cap for that purpose. I have used cardboard cut-outs. I have tried with centred holes, though. It was mildly successful to increase exposure time and DOF, but did not really cure optical aberrations like stopping down usually would.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 3, 2012)

How do you focus a non-IS 600mm lens? Tripod mounted and focus to infiniti?

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 3, 2012)

You focus just like you would focus any other manual focus lens. Believe it or not, we did used to be able to focus lenses before the age of IS and AF.

12 upvotes
zuikodude
By zuikodude (Feb 3, 2012)

With Olympus have in-body IS in all m4/3 cameras.

2 upvotes
Mtsuoka
By Mtsuoka (Feb 3, 2012)

haha, I wonder how effective the IBIS will be at 300mm..

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 3, 2012)

Well, I use the Oly 70-300 on Panasonic bodies that are not IS. However, it is best with a monopod. Still, even on a monopod a smaller, lighter camera would be better.

1 upvote
deep7
By deep7 (Feb 3, 2012)

IBIS on the better Olympus bodies is very effective at 300mm.

1 upvote
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Feb 3, 2012)

IBS is efective on Olympus Cameras. I use a Sigma Bigma and at 500mm ( EF 1000mm ) I get about 4 stops on the biger cameras ( E-5/30) and about 3 on the E-620. ( About equal to PENS) IBS really comes into play at longer focal lenths.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 3, 2012)

Image stabilization is VERY effective at 300mm. I have a Vivitar 75-300 OM-mount and it works brilliantly. The Pens - I have an E-P1 - allow one to adjust image stabilization according to focal length when using manual focus lenses. That's done choosing IS from the menu (or super control panel), pressing the exposure compensation button and turning the main dial to the required focal length. This way you can have IBIS with all OM lenses - and it will likely work with this one too.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 4, 2012)

Uhh, I should clarify the shooting condition.

I was thinking of shooting birds in flight from a distance as I recall Olympus' IBIS do not stabilize the view screen and at 600mm it would be shaky as hell hence my question if tripod and zone focus will work at that kind of distance.

I do know how to manual focus and use non-IS lens.

0 upvotes
NetMage
By NetMage (Feb 5, 2012)

Given this is for micro 4/3 which all use the LCD or EVF, I don't see why IBIS wouldn't be active when composing.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 6, 2012)

I thought IBIS is not active until exposure to prevent over heat

0 upvotes
Panda9
By Panda9 (Feb 13, 2012)

The new OM-D E-M5 will be the first IBIS camera to stabilize the view screen. It's one of the new features I'm looking forward to. I've been wanting to try my Bigma with adapter on my m4/3 camera . :)

0 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Feb 3, 2012)

thank goodness for adapters- I will just use my Nikon lenses.. to get the same focal length :-) but then again maybe for $150 or $99-- yeah I will get one :-)

0 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (Feb 3, 2012)

Your 300mm Nikon lens will be huge.

1 upvote
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Feb 3, 2012)

Yeah you 300mm Nikon is huge, did you see the size of that mirror lens? It's the size-ish or a APS-C kit lens.

0 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Feb 3, 2012)

oh yeah I figured that much :-) saving money by not buying this or convenience.. of having a small lens :-)

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 3, 2012)

I want an m4/3s telescope. A nice 1250mm F4.0 would be great.

2 upvotes
oldalaskan
By oldalaskan (Feb 4, 2012)

Well, SLR Magic is making a 12-36X50 spotting scope for mFT. That's equivalent to FF 840-2520mm. It mounts directly on the camera just as a lens would. It's not f/4 but it is water resistant/fog proof. Adorama has it for $250, not bad.

2 upvotes
KentG
By KentG (Feb 6, 2012)

A telescope with an M4/3 camera on it that gave a cropped 1250/4 would be the eqivalent in size to a 600/4 full frame lens. Not uncommon. In fact I routinely use such a telescope for astrophotography. The scope is a native 150mm ED/APO of 1005mm Fl. When the 4 element field flattener/focal reducer is added it becomes a 615mm F4.1 6-element optical system with 2 ED elements. It provides a fully illuminated and flat field that covers an entire full frame DSLR or film media. Of course it costs about as much as a 600/4 lens also. In that setup it would be the equivalent of 1230mm F4.1 on an M4/3 camera body.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 3, 2012)

I fail to see how this is better than the Panny 100-300mm unless of course it is $150 like Mssimo said.

2 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Feb 3, 2012)

Yeah, the advantage will be price. Mirror lenses are generally quite inexpensive.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Feb 3, 2012)

And weight too, as they're mostly empty.

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Feb 3, 2012)

Well, it's half the weight, half the size, and has half the minimum focus distance. Those things do matter to some people.

Choices are good!

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 3, 2012)

Is your 100-300 the size of a NEX kit lens? :)

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Feb 3, 2012)

Would this be essentially for the Olympus m4/3 models, which have sensor stabilization? What is the nearest match PEN users presently have?

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 3, 2012)

The M.Zuiko ED 75-300 f4.8/6.7.

0 upvotes
dmanthree
By dmanthree (Feb 3, 2012)

It's for anyone. I could use a tripod with my GX1. It's a thing with three legs used to steady a camera.

;-)

3 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Feb 3, 2012)

I'll take it for $150

0 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Feb 3, 2012)

I wouldnt want it as a gift...

0 upvotes
JoannaK
By JoannaK (Feb 3, 2012)

If you don't need it, I'm quite willing to pay delivery.. I'd take one.

0 upvotes
Rehabdoc
By Rehabdoc (Feb 4, 2012)

300 mm that weighs 300 grams. And pretty decent minimum focusing distance. You'd actually have a shot at mounting this on a flexible tripod without it falling over.

0 upvotes
Sergio Rojkes
By Sergio Rojkes (Feb 5, 2012)

Im already using this 1956 gem with great results, but it weighs 4kgms, not to lug around though...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v352/Sergito/Canon400mmf45-M39c.jpg

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Total comments: 154