Walimex 500 mm f/8 'coke bottle' is usable

Started Aug 1, 2006 | Discussions thread
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iotatau Contributing Member • Posts: 680
Walimex 500 mm f/8 'coke bottle' is usable

With all the talk about the Nikkor 400/2.8, 500/4 and 600/4 lens lust rises. What to do with a limited budget? I risked a Walimex 500/8 at eBay, about 110 € in an auction or 1% of the Nikon star tele lenses. Here's a link to a current offer:

The lens has a T2 mount and is delivered with a T2-Nikon F adapter. Focus and exposure are only manual on my D70. A surprise is how small and light the lens feels compared to the 70-200 VR - length 29.8 cm, weight 700 g, filter 67 mm.

An illustration of the field of view ("normal" FOV of 35 mm compared to 500 mm):

How does it compare with my available lenses - 70-200 VR @ 200 mm, Sigma 70-300 @ 300 mm? Here's an assembly of 100% crops. For the 70-200 and 70-300 I also created an upscaled version (Photoshop bicubic) to reach the FOV of the 500 mm. (Camera on tripod, timer release.)

The softness of the Sigma 70-300 mm at the long end is evident yet again. The upscaled 70-200 crop is much better but it doesn't reach the 500 mm at original size. So the new 500/8 provides more detail than my existing lenses. It would be interesting to compare the upscaling result of a 70-200 VR / teleconverter combination.

More samples:
Thistles (handheld, 1/1000 s, ISO 800):

Moving girls (handheld, 1/1000 s):

And the moon (tripod, 4 s) - 500 mm still aren't enough...:

All in all I don't regret the purchase. Manual focus and exposure are manageable. A significant magenta tint is more serious, as is the lack of D70 mirror lock-up.

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