Budget long tele lens- Mirror or classic lens?

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Look for a 300 to 500mm tele lens to be used exclusively on a tripod for photographing details of gothic architecture.

Budget is small as I don't expect to use such a lens very often. Think about a Nikon 500mm Mirror Tele. Is this a good idea? Or do I need to invest a bit more in a classical tele lens?

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Eric Rose

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I have a mirror lens and it "ok". You would have to spend major bucks do get a better glass lens. But then again it depends on how important it is to you. Spend lots of money on a VERY solid tripod though.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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For that usage, you're probably okay with a mirror lens. I tried a Nikon 500mm/8.0 once years ago, and among mirror lenses, it's pretty sharp and if the mirror hasn't oxidized, it's probably closer to f:8 in light transmission than many cheaper mirror lenses. With architectural subjects you don't really need the speed of a refractive lens (as you would for wildlife), and you are likely to be far enough away from the details you are photographing that you won't have any out-of-focus donuts or double lines.

A sturdy tripod, solid head, cable release, and MLU are recommended.
 

skahde

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I went through the same decision last year. The decline of prices for the 4/300mm AF (non AFS) made it affordable even for me. If you need to go even longer it works well with TCs.

Compared to the 8/500mm Reflex Nikkor this is a much better allround tele IMO, not that much more expensive and you certainly will be pleased by its performance.

Stefan
 
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