The 500mm Reflex Free-style
Just on a lark, since I had a little sunshine, today, I decided to use my Vivitar 500mm f/8 Reflex (Mirror) lens on my SONY A100, just to see what "Super SteadyShot" could do with it. Normally, handholding a 500mm-anything is a rough go, but here is a sampling of this rather "cheap", long-glass lens tolerating it.
Taking these with the Canon 20D (non-IS) would have been a mess. Unusable shots. I know, I've tried ... and as a result, I relegated this impossibly "dark" lens to the back of the stack. But here, to my surprise (but not really) the internal stabilization of the SONY A100 made the impossible possible for what would have been dismissed as an impractical lens.
Imagine ... 500mm at 1/30 sec, handheld! C'mon ... do that with anything non-IS and no support other than your God-given nervous sytem.
500mm - f/8 - 1/30 sec. - ISO-100 - Sp - handheld
500mm - f/8 - 1/60 sec. - ISO-100 - Sp - handheld
500mm - f/8 - 1/30 sec - ISO-100 - Sp - handheld
Man, the SONY has merit, I'll give it that.
Are we missng the point, here?
Look, we're talking about a CHEAP ($100) mirror-lens versus a standard ($600-1000) zoom. There is an incredible amount of optical correction that takes place to provide the photographer with a balanced image as he/she stokes through the focal range of that zoom.
The mirror simply reduces the weight and makes the lens physically shorter, while maintaining the long focal length. You give up a lot of optical qualities for that little convenience of weight and length, so IQ will not be your aim ... compactness and lightweight are its advantages. The SONY-body makes it possible to leave the tripod at home and still get decent looking image.
Here's simple visual comparison between a 200-500mm f/5-6.3 zoom lens ($995) extended to its 500mm focal length and the 500mm f/8 Mirror ($100) on the same camera body, the Canon EOS 20D
"Super SteadyShot" simply allows you to handhold what normally can not be done at 1/30 sec. You have to admit, f/8 is not a lot of light to work with. You have to make it up with shutter speed and ISO. I opted to stick with ISO-100 to maintain color density and slowed the shutter to a 1/30 sec crawl. That was the intent of the demonstration, nothing more. :rolleyes:
You were suppose to say: "Gosh, this is cool stuff." or "I didn't know in-body IS was that stable ... that's awesome!"
This is the "SONY Digital SLR" forum, not "Compare this to Canon".
BTW: Here's the crop
You would get effectively the same image out of a Canon ... with this lens ... and a tripod.