Take Better Close-up Shots With A 500 mm Mirror Lens

Stop struggling to capture the perfect close-up shot, and start taking some pictures that transmit emotions. Whether you are a professional wildlife photographer or just an amateur experimenting, the level of detail provided by a 500 mm mirror lens will make your subjects come alive. On eBay, you can find a wide selection of 500 mm mirror lenses to suit your budget and camera.

What are the main characteristics of a 500 mm mirror lens?

A mirror lens, also known as catadioptric or CAT, typically features a combination of refracting optical glass elements (correction elements) and two mirrors. The light going through the lens is bounced around by the mirrors, typically laid out according to one of two possible designs, before going through to the camera. As a result of this arrangement, the lens is compact despite the long focal length and comes with a fixed aperture of f/8 or f/5.6 in some faster versions. Due to the position of the mirrors, these type of lenses produce pictures with a distinctive and round out-of-focus background known as bokeh. Depending on your photographic taste, this characteristic will either be a welcome 'artistic' feature of your pictures or an effect to minimise using your camera's functions. Additionally, it's worth remembering that almost all mirror lenses offer manual focus only.

Why choose a 500 mm mirror lens?

Some of the advantages offered by a 500 mm mirror lens are:

  • Dimensions: Due to the absence of optical elements, mirror lenses are compact and light-weight. Generally speaking, their size is about one-third of equivalent optical lenses. Not only will you be able to carry it around effortlessly, but you will also avoid any accidental knocks.
  • Price: Due to their compact design and lack of expensive glass elements, mirror lenses are priced very competitively, making them affordable for amateur photographers.
  • Chromatic Aberrations: As light doesn't have to travel through glass elements, it doesn't scatter as in refractive lenses. As a result, mirror lenses lack colour shadows, also known as chromatic aberrations.
What else should you consider when purchasing a 500 mm mirror lens?

When choosing which 500 mm lens to buy, make sure their mount is compatible with your camera mount. Typically, mirror lenses are supplied with mount adaptors to make them compatible with most cameras in circulations. Additionally, although light in weight, some 500 mm mirror lenses come with a tripod mount adaptor, providing you with more options when setting up your shots.