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Nikon F Reflex-Nikkor 500mm f/8.0 mirror lens


  • this super telephoto lens is a catadioptric mirror lens, and as with all such mirror lenses, share the following characteristics:
    • manual focus
    • fixed aperture (in this case f/8.0)
    • virtual elimination of chromatic aberration as uses mirror rather than lenses
      • also means focus position for infrared photography is the same as for light photography
    • central mirror:
      • allows much more compact lens length as the optic path is reflected internally twice
      • by necessity, blocks some of the light and thus causes:
        • decrease in image contrast
        • characteristic “doughnut” shaped bokeh imagery in out of focus areas
  • original version was produced in 1968 and replaced the large Nikon 500mm f/5.0 mirror lens (only 2,500 made) and dramatically improved close focus from 48' to 13'
  • revised “C” version with improved lens coating introduced in 1974 and Nikon made ~70,000
  • a new design “N” version “Reflex-Nikkor” was introduced in 1984, Nikon made ~30,000, and it has an orange line that runs around the focus ring
  • the older the version of this lens, the softer the image will be
  • Nikon stopped making mirror lenses in 2005


  • 500mm focal length and field of view (5°) at infinity focus
  • fixed f/8.0 aperture
  • 6 elements in 6 groups (5 elements in 3 groups for “C” version)
  • NIC coating
  • closest focus 1.5m (4m for “C” version)
  • 82mm front filter thread rotates with focus (88mm for “C” version)
  • rear 39mm screw in filter
  • screw-in sun-shade / lens hood
  • 89mm diam x 116mm long and 823g (93mm diameter, 142mm long and 1kg for “C” version“)
  • heavier and longer than the Olympus OM 500mm f/8.0 mirror lens


photo/nikon500mmf8.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/15 15:51 by gary1

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