500mm Mirror Lens. Help Needed

  Mark5001 16:22 PM 03 Aug 10
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Rather stupidly and against all advice I have just purchased a Falcon 500mm f8 lens for my Sonay Alpha 200. I know how to set my camera to accept a lens is attached as it uses an adapter because the lens is screw fit and camera is bayonet. Anyway taking some test shots some came out black and some so white you cannot see anything. I have my iso at 800 and tried various shutter speeds, a skylight filter and ND2x and ND4x filters to no avail.. Are there any good folk on here who know how to get good pics from this £100 piece of.... Oh not allowed words like that on here. Just need a list of the correct settings on the camera.

  hssutton 19:42 PM 03 Aug 10

There is no such thing as a list of correct setting, apart from putting the camera into full Manual and that includes focussing.

The setting will depend on the available lighting conditions. I think this lens has an aperture range of f/8-F/32, so it should not be too difficult to obtain a decent image at 100-400 ISO.

You should be able to determine the correct shutter speed from the EV scale. Now I'm not sure if this scale is displayed in the viewfinder of the Sony, if not it should be acessible in the menu. As an alternative, viewing the histogram will help.

Basically, If your test photos come out black you need to increase the the exposure (reduce shutter speed)if the test is white then increase the shutter speed.

I would forget about using any filters until you master the basics of the lens

  hssutton 19:42 PM 03 Aug 10

There is no such thing as a list of correct setting, apart from putting the camera into full Manual and that includes focussing.

The setting will depend on the available lighting conditions. I think this lens has an aperture range of f/8-F/32, so it should not be too difficult to obtain a decent image at 100-400 ISO.

You should be able to determine the correct shutter speed from the EV scale. Now I'm not sure if this scale is displayed in the viewfinder of the Sony, if not it should be acessible in the menu. As an alternative, viewing the histogram will help.

Basically, If your test photos come out black you need to increase the the exposure (reduce shutter speed)if the test is white then increase the shutter speed.

I would forget about using any filters until you master the basics of the lens

  Mark5001 20:53 PM 03 Aug 10

That seems to have helped a bit. Thanks. I will now play with the speeds to get the best results. I seem to be getting fair results between 80 and 400. I'm quite new to these lenses having only used Sony autofocus in Auto mode. The terminology used baffles me, so I tend not to try fiddling with settings.

  ams4127 23:17 PM 03 Aug 10

I've been fiddling with my new Fujifilm S200 EXR and found that changing the ISO speed from 1600(auto) to 400 has been of great help.

Back in the days of 35mm cameras I remember using ISO speeds of between 50 and 400 depending on the circumstances. ISO 50 for a bright, sunny day and 400 for a dull, gloomy one.

One great advantage of digital over film is that you can experiment to your heart's content without building up mountains of used film, and the consequent expense.

I just take mine out in the garden and take dozens of photos with different settings, load them onto the compute, see what worked and what didn't.

Have you tried HDR yet? It can produce stunning results.

Enjoy.

  hssutton 08:40 AM 04 Aug 10

You may find this of help

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