Showcase Minolta 500mm f/8 RF Rokkor

mingus2112

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Jun 16, 2014
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Eeek. Got the lens yesterday and, well, it's not "totally mint" as the seller described. Don't get me wrong, it's a fine specimen and was well taken care of, so i'm keeping it...I had just payed a little extra to have it be more collectible - which it isn't. Oh well - live and learn!

Anyway - I tried some moon shots tonight and this thing is DAMN hard to focus. Took a bunch of shots, came inside and loaded them up and they're all out of focus. (or at least it seems that way. could be foggy skies, but it's probably me misfocusing) Was having a real hard time finding a spot on the moon to magnify focus and the peaking just wasn't picking it up. Focusing with my 300mm and a teleconverter was much easier! So first try makes me want to find a nice 400mm Minolta (non mirror) to use with the 2x teleconverter next time. For this time, though, i'm going to keep trying. Going back out in a little while for round two!

-James
 

AlwaysOnAuto

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Wouldn't infinity focus give the best results?
I just took some shots with my 24mm Nikkor. Not really the best for moon shots.
 

mingus2112

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Wouldn't infinity focus give the best results?
I just took some shots with my 24mm Nikkor. Not really the best for moon shots.
Yes, one would assume. But this lens isn't hard stop at infinity. It actually goes a little past it. Moving back to the middle of the infinity symbol seems to have the best focus on the screen, but knowing where that infinity mark is EXACTLY is tough. Breathing on the focus changes it. I might give it a try with the Tokina 500mm, but the focus throw is the same on that (turns 180 degrees) and it seems even looser.

-James
 

mingus2112

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Went back out another two times and finally got something close to focus. I would try for another time, but the moon is way too high in the sky now and my 50 year old consumer grade tripod isn't up to the angle. Hopefully i've got a new Vanguard under the tree in a few weeks! Anyway, here's the result. I shot at 1/400 at ISO 100, but probably should have tried 1/300 or 1/320. I bumped the exposure up on the final image .71 stops in lightroom, a bump in contrast and a little sharpening. Also exported 15 images to photoshop as layers to try stacking - I had never done that before and it did, indeed, remove a lot of noise! If I can get a nice shot on a clear night and nail the focus, this will be awesome! Exported the final image from lightroom with a bit of sharpening for screen and 100% quality:

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Supermoon - December 2017 by James DeRose, on Flickr
 

Bart Francois

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I mounted my father's old Minolta 500 mm f/8 RF Rokkor on my Sony A7 RII body by means of a Metabones MD->E mount adapter, and took it for a week to Tarangire national Park in Tanzania.
It turned out to be a fantastic combination. There is a learning curve for precise focusing, but it works fine as long as I used a shutter time of at least 1/2000 s, the jeep was not moving, the engine was stopped and I could lean on the window.
The bokeh is maybe unusual, but not unpleasant in my opinion, and can of course be avoided by isolating the subject from the background.
RAW images processed in Lightroom 4 (no noise reduction)
Here are some samples :

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mingus2112

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I mounted my father's old Minolta 500 mm f/8 RF Rokkor on my Sony A7 RII body by means of a Metabones MD->E mount adapter, and took it for a week to Tarangire national Park in Tanzania.
It turned out to be a fantastic combination. There is a learning curve for precise focusing, but it works fine as long as I used a shutter time of at least 1/2000 s, the jeep was not moving, the engine was stopped and I could lean on the window.
The bokeh is maybe unusual, but not unpleasant in my opinion, and can of course be avoided by isolating the subject from the background.
RAW images processed in Lightroom 4 (no noise reduction)
Wow, Bart. I like these a lot! I got into mirror lenses just because i'm on a quest for the perfect moon shot (with the THREE 500mm mirrors I got I could have probably gotten a non-mirror lens to get a better shot!) and hadn't yet thought about their use outside of the moon. With the 500mm, I was turned off a little bit by the focus, but these look excellent. Gives me hope for future use of this lens!

And, WELCOME! Would love to hear (in a different thread, of course) what else you're adapting on your A7rII! I'm debating between an A7II and A7rII for my next camera...but that's probably a year away!

-James
 

nemenee

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Well I'm the new guy here..I just bought a Minolta RF 500/8. I will be using it on an A7 now with looking to pop it on an A77. The lens is in fine shape..a one owner. They could not have used it
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much. Complete with the filters,wrench and leather tube. Missing are front and rear caps though. Foam inside was rotting and it had a 'film' on it, cleaned up it looks fine. I believe I got a hell of a deal on it. $60 cad. The people on this forum have been around for some time, I hope they still are...I got a million questions. The moon will be my first target, then the garden. First thing is to get a few sand bags going to sturdy up the tripod.
 

bdbits

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:Welcome: Welcome to talkemount.

Nice catch.
 

WNG

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Well I'm the new guy here..I just bought a Minolta RF 500/8. I will be using it on an A7 now with looking to pop it on an A77. The lens is in fine shape..a one owner. They could not have used itView attachment 99589 much. Complete with the filters,wrench and leather tube. Missing are front and rear caps though. Foam inside was rotting and it had a 'film' on it, cleaned up it looks fine. I believe I got a hell of a deal on it. $60 cad. The people on this forum have been around for some time, I hope they still are...I got a million questions. The moon will be my first target, then the garden. First thing is to get a few sand bags going to sturdy up the tripod.
Congrats! You basically stole it for that price! A great reflex 500mm too.
 

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