MC Rubinar 500mm f/8 Reflex

Review of MC Rubinar 500mm f/8 Reflex lens. Review created 2006, latest update 2013.

Facts

  • an all-manual mirror lens (also known as reflex lens, catadioptric lens, CAT)
  • in addition to this there appears to be 500 mm f/5.6 and 1000 mm f/10 CATs available
  • estimated retail price 350 USD
  • in my use from 3/2006 to 10/2008
  • only for outdoor use on bright days and is still hard to focus

Pros

  • much cheaper, smaller and lighter than the equivalent focal length regular lenses
  • if you need a 500 mm lens and don't have much money there are no alternatives
  • ring-shaped bokeh can be fun
  • every photographer should try a mirror lens once

Cons

  • weak contrast
  • not very sharp
  • requires plenty of light to be usable and is still hard to focus (I recommend a body with a large bright viewfinder and installing manual focusing screen like Canon Ec-S)
  • fixed aperture (f/8)
  • ring-shaped bokeh can be annoying