Summary: I have this lens, I don't want to bash it but, I find it hard to use. Any shaking and the mirror distorts the picture. Maybe its just me but I wish I would have put the money towards a G series lens. If you are looking to buy one I will beat anyone's price on here. Email me for details if you are interested.
Summary: This is a unique lens in the photo world. I know of no other mirror (reflex) lens that is auto focus. The amazing part is that Minolta (bought by Sony) first made this lens - don't know - 15, 20 years ago. Sony picked it up in the Mino purchase, but has since discontinued the lens. As for optics - simply outstanding. Yes, yes, yes, you will have the infamous "donuts" in the bokeh ----- if the background is close and/or has bright spots.
Summary: This is an amazing lens, but make sure you understand what you are getting. This is not the lens you want to bring to a family reunion unless you plan on being across the yard from your subjects. This is a fixed focus lens designed to be used in adequate light. It is heavy, it is relatively loud and it doesn't fit in most average camera gear bags.
airshow fans and bird-watchers, get this while you can
OregonCoast "OregonCoast", Amazon
1 July 2009
Summary: If you seek hand-held telephotography, get the only auto-focus-enabled reflex lens on the market while you still can. Sony has discontinued production of the SAL-500F8 reflex lens. It won't sell out quick, but it will eventually. I use it for airshows and wildlife. Those of you who object to bokeh shaped like halos or donuts might compose your subject against a clear background such as the sky. But of course you already knew that.
Summary: An Excellent lens all round. Some of my best wildlife photos have been possible only because of this little marvel.(See The attached photos) I could never hope to afford a 500mm refractive lens, so I am extremely pleased and thankful to Sony for it's existence. For those who hear negative things about mirror lenses, well I suppose as with everything else in life there are varying qualities around. This one however, is superb and I am a beginner at photography.
Summary: I wasn't able to get a teleconverter for the zoom lens I use, so decided to try the Sony SAL-500F80 500mm f/8 Reflex Super Telephoto Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera. I am thrilled with it! It's short, compact, lightweight, and easy to hand hold. I have been able to get very sharp pictures, even of flying birds, in bright light. In low light, it also does extremely well on a tripod. It will be perfect for traveling and my specialty, bird photography.
Summary: Three good attributes of this lens: excellent quality rapid auto focus and low f/#. An annoying characteristic of this lens to me is its large size. That requires a separate case for it if one uses a standard camera bag with other lenses. At high magnifications, good photos require no camera movement and precise focusing on subjects. I highly recommend using a tripod with this lens and focus on still subjects whenever possible.
Summary: I was a little doubtful about using a mirrored lens. My doubts were misplaced. The lens, for nature shots is very good. I get some tremendous shots with the subject matter almost full frame! The f/8 aperture, I was a little concerned when it came to speed but that also proofed to misplaced I've been able to shoot at medium and high speeds 250th to 1,000th.