Summary: One of the best 5 cm reflex lens to have been ever produced. If used with a bit of care it can produce images as good as any 500 mm zoom. The plus for this lens includes it's light weight and relatively small size.
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.
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.
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.
airshow fans and bird-watchers, get this while you can
OregonCoast "OregonCoast", Amazon
13 February 2011
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.
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.
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.