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Tokina SZ 500mm F/8 Reflex MF

Super telephoto prime lens • Digital era

Tokina SZ 500mm F/8 Reflex MF

Features highlight

T
M/R
Fixed
MF
CFD 1.7m

Specification

Production details
Announced:January 2022
Production status: In production
Production type:<No information>
Original name:Tokina SZ 500mm F8 Reflex MF
System:-
Optical design
Focal length:500mm
Speed:F/8
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Interchangeable mount (T)
Diagonal angle of view:(35mm full frame)
Lens construction:7 elements - 7 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Fixed
Number of blades:-
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:1.7m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:2.86 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:310g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀74×89mm
Weather sealing:-
Water Repellent (WR) coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 72mm
Screw-type 30.5mm (rear)
Lens hood:Screw-type MH-721 (round)
Teleconverters:<No information>

*) Source of data: Manufacturer's technical data.

Manufacturer description

Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF is a 500mm super tele lens that adopts a catadioptric type optical design with a constant F8 aperture. The lens offers a compact alternative to standard tele photo lenses as more and more photographers are looking for easy-to-carry gear. Keeping in mind active travel photographers that seek outdoor landscape, wild nature or birds, the 500mm F8 Reflex MF is designed as a compact and lightweight mirror lens - a type of lens to be rediscovered in this new era of also compact but high-tech mirrorless cameras. The Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF adopts a T-mount standard (pitch 0.75mm, thread 42mm) that allows the lens to be attached to any camera by using mount adapters.

Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF is suitable for travel photography since the lens is compact and lightweight, and yet will help you to capture far objects that cannot be reached by standard zoom lenses. This lens can serve you best in different photographic genres, like landscape, people, street snap, macro, wild nature and even sports!

Long 500mm focal length of Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF while being such a compact and lightweight is realized thanks to catadioptric optical design.

Mirror lenses are tele photo lenses that incorporate a combination of lenses and mirrors to reflect light back and forth between the ends of the lens. This structure folds the light cutting the tube length in half. In this way the construction makes the physical size of the lens around a third of the size of a conventional lens and allows a lightweight body, because the mirrors are much lighter than the optical glass.

Reflex type of lenses are used to be considered as out of fashion, inconvenient gear due to fixed aperture, manual focusing and absence of image stabilization. We suggest to rediscover all advantages of reflex type lenses again, by using it with contemporary mirrorless cameras.

Focus assist functions like focus peaking will help to find the sharpest focus point.

In-build multi-axis advanced image stabilization systems of mirrorless cameras will make you forget about blurred images due to hand shaking.

Newest mirrorless cameras featuring advanced wide ISO settings can offer the photographer to choose a faster shutter speed with minimum pixel noises on the image.

The outside barrel of the Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF is shaved thinner by using a new processing technology that makes this lens more lightweight compared to the lens with a shorter focal length.

Featuring super tele 500mm focal length and weighting only 310g (without mount adapter) the Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF can be easily carried inside a pocket or small bag. For travel photographers who tend to seek for lightweight gear this feature is highly valuable.

Lens elements inside the lens are coated with multi-layer anti-reflection coating for effective light intake and as a result, for increased shutter speed in low light conditions.

Mirrored surfaces of the lens elements incorporate a high-reflectivity silvered coating and a protective antioxidant layer on the back side for a longer product lifetime.

The field of view is 4°8' (by frame diagonal) and min. focusing distance is 1.7m. It gives magnification 1:2.86 to capture an object with size 6x9cm on full frame. These properties help the photographer to avoid shadows or not to scare the insect while shooting close up images.

Optical construction of the lens creates specific donut-shaped and super smooth bokeh that finds support among many artistic photographers.

Thanks to its long focal length the Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF can create images with super compression effect, showing the background close and enlarged compared to the main object. This effect adds to the image enchanting atmosphere.

Tokina SZ SUPER TELE 500mm F8 Reflex MF comes with a hood and supports 72mm (front) and 30.5mm (rear) filters. That allows photographers to use any creative filters for artistic purpose.

Tokina SZX SUPER TELE 400mm F8 Reflex MF adopts a T-mount standard (pitch 0.75mm, thread 42mm), that allows this lens to be attached to any camera by using mount adapters.

From the editor

Interestingly, the Tokina SZ 500/8 has a lot in common with another reflex lens, Samyang Mirror 500mm F/8 MC (the exact date of its announcement is unknown, but the lens existed already in 2010):

  • The same number of elements (the optical formula is different, however);
  • The closest focusing distance is 1.7m for Tokina and 1.72m for Samyang;
  • The maximum magnification ratio is 1:2.86 for Tokina and 1:2.7 for Samyang;
  • Almost the same weight and dimensions;
  • Both lenses are designed for use with T-mount adapters;
  • Both lenses use 72mm front and 30.5mm rear filters;
  • The Samyang lens was supplied without the hood, but needed it badly.

Tokina was unable to improve the lens specification compared to the older Samyang model, which suggests that Samyang had sufficient knowledge and experience to produce competitive mirror/reflex lenses already in 2010. The question is, however, were such lenses in sufficient demand among the hobbyists to be able to produce them long enough and make profit? Unlikely, because the Samyang lens has been discontinued for a long time. As for the Tokina, the company apparently has decided to occupy the empty niche in this class of lenses and fall into the same trap.

Tokina SZ 500/8 Reflex MF is a lens based on an optical formula optimized for SLR cameras. The company was too lazy to develop a dedicated version for mirrorless cameras. For comparison, the above-mentioned Samyang released its APS-C Reflex 300/6.3 model in versions for SLR and mirrorless cameras with different optical formulas which allowed a shorter closest focusing distance for the "mirrorless" version.

***

The Tokina instruction manual says that the lens constuction is 2 groups, 6 lenses, but this is an error. Such errors in official materials have been typical of Tokina lately, so no surprise.

The weight and dimensions are indicated for the lens without the T-mount adapter.

***

In the 1980s, Tokina already produced a 500/8 mirror/reflex lens for popular 35mm film SLR cameras, but then it was offered with a fixed mount. In the instruction manual for that lens Tokina mentioned that "to achieve the highest possible standard, we have manufactured your mirror lens with a fixed mount for your camera, which results in a higher precision than conventional interchangeable mounts can offer". 40 years have passed, and Tokina offers its new 500/8 mirror/reflex lens with interchangeable mount - completely ignoring the fact that modern high-resolution digital imaging sensors require even higher precision than that needed for film cameras.

Typical application

distant subjects, distant landscapes with perspective compression effect, wild nature, travel

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

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Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best slow super telephoto primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Mirror/Reflex lens

A lens based on design principles used in large astronomical telescopes. It is a combination of mirror and lens elements. Incoming light is reflected twice on the mirror surfaces, resulting in compactness of the lens barrel and light weight relative to the focal length.

To adjust image brightness, neutral density or other filters are used, because lenses of this type are not equipped with diaphragms.

Sharpness of the focused image is unsurpassed because of the use of reflecting surfaces which do not cause any chromatic aberration.

Taken with this type of lens, the subjects in the out-of-focus range may appear as blurred rings or separate blurred lines.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/8 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.

Teleconverters

Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.