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Why Mirror Lenses?

FUJIFILM X-T20 Fujinon XC 16-50mm OIS2 13


“Have you ever thought about
the conundrum of

Does it make the camera
a ‘mirrored mirrorless camera’?”



Mirror lenses are fun tools for your photography kit, one must never venture into the world of photography without ever trying or knowing what it is.

Mirror lenses are basically a ‘catadioptric’ design, often shortened as ‘a cat lens’. This design allows engineers to create tiny and lightweight telephoto lenses, simply by bending the path of the light, using mirrors.

Mirror lenses have the benefit of images that are free from chromatic aberrations and color fringing.

Mirror lenses may come in native lens mounts, but most of them come in ‘T-mount’, which has a flange distance of 55.00mm, so it can be used on all DSLRs and mirrorless without any problem with focusing to infinity. (ehem… Nikon)

That also means that if you have different cameras with different mounts, you can just swap the t-mount adapter for another one.

Speaking of bokeh… mirror lenses create delicious ‘donut bokeh’ that you cannot fake by post processing or any software. There’s a magic to this lens that always gives you those beautifully round bokeh bubbles, versus the ugly hexagonal-shaped bokeh bubbles of modern lenses.

The only drawback? Mirror lenses have fixed aperture. So if your mirror lens says its aperture is f/5.6 or f/8, you’re stuck with it. But hey… what is shutter speed and ISO for?

Don’t worry about the aperture. A 300mm f/5.6 or a 500mm f/8 create more dissolved blurry backgrounds than a 35mm f/1.4 will.


Soligor CD 300mm f5.6 T-Mount Mirror Lens by Komine.JPG


Check out this quick video test we did for a Soligor C/D 300mm f/5.6. When used on the Nikon D5200, it becomes a 450mm, which is closer to the 500mm originally intended for full frame cameras.

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