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Nye Optical 150mm f1.4 mirror lens

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#1 JMC

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 13:43

This one turned up today - a Nye Optical 150mm f1.4 mirror lens. It has a Nikon bayonet fit, but the bayonet is flush against the back of the lens, so it wont attach to an SLR without using a small extension tube, which is what I did here to fit it on to the d810. On a mirrorless camera it would be fine. Originally made for UV to IR work (180nm to 4500nm), and focussing from about 10ft to infinity (and beyond, given it will focus past infinity on the scale). A bit of a beast, and with no front lens cap, so I think I'll have to get one made for it, as it looks a bit delicate up there at the front.

A few shots of it on the Nikon.
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I did try and get a UV shot with it today, using the ACS UV modified d810, and a Buttercup from the garden. Settings, ISO2000, 1/25s. Camera mounted on a tripod, and a nice breeze blowing. 15mm extension tube to enable the lens to be mounted. Flower was in direct sunlight about midday, and about 4ft from the camera.

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Depth of field is obviously like a knife edge (I'm guessing a couple of mm either side of where it is focused), and I need to get used to manual focusing with it. But it does show the black centre of the Buttercup nicely. One of these days I will invest in a focusing rail.

Slightly easier to use hand held in visible light, although again I still need to learn how to use it, especially given that depth of field. This time on a Canon 5DSR normal, unmodified camera, with about 15mm extension tube. Handheld, ISO100, exposure times from 1/640 to 1/6400s. Gives some really trippy out of focus backgrounds.

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Edited by JMC, 27 October 2018 - 22:00.


#2 Andrea B.

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 14:19

That is quite a beast indeed! What support is under it so that it won't pull on the camera body mount? I can't really tell from the photos.

So this lens has no aperture blades?

I love those backgrounds. The lens could be put to good artistic use.
Andrea G. Blum
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#3 JMC

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 14:24

Andrea, I used the mount on the lens, not the one on the camera, so it was better balanced.

No aperture blades, fixed f1.4 aperture.

#4 Andrea B.

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 14:39

Somewhere I have seen a "portable" set of aperture blades. Presumably one adds them to the back of a lens with some kind of step-ring fittings or whatnot. I wonder if such a set would be useful for a lens like this?

This lens must have been used for flat subjects. Sides of houses, garage doors, things like that. :lol:
Andrea G. Blum
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#5 OlDoinyo

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 15:48

It looks like a Maksutov-Gregorian type optic--but a very unusual one. Your test shots show some of the smudginess that such optics tend to exhibit, due to the center mirror (it has been explained to me as a drop in modulation transfer function at certain spatial frequencies. ) I also notice that the second frame appears sharpest in the lower left quadrant, which makes me wonder if there are alignment issues. An interesting find, nonetheless; I wonder what it was used for originally.

N.B. Adding aperture blades to such a lens will not work because of the center mirror; it will not increase DOF or sharpness. That is why only off-center mirror optics (e.g. Makowsky) have aperture blades. You are of course free to use ND filters, and many such lenses are supplied with such.

Edited by OlDoinyo, 27 October 2018 - 15:58.


#6 JMC

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 16:30

I think the 2nd frame is sharper in the bottom left as that's where I was focussing. Hopefully no alignment issues. I get the feeling it was more aimed at imaging objects further away rather than close-up. At least the depth of field would be less of an issue then

#7 Andrea B.

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 19:35

Clark, thanks for the info about center mirror lenses like this one. I don't know anything about these kinds of lenses at all (or telescopes). But now that you point it out, I can see why an added aperture wouldn't work.

So now I wonder if a focusing rail used for a stack of 50 images put together in Helicon Focus would work? I wonder what would happen with the unusual backgrounds if images were stacked?
Andrea G. Blum
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#8 Andy Perrin

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 20:15

Well it seems well-suited to artistic uses! What an awesome "bokeh" if that's what you even call it with this sort of lens.

#9 Andrea B.

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 01:37

I know, right? Bokeh usually has some circular or doughnut-like aspect. This is like broken mirror shards but very soft.
Andrea G. Blum
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#10 nfoto

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 11:48

It is worth while to think of 'bokeh' as being blurs in three dimensions. With a very 'fast' mirror lens, what is rendered in the background (or foreground) and its shape critically depend on the distance involved. Concomitantly, any blur circles (or 'mirror shards', 'doughnouts) decline in intensity as distance increases. Plus some of these 'fast' mirror lenses don't fully cover the camera format (no idea about this particular 150/1.4 though). In combination, these factors lead to a very special 'bokeh signature' for such lenses.
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#11 JMC

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 14:17

View Postnfoto, on 28 October 2018 - 11:48, said:

Plus some of these 'fast' mirror lenses don't fully cover the camera format (no idea about this particular 150/1.4 though)
Birna, this one is designed for full frame (well, was originally designed to cover a full film frame). I have another, smaller one (200mm f2.8) which has a c mount, and that was not designed for full frame. Not yet figured out how to mount that one to use it.

#12 bobfriedman

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Posted 02 December 2018 - 20:11

interesting.

Edited by bobfriedman, 02 December 2018 - 21:03.