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Author Topic: How to increase mirror lens contrast  (Read 5760 times)

Jonathan Wienke

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« on: October 06, 2003, 04:36:53 PM »

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I have recently bought a Sigma 600mm mirror lens for my Eos 10D.  I am mainly interested in nature photography and sea life (dolphins, whales).  As my budget was limited I didn’t go for “big glass” preferring to have longer reach with a small package.  Are there any tips out there for using a mirror lens and how to increase contrast, the single largest problem of this type of lens?  I know all the usuals (tripod, mirror lock up, shoot early etc) for image stability so am looking for some real secrets here on how to get maximum image quality from maximum budget telephoto! Any info would be appreciated… Also, any experience form other users of mirror lenses would be great.
Try my sharpening/contrast enhancement actions at http://visual-vacations.com/Photography/PhotoshopGoodies.htm.

Convert the image to 16-bit RGB, adjust the levels and color balance as desired, then run the Midtone Sharpen 16 LAB action. The first time the USM dialog appears, adjust the amount to get the desired level of contrast. The remaining times, adjust the amount to get the desired amount of sharpening. Don't change the radius or threshold values.

Jonathan Wienke

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2003, 06:45:31 PM »

I'm getting ready to add a bunch of stuff to my Photoshop section, stay tuned...

Norman Dennett

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2003, 03:12:25 PM »

The implications of the comments on this topic are very interesting.
I'm fortunate to live in one of the Worlds top Birding spots, but I'm retired, not exactly penniless but its really just a matter of degree. Some very rare and endangered species of  birds are  my neighbours but the lens etc to photograph them to the standadrd that I want is just beyond my reach.
If I could  use something like a 600mm mirror lens and then enhance the quality with Photoshop (I'm fairly au fait and use it for  Landscape photography) I could really be in  business.
Just how feasible is the idea? Can  anybody show comparitive results between a Mirror lens and, say, a  600mm f4 Nikon, where the end result of the Mirror lens has been Sharpened and Contrast improved with Photoshop.
What could be done to improve the Bokeh? I really don't like those little half moons!
Is this the way we are going? Do we no longer need the fabulous lens, the Zeiss Planer, the Novoflex etc of the past. Anything will do and we can enhance the result with Photoshop.
I'm not sure how far my tongue is in my cheek.
Norman.
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victoraberdeen

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2003, 12:59:04 AM »

Norman, simply the better the quality of the original the better the end result. So if your after high quality images, it is worth every penny. One to look at With 1000mm Nikkor mirror lens, taken from blimp over London. It is well worth loan or hiring before you buy. Good luck...
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jd1566

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2003, 05:19:08 AM »

I have recently bought a Sigma 600mm mirror lens for my Eos 10D.  I am mainly interested in nature photography and sea life (dolphins, whales).  As my budget was limited I didn’t go for “big glass” preferring to have longer reach with a small package.  Are there any tips out there for using a mirror lens and how to increase contrast, the single largest problem of this type of lens?  I know all the usuals (tripod, mirror lock up, shoot early etc) for image stability so am looking for some real secrets here on how to get maximum image quality from maximum budget telephoto! Any info would be appreciated… Also, any experience form other users of mirror lenses would be great.
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jd1566

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2003, 09:38:01 AM »

Hi Jonathan,
Thansk for your input.  I see your site is full of tips for photoshop users.  As I'm exploring this program I'll be sure to have a look through your other tips as well.

Regards

James
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victoraberdeen

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2003, 02:23:29 AM »

Sorry, but I have never had this problem with a mirror lens, maybe it is the lens. Have you tried any others?
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Jonathan Wienke

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How to increase mirror lens contrast
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2003, 05:54:02 PM »

As a general principle digital enhancement techniques can improve an image dramatically, but are not really a replacement for quality lenses and components in the image capture process. You can run Neat Image on a 3MP P&S image, upsize it to 4064x2704 with S-Spline or Genuine Fractals, and it still won't look as good as the equivalent 1Ds image, no matter what you do to it. There is no substitute for real resolution and image quality, fancy digital processing tricks will only get you 50-80% of the way there. But the fancy digital stuff can be used to take your equipment as far as it can go.
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