Vivitar 500mm f/8 Series 1 Manual Focus Mirror Lens

Vivitar Logo

Vivitar 500mm f/8 Series 1 Manual Focus
Mirror Lens (Requires T-Mount Adapter)

Vivitar 500mm f/8 Series 1 Manual Focus Mirror Lens The Vivitar 500mm f/8.0 Series 1 Mirror Lens is a high-quality, computer designed product that incorporates the merits of both reflex optics and refraction optics. This combination provides the user with an extremely sharp picture with minimum color aberration. While this telephoto lens is designed for high definition photography, it is also one of the most affordable precision optics available, which allows anyone on any budget to enjoy shooting crisp, clear telephoto pictures.

This lens has Super spectra optical coatings, Aluminum alloy construction, Full-time manual focus override, The Focus preset function allows Circular aperture auto focus performance at longer focal lengths and smooth one-touch zoom control. It is multi-coated for reduced flare and increased light transmission. 

T-Mounts are available for all the digital SLR systems, as well as for C-mount systems. However, in every case the fixed f/8 aperture is not communicated to the camera body. As such, you can use the lens in "M" manual exposure mode or "A" aperture-priority mode only.

Despite this lens' long 500mm focal length, it has a compact 3 x 3.5" size and weighs under 1 pound, making it a bit easier to handle than normal 500mm refractor lenses (it should be used with a tripod or monopod in any case). It also has a much different rendering of out of focus areas than a normal lens; highlights will be doughnut-shaped rings with more saturation and contrast on the edge of the ring than on the center.

Mirror lenses can produce pictures and under carefully chosen conditions they may even produce pretty good ones. However, these situations are rare and therefore most will have unsteady background blur. Most mirror lenses suffer from a rather mediocre optical performance. This may all be fine for personal purposes and for documentation but most likely you'll not be able to sell such pictures. Therefore a classic (refractive) lens like a 400/5.6 fix-focal or even a xx-500mm zoom or even a 70-300-f/4-5.6 with a 1.4 or 2x teleconverter is usually a better and more serious approach. Nonetheless mirrors are quite cheap (but you get what you pay for).

(To rephrase the paragraph above: Mirror lenses are Junk!)


Includes 30.5mm rear filters. Super Spectra coatings. Aluminium alloy construction. Full-time manual focus override. Focus preset function allows. Circular aperture. Uses T-mount adapter (purchased separately). Fits film and digital SLR cameras.

Shop for the Vivitar 500mm f/8 Series 1 Manual Focus Mirror Lens here from these stores
Link to Amazon Link to B&H Photo Link to ebay

Lens styleMirror
Max Format Size 35mm  
Lens focal length500mm  
Stabilization type No
Camera mount T-mount
Angle of view 5 Degrees  
Largest aperture opening Fixed f/8
Smallest aperture opening Fixed f/8  
Includes aperture ring Yes  
Total diaphragm blades  
Total Elements 7  
Number of Groups 6  
Coatings / special elements Multi-coating  
Minimum focus distance 5.6' (1.7 m)  
Autofocus type N/A
Motor No  
Full time manual focus Yes  
Focusing method    
Lens distance scale No  
Depth of field scale No  
Magnification 1:3  
Overall weight0.79 lb (360 g)  
Lens diameter 3.0" (7.6 cm)  
Overall length 3.4" (8.6 cm)  
Construction materials Composite / glass  
class="label">Lens ColorBlack  
Zooming method N/A  
Filter thread size Rear-mounted screw-in 30.5mm / Front 72mm  
Lens hood included No  

Lens Includes
30.5mm rear filter - Front and rear lens caps - Series 1 lens pouch - Note: requires proper "T" mount for your camera (not included) - Vivitar Warranty

Review by: goodpics on Dec 3rd, 2008
Experience of this type of product: Good, Time product owned: More than a year, Price paid: 120.00

I enjoyed the lense - I used it with a monopod and I have gotten excellent results at outdoor concerts with a Nikon FE2 and 200 spped film. Not recommended for evening, low light situations.

Review by: rpgroome on Jun 26th, 2007
Experience of this type of product: Good, Time product owned: More than a year, Price paid: $120

Can Far and away the worst lens that I've ever owned. Won't even give decent 4X6's. Very poor contrast, very poor sharpness. Even if you only intend to shoot in this range occasionally avoid this product. Got much, much better photos by shooting with my 75-300mm and cropping in. A poor deal at any price.

Know the Vivitar lens you are looking for?
Go directly to the lens by using the drop-down menu below

See also