Sony 500mm F8 Reflex Review

General information

This is a prime lens manufactured by Sony and the lens was released 2006.
The lens belongs to the category telephoto prime lenses, a telephoto lens where you do not have the possibility to zoom in and out.

Product description from Sony

At launch 2006 Sony wrote this regarding Sony 500mm F8 Reflex:

"The Sony SAL-500F80 Telephoto 500mm f/8.0 Reflex Autofocus Lens is unique in that it offers autofocus in a reflex telephoto lens. Thanks to its space-saving catadioptric design, it is compact, lightweight and ideal for field work on wilderness and nature assignments. A convenient built-in focus-hold button is located at the side of the lens barrel for quick and sure operation.

This lens takes advantage of Sony´s in-camera Super SteadyShot image stabilization system to reduce blur by compensating for shaky hands.

Mounted on the Sony α (alpha) DSLR-A100 camera, this lens provides a 750mm focal length (35mm equivalent).

Reflective optics eliminate the chromatic aberrations that can affect image quality in refractive telephoto lenses, so images are extremely sharp and clear.

At fixed f/8 aperture, the exposure is controlled by varying the camera shutter speed and using a neutral-density snap-on filter."

Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

This lens is constructed to fit all models of  cameras, regardless of camera model or type of sensor.

The ability to use autofocus is available for all cameras.

The lens has a focal length of 500 mm. Depending on which camera the lens is used, the experienced and perceived focal length will be different. Please visit the list of compatible cameras below, it will provide the equivalent focal length you get on each camera.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/8.

This lens is not considered to have a good aperture value and brightness. It is something to consider before you purchase the lens. To compensate for this you might, while photographing in less favorable light conditions, be forced to either use higher ISO settings (which generates more noise in the image), slower shutter speeds (which may give some motion blur) or flash lightning. Read more at the link below what lens brightness means to you as a photographer.

The lens lacks image stabilization, which otherwise os good for avoiding the blur that can occur when using slow shutter speeds. 

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 55 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

If you buy this lens it will come with a lens hood, whose model name is "SH0015".

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • Long focal length with its 500 mm
  • Works on all sensor types
  • A lens hood is included
  • No built-in image stabilizer
  • Poor aperture value with its f/8
  • The lens can be difficult to find in stores
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust
  • The price (more info)

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Sony 500mm F8 Reflex.

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Overall rating 3 of 5

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