I've mentioned before how indulgent my wife is. We're planning on taking a trip up to Canada this summer (purely because we live at the South end of Interstate 29 and often travel the south half). For the trip she bought me an (as usual) early birthday present - a Minolta 500mm / f8 mirror lens.
This lens, as the name says, is a mirror lens. That makes it a lot smaller and lighter than it would otherwise be (also cheaper). The primary drawback to a mirror lens is that the out-of-focus highlights are little donuts. Some people think it looks bad, others like it. I'm rather neutral.
In any case, to try out the new lens as I practice before our trip we went to a Civil War re-enactment near our house. We got there too late for any of the battles, but we did catch a nearby Honor Guard doing cavalry drills and quite a number of nicely dressed participants.
Somewhat surprisingly I found out that a 500mm lens makes a great portrait lens, albeit one probably best for candid portraits - that tight head shot of the gentleman with the full beard and glasses was taken at about 40 feet (over 10 meters). The full-length shots were taken at well over 150 feet (50 meters). That would make it a bit difficult to communicate with a model, and it also tends to cut down on that personal connection.
In any case, I hope you enjoy the pictures. As usual, clicking any of the thumbnail images will take you to the frame-by-frame gallery where you can see a larger version of the image and (often) get more information.
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