Additional Information on Olympus Zuiko lenses
Zuiko Telephoto lenses - 500mm f/8.0 Reflex (Mirror) lense

HTML Page (36k) Loading ...

Prior to 1982, Zuiko lense group has not provided with a Reflex lense yet. Basically, Reflex lenses employ a combination of mirrors and lense elements based on the catadioptric (mirror-reflex) principle widely used in modern astronomical telescopes. This unique lense type generally has a far more compact size and weight than comparing prime/zoom lenses at any specific focal lengths they provide because light path through the lense is 'folded' by the mirror surfaces, permitting a significant reduction in size and weight as compared to conventional lenses of equivalent focal lengths. This is made possible via the second group lense elements reflect the image back through an opening in the first mirror to the film. If you view any CAT lense from the front, there is usually a circular plate locates at the center of the lens and often will confuse a new comer to SLR photography who may be exposed to such kind of lense type for the first time and wondering HOW can an image be formed with such a lense ? Basically, the theory of CAT lens is "focusing" the light path entering the camera via "internal reflection", see below for an illustration of how the light path works: Another benefit of of this lens type design is its virtual elimination of chromatic aberration, assuring superior sharpness and contrast with all film types and eliminating refocusing in infrared photography. Because reflex lense type is always cheaper in comparison with equivalent long focus telephoto and thus many seasoned photographers referred them as poor man's ED lenses. In a typical catadioptric design, the image first strikes a mirror and is reflected forward to a second mirror and group of lenses.

500mmf8reflex2.JPG 500mmf8reflex3.JPG
" ... The lense has a built-in sun shade which slides forward or back. It accepts 72mm filters. The front element is immaculately clean and has always had a skylight filter on it since I have owned it. I believe all lenses should have sky or uv filter attached at all times and I'm selling this lense with the skylight filter attached, as well as a 72mm locking lense cap .." <<< --- Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Dave Ray <>. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

A combination of mirrors and lens elements is used in typical Reflex lense type. Incoming light is reflected twice on mirror surfaces, making the lenses compact and lightweight in Comparison with long telephoto lenses of equivalent focal lengths. Excellent image sharpness is obtained, thanks to the advantages of the reflective light path in suppressing chromatic aberration. Out-of-focus subjects appear as blurred rings or as separated blurred lines. The great advantage of this type of lens is size. Designers can create a lens half the size of its conventionally designed counterpart using the mirror concept. However, the reflex-type lens is restricted to a single aperture (hence, referred as "fixed"); you control exposure with varying shutter speeds or via choice of neutral density filters. The Zuiko reflex has a different optical construction from this illustration (see bottom section of this page).


The latest hype in watersports.

Equipment: Fujichrome Senia 100, Olympus OM2n, Zuiko 500 mm F8.

<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr Erwin Voogt ® <>. Greg has a website on his own. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

As no diaphragm can be incorporated in a reflex lense, exposure is controlled by means of the shutter speed of the camera, film types with varying film speed sensitivities or by means of using neutral density filter(s). The doughnut-shaped blurs of the out-of-focus areas of pictures are a typical characteristic of reflex lenses and can produce fascinating visual effects. In operation, any super tele-lense at normal 500mm focal length regardless using a conventional or reflex design can be considered challenging to use. Its 5° angle-of-view encloses the subject tightly within the 35mm frame. With most images taken closer than infinity, only the area on which you focus will be sharp. Sharpness in front of and behind the main point of focus falls off quickly. The effect, while isolating the main subject, can be almost surrealistic; however, as camera-to-subject distance increases, so does depth of field, that is why, successful photography with these lenses is never been an easy. However, Zuiko reflex lense has been designed as lightweight enough to be used for handheld photography, although the relative narrow angle of view often make them difficult for even panning shots, but they are a very handy lense for still photographic sessions such as scenic, landscape, travel, wildlife observation and even for fashion photography. A good support is almost essential as this focal length often magnifies vibration and hence causing blurry images, a basic form of supplementary support such as monopod or bean bag, is useful when the light level has fallen below the handholdable shutter speeds. The compressed perspective of this focal length can achieve many spectacular photographic results, if the right subject is available.

Comparison of other Zuiko tele-lenses with Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8.0

* Telephoto Ratio: Telephoto ratio Is derived by dividing the distance from the front vertex of a lense to the front vertex by the focal length. The smaller the telephoto ratio, the smaller the total length of the lense.


angle of view

Overall Length

Telephoto Ratio*


Zuiko AUTO-T 400mm f/6.3





Reflex-ZUIKO 500mm f/8.0




Zuiko AUTO-T 600mm f/6.3




One of the more interesting results of the catadioptric design is its weight that is only one-third that of a conventional refractive design found in any conventional SLR lens type. Picture shown a comparison between a Zuiko 500mm Reflex lense with a Zuiko Auto-T 600mm f/6.5 lense.

Next is the optical characteristic with shapes of out-of-focus highlights which takes on a doughnut or ring appearance (the shot by Erwin above strangely did not show such pronounced effect - probably he set the lense at infinity setting (OO)) that you can effectively incorporate into the overall picture. With any of the reflex Nikkor lenses in the Nikkor lens family, other than using them for static shots, it is important to anticipate the action and pre-focus in many other photographic situations. Because of the extremely narrower angle of view, coupled with a dim viewfinder image due to the single aperture such as f/8.0, framing and manual focusing on the action as it actually happens is difficult. A good way to compensate such drawback is to choose a all matte screen type (Olympus recommends that: Type 1-4 focusing screen is best suited for the Iense. With the 1-1. 1-13 or 1-14, focusing must be made on the matte areas).

500mmf8reflex1.JPG 500mmf8reflex4.JPG
<<< --- Credit: Images courtesy of Mr. Dave Ray <>. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

As there is only one such lense type for you to consider in the Zuiko lense group. This Zuiko Reflex 500mm f/8 employs a similar catadioptric (reflex) design. As a super-telephoto Iense, it is extremely compact and lightweight for its focal length of 500mm. Multicoated optics and special light proof material is used to apply to the Internal surface of the Iense barrel to minimize any possible flare to ensure provides high definition. Its dynamic distance-fetching capability and play of ring-shaped, out-of-focus highlights (characteristic of the mirror Iense) are often utilized to produce special effects. Similarly, the Zuiko reflex lense provides NO aperture diaphragm and so, exposure Is controlled by the choice of shutter speed and film sensitivity, and light entering the Iense is cut down with the aid of neutral density filters.

Note. Olympus warns the use of this lense, though can double the focal length to 1000mm, but optical performance of the Iense may not fully exploited, often resulting in poor picture quality. Focal length of the lense varies as the Iense barrel is extended. (f= 320mm at the maximum extension - at the subject distance of 4m). The Zuiko Iense accepts 72mm filters.

OFF TOPIC Supplements: When light passes through a prism and is split into seven colors. The difference in the refraction index results in dispersion of the various wavelengths as light passes through a lens. This is called "chromatic aberration ". In practical terms, it adds up to loss of image sharpness and low contrast is one of the main phenomenon of this aberrations Optical designers solve this problem of chromatic aberration by using various types of glass made to extremely critical refractive indexes while also having low dispersion properties. Using conventional optical glass, designers can only correct chromatic aberration only to a certain extent. There remains a residual color error called the secondary spectrum. With optical glass, this secondary spectrum cannot be reduced beyond 0.002mm times the focal length. Thus, secondary spectrum becomes a serious problem as focal length increases.

Lens designers are constantly at work to produce raw materials and new designs resulting in optical glass with lower refractive indexes and abnormally low dispersion. Canon developed their own "Artificially" grown fluorite crystals derived from calcium fluoride while others use specially developed glass such as ED/LD/UD etc. * fluorite element as well as UD glass and the other with " UD " (Ultra-Low Dispersion" or called "ED" (Extra-Low Dispersion) or "SD" (Super-Low dispersions by many other optical glass manufacturers) glass. Both types provide images unusually free from chromatic aberration that often affects the performance of long focal length lenses. Reflex lens with mirror design does not have chromatic aberration and often used as a cheap high performance ED lense.

wintersml.jpg thrisml.jpg

<<<<<<---- Sample 2
28k Jpeg)


Aperture: Remember, the lens has no aperture diaphragm, because of catadioptric type. To decrease the transmission of light in this lens system, use neutral density filters, which gives the brightness corresponding to one of the following f-numbers: Denomination & Equivalent f-number: ND 2.5x = 8; ND 3.2x = 9; ND 4x = 10; ND 5x = 11; ND 6.3x = 12.5

<<<--- Just [resenting two Sample images that I took to fill this page. Wait till other OMers contribute theirs.

Sepang F-1.jpg (43k) Loading...
Can a Reflex lense be used to take pictures at an international sport event such as... errr.... how about World Formula 1 championship ? I tried... just with a two lenses outfit, a 500mm Reflex and a 50mm f/1.4. Well, not to offend any OMers because it was NOT exactly a Zuiko + Olympus combination but if that matters to your, I am sorry, because I don't have a Zuiko 500mm lense. Although I do keep a OM2n purely from a perspective as a collector of various Classic SLR bodies.

Copyright-Free images collection leofoo®


Lense type:
Zuiko 500mm, Reflex
(catadioptric) Type
Optical Construction:
5 elements in 2 groups (multicoated)
Angles of view: 5°
Aperture: Fixed type at f/8.0; ND filter(s) is used for adjusting light volume. No depth of field scale.
Distance Scale: (m) 4 (13.1ft) to infinity
Minimum Photographic Range: 19cm x 28cm (7.5" x 11.0")
Focusing: Revolving Helicoid


Minimum aperture: Fixed at f/8. ND filter is used for adjusting light volume. No depth of field scale.
Filter attachment size / Filters: 72mm screw-in type

Length: 97mm (3.8")
Maximum diameter: 81mm (3.2")
Weight: 590g
(20.8 oz)
Recommended focusing screen(s): See above

| previous | The E-Zuiko AUTO-T 400mm f/6.3 Telephoto
NEXT | The second longest telephoto lense in the Zuiko lens group, F-Zuiko AUTO-T 600mm f/6.5 super-telephoto lense

ZUIKO Telephoto lenses | 85mm | 100mm | 135mm | 180mm | 200mm | 250mm | 300mm | 350mm | 400mm | 500mm REFLEX | 600mm | 1000mm

A Brief overview on Zuiko Optics
Zuiko Fisheye Lenses
8mm f/2.8 Circular Fisheye | 16mm f/3.5 Full Frame Fisheye
Zuiko Ultra-Wideangle Lenses
18mm f/3.5 | 21mm f/2.0 | 21mm f/3.5 | 24mm f/2.0 | 24mm f/2.8
Zuiko Wideangle Lenses
28mm f/2.0 | 28mm f/2.8 | 28mm f/3.5 | 35mm f/2 | 35mm f/2.8 |
Zuiko Standard Lenses
40mm f/2.0 | 55mm f/1.2 | 50mm f/1.2 | 50mm f/1.4 | 50mm f/1.8 | Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 PF
Zuiko Medium-Telephoto Lenses
85mm f/2.0 | 100mm f/2.0 | 100mm f/2.8 | 135mm f/2.8 | 135mm f/3.5
Zuiko Telephoto Lenses
180mm f/2.0 EDIF | 180mm f/2.8 | 200mm f/4.0 | 200mm f/5.0 Auto-T (brief)
Zuiko Super-Telephoto Lenses
250mm f/2.0 EDIF | 300mm f/4.5 | 350mm f/2.8 EDIF | 400mm f/6.3 | 500mm | 600mm f/6.5 |1000mm f/11.0
Special application Zuiko optics:
24mm f/3.5 Shift | 35mm f/2.8 Shift | 500mm f/8 Reflex | AF Zoom 35-70mm f/4.0 | Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 PF

Tele-Converters: 1.4X-A / 2X-A

Zuiko Macro/Close focus lenses: Zuiko AUTO MACRO 20mm f/3.5 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 20mm f/2.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 38mm f/3.5 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 38mm f/2.8 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 50mm f/3.5 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 50mm f/2.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 1:1 80mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 90mm f/2.0 | Zuiko AUTO MACRO 135mm f/4.5

Zuiko AUTO-Zoom Lenses - Main Index page
| S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 28-48mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/3.6 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AF AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/4.0 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/3.5 ~ f/4.5 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-70mm f/3.5 ~ f/4.8 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-80mm f/2.8 ED | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 35-105mm f/3.5 ~ f/4.5 | Zuiko AUTO zoom 50-250mm f/5.0 | Zuiko AUTO zoom 65-200mm f/4.0 | S-Zuiko AUTO zoom 70-210mm f/4.5 ~ f/5.6 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 75-150mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 85-200mm f/4.0 | Zuiko AUTO Zoom 85-250mm f/5.0 | S-Zuiko AUTO Zoom 100-200mm f/5.0 |

| Back | Index Page of OM Zuiko lenses
| Back | to Main Index Page of OM1(n) & OM2(n) Series SLRs

| Message Board | for your favourite Olympus OM-1(n) and OM-2(n) series models
| Message Board | for your Zuiko Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for OM Photographic Equipment

About this photographic site.

MIR Logo
Home - Photography in Malaysia

Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

Maintainers for OM Zuiko Site & Message Board: Rick Oleson (Email: Website:, Bruce Hamm (, John Orrell (, Simon Evans, (; Shaun (, Andy Radcliffe (

Special thanks to: Gregory P. Logiodice, Bob Gries, Erwin Voogt, Joel Wilcox, Rick Oleson, Simon Evan and many others for granting permissions to use their images of either lenses, cameras and own pictures appeared in this Zuiko website.

Credit: My old time buddy, Ahmad Ikram, Dr of Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Malaysia who shares the same passion with me and also lending his OM-1n, OM-4 and the Motor Drive 1 to me for preparing some images in this site; Mark Dapoz <>for reminding some broken links; Mr Poon of Foto Poon, Ipoh, Mr Richard, Ampang Park, Mr Lim and Miss Jenny of Foto Edar for their generosity for their OM1(n), OM2n camera and some Zuiko lenses. Mr Hans van Veluwen for mistakenly using some content earlier from his OM website; J Sorensen for providing some useful images to rectify some technical "flaws"; Mr Gen Holst for helping during the early stages of development of this OM site; Mr KKLow for some of his earlier images on the OM-1appeared in this website; Miss Wati and Mirza for helping me to convert this Operation Manual into a HTML format. Mr MCLau for rectifying some mistakes made on the earlier preview sites. A personal tribute to the creator of the OM system and also a site dedicated to all the fans of Olympuses and Zuiko Optics worldwide. Some of the content and images appeared in this site were scanned from OM official marketing leaflets, brochures and instruction manual(s) for educational purposes. Olympus is a registered trade name of Olympus Optical Inc., Japan. Site created 'unfortunately again with an IMac.