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Mirror Lenses: Quirky? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely!

I first discovered mirror lenses when I came across photographs taken by legendary photographer Art Kane. The pictures had a look about them I had never seen in photographs before.

Photographs © Allan Weitz 2020

The photographs had a great deal of what I would later learn is called “compression.” The plane of focus was extremely narrow, and the out-of-focus highlights resembled what I called them at the time—“rhinestone donuts.” Not long afterward, I learned the photographs were taken with a mirror lens, specifically, a 500mm f/5 Reflex-NIKKOR. I ultimately tracked one down, bought it, and over the years captured a number of “keepers” while out on assignments, including each of the photographs that appear in this post.

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