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First, let's look at the mirror lenses, with and without the Olympus teleconverters. (The 1.4X-A has a protruding front element, and won't fit on the Zuiko 500mm Reflex. Too bad, that would make an interesting combo.)
Vivitar 500/8Zuiko 500/8Bausch & Lomb 800/10Celestron 1000/11
  • Vivitar 500mm ƒ8 macro mirror
  • Zuiko 500mm ƒ8 Reflex
  • Bausch & Lomb 800mm ƒ10 mirror
  • Celestron 1000mm ƒ11 C90 mirror
1.4x
  • Olympus 1.4X-A teleconverter, Vivitar 500mm ƒ8 macro mirror
    • Bausch & Lomb 800mm ƒ10, Olympus 1.4X-A teleconverter
    • Celestron 1000mm ƒ11 C90 mirror, Olympus 1.4X-A teleconverter
    2x
    • Olympus 2X-A teleconverter, Vivitar 500mm ƒ8 macro mirror
    • Olympus 2X-A teleconverter, Zuiko 500mm ƒ8 Reflex
    • Bausch & Lomb 800mm ƒ10, Olympus 2X-A teleconverter
    • Celestron 1000mm ƒ11 C90 mirror, Olympus 2X-A teleconverter
    The first thing to check out is the vignetting (without teleconverters, which chops off the vignette part). This is most evident in the Celestron C90, and almost imperceptible on the Zuiko.

    Try not to be distracted too much by the color of the sky. From these pictures, the Zuiko looks almost colorless, but (DOH!) I had white balance on automatic, and the E-300 is rumored to have problems in that department. I have not noticed this affect in film shots I've done with this lens. (Note to self: use a fixed white balance for future lens tests!)

    Also interesting is that the Celestron barely seems more powerful than the Bausch & Lomb -- unexpected for 25% more millimeters! But the detail images are more revealing:

    Vivitar 500/8 CROPZuiko 500/8 CROPBausch & Lomb 800/10 CROPCelestron 1000/11 CROP
    • Vivitar 500mm ƒ8 macro mirror, CROP
    • Zuiko 500mm ƒ8 Reflex, CROP
    • Bausch & Lomb 800mm ƒ10 mirror, CROP
    • Celestron 1000mm ƒ11 C90 mirror, CROP
    1.4x
    • Olympus 1.4X-A teleconverter, Vivitar 500mm ƒ8 macro mirror, CROP
      • Bausch & Lomb 800mm ƒ10, Olympus 1.4X-A teleconverter, CROP
      • Celestron 1000mm ƒ11 C90 mirror, Olympus 1.4X-A teleconverter, CROP
      2x
      • Olympus 2X-A teleconverter, Vivitar 500mm ƒ8 macro mirror, CROP
      • Olympus 2X-A teleconverter, Zuiko 500mm ƒ8 Reflex, CROP
      • Bausch & Lomb 800mm ƒ10, Olympus 2X-A teleconverter, CROP
      • Celestron 1000mm ƒ11 C90 mirror, Olympus 2X-A teleconverter, CROP
      With this crop, the Zuiko really shines, out-performing all the other mirrors considerably, with or without the 2X-A teleconverter. This is not too surprising, since the Bausch & Lomb and Celestron mirrors are really telescopes with camera mounts attached, rather than designed as lenses from the ground-up, like the Vivitar and the Zuiko.

      I'd call it Zuiko by a mile, a strong second with the Vivitar, then the Bausch & Lomb noses out the Celestron.

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