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I learned recently that the Sony has just announced it has ceased producing the 500/8 Reflex lens.
Sony Japan Link

This was a compact super-telephoto design, with a focal length of 500mm. It is a reflex of mirror design. Internal mirrors reflect the image down the lens, adding extra focal length easily. My normal design 300mm G lens is about 1.4 kg in weight. The reflex lens was about half that weight and of a smaller length, for 67% more focal length.

Reflex lenses used to be more popular in film days, and Sony inherited this design from Minolta in 2006. No major manufacturer makes this lens anymore. The uniqueness of the Minolta design was that it also allowed auto-focus. All other reflex lenses were manual focus designs.

I used the 500/8 lens for a while. It’s size and lack of chromatic aberrations were always appealing. Sadly it was never as sharp as my G lenses and in the end I sold it on. The other problem was that it was always a narrow aperture lens (F8) and needed some pretty good background light to function.

My favourite Sony 500/8 shot is this tiger one-

The lens itself
(Image from