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on 30 August 2009
I bought this to use with my canon 350D. I am an occasional photographer so a canon IQ lens is well outside my affordability. The lens is screw mount so comes with an adaptor to fit to the Canon mount. As such the lens does not communicate with the camera so the camera has no idea what's attached at the front. The result is that the camera does not know that the lens is f8 so will only operate on fully manual mode ( and even then reports f0.0). Metering is through the lens so is fine.

The focussing of the lens is really quite sensitive, and of course since not auto-focus is up to you to get it right. Without a split focus plate as of old this is tricky, also you must carefully set the eyepiece focus adjustment so that the image and eyepiece focus are at the same point. If you usually rely on the autofocus the eyepiece is probably not set correctly, as mine wasn't.

Having taken care of the above, the lens actually gives pretty decent images. For hand held, I set the camera to 1600ASA, which gives enough speed even on an average day. The lens doesn't come with a hood so extraneous light can get in and degrade contrast - either get a lens hood or fashion a simple tube yourself.

Four stars because it seems it's cheapness is due to its simplicity of design (i.e. manual) not dreadful imaging.
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on 28 July 2011
I am personally happy with the lens considering the cheap price, i have uploaded above a customer photo taken with my Nikon D5000 if anyone needs to see what kind of quality the lens is capable of.
review image
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on 6 September 2012
Just received this lens but have not had time to test it yet as there is not enough light around outside.
The lens itself looks nicely made and focus is smooth (Tricky if you are not used to manual focus, but that is a feature of long focal length lenses, there is no depth of field and you will never get a really bright view finder image on a lens with a small aperture - mirror lens or otherwise).
A couple of minor niggles though - firstly, the T mount is provided but a matching end cap is not so, when removed from the camera, you need to remove the T mount as well to push on the M42 sized end cap. Not really very slick.
The mounting alignment red dot is on the face of the T mount, not the side, so you can't see it easily when trying to mount the lens.
The hex grub screws, that fix the two halves of the T mount together, were hard to get an allen key to go in to them - a normal screw would have been better. Fortunately only ever likely to need to adjust this once, to rotate the lens to a sensible position on the camera after first fitting the T mount.
Due to the depth of the T mount, there is no way you can fit the supplied filters without removing the T mount first. That said, previous experience with a mirror lens on a OM camera - I never used the supplied filters but had I wanted to they were easy to fit (this was an OM fit lens not one requiring a T mount). (Why am I not still using this old lens with an OM to 4/3 adaptor? Some Herbert nicked, it so I needed to buy this one)
Pity there is no lens hood provided (but I knew that from the product description, before I bought, so I can't complain about that).
I have now had the chance to try this lens, in daylight. The focus is so soft the images are useless. I tried a house across the valley(on a clear day) a rock in the garden and a draw handle, indoors - all taken on a solid tripod. All show the expected, very, out of focus areas in front and behind the focus point but nothing is sharp. For comparison I photographed the draw handle with a zoom lens set at 150mm taken from the same spot on the same tripod - viewing this at 200% on my computer gives as good an image as the mirror lens image viewed at 25%. If you want a rubbish photo, save your money and over enlarge a photo from a lens you already have.
I am sending this lens back in the morning, very disappointed.
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on 11 January 2012
Having decided you need a 500mm lens, the next question is do you want to spend the equivalent of a meal out on it, or the equivalent of a second hand car. If you go for the latter, then go and buy yourself a good canon lens like Canon EF 500mm f/4.0 L IS USM Lens and you won't be disappointed. If your budget is a bit more restricted then read on.

This lens is well constructed and is very solidly made. It comes with three filters which are inserted at the back of the lens, between the camera and the lens itself, not at the front. Notice that as a result of that if you want to protect the front face another filter will be required. Your camera will not be able to control the aperture setting which is fixed at f/8 so you will be using predominantly Av mode. With our Canon 400D that largely worked ok but there were occasions where some shots were over exposed and it wasn't clear why that was happening.

The key limitations with this lens that you need to be aware of are as follows:

1. Contrast will never be as good as you might hope, this is as a result of it being a mirror based system. If you are taking shots of the moon this will not be a problem but nature shots (for example) will tend to look a little more washed out.

2. You will see an effect called "bokeh", which is where the out of focus background tends to have lots of circle effects.

3. If photographing nature, the narrow depth of field and manual focus means that you really need to choose an area to focus on then be prepared to shoot when the animal comes into shot. This is a great deal different from the normal point and shoot approach that you may be familiar with, where the auto-focus can be used to good effect.

If you are happy with the above, this is a very cost effective purchase.
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on 22 July 2012
I was a bit aprehensive, as the lens was inexpensive as far as tele's go, others I have seen can run into 1000's, as with most bargains you get what you pay for, this is not a proffesional lens, but it is an excellent lens for the amatuer / casual photographer, the build quality is excellent and pic's are great, as with most large lenses, best quality comes with use of tripod, and you have to be aware that all auto lens features cannot be used, lens must be set for manual, not a bad thing as it gets you useing the camera as it is supposed to be used, there is a bit more graining tnat with standard lenses, but the use of the RAW mode is better and the black and white stills even better, I note from other review that a customer had a propblem with the T adapter, in which he said he thought he had crossthreaded the mount, I to thought this was the case, as it kept turning when attached, as I use T mounts for my astronomical telescope mounts, the problem has happened before, the fix is to realise that the mount is in 2 parts held together by allen screws, which when loose, allow inner ring to turn to overcome, just tighten screws as I did and unit was perfect, and all round good buy.
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on 27 March 2012
This lens is very compact, easy to fit on my Nikon D7000 and comes with 3 filters.
It is very well built and has few mechanical parts that could go wrong.

As it is a mirror lens, I expected a lot of artefacts but can see none.
At f/8 on a sunny day it works smoothly with good dof.
Accuracy is as good as the user.
To ensure that no vibration blurs the image, a tripod is vital.
It is also almost impossible to use for fast impromptu action as this is a 100% manual lens.
But giving these design characteristics it does exactly what it pretends to do and nothing more.
For the price, it is a no brainer.
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on 7 June 2012
This is not a bad lens for your money at all.I am pleased with this lens now i am getting used to it. The lens is quite well made and has a smooth focus to it .But buyers must remember what you are paying for this lens and its limits.It is full manual only fixed a F8 But at least you tell the camera what to do and the photos you take you can say i made the settings not the camera .So once you get used to this you should get some good photos out of this lens. And the money you save on this will be hundreds if not thousands of £££ on the alternatives and of coarse you can carry it around with you very easily
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on 5 August 2013
Having just moved into the modern age, my new digital Pentax has a 'K' mount, so was looking to replace my ancient screw mount 500mm telephoto lens.
This seemed to fit the requirements perfectly, although I was sceptical on two fronts.
First, was it actually any good - the price suggested that it may not be very good.
Secondly, having never used a mirror lens before - again the actual quality was suspect - to me at least.
Having now used it a few times, I can say with confidence, that my fears were unfounded. It works very well indeed, and is a lot easier to handle than my old lens.
If you're pondering this lens then ponder no more - it's well worth the money and the results are good.
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on 19 April 2011
I purchased this to go with a Canon EOS 500.

The lens appears to be of good quality, but getting used to manual focussing is going to take some time. It is good in bright sun but in darker conditions you do need to use the camera in conjunction with a tripod and remote control to avoid camera shake.

Overall for the price paid I believe this represents good value for money.

The item was delivered promptly in suitable packaging.
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on 5 December 2012
Don't be fooled by the cheapness of this lens. There are a few issues, like the rather loose fit of the focus ring, but overall this is marvelous value for money. I have used it for photograhing the moon, birds in the fields, and long-distance action shots at sporting events and it has performed well. You have to make your own decisions about shutter speed ( the lens being f8 only ) and there will be a little trial and effort but I found that giving speeds one stop slower than you would expect work well. An external light meter and a tripod also enhance the results achieved but I have had some good results shooting hand-held - though in good light conditions. All-in-all a really good piece of kit for the money.
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