Opteka Telephoto Mirror Lens

I just purchased an Opteka 500 mm f/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens (left). It came with a 2x converter which brings the focal distance to 1000 mm (right).

Opteka 500mm f/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens     Opteka 500mm f/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens with 2x converter (to 1000mm)

Let’s see how it compares to my other lens (after the jump):

First, Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm with a focal distance of 18mm (left) and 55 mm (right):

Nikkor 18mm     Nikkor 55mm

Then, the Tamron Tele-Macro 70-300mm at 70mm (left), the Vivitar Macro/Zoom 80-200mm at 200mm (center), and the Tamron again at 300mm (right):
Tamron 70mm Olympus 200mm Tamron 300mm

Finally, the Opteka 500 mm f/6.3 Telephoto Mirror Lens at 500mm (left) and with the 2x converter at 1000mm (right):
Opteka 500mm     Opteka 1000mm

The Opteka surely has great zooming power, but even if it is quite compact for a 500-1000mm Telephoto it remains somewhat cumbersome. Also, since there’s no electronic communication between the lens and the camera’s body, it’s a fully manual lens and therefore requires more experience as well as more adjustment before shooting. Those shots were taken at  1/2000 and ISO 6400 for the first one, and 1/4000 and ISO 25600 for the second. I am a little disappointed because those shots came out a little blurry. It could have been better with a tripod.

The Vivitar Macro/Zoom 80-200mm has a great optical quality but, since it a lens made for an Olympus OM-1 camera, it must be used with a Fotodiox Pro OM-Nikon adapter. Again, since there’s no electronic communication between the lens and the camera’s body, it must be used in manual mode only. It makes its use a little complicated.

The Tamron Tele-Macro 70-300mm seems to be the most versatile of the three zoom lens. The fact that it made for the Nikon camera allow to shoot in full-auto which is great for easy, no fuss or quick photo shoots. It is easy to use and offers great results. Therefore it remains the easiest and best zoom to use in everyday shoot.

The Opteka will probably still be a useful lens but mostly for nature and astronomy photography, where you use a tripod and have lots of time to set the shot. I’ll try that a little later this summer.

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