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on December 9, 2010
Being an optical systems designer by training, with some of the finest glass on the market in my inventory (including the past purchase of a $70K aerial lens), I was amazed by the quality and capabilities of this reflection based 500mm T-mount lens. When shipped through an Amazon reseller, the package included a 2x teleconverter and a T-K mount Pentax adapter.
An important consideration behind this lens is that it is a fixed aperature (f/8 with supplied 2d (f/16) and 4d (f/32) neutral density filters). I found this lens to be worth ever dollar of the original $400.oo list price, instead of the very attractive package that Amazon put together.
Having worked with other reflector based tele lenses and telescopes, including Celestron optics which I am very familiar with, I found this lens to be at the top of it's class. Along with it's solid metal construction and light weight, this lens also surprised me by it's macro capabilities, focusing down to about 5', amazing for a 500mm lens. Keep in mind, that on a Pentax K camera, with an approx 80% sensor size of a 35mm format, this lens is comparable to a 600+ mm lens on a 35mm camera, with the 2x adapter doubling that.
I have tried this lens out in a number of situations with my Pentax K100 and K200D cameras, letting the shutter priority (default in Auto mode) take care of the proper exposure. With the body based stabilizer capability of the Pentax K200D camera, at 500mm, this lens provided motion free images in a pee-wee league football game which I tested it at. That would have been a 4 figure investment for a Canon or Nikon order, for a comparable auto stabilization function.
In shooting some images cross a very neutral field, I noticed some brightness falloff from the center to the edges, but for most subject situations, this is not a factor, and can actually make for a nice effect on landscape and some of the yacht race pics that I expect to put this lens to use for.
So, if you have a Pentax DSLR, with the auto stabiliztion feature, and want a great high power tele lens, for a surprising low price, this is the one to get. Keep in mind that with the power of this lens with the 2x converter, a sturdy tripod becomes a must.
My other addition to this lens will be a 72mm Skylight and Polarizer filters, to both protect and expand on the capabilities of this fine piece of optical glass.
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on June 29, 2011
I have on two occasions in full sunlight taken long distance shots (10 yds to 75 yds) with this lens on a Pentax K10D (around 30 shots). I was not ever able to get a picture in focus and it is not a depth of field issue---the whole picture was blurry. All shots were taken with the camera on a tripod and with 2 second delay. At the same time I took the pictures with my Tamron 28-300 on the same camera body and tripod set up. All the shots at 300MM cropped looked considerably better than anything shot with the Opteka 500MM. I would not recommend this lens to anybody. A lens that doesn't produce clear pictures is not worth any price. (Maybe the issue is the K10D plus lens combination. There is no way for me to check that variable.)
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on March 3, 2011
I've never heard of Opteka before I bought this lens, but I said why not try it? And I'm quite happy with it. I did not have the time to thoroughly test it but for the first looks it quite ok. I use it with a Pentax K-x.

Pros:
- good focus range
- 2x tele converter and 3 filters
- decent size good handling
- despite its big focal lenght good close focusing (less then 2m!)

slight Cons:
- requires a lot of light (fixed f/8) - but open doors there's almost always enough sunlight.
- manual focus only - can be advantage as well - but can be hard when not enough light.

Over all it's not the best lens, but for a hundred bucks it's quite good. Also it requires some experience to take good pics with it, because even if you see the image in the viewfinder bright it still might produce underexposed pics. Ergo use manual shutter speed.
Glass and lens quality is fine for this price.
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on February 28, 2011
This much lens for this price is well worth the money.
No, it's not a lens you just slap on the front of your camera and start shooting with. I have no automatic capability with this lens no matter what mode I try to use. I just have to accept I'm shooting at f8, and I start with a best guess at my shutter speed and start from there.
If you think the lens is shooting pictures that are too washed out, underexpose a bit, or correct it in post processing, this lens is well worth the price.
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on August 11, 2012
I use this with my Pentax K-5. I find the "aperture priority" setting works fine to set the lighting and exposure. Manual is also fine.

I've just tried it a few times from my porch--focusing on my neighbors' flowers across the street (about 30 yards away) or the stop sign at the corner (about 80 yards away). Especially with the doubler and the 1000mm focal length, you'll definitely need a tripod and either a timer or a remote control to keep the camera steady.

Resolution isn't great, especially at 1000mm. However, for the price, it's hard to complain. In fact, I think it's well worth the price if you have any interest at all in trying such a high focal length lens.

One thing to watch out for: the various pieces (t-mount adapter, magnification doubler) are actually assemblies of some smaller subcomponents. They can be screwed and unscrewed or attached and detached in such a way that, for example, a piece that's intended to be part of the doubler can end up attached to the adapter when you disconnect everything. On the adapter, there's a ring inside the outer frame that's locked in place by three small bolts with hex (allen wrench) heads--those bolts can become loose. Mine did and it took me a while to figure out what was wrong. You can minimize issues if you don't overtighten when you attach the various pieces. Even if things do get detached, they're easy to put back--as long as you keep track of what belongs where!
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on September 11, 2011
I bought this unit to get a little more out of my astrophotography. The build quality seems fine and the kit is a good combo - lens, 2x teleconverter and t-ring - good value for the money. I haven't had much success with it for my intended purpose. It's very hard to focus in low-light/night circumstances. In all fairness that may be an operator problem! ;-))
This lens may be better suited to nature photography, birding, etc. I will have to experiment more with it. But if you're in the market for a longer lens kit at a great price, you may want to consider this unit.
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on August 1, 2014
I am somewhat disappointed with this lens. It appears to be well made, was accompanied by all the accessories as advertised. Captured images have not been as sharp as hoped. Judging from the wide range of reviews, some very good, some very critical, I suspect that manufacturer has a QC problem, not surprising considering the phenomenally low price and what must be very critical tolerances in such an optical device. Some individual units may be better than others -take your chance. Notice that reviews range from very good to very critical, indicating inconsistent quality. It is interesting that the manufacturer excuses the lack of an infinity stop as an allowance for focusing variations due to changes in temperature, something I'd never heard before.

My difficulty may be aggravated by use on a camera (Pentax K2000) designed primarily for use with auto focus lenses. Precise focusing is very difficult, relying purely on visual judgement of the image on the ground glass. Even the camera's audible focusing aid does not work with this lens. With a split image, prismatic, or microgrid focusing aid focusing would be easier, and satisfactory images might be obtained
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on April 7, 2014
Mirror lenses are compact and take adequate pictures, at least from my perspective. This lens is very basic, fixed aperture and manual focus, but it is inexpensive and gets the job done, at least in good lighting conditions. Since this was the sort of lens I have been looking for, I am happy to have been able to find it.
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on May 10, 2013
This 500mm lens is awesome. It came with front and rear caps as well as a 2x multiplier, that increases the focal length to 1000mm.
100% satisfied. My lens was perfect in every way. Doggone good buy.
It is a Screw mount lens with adapter. It fits both of my old 35mm cameras, the Pentax K- 1000, and my Vivitar 4000s. Both manual cameras from back-in-the-day, ya' heard me?
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on November 4, 2013
Impossible to get a clear image with this lens even with a tripod, anti-shake and electronic release. Save your money and buy a good one.
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