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on October 14, 2013
Closest analogy: It's like holding a big magnifying glass in front of a 12" TV, trying to make it look like 42".

Astronomy: I got plenty of moon photos at 650mm and 1200mm. Two tripods and "pillow" under the lens, because even with the camera timer, the lens/camera kept shaking for several seconds. I managed to keep it completely still and used the remote.
Then I compared it with a moon picture I took with my 200mm Canon lens a week ago.
Result: if I crop the moon from the 200mm Canon lens photograph, I get the SAME resolution with the photos I got with 1200mm setting on this Opteka. A little better contrast/colors with the Canon lens. I posted side-side comparison here (currently image 14/18 in this site).

Nature: Forget it if the subject is moving. If it's still, you'll get the same result with a 250-400mm lens, but with slightly less resolution, compromised colors and probably "fog", depending on the time.

Who may like this lens: Amateurs that do not have anything higher than 150mm already, and they want something cheap for limited uses, all manual. It works just like a big magnifying glass - it's not an actual telephoto lens. Works great as "spying binoculars" through the camera. It doesn't have an "infinity" focus, so when you take the moon, it focuses "somewhere in between"... it's as if the moon is not far away, but at a specific close distance. Not the entire surface will be in focus.

Who will be disappointed: Those who think that they discovered something that Canon and Nikon have not discovered.
Carrying it around is another sad story, especially when someone with 1/3 of the size and volume will get much better pictures than you, quickly and accurately.
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on December 31, 2013
A lens of this size through the Canon line would be around $13,000.00. Realizing that this lens is under $300, one must also expect less. Surprisingly, this is a well built lens. I got to try this lens for the first time Christmas afternoon. Two bald eagles had landed on an ospreys' nest at the end of our family dock. Not wanting to get to close and scare them away, I attached the lens to my Canon 5D Mark III. WOW! I was easily 500 yards away, and still had more magnification if needed. About half the shots were usable, mostly because of my failure to turn off AF setting on camera and not taking my time to scale back on lighting and tming settings. Well worth the money. You must also realize a lot of practice will be required to get maximum quality from this lens.
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on May 28, 2016
For the price, this lens is fantastic! We shoot a lot of nature and wildlife photos. Because this is a heavy lens, there is no way we can backpack with it, however it is perfect to photos from your car to get a shot of an animal a ridge over or of the stars at night. Because this is manual focus and the lens is so large, you have to take several of the same shot to get one excellent one. With that being said, for the price, the quality is great.

I'd recommend this to anyone looking to dip their toes into nature photography and has the patience to perfect learn the manual focus. Awesome buy!
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on April 21, 2016
I think it's an awesome lens for the price. Attached is a picture of the moon that I took tonight.

Update. 6/15/16 The ring (coupling) may get stuck on the lens. There are for set screws that need to be tightened up if this indeed happens to you. I still think it's awesome.
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on April 25, 2014
This thing is huge and the picture does not do it justice. My wife wanted this to take pictures of storm and the moon.
The Good:
Moon and Star Pics look great.
Quality is superb.
Images are crisp and clean.
Zoom is great.
The Cons:
Need really sturdy tripod to hold this thing.
Cannot use for storm, the wind causes it to be blurry. Need Calm conditions because of size.
Impossible to use without Tripod.
Difficult to focus due to sensitivity
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on July 8, 2013
1. Don't know if this is a common problem. The one I got has a large white/foggy spot at the center when the focal length is close to the long end. It disappears when focal length is at 750mm end.
2. It's very difficult to focus because the lens is NOT balanced especially when the whole length is pulled out. You'll need a heavy/sturdy tripod which will cost much more than this lens.
3. The bag come with the lens is simply not big enough to hold the lens.

In short, don't waste time on this one. I initially wanted to use it to take pictures of an osprey nest near the center of a lake. My canon 400mm lens is too short for that. So I bought this one just for taking pictures of static objects far away. I found that pictures taken with my canon 400mm lens with 100% cropping is still much better than the ones taken with the 1300mm lens
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on July 3, 2016
I lug around a 6" (1500mm) SCT to take photos of the moon and it is terribly inconvenient and I wanted to take wider shots.

I saw this and thought about it for about 10 seconds before clicking "buy". The lens comes with a carry bag and I was surprised to see it came with the t-adapter. I thought I saw a lot of reviews complaining that it didn't come with one, maybe Opteka added it as a result? Anyway, I already had one for my telescope but now I have two.

My first complaint is that the end cap for the lens does not fit when the t-adapter is on. I wish it came with another end cap that fit the t-adapter because I don't plan on ever taking the it off since the lens is useless without it. Furthermore, the front lens cap refuses to stay on. It does not snap on like regular canon lens caps and if you turn it upside down, the lens cap WILL fall off. This is relatively annoying.

You'll see that Canon L-series lenses come with a super heavy duty tripod collar, this has a kind of strange piece of metal
affixed to the lens. It gets the job done, it's just a little strange. This should go without saying, but just in case ... DO NOT attach your tripod to your camera body. You must attach it to the lens (see photos).

When you have this at 1300 mm it is going to be nearly impossible to look through your viewfinder and focus at the same time. I found, the best way to do this is to have a camera with live-view and a tilt LCD (like on the Canon 70D). You have to increase your ISO up high for the image to come through on the live view, but just dial it back down when you have focus.

The focus is VERY fickle. The focusing ring doesn't turn a whole lot and it will be very easy for you to go right over the focus point you want. Also, the extender on the lens is not fixed with the lens and I've had it turn instead of the focus a few times. As far as I can tell there is no way to lock the lens and the extender together.

The lens is a pull zoom and is not very smooth. The ring to lock the pull is a little cheap feeling. I am comparing my experience with the pull zoom on a Canon 100-400 mm L which was very smooth.

Photo quality.
I am a little under-whelmed with the photo quality. I know the lens was very cheap but I guess I still expected usable photos. So far I haven't gotten any but I intend to keep practicing. I have been using a remote shutter but I haven't tried with mirror lockup yet, maybe that will help. I really want to use this on the full moon, but I won't have the chance to do that for another two weeks. I will update my review at that time.

In summary, obviously, this is not an L-series lens. An L-series lens with these specs would be at least $10k, this was less than $200. I really want to give it 4 stars but what will make the difference for me between a 3 and a 4 is how it takes photos of the Moon. I have high hopes that it will perform OK so I am giving it a 4 for now. If the moon photos don't come out decent and/or I can't get semi-crisp photos soon, I will come back and give it a 3.
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on January 31, 2013
I Read all the reviews and understand the limitations. That said I am not a pro and I am enjoying the lens living on a farm. If you have never had to manually adjust a lens or use Fstop you might have a learning curve but I used an old AE1 Cannon for years and am getting the hang of it. It can be a little grainy at the furthest point. But I took a picture of tombstone on a hill that you can't see with the naked eye except for a little dot and can almost read it. It is a wonderful picture. It is very clear. We bought it to catch pics of the deer and other wildlife in our back fields and it is just what I wanted. For the price yipeee
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on January 8, 2017
This thing is absolutley awesome for what I use it for. I need the super long focal length to really reach out and touch airliners at distances over a quarter mile and further, and this lens has done it for me for the last 4 years. Sure, the quality is a little shoddy and the learning curve is very steep to say the least, but the photos that come out for the price are just fantastic.
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on July 20, 2011
 I never expected to be able to afford a lens of this power. When I saw it, I figured at the price, how could I go wrong? (Admittedly, lenses are vastly cheaper than when I purchased the best film-camera I could afford--$600--in '94 and a mere 210mm lens cost as much as the camera.) I live in a rural river valley and the minute this lens arrived I tried it out on the distant hills across the river. WOW!! they look like my backyard and the lens found features my eyes haven't seen in 17 years in this house. A tiny speck on a distant hillside I thought for all these years must be an air-quality monitoring station (it was a rectangular shape, not tall) turned out to be an old water tower made of stone, looking like a castle tower (wish I could show it to y'all). I could see the individual stones. My best binoculars didn't show me this. If you can afford the moderate price, are not a professional (if you've read their reviews, you know they like it but find it less than optimal; but as an amateur, all I know is WOW), then by all means purchase this lens. A guy at work told me yesterday he spent $300 at an "exotic dance bar" night before last and this lens cost less?? And I get more than one night's excitement for the money? And it makes things MILES away visible? BUY IT! If you can afford it, you won't regret the purchase. One caveat? My first photo was WAY bright, and (my camera is quite new to me) not knowing yet how to set the aperture manually (and this is a manual lens), had to set the "film" speed (ISO?) to, like 1600 (3200 might have been better, but I didn't have time to really play with the thing as I'd liked) to get a good, but slightly washed-out, photo. So be prepared to adjust aperture or speed as best as you know how. As I said, I am an amateur. Have fun!
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