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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 11 reviews
on July 1, 2010
I was very disappointed in this lens the first week or so I used it. It seemed to wash out images with every stray bit of ambient light, and the effective resolution seemed quite poor. After hundreds of exposures the patterns started to emerge, however, that helped me figure out how to maximize the strengths of the lens and minimize the weaknesses.

First of all, overcoming the confusion caused by full manual settings on my D90 was a big step. The manuals and guidebooks for the D90 don't give much useful info on these settings, so a lot of trial and error are involved. To be fair I was also learning the D90 at the same time. I also was putting the shutter mode into remote control when I was using the external Opteka wired interval timer/remote trigger. It should have been in single shot mode. (You need to turn off autofocus on the camera body.)

Secondly, there are times when the D90 genuinely will shut down because it thinks there is no lens, and you get the F-- error message, but these are far fewer than I thought given my other setting issues. It is easily remedied by slight wiggle of the lens in its t-mount. I have only had to unseat and reseat the lens twice to clear the error and continue. That isn't bad for a manual lens, and I have had to do it many times for the kit lens that came with the D90.

I learned that you have to use live view mode and enlarge the focus area to focus. Period. I certainly can't focus on the internal focus screen or in live view without enlargement. Part of the problem is that any touching of the lens at all, even on a tripod, causes severe movment of the image you are trying to focus. There is amazingly shallow depth of field on this lens on a D90 chip at any distance. Your past experience with most telephoto lenses will not prepare you for this extreme.

When I shot Nikon F series I always put the ground glass focus screen in place of the split image screen, and learned some tricks about over and under focussing every time I was setting up a shot. I have had to use these tricks on the Opteka, and even then I am surprised by the focus in the final image at least a third of the time, but it is getting better with experience. I have begun to get acceptable focus in some rare hand held situations, but it has taken a lot of getting used to.

For steadyness, I have found that there are few places where even a tripod is really rock solid. This requires developing a light touch on the focussing, use of some kind of remote shutter trigger, and staying very still during exposure. There is a shutter delay setting that raises the mirror, pauses to damp motion, then fires the shutter. It is a very subtle aid under some circumstances. Under most conditions it isn't really noticeable...but you should know about it and use it when appropriate.

Synching with a flash was a revelation. The first time I used a flash and saw the results I began to realize how clean and sharp an image this lens was capable of. Of course there are very few situations where you can use a flash with an effective focal length of 1200 mm and closest focus over 11 feet...but it is an useful exercise to learn the abilities of the lens, or if you like to extremely flatten your portrait or still life visual space.

Would I prefer a giant autofocus Nikon DX VR AF etc lens? I am not so sure now that I am gaining control over the various parameters of quality on this lens. The photographers who use the multi thousand dollar lenses love the image quality of course, but they are a beast to lug around and set up. I find this compact mirror reflex pretty easy to wrangle, and am delighted with the super telephoto option it gives me for the price.

See my moon shot above. I have a 4" reflector telescope with nikon adapters, and this lens gives me better results than the reflector.
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on June 12, 2010
Pictures seem good from a first try with the new lens. As with the other reviews, focus is tough to get right but worth it when you get it right. I have a D40X and as a heads-up to others the camera will give the message "no lens attached" if you use any mode other than Manual so if that's okay then go ahead and get one.
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on April 15, 2010
I had an old Nikkor 500mm mirror lens which I gave to my nephew because it sucked so bad. This Opteka lens has a lot longer focal length, is nice, and is reasonably priced. It seems just a bit better than the Nikon, and much less expensive of course.

Manual focusing is very touchy - on both lenses. Just a law of physics. Of course you almost have to use a good stable tripod too.

I recommend this Opteka lens highly. I use it on my Nikon D300s and the D80.
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on February 26, 2012
I was unable to get great photos with this lens on my Nikon D7000 (DX sensor with 1.5x crop).

At first I tried to use it on a tripod, unfortunately my tripod is too cheap for this lens. It was impossible to lock the lens onto a subject of choice, as the weight of the lens would cause the whole setup to slump and go off-target after locking. Also the tripod was unable to dampen all vibration at this magnification level and, coupled with the elastic focus (see below), using a tripod was just an exercise in frustration.

I was not about to go out and buy a $500 tripod for this $200 lens, so I turned to trying to use it hand-held applying the old rule of thumb for shutter speed of 1/1200s. On an overcast day and the 1/1200s combined with the f/8 meant every shot was at super-high ISO. I got some OK results. The image quality on the best shots (like 2-3 photos out of several hours of experimentation) was almost as good as shooting my VR AF zoom lens at 300mm f/5.6, low shutter speeds and low ISO, then cropping the RAW file in ViewNX2 to achieve a similar framing.

One aspect of this lens which I would consider a design error, and earns it the 1-star rating, is the gearing of the manual focus. The focus ring moves very small distances for very large changes in focus, and has a certain amount of elastic push-back, meaning, once you get the focus where you wanted it, you have to hold the focus ring into place otherwise it goes back a fraction of an inch in the direction it came from.

To be fair, I was not able to test the lens at its hyperfocal distance (which is around ~2 miles) or in bright daylight (it was overcast) or with an expensive high-end tripod. I suspect it might perform better under ideal conditions.

The lens might be ok for some specialized application like video surveillance, or pairing with an older cheaper 6-megapixel DSLR. But for general photography on a modern high-resolution DSLR it is useless, and I returned it.
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on October 15, 2010
I bought this lens to do some nature photograpy and it did exactly what it was suppose to do. It required high shutter speed or tripod stabelization for sharpness and with its very narrow depth of field focusing was critical. But it did exactly what I needed producing great photographs.
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on April 28, 2011
I realize by the price that this is not the best lens on the market, but the performance is less than commendable. I tried the lens one time, found it had the same quality as a Russian lens from 25 years ago.
Don't waste your money...
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on September 6, 2010
Even though it gets you what you pay for, still not good enough and i returned it. If you decide to use it, make sure to have a first class tripod to endure that the camera does not shake even when the shutter goes off, and yes, get also a remote controlled shutter release. Better spend your money with a good Nikon 200 lens, and use a doubler.
11 comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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