Here’s a Weird Mirror Lens You Don’t NEED But Probably WANT: A $200 Soviet–Era 1100mm f/10.5 (VIDEO)

I always thought the weirdest mirror lens ever was a Vivitar Series 1 600–900mm zoom I shot with briefly back in the ‘80s. Until now, that is. Check out the following video review of a Soviet era 1,100mm f/10.5 mirror lens known as the MTO 1000A.

Christopher Frost put this beast through its paces on his Canon 6D and 60D cameras, and came up with some pretty obvious conclusions: 1) With such high magnification and a field-of-view of just 2.5 degrees, a bomb-proof tripod is a must; 2) It’s a manual focus lens, so you can forget about using it for sports photography; and 3) With a fixed maximum aperture of f/10.5 you can pretty much forget about low-light shooting too.

The good news is you can regularly find a bunch of these lenses on eBay for around $200, which is a small price to pay for having some fun (and maybe getting a few good images in the process). If you want to read about another weird mirror lens that wasn’t such a bargain, check out our article from last year on a massive 2,540mm f/8 NASA lens that was posted on eBay for $33,500 (plus $350 shipping)!

As for the Vivitar Series 600–900mm mirror zoom lens, I don’t recall the specs but I’m pretty sure the fixed maximum aperture on that behemoth was f/16. Don’t bother looking for one of those, however; the one I used was a prototype that never made it to market.

(Via Imaging Resource)