Soviet-era 1,100mm f/10.5 mirror lens provides a lot of reach without breaking the bank (or your back)


posted Friday, April 22, 2016 at 12:30 PM EST

We've covered reviews of some pretty weird lenses in the past, but this latest one from Christopher Frost really takes the cake. Frost reviews a Soviet era MTO 1000A 1,100mm f/10.5 mirror lens, which he has attached to his Canon 6D and 60D cameras.

It can be difficult to wrap your head around just how long 1,100mm is in practice; we're talking about a field of view of 2.5 degrees. In a masterpiece of understatement, Frost calls this a "specialist" lens and says that you'll need a sturdy tripod to get good use out of it.

The fixed aperture of f/10.5 limits the lens' utility somewhat. Add in the fact that it's manual focus only, and any hopes of using this optic for typical wildlife photography essentially goes out the window. However, with patience and skill, you might be able to photograph some stationary or very slow-moving wildlife in good light.

Watch the video above to see sample images and hear Christopher's thoughts on the lens. It is definitely not for most photographers, nor is it a lens for every type of photography. However, it's interesting and not too expensive: You can find them on eBay for around $200 USD.

To learn more about mirror lenses, check out this article from Photozone.

(Seen via Reddit /r/photography