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Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens

You Pay: $199.00
Product Highlights
  • Mirror Lens
  • Just 4.4" Wide & 5.2" Long
  • Accepts 105mm or 30.5mm Filters
  • Requires Camera-Specific T-Mount

The Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Lens is a catadioptric mirror T-mount lens, precision manufactured in South Korea.

When combined with the T-mount to fit your camera system, this mirror lens mounts to camera and works on both "full frame" cameras as well as the "APS-C" style digital SLR cameras.  T-Mounts are available for all the digital SLR systems, as well as for C-mount systems or for nearly any film camera.  However, in every case the fixed f/8.0 aperture is not communicated to the camera body.  As such, you can use the camera in the "M" manual exposure mode or the "A" aperture-priority mode (if your camera is so equipped).

This lens, at 4.4 x 5.2" and just over 2 pounds, has a broad diameter and stocky build.  It is a bit easier to handle than a normal 800mm refractor lens, but it is still a super-telephoto in any case (you should use a tripod/monopod in any case for best results).  It also has a much different rendering of out of focus areas than a normal lens; highlights will be doughnut-shaped rings with more saturation and contrast on the edge of the ring than on the center.

This lens is an ideal candidate for astrophotography use when mounted to a Vixen GP2 Photo Guider (or other motorized equatorial telescope mount).

Fixed-aperture 800mm f/8.0 mirror lens in T-mount
Multicoated optics
Distinct out-of-focus highlight characterization
White lens barrel helps prevent heat retention
Accepts small, less-costly 30.5mm filters upon rear of barrel (also accepts 105mm filters)
Made in South Korea
Performance
Focal Length 800mm
Aperture Maximum: f/8
Minimum: f/8.8
Camera Mount Type T-mount (T-thread)
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
DSLR (APS-C Sensor)
Angle of View
Minimum Focus Distance 11.5' (3.51 m)
Magnification Not Specified By Manufacturer
Maximum Reproduction Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
Elements/Groups 8/8
Diaphragm Blades Not Specified By Manufacturer
Features
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus No
Tripod Collar No
Environmental
Physical
Filter Thread Front:105 mm
Rear:30.5 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 4.37 x 5.67" (11.10 x 14.40 cm)
Weight 1.94 lb (880 g)
Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens
  • Front Cap
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Bower800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens
     
    2.7

    (based on 10 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (0)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (3)

    50%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Lightweight (4)

    Cons

    • Blurry focus (3)
    • Poor in low light (3)
    • Slow focus (3)

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife photos (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Semi-pro photographer (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    fun lens to view flat perspective

    I got the lense to fit Canon EOS and use it on the digital rebel xt. The image is slightly soft at high mainification but what fun to see how it flattens out the...Read complete review

    I got the lense to fit Canon EOS and use it on the digital rebel xt. The image is slightly soft at high mainification but what fun to see how it flattens out the perspective. I use a tripod and this must attach to the camera,not the lens, so it is front heavy and you have to aim high, crank the lever and let the lense drift downward to where you want to frame the image. This is a bit of a nuisance. I use the M setting and adjust the shutter speed to get the exposure. It's fun to have this ultra telephoto. Canon extenders didn't work with the lens but extension tube did. The lens is a bit bulky but fits in my bag. I thought about the 500MM lense for less but this is more reach at better f stop. I like the lens for what it is. Need to figure out a better tripod mounting situation to reduce time in framing

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Decent Performance for the Price

    I purchased the Bower 800mm f/8 Reflex Mirror Lens looking for an inexpensive 'recording' telescope for remote inspection and industrial photography. For the price this lens is hard to beat. It isn't...Read complete review

    I purchased the Bower 800mm f/8 Reflex Mirror Lens looking for an inexpensive 'recording' telescope for remote inspection and industrial photography. For the price this lens is hard to beat. It isn't the same as a $15K refractor telephoto- for one thing it's around $350… it's also a lot shorter and lighter. It IS a cheap lens, completely manual, fixed aperture, lots of plastic, screw mount with adapters, somewhat 'soft' without any really absolute sharp focus and f/8 so it's dark in the viewfinder.

    When I started in photography most of my lenses had some of these attributes so I'm fairly good at 'follow' focus and have made some nice, very usable images handheld at 50-100 yards with this lens. From a tripod with a D3 back at high ISO settings and 'live-view' focus magnification I've produced usable images from typical room lighting and had better results outdoors. This is what revealed the limits of focus quality however- at very high focus magnification the limits of resolving power of this lens is evident.

    So it's not a lens for fine art or serious wildlife photography but within the limits of price and materials incorporated in its construction this lens is well engineered. For its size and weight it's a good addition for anyone wanting extreme telephoto capability on a budget.

    Reviewed by 10 customers

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    (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Very dissapointing

    By Andrew

    from Holmdel, nj

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Pros

    • Lightweight
    • Rugged

    Cons

    • Blurry Focus
    • Poor in Low Light
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

      Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      By an extender instate of this lens

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (10 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Very sorry I wasted the money...

      By Steve

      from Orlando, FL

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • None

      Cons

      • Blurry Focus
      • Heavy
      • Poor in Low Light
      • Tough To Attach

      Best Uses

      • Paper Weight

      Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      For "under $1000 what more do you want?"

      IMAGE CLARITY! This lens is probably the worst purchase I've made so far. If you purchase this lens, do not expect much out of it. You MUST use a tripod (and a remote shutter release) to get anything worth looking at, and even with that, the images are still very blurry.

      Manual focus is very touchy at these focal lengths, so expect to spend more time than usual trying to focus. It will NOT be useful for wildlife unless you're shooting stuffed animals or possibly sloths. Being so difficult to focus quickly makes it almost unusable for anything that moves.

      With a fixed f/8 and 800mm, your shutter speed needs to be at least 1/1600 for full frame or about 1/2400 for cropped sensors. This requires A LOT of light, or an ISO that induces plenty of noise, so in addition to being blurry, your pictures will most likely be dark or noisy.

      Overall, I would NEVER recommend this lens to anyone. Anyone that would tell you differently obviously does not care about image quality. I would welcome anyone to show me a clear, usable picture taken with this lens. My guess is, you can't.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Not that good

      By Japio

      from Greenville, SC

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Lightweight

      Cons

      • Poor in Low Light
      • Slow Focus

      Best Uses

        Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

        The high ISO settings these days make it possible to shoot hand-held with this kind of focal length.
        However, with this lens, the image quality is not that great, and the focusing is not very smooth, making it difficult to handle.
        Later I bought a second hand Nikon 500mm F/8, and that is what I should have done right away.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Not as good as i hoped for

        By Good better best

        from South Africa

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable

        Cons

        • Image quality very soft

        Best Uses

        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

        I bought this lens primarily to photograph birds from a hide because of the focal length and compactness and price. Although no metering or autofocus, it works and handles fine. Unfortunately image quality is not very good, just as soft as my 70-300 + 1.4TC setup cropped to the same size so i did not gain anything that the extra reach was supposed to provide. You need enough daylight and a sturdy tripod to get barely usable results.

        Share this review

        (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Better than I expected

        By Jeff

        from Ithaca

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

            The lens has a much sharper focus than I expected and I've even been able to get some nice wildlife shots with it. Obviously there is no controlling the aperture with this lens, so make sure you want a F/8.

            Share this review

            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            Not impressed at all

            By Constantine

            from Cyprus

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Blurry Focus
            • Extremely soft
            • Fixed aperture
            • No tripod collar

            Best Uses

              Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

              To begin with, I didn't expect a lot from a catadioptric 800mm lens at this price range. I don't usually shoot this kind of photo and I was looking for an occasional compact alternative to the 80-400mm with the teleconverter.

              This lens is extremely soft. Comparing it to the 80-400mm at 400mm with a 2x teleconverter it's considerably softer. I find that its quality is about the same as a crop of a refractive lens at 400mm (that is resizing 2x an image made with a 400mm lens) and even worse.

              To make things worse there is no tripod collar on the lens and even with a pro body the center of weight of the system is somewhere on the lens, thus becoming really unstable on a tripod.

              I would pick any of the superzooms instead of this lens any day and either crop and resize or use a teleconverter.

              Share this review

              (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              fun lens to view flat perspective

              By jsurf

              from San Diego, CA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Easily Interchangeable

              Cons

              • Bulky
              • Slow Focus

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

              I got the lense to fit Canon EOS and use it on the digital rebel xt. The image is slightly soft at high mainification but what fun to see how it flattens out the perspective. I use a tripod and this must attach to the camera,not the lens, so it is front heavy and you have to aim high, crank the lever and let the lense drift downward to where you want to frame the image. This is a bit of a nuisance. I use the M setting and adjust the shutter speed to get the exposure. It's fun to have this ultra telephoto. Canon extenders didn't work with the lens but extension tube did. The lens is a bit bulky but fits in my bag. I thought about the 500MM lense for less but this is more reach at better f stop. I like the lens for what it is. Need to figure out a better tripod mounting situation to reduce time in framing

              Share this review

              (3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Hey,it's not an L

              By Troy

              from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Affordable
              • Clean images

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Bright outdoor stills

                Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

                Seems to be an alright lens, full manual fixed f stop, under $1000 what more do you want?

                Share this review

                (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Decent Performance for the Price

                By Johnw2k

                from Pleasant Hill

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact
                • Lightweight
                • Low priced

                Cons

                • Dark in Viewfinder
                • Tricky to Focus

                Best Uses

                • Remote inspection
                • Surveillance

                Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

                I purchased the Bower 800mm f/8 Reflex Mirror Lens looking for an inexpensive 'recording' telescope for remote inspection and industrial photography. For the price this lens is hard to beat. It isn't the same as a $15K refractor telephoto- for one thing it's around $350… it's also a lot shorter and lighter. It IS a cheap lens, completely manual, fixed aperture, lots of plastic, screw mount with adapters, somewhat 'soft' without any really absolute sharp focus and f/8 so it's dark in the viewfinder.

                When I started in photography most of my lenses had some of these attributes so I'm fairly good at 'follow' focus and have made some nice, very usable images handheld at 50-100 yards with this lens. From a tripod with a D3 back at high ISO settings and 'live-view' focus magnification I've produced usable images from typical room lighting and had better results outdoors. This is what revealed the limits of focus quality however- at very high focus magnification the limits of resolving power of this lens is evident.

                So it's not a lens for fine art or serious wildlife photography but within the limits of price and materials incorporated in its construction this lens is well engineered. For its size and weight it's a good addition for anyone wanting extreme telephoto capability on a budget.

                Share this review

                (7 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Good Value

                By Manoel

                from around the world

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • 800mm
                • Clear image
                • Easy to focus
                • price
                • The set

                Cons

                • T-mont not fit so perfect

                Best Uses

                • Birding
                • Monopod walk
                • Seat and shoting
                • Wildlife

                Comments about Bower 800mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

                800 mm by about 250 bugs. cheap and good. buts not the best quality.make your choice:
                good points:
                price,big tele zoom very good to bird. need to use hi iso and fast speed about 1000. not so easy to hand the lens, but is a supertelezoon, so not use for close up pictures. the focus is clear and easy to get manualy (with you how to do it). the worst part of the kit is the T-mount for nikon. well not fit perfectly and with you force you can feel some flabby, but not in the use.

                Share this review

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