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Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens

B&H # BO5008P Mfr # SLY500P
In Stock
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You Pay: $119.00
Product Highlights
  • Preset (Stop-Down) Aperture
  • Requires Camera-Specific T-Mount

The Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Lens is a classic refractor-style T-mount lens, with an aperture diaphragm in the middle of the lens body to stop down the aperture when necessary.  However, it is assumed that much of the shooting with such a lens will be at its maximum f/8.0 aperture, with a tripod, monopod, or other such support.

When combined with the T-mount to fit your camera system, this super telephoto 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, and even for C-mount systems.  However, in every case the aperture is not communicated to the camera body.  As such, you can use the lens in "M" manual exposure mode or "A" aperture-priority mode only.

This lens' sophisticated achromatic refractor design yields images with pleasing peak contrast and well controlled flare.  It can be used at maximum aperture on a very bright day for some images of moving subjects.

This lens can also be used as a handheld telescope by adding Lumicon's LA1070 adapter along with a 1.25" 45°/60°/90° diagonal and any 1.25" eyepiece, or for astrophotography by using on an SLR mounted to a Vixen GP2 Photo Guider or other motorized equatorial telescope mount.

Achromatic refractor 500mm f/8 lens in T-mount
Multicoated optics
Knurled focus ring to the front of the lens
Accepts 67mm filters on the front of the lens
Fixed tripod collar
Meant for use with monopods, chest supports, or tripods
Performance
Focal Length 500mm
Aperture Maximum: f/8
Minimum: f/32
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 33' (10 m)
Magnification Not Specified By Manufacturer
Maximum Reproduction Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
Elements/Groups 4/4
Diaphragm Blades Not Specified By Manufacturer
Features
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus No
Tripod Collar Yes
Physical
Filter Thread 67 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 2.76 x 11.73" (7.01 x 29.79 cm)
Weight 1.41 lb (640 g)
Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens
  • Front Cap
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Bower500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens
     
    4.1

    (based on 28 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (10)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (13)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (4)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    96%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Durable (16)
    • Lightweight (15)
    • Strong construction (15)
    • Easily interchangeable (10)
    • Consistent output (9)

    Cons

    • Poor in low light (11)
    • Heavy (7)

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife photos (24)
    • Landscape/scenery (12)
    • Sports/action (4)
    • Low light (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (16)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (16), Pro photographer (5), Casual photographer (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    5 Stars for Value

    I bought this lens strictly from reading reviews on B&H. I put my faith in the reviewing community and was not disappointed. Honestly a 500mm lens that only costs $ is...Read complete review

    I bought this lens strictly from reading reviews on B&H. I put my faith in the reviewing community and was not disappointed. Honestly a 500mm lens that only costs $ is going to raise eyebrows - In a bad way. I ordered this expecting nothing, but ended up pleasantly surprised. I would consider this lens a learning tool. The first pictures I got with it were decent, and wide open this lens can create some decent Bokeh. It is obviously fully manual - But thats the fun part. I'm a do it yourself kind of person and I enjoy the fact that if I get a good photo with this lens it's because I made it happen. Not some fancy autofocus system to hold my hand (Which is fine for me most of the time)The lens construction is super light, and fully metal cased. Using this extreme focal length will most likely require a tripod, even though its light enough to be used as a handheld. I would even go as far to say you always have to shoot on timer or with a remote just because the slightest shake will set your picture out of focus. Lots of fun, you might not get the best images with this lens, but a picture of any quality for literally 1/100th of the cost of some telephotos this length is worth it to me.. Until I can afford them of course :)I'll include some sample images I took with this lens since they are so hard to come by, One of the moon.. and one of some branches in the rain with an example of the Bokeh that can be achieved.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Very decent lens, after modification.

    This lens can produce great images, you just have to understand there is no communication with the camera. This means you put your camera on manual, guess at shutter speeds, and adjust them...Read complete review

    This lens can produce great images, you just have to understand there is no communication with the camera. This means you put your camera on manual, guess at shutter speeds, and adjust them after looking at the picture. I've found I have a pretty good feel for exposure now, so I usually get it close on the first try. I also bracket exposure, so I'm sure to get a properly exposed image. This, coupled with the manual focus, means it might be tough to use for action shots, but for wildlife, it's not so much of a problem. The picture quality is very good though, so it's worth the inconvenience, especially when you look at the price of everything else in this focal length. There is a major problem though; I ended up correcting it myself, but some people may not be able to do what I did. On my Nikon D70 it wouldn't focus on infinity. You could turn the focus ring all the way, and it just wasn't enough. I ended up sending the first lens back for an exchange, but when the second one exhibited the same problem I had to figure out what was going on. The problem is the lens is too long with the Nikon T-mount adapter. I can't say if other mounts would have the same problem, but I would say any prospective customer should keep this in mind. I fixed it by gradually grinding off material on the end of the lens tube, until it was the right length. Problem solved, but admittedly, an extreme measure. In conclusion, for me the lens was a great purchase, which has produced many fine, very sharp images (and I'm a pretty harsh critic of lenses), all for less than the cost of a tele-extender. If you can deal with these issues, I think you would be very pleased with the pictures you can take with this lens. Rating on picture quality alone, I'd have given it 5 stars.

    Reviewed by 28 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    5.0

    Fantasic For Wildlife

    By Howie T

    from Clarksburg, WV

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Rugged

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

    I shoot both film and digital and this is the only lens in my arsenal that will adapt to both types of cameras by simply changing from my EF to my FD T mounts.

    My images come out nice and clear on both cameras for the price you cannot go wrong with this lens.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Give it a try...you may be suprised

    By Bret

    from Ohio

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Poor in Low Light

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

    If you do not shoot manual...then don't bother with it.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Wish I could return it.

    By Bob

    from St. Louis, MO

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Pros

    • cheap
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Blurry Focus
    • Does Not Focus To Infinit

    Best Uses

    • Paperweight

    Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

    I wanted to use this lens for wildlife and lunar photography. I'm very disappointed in its suitability for photographing the moon. It does not appear to focus to infinity -- even though I bought a second, Bowen, T-Mount which claimed to allow infinity focus. In addition, there was considerable chromatic abberation in the images.

    Unfortunately, I waited too long to try this lens out or I'd be returning it right now.

    I would NOT recommend it to anyone wanting to use it as I did.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    5 Stars for Value

    By Baker

    from Spangdahlem Germany

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Pros

    • Lightweight
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Poor in Low Light

    Best Uses

    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

    I bought this lens strictly from reading reviews on B&H. I put my faith in the reviewing community and was not disappointed. Honestly a 500mm lens that only costs $ is going to raise eyebrows - In a bad way. I ordered this expecting nothing, but ended up pleasantly surprised. I would consider this lens a learning tool. The first pictures I got with it were decent, and wide open this lens can create some decent Bokeh. It is obviously fully manual - But thats the fun part. I'm a do it yourself kind of person and I enjoy the fact that if I get a good photo with this lens it's because I made it happen. Not some fancy autofocus system to hold my hand (Which is fine for me most of the time)The lens construction is super light, and fully metal cased. Using this extreme focal length will most likely require a tripod, even though its light enough to be used as a handheld. I would even go as far to say you always have to shoot on timer or with a remote just because the slightest shake will set your picture out of focus. Lots of fun, you might not get the best images with this lens, but a picture of any quality for literally 1/100th of the cost of some telephotos this length is worth it to me.. Until I can afford them of course :)I'll include some sample images I took with this lens since they are so hard to come by, One of the moon.. and one of some branches in the rain with an example of the Bokeh that can be achieved.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    LIKE THE LENS!

    By CROTAR

    from WEST VIRGINIA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Photography
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      With the adapter i purchased fits and looks great with a little manual tweaking getting great shots, thanks BH!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Bang for Your Buck

      By AV

      from Connecticut

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Lightweight

      Cons

      • Blurry Focus
      • Poor in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      Out of the box being used on a Canon T2i it's an ok lense. The lack on infinity is frustrating, trying to find out the specifics to make the modification BareFoot mentioned in another review. All in all a bang for your buck lens if you can tolerate all the manual work.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

      (17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good value for money

      By Balram panikkaserry

      from Muscat ,Oman

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Lightweight
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Poor in Low Light
      • Takes time to set up lens

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Video
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      I used this lens with my Nikon D 5000 and Nikon D 90. I tried taking just few photos with tripod. It is better to use a tripod and the camera in manual mode.Use the LCD display of the camera as reference for adjusting the lighting by changing the aperture of the lens.It is easy to focus and gives excellent pictures if light is good.I have also tried few more birds and moon.The screws of the T mount had to be adjusted to mount the lens properly.it is a very good product for the price offered.I have links to my photos taken using this Lensone at normal day light and one at low light 1. [...]

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Good mm/$ ratio

      By Grace

      from Orlando,Fl

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Lightweight
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Poor in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      The lens is light weight, got some nice wild life photos with it. For it's inexpensive price vs. photo result, it's a good buy.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Not being a professional-seems pretty go

      By Craig

      from TX

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Lightweight
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Slow Focus

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      I am using this product to photograph wildlife and other animals. As I am not a professional and being used to auto-focus and other wonderful auto features, this lens takes a bit to get used to. I have to work pretty hard to get a good clear image with the proper lighting, but it is possible to get them. I guess it is best used on a tripod or some other stabilization device. With the mount it seems to attach to the camera well with out too much trouble.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Gas Money

      By Topher

      from Glenside, Pa

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Price
      • Size

      Cons

      • Carry bag

      Best Uses

      • Eagles
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      Have been tring to get a good picture of a pair of eagles, about 600 yards, I got with his lens. You're not going to get ultra sharp pictures. Work on your manual focus skills. I've spent more money in gas to get a good shot then the price of this lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      excellent for wildlife

      By Astronut

      from My back porch looking up

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Apature and focusing ring
      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Lightweight
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Slow lens apature 8-32

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Stellar
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      I find this lens to be a good wieght, it is easy to point at the moon or birds. It has an easy and accessable focus ring. As an added bonus with this lens you can adjust the apature. It uses a 67mm filter which I acquired through a local business, not B&H [...]. I also use this lens for stellar pics, pressently there has been light cloud cover, but even still I have acquired some amazing pictures of the moon. This lens is excellent. I did remove the mounting ring, as the lens is not too heavy and I preffer to mount my camera body onto a small tripod for still, or low light pictures. This lens has also captured wild close up images of vultures feeding on a carcus :).

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good T2i Rebel Video-Watch it on adapter

      By Dave B.

      from Los Angeles

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Good Video Lens
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Hard to Properly Adapt
      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Video
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      Really Great for the price. Works great for 1080p bird/wildlife (tripod) videography with my Rebel T2i. Good quality lens for video, but mediocre for 18MP stills. The auto exposure on the T2i video mode works great with this lens, day and night. Be careful when selecting a T-mount adapter. The first one I bought did not align the lens correctly for infinity focus. Ordered a different one from China on auction site that advertised correct infinity focus, and it works.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      The Right Tool in the Right Place

      By Natureshooter

      from Portland, Ontario, Canada

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Lightweight
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

      • Manual focus only

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      Considering how inexpensive this lens is it performs very well. As a nature photographer, it gives me a distinct, and light weight, advantage of getting still images of wildlife that nearly fill the frame - without the subject's awareness of my presence. Definitely a good addition to your existing lenses! Keep in mind that it is manual focus and that because of its focal length you require a tripod and a remote (or cable) release for blur free images.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Nice Telephoto Lens

      By MAK

      from PK

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy
      • Poor in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

      OK,this lens can take photos for sure, it will only work in full manual mode ,that is "M" on mode selector on camera as there is no electric connection with camera only M mode will work and you have to focus manually.
      Taking photos with this lens require lots of patience and practice and of course you need a tripod strong enough to hold at least 6-8Kg for firm stability , this lens is only good in broad day light and very useful for capturing mountain peaks and far away slow moving wildlife.
      If you put a good UV filter with a good CPL filter on it , the image and view considerably becomes very clear.Some pictures are really surprising.You can land on Moon with this lens.
      At this low price and this much huge focal length there are no regrets.
      I also bought the 2x converter with it and it really goes beyond 1000mm on a Nikon DX camera.
      Use it on film only if you have got the hang of it in digital first.
      Other alternatives to this very cheap but nicely well made lens are above 5000$ , if you need a long telephoto lens and can't afford very expensive lenses then get this one.
      Note : you have to use both hands when holding camera with this lens mounted, one on camera and other on lens.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (1 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Limited but worth the price

      By Okwen

      from Miami, FL

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

            I have used to take some good pictures on the beach.
            Best thing about it is that it is cheap
            Manual focus is always good as it gives you control
            Poor in low light
            Minimum focus distance of 10m is too long

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Great for the price.

            By Calebj

            from Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Lightweight
            • Rugged

            Cons

            • Coma
            • Difficult to Clean
            • plastic mount
            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

            I bought this lens for bird photography. I was thinking of dropping a grand for the sigma 50-500 but ended up just sticking with this since I wasn't sure if I was something that I would really get into. After getting this lens I didn't expect a whole lot out of it and I didn't get a whole lot. But I got what I paid for and the optics are very sharp. It has a pretty strong construction with an exception to the mount.
            I have noticed a fair amount of coma when shooting at f/8 but that was to be expected. I generally just bump my iso up to 800, shoot at 1/500th of a second and f/11 isn't so bad from there.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great lens for the money

            By P S T

            from Sydney, Australia

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy
            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

            I use this to take shot of abundant wildlife in a nature reserve close to where I live.

            The lens, if used properly, can give you great pictures.

            But you have to use tripod to support this lens, otherwise your picture will be shaky.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (19 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Very decent lens, after modification.

            By barefoot

            from Orlando, Fl

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent Output
            • Lightweight
            • Very Sharp

            Cons

            • Had to modify
            • Totally manual

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

            This lens can produce great images, you just have to understand there is no communication with the camera. This means you put your camera on manual, guess at shutter speeds, and adjust them after looking at the picture. I've found I have a pretty good feel for exposure now, so I usually get it close on the first try. I also bracket exposure, so I'm sure to get a properly exposed image. This, coupled with the manual focus, means it might be tough to use for action shots, but for wildlife, it's not so much of a problem. The picture quality is very good though, so it's worth the inconvenience, especially when you look at the price of everything else in this focal length. There is a major problem though; I ended up correcting it myself, but some people may not be able to do what I did. On my Nikon D70 it wouldn't focus on infinity. You could turn the focus ring all the way, and it just wasn't enough. I ended up sending the first lens back for an exchange, but when the second one exhibited the same problem I had to figure out what was going on. The problem is the lens is too long with the Nikon T-mount adapter. I can't say if other mounts would have the same problem, but I would say any prospective customer should keep this in mind. I fixed it by gradually grinding off material on the end of the lens tube, until it was the right length. Problem solved, but admittedly, an extreme measure. In conclusion, for me the lens was a great purchase, which has produced many fine, very sharp images (and I'm a pretty harsh critic of lenses), all for less than the cost of a tele-extender. If you can deal with these issues, I think you would be very pleased with the pictures you can take with this lens. Rating on picture quality alone, I'd have given it 5 stars.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Perfect lens for begginers

            By sharpshooter

            from Helsinki, Finland

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Poor in Low Light
            • Slow Focus

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

            I use this lens for wildlife and sport shooting, for the price i paid for this lens i got wonderful quality.

            Share this review

            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            I would buy this product again

            By rick

            from up state ny

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Bower 500mm f/8 Manual Focus Telephoto T-Mount Lens:

              you most us a tri pod with this item.

              Share this review

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