Weird lens reviews: MTO 1000A 1,100mm f/10.5 mirror lens with samples

Here we have the most extreme lens I have ever tested: a behemoth 1,100mm Russian mirror lens from the Soviet era. They are still fairly easy to source on eBay. Could it possibly be any good? Surprises do happen!

This video includes my new test chart, as I’ve moved to a new place far away from all my old shooting locations. I’ve tried to make it a colourful one.

My Canon 70D had to be sold as I was saving up for my wedding/ honeymoon, so I’m still using my old Canon 60D. It’s kind of falling to pieces by now! All pictures and footage shot by me on Canon 6D and 60D cameras.

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Be sure to follow my Photostream on Flickr, to see sample pictures of lenses I’ve reviewed and to see previews of upcoming lenses, too!

‘Opportunity Walks’, Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


JohnAudioTech says:

You don’t mount this lens on your camera, you mount your camera on this lens!

大狐 says:

Now get a X2 converter and put it on APS-C…

Michael says:

rrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrr rrrrrrrr

B Martin says:

After watching this, and several other videos on reflex lenses, I decided to get one. I’m going for a slightly newer smaller lens (only 1000mm) but it’s 150 USD cheaper than this beast! Great video as always, and thank you!

Gumpa2 says:

I gonna put this on my nex 7. I think it will look awesome xD

Lau Bjerno says:

Odd – I see no Chromatic Aberation in your samples.

Daniel Ngo says:


I have the lens. It is big and heavy. I am wondering what tripod do you use? My tripod is too weak for this lens. Even wind can cause vibration.

Aero Vision says:

what kind of adapter if I want to use this lens on fuji x pro2 ?

CapitaineBleuten says:

Maybe the loss of contrast is only due to the thick layer of air between you and the subject? On normal angle landscape photos, you can see the further the subject, the greyer it gets

Fabrizio Cimò says:

image quality looks pretty decent too!

Chris Addy says:

Does this double on a Mft mount?

Joshua Parillon says:

In Soviet Russia, lens focuses you!

Jody Bruchon says:

What really gets me is that DSLR guys have no idea what they’re missing by not having a small-sensor camcorder. My Canon R60 has a 32x optical zoom with a crop zoom that multiplies that up to 57x which in 35mm equivalence is over 1200mm. You aren’t going to be taking amazing stills with its 1/4.85″ sensor (far from it) but it’s hard to argue with such strong long zoom capabilities. I have a Panasonic VX870 4K camcorder which can do about 700mm equivalence for its optical zoom. There are some serious benefits to smaller sensors and the reduced optical element size requirements. Full-frame camera quality is not disputable but for long reach you’ll be hard-pressed to beat a camcorder with a really tiny sensor.

Szabolcs Mate says:

Yeah. Well, it may be a bit soft on a crop body but it’s effin 1782mm!!!

PeteRoy says:

Excellent video

Sauce Cornhole says:

A budget stalker’s wet dream; value for focal length!

pinkeye00 says:

The bokeh is actually pretty appealing.

Сергей Химик says:

Юпитер и спутники на мто так не снимешь, я пробовал. Похожее фото у меня получилось на телескоп рефлектор с фокусным расстоянием 1800мм. Установка добсона болеее устойчива к вибрациям и к щелчку затвора камеры и на исо 1600 получилось сделать похожий снимок. По опыту скажу, что без хорошей треноги, массивной, устойчивой и дорогой, покупать мто 1000 нет никакого смысла, потому как даже щелчок затвора будет оставлять смаз. Камеру будет шатать от малейшего ветерка и шагов проходящих людей.

That Serb says:

The lens body is made of Stalinium

Amphibax says:

I would put a 2x teleconverter on it just because why not this would make it completly cracy

Bruce A West says:

Video idea: this lens with a 2x adapter.

RealityIsTheNow says:

Might be interesting to try this in a Micro 4/3 camera through a speed booster/focal reducer. Would increase the sharpness and speed at any rate….

Torsten Simon says:

Thanks for this review, it was the reason for me to get such a lens 🙂 I would love to see some comparison e.g. against a Sigma 150-600 with teleconverter or so, that would be quite interesting.

максим цветков says:

This lens 1975 release. In very good condition. Thank you for your detailed review!

kmáté says:

Don’t know if you remember, but does this lens have an interchangeable mount? Because the soviet lenses that has an “A” letter in the name (for example the Jupiter 37A, or MIR lenses) has a mount that you can swap to a KP-A/H adapter, and with that, you can mount it ona Nikon, and have infinity!

MarcinP2 says:

Mirror lenses contain multiple glass elements. There is a rear element and there are also glass elements between the two mirrors, on the smaller one. You do not really get the benefits that a real mirror telescope gives you.
Those things were abandoned for good reasons.

GodsHermes says:

this lens with addons can use as telescope

magicGfinger Grant says:

How do you get the tripod mount on the lens to line up with the camera right? all my m42 lenses are upside down on my canon camera and im using the same silver m42 to ef adapter as in this video? its irritating cuz the focus indicator is always under the lens when i use it

Labrador Canada says:

Made in USSR!!

Hussin zboon says:

I have a question what if I attach a doubler on this lens will it work?

Peter Taylor says:

For what it’s worth, my experience with this lens on a Nikon APS-C using a simple adaptor (i.e. with no corrective optics) is that even with the infinity overshoot on the lens the flange distance prevents me from focussing further than about 200m. On the other hand, my interest is bird photography, and I’m probably going to take most of my shots at ranges between 20m and 100m.

romeo9782 says:

this lens is a monster well built easy to take apart.the bokh can be controled depends on background.they make two the 1200 and the 1000 if you hold lens on a fence or use building to lay against you might get good picture really fun can also get the telescope rear lend adapter to turn it into telescope the rear mount is m39 you can use converter for lens.

Slashplite says:

Is it better to buy MTO 1000A or MTO 11CA? I think the second one was made in 1995, so maybe newer version?

Ahmed Bebars says:

Is that a lens or a machine gun? lol

neil piper says:

nasty bokeh on this lens. Doughnuts on highlights. Cheap and powerful.

Cancington Knots says:

Really cool lens! Great review! Do you think this would be a good lens for astrophotography??

MyBlueOcean says:

Have this one too and love it even though picture quality isn’t the best. However you can improve it a bit. The Russians clamped in the mirror a bit to tight. There are some manuals on how to fix this on the net if you’re a bit into DIY.

Ubi Kayu says:

Hi. Great video. Can u do Nikon 28-80mm G lens. Its kinda old n cheap lens. Cheers 🙂

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