Hi I have a Vivitar Universal 500MM Preset Lens with a Nikon d5300 body. I bought the adaptor after reading that the lens will be compatible with my camera if i use manual mode. However, when i try it out every time i take a picture my camera pretty much just freezes or stops working normally. The shutter pretty much just remains shut. I have to turn it off and on again for my camera to return to normal. When I check the picture i just take it is just a blank screen. What am I doing wrong? Am I using the wrong settings or is the lens just not compatible with my camera? Thanks in advance! I am a complete beginner to photography so any help is appreciated!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you able to test your camera with any other lenses? \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Jan 14 at 8:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ what are your manual exposure settings? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 14 at 15:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the camera display any error messages? Does the lens mount adapter have electrical contacts? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 14 at 15:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, camera works fine with any other lense. If I don’t put my camera on manual mode I get the error that the camera doesn’t have any lens. The lens mount doesn’t have electrical contacts, which is why I have to do it in manual mode. I have all the manual settings on whatever the camera starts off with when you first get it. I’m new to photography so I’m still trying to figure all the settings stuff out 😓 \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrea
    Commented Jan 14 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you wait for 30 seconds, does the exposure end? My guess is that your manual exposure settings are inadequate and it's maxing out the exposure time. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 14 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


First, an introduction to what a Manual mode does in these cases.

It basically ignores everything the lens says, it even ignores if a lens is attached to the camera. This means that it only controls the shutter speed. So the shutter speed should be indicated by you before taking the shoot. This does not mean the exposure should be even remotely right.

So, here is a series of tests you can do. They should be performed in a clean room to minimize your sensor getting dust, and the camera pointing down, in manual mode. If it passes, go to the next one. (You need to confirm you have the battery charged)

  1. Remove the lens and define a shutter speed to 1/8 It makes a really satisfying sound where you can hear the opening and closing.

  2. Try a 1 second, 2, 4. Try 8, 15, and 30.

  3. Manually try B with different durations.

If these pass, your camera is ok.

  1. Attach the adapter. It does not need the telescope itself. The connections are dumb so the camera has no idea what is on the other side if anything. Perform the exact same tests.

If this passes, the adapter is OK. If not there is a chance it is making a shortcut or something on your camera. Stop using it, but take a look if there is a chance the adapter is actually touching the connectors at all.

The previous ones do not mean you will get an image when using the telescope. For that use it outside, on the widest aperture it has, and run some tests with you controlling the shutter speed.

These telescopes are dark, so if you tried it on an interior you probably got nothing (If by blank you mean black)

Photography is a methodology. Be methodical. Know the gear.


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