new camera ??

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new camera ??

Postby drake23 » Sun May 20, 2007 3:14 pm

i was thinking of getiing a new camera would 10x optical zoom be good enough for wildlife photos???
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Postby wuzzagrunt » Sun May 20, 2007 4:19 pm

It depends what you'll be photgraphing. 10X doesn't get you much when you are shooting critters that you can't get close to. The macro feature is more useful than standard zoom lenses. A macro lense will let you photograph insects and flowers and such, for some very dramatic views.

For serious nature photography, you'll probably want a good quality 30-60X80 mm spotting scope with a camera adapter. Spotters are much less expensive and much more portable than 1000 mm photographic lenses.

I have an Osprey nest about 400 yards off my back deck. With my unaided digi-cam, you can barely make out the nesting platform. When I approach within range of the lense (6X) the female sitting the nest begins getting muy beligerant. About that time you start to realize you don't know where the male is at, and begin considering the ramifications of approaching closer.

Some critters bug out long before you get within range of low power lenses.
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Postby franchi_612 » Mon May 21, 2007 10:49 am

10x zoom refers to the zoom range only, not the focal length. I do not know of a point and shoot cam that will do what you want. I have a DSLR with a 300mm lens and I still have to be pretty close, as far as wildlife goes, to get good shots.
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Postby wuzzagrunt » Mon May 21, 2007 11:48 am

Magnification ≈ focal length (mm) ÷ 50

A 50mm lense is aproximately 1X. To get 30X, you need 1500mm of focal length. A 1500mm photograhic lense for an SLR camera wil set you back a bit. Most good spotting scopes are about 1500mm focal length. The focal length of porro prism optics is generally longer for a comparable unit than roof prism instruments.

The best bang for the buck is probably a good quality cadioptric telescope. Something like a Celestron C6-S Schmidt-Cassegrain is very compact and has a 6" objective lense, so it has all the exit pupil you can use for natural light photography. Long focal length in a much shorter package than a refractor scope. Even the best refracting spotters (like the Leica) max out at about 60X because of the <4" objective. The C6 (or equivalent competing brand) has 6" of objective and costs less. It's not quite as portable as a compact spotter and there are columnation issues but everything is a compromise. Also, astronomy scopes are not generally waterproof to any significant degree.
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Postby franchi_612 » Mon May 21, 2007 12:17 pm

wuzzagrunt wrote:Magnification ≈ focal length (mm) ÷ 50

A 50mm lense is aproximately 1X. To get 30X, you need 1500mm of focal length. A 1500mm photograhic lense for an SLR camera wil set you back a bit. Most good spotting scopes are about 1500mm focal length. The focal length of porro prism optics is generally longer for a comparable unit than roof prism instruments.

The best bang for the buck is probably a good quality cadioptric telescope. Something like a Celestron C6-S Schmidt-Cassegrain is very compact and has a 6" objective lense, so it has all the exit pupil you can use for natural light photography. Long focal length in a much shorter package than a refractor scope. Even the best refracting spotters (like the Leica) max out at about 60X because of the <4" objective. The C6 (or equivalent competing brand) has 6" of objective and costs less. It's not quite as portable as a compact spotter and there are columnation issues but everything is a compromise. Also, astronomy scopes are not generally waterproof to any significant degree.



Zoom is the max focal length divided by the min i.e. 3x zoom could be 25mm-75mm or it could be 100mm-300mm etc.

Not trying to hijack the thread but do you know how good the image quality is through one of the spotting scopes you are talking about attached to a dslr such as a Canon XTI or do they even make an adaptor.
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Postby wuzzagrunt » Mon May 21, 2007 2:14 pm

franchi_612 wrote:Zoom is the max focal length divided by the min i.e. 3x zoom could be 25mm-75mm or it could be 100mm-300mm etc.


You are correct about that, and the "standard" min. focal length is (I believe) 35mm for a snapshot camera. That's the lense you'd get with a basic SLR camera kit, too. At least it was when I bought my last SLR--but that was back in the days of film.

Not sure about all the different spotters, but any that take standard 1.25" astronomy eyepieces can be adapted to SLR cameras. The Zeiss, Pentax, Kowa, and Swarovski spotters use them--others do as well but I'm not 100% sure about which ones. The quality of the photo is dependent on the quality of the optics. No surprise there. Top end spotters with "flourite" glass do very well. Still, the smallish objective lenses make high magnification dificult in all but the brightest light. You won't get much from a $250 Bushnell, but the $2, 000 Leica is a usable instrument. Coupled with a good DSLR, and with a good trigger man operating the camera they make some nice photos. I've seen some nice pics. A really good tripod and a remote shutter control are must-have items.

Hey, you weren't thinking photography was a cheap hobby, were you?"
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Postby franchi_612 » Mon May 21, 2007 2:19 pm

Is there a cheap hobby? LOL. I would like to invest in a good scope someday. I will make sure it can be adapted. I am still working on the trigger man issue. The availability of light is what worries me the most.
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