Non SLR Telephoto options

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dullpain, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. dullpain

    dullpain Guest

    With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18, at
    less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as long as
    the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    The Olympus souper zoom offers raw also but uses only xd cards.
    Anyone have experience with the FZ18 in terms only of the optical quality of
    the lens at the long end of the zoom with regard to linear and chromatic
    distortion? I do not want to rehash all the trash about sensor size, the
    Panasonic brand and the rest of the crud that goes with it,
    dullpain, Jan 8, 2008
    #1
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  2. dullpain

    Rudy Benner Guest

    "dullpain" <> wrote in message
    news:8PSgj.34534$...
    > With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    > about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    > Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    > image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    > For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18,
    > at less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as
    > long as the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    > The Olympus souper zoom offers raw also but uses only xd cards.
    > Anyone have experience with the FZ18 in terms only of the optical quality
    > of the lens at the long end of the zoom with regard to linear and
    > chromatic distortion? I do not want to rehash all the trash about sensor
    > size, the Panasonic brand and the rest of the crud that goes with it,
    >
    >


    Are you asking a question or making a statement?
    Rudy Benner, Jan 8, 2008
    #2
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  3. dullpain

    Scott W Guest

    On Jan 8, 12:29 pm, "dullpain" <> wrote:
    > With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    > about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    > Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    > image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    > For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18, at
    > less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as long as
    > the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    > The Olympus souper zoom offers raw also but uses only xd cards.
    > Anyone have experience with the FZ18 in terms only of the optical quality of
    > the lens at the long end of the zoom with regard to linear and chromatic
    > distortion? I do not want to rehash all the trash about sensor size, the
    > Panasonic brand and the rest of the crud that goes with it,


    Here is a test photo from the FZ18 at the long end
    <http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ18/FULLRES/FZ18hMULTIT.HTM>

    Looks pretty bad to me, but I guess some people like it.

    Scott
    Scott W, Jan 8, 2008
    #3
  4. dullpain

    Guest

    On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 22:29:24 GMT, in rec.photo.digital "dullpain"
    <> wrote:

    >With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    >about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    >Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    >image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    >For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18, at
    >less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as long as
    >the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    >The Olympus souper zoom offers raw also but uses only xd cards.
    >Anyone have experience with the FZ18 in terms only of the optical quality of
    >the lens at the long end of the zoom with regard to linear and chromatic
    >distortion? I do not want to rehash all the trash about sensor size, the
    >Panasonic brand and the rest of the crud that goes with it,


    The question becomes what are you trying to shoot at long focal lengths and
    under what conditions? Can you focus on the subject and is there enough
    light to get the shot you're trying to take with "reasonable" sharpness?
    The is a subjective evaluation only each individual can answer. There is no
    easy one.
    , Jan 8, 2008
    #4
  5. dullpain

    jean Guest

    "Scott W" <> a écrit dans le message de news:
    ...
    On Jan 8, 12:29 pm, "dullpain" <> wrote:
    > With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    > about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    > Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    > image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    > For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18,
    > at
    > less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as long
    > as
    > the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    > The Olympus souper zoom offers raw also but uses only xd cards.
    > Anyone have experience with the FZ18 in terms only of the optical quality
    > of
    > the lens at the long end of the zoom with regard to linear and chromatic
    > distortion? I do not want to rehash all the trash about sensor size, the
    > Panasonic brand and the rest of the crud that goes with it,


    Here is a test photo from the FZ18 at the long end
    <http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ18/FULLRES/FZ18hMULTIT.HTM>

    Looks pretty bad to me, but I guess some people like it.

    Agree, I looked at the images on both wide and long ends and there were
    obvious compromises made to get that much range. Like you said some people
    like that (or don't mind it) but I don't.

    Jean
    jean, Jan 9, 2008
    #5
  6. Scott W wrote:
    []
    > Here is a test photo from the FZ18 at the long end
    > <http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ18/FULLRES/FZ18hMULTIT.HTM>
    >
    > Looks pretty bad to me, but I guess some people like it.
    >
    > Scott


    Viewed at 1:1 zoom, you can see defects. At what size does the OP view
    images? Perhaps not pixel-peeping at 1:1 zoom? I don't think it's a
    metter of "liking" it as such, simply judging whether the results are good
    enough for the intended use.

    I have the earlier FZ5, and my wife the FZ20, and both are capable of
    producing excellent quality images up to A4 size (297 x 210mm) or for
    viewing on 1600 x 1200 or 1366 x 768 LCD/TV displays. When tested, the
    Leica lenses on these cameras outperformed the Canon equivalents.

    Very handy, and not too expensive.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jan 9, 2008
    #6
  7. dullpain

    Bob Williams Guest

    >
    > Agree, I looked at the images on both wide and long ends and there were
    > obvious compromises made to get that much range.
    >
    > Jean
    >
    >

    True.....BUT.....
    Every single camera in the world is a compromise.
    We all understand, in general, what the compromises are between size,
    cost, resolution, sensor size, pixel pitch, image quality, zoom range,
    aperture size, flash properties, etc., etc., ad nauseam.
    The most expensive, sharpest cutting, versatile camera in the world is
    still a compromise.
    We all have to decide for ourselves "how good is good enough" for our
    purposes. What package of features, best suits our needs and circumstances.
    You cannot name any camera that I and tons of others in this NG cannot
    find "obvious compromises" compared to our 'Ideal" camera.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Jan 9, 2008
    #7
  8. dullpain

    -hh Guest

    Bob Williams <> wrote:
    > [Jean wrote]
    > > Agree, I looked at the images on both wide and long ends and there were
    > > obvious compromises made to get that much range.

    >
    > True.....BUT.....
    > Every single camera in the world is a compromise.
    > We all understand, in general, what the compromises are between size,
    > cost, resolution, sensor size, pixel pitch, image quality, zoom range,
    > aperture size,  flash  properties, etc., etc., ad nauseam.
    > The most expensive, sharpest cutting, versatile camera in the world is
    > still a compromise.
    > We all have to decide for ourselves "how good is good enough" for our
    > purposes. What package of features, best suits our needs and circumstances..


    A very good statement.

    In general, what I've found with P&S's is that when starting to work
    with very long telephoto lengths (~10x), it is hitting the limit of
    practicality ... for me ... due to the sum combination effect of
    composition-vs-shake, reduced contrast, ISO-vs-shake, and a few
    others. A good part of it is that the common method of holding a P&S
    (and for all newer P&S's that lack a traditional optical viewfinder),
    you simply don't have as stable of a shooting position, so the natural
    1.6Hz 'wobble' of a human is magnified and to counter it, ends up
    eating a lot of time/attention/focus to simply compose the image well,
    etc. As such, my general rule of thumb with palm-sized cameras is
    that the long focal lengths aren't really a 'feature' if I'm not going
    to end up using them, because the sum net result ... for me ... is
    inadequate performance. In general, I'm satisfied with a tele that's
    <5x zoom and in general, I would rather have more WA available. YMMV.


    -hh
    -hh, Jan 9, 2008
    #8
  9. dullpain

    Scott W Guest

    On Jan 8, 9:44 pm, "David J Taylor" <-this-
    bit.nor-this-bit.co.uk> wrote:
    > Scott W wrote:
    >
    > []
    >
    > > Here is a test photo from the FZ18 at the long end
    > > <http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ18/FULLRES/FZ18hMULTIT.HTM>

    >
    > > Looks pretty bad to me, but I guess some people like it.

    >
    > > Scott

    >
    > Viewed at 1:1 zoom, you can see defects.  At what size does the OP view
    > images?  Perhaps not pixel-peeping at 1:1 zoom?  I don't think it's a
    > metter of "liking" it as such, simply judging whether the results are good
    > enough for the intended use.
    >
    > I have the earlier FZ5, and my wife the FZ20, and both are capable of
    > producing excellent quality images up to A4 size (297 x 210mm) or for
    > viewing on 1600 x 1200 or 1366 x 768 LCD/TV displays.  When tested, the
    > Leica lenses on these cameras outperformed the Canon equivalents.
    >


    Well as I said some people seem to like them. My own preference would
    be to have a camera with less zoom range and better image quality.

    Scott
    Scott W, Jan 9, 2008
    #9
  10. Scott W <> writes:

    > Well as I said some people seem to like them. My own preference would
    > be to have a camera with less zoom range and better image quality.


    I've had the FZ5 and the Canon S2 IS. The FZ5 produced somewhat
    sharper images and had a better macro shooting mode. The S2 IS had
    other advantages, such as better video and the tilt/swivel LCD.

    Both were equally noisy at the same ISO settings, so I fail to see the
    point in claiming Panasonic has some kind of special noise problem
    that no-one else has. It was just about as noisy as you'd expect a
    5-mpix compact digicam of recent years to have.
    Toni Nikkanen, Jan 9, 2008
    #10
  11. Scott W wrote:
    []
    > Well as I said some people seem to like them. My own preference would
    > be to have a camera with less zoom range and better image quality.
    >
    > Scott


    My preference would be to have a similar zoom range, including image
    stabilisation, but with a larger wide-angle coverage. Hence I recently
    bought a Panasonic TZ3 with a 28 - 280mm zoom. Very compact (which was
    another requirement).

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonictz3/

    David
    David J Taylor, Jan 9, 2008
    #11
  12. dullpain

    John Navas Guest

    On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 22:29:24 GMT, "dullpain" <> wrote
    in <8PSgj.34534$>:

    >With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    >about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    >Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    >image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    >For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18, at
    >less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as long as
    >the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    >...


    I'd say the FZ8 (or FZ7) is a better bet -- the lens is faster and
    sharper due to the slightly narrower zoom range, and any noise issue is
    less due to less megapixels. I get excellent results from my FZ8 at
    full telephoto, even for JPEG with contrast, sharpness and noise
    reduction turned down to low. ISO 200 can also be good when Neat Image
    is used to reduce noise in post processing. The problem with RAW is
    that you forego the benefits of in-camera lens corrections.

    --
    Best regards,
    John Navas
    Panasonic DMC-FZ8 (and several others)
    John Navas, Jan 10, 2008
    #12
  13. dullpain

    Mr. Strat Guest

    In article <>, John Navas
    <> wrote:

    > I'd say the FZ8 (or FZ7) is a better bet -- the lens is faster and
    > sharper due to the slightly narrower zoom range, and any noise issue is
    > less due to less megapixels. I get excellent results from my FZ8 at
    > full telephoto, even for JPEG with contrast, sharpness and noise
    > reduction turned down to low. ISO 200 can also be good when Neat Image
    > is used to reduce noise in post processing. The problem with RAW is
    > that you forego the benefits of in-camera lens corrections.


    There you go again, trying to deceive some poor schmuck into investing
    in the same piece of junk that you have. And how would you know
    "excellent results?" You don't know an F/stop from an F-sharp.
    Mr. Strat, Jan 10, 2008
    #13
  14. dullpain

    Scott W Guest

    On Jan 10, 12:16 pm, John Navas <> wrote:
    > On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 22:29:24 GMT, "dullpain" <> wrote
    > in <8PSgj.34534$>:
    >
    > >With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    > >about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    > >Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    > >image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    > >For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18, at
    > >less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as long as
    > >the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    > >...

    >
    > I'd say the FZ8 (or FZ7) is a better bet -- the lens is faster and
    > sharper due to the slightly narrower zoom range, and any noise issue is
    > less due to less megapixels.  I get excellent results from my FZ8 at
    > full telephoto, even for JPEG with contrast, sharpness and noise
    > reduction turned down to low.  ISO 200 can also be good when Neat Image
    > is used to reduce noise in post processing.  The problem with RAW is
    > that you forego the benefits of in-camera lens corrections.
    >

    The FZ8 at the long end
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ8/FULLRES/FZ8hMULTIT.HTM

    Scott
    Scott W, Jan 11, 2008
    #14
  15. dullpain

    John Navas Guest

    On Thu, 10 Jan 2008 16:15:52 -0800 (PST), Scott W <>
    wrote in
    <>:

    >On Jan 10, 12:16 pm, John Navas <> wrote:
    >> On Tue, 08 Jan 2008 22:29:24 GMT, "dullpain" <> wrote
    >> in <8PSgj.34534$>:
    >>
    >> >With an APS-c sized sensor a 200mm lens has an effective focal length of
    >> >about 360mm. Pretty good but often just too short.
    >> >Decent longer image stabilized zooms are pretty expensive, e.g. the 80-400
    >> >image stabilized Nikon or Sigma are $1000 and up.
    >> >For the occasional long telephoto shot something like the Panasonic FZ18, at
    >> >less than a third the price, seems like a reasonable alternative as long as
    >> >the ISO can be kept under 200 and images are recorded in raw.
    >> >...

    >>
    >> I'd say the FZ8 (or FZ7) is a better bet -- the lens is faster and
    >> sharper due to the slightly narrower zoom range, and any noise issue is
    >> less due to less megapixels.  I get excellent results from my FZ8 at
    >> full telephoto, even for JPEG with contrast, sharpness and noise
    >> reduction turned down to low.  ISO 200 can also be good when Neat Image
    >> is used to reduce noise in post processing.  The problem with RAW is
    >> that you forego the benefits of in-camera lens corrections.
    >>

    >The FZ8 at the long end
    >http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/FZ8/FULLRES/FZ8hMULTIT.HTM


    Default settings. Not configured for best results.

    --
    Best regards,
    John Navas
    Panasonic DMC-FZ8 (and several others)
    John Navas, Jan 11, 2008
    #15
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