How can you be satisfied with just 3x optical?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by notreallyme, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. notreallyme

    JPS Guest

    In message <ZrKKb.215625$>,
    Our brains fool us into believing that tiny things are really a little
    bigger than they are. A small bird at a distance that it doesn't fly
    away from you isn't going to fill the frame until you get into the range
    of super-telephotos of 600mm (35mm-equivalent) or more. A 3x zoom on a
    compact digital will generally zoom in to about 110mm (35mm-equivalent).

    Photographing birds is not easy, even when you have an SLR or a digital
    SLR, and long lenses. Some move so fast and consistently (even if they
    are standing "still") that you need a shutter speed of about 1/500s to
    stop them. The longer lenses also have less depth of field, and it is
    very easy to think that a bird is in focus when you take a shot, but
    will show to be 6 inches off of perfect focus when you view the image
    full-size when you get home, and at 600mm, 6 inches out means
    out-of-focus with a subject 50 feet away.

    Your 3x zoom lens is good for ducks, geese, and swans, and maybe even
    hawks if they are on a low branch, but is not up to the task of distant
    or tiny birds.
    JPS, Jan 8, 2004
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  2. notreallyme

    Mark Roberts Guest

    One of the reasons I like to occasionally go out shooting with my 645 is
    that I only have three lenses for it; 45mm, 75mm and 200mm (roughly
    equivalent to 28, 50 and 135 on a 35mm camera). It's really liberating
    to be free of a huge choice in focal lengths.
    Mark Roberts, Jan 8, 2004
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  3. notreallyme

    bob Guest

    Yeah. You can use all of your brain to consider only perspective and
    framing. Normally you would need to consider cropping as well.

    One of the famous Vietnam era photographers (Maybe Joe Galloway?) used to
    carry two cameras, both with 105mm lenses. After finding that out, I spent
    a day documenting a fundraising barbecue, so I used my 105. I was just
    amazed how many really great photos I got at that focal length in "up
    close" situations. Usually, I would have chosen a wide angle lens (24mm).
    By the end of the day, the long length seemed just "natural" to me.

    bob, Jan 8, 2004
  4. notreallyme

    Azzz1588 Guest

    I think you just described a large percent of the people here.............

    "Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
    Azzz1588, Jan 8, 2004
  5. notreallyme

    Azzz1588 Guest

    For the P&S digitals (like my C 4040Z) I just learn to live with it.
    I get the 35mm's when I want more.

    If in need, or when out under the stars, than I just point it into a
    2880 mm f/11 telescope (C 11) Is that enough zoom for you ? :)

    "Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
    Azzz1588, Jan 8, 2004
  6. notreallyme

    HRosita Guest


    There is no focal lens that is right for all instances. The "one size fits all"
    is mainly for what I call "grab shots".
    For day to day photography, a 28-105 or thereabouts is fine. If you are going
    for bird or nature photography, you need to look at 100-300 at least, even
    better a 400 or 500 tele. If you need that, you need to use a tripod, plan you
    outing, and have lots of patience.

    My Minolta has a 28-200 zoom and it is enough for 80% of the type of
    photography I do. It is very good to get closeups of my cats that get skittish
    when you get too close, or for Florida birds that move very little like Blue
    Herons, Sand Hill Cranes, White Eagrets, etc.
    HRosita, Jan 8, 2004
  7. notreallyme

    bob Guest

    (HRosita) wrote in

    I will restate my primary contention:

    "Photography is always about getting the best image you can with whatever
    equipment you have available."

    There is no reason at all that a person could not become a highly
    respected, world class, professional photographer, with a single lens.

    Many large format photographers have only one or two lenses. In fact I
    would speculate that most have fewer than three.

    In Clive Butcher's autobiography, he discusses equipment a bit. I do not
    recall him talking about multiple lenses. In fact, I seem to recall that
    he started his career with a single lens on that beast of a camera he
    uses, and I don't recall him mentioning a percieved need for more.

    bob, Jan 8, 2004
  8. RE/
    Long time ago, I was watching the Life Magazine photographere at the Makaha
    Surfing Contest.

    He had three cameras hanging around his neck: a Nikon underwater camera (for
    wide angle, I guess), and two Nikon SLRs - one with a normal lens and one with a
    (Pete Cresswell), Jan 8, 2004
  9. notreallyme

    Terry Guest

    That's why you should start with a stabilised 10X optical zoom and
    add something like a MaxPower for dedicated birding.

    Terry, Jan 11, 2004
  10. I have a 3X that is just nice for long distance... It's a 70 to 210.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger Halstead, Jan 11, 2004
  11. notreallyme

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    That would be a better choice, but most people don't foresee how small
    some things really are, and expect a 3x zoom to cover all the bases.

    See that red dot? That's a Northern Cardinal in the tree. See that
    blue dot? That's a candy wrapper in the grass.
    JPS, Jan 11, 2004
  12. notreallyme

    JPS Guest

    In message <>,
    Well, Terry is thing in terms of non-SLRs where the reference for zoom
    is a 28mm to 38mm "35mm-equivalent" FOV.

    A 10X might be practical for a small sensor; but for a 35mm SLR or DSLR,
    good optics are not available (10x zooms for SLRs tend to be soft,
    especially at the long end).

    Terry's camera is the Olympus C-2100 UZ, with a "35mm-equivalent" f.l.
    of 38mm to 380mm.
    JPS, Jan 11, 2004
  13. notreallyme

    Terry Guest

    With a built in image stabilizer which makes those 380mm attempts more
    successful than not. Terry's background is using medium format specifically
    a FujiPro645 Rangefinder and Pentax 6x7 SLR who bought the C2100UZ
    for computer and web image generation.

    Terry, Jan 11, 2004
  14. I wish I had more, but my Oly C5050 is so good in every other
    area, I just don't let myself get uptight about it.

    Yes, a 10x optical with image stabilization would rock, but they
    ain't cheap at all, if they can be found with all the features
    you ant.
    Paul D. Sullivan, Jan 12, 2004
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