I have just moved to Edgewater, NJ into an apartment built out on an old industrial pier, which gives me great south looking views of the Hudson River, Manhattan and Jersey City from my balcony. But, as its a bit up-river it puts me about 2.5 miles from the West Side Docks and about 8 miles from the Statue of Liberty and the NY/NJ harbor. Im currently waiting on the delivery of a Canon Rebel XTi with an 18-55mm lens (it will replace my Canon AE-1). My current photographic interest will be in cataloging (in a very artistic manner) all the boats on the river and various buildings, to do that but Im going to need a telephoto lens and/or a spotting scope to go with it. Does anybody have any experience with long-distance photography? How far away can I reliably take pictures using a 300mm telephoto lens (which seems to be the most my budget can afford)? Does anybody have any recommendations for a spotting scope? Im looking at the Celestrons for spotting scopes, in particular the ED refractor and 90 and 125mm Maks. I think I might have issues with contrast using a Mak for terrestrial photography, but I do like the 1250mm focal length.