Telephoto help/advice, please?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Lanimilbus, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Lanimilbus

    Lanimilbus TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I’m trying to find the answers to some questions I have about telephoto lenses, as well as looking for some recommendations for a telephoto lens to buy. The majority of my photography is wildlife photography, and the main problem that I have is that I can never get close enough to the subject that I’m shooting. My camera has 12x optical zoom and 48x digital, but in digital zoom the quality is greatly lacking, and in optical, I find that I can’t come close enough to the subject. Physically moving closer is a problem, because this is wildlife, and the second you move closer, whatever animal you’re photographing will run, fly, swim etc. away. So what I’m looking for is a good telephoto lens that will enhance my optical zoom to something significantly more powerful than what it is now. Also, the most I could spend on a telephoto lens would be about $200…so, with that in mind, could anyone here give me some recommendations for what telephoto lens to purchase?

    Also, I have two questions about telephoto lenses; firstly, I know that with digital zoom you lose a lot of quality by getting that much closer…so is it the same with a telephoto lens attachment? By putting on an extra telephoto lens and zooming in to full OPTICAL capacity, would the quality still be the same as a normal full-capacity optical photo without the lens on, or would it be any different?

    My other question is, by looking at any given telephoto lens, how can you tell how much they multiply the zoom of the camera they attach to by? Some say in the details “1.5x” or “2x” etc., but with the ones that don’t, is there any way to tell how much they would effect the zoom? What should I be looking for that tells me that?

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. Skipster

    Skipster TPF Noob!

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    What kind of camera is it? Sounds like a point and shoot digital. If it is, not many options for it depending on model.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    It does sound like you are using a 'point & shoot' style camera with a built-in lens. The problem is that you can't actually change the lens, only use add-on adapters or filters. The problem with adapters & filters is that they degrade the image quality. Mostly because it's just another piece of glass for the light to pass through...and typically those adapters are not the best quality optics.

    You are correct about digital zoom, it's basically just an in-camera crop. You might as well not use the digital zoom and crop with image software on your computer.

    If you are serious about wildlife photography, my suggestion would be to get a different camera. Something with interchangeable lenses, like a modern SLR. That way you can buy an actual telephoto lens. You could probably get a decent used film camera and lens for around $200-$300. It still won't be ideal though. Professional wildlife photographers often use cameras & especially lenses that cost up to $10,000.

    Another option would be to get better at your stalking & hiding. Wildlife photographers sometimes spend hours & hours in one place...waiting for the right opportunity to get their shot.
     
  4. railman44

    railman44 TPF Noob!

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    I think you'd have better luck, considering your pocketbook, looking at an older film SLR. For example, on eBay it's almost darn near impossible to sell a Nikkor f/4.5 AI 80-200 mm zoom. Couple one of these with an older Nikon film camera and you'd be in business. Just a thought...
     

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