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Old March 31st, 2003, 10:24 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Nashville,TN
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Long Range Lens Help

Am Looking for suggestions on lenses for some long range use for a xl1s
I'm currently utilizing a 16X lens and 1.6 multiplier,which is working well,but I need to get out further 900 to 1500 ft on occasion.I need to be able to clearly and plainly identify my subjects without the use of enhancement.
My thoughts:
Canon EF 400 or 300 telephoto 2.8 ums with a 2x multiplier
Canon EF 400 4.6? UMS telephoto lens alone????
Stabilization is desired,as well as auto zoom,as situations and distances are never the same.
Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
Thanks gang!
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Old March 31st, 2003, 11:45 PM   #2
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How much larger than your present lens system do you need to get? Do you need your subject twice as large, three times as large as your present lens system? I would not recommend a fixed focal length lens for your needs. a zoom will allow you to vary the subject size very quickly. You won't have to change lenses (slow, cumbersome and a chance of missing your shot) or move the camera and tripod closer and further from your subject. The lenses you're suggesting are very heavy (requiring large, heavy tripods), very expensive (300mm F2.8 with IS is a little under $4,000) and not zoom lenses.
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Old April 1st, 2003, 12:12 AM   #3
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Check out the Canon 100mm - 400mm image stabilzed EOS lens. It's about $1500 and offers the equivalent of 720mm - 2880mm on the XL1S.
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Old April 1st, 2003, 12:23 AM   #4
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Hi Jeff,
Usually what I need to get is an individual or several folks at a distance of up to 1500 plus feet as to where they are clearly and positively identifiable.
I've had good results so far but working in very rural areas can be a challenge.Usually one can setup in advance for the shots needed.If I could double what I have now,with the ability to have as little loss of light as possible it would be a tremendous benefit.
Having anything slightly short of a hubbel telescope is definitely not desired, but If I can find a happy medium as to where I can maybe use a multiplier/converter,with one lens that can be the workhorse, I'd be in good shape.
Occasionally I use tripods,sometimes I have to cradle a unit,and be really still.Every situation is different,except for the fact that I'm usually in a vehicle,and low profile is mandatory.
Twice as large seems to be the goal as positive identification of a person(s)is the priority. Funny thing is the rules of thumb I use for indoor fixed systems don't apply to outdoor use.Any suggestions???
Thanks!
PS Thanks Chris, I was posting this while you replied.IS the 100-400 a UMS Lens???
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Old April 1st, 2003, 05:31 AM   #5
Warden
 
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Your present system (16X plus a 1.6X teleconvertor) gives you a maximum of magnification a little over 20X. If your goal is to double the size you are presently getting, you need a system that will provide 40X magnification. The 100 to 400 Chris recommends will more that provide the necessary magnification (14X to 57X). However, you'll loose several stops of light with that lens and hand holding would be impossible at the higher magnifications. It is a USM lens (Ultra Sonic Motor) and has IS (Image Stabilization).

Canon has several lenses that might fit the bill but all have significant drawbacks as well. The 200mm F2.8 is faster (allows more light in) but is not an IS lens and would be very difficult to hand hold. It would give you 29X magnification, only about 50% larger image. The 75 to 300 IS lens is economical, easier to hand hold, gives 43X magnification but is a little slow (F4 to F5.6). This is a slower lens (lets in less light) and you would have to increase the gain on your camera.

A good compromise to size and weight might be the 300mm F4 IS lens. It is less expensive than the 100 to 400 and a little lighter. You can check out all the Canon EF EOS lenses at their site. But for overall versatility, size weight, magnification etc. the 100 to 400 is hard too beat. The only drawback is the relatively slow aperture (F4.5 to F5.6). It is a full stop slower than the 300mm IS lens.
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Old April 1st, 2003, 07:33 AM   #6
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Mitch...

Forgive me for not recognizing your name and not realizing that I had just met you last week at the ISC West show in Las Vegas. The 100-400mm USM lens I mentioned above is the same one that was on the XL1S that you saw in the Canon booth. Thanks for joining us here,
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Old April 1st, 2003, 01:35 PM   #7
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No prob Chris,The Canon booth was nice,pleasure to meet you and the other folks there.
Ill do a little more hands on research.The local Canon shop has a few lenses on the shelf,the mgr invited me to come down and do some testing,so ill try to hit it later this week and post what I came up with.The 100-400 seems right up my alley,am waiting for a ef adapter to hit my doorstep as we speak.
Whats really going to be interesting is running this unit with the Electro Physics 4 Gen NV Tube.......
Thanks to all for all the help!!
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