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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:40 AM   #1
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Lens help

I have a problem i need to expalin in lay mans terms just how much closer a 500mm lense will get than a 300mm lense, Basically i am kitting out two ex3' For wild life shoots and am getting very confused.

at the moment i have a

NIKON 55-200MM F4.5-5.6G AF-S DX BLACK LENS 1
NIKON NIKKOR ZOOM 70-300MM F/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR LENS

I am I going to need a longer lens? we do want extreme close ups but I need to convince some one else to spend the money :)

is there any site that shows a side by side comparison.

Cheers

Jennie.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 06:52 AM   #2
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Jennie this clip may help

Sony EX3 Nikon mount


The problem I had with the 500mm is trying to keep it still, even when tripod mounted.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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What kind of tripod and head?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:01 AM   #4
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hilarious cuts back to the 500mm! Can't even keep a canoe steady!
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:33 AM   #5
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The tripod is the Manfrotto 525 and head is the Manfrotto 503. Even a slight breeze will send the 500mm into a wobble. Bearing in mind that the 500mm Nikkor has now the effective focal lenght of 2750mm.

The distance between camera and rowing boat was approx 1/2 mile.

I also did some footage of the moon with the 500mm, and here is a frame grab.

http://www.photo-i.co.uk/aa/moon2.jpg

The problem I had was actulayy finding the moon through this lens. Imagine trying to frame up a shot of a rare bird in the wild.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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Vincent, nice moon shot. I can almost see Armstrong's footprints.

Just for comparison, here's a 300mm moon. The nice thing about comparing moon shots is that it's the same distance for everyone.

http://www.vortexmedia.com/images/Moon_300mm.jpg
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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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Jennie

The 70-300 should be plenty. Why not give it a try since you already have it and then decide if you need more.

That lens gets magnified 5.5 times with an EX-3. That is an equivelent of a 1500mm lens if it's a full frame 35mm lens. If it's a smaller sensor type lens, it's still 3.75 magnification or 1125mm. Make sure you get the nikon adapter that works with G lenses. The G lenses do not have an external iris ring. The right adapter accomodates that and gives you manual iris control.

If you go much longer, you're going to have a bear of a time shooting!
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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I can almost see Armstrong's footprints.
Impossible...don't you know it was faked?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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It's fairly easy to work out how much stronger magnification you get from different lenses. If you need to be 100 feet from an animal to fill the frame with a 300mm lens, you'll need to be 50 feet with a 600mm.

Big issues with stability and haze come with longer lenses, and they are not always the best option - much better to get closer to your subject if possible. For very long lenses I've always found that they're probably most useful for getting big close ups (like noses, talons etc.) rather than pulling in subject from far off.

Incidentally, in traditional wildlife shooting circles (ie with an Arriflex Super 16 camera) the standard focal length long lens was 600mm, only occasionally would we use more than that. So for the EX3 this equates to roughly a 300mm. There is a tendancy towards longer lenses these days for 2/3" HD cameras (ie Canon HJ40 goes upto 1200mm and HJ18x28 goes to 1000mm), so a 500mm is not totally OTT.

For that sort of lens though I'd say you need a tripod head of at least 5kg (something like a Ronford Baker 2004 or Sachtler 25) on sturdy legs.
Sorry for the rambling reply!
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
.
Sorry for the rambling reply!
Not a rambling reply at all. Good advice. I agree 100%. Even the 300mm is hard to handle.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:47 AM   #11
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Glad you like the moon shot Doug, had to do a small amount of retouching - I hate shots with footprints in the snow and the same goes for footprints on the moon :-)
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Old August 1st, 2009, 08:40 AM   #12
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Hey, you guys that are shooting the moon... ; )

Would you mind telling us what specific lens was used?

Nikon alone has made so many different versions it's hard to keep track of which ones we should look for.

I have been playing with a cheap 70-210mm Nikon (which is really not good enough for this camera). What bugs me is the focus ring is so touchy I wish I could put more drag on it. Do the ED versions have the same feel on the focus ring?

In an unrelated note, has anyone tried a "tilt / shift" lens on an EX3?
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:48 AM   #13
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Kevin, you could check out Sigma 70-210 f2.8 lenses, both older MF and newer AF ones are optically very good and have nice gentle internal focus mechanisms - should be a lot cheaper than the Nikons too.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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Used the 500mm f8 Reflex Nikkor (mirror lens), this does not have any ED glass. For the video clip I used the old manual series of Nikkor lenses, these can be picked up for a song and are ideal for use with the EX3.

I also have a 80-200mm f2.8 zoom lens with ED glass, but I prefer the fixed focal lenght lenses. I tend to work out what I am going to shoot before I start shooting.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 12:26 PM   #15
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My moon shot was done with a Nikon 300mm f/4

Like Vincent, I also have the 80-200 f/2.8 and I don't like it so much. The focus is a little sloppy and I'd don't think the contrast looks as good as the 300mm.

You can't use the cheapo "f/3.5-f/5.6" consumer grade lenses that come bundled with SLRs and expect to get good results.
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