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Old October 26th, 2008, 11:43 PM   #1
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Finding the subject with a long telephoto lens

Hi all,

I am using the EX3 with a few Nikon still lenses. Very happy with the results.
Is there a way to make it easier to find the subject when using long lenses? It takes too long and I often miss the action by the time I manage to get the subject in the viewfinder.

I was thinking to attach a wider angle device on the lens like a small binocular or monocular which will be pre-adjusted so when something is in the centre it will also be seen through the telephoto lens.

Has anyone tried this? Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Ofer Levy Nature Photographer
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Old October 27th, 2008, 02:12 AM   #2
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Hi Ofer,

I know some on here use a Ronsight that usesd to be available from Ronsrail but I don't think he is any longer in buisness. I may be worth doing a search of Ronsrail on google you may come up with a photo. I also believe Per uses one, but he hasn't been around on here lately, but a check of his site may help.


regards

Mick
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Old October 27th, 2008, 06:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Mick !
Since this device is no longer available I will need to find an alternative.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 06:33 AM   #4
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Couple of ideas - Press cameras had a wire frame and a small fold-up eyepiece to view through; you could fashion a pair of wire pointers, sort of like a gunsight. Astronomers use an inexpensive device called a Telrad, which might be usable in daylight; it uses a beam splitter to project a target into the field of view. A rifle scope might be another possibility.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 06:53 AM   #5
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I know a few people that used to use a bit of wire as Jim described, lined up so that it coincided with the view from the lens, but I never thought it worked very well. No doubt about it, there is no substitue for having a zoom that you can rack out and back in again. Even my Canon 150-600 is a big help, as though it's only a 4x zoom range, you do of course get 16x the area at the wide end as at the tight end. But the big HJ40 and other long broadcast zooms are even better for this. Tricky.
Steve
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Old October 27th, 2008, 07:08 AM   #6
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....Same issue. I've been working with skydivers recently on cheap video Grips, and while standing on the ground - I've tried to capture their landings with two different small HD cams. Bullsh_t ...NO WAY I am able to find them on those stoopid little wing-screens. I hate those things...

I made a an aluminum hood - to shade from bright Sun and water reflection - when shooting my friends kitesurfing ..but they were easy to capture because they moved - predictably - laterally along the horizon. These skydivers come in from different angles at different speeds.

I'll make up a Gun Sight like they used on WW1 biplanes .. and post it when I have something. Thanks for reminding me.

Jim
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Old October 27th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
I know a few people that used to use a bit of wire as Jim described, lined up so that it coincided with the view from the lens, but I never thought it worked very well. No doubt about it, there is no substitue for having a zoom that you can rack out and back in again. Even my Canon 150-600 is a big help, as though it's only a 4x zoom range, you do of course get 16x the area at the wide end as at the tight end. But the big HJ40 and other long broadcast zooms are even better for this. Tricky.
Steve
Thanks for your input guys.

When I compare the image quality I get with my Nikon prime lenses with the quality I get using the Nikon zoom lens - there is no way I am going to use a zoom lens.

I will look into the suggestions try some options and will post my impression soon.

Cheers,

Ofer
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #8
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Hi Ofer
I mounted a Red Dot scope on the accesory shoe on my XL1 which works fairly good. I have to tilt my head over to look thru it but having a long eye relief and being only 1x you can pick the subject up quickly.
I'm really interested in the EX3 for wildlife. The XL1 is getting a little old.


Gordon
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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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What zoom are you using Ofer? Things like the Nikon 50-300 ED, Sigma 120-300 etc. are all very good and comparable to primes for video work. Also the Sigma 300-800 is meant to be excellent, but rather large! Or if you really want to be crazy how about the Sigma 200-500 f2.8, weighs about 17kg I believe!

Steve
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Old October 27th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
What zoom are you using Ofer? Things like the Nikon 50-300 ED, Sigma 120-300 etc. are all very good and comparable to primes for video work. Also the Sigma 300-800 is meant to be excellent, but rather large! Or if you really want to be crazy how about the Sigma 200-500 f2.8, weighs about 17kg I believe!

Steve
Thanks Steve,

I use the Nikon 50-300 ED. It is very nice but I can see the difference when using one of the prime lenses - in all aspects.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #11
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Ofer,
Your suggestion of a monocular device aligned with the lens is exactly what I have been doing for years. It works perfectly. Try it.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #12
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Ofer,
Your suggestion of a monocular device aligned with the lens is exactly what I have been doing for years. It works perfectly. Try it.
Hi Steve,
This is great news ! Thank you for sharing! Please can you share some details as to what model/specifications of monocular and how you mount it on the lens.

Thanks again,

Ofer
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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:17 PM   #13
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I film lots of birds in flight and what works for me is finding the birds early and in the lowest zoom setting to get them centered in the frame. After I have located them I zoom in to the max and track them, recording when they are finally in range. My FX-1 has a very slow autofocus, especially in dim light or with small fast birds, and I miss lots of opportunities. If you have this capability with your setup you might give it a try.
Dale
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dale Bohlke View Post
I film lots of birds in flight and what works for me is finding the birds early and in the lowest zoom setting to get them centered in the frame. After I have located them I zoom in to the max and track them, recording when they are finally in range. My FX-1 has a very slow autofocus, especially in dim light or with small fast birds, and I miss lots of opportunities. If you have this capability with your setup you might give it a try.
Dale
Thanks for your input Dale! What I am trying to sort out is how to do this with a fixed focal length lens rather than a zoom. I think the monocular idea should work as Steve suggested.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 11:48 PM   #15
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There may be one RONSIGHT available at ZGC. Contact chris@zgc.com tell her Ron sent you!

ronlarmstrong@msn.com
Previoulsly RONSRAIL
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