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Old April 5th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #1
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What Lens for filming more than 20x Zoom?

Hi there,

Would you happen to know an affordable zoom lens that shoots further than 20x for filming wildlife (600 plus yards)? I'm considering the EX-3 but would be open to cheaper cameras that allow for more than 20x zoom.

Thanks for any help.
Adam

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Old April 5th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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The general practice is to use stills lenses via adapters. On cameras with 1/3" chips (JVC HM700, Panasonic HPX300, Canon XL-H1) the power of the lens is increased by 7x, so a 300mm stills lens effectively becomes 2100mm! On 1/2" chip cameras like the EX3 it's 5x magnification.
A Nikon 300mm f4 is quite compact, optically superb and about 800. A Sigma 100-300mm f4 is more versatile, optically still excellent and about 800 too.
Steve
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Old April 6th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #3
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The "20x" characteristic of a lens, does not indicate its actual focal length - which is what matters for wildlife photography with subjects that are often far from the camera. It is merely the ratio of the longest focal length of the lens to the shortest.

Zoom is useful for framing the shot, but large zoom ratios often lead to compromise in qualities elsewhere in the lens. Steve' s suggestion of a 3x 100-300 zoom is good because it allows framing, and covers a range of focal lengths significantly longer than those of the standard lens.

When you use very long focal length lenses on very distant subjects, there are obvious problems such as the stability of the camera, which you can do something about. There are others related to the stability of the air through which the light rays must travel to the camera, about which the camera man can do little or nothing. The "shimmering" effect is the most obvious of these.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 01:21 AM   #4
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I have a 70-200 L glass on my DSLR and with the crop mode (bummer it drops to SD 640x480) But it's a 7X magnification = 1400mm
This will give you an idea of what happens. The bouncing a the beginning is after hitting the record button and letting it settle. My rig was firmly attached to my 503hdv tripod and I think the shear length of the lens gave it enough leverage to shake. The shimmering is what Alan described.
Lot of neat shots can be had but to move the camera even on the best tripod will require a lot of practice!

Another option to keep mine HD would be to use the Canon 2x adapter which is only $300. BUT I'd need a 600mm lens which is ONLY $8000!

OR if ya REALLY want to do it right...get this...
Used Canon | Super Telephoto 1200mm f/5.6L EF USM | 2527A001

HaHa!

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Old April 6th, 2010, 10:13 AM   #5
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Here is a frame shot of the moon using the Canon XL2 with a Canon 100 to 400 4.0 and a Canon 1.4 extender.
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What Lens for filming more than 20x Zoom?-moon2.jpg  
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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The new Fuji Finepix HS10 / HS11 has a fixed 30X zoom lens equivalent to 24 - 720mm on a 35mm camera and records 1080p. Price is around $550. Weight is only 636 grams. I haven't handled one yet but it sure looks interesting.

FinePix HS10 / HS11 | Fujifilm Global

Peter
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Last edited by Peter Rhalter; April 6th, 2010 at 06:32 PM.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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If you wanted something cheaper than maybe a Sony Z7 with a 300mm DSLR lens on it would work well. Remember you'll need an extremely steady tripod!
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Old April 9th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rhalter View Post
The new Fuji Finepix HS10 / HS11 has a fixed 30X zoom lens equivalent to 24 - 720mm on a 35mm camera and records 1080p. Price is around $550. Weight is only 636 grams. I haven't handled one yet but it sure looks interesting.
Don't forget the 30x starts with the wide 24mm. There's quite a few options in the 700-800mm range.

The key is not to look at the 20x specification, but rather the 700mm equiv.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Lau View Post
Don't forget the 30x starts with the wide 24mm. There's quite a few options in the 700-800mm range.

The key is not to look at the 20x specification, but rather the 700mm equiv.
Good point.

Peter
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