Long range photography

Davey Crockett

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I wish I had a camera that would shoot long range with good quality, Wondering if anyone here has digital telephoto experience. My main question is what MM lens do you like ? Seems like I can enhance and zoom in on a good quality photo fairly easy with the computer, What program do you like best for that ?
I don't want to break the bank but if the price was right would buy a camera with lens set up or else just a lens for the Cannon XSI . I see new 600- 1300 mm under $ 300 but you get what you pay for . Seems like I paid that for a spotting scope setup for an old camera in the 70s and it was a peice of junk. What should I watch out for ? Any websites that you can point to ?
 


Norske

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Canon lenses are fairly priced, but that doesn't make them affordable to me or justifiable for the amount I'd actually use one. Search out comparisons of Sigma and Tamron lenses. Both are much more affordable than Canon/Nikon/Pentax/Sony/Olympus, etc. Quality/$$ is better than the camera maker's stuff.
Anything over 10X (500mm for a full-frame, 350mm for a APSC) requires a very good (strong and likely heavy) tripod. For sharp photos you may also have to be able to lift the camera's mirror before shooting to minimize vibration. Think more about a 150-600mm than what you mentioned. Even one of those from Sigma or Tamron will cost over $1,000.
One last thing; the calculated lens speed or f-number of mirror lenses isn't realistic. I have a Tamron 500mm f8 that according to the shutter speed the camera picks (auto exposure, aperture priority) is actually f11.
I will also use a spotting scope with a real bayonet camera mount in place of the normal eyepiece. Even with the mirror lifted shooting at that around 17X magnification requires a lot of luck for me to get a sharp image.
 

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