Object magnification and lens prices

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by sachin_pandhare, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Hi Folks,
    Im Sachin from Bangalore, India. I have Nikon N65 + 28-80 Nikkor + 70-300 Nikkor lenses. I do bird photography, i mean recently started it for my birdwatching hobby. :)
    After looking at my photos (object not occupying the complete frame) and some that have been put up in photo galleries, i thought that i should have some higher range (focal length) of lens.
    I have never handled any such lens so i don't know what kind of magnification i can get looking at the object from certain distance.

    What do you guys suggest about a lens which could be sufficient for bird photography in general?
    Also i would be more interested in the prices and some other accessories which can assist getting a more magnified image.

    thanks,
    Sachin
     
  2. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Sachin,

    First, welcome to the Cafe. We have several members from India. We love getting pictures of your beautiful country.

    To answer your question, you are going through the same process as many others that enjoy shooting birds. There is no truly inexpensive combination for that purpose although you have about the best that you can get. To get even a little better will cost.

    The next step up for you is probably a 300mm prime lens like the Nikon 300 f4. These can be bought used in the $700 range. There are at least two advantages of this lens over the 70-300. First, it is AF-S, which means that it has an internal focus motor, so it will focus much faster. Second, it can be used with a teleconverter such as the TC-14 or TC-17, or even the TC-20. This will give you the extra magnification that you are looking for.

    One other thing you might want to consider is a DSLR instead of the film camera. A Nikon DSLR, like the D70, gives you an additional magnification factor (actually a crop factor) of 1.5 over your N65. So your 70-300 would essentially become a 105-450 as far as image size goes.

    Hope this has helped.

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  3. mrdinh

    mrdinh

    172
    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    how bout the sigma 50-500?...its a great reach...any comments on that?...its bout the same price range correct?
     
  4. Hi Sachen, I'm glad you took the plunge and have made your first post to this forum. Welcome. Your 70-300mm lens is fine for bird photography but it would be even better paired with a digital SLR camera. You had asked me earlier how you can post an image to this forum and at the time I did not realize that you had a film SLR. You could use a scanner to convert your image to digital or else have it done where you get your prints developed. You can then have your own web gallery or else use one of the hosting services such at Pbase or Smugmug. They are fairly cheap and you can then post your pictures there. It is then a simple matter to use that sites URL for your image and then post it here. I would be glad to help you once you have your images posted to a host site.
     
  5. obelix

    obelix

    714
    Mar 17, 2005
    Fremont, CA, USA
    Sachin

    Go for the Bigma [Sigma 50-500]. You might be able to find a few folks in Bangalore with the Bigma. [I remember one or two]. [Of course, it is easy to find a 20D + 100-400 owner though :(]

    But even before you go there, I would recommend you to switch to D70 / (s) that will keep your running costs way down.

    anand
     
  6. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Sachin,

    I don't know why I forgot the Sigma 50-500 (Bigma) since I had one. They are very good lenses for sitting birds, and can be used for flying birds in good light.

    The folks in the posts above are correct, this would be a good next level lens, and I reiterate that moving to a D70, if at all possible, would be a good step as well.

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  7. Thanks all for your replies. I frankly don't know when can I have the D-SLR and the lens. :))

    Writing on the same line of magnification, is there any method by which we can calculate the actual magnification of the object from focal length of the lens?

    I guess our normal vision correspond to 50mm lens (correct me). I read in "The Photographer's Handbook" by John Hedgecoe that the object height will be directly proportional to focal length. He has given an example saying, object seen through 500mm lens will be 10 times magnified as that by 50mm.
    Using the same logic, 300mm should give me 6x magnification. I tried to see the object with both eyes open (I mean one seeing the object directly and other seeing through the lens :) ). It doesn't look like 6x magnification.
    Any reasons?

    One more thing, does the magnification varies by type of lens. Suppose I have 500mm lens and other one is 50-500mm zoom lens. Do both 500 correspond to same magnification? I might sound silly in this but this is just a curiosity? Do the lens elements cause any problem in zoom?

    Sachin
     
  8. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Sachin,

    Yes, at 500mm the 50-500 would have exactly the same magnification as the 500mm prime.

    Check out this site. It might answer some of your questions. It is about Sigma lenses, but really applies to any brand with the same focal length.

    http://www.sweeting.org/mark/lenses/sigma.php
     
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