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Long Lens for Bird Photography and Canon 20D

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Anonymous
January 10, 2005 3:42:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I've recently started doing some bird photography with my Canon 20D. I
have been using a Canon 300mm F4 IS L lens and I have recently started
to use a Canon 1.4 tele-extender with it. This is a good combination
for pictures at the local State Park with its resident population of
people friendly birds.

Examples:

Mallard Drake
http://client.webshots.com/photo/240010188/245945311XhJ...

Mallard Drake
http://client.webshots.com/photo/240010188/240638625zkk...

Sea Gulls Fighting
http://client.webshots.com/photo/240010188/240245142XJe...

I want to start to taking pictures of other birds that will be wary and
I won't be able to get as close as I've been getting at the park. I'm
thinking of a longer lens and I know I can't afford the Canon 500mm f4
IS L lens. I could afford the 400mm f5.6 L or the 100-400mm IS L zooms.
Are these the only options for me and would either be a lot better then
the 300mm f4 IS L with 1.4x extender?

I'd love to hear the thoughts of other photographers shooting birds and
wildlife.

Art
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 4:35:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Fyimo wrote:

> I want to start to taking pictures of other birds that will be wary
and
> I won't be able to get as close as I've been getting at the park.

Even with a 500/4, wary birds are difficult subjects. You don't buy
this lens because of the "500" alone (focal length can be had for much
less), it is purchased because of the "f/4" _and_ the "500".
Typically, you'll be using a 1.4 or a 2.0 converter on it.

Most of the best portraiture and close-in environmental work for birds
is done from blinds, sheer luck (it happens), luring the birds to you
(feeders), careful observation of their habits and anticipating their
behaviour or combinations of these and other tricks. Trying to sneak
up on them doesn't work well in most cases: they think you want to eat
them. Many birds are fairly mobile while foraging -- imagine trying to
follow a typical multi-species flock of birds around a forest.
Cranking up the focal length has its own technical problems.

I prefer the "predictive" approach. The usual one is to notice the
birds are feeding consistently at one location. You move into a nice
position. This will flush the birds, but they will eventually return
(the time depends on your demeanour, how hungry the birds are, etc).
Buy a nice bum-pad (I splurged for the Therm-a-Rest version - comfy and
packs small). Maybe a simple blind too, but one may be able to make
use of found-objects for this purpose.

Plan on spending many afternoons sitting in a few spots, without much
happening between the times when there are co-operating birds. Use the
spare time to think about evolutionary psychology as it applies to
whatever is in the area.

Expect to delete alot of images.
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 6:20:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Fyimo wrote:


> I want to start to taking pictures of other birds that will be wary and
> I won't be able to get as close as I've been getting at the park. I'm
> thinking of a longer lens and I know I can't afford the Canon 500mm f4
> IS L lens. I could afford the 400mm f5.6 L or the 100-400mm IS L zooms.
> Are these the only options for me and would either be a lot better then
> the 300mm f4 IS L with 1.4x extender?

I'm a wildlife fan :-)

The 500 f/4 is no doubt the best route to take, (but *very* expensive)
It's on my list of 'lenses to get'.

The 300 f/4 with the 1.4 extender is giving you 420mm at f/5.6

In this case, the 400 f/5.6 won't give you anything more. It
may be a slight bit sharper and a touch ligher, but your combo
is very good.

I use the 100-400.. Again it maxes out at 400 f/5.6 which is
less than your 300mm / 1.4x combo.

The nice thing about the zoom however is that you can use the lens
instead of your feet. If you're shooting small terns at a distance
and a big pelican lands up close to you, you can just zoom back to
aquire the new subject. With a fixed lens, you can often wind up
with a subject that's just too large to fit in the viewfinder.

One last point.. With your 20D, the 400 f/5.6 and the 100-400 won't
autofocus with the 1.4x exender attached because f/5.6 becomes
f/8 which is beyond the minimum f stop the camera wants.
Related resources
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 7:50:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Fyimo wrote:
> I've recently started doing some bird photography with my Canon 20D. I
> have been using a Canon 300mm F4 IS L lens and I have recently started
> to use a Canon 1.4 tele-extender with it. This is a good combination
> for pictures at the local State Park with its resident population of
> people friendly birds.
>
> Examples:
>
> Mallard Drake
> http://client.webshots.com/photo/240010188/245945311XhJ...
>
> Mallard Drake
> http://client.webshots.com/photo/240010188/240638625zkk...
>
> Sea Gulls Fighting
> http://client.webshots.com/photo/240010188/240245142XJe...
>
> I want to start to taking pictures of other birds that will be wary and
> I won't be able to get as close as I've been getting at the park. I'm
> thinking of a longer lens and I know I can't afford the Canon 500mm f4
> IS L lens. I could afford the 400mm f5.6 L or the 100-400mm IS L zooms.
> Are these the only options for me and would either be a lot better then
> the 300mm f4 IS L with 1.4x extender?
>
> I'd love to hear the thoughts of other photographers shooting birds and
> wildlife.
>
> Art
>

Consider the Panasonic Lumix FZ 15/20
They have a 12X Leica zoom lens that goes from 36-432mm (35mm
equivalent). And it is F=2.8 over the entire Zoom range!!!
Bob Williams
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 9:03:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

It would appear to me that the next step down in the Canon lens line up
from the 500mm f4 IS L would be the 300mm f2.8 IS L because with a
Canon 2x extender you have a 600mm f5.6 with IS and it would be capable
of autofocus. This combination would be about $1500 cheaper then the
500mm f4 IS L. This would give you a 960mm f5.6 equivalent as comapred
to an 1120mm equivalent for the 500mm f4.
Does anyone use this combination?

Art
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 9:07:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Why not take it from the leading expert, Art Morris?

http://www.birdsasart.com/faq_4f56or3is.html

Which is a better lens for bird photography, the Canon EF 400mm F/5.6L
or the 300mm F/4.0L IS (Image Stabilizer)?
If you want a lens primarily to photograph birds in flight, the 400mm
f/5.6 is better by far than either the 300mm IS alone or the 300 IS
with a 1.4X tele-converter.

Several factors make the EF 400 far superior to the EF 300mm IS for
flight shooting.

The 300 IS has such a small minimum focusing distance that, even with
the distance range limit switch set to the "far" setting (3m to
infinity), initial focus acquisition takes a bit longer than with the
400 lens (even with the image stabilization feature turned off).

With the IS feature turned on, initial focus acquisition is a bit
slower still (but still adequate). 3. With a 1.4X tele-converter in
place, initial focus acquisition will be slower than with the prime
lens alone for all autofocus lenses, and the 300 f/4 IS is no
exception. Note: Pre-focusing manually with the 300 IS lens
significantly reduces the time needed for initial focus acquisition.
If you want an everyday bird photography lens, the EF 400mm f/5.6L lens
is still the better choice (unless you absolutely refuse to use a
tripod). Why? For bird photography, the general rule is to choose a
longer, slower lens over a faster, shorter one.

But (and this is a very big "but"), if you want a highly versatile
intermediate telephoto lens that can be handheld at relatively slow
shutter speeds, can be used from a boat without a tripod, is superb for
sports photography, makes (with the addition of an extension tube or
two) a superb macro lens that offers lots of working distance, is
fabulous for shooting tame birds and other wildlife, is a great safari
lens, and, is a good lens for photographing birds in flight and in
action, then the Canon 300 f/4.0L IS lens might well be perfect for
you.
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 9:52:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Fyimo wrote:
> I've recently started doing some bird photography with my Canon 20D. I
> have been using a Canon 300mm F4 IS L lens and I have recently started
> to use a Canon 1.4 tele-extender with it. This is a good combination
> for pictures at the local State Park with its resident population of
> people friendly birds.

I see you started another thread, so I'll post what
I just said in the annika thread (note I have the
300 f/4 L IS and 100-400 f/4 L IS, but rarely
use the 100-400 any more):


I also have the 100-400 L IS. My 100-400 is definitely not sharp
at 400mm. Bill Hilton also has this lens, and his is sharp at 400mm.
I need to send mine back to Canon as it shouldn't be that bad.
Since you already have the 300 f/4 plus a 1.4x TC I do not see the
need for getting a 400 f/5.6 fixed or a zoom to 400 (at f/5.6).
On the 20D, you need f/5.6 or faster for autofocus to work
(all the canon consumer cameras are that way; the pro models
focus at f/8 with the center sensor only). So getting a
400 mm lens that is already f/5.6 will NOT give you more reach
than you already have. The 400 f/5.6 L may be a bit faster
with autofocus, and a bit sharper, but a pretty small difference
overall, especially when you consider a new generation of digital
camera will likely come out in a few months that will probably allow
you to surpass what you are doing now. And if you are following
wildlife in action, like your example photos indicate, then autofocus
is a must unless you are super-human with super sharp eyes.

Personally, I would recommend keeping the 300 f/4 L IS. If you want
more focal length, stick with f/4 lenses at 400mm so you can add a
TC. Or get at least 500 mm f/5.6 (I don't know who makes one (sigma?).
Perhaps the next generation consumer camera will autofocus
at f/8 so you can use a 2X. Consider buying used. That can save you
money, and if need be, you can probably sell it for the same price
you bought it at.

I have to tell you though, of all the photo equipment I ever bought,
including my first 4x5 view camera, the 500mm f/4 lens was by far the
most outstanding life changing piece of camera gear I ever got.
It opened up so many new possibilities, I never would have had
the opportunity for previously. And I actually bought it to
do astrophotography, not wildlife! I have found so much fun
with wildlife, my main problem is finding time to sleep!
(I have done about 50,000 pictures in the last 3 years.)

But if you do decide to go for a bigger lens, consider in your
budget: carbon fiber tripod (~$600, Gitzo 1325 or equivalent),
wimberly tripod head ($565), and lens plates (couple of hundred).
Then flash brackets, photo backpack to put it in, etc.
After the lens, it was another $2,000 (approximately) to get
usable. The problem is, if you don't have the carbon fiber and
wimberly with such a big telephoto, you are at a real disadvantage,
and might as well stick with shorter focal lengths.

I started out without the carbon fiber and wimberly, and while I
got some stuff, I missed a lot too. So eventually, I found I
needed what those with the experience told my I needed.
They were right: the system works extremely well.

Just my opinion.
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 10:13:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Thanks for your reply,

I actually read that in his book. Art Morris loves the 400mmf 5.6 and
he says he shoots with it handheld a lot. When talking about this he
was also mostly talking about film photography with a Canon 1N. That is
important because the 1N can auto focus at f8 where the 20D can't.

If the 400mm f5.6 would auto focus at f8 on my Canon 20D it would be
already on my purchase list. But it can't and my 300mm f4 is a 420mm f4
on the 20 D and a 672mm f5.6 with the 1.4x converter. The 400mm f5.6 is
a 640mm f5.6 without the converter.

What I don't know is the difference in auto focus speed, which you
pointed out, and the difference optically with the tele-extender verses
no extender.

Thanks, Art
Anonymous
January 10, 2005 11:18:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Bob Williams wrote:
> Consider the Panasonic Lumix FZ 15/20
> They have a 12X Leica zoom lens that goes from 36-432mm (35mm
> equivalent). And it is F=2.8 over the entire Zoom range!!!
> Bob Williams

In 35mm equivalent, it must be one really small sensor,
thus a lot of noise. I've yet to see even a 10x optical
zoom that is very sharp. The OP already has 480mm in 35mm
equivalent with a non zoom (read: much sharper) lens
and with a 1.4x TC, 672 mm equivalent. That, combined with
the low noise of the 20D over a P&S, there is simply no
comparison.

Roger
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 12:40:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Fyimo wrote:

> 300mm f4 is a 420mm f4
> on the 20 D and a 672mm f5.6 with the 1.4x converter.
> What I don't know is the difference in auto focus speed, which you
> pointed out, and the difference optically with the tele-extender verses
> no extender.

These images were taken with the 300 f/4 L IS:

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

These photos with the 300 f/4 L IS + Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC:

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

I don't really see any degradation with the 1.4x TC in the
full resolution images. But one must have a very sturdy tripod.
I use the 300 f/4 and a gitzo 1228 carbon fiber tripod
when I want to travel light, like on the above recent
trip to Hawaii. For birds with this lens. I would recommend
a carbon fiber tripod, good ball head and the wimberly sidekick:
http://www.tripodhead.com/products/sidekick-main.cfm

I wore my hand and arm out following waves for about an hour
holding the ball head upright on the above photos.
The sidekick would prevent that. Also, with a heavy lens
on the tripod on pan or ball head, the lens + camera can
flop over, damaging something (like the LCD screen on the camera).
The sidekick is small insurance to pay and will really help
in following action.

Roger
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 9:47:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

(This is a repost as giganews seems to have dropped all my
posts from last evening.)

Fyimo wrote:

> I've recently started doing some bird photography with my Canon 20D. I
> have been using a Canon 300mm F4 IS L lens and I have recently started
> to use a Canon 1.4 tele-extender with it. This is a good combination
> for pictures at the local State Park with its resident population of
> people friendly birds.


I see you started another thread, so I'll post what
I just said in the annika thread (note I have the
300 f/4 L IS and 100-400 f/4 L IS, but rarely
use the 100-400 any more):


I also have the 100-400 L IS. My 100-400 is definitely not sharp
at 400mm. Bill Hilton also has this lens, and his is sharp at 400mm.
I need to send mine back to Canon as it shouldn't be that bad.
Since you already have the 300 f/4 plus a 1.4x TC I do not see the
need for getting a 400 f/5.6 fixed or a zoom to 400 (at f/5.6).
On the 20D, you need f/5.6 or faster for autofocus to work
(all the canon consumer cameras are that way; the pro models
focus at f/8 with the center sensor only). So getting a
400 mm lens that is already f/5.6 will NOT give you more reach
than you already have. The 400 f/5.6 L may be a bit faster
with autofocus, and a bit sharper, but a pretty small difference
overall, especially when you consider a new generation of digital
camera will likely come out in a few months that will probably allow
you to surpass what you are doing now. And if you are following
wildlife in action, like your example photos indicate, then autofocus
is a must unless you are super-human with super sharp eyes.

Personally, I would recommend keeping the 300 f/4 L IS. If you want
more focal length, stick with f/4 lenses at 400mm so you can add a
TC. Or get at least 500 mm f/5.6 (I don't know who makes one (sigma?).
Perhaps the next generation consumer camera will autofocus
at f/8 so you can use a 2X. Consider buying used. That can save you
money, and if need be, you can probably sell it for the same price
you bought it at.

I have to tell you though, of all the photo equipment I ever bought,
including my first 4x5 view camera, the 500mm f/4 lens was by far the
most outstanding life changing piece of camera gear I ever got.
It opened up so many new possibilities, I never would have had
the opportunity for previously. And I actually bought it to
do astrophotography, not wildlife! I have found so much fun
with wildlife, my main problem is finding time to sleep!
(I have done about 50,000 pictures in the last 3 years.)

But if you do decide to go for a bigger lens, consider in your
budget: carbon fiber tripod (~$600, Gitzo 1325 or equivalent),
wimberly tripod head ($565), and lens plates (couple of hundred).
Then flash brackets, photo backpack to put it in, etc.
After the lens, it was another $2,000 (approximately) to get
usable. The problem is, if you don't have the carbon fiber and
wimberly with such a big telephoto, you are at a real disadvantage,
and might as well stick with shorter focal lengths.

I started out without the carbon fiber and wimberly, and while I
got some stuff, I missed a lot too. So eventually, I found I
needed what those with the experience told my I needed.
They were right: the system works extremely well.

Just my opinion.
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 9:49:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

(This is a repost as giganews seems to have dropped all my
posts from last evening.)

Bob Williams wrote:

> Consider the Panasonic Lumix FZ 15/20
> They have a 12X Leica zoom lens that goes from 36-432mm (35mm equivalent).
> And it is F=2.8 over the entire Zoom range!!!
> Bob Williams


In 35mm equivalent, it must be one really small sensor,
thus a lot of noise. I've yet to see even a 10x optical
zoom that is very sharp. The OP already has 480mm in 35mm
equivalent with a non zoom (read: much sharper) lens
and with a 1.4x TC, 672 mm equivalent. That, combined with
the low noise of the 20D over a P&S, there is simply no
comparison.

Roger
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 9:57:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

(This is a repost as giganews seems to have dropped all my
posts from last evening.)

Fyimo wrote:

> 300mm f4 is a 420mm f4
> on the 20 D and a 672mm f5.6 with the 1.4x converter. What I don't know is the difference in auto focus speed, which you
> pointed out, and the difference optically with the tele-extender verses
> no extender.


These images were taken with the 300 f/4 L IS:

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

These photos with the 300 f/4 L IS + Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC:

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.NEW/web/ha...

I don't really see any degradation with the 1.4x TC in the
full resolution images. But one must have a very sturdy tripod.
I use the 300 f/4 and a gitzo 1228 carbon fiber tripod
when I want to travel light, like on the above recent
trip to Hawaii. For birds with this lens. I would recommend
a carbon fiber tripod, good ball head and the wimberly sidekick:
http://www.tripodhead.com/products/sidekick-main.cfm

I wore my hand and arm out following waves for about an hour
holding the ball head upright on the above photos.
The sidekick would prevent that. Also, with a heavy lens
on the tripod on pan or ball head, the lens + camera can
flop over, damaging something (like the LCD screen on the camera).
The sidekick is small insurance to pay and will really help
in following action.

Roger
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 3:40:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Fyimo wrote:

> It would appear to me that the next step down in the Canon lens line
up
> from the 500mm f4 IS L would be the 300mm f2.8 IS L because with a
> Canon 2x extender you have a 600mm f5.6 with IS and it would be
capable
> of autofocus. This combination would be about $1500 cheaper then the
> 500mm f4 IS L. This would give you a 960mm f5.6 equivalent as
comapred
> to an 1120mm equivalent for the 500mm f4.
> Does anyone use this combination?

A few weeks ago, I finally saw someone with a 300/2.8 "in the field".
It wasn't the IS version, and his subject -- a very co-operative Great
Gray Owl -- was sitting on a fence post perhaps 7m away. At the time,
I wish I had my 300mm/4 lens with me, as there wasn't room to backup
any further.

Next to him was a guy with the 400/2.8 IS, another first for me. What
a monster.

Everyone else I've seen has been using 500 and 600 f/4's, and a fair
amount of teleconversion. And for the usual reasons: you need a fast,
long, lens for the bulk of bird/wildlife work.

My advice is save up a little longer and get the 500/4. I would saved
longer for a 600/4, but it's bulk and mass didn't sound like much fun
to me. (In a pinch, I can handhold the 500 ... unlikely for a 600,
given my toothpicks called arms).

Roger Clark's comments about the flotilla of gear for this sort of
equipment is dead on though. The CF tripod, the Wimberley head, flash
brackets and the rest of it. An aircraft carrier is useful, but only
given the armada of support ships to tend to its particular needs...
Anonymous
January 11, 2005 7:27:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> Bob Williams wrote:
>> Consider the Panasonic Lumix FZ 15/20
>> They have a 12X Leica zoom lens that goes from 36-432mm (35mm
>> equivalent). And it is F=2.8 over the entire Zoom range!!!
>> Bob Williams
>
> In 35mm equivalent, it must be one really small sensor,
> thus a lot of noise. I've yet to see even a 10x optical
> zoom that is very sharp.

Roger, I would be interested in your testing such a camera. There are
many people for whom the size, weight, bulk and cost of a true 35mm 300mm
f/2.8 image stabilised lens system is out of the question. Of course, the
camera will lack absolute sensitivity with the smaller sensor, but are the
results as unacceptable as your comment might suggest?

Perhaps your local photo shop could loan you a Panasonic FZ20 or Nikon
8800?

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 12:31:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

David J Taylor wrote:

> Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
>
>>Bob Williams wrote:
>>
>>>Consider the Panasonic Lumix FZ 15/20
>>>They have a 12X Leica zoom lens that goes from 36-432mm (35mm
>>>equivalent). And it is F=2.8 over the entire Zoom range!!!
>>>Bob Williams
>>
>>In 35mm equivalent, it must be one really small sensor,
>>thus a lot of noise. I've yet to see even a 10x optical
>>zoom that is very sharp.
>
>
> Roger, I would be interested in your testing such a camera. There are
> many people for whom the size, weight, bulk and cost of a true 35mm 300mm
> f/2.8 image stabilised lens system is out of the question. Of course, the
> camera will lack absolute sensitivity with the smaller sensor, but are the
> results as unacceptable as your comment might suggest?
>
> Perhaps your local photo shop could loan you a Panasonic FZ20 or Nikon
> 8800?

It will come down to how big of a print you can make.
The smaller sensors have increased noise. For example,
the canon 1D Mark II has 8+ micron pixels and a full
well capacity of ~52,300, at ISO 100 for a maximum
signal-to-noise of 229 with pixels spaced 8.2 microns.
This is a photon noise limited system, so it is about
the best possible with that size sensor.

The canon S60, 5 megapixels, has a full well of
about 22,000 at ISO 50 and a pixel spacing of 2.8
microns. The signal-to-noise maximum at iso 100 is
only 105, less than half the 1D Mark II.

Here is a data from:
http://clarkvision.com/imagedetail/digital.signal.to.no...

full well Pixel
Camera (electrons) Spacing Sensor size
(microns) pixels mm
Canon 1DMII 52,300 8.2 3504 x 2336 28.7 x 19.1
Canon 10D 44,200 7.4 3072 x 2048 22.7 x 15.1
Canon 300D 45,500 7.4 3072 x 2048 22.7 x 15.1
Nikon D70 42,100 7.9 3008 x 2000 23.7 x 15.6
Canon 20D 6.4 3504 x 2336 22.5 x 15.0
Canon S60 22,000 2.8 2592 x 1944 7.18 x 5.32
Nikon 8800 2.7 3264 x 2448 8.80 x 6.60
Canon S70 2.3 3072 x 2304 7.18 x 5.32

I do not yet have full well data for the 20D, but I estimate
it is around 38,000 at iso 100, for a max S/N ~ 195.

The less than 3-micron sensors are quite noisy. Add on top of
the lower signal is read noise (see above page) which limits
S/N. Also, these are maximum S/N. The 18% gray card
level (what the average scene intensity is), is 5 times
less signal, or 2.2 times less signal-to-noise.

Add all of that to less frames per second, lower buffers,
and the tiny sensor (2x tougher resolution requirements
than the highest resolution color slide film, velvia),
which means you have a challenge for the lens, all
degrading quality. You really have
lost a lot over the DSLRs.

I do not have specs for the Panasonic Lumix. Getting full
well capacities means measurements and analyzing linear raw output.
But you can get an idea from the sensor sizes above.

Roger
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 4:16:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> Bob Williams wrote:
>
>> Consider the Panasonic Lumix FZ 15/20
>> They have a 12X Leica zoom lens that goes from 36-432mm (35mm
>> equivalent). And it is F=2.8 over the entire Zoom range!!!
>> Bob Williams
>
>
> In 35mm equivalent, it must be one really small sensor,
> thus a lot of noise. I've yet to see even a 10x optical
> zoom that is very sharp. The OP already has 480mm in 35mm
> equivalent with a non zoom (read: much sharper) lens
> and with a 1.4x TC, 672 mm equivalent. That, combined with
> the low noise of the 20D over a P&S, there is simply no
> comparison.
>
> Roger
>
Yes, you're right.
I was thinking that the OP's lens was 300 mm (equivalent) rather than
actual.
With the 20D's magnification factor of 1.6 that gives him a whopping
480mm equivalent, as you pointed out.
However, with the 1.4 TC his effective f-stop is probably around f-6.0
whereas the FZ 15/20 maintains f-2.8 and the lens is IS.
I wonder if the Canon lens maintains its IS feature when used with a TC?
I don't know. I'm just inquiring.
The sensor on the FZ 15/20 is 1/2.5", a bit smaller than I'd like to see
on a 4/5 MP camera. Certainly not in the league of the 20D's sensor size
but then again, the FZ 15 can be bought for $360 and weighs 18 ounces...
A handy little birding camera.
Bob
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 12:49:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> It will come down to how big of a print you can make.
[]
Technical stuff snipped.....
[]
> Add all of that to less frames per second, lower buffers,
> and the tiny sensor (2x tougher resolution requirements
> than the highest resolution color slide film, velvia),
> which means you have a challenge for the lens, all
> degrading quality. You really have
> lost a lot over the DSLRs.
>
> I do not have specs for the Panasonic Lumix. Getting full
> well capacities means measurements and analyzing linear raw output.
> But you can get an idea from the sensor sizes above.
>
> Roger

Roger, I hear everything you're saying about well capacities and SNR
limitations. But the question I asked was:

"are the results as unacceptable as your comment might suggest?"

I was thinking of an 10 x 8 inch print.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 12:49:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

David J Taylor wrote:

> Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
>
>>It will come down to how big of a print you can make.
>
> []
> Technical stuff snipped.....
> []
>
>>Add all of that to less frames per second, lower buffers,
>>and the tiny sensor (2x tougher resolution requirements
>>than the highest resolution color slide film, velvia),
>>which means you have a challenge for the lens, all
>>degrading quality. You really have
>>lost a lot over the DSLRs.
>>
>>I do not have specs for the Panasonic Lumix. Getting full
>>well capacities means measurements and analyzing linear raw output.
>>But you can get an idea from the sensor sizes above.
>>
>>Roger
>
>
> Roger, I hear everything you're saying about well capacities and SNR
> limitations. But the question I asked was:
>
> "are the results as unacceptable as your comment might suggest?"
>
> I was thinking of an 10 x 8 inch print.

It probably will make a nice 8x10 inch print. But the thing
with wildlife photography, especially action wildlife, is
you need fast shutter speeds. That means you are often
increasing ISO above 100. (see my web galleries:
I give the shutter speeds and ISO used on all DSLR images).
If you boost ISO to 400 and probably even 200, on a P&S
camera with 3-micron or less pixels, you will have a very
noisy image. Even an 8x10 will not look great, especially
compared to the same image from a DSLR. Under high
light conditions, the little pixels can make beautiful
images though.

The other factors with P&S for wildlife is shutter lag
with autofocus, frames per second, and frame buffer.

Roger
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 6:28:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> David J Taylor wrote:
[]
>> Roger, I hear everything you're saying about well capacities and SNR
>> limitations. But the question I asked was:
>>
>> "are the results as unacceptable as your comment might suggest?"
>>
>> I was thinking of an 10 x 8 inch print.
>
> It probably will make a nice 8x10 inch print. But the thing
> with wildlife photography, especially action wildlife, is
> you need fast shutter speeds. That means you are often
> increasing ISO above 100. (see my web galleries:
> I give the shutter speeds and ISO used on all DSLR images).
> If you boost ISO to 400 and probably even 200, on a P&S
> camera with 3-micron or less pixels, you will have a very
> noisy image. Even an 8x10 will not look great, especially
> compared to the same image from a DSLR. Under high
> light conditions, the little pixels can make beautiful
> images though.
>
> The other factors with P&S for wildlife is shutter lag
> with autofocus, frames per second, and frame buffer.
>
> Roger

Thanks for that, Roger. I think that it's fair comment that whilst a
lower-cost camera can produce good images under ideal conditions, it is
more limited than its expensive brother either when the lighting is less
than ideal, or when response times or burst mode are taken into account.

For your information, this camera offers the following in burst mode, all
at full resolution:

High - 3 pictures per second with a maximum of 4 or 7 pictures
(depends on JPEG setting)

Low - 2 pictures per second with a maximum of 4 or 7 pictures
(depends on JPEG setting)

No limit - approx 2 pictures per second with a no maximum pictures
(but the speed may slow down when writing to the card).

DPreview says that its 1/2.5" sensor is 5.760mm x 4.290mm.
I much prefer mm as well!

Your response helps me understand where you might advise some to choose
one camera over the other.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
January 12, 2005 11:46:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

David J Taylor wrote:

> Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
>
>>David J Taylor wrote:
>
> []
>
>>>Roger, I hear everything you're saying about well capacities and SNR
>>>limitations. But the question I asked was:
>>>
>>>"are the results as unacceptable as your comment might suggest?"
>>>
>>>I was thinking of an 10 x 8 inch print.
>>
>>It probably will make a nice 8x10 inch print. But the thing
>>with wildlife photography, especially action wildlife, is
>>you need fast shutter speeds. That means you are often
>>increasing ISO above 100. (see my web galleries:
>>I give the shutter speeds and ISO used on all DSLR images).
>>If you boost ISO to 400 and probably even 200, on a P&S
>>camera with 3-micron or less pixels, you will have a very
>>noisy image. Even an 8x10 will not look great, especially
>>compared to the same image from a DSLR. Under high
>>light conditions, the little pixels can make beautiful
>>images though.
>>
>>The other factors with P&S for wildlife is shutter lag
>>with autofocus, frames per second, and frame buffer.
>>
>>Roger
>
>
> Thanks for that, Roger. I think that it's fair comment that whilst a
> lower-cost camera can produce good images under ideal conditions, it is
> more limited than its expensive brother either when the lighting is less
> than ideal, or when response times or burst mode are taken into account.
>
> For your information, this camera offers the following in burst mode, all
> at full resolution:
>
> High - 3 pictures per second with a maximum of 4 or 7 pictures
> (depends on JPEG setting)
>
> Low - 2 pictures per second with a maximum of 4 or 7 pictures
> (depends on JPEG setting)
>
> No limit - approx 2 pictures per second with a no maximum pictures
> (but the speed may slow down when writing to the card).
>
> DPreview says that its 1/2.5" sensor is 5.760mm x 4.290mm.
> I much prefer mm as well!
>
> Your response helps me understand where you might advise some to choose
> one camera over the other.

David,
I couldn't find the FZ15/20 on dpreview. I assume you mean the
FZ20? If so, it is only 5 megapixels. The person who posted this
as an alternative to a 20D I thought was comparing an 8-megapixel
camera. That makes it even more ridiculous.

The FZ 20 to have a half chance of competing to make a decent
8x10 print would need to be in fine mode. At that it
only has a 4 frame buffer at 3 frames per second.
Worse, it has about a 1 second shutter lag. Kiss the photo
goodbye, whether it be wildlife action, your kid's first
step, your children at play, and even some candid portraits!

The color fringing on the 12x zoom looks terrible!

But more surprising is that the camera has 2.2 micron pixel spacing.
I've never heard of one that low. The test images on the
review page look noisy even at iso 80, and are horrible
at iso 400.

No comparison to a DSLR.

I sure would like to know the full well capacity of the
2.2-micron sensor. It is probably not more than 15,000.

Roger
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 1:32:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In message <10u5sc557tg8dd8@news.supernews.com>,
Jim Townsend <not@real.address> wrote:

>I use the 100-400.. Again it maxes out at 400 f/5.6 which is
>less than your 300mm / 1.4x combo.

.... even less than the math would suggest, IMO. I think that the
100-400 is actually about 90-360mm, rounded up, and the 300 f4L is about
310mm, rounded down. That's because the angle of view is only 17% wider
in my 300mm f4L than in my 100-400mm @ "400".
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 1:43:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In message <1105392949.313373.85100@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
eawckyegcy@yahoo.com wrote:

>You don't buy
>this lens because of the "500" alone (focal length can be had for much
>less), it is purchased because of the "f/4" _and_ the "500".
>Typically, you'll be using a 1.4 or a 2.0 converter on it.

You didn't state so explicitly, but the strongest reason that it is
worth using the TCs is that the lens itself is so damn sharp.

Using TCs with lenses that are not sharp is usually an excercise in
futility, unless you are using some uncontrollable automated process
that shrinks full frames to lower resolutions, or you have a sensor with
a large pixel pitch (1D, 30D, Sigma SD, etc). The larger the pixel
pitch, the more magnification you can get away with for a given lens.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <JPS@no.komm>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 1:33:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
[]
> David,
> I couldn't find the FZ15/20 on dpreview. I assume you mean the
> FZ20? If so, it is only 5 megapixels. The person who posted this
> as an alternative to a 20D I thought was comparing an 8-megapixel
> camera. That makes it even more ridiculous.

Yes, there are a range of 12X zoom cameras from Panasonic, with the 5MP
FZ20 at the top end.

[]

I can see that your expectations would not be met by the camera, but there
are many people out there producing what are, to them, quite acceptable 10
x 8 inch prints.

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
January 13, 2005 4:16:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

David J Taylor wrote:
> Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
> []
>> David,
>> I couldn't find the FZ15/20 on dpreview. I assume you mean the
>> FZ20? If so, it is only 5 megapixels. The person who posted this
>> as an alternative to a 20D I thought was comparing an 8-megapixel
>> camera. That makes it even more ridiculous.
>
> Yes, there are a range of 12X zoom cameras from Panasonic, with the
> 5MP FZ20 at the top end.
>
> []
>
> I can see that your expectations would not be met by the camera, but
> there are many people out there producing what are, to them, quite
> acceptable 10 x 8 inch prints.
>
> Cheers,
> David

I guess I could use a longer lens to get close to these birds?

http://www.fototime.com/8FE5A383B456541/orig.jpg


--
Frank ess
!