Digital Photography

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Apr 19th, 2005, 11:19 AM
  #1
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Digital Photography

If you put a 400mm analog lens on a digital SLR camera, you will have around a 600mm lens.

Our 400mm lens is F 4.5-.6.7 which is pretty low light.

Could anyone comment on just how restricted the lens would be shooting at 600mm.

Using the 400mm on our analog Canon in Africa, has been working pretty well. The results have been ok for our armature photography skills and taste. .

But, I was wondering that with the 1.5x conversion and the low F stops, shooting with 400m converted to 600m would make shooting with this lens hard to do, like very obviously too low a light conditions at sunset or early sunrise.

Daytime should be ok?

Thanks, Jon
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Apr 19th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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If you are talking about the 1.5 or 1.6 multiplyer effect that your current lens will have on a digital camera, it won't change the f/stop at all. You should be able to use a digital camera with your current lens the same way you have been using it on a SLR in the past without any change in the light.

It's not the same as adding a teleconverter which does lose one or two stops of light.
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Apr 19th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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ps - lucky you to have a 400mm (600mm) in Africa! You should be able to get some awesome pictures.
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Apr 19th, 2005, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the explanation. It.. well..er.. explained a lot. Made everything clear.

What if I put a 1x or 2x converter on top of the 400 that is multiplyed to a 600?

j
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Apr 19th, 2005, 06:28 PM
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Question.

I'm thinking of bringing my laptop and an external hard drive enclosure that is powered off an USB cable, to store the pic files.

Is there a way to get power from the DC battery in the camper to power the laptop?

Unless, you know something, for me, this could be the least expensive way to store files. The enclosure are around $30 and other than some type of DC battery conveter, I think, I'm set to go.

J

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Apr 20th, 2005, 05:42 AM
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If you have Canon, I believe the teleconverters available are a 1.4x and a 2x. If you put a DSLR with a multiplier effect of 1.6 onto your lens you have an effective focal distance of 400mm x 1.6 = 640mm. Add a 1.4x teleconverter and you have 896mm. (2x teleconverter = 1280mm) The 1.4x will cause a loss of one stop of light and the 2x will cause a loss of 2 stops.

As far as power, I know you can buy a power inverter to convert DC current into conventional AC electricity which can run your laptop or portable harddrive. If that isn't what you need I can't help.

Good luck!
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Apr 20th, 2005, 06:09 AM
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Thanks Sundowner,

With the effective 1280mm, would there be a problem keeping the camera steady? I would need a tripod for sure right?

But, shooting at 600mm, maybe I could get by without a tripod?

J
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Apr 20th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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First of all, practice with that lens and see what you can do. There are a number of photographers that hand-hold the 400mm lens and get excellent results. (And yes, they are all using digital so the eff. focal distance is 640mm but they all still refer to it as the 400) I am familiar with the size of the 400mm f4.0 lens but not yours. How heavy is it?

Are you going on game drives? If you sit in the seat beside the driver you can rest your lens on the dash of the vehicle (just make sure he/she turns the motor off). That will stabilize it a lot.

Another option is a monopod. A monopod is workable in a game drive vehicle. The biggest issue for me (with a monopod) is taking the camera on/off the monopod while driving/stopping. If you have a good enough head on your monopod you can leave the camera mounted even when you are driving but I wasn't very sure of mine so I took it on/off constantly. Using the monopod with the lens at 1280mm, you might want to stablilize the camera/lens even more by applying slight pressure/weight on the end of the lens and on the camera.

I have the 300 f/2.8 and it weighs 6 lbs plus the weight of the camera (2 to 2.5 lbs) and I usually use the "front seat" or monopod method with mine. Of course a tripod is the best way and I did see a guy using a tripod in a game vehicle but he had hired the whole landrover and had plenty of space to maneuver.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 07:33 AM
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Unless you have extraordinary steady hands, an Image Stabilised lens or a very fast lens (f2.8 or wider, allowing for faster shutter speeds in same light) I doubt you could hand hold 600mm when at it's full length...

Tripods aren't practical in vehicles but monopods and beanbags can both help.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Sundowner,
Shooting in Africa, the 400mm with our analog Canon Rebel has worked great. No problems at all, no shaking. Not sure of the weight, we have not had any weight problems.

In Uganda, while hiding in the papyrus, sometimes the Zebra would be too close to be photographed.

We have a Tokina 100-400, 4.5-6.7
http://store.yahoo.com/aaaprice/tokina100400.html
at $239 USD, it has been a great purchase.

We are renting a 4x4 camper for traveling in Botswana and thank you for the suggestons/tips.

Beanbags, yes... there will be lotís of sand in Botswana.

J

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Apr 20th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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It's true everyone wants to have a long lens on safari, but the low light and stability issues can also make for disappointments when you get home.

For what its worth I have a few safari photos embedded in a Kilimanjaro trip report here:
http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/...mountain_id=17

None of those was taken at more than 300mm and at least one was at 24mm (film camera). Many were somewhere in between those extremes. So, even if you have a long lens you don't have to use it all the time!

Have a great trip.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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If you were already too close with your 400mm, you'll definitely be too close with a 640mm!

If you still feel like you need a teleconverter, you'll probably have to find out what works with the Tokina lens. I don't think I would invest in a 2x - the 1x or whatever Tokina has will probably be more than enough.

Have a great trip!
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Apr 20th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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I was thinking.. I wouldn't want to be so far away from the wildlife, that I needed a 1280mm, but it was fun thinking I could have it.

J

Now, if sombody could convince me that I should save money and buy the 300D instead of the 350D.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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I wanted to ask.
What are you all doing to store your files in the bush?
J
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Apr 20th, 2005, 09:16 PM
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If you use any teleconverter with an f4.5-6.7 lense you will not be able to use any of the auto functions-- at least on a Canon camera. I was told that these do not work with "slower" lenses-- and that this is one of the reasons that people pay for that f2.8-- they can add a 2x and still use auto functions.) Anyway, test this out for yourself before you go to Africa, or talk to a good camera store before you consider buying that teleconverter.

Even if you are willing to shoot in manual, I think you are going to have serious problems holding this lense steady enough, even with a monopod, if you add a teleconverter. Depending on where you are going, you may have to rely on a beanbag, or you may be able to use a tripod in some areas/ vehicles. I've been on drives with folks who used a tripod (in the open vehicles of Southern Africa) and they got terrific photos. So it is possible...sometimes!
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