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Old Aug 7, 2008, 12:48 PM   #1
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My Mom (age 76) has offered to loan me her never used Canon S2 IS for an upcoming trip to Yellowstone. She hasn't decided if she wants me to teach her how to use it afterwards, or if she will give it to me. I have a feeling I will end up getting temporary custody of the camera. This is not the camera I had planned on buying; I was looking for something with a higher x zoom for wildlife, like the Panasonic Lumix.
Is it worth buying the DC58B telephoto lens and adapter? Other posts suggest a UV filter might be useful for outdoor shots. Because I will not be buying a camera, I have some money to spend. However, I am uncertain as to whether I will use the lens much afterwards. Also, I'm not sure if I will be able to learn all the features of the camera and the add on lens. I will actually get my hands on the camera in a few weeks and will have a month before the trip to play with it. I have only used Kodak Easy Share, which did great for scenery at Grand Canyon last year, but is not so good for close up or far away.

If I buy the add ons, is it worth buying the Canon brand or are the no names just as good? Above all I don't want to damage the camera as it is not really mine.

Thanks for any advice you can give.
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Old Aug 8, 2008, 7:45 AM   #2
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Don't get suckered by the x zoom manufacturers use to advertise cameras.

You may be thinking, some Panys are x18, while the S2 is "only" a x12, so the Panys are like 50% better, yes ?

The x zoom number is a simple ratio, max focal length/min focal length, it does not mean magnification...

Your S2 (x12)at the long end reachs (in 35mm terms) 432 mm

A typical x18 Pany reaches 504mm (FZ 18 )or 486mm ( Fz 28 )

Thats nota lot of difference really, useful but not critical.

The Panys start wider, useful for wide angle scenic views and group shots, the wider the lens, the more you get in the shot.

Have a look at http://www.lensmateonline.com/for example of common teleconverters.

Whatever you do, don't buy those terrible, cheap teleconverters you see on ebay, eg those x2,x3 converters by Opteka, Tokina, Crystal Optics, Merkury etc

Utter garbage, best used as paperweights...

A digital camera is not really sensitive to UV light, so the real point of adding a uv/clear filter is to protect the lens, ie if you smack the end of the lens against a rock, the filter is damaged, not the lens.

However as with all things, some people swear UV filters, make a difference for the better, while others swear adding a UV filter actually makes things worse.. more glass in front of the lens, more chances of random reflections, etc etc

If you do buy one, buy a quality one, quality = expense of course, but quality means better glass, better coatings on the lens etc.

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Old Aug 8, 2008, 8:52 AM   #3
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Further to Sintares' comment here is a Focal Length Comparison Tool:

You will see that it requires a major change in focal length at the telephoto end to make a difference. You will also find that atmospheric conditions (haze, smog, dust) will degrade image quality as you get further away from the subject.

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