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Old Feb 9, 2006, 6:26 AM   #11
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Yep, those do look like all 70-200s. One other thing that's important for press or sports photographers - that's getting subject isolation and bluring the background. In general, the wider the aperture and the longer the focal length the more background blur you have. So, a 200mm 2.8 lens will give you more blur than a 100mm 2.8 lens. So, even inside, when people are doing head shots they will often use a longer telephoto to get more blur. So, it's not only about reach. If I take a 300mm 2.8 lens indoors (wish I had one) and the framing on my camera just includes the subject's head and take the shot; the background blur will be MUCH better than a 100mm shot that includes most of the body and then I crop down to just the head in post processing. Both shots were taken at 2.8 but the subject isolation will be better on the 300mm shot.
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 10:27 AM   #12
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peripatetic wrote:
Most of those lenses aren't terribly long telephotos, they look like 70-200 zooms to me, and are mounted on 1D bodies which mean that they would not be suitable for shooting birds at any distance beyond 3-4 meters. The bird lenses are really big!

The reason they are so big is that they are terribly fast telephotos, meaning they have a very wide maximum aperture (f-stop). The f-stop is the ratio between the aperture and the focal length.

It does look kinda silly, but if you want the best quality and zoom flexibility available that's what you have to use - otherwise someone would be using different gear right?
As they say in the trade, the right tool for the right job. I own a number of "big" lenses. But some are big for the purpose of gathering light, and some are big for the purpose of telephoto. But their all big...:-)

Now the pictures that you show appear to be professional photographers anxious to "capture" the moment. If they can gather a lot of light, they can shoot at a faster speed. If you shoot at a faster speed you can show a smile as opposed to a blur of teeth.

One stop might very well be critical.

There's always a trade-off involved with these "zoom" lenses. The cheaper ones simply cannot open up - meaning thier apertures, even at the largest size cannot capture light. As a result, you have to shoot at a slower speed.

There is a direct relationship between speed and size of aperture. Each time you double your amount of light you can double the speed - and of course the opposite.

Each "f stop" means doubling the amount of light - and thus the reason they look so silly.


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Old Feb 9, 2006, 11:20 AM   #13
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Looks like 5 of them hit the samelens/ camera package sale!! :lol:
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Old Feb 9, 2006, 1:16 PM   #14
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It does kinda look that way. Some of those are very expensive cameras, it looks like this is an important event of some kind. Of course, that a few have visible press passes around their neck also implies that.

This isn't surprising, though. Since there are a finite number of lenses available, and only a certain number of really good ones for specific jobs (like wildlife, or press conferences, or macro) the people who do that type of photography generally have the same equipment. If you buy the best (which many Pros have to do) you end up converging on the same basic setup.

I agree that they should put the monopod on the lens, so that the setup is better balanced and helps with lens vibration... its better to have a monopod on the body then none at all. It's possible that that lens doesn't come with a foot, so he had two choices. Buy an after-market one (if one is made) or put the monopod on the camera body.

He chose the cheaper one.

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Old Feb 9, 2006, 5:42 PM   #15
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eric s,

Here LOL means lauging out loud.

I'm sorry if you were offended.

I was just making an old photography joke.

Thats why I added, "seriously" after the statement, indicating that pro's often have several camera bodies with them, maybe a 300mm or a 600mm on a monopod, as well as a shorter zoom around their neck.

The other day I was at an event and this guy had three cameras going every which way.

Every time he got up from taking a knee shot, his 10D came crashing off his neck and bouncing on the floor, bending his lens baffle more each time.

He also had a 20D and a EOS DS around his neck.

Actually he was quite friendly , as sports photogs go.

I almost felt like offering to buy his 10D, I felt so sorry for the abuse his camera was taking.

Anyways, not to be offended. It was just an old joke, and certainly I don't have a problem with anyone having any lens anywhere, as long as they are snapping pictures!

-- Terry

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Old Feb 9, 2006, 6:17 PM   #16
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I think my offence was partially due to the day I was having. But that is why I'm a fan of :blah: and such. Almost no way to missinterpret that.

I've got the 1D MkII N now and I've still got my 20D. I keep thinking, I'll keep the "N" on the big lens and the 100-400 on the 20D around my neck. And then I think... that will be a pain in the neck... and chest (where it hits me) and probably other places. So far, I'm thinking that at least I won't carry it like that.

I'd probably get some flight shots that I wouldn't get otherwise... and I'd miss others from the annoyance of carrying both cameras!

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Old Feb 14, 2006, 8:27 AM   #17
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So is a 70-300mm going to be a good starter lens for shooting wildlfe? Thats what I need to know now.

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Old Feb 14, 2006, 10:44 AM   #18
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A 70-300 isn't a bad lens for wildlife. What apertures were you looking at?

My preference is that 400mm is a good starter lens for wildlife (be that a fixed 400mm or a zoom lens that can go out to 400mm), but lenses that long are expensive. Some people are able to accept that, others are not.

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